'The Great War has been represented in Australian curricula since 1914, in texts with tones ranging from bellicose patriotism to idealistic pacifism. Australian curricula have included war literature as one way of transmitting cultural values, values that continue to evolve as successive generations relate differently to war and peace. Changes in ethical perspectives and popular feeling have guided text selection and pedagogy, so that texts which were once accepted as foundational to Australian society seem, at later times, to document civilisation's ruin.
In recent years, overseas texts have been preferred above Australian examples as mediators of the Great War, an event still held by many to be of essential importance to Australia. This paper first considers arguments for including Great War texts on the national curriculum, exploring what war literature can, and cannot, be expected to bring to the program. Interrogating the purpose/s of war literature in the curriculum and the ways in which the texts may be used to meet such expectations, the paper then discusses styles of war texts and investigates whether there is a case for including more texts by Australian authors.' (Author's abstract)