Centre of Gravity Series: Educating for what? PME, the ADF and an uncertain 21st century

Author/s (editor/s):

Dr Aurore Chow, Dr Jack Bowers

Publication year:

2021

Publication type:

Discussion paper

Professional Military Education (PME) is the study of force by the profession of arms. The profession of arms requires constantly adapting to uncertainty, yet Australian PME is not well prepared to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. Military organisations are becoming more hetero-cultural and diverse in their expertise because war is more heterogeneous. The lines between state actors and non-state actors have become less certain; the limits to the battle space have become less certain and the line between peace and war less apparent. In such an environment, the education of military forces needs to adapt.

This Centre of Gravity paper, by two deeply experienced PME educators, offers suggestions on the road ahead for Australian PME. It emphasises the need to build on the study of warfighting to help ADF members connect to broader social context they will operate in, at home and abroad. It discusses ways to improve learning environments that foster critical thinking, enable students to encounter and learn to manage uncertainty and the development of first rate instructors.

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