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Adelaide High School: Inventing a state high school

South Australia, 1875-1920

The Education Act of 1875 in South Australia provided for the foundation of a system of public, mainly elementary schools. It also allowed “infant schools, evening schools, schools for the teaching of any branch of science or art, and advanced schools for continuing the education of scholars who shall have obtained prizes at public schools, or otherwise proved themselves qualified for admission: Provided that the course of training in all such schools shall be secular” (clause 12).… Continue Reading »

School choice and school markets

Australia, 1788-2018

For most of Australia’s European settlement history opportunities for parents and others to choose schools for the children in their families and care were absent or highly constrained. The major effort over the long term was to provide schools for increasing proportions of the population, and by the end of the nineteenth century, to compel families with limited interest in schooling children, to force their attendance.… Continue Reading »

New South Wales Teachers Federation: Part 2, The second 50 years

New South Wales, 1968-2018

Over the course of its second fifty years, the Teachers Federation remained explicitly aware of its dual roles, industrial and professional, and the interconnection of the two when applied to education and educators. Also remaining important was its role in what the 1968 celebrations called “community activities” and later decades would stress as “social justice”.… Continue Reading »

New South Wales Teachers Federation: Part 1, The first 50 years

New South Wales, 1918-1968

The New South Wales Teachers Federation has, over its one-hundred-year history, operated in two major roles, industrial and professional. As an industrial trade union it has concerned itself with teachers’ salaries, working conditions, and staffing of public education institutions. As a professional body it has endorsed and campaigned for a wide range of matters related to teaching and learning.… Continue Reading »

Blackburn, Jean, and social justice through education

Australia, 1919-2001

Jean Muir was born on 14 July 1919, to a family that was rising from the working class. After overcoming the difficulty of a father who opposed any more than elementary education for girls, Jean Muir was able to progress beyond Lloyd Street Higher Elementary School in Melbourne. She spent four years at the academically selective University High School (1933-1936).… Continue Reading »

Teaching orders in New Zealand

New Zealand, 1850-1900

Catholic schools, faith and a basic education

The purpose of Catholic schooling in nineteenth century New Zealand was to provide an education for the whole of life and to enable the correct development of a child’s whole character of mind and heart. The Church stressed the importance of the educative roles of parents, but they believed that Catholic parents lacked the education and expertise necessary to fulfill these responsibilities.… Continue Reading »

Newcastle High School

New South Wales, 1906-

Newcastle High School was established in 1906 in Newcastle, New South Wales (NSW), Australia. To begin with, it was a coeducational, academically selective high school in three rooms of the infants department of Newcastle Public School which had been opened in 1863. Prior to the opening of Newcastle High School, public secondary students who lived in Newcastle travelled to the near-by population centre of Maitland where two selective single-sex high schools had been set up in 1884.… Continue Reading »

Payment by results: Teachers’ work, remuneration, and student assessment

Victoria, 1863-1906

The performance-based system, known colloquially as ‘payment-by-results’, whereby teachers’ remuneration was partly determined by the success of their pupils at prescribed examinations, was introduced into Victorian government-aided schools in early1864. Although criticised by many throughout its 40-year existence, the system was not finally abolished until 1906, following the recommendation of a Royal Commission on Education (Fink).… Continue Reading »

Catholic schools: Creating a system

New Zealand, 1850-1900

The character of the Catholic education system in New Zealand was formed by direct Irish immigration and by French, English and Australian influences – the last partly a result of the large numbers of Irish who arrived in the country via Australia. However from the 1880s, the association between Irishness and Catholicism had strengthened as a result of the arrival of large numbers of Irish clergy, and teaching religious.  … Continue Reading »

Residualised public schooling: The case of Mount Druitt High School

Sydney, New South Wales, 1995-2010

From the 1970s in Australia there were rapid changes in the nature and patterns of employment. They especially affected sectors of the population that had been reliant on work in the manufacturing industry. As a result of these and other changes in each of the larger cities of Australia, suburban regions emerged that were marked by high levels of unemployment and increasing poverty.… Continue Reading »