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Church and Schools Corporation

New South Wales, 1820-1835

The impulse to systematise schooling in the colony of New South Wales occurred early. In the relative absence of wealthy churches, philanthropists and well-established communities, the colonial government needed to play a role in educating young people. The idea that criminality (the convict ‘stain’) could be prevented from passing down the generations through interventions such as chaplain-supervised and a little later church-subsidised schooling was accepted by most of the early governors.… Continue Reading »

Girls, School and Society

Australia, 1975

Women’s Liberation badge, 1970s

The revivified feminist and broader women’s movement from the late 1960s were always going to have a major impact on education policy and schools. The disparities and inequalities between males and females were deeply embedded. Commonly girls and boys had different curricula, women teachers were usually confined to less well-paid positions, fewer girls completed high school and graduated from universities and colleges in the tertiary sector, fewer girls than boys were accepted into apprenticeships.… Continue Reading »

Half-time and travelling schools

Eastern Australia, 1860s-1930s

In an effort to cater for the rapidly increasing rural population in the eastern Australian colonies following the gold rushes in the 1850s, the introduction of the Robertson Land Act in New South Wales (NSW) in the 1860s and the spread of settlement, most government departments of public instruction instituted what became known as Half-time Schools  (NSW) or Part-time Schools (Victoria) during the latter decades of the nineteenth century.… Continue Reading »

Gould League of Bird Lovers

Australia, 1909-Present

The Gould League of Bird Lovers of Victoria was established in 1909, followed by the Gould League of Bird Lovers of New South Wales in 1910 and similar bodies in other states. The Leagues proved very popular with school children and teachers alike. In annual celebrations of Bird Day, children sang, recited and performed plays about birds, entered their writing into competitions and learned bird calls.… Continue Reading »

Inspector William Knowles Miller (1830-1861) and the early National schools of Victoria

Victoria, Australia, 1850-1860

National schools were founded from 1848 in greater New South Wales. They were governed by a board established and funded by the colonial government. The curriculum of the National schools was utilitarian, based on ‘common Christianity’ principles [see Glossary]. They were expected to expand the access of families to schooling, especially in areas where private or denominational (church) schools were either absent or unsatisfactory.… Continue Reading »

Meade Report/’Before Five’

New Zealand, 1987-1991

An overview

Early childhood care and education (ECCE) in Aotearoa New Zealand is provided by a variety of non-governmental organisations and private providers. The government sets the regulations under which ECCE centres must operate, and subsidises their costs through the Ministry of Education using formulae based on enrolments and attendance. The subsidy is a bulk grant, with the individual ECCE centres having control over how the money is to be spent, and what other revenue they might seek (such as parental fees).… Continue Reading »

Thomas Report, and William Thomas (1879-1945)

New Zealand, 1900-1960

Many national and provincial governments sought to expand access to secondary schooling during the twentieth century. New Zealand was a pioneer of the comprehensive school in its region. There would be a reformed curriculum that could include many more students than an academic elite. The influence of William Thomas was not confined to New Zealand.… Continue Reading »

Landreth, Catherine (1899-1995)

New Zealand and United States of America, 1920s-1960s

Catherine Landreth is one of a small group of women who used their degree in household science as a springboard to post-graduate studies and an international academic career. Although she maintained links with household science throughout her professional life, it is Landreth’s significance as a researcher, academic and professional in the area of child development and early childhood education for which she will be remembered.… Continue Reading »

Technical secondary schools

Victoria, Australia, 1910-2015

The establishment of post-elementary technical schools in Australian states in the early twentieth century was one of several responses to the growing pressure to provide some form of universal secondary education for all adolescents. The Australian State of Victoria constructed a long-lasting system of such schools that distinguished public education in that state from those elsewhere.… Continue Reading »

Convict and emancipist teachers

New South Wales, 1789-1830

Between 1789 and 1830 approximately half of the teachers who taught in the schools of the colony of New South Wales arrived as convicts. This entry concerning the use of convicts as teachers in early colonial schools asks why there was a need for school teachers in what was founded as a penal colony.  … Continue Reading »