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Adelaide Educational Institution: A dissenting academy for boys

South Australia, 1850-1880

The Glorious Revolution of 1688 in England was not so glorious for those Christian groupings, puritan and dissenting (also “nonconformist”), that had developed or were developing organizational, cultural and theological traditions separate from the established Church of England. The restoration of the monarchy saw a consolidation of the privileges of the Church of England.… Continue Reading »

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ experiences of schooling and education: Oral histories, autobiographies, and life writing

Australia, to 2022

Contributions to Anita Heiss’ anthology, Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia, included authors’ recollections of their experiences of schools. Shannon Foster recalled that ‘None of the teachers at school ever talked about Aboriginal people. “They” were never mentioned.’ (Foster in Heiss, 2018) For Evelyn Araluen, being ‘Aboriginal meant I was always angry in History class.’ (Aruluen in Heiss) John Hartley remembered in third grade

being told I was not Aboriginal, because I was not black.Continue Reading »

Home Economics incl. Domestic Science, Domestic Arts and Home Science

Australia, 1888-2010

Home economics is a curriculum domain that has been highly responsive to social pressures concerning gender, especially the expected roles that girls and women should occupy in families, the labour market and society more broadly. It is a curriculum domain that came into being towards the end of the nineteenth century as an educational response to several interdependent crises and social movements that included the following:

Fig 1: Slums of Melbourne, 1930s.

Continue Reading »

School Furniture: Desks, tables and chairs

New South Wales, Late 19th century – 2000

The design, production, and use of desks, tables, and chairs, perhaps the most obvious objects within classrooms past and present, accompanied changing ideas of pedagogy and physical health from the late nineteenth century to the present day. This was the case in New South Wales along with other Australian jurisdictions and other countries.… Continue Reading »

School assessment and testing; public examinations and credentials

Australia, 1780-2020

Teachers no matter what forms of pedagogy they engage have usually been concerned to evaluate the learning of their students. The historical tendency, especially in the last two hundred years has been to formalise the process. Written tests and examinations have mainly displaced oral displays of achievement. Concentration on the testing of individual mastery has tended to displace interest in collective achievement, though the latter was resurgent from the late twentieth century as nation states collected data especially on the literacy and numeracy of cohorts of young people at different stages of their school education.… Continue Reading »

The Wyndham Scheme

New South Wales, 1957-1965

The problem of how best to deliver universal secondary education to youth exercised many national systems of education through the twentieth century. Among the democracies, the United States and Scandinavian countries were pioneers of a particular approach: comprehensive secondary schooling. Pressures towards the comprehensive school increased after World War II.… Continue Reading »

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander schooling (2)

Australia, 1920s to 2020

Note: Photographs of Indigenous persons who may have passed away appear in this entry.

In the early twentieth century the main policies and practices organising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander schooling had been set. There was little concern by state governments (in this period South Australia had responsibility for education in the Northern Territory), if many Indigenous children were not schooled at all.… Continue Reading »

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Schooling (1)

Australia, 1788-1925

Note: Photographs of Indigenous persons who may have passed away appear in this entry.

Formal schooling, as the invading British understood it, was alien to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Education among Indigenous peoples occurred quite satisfactorily without it. What needed to be learnt by young people was specific to their age and gender, and the local cultural ties, beliefs and practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.… Continue Reading »

Catholic teaching sisters and the 1918 influenza pandemic

New Zealand, 1918-1919

During the deadly pandemic that killed more than 9000 people in New Zealand and as many as 50 million people world-wide, Catholic teaching orders turned their focus to ministering to the sick. Schools across the country were closed from November 1918 to February 1919. Released from their teaching duties Catholic sisters, with the assistance of teaching brothers, priests and local volunteers, cared for victims of the pandemic from all sections of the community.… Continue Reading »

Tennant, Haysell: Employment of same-sex attracted teachers in schools

Australia, 1975-2020

Schools do not exist for the sole purpose of educating young people in the knowledge and skills that are mainly agreed as essential for employment, citizenship and social life in general. They are also about inculcating belief systems that may be more or less explicit, closed or open to critical challenge.… Continue Reading »