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:
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 »
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 Commission on Primary, Secondary, Technical, and Other Branches of Education was appointed in New South Wales in early 1902. Commissioners George Handley Knibbs, University lecturer, and John William Turner, Headmaster of Fort Street Model School, travelled widely in Europe and America enquiring into education for the purpose of reforming education in New South Wales.… Continue Reading »
Gwen Somerset was a well-known New Zealand educationalist in adult and early childhood education. The daughter of Clara Buckingham and Frederick Alley, Gwen was born in 1894 in Canterbury. She trained as a primary school teacher as well as studying at Canterbury College (now the University of Canterbury), and spent almost 17 years as Infant Mistress at Oxford, a small rural town in Canterbury.… Continue Reading »
Nature Study was a new subject introduced to elementary school curricula throughout the English speaking world in the 1890s and the early 1900s. It was an important component of the educational reform movement known as New Education. Nature Study was supported by a considerable body of theoretical and practical literature. Its subject matter introduced plant, animal, and geological studies to even the youngest children in elementary or primary schools.… Continue Reading »
Unique to New Zealand (Aotearoa), Playcentre is a parent-led educational organisation providing adult and early childhood education since the 1940s. Founded on democratic principles embedded in the progressive education movement, Playcentre has evolved in response to the social changes in New Zealand society, in particular the changing role of women. As well as pioneering adult education publications and pedagogies, Playcentre was part of the normalisation of very young children in spaces designed for their learning through play.… Continue Reading »
Edited by Kenneth Cunningham, the first director of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), this volume collected papers given during the travelling conference of the New Education Fellowship through 1937.
Education for Complete Living was likely the most influential of any nongovernment publication about education and schooling in Australia in the first half of the twentieth century.… Continue Reading »
From the 1850s there was a fundamental reform in school instruction, brought about by the introduction of classroom teaching. Even into the twenty-first century, the classroom is the most common departure point for a great range of educational activities that occur in schools.
This reform was supported by the introduction of systematic teacher training and education, especially for those employed in public schools.… Continue Reading »