The idea that colonial governments might foster and fund schools detached from church governance belongs to the 1830s. By then, with the religious diversity of the colonies, it was beginning to seem impossible that the Church of England could by itself provide a dominant ‘public’ school system. There were too many Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Wesleyans, Congregationalists and more for easy acceptance of such a position.… Continue Reading »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
In each of the Australian colonies, usually in the 1870s, there were education acts passed that established public school systems. Their defining characteristics have usually been described as ‘free, compulsory and secular’. The Act that came closest to establishing all three of these conditions at the same time was the Victorian Education Act of 1872.… Continue Reading »
The words public and private have been used in attempts to describe the ownership, governance and purposes of Australian schools and education from close to the beginnings of British colonisation in 1788. They are concepts that had little meaning for Indigenous society before, and for some time after initial colonisation.
The meanings of these words shift over time.… Continue Reading »
A prescription for radical change
In April 1988 Administering for Excellence, the report of a taskforce headed by Brian Picot, identified ‘serious weaknesses’ in New Zealand’s three-tiered 110 year-old education system that in its view justified replacement by an entirely new two-tiered structure. The Taskforce envisaged the replacement of the Department of Education by a Ministry of Education and the abolition of regional education boards.… Continue Reading »