tudy, teaching and research in the history of education


Michael White
Carnegie Philanthropy in Australia in the nineteen thirties - a reassessment.
Carnegie Corporation grants to Australia in the nineteen thirties threw a cultural lifeline to a nation enduring its worst depression. The grants fed into strategic points where national ideas and values were shaped - the leadership of school systems, universities and teachers colleges, centres of cultural heritage and adult education, research and international affairs. The present paper reassesses the impact of Carnegie activities before the outbreak of war in the Pacific, which profoundly altered the policy environment, especially, of course, with respect to American-Australian international relations.

The Carnegie initiatives have been examined in Connell's history of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and in the standard histories of Australian libraries by Horrocks and Balnaves. These accounts, however, do not reflect more recent critical assessments of U.S. foundation activities, including those of the Carnegie Corporation, by such writers as Horace Coon, Lagemann, Arnove and Berman. Richard Glotzer has also written extensively on Carnegie operations, especially in South Africa. The reassessment of Australia's experience presented here was motivated by the fact that the critical views concentrate upon domestic North American and third world (largely African) concerns, and either ignore Australia and New Zealand or view grants to the Antipodes as simply pale reflections of North American policy, or else as an inconsequential sideshow. The reappraisal approaches with some caution the more radical views of Berman and Arnove, which in their neo-Marxist orientation are simplistic and thus predictable, but takes special note of the more ambivalent treatment by Lagemann, the Corporation's official historian. The upshot was to confirm aspects of the radical critique, but to question its validity on the broader front where Australia is concerned

Russell Bishop
Maori people's concerns about research into their lives.
This analysis is undertaken from the position of a researcher who is a member of an indigenous minority, the Maori people of Aotearoa/New Zealand. It seeks to identify why Maori people are concerned that research should address their desire for self-determination over such research issues as initiation, benefits, representation, legitimation and accountability. This paper indicates, by means of a broad overview of historical and contemporary research, how researcher's of the majority culture have developed and maintained their hegemony over the research process in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Despite the promises of the Treaty of Waitangi, the history of Maori and Pakeha relations in Aotearoa/New Zealand since the signing of the Treaty has not been one of partnership between two peoples developing a nation. This history has been one of political, social and economic domination by the Pakeha majority and marginalisation of the Maori people through armed struggle, biased legislation and educational initiatives and policies which have promoted Pakeha knowledge codes at the expense of Maori.

Despite the development of the myth of our being `one people' with equal opportunities, results of this domination are evident today in the lack of equitable participation by Maori in all positive and beneficial aspects of life in Aotearoa/New Zealand and by their overrepresentation in the negative aspects, the 'crisis indices'. In education, for example, the central government's sequential policies of Assimilation, Integration, Multiculturalism and Biculturalism, and strategies such as Taha Maori, have failed to sustain Maori cultural and language aspirations and have effectively stressed the need for Maori people to subjugate their destiny to the needs of the majority culture, who through political domination effectively prescribed the agenda for the nation state. In short, the development of Aotearoa/New Zealand since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, despite constant armed and passive resistance by Maori people, has been one where the Pakeha majority has benefitted enormously and where Maori have been politically marginalised, culturally and racially attacked and economically impoverished.

Research has contributed to, and continues to contribute to the persistent attacks on Maori cultural integrity, and as a result has promoted Maori political and economic marginalisation and the subsequent impoverishment of Maori people in Aotearoa/New Zealand today. Despite Maori people being one of the most researched people in the world, there is a great deal of evidence that much research into Maori people's lives and experiences conducted by educational and other researchers has been of more benefit to the researchers than to those who have been the objects of study. In short, this process of research has maintained the power to define what constitutes research, and left the criteria for evaluating and presenting research findings in the hands of those people doing the observing, gathering and processing of data and the construction of meaning from/about the research experiences.

In Article Two of the Treaty of Waitangi, Maori people were guaranteed that they would maintain chiefly control (tino Rangatiratanga, ie., power) over taonga katoa (all treasures), particularly the power to define what constitutes a taonga (a treasure), and the power to protect, promote, prefer and prescribe taonga. Despite this guarantee, Pakeha political control over decision making processes in educational research and education in general has proscribed and/or belittled Maori knowledge gathering and information processing methods and contexts. Maori definitions, research questions and approaches to fundamental epistemological questions such as `What is research?', `Who defines what constitutes research?' and `Who defines the purpose and benefits of research?' along with Maori strategies for knowledge production and definition, have been denied authenticity and legitimacy.

This paper seeks to provide a broad overview of the concerns that Maori people voice about research into their lives by means of some detailed examples of how researcher hegemony has developed and been maintained by the research establishment in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Christine Trimingham Jack
School history: Reconstructing the lived experience.
In her 1992 review of educational historiography, Barbara Finkelstein has offered a critique of educational histories which tend to focus on educational structure rather than behaviour. A consequence of this orientation, she writes, is that the inner individual processes which lead to the shaping of consciousness and of how education is used in everyday life beyond the pursuit of power and status have generally been overlooked. Finkelstein argues that if historians are to go beyond `the study of structure, macro-politics and economics and the lives of the elites', they will `need to analyse education as something experienced as well as planned'. This challenge is particularly pertinent for writers of school histories.

Traditionally, in school histories, the lived experience of school life has been used rather than actively studied. Used, in that when recollections of past students have been sought, often through surveys, they are then employed to provide the human element to writings about what some feminists call `the public face' of the school. In employing them in this manner, they provide support for generalisations about what Clifford Geertz called the `hard surfaces of life' to do with structure, planning and outcomes. In other instances, individual recollections in effect provide the entire history, with the historian acting as editor. In neither case has the material of these recollections been systematically (actively) studied in order to understand the nature and meaning of that experience for individuals. By maintaining a focus on the pubic face of the school, school histories tend to remain histories which reflect the aspirations of schools rather than the diverse experience of individuals, experiences which may challenge the conclusions such histories draw.

The reasons for avoiding such active study have been located in a scientific and empirical approach to historical methodology. This approach may be termed `traditional history'. Post-structuralist theory offers a challenge to traditional approaches which has resulted in heated debate. In response to this challenge, traditional historians view their discipline as being in danger of losing its boundaries, while those speaking from post-structuralist positions seek freedom from the restrictions of traditional approaches.

In this paper, I explore some of the issues associated with this debate, referring especially to histories of girls' schools indicating in particular what post-structuralist theory may have to offer in researching the lived experience of schools. With Joan Scott, I do not believe we have to quit the archives, as some have suggested, but we do need to reconsider the focus and methodology of our research.

Yval Dror
Zionist Cultural Transfer through ties between schools and informal education frameworks in the British Mandate Period (1918-1948).

The transfer of Zionist culture from Europe to youngsters in Eretz Israel (pre-state Israel), was achieved by a combination of formal school curricula and informal educational activities. Ties between the schools and informal educational frameworks, notably the youth movements, played a most important part in this transfer during the British Mandate.

This paper outlines three components of the historical background to education in this context: Zionism in Eretz Israel during the British Mandate; the schools and the links between formal education and the political system; and the ideological links between nonformal youth movements and political parties within the Zionist movement of the time. The paper describes relations of Zionism with the Arabs and the British in connection with immigration, settlement and security, while the political system will be linked mainly to the educational system. It also discusses more broadly the social system, which also was chiefly concerned with Jewish immigration, settlement, security and Zionist politics. This context explains the links between the schools and the youth movements, since both formal and nonformal education were enlisted in the transfer of Zionist ideology to the new society. The paper then describes the nonformal activities and the public bodies in which they were all united. Finally, it offers a typology of these bodies and of the schools linked to them that may, with adaptations of course, be suitable for other countries and other times.

Greg Logan
Primary Schools or `little State Farms'? J.D. Story and the economic role of experimental agriculture in Queensland State Schools, 1900-1920
`Queensland,' Undersecretary J.D. Story stated in 1916, `is a producing country rather than a manufacturing country and the day is far distant when her secondary industries will be of greater importance than her primary industries'. Despite this, the greatest educational attention (in the post-primary sphere) had been focused in the past on technical education and trade training, and little effective attention had been paid to agriculture. Provision of educational support for agrarian change and development was fundamental to Story's approach to the reform of education in the years 1904 - 1920.

To the ordinary observer, Story's purpose was clear and uncontroversial: it was simply to motivate and support agrarian changes which strengthened the State's agricultural economy. But for educators the matter was not so simple or uncontroversial. In an era when secondary, technical and tertiary education remained under-developed, such objectives placed pressures on primary schools and raised fundamental questions and divisions about the role of primary education.

Traditionally, primary schools provided a basic intellectual education which, in the absence of drawing and effective science instruction, could scarcely even claim to meet pre-vocational objectives (providing basic skills relevant to later vocational training). In these circumstances the suggestion that primary schools should have a vocational role (involving direct training for vocations and having a future industrial impact) was highly controversial. But, for traditionalists, the concept of a direct industrial role for primary schools was even more unacceptable. This new concept, which was gathering momentum in some quarters, suggested that farmers and industries could be influenced directly and immediately by means of both the parent-child relationship and, more controversially, a teacher-farmer consultancy relationship based on the school's experimental work. This paper argues that such a direct industrial role, transcending the merely vocational, gradually became a significant aspect of primary education in the decades to 1920, though it was often in conflict with the Department's rhetoric.

Story's own views on an industrial role for the agricultural education in primary schools were initially conservative. `The idea is to use [agricultural education] as a school subject,' he remarked in 1910, `but its utilitarian value can hardly be denied'. In 1915, when outlining a major new policy on technical education, he reiterated that `in a general way it is hardly possible for an Education Department to create new industries; it has to wait for the industry to be created before it begins to play a part. In this respect the Department is a camp-follower rather than a scout'.

Yet, as this paper argues, this rhetoric was inconsistent with the reality of Departmental policy and practice, especially after 1910. By the middle of that decade the role of at least some schools as `little State Experiment Farms' was not only recognised by Story but given his active encouragement. It will be seen that schools acted for the State Farms, Agricultural College and Experiment Stations of the Department of Agriculture as a direct conduit to the farmhouse. This was in itself offensive to traditional notions of primary schooling, but far more offensive was the role of some schools in reshaping the information disseminated, and even creating new knowledge. These schools were not, as traditional notions required, merely passive conduits or, in Story's words, `camp-followers'. They experimented with new crops as well as new varieties of existing crops, and conducted tests of plant and animal management techniques, including methods of fertilisation, cultivation and soil moisture conservation. The overall purposes were to produce locally adapted varieties, and to validate general scientific principles in local conditions. In many cases, the effect was to produce new knowledge which, because it was generated locally, achieved a high credibility among farmers and made a significant impact on local economic geography.

Further, in special projects relating to the potato, maize, cotton and dairying industries, Story showed in the early 1910s that he was prepared to place economic gains first when circumstances warranted. By 1916, he was actually advocating the previously inconceivable: that official experimental plots of the Department of Agriculture be established at some schools, and furthermore, that they be under the control of the teachers.