tudy, teaching and research in the history of education


Bruce Curtis
Selective Publicity and Informed Public Opinion in the Canadas, 1841-1856.
The recent translation into English of an early work by Jürgen Habermas1 has renewed interest on the part of sociologists and historians as to the nature and development of the public sphere. The bourgeois public sphere is seen by Habermas to have been forged in large part out of practices of reading, discussion and debate that emerged first in the salons, coffee houses and newspapers of eighteenth century Europe. In the course of political struggles against absolutism and feudalism, the proposition that such practices should condition political judgements became the basis of claims by rising middle classes to influence political government. Educated, independent men of property, it was claimed, should exercise public opinion, itself an essential element in systems of bourgeois political representation. These are matters of direct concern to historians of education, not least because the existence of an effective political public opinion was predicated upon the existence of educational practices. Educated opinion issued from practices of criticism and debate and, of particular interest to the present argument, commanded the information necessary to exercise critical judgement. Such information came from an independent press and, in representative governmental systems, from publicity by state agencies. As Habermas put it,
As a consequence of the constitutional definition of the public realm and its functions, publicness became the organizational principle for the procedures of the organs of the state themselves; in this sense one spoke of their "publicity". The public character of Parliamentary deliberations assured public opinion of its influence; it ensured the connection between delegates and voters as parts of one and the same public.2
Habermas suggests that it was Guizot, writing in the 1820s, who gave the classic liberal formulation of the rule of public opinion. Representative government, Guizot argued, ensured that citizens would `seek after reason, justice, and truth' by three means:
(1) by discussion, which compels existing powers to seek after truth in common; (2) by publicity, which places these powers when occupied in this search, under the eyes of the citizens; and (3) by the liberty of the press, which stimulates the citizens themselves to seek after truth, and to tell it to power.3
This article focuses particularly on the first two of these three means. It uses illustrative empirical material from the British North American colonies of the Canadas to argue that one force precluding the existence of an informed and critical public opinion was the rapidly developing capacity of state agencies to generate information.

The argument supplements Habermas's analysis of the transformation of the public sphere. He located the forces of transformation in the contradictions between the conditions of existence of the public domain as posited in liberal political economy and the nature of social relations under capitalism. Liberal political economy, especially in its Smithian version, posited the existence of a natural harmony of interests effected by market exchange. It presupposed the existence of economically free and independent proprietors and assumed that any man could in principle acquire these characteristics, thereby foreclosing questions about class domination. Possessive male individuals constituted the educated public (although Smith, Bentham and James Mill advocated the establishment of state institutions for the education of such a public). Well-informed, commanding critical consciousness and well-intentioned, public opinion sought after truth and justice.

Rosemary Williams
From Isolation to Integration: St Mary's Hall, University of Melbourne, 1918-19681.
St Mary's Hall was the first Catholic residence for women at an Australian university; it was established in 1918, and affiliated to the University of Melbourne through Newman College, the Catholic college for men. From its beginnings, the Hall was administered by the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM), the Loreto Sisters, an international Catholic Religious Order for women founded in the seventeenth century by Mary Ward, an Englishwoman. The history of St Mary's Hall is marked by a two-fold isolation, geographical and organisational, and by the process in which the geographical isolation, at least, was overcome.

Context and origins
The Hall was officially opened on Saturday, 27 April 1918. The newspaper reports of it reveal prevailing attitudes to higher education for Catholic women. They fail to mention the women present. Men and their thoughts dominate the occasion. Dr A.L. Kenny, a leading Catholic layman, declared there was no finer thing for women than to rock the cradle,2 a sentiment not particularly encouraging to the female students listening. Still, while the politics governing the admission of women to Australia's three colonial universities had been notable for the support of educated men,3 their purpose was clear. As the New South Wales Minister for Public Education put it at the founding of the Women's College at the University of Sydney in 1889:
We must recognise the fact that women are the mothers of the nation ... If we wish to have better men we can only hope to have them by giving our children better proclivities, and giving their mothers increased power to promote their intelligence.4
The ideology of education for motherhood did not entirely reassure men that their preserve would not be invaded. Dr Daniel Mannix, Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, noted at the opening of St Mary's Hall that:
A leading article in a morning paper that day raised the question whether women would not be the ruling power after the war. People felt, he supposed, that the rule of men had not been altogether successful. He could not say he looked forward to women ruling everything after the war but he thought they would hold their own.5
This was an improvement on the position Sir Henry Loch, Governor of Victoria, had taken when laying the Queen's College foundation stone thirty years earlier. He had contemplated with alarm and dread `the tendency on the part of women to obtain positions in the world which would oust men.'6

Still, Australian women had an easier path into universities than their British counterparts. As secular universities, they were free of the clerical influence keeping women from being granted Oxbridge degrees.7 In the Catholic system, however, women were dogged by clerical imagery which warned them off Eve, the seductress, and exhorted them towards Mary, the virgin, who had a child. Of course, Mary was inimitable, so women were left identified with Eve, and under a suspicion which militated against easy entry into intellectual and professional life, which were seen `as anything between a bad joke and a serious abberation.'8 Indeed, the absence of Catholic women at the University of Melbourne led Anna Brennan to complain that in one of her years there (1904-1909) she was the only Catholic woman, while the Presbyterian Ladies' College alone sent up fifteen girls.9

If Catholic women did make it to university, the Church's hierarchy wanted to protect them against apostasy. Archbishop Cattaneo, the Apostolic Delegate, who had arrived in Melbourne six weeks earlier, blessed and opened St Mary's Hall with the assertion that its women would be `fortified to meet the dangers of the world and to remain steadfast in their Holy Catholic Faith.'10 His fear of the hazard posed by a secular environment to religious belief was echoed five years later by Archbishop Kelly in Sydney, who argued for Sancta Sophia, the Catholic women's residence at the University of Sydney, as a necessary corrective to the `the open agnosticism or covert cynicism of much of the University teaching in Arts [which] has injuriously affected the faith of not a few of our Catholic girls.'11

Nevertheless, even in the Catholic system, as in society more generally, changes in thinking were occurring, and there was some acceptance of `the intellectual woman.'12 In 1890 Mother Gonzaga Barry IBVM, who established the first Australian foundation of the IBVM, there at Loreto, Ballarat, argued in `A sensible school for girls' for the education of the whole child from infant school to university or domestic college.13 In 1886, Bella Guerin (a Catholic, the first woman graduate of an Australian university [Melbourne, 1883], and a teacher at Loreto Abbey, Mary's Mount, Ballarat) wrote in Eucalyptus Blossoms, the school magazine, that `thoughtful students of social progress' welcome university education as a new development of women's intellect and `expect that some real benefit will derive from it for society in general.'14 In 1903, the Austral Light asserted that education for girls should put their independence, self-reliance and physical well-being before the cultivation of fine arts and from 1915, Sydney's Daily Telegraph and Melbourne's Catholic Women's Social Guild published statements by prominent Catholic women who complained that the education and opportunities available to women were too limited.15

Education for girls had been, of course, an integral feature of Catholic education from the outset; the dependence of the Catholic system on the labours of large numbers of nuns meant that it could hardly be otherwise. The Catholic hierarchy's dependence on female labour for the progress of its education system makes hazardous any assumption that Catholic clerics held liberal attitudes about the right of women to education. `The answer to the question of how to staff Catholic schools in Australia probably meant that the principle of equal access to education regardless of sex was not a tenable question in the Australian Catholic Church … that need pre-empted it.'16 What Mackinnon saw as a `necessary ambivalence'17 over the advancement of women in this period is clearly visible in even a cursory glance at the Catholic arena.

Jim Jose
Sex Education, the Family and the State in early Twentieth Century South Australia.
Between 1910 and 1913 a select group of South Australian politicians, members of a Royal Commission into Education, considered the place of sex education within state schools.1 Among the recommendations of the commission's Final Report of 1913 was a specific pronouncement about how schools should deal with sex education: rather than schools taking responsibility for teaching children about sex, this should remain the prerogative of mothers with, if necessary, some occasional assistance from the medical inspector.2 This article examines the Royal Commission's treatment of the question of sex education, in particular its manifestation as an educational problem requiring the attention of the state.

Far from being an issue of local interest for South Australians, the question of sex education was one strand of a broader skein of discourses entwining sexuality, parenting and childhood in Australia and indeed the European world. Various aspects of these discourses found expression in the Ryan Commission's handling of sex education. At a practical level, educators had to find answers to the basic questions of what should be taught (ie., the nature and content of the knowledge to be imparted), who should teach it (eg., teachers or persons with a medical background), and how it should be taught (eg., on a classroom or individual basis). However, at a deeper social and political level was the question of the extent of the state's reach in managing reproductive and sexual knowledge generally. This question was not limited to determining a position from which the state could or should intervene (though this also occurred). It also involved the processes reshaping the form of the state itself along a biopolitical trajectory in which the social management of sexual knowledge and practices was of central importance.

Foucault described the growing nineteenth century preoccupation with childhood sexuality as the `pedagogization of children's sex', a process in which `parents, families, educators, doctors, and eventually psychologists would have to take charge, in a continuous way'.3 This was an integral part of the politics of biopower that, in Foucault's view, characterised new forms of power in the modem era.4 Biopower involved, on the one hand, the marking out and disciplining of individuals to conform to particular social exigencies (ie., the process of normalisation); and, on the other hand, the management or regulation of the life processes of populations as a whole. Linking both these processes were discourses about sex.5 For Foucault, the deployment, not repression, of sexuality was the `dense transfer point' around which new configurations of power relations were mobilised to reorganise human life, from its most general aspects to the most intimate, into a healthy body politic.6 The deployment of sexuality contributed significantly to the shaping of contemporary bourgeois social relations (both in Europe and in the various colonial settler societies such as Australia) during the nineteenth and into the twentieth century.

One important correction to Foucault's discussion in The History of Sexuality has been made by Stoler who has argued that his account overlooks the fact that European discourses on sexuality often conveyed `an implicit racial grammar' spawned by the imperial imagination of European colonisation. Stoler emphasised that this impacted on `the sexual regimes of bourgeois culture in more ways than' Foucault allowed.7 Pointing to the proliferation of discourses concerned with `pedagogy, parenting, children's sexuality' and similar matters in colonial settings, Stoler suggested that such discourses did more than just `prescribe suitable behaviour'. Sexual prescriptions served `to secure and delineate the authentic, first-class citizens of the nation-state' through underlying assumptions tying sexuality to `being "European" and being "white"'.8

Thus the particular conception of bourgeois identity developed by Foucault, though clearly a class identity, needs to be understood as racialised as well as sexualised. In the postcolonial context of tum of the century Australia, the emerging (biopoliticised) nation-state involved the deployment of a racialised sexuality, expressed in diverse ways in various discourses, most notably in discourses on sexual purity and various questions about the quality and quantity of the population. The problem of sex education, the `pedagogization of children's sex', was firmly embedded in that context. The Ryan Commission was certainly concerned with pedagogy (especially with how this could be harnessed to economic goals), parenting (at least insofar as it related to pedagogic necessities), and children's sexuality. In order to see how the Ryan Commission dealt with sex education it will be necessary, in Section I, to situate its discussion within several of the important discourses of the early twentieth century, primarily those concerned with sexual enlightenment, particularly in South Australia. In Section II, stock is also taken of the general thrust of the Ryan Commission's enquiry into the education system, especially the gendered ideas that permeated its approach. I then examine, in Sections III and IV, the various views about sex education put forward by the seven people who provided the Ryan Commission with the benefit of their expertise, noting where appropriate their resonances with similar views elsewhere in Australia. The six who opposed or expressed a cautious approach to sex education are discussed first. The one person who wholeheartedly endorsed it is dealt with separately in Section IV. I conclude by discussing the Ryan Commission's final recommendation (and its reasoning) about sex education.

Charles Meyer
Lutheran Schools in Victoria at the time of the Great War 1914-1918: Religion, Ethnic Background and Treatment.
The violent anti-German reaction brought about by the First World War was manifested in various ways. One of these was a demand that the Lutheran elementary schools be closed on the grounds of possible seditious practices a call repeated throughout the war years and even beyond. This paper seeks firstly to explain why and by whom the Lutheran schools were established, and secondly, to investigate why Lutheran children and families, with their schools, so long established and integrated in their towns and communities, should suddenly feel the brunt of such ill-will and hatred.

The `New Country'
German settlement in South Australia and Victoria commenced around the middle of the nineteenth century - 1839 in South Australia and 1849 in Victoria.1 The farms, church and schools that they established were part of the pioneering years of the colonies and, along with other nationalities, the Germans experienced little prejudice and much acceptance. They relished an atmosphere which in comparison with the religious persecution and heavy regulation of their Prussian homeland allowed freedom of worship and good opportunities for a comfortable life.

While the Germans in both South Australia and Victoria generally preferred to continue with the farming pursuits they had followed back home, there were important differences in the settlement patterns of the two colonies. These differences were to become significant in the decades to come. In South Australia the Germans had arrived within a few years of first non-indigenous settlement around Adelaide and were able to purchase land in a way that allowed settlement of entire groups or communities in what sociologists call `closed settlements'. Further non-Aboriginal population growth in the colony was slow and steady, allowing consolidation. In contrast in Victoria the first German numbers arrived some ten years later, also to a pioneering situation but one changed almost immediately by the gold discoveries. By the end of the following decade non-Aboriginal numbers in Victoria had surged from a mere 97 000 in 1851 to 544 000. In the 1860s and 70s the opening of land for selection attracted significant numbers of German Lutherans from South Australia2 but the large numbers of settlers from all over the world, plus constant movement from goldfield to goldfield, resulted in a mixed, changing population and - except to a mild degree - prevented the establishment of large ethnic farming communities in Victoria.3 So the settlement patterns and cultural strength of the South Australian Germans were significantly different and more immediately identifiable than those of their Victorian counterparts and remained so throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Members of the original South Australian Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Australia (ELSA) later came in some numbers into Victoria and it might be expected that religious convictions and ideas on education would be imported into their new home state. But as will be seen below, the lateness of their arrival into the Wimmera and Mallee to the north west was to be a major factor in their relationship with the State. In other words, the sorts of choice available to the `Old Lutheran' ELSA members in the 1840s to 60s in South Australia were no longer possible for the ELSA schools they established in the later decades in Victoria.

In Victoria the first significant group of Germans arrived in 1849. They found what seemed to them a raw, new land, still sparsely populated in those years before the human deluge of the gold rushes after 1851. Emily Roth (nee Brendel) was born to one of the first German (Lutheran) families in 1859 in Richmond, a suburb of Melbourne; many years later she wrote about the scene that first confronted her family:
The immigrants had finally arrived in the new country; there was nothing but desert, without streets, with white and black people mingled together…No one can imagine what the first German settlers had to contend with…[My]dear father bought his first piece of property in Simpsons Road (now Victoria Street) Richmond, which was his first home in Australia. In 1852 in that area, there was nothing but water patches and dense forest and bush. To wash, we had to fetch water from the Yarra [River] with a bucket.4
In such a frontier situation, complicated almost immediately afterwards by gold, the provision of schools for the children of the new Australians, both German and British, was a huge task. The gtovernment first offered financial support and land to the various denominations undertaking to establish schools and from 1851 the government's own infant National Schools system also began to spread,5 answering to the need to offer education to children throughout the colony and not only where the denominations thought it best to set up their schools. But for some decades outside of the towns the provision of schooling was largely left to the efforts of the churches, including the small but vital Lutheran Church in Victoria. Split off in the early 1850s from the mother ELSA Synod in South Australia because of arguments about doctrine and differing ways of viewing their mission in Australia, the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Victoria (ELSVic) set about meeting its own needs, and eight ELSVic elementary schools were established during the 1850s and 60s.6 Teachers were employed primarily on the basis of their commitment to the Lutheran faith, and if they were also teacher-trained from Germany, so much the better. It was not until 1890 that a Lutheran teachers college (and seminary in 1892) would be set up in Murtoa to offer a higher education and teacher training for supplying teachers to Victorian and South Australian congregational schools.7

Judy Berman
Holocaust Education in Australian Jewish Day Schools, 1976-96: Staff and Curricula.
After the Second World War holocaust survivors in Israel and the Diaspora concentrated on building new lives and, apart from Yom haShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), were not willing to speak, or were discouraged from speaking, about their painful experiences. For almost thirty years following the holocaust, the destruction of European Jewry was a suppressed and repressed subject.1 This reticence in confronting the holocaust openly was reflected in both Israeli schools and Australian Jewish day schools, where most holocaust remembrance remained in ritual, and not pedagogic form. Although the holocaust was taught sporadically and unsystematically through the 1960s and 1970s in both Israel and Australia, it was only in 1979 that the Israeli Ministry of Education ruled that study of the holocaust was to be a compulsory (thirty hour) subject in the history curriculum of government high schools.2 Similarly, it was not until 1976 that the first Australian Jewish day school added to the emotion-filled Yom haShoah ceremony the formal, compulsory teaching about the holocaust.

This paper analyses the introduction, development and expansion of formal Holocaust Education in eight Australian Jewish high schools: King David School (Melbourne) and Emanuel School (Sydney), both established by the Reform movement; Leibler-Yavneh College (Melbourne), under the auspices of the modern orthodox Mizrachi movement; Mount Scopus College (Melbourne), Moriah College (Sydney), Masada College (Sydney), and Carmel School (Perth), all modern community schools; and Bialik College (Melbourne) which has a Zionist Secular orientation. While my research specifically focuses on these case studies, it can be argued that Australian Jewry's other schools - five Yeshiva style ultra-Orthodox high schools - do not have a dramatically different orientation to teaching about the holocaust.

This paper suggests that the fragmented introduction of formal, compulsory teaching about the holocaust in these schools reflected staffing problems which had hampered their development of the Jewish Studies curricula more generally. Jewish community efforts to improve the standards of Jewish Studies in the day schools gradually resulted in a more permanent, qualified staff, which in turn facilitated Jewish Studies curriculum development. The 1980s also witnessed a dramatic rise in transmission of memories of the holocaust in Israel and in Diaspora communities. Australian Jewish communities established institutions to safeguard and preserve memory of the holocaust. By the late 1980s the holocaust had become a central component of Jewish consciousness in Australia. The combination of these developments led to the emergence of specialist holocaust teachers who, equipped with greater knowledge and expertise, facilitated the establishment of formal Holocaust Education as a permanent and expanded feature of the Jewish Studies curriculum.

The holocaust has not been a mandatory component of the curricula of Australian state schools but has been taught as an option in the framework of English literature, religious studies, and most often, high school history. A 1995 survey of the status of teaching about the holocaust in State schools in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia reveals that although Nazism has featured regularly in high school history curricula, the amount of time devoted to the holocaust has usually been determined by individual teachers or schools. Increased awareness of the holocaust world wide and particularly the information, teaching resources and in-service teacher training provided by holocaust museums established by Melbourne, Perth and Sydney's Jewish communities, seems to have encouraged teaching about the holocaust in Australian state schools.

In WA the holocaust is frequently taught within the framework of the Year 11 History curriculum, which includes an option on Germany in the unit titled `Europe from 1918-1945'. The holocaust is not delineated as a specific area to be covered but is taught at many WA schools for at least two and a half hours, as demonstrated by the number of classes attending sessions at the Perth Holocaust Institute.3 A similar situation exists in Victorian state schools where the holocaust is frequently taught to Year 11 VCE History students as part of the `Twentieth Century History 1900-1945' unit. In NSW the holocaust is taught in the genocide unit which forms part of the `Twentieth Century Studies' option within the framework of the NSW Year 7-10 History syllabus. HSC Modern History candidates who study the `Germany 1919-1945' option of the `Twentieth Century National Studies' syllabus learn about the persecution of the Jews and the Final Solution in the context of `propaganda and terror', `Nazism as totalitarianism' and `war', which are three of a dozen problems and issues examined.4

The rise of Holocaust Studies in Australian Jewish schools needs to be set in the context of the growth of an Australian Jewish population, from 26,472 in 1933 to about 95,000-100,000 in 1991, with 45,000 Jews residing in Victoria, 37,500 in NSW and 5,500 in Perth.5 This dramatic growth was largely the result of immigration to Australia between 1933 and 1963 of about 35-40,000 Jews who either had left Europe to escape Nazism or were survivors of the holocaust.6 Deeply committed to Jewish cultural heritage and communal life, these mainly Central and Eastern European migrants were instrumental in the revival and growth of the Australian Jewish day school movement.