tudy, teaching and research in the history of education


Excerpt from Jenny Collins:
Strategies for Survival and Success: Dominican Teachers 1931-1961

Volume 33 Issue01 The Dominican Sisters, like the majority of Catholic religious orders that established foundations in New Zealand in the latter part of the nineteenth century, were Irish in origin. The ten Irish women who founded St Dominic’s Priory in Dunedin in 1871 offered an ‘education in the accomplishments’ to the daughters of Dunedin’s upwardly mobile colonists as well as elementary schooling for the children of working class Irish who filled the ‘free’ school at St Joseph’s. They, like the Dominican Sisters who are the subject of this article, were able to utilise their cultural knowledge, their connections with men of influence and a variety of strategies to manage their own affairs and to run schools,while at the same time they lived in an atmosphere of submission and obedience to the authority of the Church and to their Rule. By the 1930s the order was entering a period of consolidation. A number of architecturally designed convents with cloisters had been built and the dominance of religious, authority and community structures is evident in the detailed instructions about all aspects of daily living. The focus of this article is the teaching and religious lives of a group of eight New Zealand born Dominican Sisters in the years 1931 to 1961.

Excerpt from Barry Down:

The state of citizenship education in Australia continues to attract media attention as evidenced by two recent newspaper headlines ‘Students take apathetic view of democracy’ and ‘Teach young about democracy’. These headlines were reporting on the latest findings of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) on school students’ understanding of democracy. As a part of a 28-nation civics survey, the ACER found half of Australian students had no grasp of democracy (ranking them behind countries like Poland, Cyprus and the Slovak Republic); lacked clarity about the Constitution, elections, voting systems or the role of groups like trade unions; were unwilling to engage in politics; and believed politics was relatively unimportant. It is not my intent in this article to provide a detailed account of these developments as others have done elsewhere. Rather, I want to explore the reasons for the renewed interest in citizenship education at this time and at the way in which the emphasis on citizenship represents a calculated response to the dominant conservative views about the nature of schooling and knowledge.

Excerpt from Ralph Biddington:
Rationalism and its Opposition to a Degree in Divinity at the University of Melbourne, 1905-1910

There have been a number of studies of church-state relations and the place of religion in state education in nineteenth and early twentieth century Victoria. However, these studies, including J.S. Gregory's authoritative Church and State, offer no significant discussion of rationalism. This is somewhat surprising, since Gregory’s influential earlier discussion of church, state and education up to 1872 had included a few paragraphs on rationalism. It is even more surprising that it was overlooked in Gregory’s larger study, which extends to the early twentieth century, since rationalism was by then a much more powerful force. A consequence of this omission, together with the general shift of scholarly interest away from the church-state issue, is that little is known about rationalism and its approach to church-state relations in the period when, arguably, it was a force to be reckoned with. This article helps correct this omission, first, by examining the development of Rationalism in Victoria up to the early 1900s, and second, by exploring its successful campaign against the campaign by Protestants to install a divinity degree at the University of Melbourne.

Excerpt from John O'Neill:

One of New Zealand’s most revered icons of twentieth century schooling, was the Director of Education from 1940–1960 and architect of the post–war expansion in universal secondary education, Dr Clarence Beeby. Beeby once argued that the advancement of educational policy relied on consensus derived from a broad measure of agreement on the purposes of education. The enduring public aspiration that drove the metamorphosis to universal secondary education in New Zealand after the second world war (the flexible language of which is still to be found both in contemporary curriculum and assessment policy development and teachers’ occupational folklore) was articulated in 1939 by the then Minister of Education. This paper examines how the three ‘mythic’ elements (public aspiration, flexible language and practical guidance) of these Labour government education policy texts were operationalised in the forms and structures of secondary schooling from 1939.

Excerpt from Malcolm Prentis:

Times were tough for the heads of Australian independent schools in the 1950s and 1960s.  In New South Wales alone, Knox Grammar School lost two, Barker College and P.L.C. Croydon one each in the 1950s and Newington College had lost two and Meriden School one in the 1960s. And in 1965, Allen McLucas was forced to resign from The Scots College Sydney. C.O. Healey of Sydney Grammar and Scotch College Melbourne wrote in his memoirs of the many problems facing heads in this period. Behind these problems of governance and leadership in independent schools lay deeper social and moral changes in the broader community and changing educational philosophies.  The career of Allen McLucas reflects conflicts over changing educational paradigms in twentieth century Australia.  He sought to combine a strong adherence to traditional Christian values within an educational setting with some aspects of ‘progressive education’. There was nothing particularly radical about his approach; indeed, ‘progressive education’ ideas had been implemented in some schools before the war. McLucas may have been modest and tentative in his approach, but many others involved in governing independent schools in the postwar period had little understanding of contemporary educational philosophies.