tudy, teaching and research in the history of education

VOLUME 33 NUMBER 2

Excerpt from Kay Whitehead:
FASHIONING THE COUNTRY TEACHER IN THE INTERWAR YEARS

Volume 33 Issue 2In February 1922 the editor of the SA Teachers Journal introduced a 'Country Corner' column that was to be contributed by a member of the Women Teachers Progressive League (WTPL) under the pen name Tish. Tish was Phebe Watson, the WTPL secretary (a position she had held since its inauguration in 1915), Women's Warden at the Teachers College and Mistress of Method in charge of the short course of training for country teachers. Phebe had had a long history of activism in the Teachers Union on behalf of women teachers, especially those in country schools, and more broadly in organisations such as the Women's Non-Party Political Association and National Council of Women.  She had also been involved in training teachers for country schools since 1908, and in 1922 almost every South Australian teacher in a one-room school had passed through her hands. With an authority borne of these experiences, Phebe wrote the Country Corner column more or less regularly in the SA Teachers' Journal until 1938, two years after she had retired from the Education Department. Between 1938 and 1941 the column reappeared in the Guild Chronicle, the journal of the breakaway Women Teachers Guild, of which Phebe was President. This article focuses on representations of the country teacher in the Country Corner column in the interwar years. I argue that Phebe invoked contemporary discourses of youth and femininity to construct the rural teacher as a youthful, responsible, attractive and marriageable woman. Following on from recent research into ways in which 'city' functioned both as a place and representation in education, I also begin to identify discourses of the 'country' and the'city' in constructions of the teacher and teachers' work.

Excerpt from Britt-Marie Berge:
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE MALE TEACHER? GENDERED DISCOURSES AND PROGRESSIVE EDUCATION IN SWEDEN 1945-2001

In Sweden, as in most western countries, progressive pedagogy has influenced the rhetoric of education policy and national curricula. In the early twentieth century, ideas about 'learning by doing' and 'pupil centred education' came to Sweden from countries such as Germany, Austria and the US. These ideas were primarily influenced by people interested in preschool education, a few persons who started progressive private schools and those who wanted to introduce a more equal and democratic compulsory school system for all children.2 However, sixty years and two World Wars elapsed before nine-year co-educational compulsory schooling, inspired by progressive ideas, was introduced in 1962 in Sweden. There has been a long tradition of employing both women and men at the intermediate level of primary schools in Sweden. A parliamentary resolution in 1945 directed that 40 per cent of places in teacher training colleges were to be allocated to women and 60 per cent to men.3 However, with the simultaneous process of reforming compulsory schooling, it became more and more difficult to recruit men to primary teaching. According to some, this was precisely because of the policy of allocating places according to gender. In particular the national union drew public attention to this problem in their journal: The result of this school policy has already become apparent. One cannot even talk about any real selection, since applications from men are so few. This article seeks to throw light on the issue of the gender imbalance in teaching, by placing this issue in historical perspective. It particular, this article analyses changes in Swedish education policy in relation to teachers and the changing constructions of 'the teacher' between 1945 and 2000.

Excerpt from Geoffrey Troughton:
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND THE RISE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL CHILDHOOD IN NEW ZEALAND

Following the model of Ariès Centuries of Childhood, the most important historical studies of childhood have focused on epochal shifts in conceptions of the Child. In this approach, paradigmatic conceptions are characterised and periodised, with considerable emphasis placed on moments of transition. Dugald McDonald's influential typology of childhood in New Zealand argued that one significant movement was the shift in 'social values' from viewing the child as 'Social Capital' (1900-44) to a 'Psychological Being' (1945-1969).Whilst such typologies usefully highlight the ascendancy of particular ideas, they tend to mask the uneven timing and character of change and obscure the process by which it occurs. Moreover, judgements of timing, character and process are greatly effected by the sources consulted and methodology employed. In the case of McDonald's typology, his debt to analysis at the level of state activity is now increasingly apparent. Thus, the notion of the Child as Social Capital fairly reflects state preoccupation with children?fs health and welfare in the interwar years, while conceptualisation of the Child as a Psychological Being reflects the rise of psychological studies in tertiary curricula and the expansion of state psychological services. This article seeks to augment understanding of the rise of psychological interpretations of the child in New Zealand, and suggest refinements to McDonald's typology, with reference to changing religious values and priorities in the years before World War II. In particular, it considers patterns of religious education, with special reference to changing representations of Jesus for children during this time. Consideration of this material indicates that psychological approaches to childhood played an important role in shaping religious education throughout these years.

Excerpt from John Godfrey:
THE 1937 NEW EDUCATION FELLOWSHIP CONFERENCE AND NEW SOUTH WALES EXAMINATION REFORM

Public external examinations were woven into the fabric of the education system of New South Wales (NSW) during the first three decades of the 20th century. By the late 1920s examination results had become the fetish and goal of most teachers and pupils in the state. In the early 1930s a reaction to this state of affairs developed; examination reform became a lively issue of debate. Central to the debate was the issue of the examination which marked the close of general adolescent education: the Intermediate Certificate (IC) examination. The agitation for IC modification began in the 1930s and did not cease until the 1960s. It began in the dissatisfaction of the 1930s, developed through the 1940s when opinion crystallized, survived the stagnation in educational reform of the late 1940s and early 1950s, quickly revived during the professional and public discussion surrounding the hearing and deliberations of the Committee Appointed to Survey Secondary Education in New South Wales (Wyndham Committee) and finally ceased with its abolition in the mid 1960s.

Examination reform in NSW during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s was a process phenomena taking place over time and involving the linking of individuals, pressure groups, organisations, government agencies, various events and socio-economic factors. The educational debates and discussions during these years make it an invaluable period to analyse the events and personalities involved in the reforms. One event that influenced examination reform during these three decades was the New Education Fellowship (NEF) Conferences held in Australia during 1937. This article examines the extent to which the agitation generated by the discussions surrounding the NEF Conference influenced academics, educators and politicians to produce IC examination change in NSW.

Excerpt from Yuval Dror:
TEXTBOOK IMAGES AS A MEANS OF ‘NATION/STATE BUILDING’: ZIONIST GEOGRAPHICAL TEXTBOOKS 1918 TO 1948

This article deals with the contribution of visual presentation to education for national identity, an issue not examined sufficiently by recent theories of nationalism. Studies of nationalism mention education only in general terms, as an instrument of socialisation on the macro level of the national system, and do not consider specific micro educational tools. One such tool is the use of visual presentation, notably in textbooks. To demonstrate the use of visual images in promoting nationalism, this study focuses on Zionist geography textbooks at the time of the British Mandate (1918-1948) in what Israelis refer to as Eretz Israel (pre-state Israel), exploited by the Jewish Yishuv (Jewish community) to rally pupils to contribute to 'the state in the making'. The article begins with a brief historical background, followed by an outline of a theoretical perspective, drawing in particular on Anderson's concept of 'imagined communities. A methodological section describes the framework for historical analysis of visual texts. The illustrations in the texts are classified into two groups: those which focus on 'national content' (such as symbolically significance sites or figures) and those which focus on the 'geographical means' employed (such as maps). The article concludes with suggestions for further research.