tudy, teaching and research in the history of education


The Presence of the Past: Melbourne High School in its Centenary Year
Richard Selleck

Volume 35 Issue01Melbourne High School embodies the belief that the state has the right to offer secondary education, a view challenged by private interests when the school that became Melbourne High School was first proposed. It also affirms the conviction that state secondary schools play a crucial part in the opening of educational opportunities to all students. 2005 was the year of Melbourne High School’s centenary and this paper uses that occasion to reflect on the social optimism and determination of those who fought to establish the school and on the narrowness and arrogance of the market view of education that motivated many of those who opposed the state’s entry into secondary education. It also reflects on the appeals to the free market that many politicians, educational administrators and school principals today use to protect social and economic privilege.

Imagining the Secondary School: The ‘pictorial turn’ and representations of secondary schools in two Australian feature films of the 1970s
Josephine May
University of Newcastle, Australia

This paper aims to engage with the cinematic history of Australian education by examining the historical representation of secondary schools in two Australian feature films of the 1970s: Picnic at Hanging Rock (Weir, 1975) and The Getting of Wisdom (Beresford, 1977). By what narrative strategies, metaphors and understandings were Australian high schools encoded into images and how might these interpretations differ from written accounts of the secondary schools? The discussion focuses on the social and material worlds of the schools. It reflects on the types of education depicted and the characterisations of teachers and students, including consideration of gender, class, and sexualities. The paper asks: what was the historical understanding of secondary schools that made them so attractive for cinematic explorations of Australian national identity in the 1970s?

Problem or Solution?
A Secondary Teacher Training Initiative for a New Era
Maxine Stephenson
University of Auckland, New Zealand

Division D was one of a number of post-primary teacher preparation initiatives introduced to address a severe staffing shortage in New Zealand which, by 1960, had reached crisis point. This paper explores the origins of the problem of teacher supply and locates the establishment of Division D within the ideological and practical context within which the problem was posed and confronted. It suggests that, because the students entered the profession without the university qualifications which had traditionally defined eligibility to teach in New Zealand secondary schools, the course presented contradictions as both a solution to the Department’s problem of supply, and a problem for status within the profession.

Notions of ‘Civilisation’ and the Project to Civilise’ Aborigines in South Australia in the 1840s
Anne Scrimgeour
Charles Darwin University, Australia

During the first half of the nineteenth century Aboriginal schools were established in a number of Australian colonies as a part of a project to ‘civilise’ Aboriginal people. Using the case study of schools established in Adelaide, South Australia, in the 1840s, this article examines differences in the way the notion of ‘civilisation’ was understood by colonial educators and civilisers, and how these differences impacted on the form of schooling provided. In particular, the article compares the views of German Lutheran missionaries who established the first Aboriginal school in Adelaide in 1839, and those of Governor George Grey, who instituted changes in the approach taken in Aboriginal education which reflected his own views about ‘civilisation’ and the ‘civilising’ process

The Aboriginal School at Purfleet, 1903-1965:
A case study of the segregation of Aboriginal children in New South Wales, Australia

John Ramsland
University of Newcastle, Australia

By 1901 in New South Wales the blueprint for the relationship between Aborigines and Europeans had been established: Aborigines were 'in a far better condition when living in small communities comparatively isolated and removed from intimate contact with Europeans'. This article provides a study of the Purfleet School on the Aboriginal Reserve near Taree township in the Manning Valley until the implementation of the assimilation policy by the Aboriginal Welfare Board. The key questions asked are: what schooling for children was provided? How were they equipped for adulthood? How did they suffer from being isolated from the mainstream of public education? The Biripi Aboriginal people remain a strong community in the region today.

Letting in the Light: The emergence of an information-based civil society in post-dictatorship Argentina, 1984-2004
Katherine Worboys
University of Michigan, Ann Arbour, US

In 1983, democratic elections ended a seven-year military dictatorship in Argentina, bringing the end of a violent military dictatorship and its campaign to eliminate what it labelled ‘subversive elements’ within Argentine society. Alongside the regime’s human victims, information and archives also suffered severely. Document raids of social organisations were common, and the military junta worked to actively destroy any records it deemed threatening or simply inappropriate. When civilians returned to power, they moved to initiate wide-spread educational reforms, many of which focused on the development of libraries and archives. This article examines information repositories - archives, libraries, and museums - as small organisations and institutions empowered by the new civilian administration to emerge as prominent players in Argentina’s democratic transition.