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Khaki in the classroom: compulsory junior cadet training in Australian schools, 1911‐31

Craig Stockings (Lecturer in History and Strategic Studies at the University of New South Wales, Australian Defence Force Academy)

History of Education Review

ISSN: 0819-8691

Article publication date: 24 June 2008



The aim of this article is to detail the day to day experience of the Junior Cadet component of the Australian scheme of universal military service from 1911‐31. Its focus, therefore, is on describing the administrative and practical functioning of the Junior Cadet system. It does not, for example, seek to address issues such as the social or psychological impact of the scheme or its long‐term effects on the development of education in Australia. Nor does it explore questions of how or why the system evolved as it did. Such matters have been the subject of past, and will no doubt be the focus of future research. As space precludes an in depth investigation of all aspects of the practical conduct of the Junior Cadet scheme, a number of important themes will therefore be traced that, taken together, provide a reasonably full picture of how the system functioned. Beginning with its origins, the article traces the evolution of its purpose, organisation/structure, teacher‐officer instructional staff, training activities, and the eventual dismantling of the scheme. Building on the practice of military‐styled ‘drill’ in many colonial schools prior to Federation, and embedded in the wider theory and practice of universal military service, this scheme was (and remains) a unique experiment in the history of Australian education.



Stockings, C. (2008), "Khaki in the classroom: compulsory junior cadet training in Australian schools, 1911‐31", History of Education Review, Vol. 37 No. 1, pp. 16-33.



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