The purpose of this paper is to illuminate the history of national education policy through an interview with one of its significant makers and critics, Lyndsay Connors, a…
The purpose of this paper is to illuminate the history of national education policy through an interview with one of its significant makers and critics, Lyndsay Connors, a former Australian Schools Commissioner.
The paper occurs as an interview. The text is based on a revised conversation held as an event of the Australian and New Zealand History of Education Conference held at the University of Canberra, on 26 September 2017.
Australian educational policy is peculiarly complex, and apparently “irrational”. This appears especially so in relation to the government, tax-raised, funding of government and non-government schools. A combination of the peculiarities of Australian federalism in relation to education, political expediency, popular exhaustion with the “state aid” debate, the power of entrenched interest groups and the distancing of democratic decision making from the decision-making process in relation to education all play a part.
The originality of this contribution to a research journal lies in its combination of autobiography with historical policy analysis.
This article suggests an explanation for the complex history of the relationship between the government high school and the Australian middle class. The main elements in…
This article suggests an explanation for the complex history of the relationship between the government high school and the Australian middle class. The main elements in the constructing of a framework necessarily include the following inter‐related effects: the historic alienation of the Roman Catholic population from the Australian public school system, federal government interventions into school policy and funding, demographic pressures, the rise of neoliberalism, and the development of distinctive and multiple ethnic populations in the cities. The final section of the article takes as its case study, the history of middle class schooling in the city of Sydney, especially from the mid 1970s to the end of the century. Sydney is an atypical Australian city in many respects, and the study of its middle class and schooling does not stand as representative of the Australian experience. Nevertheless, its great population and significance in the national economy makes its story a crucial story in the national context. Because much of the evidence for this last section derives from the Australian census, it is introduced by a brief discussion of census‐making. Preceding that section of the article is a summary discussion of the significance of social classes in the history of Australian schooling.
The tensions of the Cold War focussed attention on the role that universities might play through their science and technology expertise and research. At the same time the…
The tensions of the Cold War focussed attention on the role that universities might play through their science and technology expertise and research. At the same time the United States needed to secure its allies as the threat of a new European war, and the actuality of the Korean War, developed in the late 1940s and 1950s. These pressures contributed to the Carnegie Corporation’s assessment that the time was ripe to send a ‘key man’ to Australia and New Zealand.
The points I want to make about Conant in the rest of this commentary will not be devoted to the Carnegie philanthropy and its objectives, nor to the acuity of Conant’s…
The points I want to make about Conant in the rest of this commentary will not be devoted to the Carnegie philanthropy and its objectives, nor to the acuity of Conant’s observations on Australia or New Zealand. Those matters are best left to scholars from Australia or New Zealand like Craig Campbell. I do, however, want to offer some explanation for why Conant was so concerned with the secondary school in his Australian and New Zealand adventures, and to put that interest in the context of his own slight but meaningful encounter with public secondary education in the US, both prior to and after visiting Australia and New Zealand. Again, hubris seems to have played a role. Conant discoursed on secondary education as if he had an extended background on the topic. The truth was, however, that he had little experience in a high school, and no experience in a public high school.
As the Australian working class continues its decline, sociological and historical scholarship has begun to focus more on the middle class. The purpose of this paper is to…
As the Australian working class continues its decline, sociological and historical scholarship has begun to focus more on the middle class. The purpose of this paper is to explore the historiography and social theory concerning the middle class, and argues that the ways in which middle class families use schools have been a powerful force in the formation of that class.
This paper reviews the author’s own work on this topic, the work of other scholars, and suggests a number of social practices that middle class families employ as they school their children.
The ways that many families operate in relation to the schooling of their children constitute a significant set of social class practices, that in turn assist in the continuing formation of the middle class itself. The social and policy history of schooling can expose the origins of these practices.
This paper originated as an invited key-note address. It retains characteristics associated with that genre, in this case putting less emphasis on new research and more on a survey of the field.
In the early twenty-first century, the relevance of social class analysis for understanding a great range of social and historical phenomena is in retreat. This paper argues the continuing importance of that kind of analysis.
Describes work currently being done by the Leeds Metropolitan University (LMU) in action‐based learning and its use in the development of graduates and regional industry…
Describes work currently being done by the Leeds Metropolitan University (LMU) in action‐based learning and its use in the development of graduates and regional industry. Examines a pilot scheme – the Company Associate Partnership Scheme (CAPS) – which aims to increase the employment of graduates within small businesses. This, it is hoped, will enable companies to introduce strategic change projects. Includes observations of LMU associates, companies involved, academic institutions and the Department of Trade and Industry. Concludes that the greatest challenge for associates is managing the integration of academia and industry to form a learning partnership.