Installing English at the hub of early twentieth century school curricula in Australia
Patterson, Annette J. (2002) Installing English at the hub of early twentieth century school curricula in Australia. History of Education Review, 31(2), pp. 45-57.
This preliminary work focuses on curriculum and syllabus statements and on examination documents produced mainly in New South Wales from 1860. Two questions addressed here are: How might the pedagogical arrangements installed through state education during the latter half of the nineteenth century be described? And how did English teaching -- rather than geography or history teaching -- become aligned in the twentieth century with particular forms of moral and ethical conduct on the part of its students; conduct such as self-problematisation, self-reflection, empathy, and introspection? The paper provides some reminders about the early terrain of English education in Australia and questions the conventional historical wisdom that secondary school English either 'filtered down' from the universities or was established as a result of a battle between the populist, radical champions of 'literature' and the elite, conservative protectors of 'classics'.
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