University of Tasmania
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The influence of progressivism on Tasmanian state primary education, 1904-1920

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posted on 2023-05-27, 16:17 authored by Rodwell, GW
This thesis examines the influence of progressivism on the development of state primary education in Tasmania between the years 1904- 1920 and attempts an explanation of why its influence was more pronounced in some areas of state primary education relative to others. It was a period in which progressivism reached its zenith. Progressivism drew on older traditions of social reform, but also generated many new elements with national efficiency as its fundamental drive. This was a period of a vast intensification of thought, and a period of unparalleled confidence that Western society, with the onset of the twentieth century, was about to enter a new era. Confidence, however, would often lapse into intense anxiety. This for many was to be the dawn of the 'new' man. The Introduction to this thesis examines in general terms the main elements of progressivism and how these affected the development of progressive education. The Tasmanian setting is also examined briefly and in general terms to show how this shaped progressivism and progressive education in state primary schools. The thesis opens with an examination of the impact of progressivism on educational management in Tasmanian state primary schools. W.L. Neale, a South Australian Senior Inspector of Schools, had been commissioned by the Tasmanian Government in 1904 to report on the efficiency of the Tasmanian Education Department. This marks a logical starting point for the study. Neale's administration, three Royal Commissions of enquiry into his administration and his eventual rejection reveal important elements of study for an understanding of the influence of progressivism on Tasmanian state primary education. The appointment of Neale's successor, W.T. McCoy, and his career until his move to South Australia is then studied. The impact of progressivism on the state primary school curriculum, early childhood education, school health and hygiene and school architecture is examined. The impact of the progressives' rural ideal, the development of the new psychology, and the rising concern for a special education for intellectually atypical children provide further material for the thesis. The First World War irrevocably affected the development of progressivism, and so too, progressive education. From now the 'new' men would advance under the banner of science. The thesis is concluded with an analysis of the changing patterns of progressive education in Tasmanian state primary schools during the period 1920-1945.


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Copyright 1987 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Includes bibliography. Thesis (PhD)--University of Tasmania, 1989

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