The state and the provision of education in Tasmania, 1839-1913
thesisposted on 2023-05-26, 05:27 authored by Phillips, DM
Governor Franklin's Board system which of Education of primary was to remain Abstract Regulations of 1839 established a to organise and manage a public education in Tasmania, a system almost the sole concern of the Board and its successor, the Education Department, until the introduction of a secondary system in 1913. Primary education is the subject-matter of this dissertation and the years from 1839 to 1913 its timespan. The Board came into being largely as a consequence of the inability of the religious denominations to provide schools and teachers for the increasing child population of a colony strongly influenced, in the early decades of the period, by convicts and the convict system. Conflict developed between the State and the denominations and the Church of England in particular. The two opposing views concerning the nature of education and its control and management were resolved in favour of the State after a short though, at times, intense dispute. The Board of Education enjoyed an administrative and executive freedom of a kind unknown to other departments of government. With the resolution of the Church-State conflict behind it, the granting of self government and the creation of a reformed Board allowed its members to build bureaucratic machinery for the creation and administration of policy and the conduct of its day-to-day operations. In these matters the influence of the Inspectors was crucial to the Board's efficiency. With the need to make few references to Parliament or the Tasmanian people, the Inspectors developed a curriculum and a system for the examination of the children, inspection of schools and the recruitment, examination, promotion of teachers. classification and In the making of these changes the teachers had no part. The local boards were assigned responsibilities of a petty nature, though their importance to the maintenance of the education system was considerable. From participation in the affairs of their schools, discussion of the quality of the teaching, teaching methods and the framing of curriculum the parents were, by law, virtually excluded. This bureaucratic system was well in place before public concern over its exclusiveness manifested itself. The dissolution of the Board and its replacement by an Education Department in 1886, which was made responsible to a Minister and Parliament, did very little to disturb the workings of the bureaucracy and its structure, in its more important aspects, was left almost untouched. A chronic problem for the bureaucracy was the low rate of school attendance. The law concerning compulsory attendance and its enforcement by local boards and officials and the attitudes of parents to the attendance of the children and towards education are discussed at length. A discussion of the curriculum provides the means for an examination of teaching methods, the quality of the teaching, and the experience of children in the classroom and at school. The kinds of education given by the private venture schools, the sustained critic ism made of them by Education Department Directors and Inspectors and the experience of the children in attendance at them offers an opportunity to discuss an alternative form of education about which little is known. This dissertation attempts powerful bureaucracy and formation and development practice. to develop discussion of a its influence on the of educational ideas andre
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