History of Education Research in Australia

Craig Campbell


History of education research has flourished in Australia since the 1960s. However, fewer university appointments in recent years suggest that a decline will soon occur. Nevertheless, research over the previous fifty years has produced much excellent work, following three significant historiographical trends. The first is the dominant Anglo-Empirical Whig tradition, which has concentrated on conflicts between church and state over schooling, and the founders and establishment of schools and public school systems. The second arose from social history, shifting the focus of research onto families, students and teachers. However, the concentration on the social class relations of schooling was eventually overtaken by substantial studies into gender relations. In more recent times, cultural studies and the influence of Foucault have been responsible for new research questions and research, marking a new historiographical trend. A survey of topics for which more research is required concludes the editorial, not least of which is the history of Indigenous education.


Historiography; Australian history of education; Research topics; Social history; Historians

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14516/ete.2016.003.002.000


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