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Australian Education System: Role of Teachers and School

Year 11 Society and Culture

Using Resources in Oliver

Here are some books that you may find useful during your studies.  Search the Bennies catalogue Oliver for more, or browse the Non-fiction collection NFS..


Schools developed as the needs of society demanded. An examination of the development of school systems in Australia provides insight on school development in other colonial societies as well

Aussie Educator

Schools as we understand them, have existed in Australia for more than 200 years, beginning in NSW and expanding across the country as other settlements began. Public School systems did not begin until considerably later than this, beginning with primary level schools, then expanding into the secondary area beginning in the 1880s. Universities first arose in the middle of the 19th century, with early childhood education in the form of kindergartens and preschools lagging well behind all other sectors

Parliament of Australia

Community attitudes to schools and teachers are difficult to categorise. They are not uniform. As a generalisation, those most familiar with teachers' work are most supportive of them. However, many do not appear to translate their positive views of individual teachers known to them to the profession as a whole. A number of recent surveys have illustrated the paradox whereby members of the public can speak highly of their local school and teachers while at the same time disparaging schools and teachers in general.

You Tube

Produced by the National Film Board 1947. This film provides an overview of Australia's primary and secondary education system in the late 1940s. It looks at the various types of schools in the city and the outback and follows one girl from primary to high school. The film was intended primarily for English migrants who proposed to settle in Australia.

Across the twentieth century, progressive education in Australia promised wide-ranging reform of the organisation and aims of schooling and brought the social purposes of public education into sharp relief. It re-imagined the role of schooling in relation to community, citizenship, identity and the challenges of modernity, and it connected Australian educators to international ideas and debates. Professor McLeod will examine different waves of progressive education, from the internationalist child-centred progressivism of the interwar period to the flourishing of radical agendas and open-plan experiments of the 1970s. She will consider the forms of curriculum and the types of future citizens that progressive education valued as well as those it excluded from view. The ideas and legacies of progressive education will also be explored in relation to larger questions about the place of historical perspectives and inquiry in contemporary educational research and debates.

From early childhood development to school education and through to universities we've seen a general decline in standards compared with many other developed nations. Kim Williams says 'Surely it’s time for an entirely invigorated approach to restore purpose in a crucial institution in Australian life'.

A program to help kids at a disadvantaged school now has education experts around the world watching the results very closely. Scottish-born scientist Yvonne Reilly and fellow teacher Jodie Parsons have created a new way of teaching maths; without the use of textbooks or homework. The program gives students the freedom to work at their own pace. Ms Reilly says they have rolled out the program across three campuses, and the results have been extremely positive.


Teachers are the arbitrators of knowledge and culture.Knowledge and culture are each dynamic, endlessly crashing and churning. This makes teaching significantly important and difficult work, and can leave teaching—as a craft—wide-eyed and nonplussed in response. Worse, those outside the bubble of education can understandably struggle to understand the problem. What are they teaching in those schools anyway? How is it any different from when I was in school? Well, as it turns out, much of it is different from even five years ago.

The Guardian

How has technology changed the role of the teacher? Technology allows students to become more independent in the classroom. But is the change from teacher to facilitator a positive move for the profession?