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A Century of Education

26 Jun

I wrote this a few years ago for the Maryvale school history book.

The way that students have been taught at Maryvale State School has changed significantly over the last century. This appendix outlines some of the most significant changes that have occurred. The changes have impacted not just the students but the teachers as well.

Teaching methods in the early years of the school were influenced by the geographic conditions of the region where the school was located.

In 1905 there began to be an emphasis on learning by doing. Rural areas were encouraged to develop educational subjects such as manual training and agriculture. Nature study was also included in the accepted curriculum. One result of this emphasis was that a lot of schools developed Agricultural project clubs. This vocational type of learning was encouraged until 1967 when these subjects were thought of as being more appropriate for high school.

One of Maryvale State School’s project clubs was a Calf Club. Darcy Sexton’s note book on the Calf Club outlines in detail the steps that the students went through to establish the Club.

School services were increased for the first decades of the 20th Century when there was concern for the welfare of the “whole child”. Seeing doctors, dentists and ophthalmologists became a regular part of a child’s time at primary school.

In 1914, the state scholarship exam began as a way of encouraging “gifted” students to continue on to secondary education. This exam changed over time and became an entrance exam for those capable of obtaining 50% or more. These exams continued until 1963.

The period of the great depression continued from the late 1920s to the onset of World War II. The combination of these two events imposed financial strain on primary education. Cost cutting was applied to teachers’ salaries and building programs, followed by staff shortages and classroom crowding during the baby boom years of the 1950’s. At Maryvale examples of this were having 50 or more students in a single classroom taught by a single teacher. It was also probably why Maryvale struggled to get the Department of Education to build teacher accommodation.

From the late 1950’s onwards there was increased emphasis by the department of education on the scholarship examination. Many teachers were critical of this emphasis due to the restriction of content.

In 1957 education became freely available to all. It was an added reason for the end of the scholarship system in 1963. From 1964, grade 8 became the first year of secondary school.

Also at this time a new syllabus was introduced. It was slowly implemented over the next decade

Maths (1966-68 & 1974-76)

Science (1966 & 1975-76)

Social Studies (1970-71)

Art (1972)

Health and Physical Education (1972)

Language Arts (1974- 75)

Music (1974)

This enabled teachers to be more flexible in their planning for the individual needs of the students. This era also saw an increase in support for teachers.

The use of specialist advisory teachers and teacher librarians from 1970.

Teacher aides in 1973.

Resource teachers in 1975.

Administration assistants in 1990.

In-service training for teachers was introduced.

The class rooms of today are very different from those of yesteryear. Building styles now allow open learning spaces and flexible layout of desks and equipment.

Since the 1990’s computers have taken an increasingly prominent place in the classroom. From 2000 onwards most schools have had internet access.

The development of wireless internet and touch screen technology in the last few years is also changing the face of schooling.

The rapid advancement in technology that has revolutionised classrooms in the last 20 years makes it hard to imagine what classrooms will be like at the bicentenary of Maryvale State School. 2113

A Chronology of Queensland Education

1824 The first settlement in Queensland was established.

1826 Mrs Esther Roberts conducts the first school. 16 students attended.

1842 Brisbane ceased to be a penal colony and was open to free settlers,      which resulted in increased demand for education.

1850 First national school was established in Warwick by George Leslie      and was partially funded by the NSW Government.

1859 Queensland became a separate colony and became responsible for       education within its boundaries.

1860 The first national schools in Brisbane were established – Brisbane        Boys and Brisbane Girls.

1860 The “Education Act” placed all primary education under one general   and comprehensive system controlled by the board of general       education.

1869 Provisional Schools were introduced. The parents provided the            building and found the teacher. The department paid the teacher’s salary.

1870 Free education was implemented.

1873 The first State Scholarship exam was held. This was to become the                  basis for granting a specific number of scholarships to secondary   schools.

1874 Foundation stone laid at Warwick West (now Central) State School.

1875 Introduction of new syllabus. Restructuring of schooling Classes 1-5, approx 8 years of schooling. The provision of free compulsory   education for all primary school age children.

1886 The first teachers’ association was formed.

1891 Specialised younger grade teachers were introduced.

1892 An optional Class 6 was added to the class structure.

1898 The implementation of secondary level subjects in

Classes 5 and   6.

1900 The full implementation of compulsory schooling.

1905 A new syllabus was implemented. The “whole child” was now the      focus of education.

1907 Continuation classes commenced, providing a link between primary    schools and vocationally orientated education in areas such as       agriculture, mining and commerce.

1912 The first state high schools in Queensland were opened at Warwick,    Bundaberg, Charters Towers, Gympie, Mackay and Mount Morgan.

1912 Compulsory medical and dental inspections were introduced to state    schools. The school leaving age was raised from 12 to 14 years.

1913 Maryvale State School opens with 31 students.

1915 A revised version of the 1905 syllabus was implemented.

1923 The first special classes for disabled students introduced.

1930 A new syllabus was introduced. The structure of primary education      was reorganised. Prep grade (one and a half years) and Grades 1 to        7.replaced the prior system (class 1-6)

1938 Prep grade was increased to two years.

1943 State preschool system established, not fully implemented until             1973.

1952 A new syllabus was introduced.  The structure of primary education     was reorganised.

Prep (1 year)

Grades 1-8

1953 Prep was abolished.  Free milk scheme introduced.

            Warwick West State School opened

1963 Glennie Heights State School opened.

At the end of the year, both grades 7 and 8 transferred to secondary school becoming (in 1964) grades 8 and 9.

1964 New primary and secondary syllabuses were introduced. School          leaving age was raised to 15.

1965 Parents and Citizens Associations introduced replacing former School Committees.

1966 Decimal currency introduced. A non-means tested text book     allowance scheme was introduced in state and non-state schools.

1969 The first students to begin a three year primary course of teacher          education at colleges.

1970 New syllabus was introduced over the next 5 years. Introduction of     teacher- libararians.

1971 First advisory teachers were appointed.

1972 External senior examinations were held for the last time.

1973 Provision of one year’s state preschool education for four and five       year olds. Free milk program finished by August. First teacher aides            were appointed.

1974 The disadvantaged schools scheme was introduced, funded by the       Commonwealth.

1975 First resource teachers where introduced.

1978 The Scott Report recommends a change in assessment from norm-       based to competency based.

Ahern committee investigates the extent to which education is           fulfilling the expectations of students, parents and the community.

1979 Metric measurement became the only recognised form of          measurement in Australia facilitating a change in text books across     schools.

1980 The Ahern report was presented.

1981 First phase of the Scott Report’s recommendations were            implemented.

1982 Introduction of cursive hand -writing in trial schools. It was      implemented across the state in the following year.

1991 Last year of Tertiary Entrance Exam in high schools.

1992 Introduction of OP (Overall Position) achieved via the administration of the Queensland Core Skill test.

1995 Final removal of corporal punishment from all state schools. This         had been slowly phased out over the previous decade.

1997 Department of Education was renamed Education Queensland.

1999 Introduction of Key Learning Areas (KLA’s and New Basics syllabus in trial schools).

2000 Full implementation of KLA’s across Queensland.

2007 Prep classes (4-5 year olds) were trialled at selected schools.

2008 Prep classes implemented across the state replacing state           preschools.

The NAPLAN test was introduced. It is a standardised test to            assess students reading, writing, language (spelling, grammar and         punctuation)    and numeracy proficiency. Students are tested in             grades 3, 5, 7 and 9.

Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority (ACARA) was       formed to look into the needs of all Australian students and           determine how all students can benefit from a nationwide      curriculum.

2010 Draft National Curriculum proposed. Interested parties feedback          welcomed. One school computer program rolled out across        Queensland. This program better enables teachers to track student’s grades             during their school years and when they move schools.

2012 Full implementation of National Curriculum.

2013 National teacher standards discussed and implemented.

2014 Trial schools to implement Grade 7 to High School.

2015 Full implementation of Grade 7 to High School.

The chronology and history of education in Queensland is a summary of information taken from the publication State Education in Queensland: A Brief History.

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