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Being special memories of the Australian public high school, 1920s1950s

Being special memories of the Australian public high school, 1920s1950s Purpose The first state high schools in New South Wales NSW were restricted to children with high academic ability. The purpose of this paper is to explore the lived experience of over 70 former students from three such schools, one coeducational, the other two singlesex, with special attention to academic and social curricula.Designmethodologyapproach The study investigates memories of a particular moment in the history of secondary schooling in NSW before the establishment of mass secondary education. The authors utilise theoretical concepts from recent oral history studies regarding memory communities and intersectionality.Findings In bringing exstudents memories of both singlesex and coeducational academicallyselective high schooling together, the study reports on the homogeneity of the memories of this type of schooling despite the different sexual structures of the schools. The respondents, it is argued, constitute a memory community in that they recalled their selection for high school as marking them out as intellectually superior, special. Their main differentiating feature arose from their sex and gender socialisation. Females were made more consistently conscious of their responsibilities within their schools gender regime.Originalityvalue The approach in this paper adjusts the focus of traditional oral history research in the history of education to history from within rather than from below to experiences of both academic and socialcurriculum not formalinformal to a gendered approach incorporating both sexes and to a comparative approach across academicallyselective coeducational and singlesex high schools. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Education Review Emerald Publishing

Being special memories of the Australian public high school, 1920s1950s

History of Education Review , Volume 42 (1): 14 – Jun 21, 2013

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0819-8691
DOI
10.1108/08198691311317697
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose The first state high schools in New South Wales NSW were restricted to children with high academic ability. The purpose of this paper is to explore the lived experience of over 70 former students from three such schools, one coeducational, the other two singlesex, with special attention to academic and social curricula.Designmethodologyapproach The study investigates memories of a particular moment in the history of secondary schooling in NSW before the establishment of mass secondary education. The authors utilise theoretical concepts from recent oral history studies regarding memory communities and intersectionality.Findings In bringing exstudents memories of both singlesex and coeducational academicallyselective high schooling together, the study reports on the homogeneity of the memories of this type of schooling despite the different sexual structures of the schools. The respondents, it is argued, constitute a memory community in that they recalled their selection for high school as marking them out as intellectually superior, special. Their main differentiating feature arose from their sex and gender socialisation. Females were made more consistently conscious of their responsibilities within their schools gender regime.Originalityvalue The approach in this paper adjusts the focus of traditional oral history research in the history of education to history from within rather than from below to experiences of both academic and socialcurriculum not formalinformal to a gendered approach incorporating both sexes and to a comparative approach across academicallyselective coeducational and singlesex high schools.

Journal

History of Education ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 21, 2013

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