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No regrets in the evening of life

No regrets in the evening of life Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to find an answer the question of whether an educational institution of a fair socio-economic mix of pupils, and an institution favoured with powerful political connections, made any difference to access, equity, and exclusivity in relation to the transition into secondary education. It undertakes this purpose as a historical investigation of Junction Park State School in the early twentieth century combined with statistical analysis of family backgrounds of scholarship holders and their cohorts from 1915 to 1932. Design/methodology/approach– The socio-economic study uses a published list of scholarship holders from Junction Park State School for the years 1924-1932. The study compares the scholarship groupings with their different school cohorts for the same years using the data on parental occupations, extracted from the Junction Park State School Admission Records 1915-1931. After refinement the study examines a cohort data set of 4,531 pupils which includes 287 scholarship holders. Parental occupations are categorised into socio-economic groupings with high and low occupational ends. There were 237 parental occupations described among the cohort, 1915-1931, from the admission records. Findings– The statistical chance of obtaining scholarship is increased for a pupil from “commercial low” and “industrial low” background when the school starts with a cohort that has a large representation from such backgrounds. Pupils who were at the lower end of the socio-economic scale at Junction Park State School did much better in scholarship outcomes than for the state. However, pupils whose family background was at the high end of the professions did marginally better than the state result. For the school between 1915 and 1932, in most socio-economic groupings, the boys outperform the girls in the like-to-like comparisons. Research limitations/implications– The numeric value is excessively low for the primary producers (high) category and numbers in cohort groupings vary. This study deliberately applied like-to-like comparisons: the number of scholarship holders compared to their own gender for the same socio-economic cohort. Percentile in relation to the study’s total was not used due to numeric variations between cohort sizes. The study is a historical investigation of a formative period before Junction Park State School developed its reputation as a scholarship school in the 1940s, and historical factors relating to the post-Second World War era would have different results for a similar statistical analysis. Practical implications– The paper presents a case study of particular historical significance; however, a generic principle that institutional status can change access and equity opportunities can be tested within the historical setting. The paper claims that historical investigation provides the groundwork to establish the distinctive actuality. Historical investigation picks up on unusual patterns over time, not necessarily to disprove the sociological model, but more to test the model against actual events. Social implications– The Queensland social history is connected to the study’s statistical analysis. The data are considered from a perspective that, first, Junction Park had a diverse population of pupils from different socio-economic backgrounds. Second, the school had a solid reputation as a leading school, partly from the political standing of the school leadership, and partly from the strength of its scholarship teachers. Together these factors suggest that pupils at Junction Park State School from the socio-economic backgrounds less inclined to foster educational values were given greater support to achieve better scholarship outcomes. Originality/value– Statistical analysis is rarely brought to academic history work. There are greater risks in misinterpreting the data. There is also a difficult enterprise of extracting the required information. Nevertheless, the reward from this paper is an insightful view of a large and an innovating Queensland primary school, picking up the details in the life experience of pupils. In that historical process there is a greater degree of accuracy and better interpretive value which can be applied to the sociological model. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Education Review Emerald Publishing

No regrets in the evening of life

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0819-8691
DOI
10.1108/HER-03-2014-0023
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to find an answer the question of whether an educational institution of a fair socio-economic mix of pupils, and an institution favoured with powerful political connections, made any difference to access, equity, and exclusivity in relation to the transition into secondary education. It undertakes this purpose as a historical investigation of Junction Park State School in the early twentieth century combined with statistical analysis of family backgrounds of scholarship holders and their cohorts from 1915 to 1932. Design/methodology/approach– The socio-economic study uses a published list of scholarship holders from Junction Park State School for the years 1924-1932. The study compares the scholarship groupings with their different school cohorts for the same years using the data on parental occupations, extracted from the Junction Park State School Admission Records 1915-1931. After refinement the study examines a cohort data set of 4,531 pupils which includes 287 scholarship holders. Parental occupations are categorised into socio-economic groupings with high and low occupational ends. There were 237 parental occupations described among the cohort, 1915-1931, from the admission records. Findings– The statistical chance of obtaining scholarship is increased for a pupil from “commercial low” and “industrial low” background when the school starts with a cohort that has a large representation from such backgrounds. Pupils who were at the lower end of the socio-economic scale at Junction Park State School did much better in scholarship outcomes than for the state. However, pupils whose family background was at the high end of the professions did marginally better than the state result. For the school between 1915 and 1932, in most socio-economic groupings, the boys outperform the girls in the like-to-like comparisons. Research limitations/implications– The numeric value is excessively low for the primary producers (high) category and numbers in cohort groupings vary. This study deliberately applied like-to-like comparisons: the number of scholarship holders compared to their own gender for the same socio-economic cohort. Percentile in relation to the study’s total was not used due to numeric variations between cohort sizes. The study is a historical investigation of a formative period before Junction Park State School developed its reputation as a scholarship school in the 1940s, and historical factors relating to the post-Second World War era would have different results for a similar statistical analysis. Practical implications– The paper presents a case study of particular historical significance; however, a generic principle that institutional status can change access and equity opportunities can be tested within the historical setting. The paper claims that historical investigation provides the groundwork to establish the distinctive actuality. Historical investigation picks up on unusual patterns over time, not necessarily to disprove the sociological model, but more to test the model against actual events. Social implications– The Queensland social history is connected to the study’s statistical analysis. The data are considered from a perspective that, first, Junction Park had a diverse population of pupils from different socio-economic backgrounds. Second, the school had a solid reputation as a leading school, partly from the political standing of the school leadership, and partly from the strength of its scholarship teachers. Together these factors suggest that pupils at Junction Park State School from the socio-economic backgrounds less inclined to foster educational values were given greater support to achieve better scholarship outcomes. Originality/value– Statistical analysis is rarely brought to academic history work. There are greater risks in misinterpreting the data. There is also a difficult enterprise of extracting the required information. Nevertheless, the reward from this paper is an insightful view of a large and an innovating Queensland primary school, picking up the details in the life experience of pupils. In that historical process there is a greater degree of accuracy and better interpretive value which can be applied to the sociological model.

Journal

History of Education ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 6, 2016

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