The middle class and the government high school: private interests and public institutions in Australian education in the late twentieth century, with reference to the case of Sydney

The middle class and the government high school: private interests and public institutions in... This article suggests an explanation for the complex history of the relationship between the government high school and the Australian middle class. The main elements in the constructing of a framework necessarily include the following inter‐related effects: the historic alienation of the Roman Catholic population from the Australian public school system, federal government interventions into school policy and funding, demographic pressures, the rise of neoliberalism, and the development of distinctive and multiple ethnic populations in the cities. The final section of the article takes as its case study, the history of middle class schooling in the city of Sydney, especially from the mid 1970s to the end of the century. Sydney is an atypical Australian city in many respects, and the study of its middle class and schooling does not stand as representative of the Australian experience. Nevertheless, its great population and significance in the national economy makes its story a crucial story in the national context. Because much of the evidence for this last section derives from the Australian census, it is introduced by a brief discussion of census‐making. Preceding that section of the article is a summary discussion of the significance of social classes in the history of Australian schooling. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Education Review Emerald Publishing

The middle class and the government high school: private interests and public institutions in Australian education in the late twentieth century, with reference to the case of Sydney

History of Education Review, Volume 36 (2): 18 – Oct 14, 2007

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0819-8691
DOI
10.1108/08198691200700006
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article suggests an explanation for the complex history of the relationship between the government high school and the Australian middle class. The main elements in the constructing of a framework necessarily include the following inter‐related effects: the historic alienation of the Roman Catholic population from the Australian public school system, federal government interventions into school policy and funding, demographic pressures, the rise of neoliberalism, and the development of distinctive and multiple ethnic populations in the cities. The final section of the article takes as its case study, the history of middle class schooling in the city of Sydney, especially from the mid 1970s to the end of the century. Sydney is an atypical Australian city in many respects, and the study of its middle class and schooling does not stand as representative of the Australian experience. Nevertheless, its great population and significance in the national economy makes its story a crucial story in the national context. Because much of the evidence for this last section derives from the Australian census, it is introduced by a brief discussion of census‐making. Preceding that section of the article is a summary discussion of the significance of social classes in the history of Australian schooling.

Journal

History of Education ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 14, 2007

Keywords: Class; School; Secondary education; Australia

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