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ItemEnglish in the training of primary teachersNolan, Francis Michael ( 1975)in 1968 a three year course of training for primary teachers was introduced in Victorian State teachers' colleges. The course was founded upon the report of an Advisory Committee on the Three Years' Course of Training for Primary Teachers published in March 1967 and commonly termed the 'Pryor Report'. One of the objectives of this course was to develop a well educated cultured person (with) the desire to read widely. with discrimination and appreciation of all that is best in literature . Means of achieving this objective included a compulsory two years' study of English, incorporating the best in traditional and contemporary writing', and children's literature. There is need for some evaluation of the degree to which this objective has been achieved. in this study, twenty-one young teachers who completed the three year course at one provincial teachers' college, and who were teaching in one-teacher rural schools, were visited and invited to discuss the subject of English, particularly English literature. in their college courses. Their current reading habits. and views and attitudes to literature were also discussed. The data collected from these discussions suggest that the objective of the three year course referred to above is not being achieved in the case of this small and possibly unrepresentative sample of graduates of the course. These teachers do not read widely. Their attitudes to literature are disappointing and the effects of these attitudes on the children they teach represent a matter of grave concern. It Is suggested that the compulsory study of 'adult' literature In a course of training for primary teachers is educationally doubtful. On the other hand compulsory study of the immensely rich field of children's literature appears justified on literary, sociological and educational grounds. The need for clear aims and procedures for studies In the language arts and methods of teaching English In the primary school Is also suggested by the lack of confidence shown in these areas by the young teachers. The presentation of the views and attitudes of a group of young, inexperienced teachers in a difficult and sometimes lonely school environment is an attempt to give life to problems in teacher training which statistical data may illuminate. No firm conclusions are possible from data obtained in this study but the study indicates a need for thorough evaluation of the efficacy of courses of training of teachers such as those founded on the 'Pryor Report.'
ItemPolicies in primary teacher training in Victoria 1850-1950Biddington, Ralph ( 1978)During the nineteenth century, Victoria adopted the British method of educating and training primary teachers for schools of the state. This apprenticeship based system lasted under a variety of guises (pupil teacher system, junior teacher system and student teacher system) until 1951, when it was replaced by a course of previous training at several state teachers' colleges. Most aspects of the system adopted from Britain were introduced in 1852, but they soon underwent a number of changes which made them more suitable for local needs. The supply aspect of the system dominated training because of re-occurring state financial crises. This was despite the vigorous criticisms of many professionals who emerged during and after several teachers' associations were formed between 1873 and 1886. Their criticisms gradually became much less superficial and much more directed at the system's underlying theoretical base. A significant element in the original pupil teacher system was the training institution (normal school) where the young apprentices received more advanced general and professional preparation. The training institutions in Victoria also offered previous training courses for students with some secondary education but with no experience as pupil teachers. Up to 1870, the institutions were affected by shortages of funds and serious denominational disputes, but then, a state funded secular training establishment developed and became the forerunner of the residential teachers' college erected near the University of Melbourne in 1888. These institutions contributed to the growth of a sense of professionalism amongst the colony's primary teachers. After 1900, successive ministers, faced with the opportunity of abolishing the apprenticeship based system, chose short term reforms rather than a system of previous training. However, after a long series of educational misjudgements and frustrations, due mainly to government economies, the moribund apprenticeship system of preparing primary teachers was concluded in 1951, and previous training introduced. Amongst the reasons for the abolition of the student teacher system were the strong political activities of such groups as the Education Reform Association, and the absence after 1948 of the cheap supply advantages the student teacher system and its predecessors had offered. For one hundred years the education authorities had maintained rigid control over the supply and training of its primary teachers. Hence, whenever one of the frequent supply or financial problems occurred, it was usually overcome by a government decision to increase the proportion of apprentices or by other temporary measures which paid little heed to any damage to the quality of the Service.