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ItemPost-world war II development of commercial courses for girls in Victorian technical schools, with special reference to the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, 1945-1970Sheedy, M. I ( 1974)In the inter-war years (1919- 1939), commercial courses, traditionally part of the technical system of education and fast becoming the province of girls, suffered from the effects of the economic depression, made some slight gains during the recovery years and achieved importance in the war years. In the post-World War II years growing community interest in education in general, and technical education in particular, reflected the social and economic climate of the rapidly changing 1950s and 1960s. High population growth and an affluent society created new educational needs, and industry required new technical college courses to meet technological developments and the continuing emergence of new knowledge. Occurring initially when Victorian resources were being channelled mainly into other priorities owing to post-war conditions, these demands caused a crisis in education in the late 1950s and in the 1960s, the Victorian Government being unable to support the expansion of tertiary education to its fullest extent. Therefore the Commonwealth Government granted, under certain conditions, financial aid to tertiary technical education and, in Victoria, the already existing Victoria Institute of Colleges became the guardian of the course standards of its affiliated C.A.E.s. Thus technical education at the tertiary level was eventually in a position to offer its own degrees and provide what promised to be a viable alternative to university education. The technical system of education appeared to represent a man's world and echoed the general education practice of the day as far as girls were concerned, thus reflecting the community's attitude to the place of women in Australian society. Tradition was the over-riding influence on what girls were taught and, as a necessary corollary, the kind of careers they followed. Hence it transpired that girls confined their abilities to a narrow range of female occupations, one of the chief of these being office work. The popularity of office work in the 1950s and 1960s was reflected in the growing number of students enrolling for commercial courses in the technical system. Technical commercial education responded increasingly to community and industrial demands, and endeavoured to maintain relevance to the changing times as it pursued higher standards and created a new concept of vocational training at both junior and senior levels. With the onset of the 1970s commercial education in the Victorian technical system provided all but one of the known commercial courses and, in keeping with the technical educational philosophy of the times, retained its established diploma. In the pursuit of professional status for the potential secretary, degree courses in secretarial work were foreshadowed in two Victorian C.A.E.s, while the Institute of Private Secretaries (Australia) sought professional status for the secretary already within the workforce.
ItemProfessional registration and advice in state education: a comparative study of the origins and roles of statutory bodies connected with registration and advice in the administration of education in New South Wales and VictoriaDunbar, Allan ( 1974)The provision of educational services is a major task of Australian state political systems. At various times, in efforts to moderate the bureaucratic tendencies of centralised administrations by bringing a wider range of opinion to bear on the administration of public education, bodies to advise the responsible minister, and Parliament in some cases, have been established. An examination of the work of the Council of Public Education in Victoria, established ostensibly for this purpose, reveals that there is a confusion over the role and influence of advise within a state political administrative structure. This inquiry postulates that there are two basic, but disparate, functions of advice: a political function where representatives of interest groups can put their views to the Minister, and an evaluative function where the policies and practices of the public sector are evaluated. The formation of the Council of Public Education was justified to the public in terms of the latter function, but other features of the Council, such as its representative membership, are more like those of a body with political functions. This disjunction between structure and function, together with a confusion over the extent and use of its powers, have rendered the Council ant: ineffectual evaluative advisory body. The attitudes of administrators and other interested parties towards. educational advisory bodies are illuminated' by an investigation of the origins of these bodies in Victoria and New South Wales. The comparison of developments in the two states indicates that the concept of an evaluative advisory body, operating free of administrative and political interference, is incompatible with the present system of centralised control of public education in these states.
ItemMelbourne High School and state secondary education in VictoriaInch, John Frederick Allen ( 1974)After being appointed to the staff of Melbourne High School in 1958, I became aware that this School had a distinctive educational environment which was outside any previous experience as a secondary school teacher. During the next ten years as a staff member, I had frequent opportunity to reflect on the School's peculiar position in Victorian state secondary education. This study has provided a means of examining this issue in greater depth. It should be emphasized at the outset that I have not attempted a chronological account of the history of Melbourne High School. As no satisfactory educational history of the School has been written, I have attempted to make a preliminary study of some aspects of its development in the context of the growth of state secondary education. I have concentrated on the School formative years, and its more recent years, because these seem the periods of greatest change. It was during these periods that the function of the School was in question. Consequently I have not dealt in any detail with the rniddle period, 1934 Lo 1950.