Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

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    Henry Lowther Clarke and educational policy in the Anglican diocese of Melbourne 1903-1920
    Blackler, Stuart Edward ( 1990)
    The episcopate of Henry Lowther Clarke as fourth Anglican Bishop and first Archbishop of Melbourne in the years 1903 to 1920 saw the most explicit and comprehensive formulation and application of educational policy in the Melbourne Diocese prior to or since that period. In the tertiary sector, there were moves made to establish a Faculty of Divinity at the University of Melbourne, the foundation of the Melbourne College of Divinity and provisions for the theological training of non-matriculated ordination candidates. In the secondary sector of education, thirteen schools were established, acquired or, in some manner, brought under the aegis of the Anglican Church. There was a particular emphasis on the founding of schools for girls. Attempts were made to establish a bureaucratic structure to monitor the acquisition of schools and religious instruction within them. The movement for the introduction of Bible reading integrated into the programme of the State's primary schools continued, having been strongly active during the episcopates of James Moorhouse (1876-1886) and Field Flowers Goe (1887-1901). In the parishes of the diocese, Archbishop Clarke initiated a review of the Sunday School system with teacher training and a common syllabus receiving particular attention. Clarke was also central in the encouragement of the foundation of Anglican free kindergartens in the inner-city region of the diocese. Yet these achievements were not entirely consistent with Clarke's stated objectives. Major influences affecting the partial success of the achievement of objectives are seen in: - the experiences, assumptions and personality of an expatriate bishop elected at the age of fifty; - the nature of Anglicanism in Victoria: its demography, divisions within on issues of churchmanship, its concept of a constitutional rather than absolutist episcopacy, the widespread acceptance of voluntarism and limited financial resources; - the extent of a secularist approach in Australian thought, both in an ideological sense and in the pragmatic sense congruent with the experience of ecclesiastical divisions and antipathy; overt sectarianism, in particular the lack of unanimity or harmony in and between Roman Catholic, Anglican and Protestant faith and order. The widespread sectarianism during the First World War which centred upon Archbishop Daniel Mannix highlights this influential factor. Thus, while describing and recognising the achievements in Anglican educational activity in the years 1903 to 1920, the failure to achieve explicit objectives has to be evaluated and recognised as part of a complexity of factors, not all of which were appreciated by Henry Lowther Clarke.