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A chance for equality? : a Tasmanian experience of comprehensive education

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Baker, Janice R.(Janice Rosalind) (1983) A chance for equality? : a Tasmanian experience of comprehensive education. Unspecified thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

The Penguin edition of Robin Pedley's The
Comprehensive School has on its cover a piper being
followed by a group of dancing children. The picture
brings to mind the lines of Browning's poem spoken by
the lame lad left at the entrance to the hill through
which his mates had passed:
It's dull in our town since my playmates left,
I can't forget that I'm bereft
Of all the pleasant sights they see
Which the piper also promised me.
The promise of course was of a place where flowers
were prettier, birds brighter, dogs faster and bees
kinder than ever they'd been. The reader, however,
suspecting malice on the piper's part, feels less
sadly for the boy who has been so captivated by a
promise that is probably false.
The Hamelin story is mirrored in the development
of comprehensive education in Tasmania. What was
promised for education and its outcomes during the
debates of the fifties has never been realised.
This study looks at the development of
comprehensive education in Tasmania. It suggests that
the Tasmanian experience of comprehensive education has
been marred by a systemic misinterpretation of the
principle. It considers the powerful social factors
which militate against the realisation of the
comprehensive education principle and questions
whether the influence of these factors will ever
weaken enough to allow it to succeed both in educational terms and with the social promise once expected.
Warrane High School, an urban four-year comprehensive
High School located east of the Derwent
River in southern Tasmania, is the focus of this
study because it was in this school that the writer,
as Vice-Principal, began to see educational failure
in terms of certain social factors which seemed not
to accord with the school's educational programme
or with the expectations held by the community and
the education system itself.
The study draws on the writer's experience and
observation of the Tasmanian secondary school system
and on various data which particularly refer to
Warrane High School. In making judgements about the
various intellectual and social aspects of the
school's population and in assessing its feeder
community, it looks at other studies and considers
their findings in the light of the expectations
held for comprehensive education.
In its final stages, the study examines the
federal government's compensatory education
programmes and then suggests directions that planning
for education should take to ensure that the system
of education which prevails caters fairly for all
children in Tasmania.

Item Type: Thesis (Unspecified)
Keywords: Comprehensive high schools, Education, Secondary
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1983 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (M.Ed.)--University of Tasmania, 1985. Bibliography: leaves 113-119

Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2014 00:43
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 05:56
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