Schools of the Fassifern, 1867-1933: A window to Queensland education

O'Donnell, Dan (1995). Schools of the Fassifern, 1867-1933: A window to Queensland education PhD Thesis, Graduate School of Education, The University of Queensland.

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Author O'Donnell, Dan
Thesis Title Schools of the Fassifern, 1867-1933: A window to Queensland education
School, Centre or Institute Graduate School of Education
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1995
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Total pages 341
Language eng
Subjects 210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
9304 School/Institution
Formatted abstract
This is basically the story of thirty-nine schools of one district of outback Queensland which mirror much of the wider Queensland experience in education. 

Aims? The study concentrates on the thirty-nine small (and not so small) schools which grew up in the Fassifern, a district in south-east Queensland today but an hour's drive by car from Brisbane yet at the time of Separation virtually as remote and inaccessible as any portion of Queensland. Even at the turn of the century, it was a two-day turnaround ride by horse or sulky, over unformed bush-tracks, from Burnett's Creek in the deep south to Boonah, the largest township located roughly in the centre of the district. 1 he study traces the rise and, in many cases, the demise of each of these schools, in the process attempting to view its history in terms of Queensland education generally. 

Scope and Conclusions? The period of major emphasis is from 1867 - the year in which the very first district school opened - until 1933, when the last was established, although the history of each is in its entirety, and two other schools (Moogerah Dam which opened in 1959 and Boonah State High which opened in 1965 are also covered). Eight major lines of inquiry have been followed, not all applicable to every school, and some overlapping. The first of these is to show the pattern of development of the communities and the resultant places of learning desperately sought by settlers who had opted for a life on the frontier of civilization. Also examined are the actual processes of birth, the impetus coming from outback parents themselves (not as in today's age of devolution from the Government or the Bureaucracy), and the critical role of the District Inspectors, or watchdogs of standards. Revealing of education in the wider State are experiences in the Fassifem concerning moral education, staffing (and the pupil-teacher system), the power of the bureaucrats, problems encountered by teachers, the function of the school, and the role of teachers. Ihe thirty-nine schools examined are in many ways a window to Queensland education.
Keyword Schools -- Queensland -- Fassifern District -- History
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