In recent years a number of studies have focussed on the role of the school and school curricula as agents of political socialization; that is, attention has been directed towards a consideration of the importance of the overall school situation and prescribed syllabuses in transmitting knowledge, attitudes and values to the younger generation of citizens.
It is the aim of this thesis to examine History Syllabuses and textbooks prescribed for Queensland schools with a view to ascertaining the part they might have played in the process of political socialization. A study of the syllabuses will quite clearly indicate the nature of the material which was considered important enough to be taught in schools, whilst an analysis of the textbooks might well reveal the values which were held by the respective authors on various issues, and which might have been internalized by students. At the secondary level the discussion will encompass the period from 1910 to 1967 when the Burwood Conference on the Teaching of Social Sciences in Secondary Schools was held. Primary Syllabuses and textbooks for the period 1910 to 1970 will also be reviewed, and the thesis at its conclusion will offer some observations on the possible impact of the study of history on student values. However these of necessity must be somewhat tentative. Political Socialization studies are still in the exploratory stage and no general consensus as to the relatives ignificance of potential socializing forces has yet been reached.1
1 See, for example
R.D. Hess and J.V. torney, The Development of Political Attitudes in Children, Chicago, Aldine Publishing Company, 1967.
R.E. Dawson and K. Prewitt, Political Socialization, Boston, Little, Brown and Company, 1969.
H.H. Hyman, Political Socialization, Glencoe, Ill., The Free Press, 1959.