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its children a better education. It must wait till the central department makes a general forward move. This absence of local rivalry is to some extent replaced by State rivalry. A change which has proved successful in one State generally spreads to the others. But undesirable uniformity is apt to be fostered, and the few opportunities allowed to teachers and officials for travel abroad accentuates this tendency. New South Wales and Victoria have recently made some provision by means of travelling scholarships to secure a broader outlook, but much more needs to be done. It is especially desirable that the staff of the Teachers' Colleges should have studied abroad and have seen something of European and American civilisation.
Public opinion on education is neither energetic nor well informed. During the period of the war opinion in England was very strongly aroused on the need for changes in the school system.
In Australia nothing of the sort has occurred. The public are satisfied with the frequently expressed opinion of Ministers of Education that the school system is the best in the world. The reconstruction of the past ten years has been mainly due to the initiative and energy of far-seeing Directors of Education, and their task has been the harder since they have not been able to rely on the support of an energetic public opinion. Teachers' associations have done useful work, and have in the main strongly supported the progressive policy of the Director of Education. As is natural, however, they occupy themselves mainly with matters of detailed administration and with questions of salary and status rather than with broad questions of policy. The newspapers give little attention to educational matters, and Parliamentary discussion reflects the lethargy of public opinion.
There are few educational magazines published. The various State Departments issue monthly gazettes, but these are hardly more than means of
conveying instructions to teachers. A Kinder. garten magazine has been published in Sydney for some years, and recently a new periodical has been started with the co-operation of the heads of the State Teachers' Colleges, and it is hoped that it will provide a means for forming and expressing professional opinion.
It is not possible within the limits of this chapter to deal with certain other institutions which have a close connection with education. Public libraries, museums and picture galleries established in all the States, but have not been brought into sufficiently intimate relation with school education. Their usefulness would be much extended if there were more active co-operation between them and the schools. The public parks could also be rendered much more useful if their resources were developed on the lines advocated by the Playground Association of America. Schools of Arts have for long been in existence throughout Australia, but though in New South Wales they receive a State subsidy, they are mainly recreative clubs.
From the foregoing sketch it will be seen that the purpose of the State systems of education is to provide complete and articulated scheme of democratic education. More and
it is becoming possible for each individual to carry his education as far as his capacity will allow. After the uniform primary stage is passed there is provided a variety of paths suited to varying capacity and interests. Too many still drop out before education is complete as it might be, but changes appear to be imminent which will render yet more adequate the opportunity for equality and completeness of education. Public opinion has not yet sufficiently realised that a cheap schooling is poor public economy. The official reports of the State Departments show that the Directors of Education are fully aware of what is needed in the way of providing better trained teachers, especially for the rural schools, better accommodation and
equipment, better and more varied provision for secondary and trade education. London can afford to spend 23s. 6d. per head of population on education, and surely the Australian States can afford to do as much for their children. But New South Wales, where the expenditure is highest, spends only 18s. per head. If the Australian States are to care for their young members to the extent now done by progressive communities elsewhere, they must face a considerably increased expenditure per head of the population.
WOMEN IN AUSTRALIA.
By Mrs. Francis Anderson. Australian women were late in stepping into the ranks of advance. Communication with the homeland was slow and expensive in mid-Victorian days, and in 1848, when in London, Queen's College was opened for the better instruction of teachers in girls' schools, Australian women were content to accept the little that was offered to them as education. They knew of nothing better. In wide spaces, under clear skies, far from the turmoil of cities, they bore large families, and developed in themselves and their children that freedom from convention, that practical deftness and resource which still distinguishes the Australian—a habit and a manner which make us different from those who spend their childhood within the encompassing narrowness of walls.
The English woman who “had seen better days," and the poor gentleman whose education had taught him everything except how to earn a living, were much in demand in those days. As governess and tutor, they carried an example of delicacy and refinement into country homes which otherwise might have known only roughness, and their influence remains to this day in many a country town.
The first woman who attempted private teaching in Australia was Mrs. Chapman. She came out to the struggling settlement to be a governess in 1806, and was given a free passage, as there was no doubt that benefit would accrue to the Settlement from the residence of such a highly respectable person.” But the fate which awaited all highly respectable women in the Australia of that
time befell Mrs. Chapman. Someone married her.
. She was the forerunner of many. Sometimes the gentle daughter of a country curate would find her adopted home too rough for sustained endurance, and would come back to the newly-born city of Sydney and open a school. The Australian Governinent schools---National, as they were called before the passing of Sir Henry Parkes' Act--served, of necessity, scholars of the lowest class, and very few girl children of the better sort attended them. The private school flourished, though it remained for years the “ Ladies' Seminary” of early Victorian days. Reform in education reached Australian private schools at length, and examinations, registration, and a desire for higher education have done their work. Melbourne was for a time ahead of Sydney in this particular, but every country town and city now possesses excellent opportunity for education. No woman teacher in a private school now works all day, as once she did, for £20 or £30 a year. Employment under the several Departments of Education is not in any State very highly paid; the teacher is cheap everywhere, but it can nearly always be obtained by competent persons, and only the incompetent or idle need accept a pittance.
Our first step towards freedom of utterance, and better education, was made in the Literary Societies which were founded in the cities. They were small associations of the few women who loved literature and wished to know more of it. They could only be small, for the great majority had little taste for learning. Their fathers and mothers had nearly all emigrated to make money or to gain a higher social position for their children, and a greater opportunity. No sluggard, no coward, and very few students came willingly to Australia in the carly days, but many dissatisfied with the conditions of the home they still loved, in spite of discontent. The chartist, the radical, the agitator found here an easier field, and the thoughts and