The 1872 Education Act introduced changes that would alter the structure and operation of education in Victoria for the next hundred years. This book is about four educationists who found themselves immersed in these changes. Its focus is on their work with the Education Department in Victoria, encompassing the latter half of the 19th century and the first part of the 20th century.
These four educationists are Gilbert Wilson Brown, who as Secretary of Public Instruction between 1878 to 1889 was responsible for teachers, schools and clerical staff; Herbert W. Wilson, who lectured at Melbourne Teachers College and University of Melbourne in Science and Nature Study at various times between 1908 and 1942 and was known as ‘The Major’ due to his WWI service; Nathan Spielvogel, a classroom teacher between 1892 and 1939, who as ‘Old Eko’ contributed humorous anecdotes to magazines and journals; and Julia Flynn, who was the first woman to be appointed to a senior position, as an inspector of secondary schools and later, in 1936, Chief Inspector Secondary.
‘The manuscript is equally about the context in which the four educationists operated, as it is about their own biographies. I am grateful for the way Geoff dealt with G. Wilson Brown. The chapter on Herbert Wilson is masterly and the work on Nathan Spielvogel is a perfect account. The Julia Flynn account is really a most important long-term contribution to our education history.’ Professor Kwong Lee Dow
‘Another superb contribution to Geoff’s excellent series on Victorian educational history. So well written and a joy to read.’ Dr Alan Gregory