Girls, empowerment and education: a history of the Mac. Robertson Girls' High School 1905-2005

Parker, P 2006, Girls, empowerment and education: a history of the Mac. Robertson Girls' High School 1905-2005, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Global Studies, Social Science and Planning, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Girls, empowerment and education: a history of the Mac. Robertson Girls' High School 1905-2005
Author(s) Parker, P
Year 2006
Abstract Despite the considerable significance of publicly funded education in the making of Australian society, state school histories are few in number. In comparison, most corporate and private schools have cemented their sense of community and tradition through full-length publications. This history attempts to redress this imbalance. It is an important social history because this school, Mac.Robertson Girls' High School can trace its origins back to 1905, to the very beginnings of state secondary education when the Melbourne Continuation School (MCS), later Melbourne High School (MHS) and Melbourne Girls' high School (MGHS) was established.

Since it is now recognised that there are substantial state, regional and other differences between schools and their local communities, studies of individual schools are needed to underpin more general overviews of particular issues. This history, then, has wider significance: it traces strands of the development of girls' education in Victoria, thus examining the significance and dynamics of single-sex schooling, the education of girls more generally, and, importantly, girls' own experiences (and memories of experiences) of secondary schooling, as well as the meaning they made of those experiences.

'Girls, Education and Empowerment: A History of The Mac.Robertson Girls' High School 1905-2005', departs from traditional models of school history writing that tend to focus on the decision-makers and bureaucrats in education as well as documenting the most 'successful' former students who have made their mark in the world. Drawing on numerous narrative sources and documentary evidence, this history is organised thematically to contextualise and examine what is was like, and meant, to be a girl at this school (Melbourne Continuation School 1905-12; Melbourne High School 1912-27; Melbourne Girls' High School 1927-34, and Mac.Robertson Girls' High School from 1934) during a century of immense social, economic, political and educational change.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Global Studies, Social Science and Planning
Keyword(s) Public schools--Victoria--History
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