To what Extent can the Comprehensivisation of Secondary Education be considered the Key Issue in Post-war Australian Education
The development of ideas about mass education emerged after the Second World War II due to the development of egalitarian and democratic ideals in the post-war society, baby boom and peace, as argued by Campbell and Proctor, (2014, p.178). At that time the problem of schooling was a topic of public interest and even national importance (Campbell and Proctor, 2014, p.178). In the period between 1951 and 1975 the secondary education became standardized and conventional (Campbell and Proctor, 2014, p.179).
The commitment of governments to comprehensive approaches in mass education was caused by the lower expenditures connected with introducing a uniform system in comparison to a diversified system of curriculum and facilities (Campbell and Proctor, 2014, p.190). Moreover, the benefits of comprehensive schools were also connected with the democratic ideals when everybody had to receive equal opportunities, at least potentially (Campbell and Proctor, 2014, p.190). In addition to this the comprehensive system provided extensive opportunities for assimilation of the diverse population, which was important for political stability of Australia. Thus, the post-war development of educational system was characterized by influence of economic, social and political factors, which led to the process of comprehensivisation.
As argued by Campbell and Proctor, there are no harmonized definition of comprehensivisation, but in the simplest explanation this notion represents the following: development of school facilities system according to the patterns of population settlement with the curriculum accessible for everyone, without regard to the academic level or aptitudes (2014, p.188). According to Campbell and Sherington, it is possible to give a more sophisticated definition of comprehensive schooling, which is the approach encompassing attention to the absence of selection on the basis of financial abilities, religious beliefs, ethnicity, race or the previous academic abilities or level of intelligence (2006, p.34). Due to the ethnic, social and political diversification of Australia comprehensivisation of secondary education was the key issue in post-war Australian education. In comparison with the countries having lower level of internal diversity, the issues of comprehensivisation in post-war Australian education were more considerable, since this process had to take into account the interests of all social and ethnic groups, as well as financial and political concerns of the post-war development.
Post-War Development of Australian Education
The post-war development of Australian education was marked with the optimistic perspectives on the development of the country in the second half of the 20th century, which could be found in the mass media (Campbell and Proctor, 2014, p.178). The post-war environment of the educational development in Australia was characterized by the absence of depression associated with the war period and the two decades of austerity (Campbell and Proctor, 2014, p.178). The positive social factors were represented by “baby boom” period, which created an unprecedented social and political trend connected with educational system development (Hughes, 2008, p.59). As argued by Campbell and Proctor, the baby …