Our article seeks to describe, analyse and assess the contribution of Margaret Hodge and Harriet C. Newcomb to the training of kindergarten, primary and secondary school teachers in New South Wales at a time of wide-ranging educational reform. These two English teacher educators were recruited to Sydney in 1897 for the purpose of establishing a new training scheme equivalent to the teaching diploma courses offered at the University of Cambridge. In their subsequent work for the Training Board of the NSW Teachers’ Association, reconfiguring training programs for teachers in private schools, as lecturers and examiners in the history and theory of education, and in founding Shirley School and Kindergarten to practically demonstrate their progressive educational philosophy, the pair were at the forefront of moves to abolish the outmoded pupil teacher system and institute a pre-service model of teacher education. Concurrently, they agitated for change by speaking authoritatively in various forums on the broader issue of improved schooling standards through the systematic training of teachers in the science and art of education. On the eve of their return to London after eleven years in Sydney, Margaret and Harriet aptly concluded that if their record was one of “the petty done, the vast undone”, and their appeal for the technical training of teachers so they might constitute themselves into a professional class “premature”, they had “at least sown the seed”..
& Whitehead, K.
Sowing the Seeds of a Pre-Service Model of Teacher Education in the Early Twentieth Century..
Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 28(1).