Resonant continuities: the influence of the Newbolt Report on the formation of English curriculum in New South Wales, Australia

Publication Type:
Journal Article
English in Education, 2019, 53 (3), pp. 223 - 239
Issue Date:
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© 2019, © 2019 National Association for the Teaching of English. In this paper, we examine the ways in which the conceptualisation of literature and literary study encoded in the inaugural secondary school English syllabus in New South Wales (NSW), Australia can be seen to anticipate the conceptualisation so fervently enunciated in The Teaching of English in England–the Newbolt Report of 1921. Through a comparative analysis of the two historical documents, the paper sheds light on the philosophical, ideological and discursive resonances between them, underlining the extraordinary trans-cultural and trans-temporal influence of the New Education movement on the formation of English during the early twentieth century in Australia and Britain. We contend that the Newbolt Report served to vindicate and lend additional authority to the ideas and values embedded in the 1911 NSW English syllabus that were in turn carried forward in successive iterations of the secondary English syllabus in NSW for more than a century.
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