History of How Australians Learned to Read
The Teaching Reading in Australia research project (funded in 2009-10 by the Australian Research Council DP0987648) explored the history of teaching reading in Australia during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The focus of the research was on teaching beginners to read.
Debates about how to teach reading are not new. This project considered the ways reading was understood in the past and the methods and materials which were promoted. The Australian debates were not conducted in isolation. In order to understand the Australian context the researchers on the Teaching Reading in Australia project connected the Australian history to practices throughout the British Empire and beyond.
The research was led by Professors Phil Cormack (University of South Australia), Bill Green (Charles Sturt University) and Annette Patterson (Queensland University of Technology). For more about this project and other articles about the history of education, see Yvonne Perkins’ blog, Stumbling Through the Past.
During the project Yvonne Perkins did extensive archival research for the project in country New South Wales, Sydney, Melbourne and Geelong. On this project she developed a methodology that led to very high productivity in the archives, thus making best use of limited research funds.
Skills and Experience Used on the Project
- Australian education history
- Australian history of religion and belief
- Archival research in New South Wales and Victoria
- Collaborating with researchers in a multi-state research project.