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Upholding the Faith

The Process of Education in Catholic Schools in Australia, 1922-1965

Series:

Tom A. O'Donoghue

Notwithstanding the lack of substantial state aid for nearly one hundred years, the Roman Catholic Church in Australia was successful not only in maintaining but also in expanding an educational sector independent of state educational systems. Upholding the Faith is concerned with what was distinctive about education in Catholic schools in Australia during the period between 1922 and 1965. The background is the private nature of Catholic education, which resulted in great freedom for the Church at the level of school management and administration. The main focus, however, is on the fact that such freedom was sought and maintained, albeit at enormous financial and human expense, so the Church could shape the process of education in distinctive ways. Four features of this process are examined: schooling took place within an authoritarian framework; major emphasis was placed on religious instruction and on ensuring an all-pervasive religious atmosphere; particular gender roles were promoted; and a strong Irish influence permeated the curriculum.