ANME Themes

The ANME is one of Australia’s leading repositories of historical educational documents, text books, scholarly journals, teaching records, registers and materials, award certificates, biographies, school histories and memorabilia. This varied collection is categorised into five themes, each of which may comprise  manuscripts, artefacts and source documents.  We also maintain a strong relationship with other museums and organisations that work to preserve the history of education in Australia.  

PRACTICEThe ANME collection contains a wide variety of manuscript material relating to schools, curriculum, classroom practice, teachers and education administration, ranging from admission registers, class rolls, award certificates, teachers’ programs, correspondence, timetables, teachers’ lesson notes, student work books and student annual academic progress reports. The historical significance of the majority of these types of items is that they are indicators of the day to day life of a school in times past.
POLICYWith the formation of the Australian colonial Departments of Public Instruction in the 1880s and 1890s, and compulsory secular primary schooling for all children from the age of six, one of the formidable policy decisions of government school systems related to the design and construction of school buildings. The ANME has a pictorial data base on nineteenth century school buildings.
One of the significant educational innovations in early childhood and primary teaching in Australian schools was the introduction of Cuisenaire Coloured Rods as a system for the teaching of mathematical concepts, especially for kindergarten and primary grades. They were used to assist children understand concepts such as area, volume and elementary fractions.
ADMINISTRATIONMany education administrators are also innovators, particularly at the level of state education department director. The ANME has compiled a photographic archive of a selection of notable colonial and state education administrators, among whom two former state directors of education are well known as being important innovators of their day.
CURRICULUMThe ANME collection contains a record of the history of curriculum in Australia. A highlight is its heritage collection of school textbooks, representing two centuries of Australian schooling, representative of the style and content of books over the period. It includes syllabus and curriculum documentation that highlights the many changes that have taken place in the development of curriculum and learning materials.