Research Projects

ANME is a national source of research material on the history of education in Australia. The Museum sponsors research that focuses on projects of national historical significance and educational merit. ANME welcomes researchers and abroad to utilise its collection for research and scholarship. The following pages give information about our research priorities and describe some of our current work.


Rev Richard Johnson

The First School Teachers and Schools in Colonial New South Wales Researcher: Dr Geoffrey Burkhardt, Senior Curator, ANME.

Abstract: This project set out to identify the first school teachers to teach in the colony of NSW in the period 1788-1810. Thirty men and women have been identified as having taught in a NSW school at least for one year during the period. Of these thirty a total of seventeen were discovered to have been convicts, four were missionaries, one was a soldier and the others, free emigrants. The three most significant people contributing to the establishment of schools in the infant colony during its first twenty years were Rev. Richard Johnson, the settlement’s first chaplain, Phillip Gidley King, founder and Lieutenant Governor of Norfolk Island (1788-1797) and later third Governor of NSW (1801-1808), and Rev. Samuel Marsden.

Download the full report (PDF)

The Collection of Nineteenth Century and Early Twentieth Century School Textbooks in the Australian National Museum of Education. Researcher: Dr Geoffrey Burkharprofiles_textsdt, Senior Curator, ANME.

The Australian National Museum of Education has sought to compile a representative historical collection of school textbooks reflecting the changes in curriculum, policy and practice in Australian schools during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. ANME has published a guide to the collection, showing how textbooks reflect the development of Australian primary and secondary school curricula, highlighting the emergence of Australian textbook publishing and the adaptation of English practices to meet the challenges of establishing colonial education systems. Publishers such as Robertson & Mullins, William Brooks, Whitcombe & Tombs and Angus & Robertson, contracted numerous Australian based school teachers as authors for their expanding schoolbook market.

Download the Guide to the Collection (PDF)

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