Evolution of agricultural education in Australia

James Pratley, Cameron Archer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Education in agriculture has evolved in conjunction with the rest of the education system. In some ways it has a special place in the system while in other ways agriculture missed the boat in not taking advantage of opportunities available at particular times. At first settlement from 1788 there was no education system. The upper and middle classes were the only ones who could afford to pay tuition in those early days although there were no teaching standards for those who provided the tuition. McCreadie (2006) indicates that "by the 1830s, the idea that crime was the result of ignorance, ignorance was the result of a lack of education and, therefore, education would decrease crime, was seen as a means of forging the penal colony of Australia into an organised and orderly society. Opponents of this idea, however, felt that the child of a blacksmith did not need any more education than what was necessary for him to become a blacksmith, the child of a farmer only what was necessary for him to be a successful farmer". The lower class then learned by what was handed down and by experience; this practice perpetuated in farming well into the 20th Century.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-27
Number of pages15
JournalAgricultural Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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