Jim and Jillian Dellit established this website to bring together their various endeavours, to engage with and contribute to the educational community and educational delivery. Jillian is continuing this work both in her own right, and to keep faith with Jim's life, 1947-2014, and their productive partnership 1970-2014.

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March 10

Conversations with Baby Boomer Teachers: Profile 9 posted by Jillian in Biography, History of Education

Religion played an enormous role in how J ended up teaching. J was born into a Seventh Day Adventist Family. His father was a thinking man within a narrow framework. His mother was intuitive, warm but no academic. His elder brother was bright and excelled at school. He saw himself as the also-ran.

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February 22

Conversations with Baby Boomer Teachers: Profile 8 posted by Jillian in Biography, History of Education

K grew up in Sydney and went to a selective boys’ high school. As he remembers it, his choices at the end of high school were to go to Sydney Teachers’ College or talk to a friend of his uncle who worked at the Sydney Morning Herald about a job in journalism. He had qualified for university, but did not have a Commonwealth Scholarship. he had no pathway mapped, so taking the Teachers’ College Scholarship was a no-brainer.

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February 7

Conversations with Baby Boomer Teachers: Profile 7 posted by Jillian in Uncategorized

The way things fell out when G finished secondary school resulted in her entry into teacher training. She had not anticipated doing so well. When she won a Commonwealth Scholarship she could go to any university in Australia, with her university fees paid.

She had always loved learning. This thirst for finding out about how things worked gained momentum through her Primary and Secondary years. She loved literature and history. She has strong memories of the delight she felt in learning Ancient History. Her teacher was the Principal of the small rural Queensland school. He was often away for the lesson and his small group of students went to the library and researched the topic – a de facto research-based learning approach which had good results.

From a Queensland farming family, she was the only one of five children to go beyond Grade 10. Very few of her 58 cousins went beyond Grade 10. About 5 had some kind of tertiary training. The options she considered open to her were teaching or as a Deaconess in the Lutheran Church – and service in either Hermannsburg or Papua New Guinea. The move towards universal secondary education took, she observed, an extra generation in the country. Her mother used to say G had been “picked up on the road” – so different was she to her siblings.

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January 28

Conversations with Baby Boomer Teachers: Profile 6 posted by Jillian in Biography, History of Education

As a child, F vaguely wanted to be a mathematician. His mother wanted her children to go to university. She had been thwarted in her ambition to go herself. F’s brother, 14 years older than him, had gone to Teachers’ College, then back to university later.

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January 18

Conversations with Baby Boomer Teachers: Profile 5 posted by Jillian in Biography, History of Education

E wanted to be a teacher from the age of about 11 or 12. As he remembers it, this was not planted in his mind by his parents or any particular teacher. He had, for a while, wanted to be a vet or an accountant but his father talked him out of those. There were no veterinary courses available in Adelaide and students travelled to either Sydney or Melbourne to enrol. There was no provision for career counselling at his school. There were no teachers in his family, no university educated people. His parents were ambitious for him. He always knew he would go to university. His father wanted him to be a lawyer.

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January 10

Conversations with Baby Boomer Teachers: Profile 4 posted by Jillian in Biography, History of Education

D’s mother was 100% determined D should go to university.  She didn’t focus on a career – but she knew D needed a career, and teaching presented a pathway via a teaching scholarship commencing in the second-last year of school and continuing through university and teachers’ college.  Her mother had had to leave school at 15. During the War she worked in a munitions factory and when that closed she scrounged for a job. So for D teaching was about a university education – the only pathway that presented itself. She had no idea what careers were available. None of her family members had careers and there was no trained career counsellor available. Her parents had no way of paying university fees.

Teaching was never her passion. Her elder sister went nursing and did ongoing training and education.

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January 1

Conversations with Baby Boomer teachers: Profile 3 posted by Jillian in Biography, History of Education

C, the youngest child in his family, cannot remember a time when he did not want to be a teacher – or an accountant. These were, admittedly, the only jobs he knew outside the family’s sand and gravel business or the suburban streets within which he spent his childhood.

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December 20

Conversations with Baby Boomer Teachers: Profile 2 posted by Jillian in Biography, History of Education

“B” could have been a hairdresser. She would, she believes, have been very happy in that role. She had no intention of staying at school beyond Year 11 until awarded a scholarship. Her older brother, at university on a teaching scholarship, insisted she take up the scholarship and go to Year 12 and attempt  university. She wanted to leave school, but got a scholarship for Year 12 that committed her to teaching.

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Conversations with Baby Boomer Teachers: Profile 1

“A” chose teaching because it was what she knew. The female role models she had were nurses, teachers or office workers. Her parents had only primary school education. She had cousins living in Italy in the 1950s, one of whom … Continue reading

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December 7

My New Project: Baby Boomer Teacher Profiles posted by Jillian in Biography, History of Education

Over the last six months or so I have been working on a new project for this blog. This has arisen because of my interest in the History of Education, my involvement with the Australian College of Educators’ Archives Group and my commitment to telling stories.

My generation of teachers entered the profession under quite specific circumstances – the need for more schools to meet population growth and increased demand for skilled and educated workers to grow the post-war economy and ensure prosperity.

We were, one might argue, very fortunate. We rode the wave of government support and demand for an increased teaching force. On the other hand, as the stories will show, we accepted restrictions, commitments and conditions that would not be widely tolerated today. We took Caesar’s coin, and expected to render unto Caesar that which was his – going where we were sent and teaching what we were asked to teach.

I have to date had conversations with 20 Baby Boomer teachers – that is, those who entered teaching after leaving high school between 1961 and 1976. I have asked them how they got into teaching, where it took them and how they think it shaped both their life and who they became. I have written each on up as a story, or profile. I have made them anonymous both for consistency and to focus on the story rather than on the network of relationships and interactions which is inevitable in the relatively small world of Australian schooling.

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