Australian Schooling Systems (EDUF3030)


How can we explain the ideas, practices and institutions which make up the modern Australian school? This unit looks for the answers in the history of Australian education and educational ideas more broadly. Why is schooling compulsory? Why are there separate primary and secondary schools? Why do teachers need university degrees? Why do so many children and young people attend religiously-affiliated schools? What are the origins of current school funding regimes? Understanding the histories of current educational arrangements helps us better understand the present and offers useful knowledge for shaping the future of schooling. The unit looks at the history of Australian schooling within an international context, with a particular emphasis on the period from the 1950s to the early C21st.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


1x1-hr lecture/wk for 9 wks, 1x2-hr seminar/wk for 9 wks


1500wd reading guide (30%) and 2500wd essay (45%) and 1000wd take-home examination (25%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


42 credit points of units

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.