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The Surprise Rival:
A History of the Education Faculty, Monash University, 1964–2014

By Alan Gregory

In 1987 the Times Educational Supplement reported that a UK wide survey of Faculties of Education found that ‘Monash University in Australia was the surprise rival to Stanford and Harvard’. The former school headmaster Richard Selby Smith, as the first Professor and Dean, had established the Faculty of Education in 1964 with a handful of staff and students. The Monash graduate Diploma in Education soon developed a fine reputation but then the Faculty extended its activity into postgraduate courses for teachers first at Bachelor of Education and then Master of Education level, catering too for specialist studies in Special Education, Psychology and Educational Administration. The Faculty soon developed an international reputation for its work in many fields, including science education, mathematics education, educational history, philosophy, sociology of education, special education, social psychology, multiculturalism, learning theory, the education of women, languages and literacy, and social education. Fifty years on, the Faculty was spread across campuses at Clayton, Gippsland, Peninsula and Berwick, but retained its reputation for excellence, with a ranking of sixth best in the world. This history tells the story of how the Faculty of Education at Monash developed from its modest beginnings to a position of international eminence.

About Alan Gregory

Alan Gregory was born in Melbourne, educated at the University of Melbourne (B Com, Dip Ed, M Ed) and Simon Fraser University Canada, (Ph D). He was a teacher in Victorian high schools, then on the staff of the Faculty of Education Monash University for 25 years, including periods as a visiting scholar to several overseas universities. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia 1989 for services to education and the community, was Master of Ormond College, and served on several government boards including the Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal. He has published widely in the field of economics, education and history, and his recent books include: It’s Only the Game that Counts: A history of Lord Somers Camp and Power House,  The Ever Open Door: A history of the Royal Melbourne Hospital, the centenary history of Melbourne High School Strong Like its Pillars, and books on two principals: Brigadier George Langley, and  William (Bill) M Woodfull.

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