Sunday, 12 November 2017 18:04

Hope For A Better Future

Progressive Schools 1936



Writing in the Los Angeles "School Journal," on progressive education, Dr. F. Adams states:

The progressives hold that schools should be a place where children live as complete and natural a life as conditions will permit. Teachers should recognise that the intellectual, emotional, and physical life of the child are inherently inter-related, and should make adequate provision for the harmonious development of each element in the personality of the child.

School also should be a place where children are actively experiencing democratic living with sufficient interest, self-expression and responsibility, but with sufficient guidance to help them recognise the rights of the social group.

Each child is a unique entity, and should be treated as such.

Education should build upon the experiences and interests of the child, giving a significant place to play. The work of the school should have intermediate meaning and importance to the child as well as an abiding social value.

Finally, observes Dr. Adams, progressives believe that our social and economic as well as our cultural, conditions is life can be improved, and that the best place to begin is with the education of the child. It is this belief in the potentiality of children, together with a spirit of service, that makes teaching more than a mere profession.

To the progressive, it becomes a hope for a better future life.


Written Eighty One Years Ago. We're Still Hoping !



Published in From The Press
Sunday, 12 November 2017 12:37

Freedom of Thought Imperilled




"There was less freedom of thought and expression in Australia today than there was in the nineties (ie. 1890s), the Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Melbourne University Dr. G. L. Wood, said last night at a meeting of the Education First movement at Kew.

People, he said, were afraid of freedom of thought, particularly on education. The concepts of education and democracy were not married, as they needed to be, and the whole education system required to be put on a new basis."

"Teachers needed more training and of a different type, increased salaries and status and more respect from the community.....The system was custom-ridden, the curricula rigid and the classes hopelessly large."

"There was a lot of apathy and hypocrasy and futile bleating about education reform, but there was no real fighting for it as voters. There was no possibility of change taking place in our national education until apathetic parents took an interest in the matter. They were irresponsible about the training for life given to their children."

"It was only by a terrific majority of voters talking to politicians by ballot boxes that the urgently needed reform would come. Parents simply had not grown up and they thought the educational conditions of their day were quite satisfactory for their children."

"They had to bring an outdated education system into line with a modern world."

These quotes are Extracts from the 1945 Article : Full article

Sound Familiar ?

Today Action is Needed to Convince Communities and Governments That Our Education is A Travesty


Published in From The Press
Saturday, 09 September 2017 10:51

Why Chiron Plus

Patrick White2

 In 1968 we were three very young teachers working with students who were supposed to be developing as young adults. But their development, we observed, was being hindered by the traditional authoritarian system of education.

We wanted to create a better learning environment where young people could develop as responsible and self determining individuals.

In 1969 we did.  Supported by Metropolitan Business College (a major private education provider before the government Technical Colleges) Chiron College was created.

It wasn't based on any existing models or philiosophies. We weren't aware of the progressive movements in the 1920s and 30s. It was simply based on our own observations and awareness of the need for change;  change valuing the innate good qualities of young people.  We often said we wouldn’t really know how successful our approach was until students in later life could look back and evaluate their experience.

The first newspaper article about the college appeared in November 1969 that year. It ends with the comment made by Professor John Loewenthal from Sydney University “If you achieve what you set out to do, and I feel that you should, the you will be filling a huge gap in educational institutions in New South Wales” Sunday Telegraph November 1969.

Over the following 7 years positive coverage continued in Newspapers, Magazines and on Television, and we were invited to give talks on innovation in education at Universities and Colleges in Sydney.

Like most progressive schools Chiron didn't survive the return to conservatism by the 1980s. And the stories of only a few of these progressive schools have yet been told.

However in 2010 browsing on Facebook I came across the Chiron College Birchgrove group. Here after almost 40 years the time to hear what students had to say about their experience had arrived.

Their comments (currently being uploaded onto this site) reveal first and foremost their individuality. Their experience at Chiron had enabled them be themselves and make their own choices.

Why Chiron Plus ?

Around the same time there was growing advocacy for a new system of education with new core values.

Values like those on which Chiron and Others were developed.

ChironPlus provides an Opportunity for more Australian Experiences to be Shared

Voices Supporting Advocacy for Positive Change Today

Published in Why Chiron
Saturday, 02 September 2017 14:24

Chiron Moves to Birchgrove


At the beginning of 1973 Chiron College was given the opportunity by the Metropolitan Business College (MBC) to be set up as an independent non-profit company.

We had to find new premises as the building in Dalley Street was to be demolished. We found temporary accommodation in Macquarie Place in a building that had been vacated for renovation.

MBC was willing to purchase suitable premises for us to rent but we were having difficulty getting council permission. As MBC was about to change hands they had to withdraw their offer, but continued to support us with legal advice.

Charles and Barbara Blackman’s son Auguste had enrolled that year. When they heard about our problem they took up the challenge.

It was their generosity that resulted in us moving to Birchgrove and they continued to play a committed management and creative role until it closed.

Here Barbara recalls how it all came about.  


Philip Benham (left) with student Mark Crocker (right)
and other students resting after helping with renovations at Birchgrove during the winter of 1973
photo: Richard Harris


Published in Chiron Supporters
Friday, 01 September 2017 16:28

Aptitude Tests Instead of Exams

Aptitude Exams

Reference :


Seventy one years later Teaching to Testing Dominates in Schools!

Published in From The Press
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