People’s History 2015: Education in Aotearoa New Zealand - for freedom or conformity?

People’s History 2015: Education in Aotearoa New Zealand – for freedom or conformity?

The Labour History Project is delighted to be working again with the Wellington Museum and the Alexander Turnbull Library to present the 2015 People’s History Symposium.

The full programme can be downloaded by clicking here.

People’s History 2015


Education in Aotearoa New Zealand – for freedom or conformity?

Sunday 1 November 2015, 9:00am to 4:30pm

Wellington Museum, Queens Wharf, Wellington

Inspired by the centennial of the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA), we invite you to a one-day People’s History symposium about education in Aotearoa, past and present.

Entry by koha (includes light refreshments and lunch).

Bookings required. Register through with Symposium in the subject line.

‘There is no such thing as a neutral education process. Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate the integration of generations into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity to it, or it becomes the ‘practice of freedom’, the means by which men and women deal critically with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.’ Richard Shaull, drawing on Paulo Freire.

Stimulated by this quotation speakers will explore some of the many ways that New Zealanders have been educated. Speakers include: Pat Bolster marking the centenary of the WEA; Conal McCarthy and Jim Traue on museums and early Mechanics’ institutes; Cybele Locke, Rachelle Hautapu, Bronwyn Wood and Meegan Hall on formal education from early childhood to tertiary; The Song Snatchers on the Music to Schools broadcasts; Claire-Louise McCurdy, Graeme Whimp and Ross Teppett on workers’ education; and, discussing the media, Jan Rivers, Jeremy Rose and ‘White Man Behind A Desk’. There will also be a ‘History on Speed’ interactive session, and at the end of the symposium Paul Diamond will wrap up the day’s discussions.

Hosted by Wellington Museum, the Labour History Project and the Alexander Turnbull Library.

For further information or

Image: Children from Karori Normal School on the last day of term, 15 December 1977, Evening Post Collection, Reference no: EP/1977/5055/8-F, Alexander Turnbull Library.