Thumbnail Image

Demography of nineteenth century New Zealand education: gender and regional differences in school retention

This thesis examines the progress of pupils through New Zealand schools in the last two decades of the nineteenth century and the first decade of the twentieth century. The purpose of this study was to apply demographic techniques to primary historical education data to enable the progress of pupils to be quantified and to allow comparisons to be made among different Education Districts and longitudinally over a period of some three decades. The present work applies demographic methods using cohort and period analyses to overcome difficulties in direct comparisons of historical education data because of differences in population structure and differing examination pass rates in various Education Districts. This approach allows the determination of retention rates of pupils both by age and by level from Standard 4 to Standard 6 using primary data from the nineteenth century. In addition, gender differences in retention by age are analysed from the 1880s to the end of the first decade of the twentieth century. Previous published work considered school attendance only in general terms and usually on a national basis, but generally without analysing specific educational data on gender differences. Studies prior to the present work have suggested that in the nineteenth century Education Districts differed in school enrolments (Hodder, 1996) and it is thus likely that there were differences in school retention of pupils between various Education Districts. Pilot research to the present work developed demographic methods for studying retention of pupil populations allowing for changes in the number and structure of the pupils populations over time (Hodder, 2005). These pilot methods are applied in the present research to study pupil retention in all thirteen Education Districts over the approximately 30 years from the 1880s. In addition to age and level cohorts, gender differences are analysed. Direct comparisons among all Education Districts and over time are now possible. This study has used a novel approach to the analysis of historical education data. The results enable comparisons to be made among all thirteen Education Districts and across several decades; such comparisons have not previously been possible and will facilitate future research on the possible factors affecting pupil retention particularly in relation to employment opportunities for school leavers and differences according to gender. References: Hodder, C. (1996). Cambridge District High School and its community, 1880 - 1888. Unpublished Master of Arts thesis, Department of Education Studies, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Hodder, C. (2005). Old data, new methods: the use of demographic methods to study historical education data. Unpublished Directed Study, Department of Societies and Cultures, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.
Type of thesis
Hodder, C. (2006). Demography of nineteenth century New Zealand education: gender and regional differences in school retention (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2226
The University of Waikato
All items in Research Commons are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.