Empire of Teacher Education and Training

A Case Study of Management and Governance at Sydney Teachers’ College
  • Geoffrey SheringtonEmail author
Living reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


The establishment of “schools” for the people during the nineteenth century prompted government support for the education and training of teachers in Britain and its Empire of settlement. Initially ideas and methods were based on the practice of schooling. A form of apprenticeships emerged with older students being selected as “pupil teachers” learning to teach under a master teacher while they continued their own schooling. The idea of a “teachers college” as a specialized institution was established for further training of some pupil teachers selected on the basis of merit. This system prevailed for much of the nineteenth century albeit in different forms throughout the Empire. By the end of the nineteenth century, the idea of teaching as a profession had supplanted earlier notions of teaching as apprenticeship. Training through institutions supplementing practice in the classroom became more predominant. Increasingly, teacher education in colleges and universities prevailed as the rise of education as an academic discipline sought to combine patterns of research and teaching. Common patterns emerged throughout the Empire with Scottish influences becoming predominant in the Empire of settlement. A case study of the establishment of Sydney Teachers College under its Scottish-born Principal Alexander Mackie illuminates these trends. The associations of Empire continued into the years after the Second World War, but increasingly teacher education and training was absorbed into national higher education systems which became focused not on Empire but the market in a global economy.


Empire Teachers colleges Scottish diaspora Networks Alexander Mackie 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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