Remote control: A spatial-history of correspondence schooling in New South Wales, Australia

Colin Symes*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    In large continental landmasses such as Australia, forms of education, including correspondence schooling, emerged in the early twentieth century that allowed children in remote regions to access education. To make such schooling possible, other technologies of state provision were mobilised such as the postal system, rail network, and radio stations. One of the curious, under-analysed features of correspondence schooling-a state sponsored form of home schooling-was the degree to which-as a spatial construct-it allowed the education centre to act on its periphery. It did so through enlisting strategies that rendered the correspondence pupil visible not as embodiment but as inscription. A complex semiotic landscape was generated consisting of exercise books, school magazines, radio programmes and film, elements of which are analysed in this paper, which deals with the evolution of distance education (tele-didactics) in New South Wales from 1920 to 1950. It is argued that the example of the Correspondence School and its radio version, the School of the Air, demonstrate that educational space is a protean phenomenon, constantly being transformed and modulated into other forms of space.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)503-517
    Number of pages15
    JournalInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
    Issue number5-6
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012


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