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Educating the Australian adolescent: an historical study of curriculum, counselling and citizenship is an ARC-funded project on secondary schooling and adolescence in the middle decades of the twentieth century. Undertaken with Professor Julie McLeod (The University of Melbourne), the project examines ideas and debates about how best to educate Australian secondary school students and the role of schooling in shaping social values and citizenship in the past and present. It takes a close look at curriculum programs and reforms and at the role and development of child and adolescent guidance in schools during three decades of educational upheaval – the 1930s, 1950s and 1970s. The study offers historical perspectives on current concerns about school values, student wellbeing and citizenship education. It explores the transnational dimensions of educational ideas and some of the historical drivers of policy reform, particularly in relation to curriculum.


Julie McLeod & Katie Wright, eds. The promise of the new and genealogies of educational reform. Routledge, London, 2015

Julie McLeod & Katie Wright. ‘Education for citizenship: transnational expertise, curriculum reform and psychological knowledge in 1930s Australia’. History of Education Review 42.2 (2013): 170–184 (Highly Commended Paper Award, Emerald Publishing)

Katie Wright. ‘“To see through Johnny and to see Johnny through”: the guidance movement in interwar Australia’. Journal of Educational Administration and History 44.4 (2012): 315–335

Katie Wright. ‘“Help for wayward children”: child guidance in 1930s Australia’. History of Education Review 41.1 (2012): 4–19

Katie Wright. & Julie McLeod. ‘Public memories and private meanings: representing the “happy childhood” narrative in oral histories of adolescence and schooling in Australia’. Oral History Forum/ Forum d’histoire orale 32 (2012)