Denis Fitzgerald, Teachers and Their Times: History and the Teachers' Federation

By Taylor, Tony | Labour History - A Journal of Labour and Social History, May 2012 | Go to article overview

Denis Fitzgerald, Teachers and Their Times: History and the Teachers' Federation


Taylor, Tony, Labour History - A Journal of Labour and Social History


Denis Fitzgerald, Teachers and their Times: History and the Teachers' Federation, UNSW Press, Sydney, 2011. pp. 336. $39.95 paper.

If the New South Wales Teachers' Federation did not exist, Sydney's ever-excitable Daily Telegraph would be obliged to create it. From a Murdoch press point of view, the union fosters classroom mediocrity, supports incompetent teachers and kicks down the doors of a succession of seemingly hapless NSW education ministers, nailing the incumbents to the wall. But it's not just the Murdoch press that loves to hate the Federation. Even the slightly leftist Sydney Morning Herald refers to the Federation as a 'rogue union' (20 November 2010) that has a record of 'truculent behaviour' (23 January 2009). In that context, Denis Fitzgerald's useful narrative history of the Federation Teachers and their Times is a counter to many of the myths and war stories surrounding a union that has been in business since 1918 protecting its members from bureaucratic bungling, governmental bastardry and an increasingly shrill line in media calumny

You can tell where author Fitzgerald's sympathies lie from the start. He begins his narrative with the end of the Whitlam years (good, but not a Golden Age) and ends with the end of the Howard era ('joy and relief'). As a former Teachers' Federation president (1995-1997) and career teacher, Fitzgerald is well placed to give us an inside story, and, indeed, this is what a reader might expect. Starting in the mid-1970s, the author argues that the turning point in the Teachers' Federation's approach to militancy came in the period after the 1975 constitutional crisis when a new generation of teachers, in rejecting 'passivity in all things', maintained a generalised distrust of hierarchy and authority. To illustrate the point, there is wonderful photograph (pp. 8-9) of the 1976 Teachers' Federation executive. Of its sixteen members, six are women and only seven appear to be over thirty-five. Compare that photograph with the 1970 almost all-male, grey-haired executive committee and you can see the generational change at a glance. Indeed, the 1976 younger set look like members of a sociology class about to head off to a lecture by Howard Kirk, Malcolm Bradbury's egotistical 1970s History Man.

Fitzgerald sees the turbulent 1970s as a largely exasperating period in which his union was putting out industrial brush fires but was unable to deal with the straitjacket of federal wage fixing policy. The union did make some positive moves, accepting gender equality (sort of) and eventually electing Jennie George as its first woman President in 1986--but getting itself into 1970s hot water with its membership over gay rights. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Denis Fitzgerald, Teachers and Their Times: History and the Teachers' Federation
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.