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Education and the A.I.F. 1918 - 1920

Ellis, Anthony (1986) Education and the A.I.F. 1918 - 1920. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

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The objective of this dissertation is to discuss the role of education for the Australian Imperial Force (A.LF.) during and immediately after the Great War. To understand how education assisted in the rehabilitation of the A.I.F. it is first necessary to review the changed nature of war and its impact upon the soldier and society. This is attempted in CHAPTER TWO. Following exploration of the transformation from civilian to soldier and the impact of the War, the writer offers a history of the establishment of the Army Education Service.

The strategies developed for the introduction of the Army Education Service by the key decision-makers inevitably shaped the way education would be used by the soldiers, the military leadership and the Government. An examination of the activities of the Education Service highlight the differing goals and objectives of these three groups. CHAPTERS THREE and FOUR provide a detailed elaboration of the Army Education Service's major functions and activities and help us to better understand the important role played by education.

To understand the rehabilitation process, the writer also felt it essential to examine the educational activities of the Repatriation Department. The post-war schemes established to help the soldiers are reviewed in CHAPTER FIVE. Here, the significant variations in viewpoint about the role of education in the future lives of the members of the A.I.F. becomes apparent. CHAPTER SIX examines the politics of peace and the way returning soldiers were "defused" through a combination of benefits for returning soldiers, What becomes clear is that the Government was intent on maintaining the status quo and providing the minimum benefits to avoid rebellion. Surprisingly the military leadership's view was more supportive of the servicemen and attempts were made to "improve" the men through their experiences.

Finally, some potential areas for further research are highlighted by the exploration of some lessons of the Great War. The four years 1914 to 1918 had a significant impact on Australian education. Some of these are discussed to point to new research possibilities.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Smart, Don
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