George Hogben

Educationalist George Hogben, c.1900. As head of the Department of Education (1899-1915) Hogben helped shape the philosophy of public education in New Zealand during the early 20th century. A firm believer that education was a tool for social change, he introduced free secondary school education and revised the primary school syllabus during his tenure.

Hogben was also instrumental in the creation of the School Journal which reflected his belief in strength and virtue through discipline, obedience, self-sacrifice, patriotism and the importance of fulfilling one’s duty as citizen of the British Empire. Education was to be used to mould children into productive, moral, sober, and healthy citizens.

[T]he duty of the schoolmaster does not end with the training of the brain, the hand, and the eye of the child in such a manner that they may contribute jointly and separately the most that in them lies towards his future social efficiency and give him the power to do the right thing, and do it well, in any given set of circumstances in after-life. Nor is it sufficient to add to this the grave moral responsibility imposed upon the school in the formation, through example, precept, and wisely directed tradition, of habits and character that will afterwards make the good citizen. Physical training and well-being must now also claim in an increasing degree serious attention and effective treatment...

George Hogben, Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives, 1915 Session I, E-01, p,75

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