Capitalism, class, care and craft : a discursive journey around the 1900 Act to make Better Provision for Manual Technical and Commercial Education in New Zealand : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Education at Massey University
This historical education policy development case study covers the years 1877 to 1917. Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) of Parliamentary Debates and Reports are primary sources used to address the 'how' and 'why' questions relating to the policy which was formalized in 1900 as An Act to Make Better Provision for Manual, Technical, and Commercial Education. Secondary sources are also used to examine social, political and economic issues, in particular the dominant discourses around Capitalism, Class, Care, and Craft. The thesis argues that the 1900 Act is a model of 'top down policy' development, with a small number of powerful men making moral decisions around educational development that were based on technical rationality and its corollary social Darwinism rather than on egalitarianism and social mobility. It is also argued that the 1900 Act demonstrated a strong link between the state education system and its economic instrumental role in meeting the needs of the capitalist mode of production. The analysis of state rhetoric surrounding policy development continues to be as relevant today as it was in 1900.