Degree Name

Master of Education (Hons.)


Faculty of Education


The recent recognition by educationists in general, and the New South Wales Department of School Education in particular, of the educational and social needs of gifted and talented children, has raised many questions for educators to consider. Before these can be answered it is necessary to review the New South Wales history of State Education Policy for gifted and talented children.

This thesis describes an investigation of the history of education policy making for gifted and talented children within N.S.W. Department of School Education from 1788 to 1989. This investigation has revealed that no formal Government Policy existed until 1983, but due to the efforts of individual schools, teachers and several prominent individuals, some provision was evident. In the absence of official policy, other policies appeared. These policies have been found to fall into three broad categories closely linked in chronological order. These categories are: Elitism - from settlement in 1788 to 1949, Pluralism - from 1950 to 1980 and Corporatism from 1981 to 1989.