Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The post-primary education of non-academic boys

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posted on 2021-12-13, 21:48 authored by Wallace, H. L. (Hugh Lowry)
This thesis is an attempt to examine what is probably the greatest single problem in New Zealand education; the problem of the non-academic child in the New Zealand post-primary school. It is an urgent problem, on the solution of which depends the welfare of a large section of our post-primary population. Our post-primary schools have gradually ceased to be selective and must now cater for an adolescent age group which omits only the most mentally defective and the most physically handicapped. This movement towards "secondary education for all" received fresh impetus in 1944 when the minimum school leaving age was raised to fifteen years. During the last eight years, post-primary schools have been faced with an increasing number of new entrants of a wide range of intelligence and .ability. Among these are found pupils who, under an earlier education system, would never have entered the door of a secondary school. The requirements of the Proficiency examination would have eliminated some, economic factors would have debarred others. Many would have found in a job the success and satisfaction which they had never achieved in a school. Now, as a result of educational and economic changes, these pupils are legally compelled to remain at school until they reach the age of fifteen years. The practice of social promotion in the primary school has resulted in most of these adolescents entering a post-primary school at thirteen, fourteen or fifteen years of age. These are the pupils wbo have been commonly labelled "non-academic".


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Victoria University of Wellington Unit

Faculty of Education / Te Whānau o Ako Pai

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Education / Te Puna Akopai