History of University Life Seminar – 28 March

History of University Life Seminar – 28 March

4 months ago

The Conveners of the History of University Life Seminars invite alumni, students and staff of the University of Sydney to join them at the first Seminar for 2018.

RSVP to Deryck Schreuder by Monday 26 March so we can confirm catering arrangements—seating is limited.  deryck@schreuder.com.au

History of University Life Seminar Series 2018: Em Prof Geoffrey Sherington, University of Sydney

FIRST SEMINAR: Wednesday 28 March 12.00 noon – 1.30 pm

In the Senior Common Room, St Paul’s College, The University of Sydney

Sandwich lunch provided – free of charge


Em Prof Geoffrey Sherington will discuss Alexander Mackie, College Principal and University Professor: the quest for teaching as a profession and education as an academic discipline.

Geoffrey Sherington is Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Sydney. His biography of Alexander Mackie will be published in 2018.


The History of University Life Seminar explores the past, present and future of higher education. The Seminar was established in 2008 as a way to encourage discussion on higher education between members of the Colleges and the University. The sessions are held more or less monthly during term, and are now convened by Emeritus Professor Deryck Schreuder and Associate Professor Julia Horne.

A mainstay is discussion about Australian universities past and present.


Em Prof Geoffrey Sherington will lead discussion on Alexander Mackie. As Principal of Sydney Teachers’ College and Professor of Education, Alexander Mackie aimed to create teaching as a profession in New South Wales underpinned by studies in education in both the College and the University of Sydney. By the 1920s Mackie was a proponent of the philosophy of post-war progressivism and emphasis on individualism, much of which came from North America. Mackie argued that freedom of individual academics and teachers should become the mode for change. He became a critic of government policy often operating as a public intellectual to promote new ideas. With support from American philanthropy, research was incorporated more closely into the academic discipline of education. In these ways Mackie helped to shape the College as being transnational in outlook and creative in its local context.