William Faulkner Bevington

William Faulkner Bevington

Name: William Faulkner Bevington

Epoch: Early 20th Century (the \'Long Early Twentieth Century\')

Grouping Field: Humanities (Ideas Formatted as Ideas) and Social Science (Models)

Location Grouping: Individual\'s Work Location

Map Coordinates: 27°28\'21.0\"S 153°01\'29.3\"E

Years At Location: 1922-1937

One Historical Setting: Mr. William Faulkner Bevington, Inspectors of Schools, with responsibilities for special education, South-East Moreton Office, Queensland Department of Public Instruction, Brisbane City (1920)

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As an Inspector of Schools, William Bevington was an innovator for state education from 1920. He was responsible for the introduction of domestic science classes with Marianne Brydon. He was commissioned by the Minister, John Huxham, to devise the provision of education for the ‘mentally defective’, with Kathleen Eileen Sheely and consulting with Sydney’s Lorna Hodgkinson (1887–1951). The program became the ‘Backward Classes’ from 1923, and then became the ‘Opportunity Classes’ in 1926 at the suggestion of Sheehy. When Bevington retired, he had another career as education liaison officer at the Queensland Museum.

Impact On Brisbane Society

By the standards of the day, in the early twentieth century, the work of William Bevington was innovative, however, Bevington, unaware, introduced the seeds of its diminishing limitations within the innovations. Bevington made extensive use of the 1916 Stanford-Binet test of intelligence and began the segregated system of ‘special education’. Furthermore, the lack of collaboration in his leadership style meant that the noble ideals in the program collapsed when Bevington retired in 1937. In part, the program slipped back further into the old workshop model, with the idea of “severely handicapped children”.


Geoffrey Swan, ‘Bevington, William Faulkner (1871–1944)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/bevington-william-faulkner-12796/text23091, published first in hardcopy 2005, accessed online 21 June 2019. This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Supplementary Volume, (MUP), 2005.

Geoffrey Swan. The Rise and Demise of the Inspector of Schools in Queensland. Master of Arts, Division of Research and Commercialisation, Queensland University of Technology, 2014.

Image Citation

Death of Mr. W.J. Bevington. The Brisbane Courier, Friday 28 April 1922, p. 11. NLA Trove.