James Alexander Robinson

James Alexander Robinson

Name: James Alexander Robinson

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°27\'03.8\"S 153°00\'53.5\"E

Years At Location: 1942-1954

One Historical Setting: Mr. James Alexander Robinson, Principal, Queensland Teachers Training College, 149 Victoria Park Road, Kelvin Grove (1942)

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James Robinson was Principal of the Queensland Teachers Training College from 1935. Robinson oversaw the Q.T.T.C.’s expansion and relocation (1942) at Kelvin Grove. He had introduced the one-year diploma of education (1937). Robinson also served on the Queensland Institute for Educational Research, the senate of the University of Queensland (1953-1960) and the Board of Adult Education (1957-1960).

Impact On Brisbane Society

James Robinson was an able administrator, but lacked the visionary thought, seen in previous Brisbane educators. His popular reputation came from his association with the German tank trophy, Mephisto, during his war service. Noeline J. Kyle describes Robinson as “a man of conservative values and ‘ramrod bearing’”. He was no doubt a man with great compassion. Robinson taught immigrants by correspondence, and English and mathematics to inmates of Boggo Road gaol until he was in his eighties. However, Queensland educators, such as Robinson, avoided facing the problems of exclusive meritocracy, as exemplified in (say) Reginald Roe. The increasing turn to pragmatism and credentialism under Robinson, for all its benefits, tended to produce mediocrity in education and teaching (the exceptions proving the rule), while retaining the exclusive meritocracy.


Noeline J. Kyle, ‘Robinson, James Alexander (1888–1971)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/robinson-james-alexander-11548/text20607, published first in hardcopy 2002, accessed online 21 June 2019.

Image Citation

Biographies in Brief. No. 9. Mr J.A. Robinson, B.A., Morning Bulletin, Saturday, 19 March 1932, p. 6.