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Schulz, Adolf John 
Biographical Material collected by Dr. H. H. Penny, 1882-1985]

MSS 0052


Adolf John Schulz was born on the 6th of August 1883 in Stepney, South Australia. In 1902 he began part-time study at the University of Adelaide, then went on to the University Training College in 1904. In 1906 he was awarded a scholarship to attend the University of Zurich in Switzerland where he graduated with a Ph.D in 1908.

At the age of 25 he was appointed as superintendent of students at the University Training College. He was a skilled academic, fluent in 7 languages and taught education (1910-48), German (1920-51) and educational philosophy (1922-48).

In 1921 the college moved into its own building near the university. He ran it superbly on a shoe-string, fostering student self-government and esprit de corps, despite the inadequacy of the accommodation. In 1922 he pleaded for even 'a galvanized iron structure or a tent' to meet the need. In 1927 the college was finally housed in a new building, but in 1933 because of the Depression there was no intake of students and the full-time staff was reduced to three.

In 1922 he had taken charge of one of the earliest diploma of education courses in Australian universities. As a lecturer he emphasized a psychology of the self and an intelligent personal morality, and parallel with it a psychology of others, a deterministic psychology which, he held, enabled his educational theories to be scientific.

In 1930 Schulz became the first president of the South Australian Institute of Educational Research, a branch of the Australian Council for Educational Research. After guiding Adelaide Teachers' College under six directors of education, in two world wars and the Depression, Schulz retired in 1948.

During his 39 years at the college he taught over 5000 students. He died on the 5th of February 1956. He made bequests to the university for research in educational theory and German language and culture. The Schulz building on campus is named after him.

Adolf Schulz is the donor of the German Settlers in South Australia papers, also held by Special Collections.

Adapted from the Australian Dictionary of Biography. 


1 folder of biographical material including:

  • Letter to Dr. Penny regarding contribution to the Australian Dictionary of Biography dated 15 July 1985.
  • Handwritten notes 6 p.
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Copy of death certificate
  • Typewritten copy of Obituary from “The Advertiser “ 6th February, 1956, page 10
  • Typewritten note re: Dr Penny returning to Adelaide Teachers’ College from Siam from “The Advertiser” 6th
  • February, 1956, page 10
  • Copy of page 10 of ‘The Advertiser’ 6th February, 1956
  • Handwritten notes 9 p.
  • Copies of school records from Rose Park 5 p.
  • Copy of docket from the Australian Archives regarding J. K. H. Schulz (Adolf’s father) subject “Alien Memorial” dated 15 August 1882. 4 p. 
  • Copy of docket from the Australian Archives regarding H. W. Schulz, subject “Alien Memorial” dated 10 July 1883. 7 p. 
  • Copies of records on Adolf Schultz from the University of Adelaide regarding his student and teaching records. 7 p.
  • Copies of pages from the University Calendar and the Education Gazette 3 p.
  • Handwritten notes 13 p.
  • Copy of pages from Thesis ‘The Influcene of Alfred William and the Price Ministry on Public Education in South Australia. By Hedley Beare, Melbourne 1964. 5 p.
  • Typewritten biography of Adolf John Schultz. 4 p.
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