Adelaide Teachers College

Following the Education Act of 1875 the institution set up to prepare future teachers underwent a variety of name changes during its first decades.

It was inaugurated in 1876 as the Training School, in 1879 became the Training College, in 1900 the University Training College, in 1913 the Teacher Training College and finally in 1921 Adelaide Teachers College.

The relationship with the University of Adelaide likewise fluctuated during the early years, both in terms of physical location and debates about the academic versus practical requirements of trainee teachers. Accommodation was initially in a premises on Grote Street, followed by a move to the basement of the Elder Conservatorium around the turn of the century, then a section of the University (Mitchell) Building and, during the early-mid 1920s, the Old Police Barracks.

Although ultimately governed by the state Education Department, the University played an important administrative as well as educational role in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, offering a significant number of subjects to teaching students. The 1922 University of Adelaide Calendar stated:

The Training College for State School Teachers has practically been transferred to the University, which now provides for students in training, without fees, lectures in all but the professional, or practical, subjects of their work.

In 1927 the Adelaide Teachers College finally moved in to its own permanent accommodation in the beautifully designed Spanish Mission style Hartley Building.

Hartley Building

Hartley Building

Although students continued to supplement training in the practical aspects of teaching with what were considered more ‘academic’ subjects at the University, the College increasingly took on its own culture and identity with the development of a student representative body, a campus newspaper, and a sports association.

The Adelaide Teachers College remained for half a century an Adelaide landmark on Kintore Avenue until its transformation in the early 1970s into the City Campus of the Adelaide College of Advanced Education.