‘The Art of Teaching’ – Mary MacKillop
Mary was an outstanding educator, in many ways ahead of her time. She saw teaching and learning as a reciprocal process whereby the teacher ‘must understand what she is about’ and the children ‘must also know their duty’. 
- instilled a culture of order and self-discipline through praise and encouragement rather than corporal punishment
- rewarded exemplary behaviour and achievement with daily marks, coloured ribbons and boiled lollies
- appointed the most advanced, courteous and punctual as monitors, a position of trust and responsibility
- knew from experience that rote learning without oral instruction was ‘useless’, because children need to ‘understand what they learn’ 
- asserted that most subjects ‘should be taught orally’,  with maps and science charts, for example, carefully explained
- secured the children’s attention by insisting that their eyes be ‘fixed upon herself’ and ‘their hands and feet in their proper position’ before she began a lesson
- organised feasts, bush picnics and games for special occasions also enjoyed by parents.
‘A good teacher makes good children and a good school where punishment is rarely required.’ 
Intelligent, warm and personable, Mary developed positive relationships with her pupils.
- respected their personal dignity and treated them fairly
- was patient and tolerant, but very firm
- was compassionate and reassuring
- had a sense of humour and laughed readily.
Above all, she LOVED them and was KIND.
Josephite Education exhibition text: Margaret Muller, Mary MacKillop Penola Centre, 2010
– 1. MacKillop to Woods, Penola, 13.4.1867
– 2. Woods, ‘St Joseph’s Schools, Rules for Teachers’, Adelaide, c1870
– 3. MacKillop, ‘Timetable Explained’, 1875
– 4. MacKillop, ibid, and Woods, ‘Rules for the Institute of St Joseph’, October 1867
-5. MacKillop, ‘Timetable Explained’, 1875