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Andrew Davidson (1894 - 1982)

Educational innovator and first principal of Macandrew Intermediate School

Andrew DavidsonAndrew Davidson was born in Dunedin. After war service in Palestine during the First World War, he went to university and after graduation became a teacher. In 1927 he became principal of Kurow School in North Otago. There he became a friend and Labour Party colleague of the local Presbyterian Minister, Arnold Nordmeyer, and the doctor, David McMillan. Together the three friends thrashed out a range of ideas which subsequently formed the basis of the first Labour government's social security system. In 1935, while his two Kurow friends were elected to Parliament as Labour M.P.s, Davidson was appointed headmaster of the Macandrew Road School. Five years later the school became an Intermediate. Andrew Davidson was its founding principal and guided its development for the next fourteen years. He proved an innovative leader: experimenting with ideas on intelligence testing; allowing early specialisation with languages and commercial practice; preparing an arithmetic method and using visual aids in teaching long before other New Zealand schools.

(Photograph, Macandrew Intermediate School Archives)

 

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