Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

Permanent URI for this collection

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 15
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Link between teacher-student relationship, student emotional wellbeing, coping styles, classroom engagement and peer relationships
    Sabir, Fizza ( 2007)
    This research explored the link between teacher-student relationship, student emotional wellbeing, coping styles, peer relationship and classroom engagement of year 8 students. The participants were Catholic school students and the focus was limited to English class and teacher. The data sources were a Student-Survey (SS) and the Adolescent Coping Scale (ACS) (Frydenberg & Lewis, 1993). The first component of the research was scale development, to validate the hypothetical categorization of items in the scales; the second was the testing of the hypotheses. Teacher-student relationship was highly correlated with classroom engagement and coping style-solving the problem. The correlation between other variables was positive but not significant.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Parent professional partnerships in IEP development : a case study of a MAPS process
    Morgan, Philippa Teresa ( 2007)
    The practices, language and behaviours which professionals adopt when they meet with parents prior to Individual Education Program (IEP) planning may have a significant effect on the attitudes and capabilities families bring to the educational setting. During this case study the adult family members of a child with additional needs were observed as they addressed the developmental and programming needs of their child by participating in the McGill Action Planning System (MAPS) and a subsequent Program Support Group (PSG) meeting. Themes indicating attitudes or perceptions that empowered the family towards continued participation in collaborative teams for IEP development emerged in the observational data and were defined through the methods of informant diaries and semi-structured interviews. Less dominant quantitative methods were used to verify that the participant's ongoing attitudes towards parent professional collaboration corroborated with the final themes of flexibility, unification, satisfaction and function.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Learning for independence : the learning experience of some East Timorese scholarship students in Australia 2001 - 2005
    Touzeau, Jane ( 2007)
    The people of East Timor voted for independence in a UN sponsored referendum in 1999. The departing Indonesian Army left widespread devastation in its wake. In 2000 the first students left independent East Timor to take up scholarships around the world to help build its human resource. This thesis reports on research into the learning experiences of some members of the early groups of East Timorese scholarship students at different universities in Melbourne. Their experience during the scholarship period is analysed through the framework of adult learning including formal, non-formal, informal and unintentional learning. The students have learned English, taken their studies seriously, created their own community, and, through the support movement for East Timor, have had a range of opportunities to participate in the host community. Despite their formal educational experiences, they are enthusiastic learners committed to contributing to the development of East Timor. This thesis indicates that educators and those in the community support movement can learn from, and contribute to, the learning experience of future students from East Timor. It discusses some attitudes in the student community, shows the students' learning from observation of, and. participation in aspects of the Australian community, and their imagination and citizenship commitment in adapting their learning to the East Timorese.. context.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Primary teachers' practices in a demonstration school : the pedagogical uses of websites
    O'Mara, Lynn ( 2007)
    The new communications technologies are the latest technological revolution to impact on education. Karl Marx pointed out it is not technology that shapes a social world, but the social arrangements that are required or adopted to implement it. But contrary to what I will argue, Marx and many others since have thought that there are an indeterminate number of social arrangements by which technology, defined in physical terms, can be implemented as an industrial or educational process by human beings with a history and traditions. The discussion points to the following principle: a website is transformed from a piece of stuff into a social object by its embodiment in staffroom narrative. In education the pattern of Internet use has the potential to change the professional identity formation, individually and collectively, of teachers who use it, so researching how the Internet is used helps in understanding the individual rationales that underpin some of the day to day choices teachers make that will shape the future of schooling. This study of the teachers' discursive practices, in an ICT demonstration school, seeks to understand their site practices in the context of this social responsibility. Each of the teachers has a pedagogical past or 'historical self' that acts as an agent on all they say and do in the community of practice. The differences in how teachers interpret and utilize Internet websites may reflect to what degree institutional practices and social rhetoric play an 'active' role in determining a teacher's classroom agency. Teaching with the new information technology should afford children not only access to new knowledge but the executive intelligence to form their own educational investigations. However, Wittgenstein has warned us against taking superficial models of where we are or what there is. In this study, everyday social talk, including social theory is full of grammatical substantives, but only those which refer to discursive acts are what they seem. The discursive exploration of specific social episodes that occur within a new socially constructed technological world of the primary school (Schatzki, 2002) enable us to understand the patterns of practice of the Purcell Primary School community and identify meanings that are constructed within. The data presented demonstrates how the six members of this teaching community make sense of their world; not only as individuals, but as members of both the broader team and a school community directly determines how they acquire 'shared meaning' within that community. The research identifies the self, of the teachers, as agents or patients (Harre, 1995) in the real world context of Purcell. For the teachers, collectively and individually, at Purcell, and teachers in the broader educational community, alike, understanding their psychological location in their own storylines in a complex local moral order that publicly embraces the new informational technology in the face of new institutional practices, has the potential to enhance their capacity and lead to a more technical and comprehensive fulfilment.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    From "great!" to "gr8!" : register shifts across CMC modes : a case study of three boys with varying literacy abilities
    Ujma, Ottilie ( 2007)
    The aims of the current study were to observe A) the extent to which various ability level students demonstrate control over register in the three CMC modes of SMS, email and Word documents; and B) the extent to which these students are aware of these shifts in register. Data was collected by using a video recorder to capture how three students, Alex, Jasper and Eric, typed an SMS, an email, and a school-based text as a Microsoft Word document. Each student then discussed their texts in an interview, using the footage as a think-aloud protocol. All sessions were carried out with individual students, each lasting no more than 20 minutes. Data were analysed using the Hallidayan theory of register, taking into account its sub-categories of field, tenor and mode (Halliday, 1985a; 1985b; Eggins, 2004). The video footage indicated that Alex and Jasper, the students with higher literacy abilities, were able to switch between abbreviated codes and academic written English, demonstrating an understanding of the different communicative requirements of both informal and formal texts. The linguistic analysis illustrated that these students were very comfortable in using both Shorthand codes and conventional spelling in their SMS and email messages, and demonstrated a sophisticated use of the generic, syntactic and especially, lexical structures in their formal texts. However, Eric, identified by his teacher as having lower literacy abilities, was less comfortable in using abbreviations in his SMS and email; a less sophisticated structure in his formal text even showed some register confusion. The interviews revealed Alex's and Jasper's awareness of their register choices, evident across their texts. Although Eric also showed an awareness of these, his texts show he demonstrated these shifts to a lesser extent. Alex and Jasper also revealed positive attitudes towards, and an exploratory use of CMC modes. However, Eric's surprising aversion to technology suggests that some teenagers may be uncomfortable with the abbreviated language associated with some forms of CMC. Results show that, contrary to populist beliefs, (such as Texting 'is not bar to literacy;' cited in Thurlow, 2006, p. 699) the relationship between Shorthand codes and academic written English is multifaceted. Alex's and Jasper's awareness of composing texts with varied tenor allowed them to make appropriate register choices, whereas Eric's choices of code were more restricted. This study suggests that clearly, there are more complex variables operating, which should be examined in a wider array of students in future investigations.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Collaboration : the key to the resilient learner
    Rogers, Jonathan S (1949-) ( 2007)
    In what ways may Collaborative Teamwork and Social Development be linked as they inform Resilience in the Middle Years.' This thesis examines the key role that small group collaboration may play in the social development of student collaborative skills, particularly of a pro-social nature, developed by classroom practice. The study involves Victorian middle years students and a mixed method approach is applied. Quantitative analysis allows student questionnaire response data to be examined to facilitate understandings of the performance of collaborative groups and qualitative analysis of student interview data allows deeper understandings of student interactions to emerge. These collaborative skills include shared planning, monitoring and assessment, supportive behaviours and a commitment to ensuring successful group outcomes. Motivational factors including those based on interest, self-efficacy and attribution are referred to. A collaborative learning model is also described. Personal learning and development that may result from collaborative group work is described in the context of the individual's resilience and personal growth.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    No common view: Chinese students and Australian graphic design education
    Miceli, Lucia ( 2007)
    Graphic design relies on the use of visual elements to communicate and transfer messages to a predetermined audience. The effective implementation of graphic design solutions is consequently highly dependent on the societal and cultural influences that have shaped our understanding of the world. International students and local teachers often do not share this knowledge and as a result outcomes produced by international students in post-secondary graphic design education programs often do not meet teacher expectations. This research project used a qualitative approach; it employed the field methods of interview and visual analysis to gather data. The study followed three Chinese international students and their Australian teachers through the realisation of individual design projects. The cases were selected from three different post-secondary settings, using three course specific projects. This allowed for variation in actual situations to be observed, thus increasing project scope and depth. Chinese students were selected because they form the largest minority of international student in each of the environments. All participants in each case were interviewed at three stages: after the brief presentation, after the first critique and at project completion. The project aimed to track the processes of teacher and student alike, observing mismatch in expectations, processes and decision-making. The data collected provided the opportunity to identify points of choice and variation between study pairs, as they occurred. This data then allowed analysis of the complex, multilayered differences that influenced misalignment in practical outcomes. To achieve this, interview data was analysed to extract, review and align processes to final design outcomes. The visual data, in the form of the project design solution, revealed how the misalignment was manifest in the student's work. These two data sources provided insight into attitudes and beliefs of both teacher and student. The research has revealed variation in teacher and student visual meaning and design processes from the outset of the project. This variation is manifested in the final design outcome and visually reveals how meaning and aesthetic values are shaped by socio-cultural knowledge. The study shows that the misunderstanding between teacher and student is not a simple linguistic matter, but stems from differences in underlying assumptions. The need for open and transparent discussion of these assumptions in the highly subjective domain of graphic design is evident.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    New cars, new work, new learning: productive workplace learning at a lean manufacturing site
    Johnston, Shane ( 2007)
    This study investigates the construction of knowledge through action, teamwork and problem-solving. Within the context of a competitive global industry, the vehicle manufacturing industry, production workers and font-line supervisors from a component manufacturing company, Toyota-Boshoku, were interviewed about their work. Workers in a production environment are active and participative and the fieldwork indicates that they learn most effectively from the practical performance of tasks. Clearly, the embodied actions of workers are epistemologically significant because it is the doing of the task that their learning, knowledge and understanding are expressed. Therefore, learning practices that emerge from the performative nature of the work are most likely to present workers with opportunities to display their skills, knowledge and understanding. The whole person is involved in such learning - the cognitive, social, psychomotor and affective domains - and helps to shape knowledge for workers as expressive bodies. Knowledge is constructed in the social and atmosphere of the workplace as workers learn from one another in their everyday work practices. The thesis concludes that there is significant epistemological value in the embodied actions of the workers and in this respect the thinking and the doing are intertwined and interdependent, rather than separate entities.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Computerised accounting systems, curriculum and business needs
    Goode, Maureen Louise ( 2007)
    Globalisation, information technology, and in particular the development of sophisticated Computerised Accounting Systems (CAS) software, have become driving forces that continue to enhance and transform business needs and practices. A review of the literature suggests that the design of current accounting curricula does not sufficiently expose students to the concepts of globalisation and technology. This study aimed to discover the extent to which existing Australian CAS curriculum models did reflect business needs. Guidance was sought from the literature and from academics' accounts of how they develop the CAS curriculum, and the perceptions of business needs of business professionals, (key knowledgeables and young gun managers), and current students with business experience were explored. The study also considered the match between the CAS curriculum offered at the university where the researcher is employed as a lecturer and business needs, through an exploration of what the cohort of current students with business experience perceived the subject to offer. A mixed-method research strategy of enquiry, using two separate methods of data collection, was used, to better understand the relationship between curricula and business needs. This approach provided numeric trends from the quantitative research and detail from the qualitative research. The study was conducted in three phases: a survey gathered data relevant to the current students with business experience and the young guns, an Internet search for appropriate subject descriptions was made and an analysis was undertaken, and interviews provided rich data as the perceptions of academics, key knowledgeables, young guns and current students with business experience were explored.. Rogers' (2003) adoption-diffusion study influenced the analysis of data gathered from the Internet search for Australian relevant subject descriptions. Academics were classified into adopter categories on the basis of innovativeness of curriculum content, and thus provided a basis for understanding the aims of their CAS curriculum, their perceived importance of business needs to the curriculum, and why a particular software became a feature of the curriculum. The data was analysed thematically and the key findings were drawn from the participants' experiences in business and at university. All participants were aware of the increasingly dominant role of CAS in business but a variety of different opinions and beliefs were presented as to the value of CAS as a part of university curricula. However, the overall view was that the academic's response must prepare students to participate in the business world, by ensuring curriculum content included learning processes, teaching practices and software offerings that would provide appropriate business solutions. The findings showed a number of impediments to future curriculum design that need to be addressed. These include academic inadequacies, pedagogical beliefs and practices related to the place of software applications in curriculum design, the need for different software solutions for different business problems, and cost factors related to the decision to introduce new technologies. Recommendations were made as to appropriate topics to include in future curriculum design. All cohorts agreed that enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions will be the future business software solution of choice to both large and small to medium enterprise (SME) businesses, and a solution was proposed for innovative curriculum design in order to master the complexity of such applications.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    A report on the relationship between family literacy practices and attitudes and those of year one boys who were referred to reading recovery intervention after one year of schooling
    Gawne, Linda ( 2007)
    An overview of recent research in Australia has found that boys perform lower in literacy-related areas of the curriculum and that gender is a key predict�r of literacy attainment. Specifically, boys comprise about two-thirds of all students referred to Reading Recovery Intervention in Australian schools. The purpose of this study therefore was to report on the literacy practices and attitudes of four Year One boys who were referred to Reading Recovery Intervention after one year of schooling and how these relate to the literacy practices and attitudes valued in their families. In particular, this study investigates how these boys appropriate those highly situated literacy practices valued in the home and then transfer them to the school context. This qualitative case study undertaken at an inner suburban Government Primary school in Melbourne (Victoria) is informed by a socio-cultural view of learning which acknowledges the significant role of family enculturative practices on children's literacy development. Unlike previous studies which have explored traditional variables such as ethnicity, race and poverty on literacy development, this research is significant because it specifically examines families with high levels of physical and cultural capital who initiate and participate in supportive and rich literacy practices in the home. Therefore, it was of interest to the study why some boys did not engage with reading and writing as their parents and teachers might have assumed.. Also, throughout this study the intention was to elicit the boys' `voice' to determine their perceptions of literacy and their own learning. Interview data were gathered from the boys, their parents and classroom teachers in the form of semi-structured interviews, responses to fictional scenarios and peephole observations of home literacy practices. McNaughton's (1995) Socialisation Model of Emergent Literacy incorporating issues of gendered preferences, guided participation and appropriation provided the theoretical and conceptual framework for data analysis. The research findings provided confirmation of strong enculturative literacy practices operating within families of the study. Furthermore, the findings demonstrated the notion of identity played a key role in the boys' literacy choices. The study also provided evidence of dissonance between the home and the school with regards to writing practices and highlighted the narrow definition of literacy operating in both these contexts.