Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

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    Geelong High School 1909-16 : a study of local response
    White, David Llewellyn ( 1978)
    The years 1909-16 saw the expansion of public secondary education within Victoria. It represents the working out of certain aims and policies for secondary schools between a centralised Education Department in Melbourne and the local communities that were financially involved in the provision of these facilities. This thesis will attempt to identify the forces shaping the development of Geelong High School. It will outline the aims and values of this community and evaluate the significance of their perception of what secondary education should be about. The study will look at the role of the Education Department - its director, its administrative philosophy and the attitude of the State Government towards the expansion of secondary education. The study will examine the interplay of these factors with the significant contribution of the school's educational leadership and philosophy. The main argument of the thesis is that the success of Geelong High School was to a large extent due to its support from a middle class. They saw in the school opportunities for their children resulting from an education that was financially beyond them at the prestigious fee-paying public schools. In responding to these needs the school would survive in spite of almost overwhelming odds in its early years. A comparative study with Colac Agricultural High School will be made to clarify the point that it was community support, and not legislation and regulations from the Department, that was to be the main reason for the success of Geelong High School.
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    Secondary education in Van Diemen's Land, 1820-1857
    Noble, Gerald W ( 1972)
    The history of the establishment of any school system is necessarily an account of contrasting individuals and their diverse attitudes and efforts. Van Diemen's Land is no exception; the only factor enjoyed in common by nearly all of the private schoolmasters was their motivation - want of a more lucrative or appropriate occupation. Few schools prospered in Tasmania in the period up to 1850 for the colony lacked the prosperous middle-class that supported the English public and proprietary schools. A convict, Thomas Fitzgerald, was appointed as the first public schoolmaster in 1807 but nothing of a secondary nature was attempted until 1819. From that point a number of schools can be traced. The most remarkable would be those conducted at Pressland House, Melville Street, Hobart Town, by a succession of capable schoolmasters, in Launceston by Charles Price, and at Ellinthorp Hall, near Ross, by Mrs.G.C.Clark. However, the most insignificant seminary made some contribution to the traditions of culture and education in Tasmania, and for this reason, each founder deserves to be considered, whether of the English or Scottish tradition, Rugbeian or parochial school derivation, trained or self-taught, emancipist or free settler. Whilst free enterprise provided the temporary educational needs of Van Diemen's Land, Church and State pondered ways to establish more permanent institutions. The efforts of Archdeacons T.H.Scott and W.G.Broughton came to nought but activities commenced with the arrival of Sir John Franklin in 1837, a governor determined to set up a public school of the Arnoldian pattern in Tasmania. John Philip Gell was selected as foundation headmaster and, until the College could be built, he conducted the Queen's School. This venture failed during the severe economic depression in 1843. Sir John Franklin's successor, Sir John Eardley-Wilmot, did not share his predecessor's enthusiasm for the College so in its place the Church of England planned a Church-sponsored system of schools. Bishop F.R.Nixon promoted a fund-raising drive, largely in England, which resulted in the establishment in 1846 of Christ's College, a grammar school and quasi-university, and two feeder schools, Hutchins School in Hobart Town and the Launceston Church Grammar School. At about the same time another group, composed largely of Dissenters, launched a High School in Hobart Town. Both the High School and Christ's College failed during the 1850's but the two feeder schools survived the economic troubles and Tractarian disputes of the period. It is clear that in all these schools, although economic and political factors played decisive roles, the most significant factor was the character of the persons organizing and controlling the schools. It is necessary therefore to see what manner of men worked for education in Van Diemen's Land in the first half of the nineteenth century.
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    An analysis of the recent reform movement in education, with special reference to Victorian secondary schools in the late nineteen sixties
    Willcox, Graeme ( 1977)
    The school reform movement in the nineteen sixties accompanied unprecedented change in culture and society. Curriculum reform was attempted throughout much of the developed world; in Victoria, the Curriculum Advisory Board was formed, and the Education Department initiated the Curriculum Reform Project for secondary schools. But the reform movement was complex; there were several distinct groups within it (deschoolers, educational technologists, and liberal humanists) whose aims and methods were often contradictory. The major reform philosophy in Victoria was liberal humanist and expressed most notably in the writings of the Director of Secondary Education, R.A. Reed, whose Curriculum Reform Project was not necessarily successful in its own terms, but nevertheless had a significant effect on secondary schooling in Victoria. The reform movement demonstrated how complex is the phenomenon of educational change; it is obviously more complicated than is suggested by the ideas of circular change or pendulum swing, and is perhaps best seen as resulting from the disturbance of equilibrium in a strong field of forces. Attempted liberal reform in Australia has led to the formation in 1973 of the Australian Council for Educational Standards, a group dedicated to the resistance of reform. There is presently a crisis in education, a crisis marked by uncertainty. The crisis should be resolved by encouraging alternatives in education, and by reorganizing educational institutions so that they can become more flexible and adaptable.
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    The origins and early history of the State secondary school teachers in Victoria, 1872-1926
    Reid, G. A ( 1968)
    In tracing the history of state secondary school teachers in Victoria from their origins in the primary teaching service until 1926, this study covers the areas relevant to teacher status - viz., teacher training, conditions and associations - and an attempt has been made to evaluate the progress made towards professional status. The Diploma of education course, initially a two-year University course aimed to train teachers of academic subjects, was instrumental in raising the academic and pedagogical qualifications of secondary teachers. It was, however, inadequate in that it did not train teachers in sufficient numbers, and it was always starved of finance and essential resources. The Diploma was supplemented by the post- Intermediate Trained Teacher's Certificate courses in manual and Domestic Arts and Commercial subjects. Because the education Department played a significant role in both systems of training and the teachers had no control of training standards, the progress that was made was achieved without reference to the teachers, and was offset by the increasing numbers of temporary teachers employed in the secondary schools. No significant progress was made by secondary teachers in determining their professional conditions. These were almost entirely decided by the centralized administration which widened and tightened its influence. Professional freedom in areas such as curricula was further limited by the uniformity imposed by the public examination system. State secondary teachers were willing conformists to these pressures restricting their professional activity, and directed most of their energy towards regularizing their position within the public service. Even in this sphere, they achieved little: their salaries were relatively poorer in 1926 than they had been in 1912, it took thirteen years to gain a Classification Board, and they rarely succeeded in gaining concessions even on minor matters. Hence state secondary teachers were enthusiastic supporters of the movement towards the uniting of all teachers within the one Union which culminated in 1926. By 1926, then, the greatest gain that state secondary teachers had made was in their training and qualifications. For the rest, their steps towards professional status were faltering and often retrograde.
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    School-based curriculum development : its introduction and implementation in Victorian state high schools 1968-1978
    Spear, Sheila M ( 1979)
    Curriculum reform in the nineteen-sixties was in part a response to economic and technological change. In examining the antecedents to secondary curriculum reform in Victoria, however, I have discussed educational as well as economic factors. Secondary curriculum reform was closely associated with the Director of Secondary Education, Ron Reed, the Curriculum Advisory Board he established, and the introduction of a policy of school-based curriculum development. The scope of the review, the strategy and the implementation policy adopted by Reed and the C.A.B. were unusual and are examined in detail in this study. The devolution of responsibility to schools for continuing development of the new curriculum was fundamental to Reed's policy. But while its basis was pedagogical, it involved a redistribution of control over education and thus was inherently political. The conflict between secondary teachers and secondary inspectors of which curriculum control was a part was therefore probably unavoidable. It was exacerbated, however, by an incomplete understanding of the limited nature of the policy, and of the curriculum theory on which it rested. By 1973 the reform movement had reached its peak. Many schools abandoned the reforms because they had failed to produce the anticipated results. Some schools persisted in developing the new curriculum, however, and the experiences of one such school, Ferntree Gully High School, are examined in detail here. It is my hypothesis that without the power within the school to revise the curriculum in the light of experience, continued development could not have taken place. It is clear, however, that this was not a sufficient condition, and I have examined the school experience in order to reveal some of the other conditions necessary. The impact of the reform policy, although primarily concerned with curriculum content and organization, was on the practices and organization of the school as a whole. In order to understand this it is necessary to see the relationship between curriculum content and classroom interaction and between curriculum organization and school organization. These relationships, implicit in the work of the C.A.B., are only now beginning to emerge in curriculum theory. ii
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    A consideration of the notion of discipline as it is used in educational discourse, and an examination of some aims, beliefs, assumptions and justifications implicit or explicit in statements about practice of discipline in Victorian high schools
    O'Brien, Leslie Bernard ( 1969)
    Chapter 1 ... Introduction. The thesis aims to clarify the use of the word discipline in educational discourse, and to examine critically some aims, beliefs, assumptions and justifications implicit or explicit in statements about practice of discipline in Victorian High Schools. The connecting thread is to be found in the relationship between what is thought and said about discipline and what is done in the name of discipline. Chapter 2 ... The definition of Discipline. The main contexts in which the word is used in education, (a) discipline in learning and (b) discipline in moral-social behaviour, are circumscribed, and defining characteristics, systematization, organization and deliberation, are established. Further lines in the rough sketch map of meaning are drawn in by reference to various frames of reference in which the notion is involved ... (a) for the first context, learning psychology, definitions of mental discipline and subject disciplines, and concepts of mind, (b) for the second context, psychology, sociology, ethics, philosophy and linguistics. In learning, Ryle's dispositional concept of mind and Dewey's definition of intelligence are linked to the notion of discipline; and in behaviour, internalization, either of coercion or of co-operation, is suggested to be central to the notion. Finally, the process-product ambiguity in 'discipline' and relationships between the two main contexts, are discussed.' Chapter 3 ... Discipline in Learning. Current curriculum revision in Victorian High Schools is considered, particularly the plan to 'break down' subject-discipline boundaries. The notion of structure in language and in knowledge is explored to defend subject-disciplines. Consistencies are traced between notions of flexible, open-ended concept-structures, theories of subsumptive learning, dispositional concepts of mind. If mind is defined as the individual acting purposefully and intelligently to 'control' environment by structuring generalizations about relationships, the individual is insofar self-disciplined. 'Structure' is considered central to notions of knowledge, mind, self-discipline and curriculum and hence is a basic concern of formal education.' Chapter 4 ... Discipline in Moral-Social Behaviour. Uncertainty about aims, confusion in methods, and lack of consistency in the use of discipline in its two contexts, are examined in statements about discipline of moral and social behaviour in High Schools found in reports, 'codes' of discipline, special courses of study, and suggestions on classroom management. The notion of self-discipline is examined as a moral-social aim and those conditions and methods which encourage or inhibit the realization of this aim are discussed. Self-discipline is finally defined as an outcome of a total school experience in which work-centred co-operation, mutual respect and rational indirect prescription of behaviour are prominent.
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    Liberal education in England in the 1860s
    de Motte, Eardley St. A ( 1963)
    The nineteenth century controversy on the components of a liberal education resulted in a significant modification in educational thought on the subject, a subject which has had a large place in the minds and practices of educators in Europe for two millenia. Variations in emphasis, fresh statements of the content and product of a liberal education, occurred in the five or six periods into which historians divide the epoch of European civilisation from ancient Greece to the modern period. In all cases the ideal never varied appreciably, although the means were at times mistaken for the end. In England a lively interchange of opinion took place during the nineteenth century which came to a head soon after the 1850's; and the decade to be studied shows an interesting development in the challenge of an educational tradition. As it often happens after movements of reform have reached a certain intensity, there appeared a reaction, conflict and adjustment in thought and activity, particularly in the field of secondary education. The development was important, since the outcome of the controversy affected not only English education but also those systems in other parts of the globe that have been profoundly affected by British culture. (From Chapter 1)
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    Distinguishing the science content taken by grade 12 students
    Cross, R. J. ( 1977)
    The population of grade 12 students in Australian secondary schools has been steadily increasing over the past two decades. For most of this period the percentage of students at this level choosing science-type courses has been decreasing, and recently the actual number taking physics and chemistry has declined in some states. This study aimed to find a set of variables that would maximize the prediction of grade 12 student science content. Emphasis was directed toward identification of science talented students not opting for high science content in grade 12, and, equally as important, those of low science ability who select predominantly science courses at this level. It was proposed that the variables could be measures of any area likely to be related to the criterion. For example, factors associated with the home, the school, and personal measures were all included. The variable set was then searched for that combination returning optimal criterion prediction. Attention was focussed on six main units of analysis viz males, males of higher science ability, males of lower science ability, females, females of higher science ability, females of lower science ability. The data in each unit was subjected to both discriminant (stepwise and direct) analysis and a process similar to a stepwise regression procedure called the Automatic Interaction Detector (AID). AID employs a branching process using variance analysis to subdivide the sample into subgroups which maximize dependent variable value prediction. The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) conducted a series of tests on a stratified random sample of grade 12 students throughout Australia in 1970. The results, held at ACER, included measures of some 418 variables thirty four of which were selected for this investigation. Included in this group were the results of the four Commonwealth Secondary Scholarship Examination (CSSE) ability tests taken two years earlier. Analysis units were formed on the basis of sex and CSSE - Science score. The results indicate successful science content prediction is possible with the personal or internal variables of science interest, attitudes and abilities, consistently being of greatest importance. The participating external variables vary depending on the unit of analysis. The non-monotonic "State" and "Type of School" factors are predominant in AID analyses.