Faculty of Education - Theses

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    The selection and categorisation of aircrew in the Royal Australian Air Force, 1939-45
    Pratt, H. C. (Herbert Clive), 1909-2000 (University of Melbourne, 1938)
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    The air training corps in Australia
    Glastonbury, Douglas I. (University of Melbourne, 1946)
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    Ethnocentricity in The school paper, 1896-1939
    Taylor, Betty Isabel ( 1985)
    This thesis explores the nature of the ethnocentric focus of the School paper from its inception in 1896 to the commencement of World War II in 1939. Although the School Paper was first published in response to an expressed government request that colonial reading material be provided to Victorian pupils, School papers from 1896 to 1907 are dominated by a powerful British influence extending to moral, economic, patriotic and military spheres. The monarchy is the imperial focus. Although proud Australian nationalism is a gradual development, there is already consciousness of a distinct, unique social and environmental milieu. The period is marked by profound respect for Britain, a sense of kinship with America and tolerance for the Arab world; 'coloured' races, including Australian Aborigines, are depicted as being inferior to whites. The years 1908 to the commencement of World War I in 1914 are marked by the strength of the Empire Movement; imperialist propaganda was actively disseminated by the School paper. There is growing awareness of Australia as native land, with its own individual identity, yet still with a filial link to Britain. The School paper. reflects the preparation of children for the coming war. America is looked on with favour and Germany is regarded with some reservation. Coloured races continue to be scorned, except for the Australian Aborigines who, at this time, are accorded a significant degree of respect and sympathy. Australian nationalism was crystallised during the war years from 1915 to 1918, and the Anzac legend became enshrined, assisted by School Paper promotion. Patriotism was both engendered and used by the School paper to raise money for the war effort. From this period there is a decline in the strength of British focus in the School Paper and a shift to imperialism. Although attitudes to white races are generally tolerant, with much forbearance towards Turkish and German enemies, there is coolness towards America, a general disregard of Australian Aborigines, and a persistence of prejudice towards other 'coloured' races. The post-war decade, 1919-1929, marks a flowering of Australian nationalism, with School Papers cultivating pride in Australian literature, art, history, and sporting heroes. Anzac Day and Armistice Day commemorative issues recount for new generations the honour that Australia achieved in war. Although the imperial theme is promoted less aggressively, Australia is still depicted as daughter of the Mother Country, and the Royal Family is regularly presented as both head and symbol of the Empire. Tolerance is extended to Europeans, Irish and Americans, but is witheld from Maoris, American Indians, Africans and Australian Aborigines. School Papers during the Depression years from 1929 to the commencement of World War II reflect a diminution of active Australian nationalism and of British martial content. Concomitantly, imperial sisterhood and internationalism are fostered. The pacifist tone of School Papers of this time sits oddly with the continued promotion of Anzac Day and Armistice Day. Contradictory School Papers messages at this time validate respect and tolerance for other races, yet show quite vicious intolerance of non-whites, including Australian Aborigines. By 1939 the School Papers demonstrate a continued pride in British ethnocentricity, superimposed on which is an Australian nationalism that waxes and wanes in intensity. There is tolerance of a broader range of races, but there remains a cruel arrogance towards the alleged inferiority of 'coloured' peoples; the School Papers was a powerful force in the transmission of these attitudes.
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    Dichotomies and paradoxes of youth unemployment : a philosophical and comparative study
    Scherbakowa, Sweta M ( 1989)
    Youth unemployment (YU) and unemployment by choice (UBC) have been considered from four perspectives, labour market, economic aspect, education and social sciences. First the problem of YU in general and UBC in particular is outlined. For policy-makers and job-creators this information is obviously vital to avoid disappointments of predictions and results. Workaholics and UBC have totally different goals and values and choose accordingly. Then the economic perspective is considered: The economists' views and theories are analysed and comparative profiles of some OECD countries presented. Some of the other questions asked are: is there a nexus between excessive imports and unemployment and what may this indicate, and what solutions do some of the economic theorists present. This is followed by a comparative study of educational thrusts and training in various OECD countries. Again comparative profiles in various OECD countries are used in unravelling or demystifying this complex problem, which may be seen as at least partly a matter of choice of life-style. An attempt is then made to use principles from the social sciences to explain the personal, social and economic causes and effects of UBC and some recommendations are made.
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    Aims, men or money?. the establishment of secondary education for boys in South Australia and in the Port Phillip District of New South Wales - 1836 to 1860
    Noble, Gerald W ( 1980)
    Young children bring with them to school a certain amount of science knowledge gained from their everyday lives. What they "know", whether right or wrong, may be the result of interactions with family, television, computer programs, books, peers or visits to environmental locations, museums or science centres. In this study, children who have been at primary school for between two and three years are asked to describe their knowledge and their sources of information. The extent to which school factors are influencing their science knowledge is investigated. A survey was developed and protocols trialled before fifty-seven children aged eight and nine years at a provincial Victorian government primary school were surveyed to establish their home background and family interest in science, their own attitudes and feelings toward science and the efficacy of their science experiences at school. Interviews were carried out with nine students, selected to represent a broad range of attitudes to science, in order to gain more detailed information about their specific understandings of a number of topics within the primary school science curriculum and the sources of their information. The students' responses revealed that where they were knowledgeable about a subject they could indeed say from where they obtained their knowledge. Books were the most commonly cited source of information, followed by school, personal home experiences and family. Computers and the internet had little influence. Students who appeared to have "better" understandings quoted multiple sources of information. Positive correlations were found between enjoyment of school lessons and remembering science information, liking to watch science television or videos and remembering science information, and liking to read science books and remembering science information. Mothers were also linked to the use of science books at home, and the watching of nature TV shows at home. There are several implications for the teaching of science at early years level. Teachers need to be aware of powerful influences, from both within and outside of the classroom, which may impact on children, and which may be enlisted to help make learning more meaningful. The research indicates the importance of home background, parental interest and access to books, and notes the under utilisation of computers and lack of visits to museums and interactive science centres.
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    Influences on engineering education in Australia
    Zorbas, Nicholas ( 1976)
    This thesis is concerned with the identification and examination of the various types of influences on professional engineering education in Australia. It commences with a study of what a professional person in general, and a professional engineer in particular, should be, and describes the functions and characteristics of such a person. This is followed by an examination of curriculum design, and how the curricula of professional courses are controlled by professional societies. The various influences on engineering curricula are then considered in detail in four broad categories, namely historical influences, formal influences, informal influences, and societal influences within each of these categories, various tapes of influences are identified, and their method of application, and relative effectiveness, discussed. Apart from the chapters on terminology and historical influences, which have been researched from existing publications, the content of the thesis is original, and, as far as can be ascertained, is the first attempt to examine the subject of Australian engineering education in a sociological context.
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    Equity of access to higher education in Australia : discussion and analysis of issues
    Meyenn, Andrew James ( 1991)
    This thesis is concerned with examining policies that have been advocated by successive governments in Australia from 1974-1990 in relation to promoting equity of access to higher education. The thesis outlines the theoretical aspects of equity and reviews the relevant research conducted in Australia and overseas. There have been several attempts to promote equity of access to higher education in Australia: fees were abolished in 1974, TEAS was introduced to replace existing scholarships, AUSTUDY replaced TEAS in 1987, retention rate to year 12 increased from 30% to over 60% in 1990, certain groups were targeted as disadvantaged groups and were afforded special entry, and finally the "White Paper" saw the introduction of the HECS or Graduate Tax in 1988. Research in Australia carried out during the late 1970s and early 1980s suggested that there was a considerable under-representation in higher education of children from the lower SES groups. This pattern appears to have continued despite efforts to promote equity. The analysis carried out in this thesis suggests that there are still many concerns related to equity. It is likely that the HECS will have the effect of increasing the price of higher education and will therefore act as a deterrent to students from less affluent backgrounds, and it may significantly effect part-time and external study. Whilst there appears to be considerable funding for AUSTUDY it may well be not sufficient to encourage students to enter higher education. Of the students entering higher education recent research has suggested that the social mix has remained unaltered. What is certainly not known is the social mix of graduates. If policy has been effective one would expect the social mix to be more balanced. Research needs to be conducted to monitor the impact of HECS to see whether higher education is becoming less available or more equitably available.