Faculty of Education - Theses

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    Paulo Freire : conscientization. the road to freedom
    Sabto, Gina (1938-) ( 1978)
    Freire's chief concern with regard to the oppressed in Brazil involved a view of education as a tool for social and political change. Conscientization is the - method by which he aimed to achieve change. His programme however, should be seen, not as an isolated effort to liberate the oppressed; it should be viewed in the context of other programmes that emerged in Brazil at the time. These were mainly inspired by radical Catholic action groups and characterised by the need to achieve the process of self-realisation along populist lines, that is without interference and indoctrination. Freire's programme came after exploring the traditional methods of adult literacy and rejecting them as bankrupt. His method involved a problematisation of the themes of the life of the oppressed and a representation of that problematic to them for their identification and critical analysis. This was achieved by means of dialogue and in the course of group meetings where co-ordinators and students held equal. status. Concurrently with dialogue, ABC literacy took place; words arising out of discussions of themes formed the basic material for the ABC course. Much depends on the co-ordinator for the success of the method. Generally Freire's critics focus their attention on him as a potentially manipulative agent and as such, no better than the cruel masters from whom he is attempting to rescue the oppressed. Freire's principles governing his theory and method however, are so clearly enunciated, so tightly knit together, that an internal unity emerges from the programme as a. whole, which in itself, acts as a deterrent to abuse and distortion. Finally, two questions arise from the study of Freire's conscientization: one is whether revolutionary action would naturally follow from it; the other is whether Freire's adherence to absolute authenticity is emphasised to the detriment of an essential aspect of the task, which is the mobilisation of the oppressed into an effective task force to bring about revolutionary change, Both questions are closely linked together. It may be more realistic to view Freirets programme, not as a task achieving revolutionary action itself, but as an effective preparation for it and as such an honest and therefore necessary part of it,
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    The educational theory of G.H. Bantock in the context of British educational thought 1965-1975
    Pear, David Adrian ( 1990)
    The 1960s and early 1970s witnessed changes in many social values in Britain; the educational world was not immune to the turbulence of these years. The classifications of `traditionalist', `conservative', `progressive' and 'radical' were attributed indiscriminately to the wide spectrum of party affiliations. As a result, the characteristics of these `parties' became difficult to isolate amid the vague condemnatory generalisations and intense criticism of personalities which characterized the period. G.H. Bantock (b. 1914) was considered a prominent traditionalist of these times, and as such, attempted to swim against the tide of what he believed was an increasing, uncultured progressivism. This study attempts to present a summary of Bantock's principal concerns, and to offer a profile of the main thrusts of the arguments which he advanced in over eighty major publications. As a subsidiary theme, it considers the nomenclature of the period, particularly from the perspective of the traditionalist, and seeks to isolate the foundations of that philosophical stance. Part 1 is a summary of the main concerns which consumed Bantock's attention during his career. Part 2 considers the means by which Bantock believed the problems of contemporary education could be solved, and Part 3 presents the author's evaluation of the ideas outlined in the previous sections.
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    The confused Frenchman : some considerations of 'freedom' in Rousseau's writings and its educational implications
    Sands, Caroline Ann ( 1987)
    The focus in this thesis is the concept of 'freedom' and, more specifically, how this concept is used by Rousseau. An attempt will first be made to clarify the meaning of 'freedom' and then Rousseau's discussions about it will be examined. Particular emphasis will be placed on an analysis of educational freedom and what Rousseau writes about it, especially in Emile. It will also be argued that the ideal political freedom that Rousseau proposes in The Social Contract is an extension of the freedom he talks about in Emile. Some critics have levelled the charge that Rousseau is not consistent in his definitions of what constitutes freedom and Max Rafferty has even referred to him as 'the confused Frenchman'. In this thesis it will be argued that this confusion is only apparent and not real. In this respect, the critical literature about Rousseau's theories on freedom will be analysed in an attempt to show that there is indeed an internal consistency of definition in Rousseau's works and that his view is of positive, rather than negative, freedom.
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    Education in Papua New Guinea
    Villiers, Lionel ( 1951)
    Material advances in living standards over the whole area and throughout total communities are necessary to promote the social welfare and development of the native peoples of Papua New Guinea. The terms, Fundamental Education, Community Development and Mass Education, are more comprehensive than the traditional term, Native Education, and indicate a much wider field for the educational sociologist. The project in Fundamental Education in Papua New Guinea, which is an integrated plan of sociological and technological advance for the native people, is known as the New Order, and took form as the Japanese were driven from the territories. More than usually difficult tropical environments have retarded scattered groups of native people, of great ethnic variety, speaking different languages, using primitive and restricted technology and living in varying stages of physical debility, disease, superstition, ignorance, malnutrition and helplessness in the face of increasing westernization. The recent war increased welfare problems. Although the natives show unexpected adaptability and resilience, westernization, with absentee labour, 'bully beef economy' and introduced disease, has added to the poverty and weakness of the native societies. The natives need urgently basic techniques of living. Later, there will have to be considerable material and technological advances to enable these native people to take a full share in the development of their country. The educationists have two important tasks : (1) The task of designing the community projects and directing the practical, material enterprises towards desirable social development. In Papua New Guinea this task is the responsibility of the Administrator. The departmentalised form of organisation of the Administration of Papua New Guinea tends to conceal the share of the Director of Education and other heads of departments in this task. (2) We must not assume that the native people will acquire our ideas and attitudes or follow the course that we consider desirable. Material changes, and enrichment of native communities need changes in attitude and ideas on the part of the native. The techniques of Mass Education must be used to explain, cajole, coerce, persuade, enlighten and discipline the native people about the new materials and new methods. Universal primary education is the aim of long range plans for this purpose; but the present needs of the native people require these long range plans to be supplemented by all available means of propagation and mass conditioning. The present Director of Education is specially qualified to resolve disconformities of acculturation, from a psychological viewpoint. The evidence indicates that the natives react favourably to large scale and seemingly disruptive material change, and that psychological problems of westernization can be exaggerated. It is helpful to maintain the native's sense of security, and one of the ways of doing this is to preserve the dignity of native languages, ceremonies and cultural life. Voluntary bodies, the Christian Missions, have been engaged in the work of welfare and development of the native people for more than sixty years. With the advance of their civilising mission, they have been able to introduce refinements of method and have extended their range. Following the war, many of the missions have staged a brilliant recovery. They are progressive in educational method and take a large share in the social welfare and development of the native people. The diffusion of essential westernization and the propagation of desirable attitudes among the native people are very important aspects of education in Papua New Guinea. Particular attention is paid to formal and informal methods of diffusion, and mass communication. Films, broadcasting and publishing receive attention, for they seem to present efficient mechanical means of disseminating and humanising knowledge at a level that may be useful in the conditioning of illiterates. Diffusion, propagation and general and thorough dispersion to all the native people, of the new ways of living, is the task of education. Indeed, this is almost a definition of education. The present Director has boldly pioneered the use of films and broadcasting, and, as far as the preparatory organisation, has been most successful. There is no comparable achievement amongst retarded multilanguage groups anywhere. So far it has not been possible to establish rapport, nor to exploit the full possibilities of these and other media. Probably the best means of diffusion of the new techniques is that process herein called social learning and imitation, and left unanalysed. Successful enterprises, in which the natives themselves have taken part, and have shared in the benefits thereof, seem to be the best incentive to the spread of new techniques. A number of circumstances, including the departmentalised system of organisation of the Administration, have tended to restrict the Director of Education to a pedagogic role. There has been an unfortunate tendency to restrict the full sociological significance of important groups (for example, women - the education of women and girls) to a single aspect of their social development, namely, pedagogic institutions. The Director has not had directive control over the sociological aspects of the work of the various technical departments. An isolated school system could do much harm by educating for a non-existent economic situation. The Director has had to resist firmly the establishment of schools ahead of a careful programme of training for native teachers and leaders. At the same time he has encouraged experiments. There are a number of interesting new government schools. Among the many achievements of the present Director of Education has been the provision of schools for the children of the Europeans of the territories, and for the Chinese. The New Order is an enterprise in Fundamental Education worthy of favourable comparison with any oversea project. There is no doubt about the ultimate success. At present the Administration is at the transition stage between welfare work following the war and the preparatory work for development, and the implementation of overall plans for the development of the resources of the territory. The crucial question arises about education in Papua New Guinea. Having already spent, or earmarked for spending, �40 million in reconstruction, welfare and in preparatory organisation for development, will the Commonwealth Government continue to assist with increasing expenditure, without return, a social and economic developmental programme designed to increase permanently the resources of the territory, to enrich the native people and raise their standards of living, and at the same time, to leave them in full control of their government, their land and cultural and ceremonial life?
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    The origins, development and influence of Ursuline pedagogy
    Waters, Peter ( 1984)
    Much of what was taught in Roman Catholic convent schools, and many of the methods used, may be traced to the influence of a religious order of women, the Ursulines, who find the origin of their pedagogical inspiration and a pattern of religious spirituality in the Company of St. Ursula, established by Angela Merici at Brescia some four hundred and fifty years ago. However, religious congregations devoted to the education of women, and those who have been educated by them would be, for the most part, unaware of this influence. Similarly, standard texts of educational history give no more than a passing acknowledgement, if any, of the singular contribution of this religious order, and the significance of this for a comprehensive perspective of general educational history. The object of this study is to present a description of the development of Ursuline pedagogy, with a concentration on the French tradition, illustrating its consolidation as it provided a distinctive intellectual, moral and religious process of formation for young women, and then tracing the different kinds of influence that it exerted, especially as it became a model for later educational initiatives within other religious orders of women. Initially, this thesis explores the circumstances conditioning the emergence of the Primitive Company of St. Ursula, examining the cultural and religious setting of the Italian Renaissance in which it first developed, and for which it was primarily intended as an agent of a perceived necessary transformation of women in that society. It investigates the writings of Angela Merici with an eye to those elements of her thought which have a specific pedagogical importance. It will demonstrate that Angela Merici believed in utilising the home atmosphere and its natural influences as the best means of giving a religious and moral formation, as well as ensuring basic intellectual and social development. Where this would not be possible, she, with her companions, would provide an environment as close as possible to the ideal, promoting a mother-daughter relationship between the member of the Company of St. Ursula and the individual children in her care. The pre-eminently personal quality of her thought is revealed to be in keeping with all the best Renaissance standards. Her "Arricordi"(Counsels) indicate her enthusiasm for focussing attention on the individual, using certain insights of feminine psychology to provide a thorough preparation of each for responsible motherhood and authentic Christian citizenship. A synoptic survey of the educational philosophies of Jean. Jacques Rousseau, Johann Pestalozzi, Johann Herbart and Friedrich Froebel serves to show how the thought of Angela Merici compares with that of each of these writers, emphasising the pedagogical status of her work, and indicating that she ought attract more universal recognition as a significant contributor to the evolution of pedagogical theory. The thesis traces the development of the Company after the death of the foundress, and how it was forced to clarify and modify its constitutions and form of government to meet the requirements of adaptation to new ecclesiastical and societal circumstances. These were occasioned by the impact of the Protestant Reformation, as well as the Catholic reaction to it, culminating in the reforms of the Council of Trent, and further complicated by political and territorial conflicts at both local and national levels. The influence of significant churchmen of the period is also examined. Leading reformers such as Cardinal Charles Borromeo, Cardinal Francois de Sourdis and Archbishop Alessandro Canigiani took initiatives which impinged on the process of adaptation through three successive stages, and which contributed to a clarification of the distinctive apostolate of the Company. The development of the Company in France at the turn of the seventeenth century, and the progress towards the adoption of monastic status whilst maintaining an apostolate of education as its principal "raison d'etre", is given detailed. analysis. It represents the elementary base for the theoretical and methodological structure from which a more highly developed Ursuline pedagogy would take its shape. Foremost among those who brought the Ursuline communities to this stage is Francoise de Bermond, assisted by two influential Provencale priests, Cesar'de Bus and Jean Baptist Romillon, who had already developed catechetical and general elementary educational programmes of their own. Later, Madame de St. Beuve and Madame Acarie introduced the Ursulines to Paris, engaging Francoise de Bermond to instruct the first members of that community in the implementation of the Ursuline Rule, and to form them according to the spirit of Angela Merici. Whilst acknowledging similar developments in various other centres such as Bordeaux, Toulouse and Tulle, the educational tradition of the monastery of Paris has been selected for special study because of the availability of the 1705 reprint of the first edition in 1652 of the Reglemens of Paris. This work, a collection of three small manuals which enshrine Ursuline educational principles and provide a precise methodology to be followed in the monastery schools, allows the student of educational history to reconstruct a vivid picture of the educational practice of a vast network of such monasteries throughout France during the Ancien Regime. It reveals details of the organisation of two separate educational establishments within the monastic complex, a "pensionnat" (boarding school), and a free day-school for poor students. An overview of the Jesuit tradition of education, which developed at the same time, allows for a comparative study of the Reglemens with the Ratio Studiorum. This highlights the unique quality of the former, demonstrating that, although there is evidence of assimilation of influences from a variety of sources, the Ursuline . method is not a mere imitation of the Jesuit system. This study concentrates on the precise nature of Ursuline education until the time of the suppression of the religious orders during the French Revolution. It describes the expansion of the influence of the Paris monastery as it became a prototype for other "f iliated" Ursuline monasteries, and as aspects of its tradition were adopted by other pre-Revolution foundations, such as the "Maison Royale de St. Cyr", and the Irish. Congregation of the Presentation. In the post-Revolution period, the re-emergence of the tradition within in reconstituted Ursuline communities and in other newly founded religious communities devoted to the education of women is treated. The task of tracing the continuing influence of Ursuline pedagogy through the plethora of nineteenth century congregations of teaching women is beyond the scope of this work. I have avoided detailed presentation of the more specifically religious elements of the regimen of Ursuline life except where it serves to illuminate the motivation of the members of the communities in their educational work. It is hoped that this study will provide clearer insight into the phenomenon of Ursuline pedagogy, and its contribution to the extensive educational enterprise of the Roman Catholic Church which, in turn, has its influence on the total intellectual and moral formation of the individual in society.
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    The effect of evolutionary thought upon selected English and American philosophers who influenced educational thought, 1850-1916
    Phillips, D. C (1938-) ( 1963)
    This thesis has a twofold aim. First, I wish to show that the theory of evolution, especially in its Darwinian form, influenced the development of the philosophies of Herbert Spencer in England, and C.S.Peirce, William James and John Dewey in America. Secondly, I wish to examine critically those portions of these particular philosophies that have been of importance to education. It will be seen that one of these aims is essentially historical, while the other is philosophical. As these two aspects of the task are apt to become confused, they have been treated in separate chapters. The basic chapter is the first, for in it the connection between science and other disciplines is investigated. In some of the later chapters it will be shown that thinkers such as Spencer and Dewey pre-supposed that such connections exist. Chapter one is thus devoted to the discussion of key terms such as "scientific laws", "theory of evolution" and "mechanism", whilst Chapter two deals with Herbert Spencer and his place in the history of education, and Chapter three contains a critical examination of Spencer's ideas in the light of points raised in the first chapter. There is a similar arrangement in the chapters on the pragmatists. The period 1850 to 1916 was chosen for investigation because these two dates mark the years of publication of Herbert Spencer's "Social Statics" and John Dewey's "Democracy and Education" respectively. During the intervening years the theory of evolution had remarkable influence on many facets of intellectual life, and it would be surprising to find that education remained unaffected.
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