Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses
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ItemAims, 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 1860Noble, 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.
ItemCultural preservation : the Estonian experience in Australia 1947-1987Redenbach, Merike ( 1987)This study is based on an historical perspective which traces the origins and development of Estonian organisations which are viewed as representing the 'conscious' attempts to preserve Estonian culture in Australia. The organisational problems and strategies to preserve the culture are examined in terms of the relationship between strategies used by the Estonian community and those used simultaneously by the wider community in response to changes in social relationships and emerging government policies. A major source for research material has been through oral history sources in interviews and contacts with several ethnic Estonians(primarily immigrants),who have been actively involved with organised Estonian cultural life : extensive interviews were conducted in Melbourne,Sydney, Thirlmere,Adelaide and Canberra; the writer has also spent almost twelve months being actively involved in some of the Estonian organisations including the Melbourne Ladies' Choir, Festivals and concerts. Other important sources of information include the Eesti Paevad Albums(Estonian Festival Albums, 1954-1986),historical writings about Estonia and Estonian people,contemporary publications, research and other projects, an original questionnaire for second generation Estonians,and the writer's participation in the National Research Conference on Ethnicity and Multiculturalism at the University of Melbourne (May 14 - 16) in 1986. Part 1 introduces the underlying concepts of 'culture', 'community' and 'ethnicity',with a section on the relevant historical and geographical background of Estonia and Estonian immigrants. Aspects of the Estonian culture within the Australian context are examined using an adaptation of Raymond Williams' interpretation of culture this study stresses the importance of creating a balanced interpretation of Estonian culture at three levels,that is,the 'living community','recorded' culture and 'selective tradition' in the argument for developing strategies for preserving the Estonian culture through the process of mainstream education. Part 11 follows on from the foundations laid by the 'Old Estonians'(pre-World War ll),and outlines the changing role of major Estonian organisations such as the Festivals,Choirs, Estonian school,the press,and to a lesser extent the Church,in preserving the Estonian culture according to emerging trends within the Estonian community and the surrounding culture. Part 111 highlights the nature of the 'ageing' and diminishing Estonian community in Australia,with - the emergence of the younger generation of ethnic Estonians in Australia as the vehicle for the creation and transmission of Estonian culture. The intercultural context and the nature of contemporary social relationships provide evidence of the change from the ethnic exclusiveness of the earlier period,to the widening framework for Estonian ethnicity and interest in preserving the Estonian culture. Many of the current developments from within the Estonian community and its wider context are presented as evidence of trends which are moving towards the realization of crucial strategies which are needed to preserve the Estonian culture in Australia through the process of education.
ItemValues and the teaching of history to junior secondary school studentsTreidel, Vicki ( 2006)Entitled 'Values and the teaching of history to junior secondary school students' this thesis aims to explore the value of history as a subject for study by junior secondary school students and the role of values in the teaching of history. A focus on the types of knowledge that teachers bring to their professional practice forms part of the groundwork for the study. Professional knowledge is considered as pedagogical knowledge and content knowledge (Darling-Hammond, 1999; Shulman, 1986, 1987). These branches of a teacher's knowledge are discussed in relation to the teaching of history. History is broadly identified as a field of knowledge (Carr, 1961; Hexter, 1971; Leinhardt, 1994; Marwick, 1983), a discipline for study (Ang, 2001; Collingwood, 1946; Leinhardt, 1994; Levstik, 2000; Marwick, 1983; Rogers, 1984; Skilbeck, 1979) and a subject within the school curriculum (Board of Studies, 2000; Foshay, 2000; Macintrye, 1997; Mays, 1974; Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA), 2004, 2005). The value of teaching history to junior secondary school students is broadly considered in terms of the knowledge and understanding that can be developed through the study of history as a school subject. The embedded nature of values within teaching is acknowledged and distinctions drawn between social/community values, general educational values taught through history and more specific values associated with the study of history. The research is situated within the qualitative paradigm (Denzin & Lincoln, 2000, 2005; Flick, 2002; Strauss & Corbin, 1990) and involved a case study (Bassey, 1999; Denzin & Lincoln, 2000; Merriam, 1988; Stake, 1995, 2000, 2005; Stenhouse, 1985; Yin, 2003a, 2003b) conducted at the junior secondary level that included the participation of the researcher, three other history teachers and students from Year 7 and Year 8 history classes. The methods used to collect data included an initial session with the teacher-participants and, at the conclusion of the study, a debriefing focus group with the teacher-participants, lesson observation and post lesson small-scale student discussions. The data gathered from this investigation is presented as a number of narratives (Bage, 1999; Bruner, 1986; Clandinin & Connelly, 2000; Connelly & Clandinin, 1990; Freebody, 2003; Mishler, 1986; Stake, 2000). The researcher contributes to these narratives as a teacher of history. The study affirms the value of teaching history to junior secondary students, recognizing an association with broad educational values (Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST), 2005; Gilbert & Hoepper, 1996, 2004) and subject specific values, such as, sharing knowledge about the past (Fitzgerald, 1977). Values that are imparted through the study of history are categorized as general and specific and are closely linked to skills. The study is premised on the beliefs that thinking about practice (the past and the present) may enlighten future history teaching and learning (Schtin, 1996) and that 'mindfulness' (Leinhardt, 1994) is an essential characteristic of history teaching that engages both the teacher and student in the learning process.
ItemLive and learn: a plan for an educated citizenryCumming, Ian ( 1946)The creators and improvers of Attic prose, the chief literary and most elegant language of ancient Greece, were the Sophists, who flourished in the latter half of the 5th century B.C. They were really a class of teachers or popular lecturers which met the demand for education among the people in those days. It is extremely doubtful if they had any common philosophical doctrine. Grote has disproved the traditional view of the Sophists that their intellectualism was characterised by scepticism and ethical egoism; this charge is still made against adult educators: Whatever criticism might be made of the Sophists - Socrates and Plato opposed them - they made a definite contribution to culture. Adult education had its genesis with them. They introduced the people to a wide range of general knowledge, they led their listeners into discussions, they investigated history, poetry, mathematics and science. The fact that they received fees for their courses and made a livelihood out of their teaching did not commend itself to the Greece of that time. It is strange how history repeats itself; even today there is a reluctance on the part of some individuals to pay teachers in order that they might make a livelihood: From the time of the Sophists, philosophers of all hues have agreed on the point that education is a lifelong process. It is no matter for congratulation that today we are far from applying that fact. When the franchise was extended greatly during the last century and politicians decided that, in their own interests, their masters should be educated, the education provided was confined to childhood. Some years ago H. G. Wells surprised a complacent world by declaring that we must choose between education and catastrophe. We know now which prevailed. But because we have suffered a world catastrophe, the primary and secondary schools are not to be castigated. The children could have done nothing to avert this conflict; the older generation, the adults, with parochial prejudices, should have served this world better. It should be the supreme aim of a democratic state to have an informed and intelligent citizenry; democracy is sustained by education. (From Introduction)
ItemSecondary education in the Australian social order, 1788-1898: a study in the evolution of the theory and the curriculum of secondary education, and the methods of teaching, in the changing Australian social orderFrench, E. L ( 1958)In spite of all the hard words said about educational histories there should be no need to justify the historical study of education. The school, like the Church or the Theatre, is a social institution: if we may write the history of one, we may write the history of the others. As to the peculiar value of the enterprise, there will be differences of opinion; the distinctive values of the study of history are again in question. Suffice to say that it is the writer's suspicion that the debate on the content and method of secondary education, which has been conducted with considerable vigour in Australia in the past twenty years or so, would have been more fruitful if, to the various capacities brought to it, there had been added the capacity to see the problems of secondary education in the perspective of their development. It is surely not unimportant that the architects of educational policy should he enabled to see their problem in depth.
ItemInterpreter services for Australian migrant communities and problems related to the provision and training of interpretersKerstjens, Charles ( 1986)A documentation of the development and implementation of support services for migrants must consider two types of support: 1. Assisting migrants to acquire English language skills in order to be able to function as members of the community, and an appreciation, by the community, especially by professionals and service agencies, of the difficulties resulting from incomplete or insufficient language competence and from cultural differences. 2. The availability of interpreter services for non-English speaking individuals and for those professionals or agencies servicing the needs of non- or minimal English sneaking individuals or groups. Though the need for interpreter services was initially thought to be a short-term need, based on the assumption that non- English speaking settlers would quickly acquire sufficient English language skills to be able to function as members of the Australian community, evidence, presented within this thesis, substantiates the claim that the need for interpreter services will be a long-term one in the Australian context. This thesis attempts to bring together information relating to policies developed and efforts made in the period of 1945 to the present day, in order to provide an overview of what has been achieved, the impact on the community and evaluation which has taken place. Documentation provided clearly demonstrates that the provisions made do not provide adequate interpreter services as support services to any but a small (if growing) percentage of those within the community who are linguistically disadvantaged, particularly as the services are largely based within government departments and not community based.
ItemInformation technology in social education: a study of the factors influencing social education database developmentBunnett, Adair Brice ( 1995)This study of the creation of Development, Boom and Bust investigates the reasons for the use of information technology in social education, examines the issues involved in preparing and publishing projects of this type, and suggests reasons for the dearth of recent published material of this nature. Development, Boom and Bust comprises data from the rate records of the City of South Melbourne. Two areas, representative of working class and middle class ownership, were selected for entry over the years 1855 to 1899. Along with descriptions and value of each property, occupations of both occupier and owner were recorded, and student activities were developed to accompany the data disk.
ItemAn exploration of the influence of the theories of Maria Montessori on education in state schools and free kindergartens between 1912 and 1930 in some states of south eastern Australia, with special emphasis on VictoriaBarrett, Gael ( 1987)While Montessori's theories appear to have had greater influence and official support in the state schools of New South Wales and in the kindergartens of South Australia, the extent of her influence in Victoria is not widely discussed in educational literature. This thesis tries to examine the ways in which Montessori's theories affected educational ideas and practices in Victorian state schools and free kindergartens between 1912 and 1930. Some comparison is made among the states of South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria as to the extent and reasons for the differing degrees of influence Montessorian ideas exerted over the educational developments in the three states. It is suggested that Montessori's ideas did influence the attitudes of some educators in Victoria but that lack of finance and over-crowding in classrooms prevented the implementation of a Montessori programme. The lasting effect of Montessori does not seem to have differed greatly in the three states.