Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

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    Responses of government and Catholic educational authorities to the influx of migrants, 1950-1960, with special reference to the experience of a selected group of schools conducted by the Victorian Sisters of Mercy
    O'Dwyer, Carmel Helen ( 1977)
    local parish priest; the day-to-day education was left completely to those dedicated religious and their lay assistants who faced the challenge with resolute courage. One such group of religious were the Sisters of Mercy. A major focus of this study is their efforts in the field of migrant education with special reference to three schools for which they mere responsible. With neither the time nor expertise to develop a specific philosophy of migrant education they relied on traditional methods of classroom teaching - methods in which they had fortunately been well-grounded. The effect of such teaching can be partially gauged from the responses of one hundred of their students.
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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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    Non-professional and non-governmental organisations and the provision of public education, 1850-1969
    Collins-Jennings, John W. ( 1971)
    The beginnings of the public education system in New South Wales are briefly examined to set the background for the development of public education in Victoria. An examination is made of the system of patrons instituted under the administration of the National Schools Board and the Common Schools Board. The 1872 Education Act replaced the patrons with boards of advice, and the 1910 Education Act replaced the boards of advice with the present system of school committees and councils. The effectiveness of the boards of advice and the school committees and councils is also assessed. A common theme is shown to have emerged from the earliest time, that the professional educationist has firmly maintained that the non-professional and non-governmental organisation has only a minor contribution to make in the control of public education. The final chapter indicates that there appears to be some change forthcoming in this attitude, because the non-professional and non-governmental organisations are beginning to realize the need for political rather than organisational action.
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    Education and state control in Victoria, 1900-1925
    Badcock, Alfred Maxwell (1912-) ( 1963)
    This is an attempt to make sample assessments of State-controlled education in Victoria in the first quarter of this century, to define the nature of State control and to judge of its quality and effectiveness. The term 'State control' has been interpreted to include partial and indirect control as well as that which is complete and direct: hence Part III has been devoted to control exercised by the State over private and denominational schools, for this extension of the State's arm was characteristic of the period. Within the State's own Department system, the whole field proved too vast for one thesis: therefore, on the assumption that the system at the Primary level was fairly well established before the turn of the century and that other Melbourne researchers are covering the field of technical education, attention in Part II has been focussed on the establishment of State high-schools. Part I, on administration, naturally treats of the system as a whole. Another limitation imposed by space and time concerns sources of material. Any assessment must embrace causes as well as results, and in that even the sample field proved too large for detailed consideration of a wide range of causes, attention has been concentrated on internal evidence -- that is, evidence contained in Department documents and reports. Apart from practicability where evidence is embarrassingly plentiful, one justification of this approach is that in the period under survey Victorian State-controlled education was dominated by the strongest and most influential of its several Directors, Mr. Frank Tate. It has been the fashion to count this domination to the credit of Victoria's first Director and to the great advantage of the State. But one of the assumptions underlying the commentary in the pages that follow is that in a democratic society the professional administrator and his officers should not be obliged or even permitted to determine the social objectives underlying the processes of education. It is theirs as experts to determine the most appropriate means by which the goal shall be reached after it has been determined and defined by the community through its elected representatives. (From Introduction)
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    Payment by results as an innovation in Victorian education: with particular reference to the period 1868-1878
    Blyth, Paul Edward ( 1978)
    From 1863 to 1905 Victoria paid its teachers under the system of "payment by results". This system had been introduced in England by the Revised Code of 1862 and a version of it was adopted by the Victorian Board of Education in 1863. The essence of the system was that portion of a teacher's salary became directly dependent on the performance of his students in examinations. The aim of this thesis is to demonstrate that the system of payment by results was an unjust system based on unsound principles and that it encouraged teachers to concentrate too much of their efforts on the teaching for "results". The outcome was an excess of mechanical teaching, of "cram" and of rote learning. The system was unsound in principle because it was not based on any proven theory of pedagogy, but was introduced in order to satisfy a desire for economy and efficiency. It was unjust because it was based on an unfounded lack of trust in Victoria's elementary school teachers - as evidenced by the results regulations and, indeed, by the whole concept of payment for "results". We will see that built into the results formula were various punitive clauses which operated to penalise teachers unfairly for factors over which they had little or no control. Furthermore, under this system teachers were to become the only servants of the State whose livelihood depended, to a certain extent, on the "results" they produced. With the Education Act of 1872, the Education Department of Victoria came into existence - replacing the old Board of Education - and it inherited, and continued to apply, the system of payment by results. Under the new Minister of Public Instruction, the Education Department continued to support the principle of payment for "results". However, from 1873 to 1878 - as evidenced by a study of the Minister's and Inspectors' reports to Parliament - we see emerging a greater willingness on the part of the Department to concede that there was a good deal of merit in the complaints of teachers, and some important concessions were made accordingly. In 1877, Charles Henry Pearson was appointed to conduct a one-man Royal Commission into education in Victoria and, while Pearson found certain faults with the system of payment by results, he still believed that it was correct in its principle and should be retained in order to ensure a continued diligent effort on the part of the teachers. Pearson did, however, make some important proposals. He recommended that less of a teacher's income should be dependent on the "results", and he favoured doing away with the punitive regulations relating to age and attendance. These proposals would, he believed, eliminate many of the problems relating to mechanical teaching, to "cram" and to rote learning. His proposals, however, were not put into effect, and we see that, while certain amendments were made to the results regulations, and various proposals put forward for its modification, the essential nature of the system of payment by results remained unchanged throughout the life of the Board of Education - and for the first six years of Departmental control.
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    The role of women in the Victorian Education Department, 1872-1925
    Biddington, Judith ( 1977)
    This thesis examines the role of women teachers in the state schools of Victoria from 1872 to 1925. As women constituted half of the teaching service, and as the Education Department drew a distinction between teachers on the basis of sex, it has been possible to look at the women teachers as if they formed a homogeneous group. An examination of the legislation, the periodic reviews, the practices of the Department and other contemporary evidence, makes it clear that women teachers were essential to the maintenance of a widespread, comprehensive education system. This conclusion is based on two major factors, supply and cost. For many reasons women were always available as teachers and were employed extensively. As their employment was combined with the practice of paying women less than men for the same, or very similar tasks, the development and maintenance of a system of education was made easier for the governments of Victoria in spite of almost constant pressure for economy. These two aspects form the basis of parts 1 and 2. Through two case studies, part 3 approaches the role of women differently. The assumption is made that women do not form a homogeneous group but are divided by broad issues of class, religion and politics as well as narrow and more specific issues. Two kindergarten experts, women with diverse backgrounds, provide the material for the first case study. Their expectations, contribution and recognition are examined, as is their relationship with other members of the teaching service. The second case study concentrates on the Victorian Lady Teachers' Association, a small, militant, feminist group which worked to have any differentiation between teachers based on sex removed. Although the group was not representative of all women teachers, it frequently spoke for them and was an important educational force. The two case studies, therefore, look at some of the varied roles filled by women, but more particularly highlight the differences amongst them and the difficulties of making generalizations about women or women teachers.