Melbourne Graduate School 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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    Factors relating to the school performance of ten year old and fourteen year old students from non English speaking backgrounds
    Hewitt, Roger D ( 1978)
    This study sought to examine factors relating to the school performance of students from non English speaking backgrounds residing in Australia. Groups of ten year old and fourteen year old migrant students were selected from students surveyed in the 'Australian Studies in School Performance' (A.C.E.R., 1975). These subsamples represented thirteen per cent of ten year old and ten per cent of fourteen year old Australian students, many of whom were found to encounter educational difficulties. Eight per cent of migrant students were identified as not understanding English sufficiently well to cope with normal classroom lessons and one third needed remedial assistance with reading or number work. Migrant students experiencing difficulties were not restricted to those born overseas, as the majority of the migrant subsamples were students born in Australia. Several factors appeared to relate to the lower level of performance of migrant students with the most important being an environmental press for the use of English. At 10 year of age this press for the use of English was predominantly centred in the home, where a number of factors appeared to contribute, such as the English language skills of the parents and the frequency of receiving an English newspaper in the home. At 14 years of age the press for the use of English appeared to shift toward the use of English by the peer group. Other influences in performance were the ethnic origin of the family and the birth!, ace of the student, whilst surprisingly the length of residence in Australia did not appear to influence performance. Not all migrant students however were disadvantaged. Students from Northern European backgrounds performed as well as, and sometimes better than Australian students, whilst on the other hand, students from Southern European backgrounds appeared more seriously disadvantaged. This highlights the problem of investigating the performance of the migrant group as a whole.
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    Matthew Arnold's perception of culture and the implications of that perception for his educational writing
    Palmer, Kathleen Imelda ( 1976)
    The first chapter centres around an analysis of the concept of culture and, in particular, three uses of the concept which recur consistently throughout Arnold's works: culture as a pursuit of our total perfection, as a means of social transformation, and as an inward operation. The question is raised: Why, according to Arnold, did men need to be transformed, and in what ways could culture effect this transformation? Chapter two is concerned with answering the first part of the question; chapter three the second. An exploration of the need for men to be transformed involves an analysis of Victorian society as Arnold perceived it. How, on the Arnoldian analysis, could culture transform society? Culture is concerned with the pursuit of perfection by man's coming to know 'the best which has been thought and said in the world'. Though it begins as an inward operation, it never rests there. The man who seeks perfection comes to see that 'totality' entails social commitment. Hence the importance of culture for Arnold's social theory. The agents of social transformation are thought to be, in particular, the 'aliens', those 'generous and humane souls' whose concern is the development not of their 'ordinary self' but of their 'best self'. These 'men of culture', acting through their 'collective best self', are seen as instruments of social transformation. The weaknesses of Arnold's social theory are now explored. What are the implications of Arnold's perception of culture for his educational theory? He never really sees the elementary schools as centres of 'culture'. They are, at best, centres of 'light' and 'civilization'. This attitude reflects not only Arnold's realism, but also his unconscious acceptance of a middle class view which sees culture, specifically, as 'literary culture'. It is in his approach to the question of middle class education that the close link between Arnold's social theory and his educational theory can best be seen. The transformation of the middle class through culture is a pre-condition of the transformation of society. And it is through education that 'general liberal culture' is to be fostered. Thus, Arnold's commitment to middle class education is not only compatible with his commitment to culture, but also an important aspect of that commitment.
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    Anton Semyonovich Makarenko and collective education
    Robinson, Jeffrey Travers ( 1978)
    The disruptions of war, civil war and famine hampered the optimistic reform program of the Bolshevik government in the decade after 1917. Often absorbed in protracted philosophical debate, they offered no firm policies to revitalize Russia's peasant-based agriculture or to stimulate the industrial growth necessary for national advancement. In education, an enthusiasm for the peasantry as the material out of which the new Soviet citizen would be created, promoted a diversity of experimental schools, including communes; while schemes for the eradication of illiteracy or the education of the hordes of homeless children were frequently supported by organizations like the secret police. However, when Stalin came to power, a sternly centralized policy relentlessly implemented nationally the necessary re-organization of agriculture through collectivization to foster industrial growth.Education, reverting to an academic bias, emphasised such desired virtues as obedience, enthusiasm for work and the subservience of the individual to the collective. Makarenko spent some years developing a collective education system for homeless children during the 1920's. As he records in The Road to Life, he was certain only of his aim - the Creation of the new man. As a pragmatist, he held his contemporary theoreticians in contempt, preferring to be guided in his experiment by intuition and expedient means in evolving a methodology. His romanticism attracted him into a lifelong friendship with Maxim Gorky, who later visited Makarenko's collective. There,agricultural labour eventually allowed industrial growth; and respect for authority, the subservience of individual interests to the collective will and an enthusiasm for work, were reinforced by its quasi-military environment. These elements understandably appealed to the secret police who supported Makarenko' s subsequent work at the Dzerzhinsky Colony after 1923. This sponsorship, his patronage by Gorky and the fortunate coincidence of his principles with the stated policies of Stalin brought Anton Semyonovich Makarenko from comparative obscurity to pre-eminence by 1935.
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    Education in a general sense
    Northrop, Joan Moore ( 1976)
    R. S. Peters, in his article, The Justification of Education, refers to a specific sense and a general sense of education. Peters elaborates, and justifies, education in the specific sense. In this thesis, I examine the general sense of education, which is that referred to when people, generally, believe it is true that education is needed. I assume, also, that it. is true that education involves learning. By examining what it means to say that something is needed, I determine that statements of need embody judgements as to what is necessary for the achievement of an objective. Before people can make veridical judgements of need, then, they need knowledge both of the authorizing criteria of the objective to be achieved, and of the law-like statements which express the relationships between the criteria and significant factors in their realization. They must be able to determine which of these significant factors is relevant to the person or object judged to need them - they must, in fact, be able to reason. All these things must be learned, or developed, as part of education. I see this as education in the specific sense. The basis for my explication of the "general sense" of education is that there is general agreement that education is needed. Since statements of need have been shown to embody judgements as to what is necessary for the achievement of an objective, agreement that education is needed is most likely to exist when there is agreement as to the objective which is to be achieved as a consequence of education. I suggest, as a common objective to be achieved by education, that people generally should satisfy the criteria for inclusion in the social group. Education in the general sense, then, includes all that should be learned that this objective might be achieved. Although I indicate, in the Appendix, how a traditional account of value would support the thesis that education in this sense has value, I deny that the judgement education is needed entails that either the objective, or the means of achieving it, has value. Overall, I see education in the general sense as including education in the specific sense, and I ask if the two concepts of education, the specific and the general, should share the name "education".
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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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    An appraisal of "The educational recommendations of the World Bank Mission Report on Papua New Guinea, 1964-74"
    Williams, Francis G ( 1979)
    It is difficult to generalize about a varied and fragmented country like Papua New Guinea, with its varied and fragmented population. This large island with its forbidding terrain, tropical climate and luxuriant flora have combined to make it a retreat for successive and often hostile primitive groups. Despite all of this, of necessity, one is forced to generalize about both the country and its inhabitants, and thus largely ignore the above complexities. Consequently this thesis examines in a global manner the enormously difficult task of bringing Western-education to approximately two million indigenous New Guineans as part of an economic plan that was aimed at developing the country in the mid 1960's. In fact the explicit purpose of the thesis is to appraise the educational recommendations of the World Bank Mission's Report on Papua New Guinea in 1964, and as they related to the ensuing decade. As a prelude to this, and largely to provide the historical perspective in which the World Bank made its report, a great deal of background data on political and educational developments in New Guinea is included. Then the explicit educational recommendations of the Mission are highlighted using a sectoral approach. Finally the apparent outcomes are examined, and the educational achievements of the early 1970's are contrasted with the planned projections made by the Mission in 1964. A further aspect that should add to the validity of the appraisal of the World Bank Mission's recommendations, is a critique on the overall nature and basis of the Report. Thus although it is conceded that the World Bank's Report was primarily the result of an economic mission it is also argued that its plan for development provided vital direction and impetus to education in Papua New Guinea. Now despite the relatively naive economic thinking that surrounded the World Bank in the 1960's the Mission's report was a fundamental planning document that recognised that the education system required a complete restructuring to develop mid and higher level manpower to facilitate the growth process. As such the World Bank Report can be deemed to have been a most significant catalytic influence that was of vital evolving importance to Papua and New Guinea's development, especially from 1964 to 1968 and probably until the early 1970's.
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    Some conceptual problems in curriculum integration
    Parrott, Mary Christine ( 1977)
    In recent years, integrative curricula have been introduced into many Victorian secondary schools. Integration within these curricula may occur in a number of areas, such as integration of different races or different age groups, but the area with which I am concerned is the actual content of the curriculum and integration here involves the combination of two or more traditional subjects on the basis of some supposedly common factor. The arguments advanced by integrationists to justify such integration frequently relate to sociological or psychological consequences of such courses rather than to philosophical analysis of the common factors on the basis of which integration of knowledge is possible at all. Philosophical analysis of the basis for integration involves examination of the nature of knowledge. Curricula which are completely integrative in that no subject divisions are maintained seem to be based upon the assumption that knowledge is unified in some way. The unification may result from the existence of a common object with which knowledge is concerned, e.g., 'the universe,' or from some integrative power in the learner's consciousness or may be due to the existence of some coherent system. Each of these possibilities presents problems. This may account in part for the fact that most integrative curricula are only partially so. That is, some areas of knowledge are maintained as separate subjects. However, the subjects which are separate and the combinations of other subject areas vary from school to school which suggests either that the organizations of knowledge are merely matters of convenience or that there are several different valid bases for integration. Common subject matter, common methods . of enquiry and use of common subject areas seem to be three bases, but determination of their validity requires examination of knowledge at a conceptual level. It is exponents of the Forms of Knowledge thesis, rather than integrationists, who have undertaken such examination. The Forms of Knowledge thesis purports to show that there are certain necessary divisions in knowledge on the basis of differences in concepts and their relations, truth criteria and methods of acquiring knowledge. The arguments of P. H. H irst on this matter present some difficulties, but I feel logical distinctions within knowledge can be drawn, particularly on the basis of two types of categoreal concepts - relational and foundational. If these distinctions are accepted then it can be seen that integration of knowledge can proceed on three different levels - logical, structural and material - and recognition of this fact may assist in determining the exact nature of different integrative curricula and in seeking justification for them.
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    Statistics of public expenditure on education in Australia : requirements for the formation of national policy
    Segall, Patsy (1942-) ( 1976)
    In Australia's federal system the provision of educational services is the responsibility of the state governments. However, the federal government has also acquired responsibilities for. education. Since the second world war, the state governments have been dependent on the federal government for a large proportion of the funds needed to discharge their responsibilities. More directly, the federal government has greatly extended the scope of its activities in education, mainly through the use of specific. purpose grants to the states. By 1970 these grants affected all levels of education in the states. To be effective, national 'educational policies should take account of differences between the states as well as of 'national needs. Necessary information includes national statistics which are compiled on the same basis for each of . the states. The coverage and quality of national educational statistics has improved considerably, but there are still deficiencies. In particular, the statistics of public expenditure on education do not provide an adequate account of the states individually, or of national trends. Unpublished records of the Australian Bureau of Statistics provide the basis for a set of figures of public expenditure on education which are both more comprehensive and more detailed than those published. Analysis of these figures for the period 1963-64 to 1973-74 shows large differences in the patterns of educational expenditure in each of the states. Nationally there have been considerable changes in the composition of total public outlay on education, the rapid growth of the tertiary sector outside universities being particularly noteworthy. Official statistics of this kind are needed to make possible an effective assessment of the priorities and directions of Australian education.
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    Church and state relations as they affected the Lutheran Church and its schools in South Australia, 1838-1900
    Zweck, John E ( 1971)
    Basically there were three stages in the development of the Lutheran attitude to, and relationship with, the State in nineteenth century South Australia. Education was the main issue involved. 1. Fear of State Interference, 1838-c.1865 The first Lutherans migrated to South Australia after suffering religious persecution at the hands of the Prussian State. They immediately established denominational schools, the first in the colony, and thereby gave effect to two principles of continuing importance for the Lutheran Synods. According to these education was primarily a parental responsibility and schools were nurseries of the Church. The Synods declined State aid for churches and schools between 1846 and 1852. 2. Desire for Cooperation, c.1865-c.1890 Although aid to denominational schools was abolished in 1852, various congregations in two of the three Synods accepted government grants for their schools between c.1865 and 1875. Independent Lutherans, who had no synodical connections, did likewise. To qualify for assistance these schools gave denominational instruction outside normal hours. In 1871 and 1873 synodical Lutherans campaigned for the retention of such an arrangement. However, the 1875 Act introduced a 'secular' solution. Consequently, independent Lutheran schools were ceded to the State and synodical schools had to compete with a much-improved State system. Synodical leaders continued to press for aid to Lutheran schools,. particularly between 1878 and 1884 when attention was focussed on the inspection of private schools, capitation grants and free education. 3. Independence, c.1890 After firmly opposing free education in 1890-1, the Synods adopted a policy of complete independence from the State in education. While the Lutherans had little influence on legislation concerning education, both they and their schools were strongly affected by the various Acts. Before 1875 the grant system led to some bitter controversies. The 1875 Act induced the Synods to introduce teacher training schemes. After 1878 fear of State inspection prompted increased concern about the efficiency of Lutheran schools., The introduction of free education in 1892 adversely affected Lutheran enrolments. It also led to significant curriculum improvements. However, the basic weakness of Lutheran schools, their lack of cohesion, persisted despite attempts at reform.