Faculty of Education - Theses

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    Student expectations of the future
    Pepper, Laele ( 1992)
    Specific aims of the study To investigate how present-day students view the future and their place in the workforce of the future. To establish whether or not students regard their present educational experiences as an adequate preparation for their future work. To investigate acceptance of unconventional futures scenarios as possible futures.
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    The impact of the zone based professional development program, "Skill review and professional development", on knowledge, understanding and practice within selected school communities
    Summers, Bernadette ( 1995)
    While engaged in documenting a retrospective account of a zone based professional development program, Skill Review and Professional Development, which aimed to support school communities in the implementation of skill review and professional development according to the Tripartite Agreement on School Development Planning, I reflected on a statement by Harwayne (1992): 'We take courses. We attend workshops. We read books, We get lots of information. But the really important information comes later on. It comes when we take that seed information back to our classrooms, when we experiment and innovate and invent, when we make it our own. The story really is 'to be continued' (p.337 ). This reflection led to the following questions which drove my investigation: # has the 'seed information' collected during the program been taken back to the school level?; # have school communities been able to 'experiment', 'innovate' and 'invent' in order to make skill review and professional development their own?; and, # in what areas has the zone based professional development program, Skill Review and Professional Development, impacted at the school level? The information gathered to discover the answers to these questions was qualitative in nature and comes from those involved directly with the delivery and implementation of the program. The information draws on what happened at the zone level and what is now happening at the school level. The gathered data took the form of words: written and anecdotal; record and document observations; and transcripts of discussions and interviews, as words captured the spirit of the happenings. The writings of Joyce and Showers (1987), Joyce and Weil (1992), Fullan and Stiegelbauer (1991), Hargreaves (1992), Fullan (1993), Johnson (1993), Guskey (1994) and others have helped make sense of the impact of this program at the school level.
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    The academic achievements of language centre students at a secondary college
    Warrick, Geoff ( 2001)
    What are the academic achievements of adolescent new-arrival English as a Second Language (ESL) students at secondary schools in Victoria, Australia? Research on Non-English Speaking Background (NESB) students in Australia has tended to neglect new arrival ESL students. To examine the academic achievements of this important subgroup of NESB students, the current study will highlight the academic achievements of a cohort of Victorian Language Centre students at a Secondary College over six years with interruption to schooling in their first language (L1) as the key variable linked to academic achievement in their second language (L2). Victorian Language Centres provide new-arrival ESL students with the English skills they need to start their secondary educations in L2. The current study examined the academic achievement of two groups of Language Centre students, those who completed their Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and those who left the Secondary College prior to completing VCE. Their academic results were summarised into spreadsheets for quantitative analysis. Subsequent to the quantitative analysis interviews were conducted with four ESL students from the Language Centre currently completing their VCE studies to provide further insight into the factors that enabled them to do their VCE. Results indicate that the academic achievements of this cohort of ESL Language Centre students are poor and that interruption to education in Ll had a major impact on the students' ability to achieve academically at the Secondary College. The study suggests that L1 education is the key variable influencing the student's ability to acquire the academic language skills necessary to meet the academic demands of secondary education, particularly the VCE. Other factors such as support for learning and strong motivation were found to help students overcome difficulties encountered in their secondary education. However, students who were unable to overcome these difficulties left the College prior to completing VCE. It was concluded that the majority of Language Centre students faced uncertain economic futures once they left the Secondary College. The results of the study suggest that Language Centre students need more support and assistance to enable them to complete VCE or to access educational alternatives to the VCE. This study also suggests that more research into the effect of L1 education on L2 education be conducted as this was found to be the key variable in the students' ability to acquire the academic language skills necessary to meet the academic demands of VCE.
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    An analysis of John Dewey's philosophy on 'education as growth'
    Stent, Gregory R ( 1989)
    This thesis' approach to John Dewey's philosophy, specifically his ideas on 'education as growth', while aiming to provide a critical analysis, is also sympathetic. Hence it is not entirely committed to another school of thought. Rather it leads to the criticisms which are set forward in two ways. First in attempting to state his thought clearly, we are forced to note that, at times, there are crucial ambiguities in Dewey's use of key terms. These ambiguities are of special importance in considering what Dewey has to say about the empirical method and what he has to say about the nature of events. Second, and more important, in attempting to state the relationship between his views on fundamental topics, we find conflicting 'intellectual tendencies which are not resolved by Dewey. John Dewey's educational writing has been analyzed with a view to determining his views about the aims and general character of education. This thesis has examined whether Dewey's basic recommendations about educational. aims and methods are logically connected with his technical philosophical formulations or are 'rendered more likely by them. At almost every point, the upshot of this analysis has been to suggest that the logical or philosophical links that Dewey claimed or assumed between his technical philosophical formulations and educational recommendations do not in fact exist.
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    Human capital : a case study of the AMEP
    McElgunn, Barry ( 1995)
    This study is an investigation of the Human Capital Approach to education in Australia. It examines whether or not the Commonwealth Government is steering education towards the incorporation of policies that invest greater emphasis and resources into human beings as contributors to economic productivity than it invests in their cultural and aesthetic value. The study incorporates the philosophies of the Human Capitalists and how successive Commonwealth and State Governments apply these philosophies in education policy formulation - particularly the provision of English language to adult migrants through the Adult Migrant Education Program in Victoria. The methodology used is a questionnaire of closed and open-ended questions distributed to AMEP teachers. The researcher duly followed up the questionnaire with interviews of four AMEP teachers in an endeavour to shed more light on the reasons behind the responses given by teachers in the questionnaire. The researcher undertook an analysis of the responses in order to investigate whether or not the Commonwealth Government gives primacy to economic objectives of the migration program over its social, cultural and linguistic objectives. The findings are that the AMEP teachers surveyed believe that the Commonwealth Government does emphasize economic objectives over all other objectives of the migration program. A Human Capital approach to education, reflected in the application of Economic Rationalism, is apparent in Australia's education system according to AMEP teachers surveyed and that such has been the case since the late 1970s. The literary works of Schultz, Smith, Dawkins, Piore, Crittenden, Benovat, Green, Pusey, Kennedy, Marginson and Grubb are included in this study. These works form the literature review of the Human Capital approach. As well, the Reports chaired by Karmel, Williams, Kirby, Fitzgerald and Campbell, and a variety of Commonwealth Reports and Working Party Papers into various aspects of education in Australia are represented in an investigation of the application of the Human Capital approach to education in Australia's main education policies. The findings of this research are that the Human Capital approach to education is influencing the AMEP and that this has wider implications for the national education system in Australia. Almost all AMEP teachers surveyed believe the AMEP no longer follows its own National Plan, in which it spells out its aims and objectives, but pursues the Commonwealth Government's primary objective of pursuing the economic aims and benefits of the migration program.
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    Curriculum and programme provisions for gifted and talented children in Victorian J.S.H.A.A. schools
    Wilson, H. Peter M ( 1992)
    This study has surveyed the provision of programmes for Children with High Intellectual Potential (C.H.I.P.) in Victorian member schools of the Junior Schools Heads Association Australia. Fifty-nine schools were surveyed; fifty-four responded, representing some 19,000 junior school children. The survey was divided into six sections covering staffing provisions, curriculum and programmes, definition of gifted children, identification procedures, changing perspectives and importance of C.H.I.P., and subscriptions to journals. The literature search was divided into two distinct sections. Within the Australian context the review was historical, marking the modern beginnings of education for C.H.I.P.. There is a dearth of literature with Australian origins on gifted and talented children. The late seventies and early eighties uncover some material, basically funded and inspired by the Commonwealth Schools Commission. The emphasis is on surveys of programmes. The conclusion is clear that what programmes were operating were ad hoc in nature. This was inevitable, as teacher training for C.H.I.P. was non-existent. In the early eighties, promising programmes in the Victorian Education Department and the Catholic Education system were quickly quashed by a change of government. Major writers such as Gallagher, Maker and Van Tassel-Bash identify three distinct curriculum models, the Content, the Process/Product and the Epistemological. There is no evidence at this stage to suggest that the Victorian C.H.I.P. programmes are anything more than ad hoc. They do not fit into the three identified curriculum models. In-class provision is the main methodology, with programmes based on Bloom's Taxonomy or the Sato/Kaplan Differentiated Curriculum. Many schools are not yet operating strongly founded theoretical based programmes, and are clearly moving without direction. There is lack of understanding of the concept of C.H.I.P., even though identification procedures are quite sophisticated. Interest in teacher in-service appears to be growing rapidly. There is clearly a crucial need to provide pre-service courses at teacher training institutions. The major need for C.H.I.P. is for the Commonwealth government and the Ministry of Education in Victoria to develop and implement a policy on gifted and talented children.
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    Chinese/Anglo-Celtic bicultural children's education experiences in Australia
    McMahon, Mei Fong ( 2001)
    This study explores, through three case studies, how home, school and community factors have influenced the education and development experiences of Chinese/Anglo-Celtic bicultural children attending Australian schools. The worldwide lack of previous research on the education of bicultural children and the high outmarriage rate of Chinese-Australian women make it important to understand whether Chinese/Anglo-Celtic children experience similar or different education problems to those experienced by monocultural minority and mainstream children The data was collected from parents and children through questionnaires and individual interviews conducted at each family home. All the participant families were referred to the researcher by colleagues and were previously unknown to the researcher. The findings indicate that the children's home environments have influenced the varying levels of their Chinese and Australian cultural values and language skills. However, they all generally appear psychologically stable and have successfully integrated into their respective schools and mainstream society.
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    Building social relationships with peers for children with developmental delay
    Yates, Shirley ( 1993)
    The focus of the study was to examine the peer social interaction skills of four preschool aged children with developmental delay, across two terms. A case study methodology was chosen because of the variability of skill amongst children with developmental delay. The children's interaction with peers was measured under three different teaching methods in their early intervention and integrated preschool settings Videoed observation of the children's free play interactions were analysed using an observational instrument developed from the literature. Results demonstrated consistently that children with delayed development had difficulty in integrating basic skills to become socially effective. The study reinforced the need for intervention and found several factors that were consistent in promoting social competence. There was a clear finding that was consistent across all four children and the eight contexts. The social interaction between these children and their peers was increased when staff facilitated interaction through group composition selection of activities and the scaffolding of interactive tasks to an appropriate developmental level. Peer interaction was further enhanced when staff used subtle cues suggestions and encouragement at critical moments.
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    Auditory skills program
    Romanik, Sylvia ( 1993)
    The Auditory Skills Program is a comprehensive graded program to develop speech and language processing skills through audition and to enhance spoken language skills in students with hearing impairment. The program has two sections:- A section for school aged students who generally have established language and cognition and would be learning to listen to the language they have already developed and would be improving skills such as auditory memory and auditory sequencing; A second section for babies and younger students who would be developing language, speech and cognitive skills through audition. Further sections were also developed:- A placement test was designed for the section for school aged students so that students could be easily placed at an appropriate level in the program. A section on phonemes and suprasegmentals was developed to assist in the development/remediation of specific speech targets. A section on audiological management was included to ensure the appropriate aiding of students at all times. In addition to the manuals, an audio cassette and a video cassette were produced. The audio cassette was designed to develop more complex listening skills - for example, listening to a taped signal and listening with competing stimuli. The video was developed to demonstrate the different skills at various levels in the program being taught to profoundly deaf students.
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    Paulo Freire : the implementation of his theory
    Smith, Jan ( 1989)
    Paulo Freire achieved mythic stature in many educational and theological circles in the 1970s after the publication of his work in the Western world. He was welcomed by many for his philosophy of compassion and social change. His philosophy stems from his personal experience of struggle for survival in the Depression, and his theory of education was derived from his practice of teaching adult illiterates in north-east Brazil. Freire regarded literacy as the means by which oppressed people could become aware of and actively control and change their historical and social conditions. Literacy, for Freire, could thus never be a neutral activity. His early political aims were to educate people for the practice of democracy. However personal experience in Brazil led him to advocate revolution. For Freire literacy underpins revolution. Freire refuted traditional methods of teaching and learning, and so found much acceptance by Marxist educators and the youth of the 1970s anxious to change the world. They embraced his work for its view of human possibilities and for its revolutionary demeanour. Many supporters bestowed on him a god-like status for his radical views. Most of his supporters, however, applaud aspects of his theory but do not fully embrace it. Many conservative adult educators criticised Freire for his language and his view of human nature and society. Some contend that Freire has nothing new to say and that his theory is based on contradictions. They deplore the lack of academic rigour in his books. Many critics concede that Freire adds some valuable insights to the debate on literacy but claim that his hidden political agenda obscures these. He is also criticised for not offering people specific advice on how to utilise his theories in other contexts. Freire does not satisfactorily answer his critics, nor does he explain the discrepancy between his evaluation of his programme in Guinea-Bissau and that of the Guinea-Bissau government in 1980. However in self-defence he claims that he never wanted the adulation he received in the 1970s and that he never claimed universality for his work as a whole. He reiterates constantly that his theory must be re-interpreted in every situation. Some of his ideas are indisputable but no evidence is provided of a successful total implementation of his theory.