Faculty of Education - Theses

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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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    Ideology critique and the production of meaning : a critical approach to selected urban education material
    Unger, Zita (1948-) ( 1989)
    Ideology critique, when applied by educational research to the ideational content of curriculum materials, has evoked negative connotations of partiality and bias, mis-representation of social reality, and ultimately, of untruth. This thesis attempts to assert a more positive sense of "meaning production" for curriculum critique and shift emphasis away from representation towards signification. Part 1 reviews the management of questions of ideology and education by the sociology of school knowledge and curriculum research. I argue in Chapter 1 that strategies of ideology critique, along structuralist and culturalist lines of difference, have inadequately addressed issues of critical subjectivity, hegemony, and social transformation that is posed by radical education. Four curriculum studies of text book analysis are discussed in detail, in terms of their attachment to the sociology of school knowledge and in terms of the "bias and balance" discourses that they produce. Meaning production is used to enhance, rather than displace, practices of ideology critique, in ways that the case study analysis seeks to develop. The urbanism kit that is analysed in Part 2 is undertaken as a means to ground these issues, rather than to render a consummate curriculum analysis. Critical reading of the case study materials in Chapter 2 is enabled by the urban theory of Manual Castells. His ideology critique of urbanism and reformulations of urban system, urban planning, and urban social movements, are utilised to the extent that theoretic productions of the case study materials in Chapter 3 are analysed in terms of their constitutive discourses, rather than in terms of determinations about whether they are biased or ideological. Chapter 4 examines this process of signification further. Our inquiry shows that not only are understandings about "the city" produced, but, discourses about knowledge-production and about individual subjects are set up at the same time. Analysis of the case study material also indicates that balance is not necessarily built-in as a result of a commitment to provide diverse expert opinion. This has implications for those practices of curriculum criticism and curriculum construction which attempt to locate and redress bias as well as promote critical thinking. The directions suggested here are disposed towards problematising categories of analysis, especially categories such as "society" and the "individual", and towards opening up questions about what is produced as knowledge.
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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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    Vision and practice in Catholic schools
    Purdey, Carmel M ( 2000)
    This research examined the way in which a group of principals, teachers and parents from three Catholic primary schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne perceive the translation of vision into practice in their schools. This paper provides an account of the background literature examined, the methodology used, the data collected and conclusions drawn.
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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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    The poetical understanding of children's imagery of nature : how is poetical understanding evident in children's art?
    Zaper, Suzana ( 2005)
    This study explores the way in which preschool children engage in the creative process and how their sensory engagement with nature leads to invention of poetical attributes and symbols in their art. The study also examines the teacher's role in creating an environment that nurtures sensory learning, provides new energy and fosters discovery. This study also inquires into the educational theories of 'Reggio Emilia', 'emergent curriculum' and 'phenomenological pedagogy' and their influence in exploring significant moments of children's art creating within the process of 'aesthetic engagement' and 'aesthetic cognition'. The data related to these moments consists of children's visual and verbal images of nature that allowed me to unfold their perceptions of nature associated with beauty and make them evident to the viewer. In that sense data analysis reveals both mine and children's discoveries, with an emphasis on utilizing children's voices within the arts curriculum and making them protagonists of their own learning.
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    Yoga and education
    Taylor, David P ( 1982)
    This expository thesis looks at the relationship between the principles of Classical Yoga and the Prospectus of the School of Total Education conducted by the Helen Vale Foundation in Melbourne. A brief overview of the nature of. Classical Yoga is given. This is followed by an examination of the two basic tenets of the school, viz.,the concept of total education and the need for the school students to be given a philosophy of life. The examination presents these two factors in the light of their origins in Yoga philosophy. This is followed by an investigation of the major aims and objectives of the school and their relationship to the principles of Yoga. In particular, moral education, the control of the ego and the emotions, detachment, spirituality, the physical and psychosomatic practices and the role, function and methods of the teacher are discussed. The conclusion attempts to suggest the possible relevance of the yogic and educational aims, methods and practices of the School of Toil Education for education generally.
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    Characteristics of reflective practice in students of a diploma in nursing program : an issue-centred curriculum evaluation
    Robson, Caryl Patricia ( 1993)
    This case study was a theory-driven evaluation and an issue-centred curriculum evaluation. By methods of critical multiplism a Diploma in Nursing program was evaluated to identify how a reflective approach to clinical practice was characterised by students, and how the reflective approach to teaching and learning was implemented in the program. Sources of data were the curriculum, Schon's writings and speeches on reflective practice, students, sessional clinical teachers and lecturers. First year graduates of the program were also surveyed, giving a longitudinal aspect to the study. Conclusions were that reflection in action or 'action present' was characterised in students of the course by excellent processes and actions of thinking and attitudes relative to client care when faced with unique, conflicting or divergent situations in practice The student' characteristics included a professional appreciative system of doing the right 'thing' by clients, within the boundaries or role frame of nursing practice. Graduates of the program displayed these characteristics in more autonomous situations consistent with their post-registration status. The structural and administrative arrangements for clinical conferences/reflective seminars were the main factor in developing a reflective approach in students. Implementation of a reflective approach to teaching and learning by means of formal policies or guidelines on the topic was poor. However, although unaware of the reflective approach as a teaching/learning strategy in the formal sense, sessional clinical teachers facilitated reflection on scientific, procedural and intersubjective concepts of understanding with the students, for the purpose of nursing care delivery, as prescribed in the curriculum.
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    Multidimensional thinking
    Prior, Selena ( 2008)
    Thinking permeates our lives. Yet it remains mostly invisible and difficult to describe what we mean by it. This thesis clarifies the main schools of thought on thinking in education and proposes a framework which accurately describes the experience of thinking. As educators, our understanding of thinking influences not only the way we teach it but also how we assess and evaluate it. A disparate definition of thinking means disparate outcomes both in the context of education and the wider society. This thesis provides a clearer way forward by describing thinking as Multidimensional, consisting of three dimensions (critical, creative and positive affective) and one meta-dimension (metacognitive thinking). Extracts from idea centred dialogues will be analysed to illustrate Multidimensional thinking. The Community of Inquiry will be proposed as the ideal environment for the development of Multidimensional thinking because it makes thinking visible. Understanding thinking as Multidimensional is just as complex as conceiving of thinking in a critical thinking framework but it is far more accurate in describing the experience of thinking. The Multidimensional thinking framework encourages changes in teacher pedagogy and the thinking oriented curriculum.
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    A description and explanation of the differences in teacher culture in state secondary schools in Victoria
    Stewart, Alison ( 1993)
    The Victorian state secondary education system has had, for many years, two divisions: the Technical School Division and the High School Division. Teachers operating in one system in most cases had very little to do with those in the other system and it has seemed that two distinct " teaching cultures" had developed. During the eighties and early nineties, substantial structural changes occurred within the state system which allowed teacher movement between the previous divisions and thus created the potential for conflict. Teachers from each division have been confronted with a teaching culture in many cases different from their own experiences. Each system historically existed for a different reason, offered different curricula and trained its teachers differently. Its raisond'etre changed as social conditions changed but the differences persisted. Its teaching staff seemed to develop ways of operating which marked them as distinctly "technical" or "high". A hypothesis was proposed which suggested that a teaching culture comprised two broad factors which then determined the sorts of school operations teachers were likely to be involved in. Thus it might be possible to group people with similar backgrounds and experiences into a technical school culture and others into a high school culture. To understand if a difference existed between technical and high school teachers, qualitative research was undertaken using interviews with six people who equally represented each division, who were varied in their teaching subjects and who had recently come to a new school where a new teaching culture had not yet been established. The data collected was verified by the interviewees and recorded on a data chart. It was found that the cultures were not clearly technical or high school, but rather based more around practical and non-practical teaching subject orientation. In this sense it would see that there might be as much difference in the culture of teaching groups within a school as in the culture between the two types of school. It could be proposed that the apparent differences between the two systems may well have depended more on the different nature of the teaching, in that one system valued practicality more than the other.