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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    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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    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 philosophical analysis of the concept of education
    Ozolins, John Talivaldis ( 1989)
    The thesis critically examines some of the concepts involved In the elucidation of the concept of education developed by R.S. Peters who says that education Is a family of processes whose purposes are the development of desirable states of mind. In particular, it critically examines the concept of mind built into Peters' conception of education and argues that Peters is correct to imply that the mind cannot be reduced to brain states. Education, I .claim is a telological concept primarily concerned with the transmission of cultural values. The thesis begins by briefly looking at behaviourist views of mind, and introduces the Identity Theory as an attempt to provide a better explication of the nature of mind. Feigl's views on the nature of mind are examined, in particular, his attempted reduction of the mental to the physical. His rejection of the concept of emergence is challenged and what is meant by the reduction of one theory to another is elucidated. It is concluded that the mental cannot be reduced to the physical. The features of scientific explanation in general are explored. It Is found that scientific explanation is applicable largely in physical science contexts, and so is of limited use in explaining the concept of mind, and so the concept of education. Teleological explanations are examined, since it is apparent that education is a teleological explanation. The question of whether teleological explanations can be reduced to non-teleological explanations is considered. It is found that there are at least three forms of teleological explanation, (i) functional explanation, (ii) goal-directed explanation and (iii) purposive explanation. It is clear from an examination of these that education is explained in terms of purpose. An examination of the concept of intention and its relationship to action forms a major portion of the thesis. The problem of whether there can be several descriptions of one action is considered, as well as whether Intentions are entailed by desires. The relationship between actions and events is considered, discussing in particular the concept of cause. Five uses of the term "cause" are outlined. It is postulated that the causal power In agent causation is the "act of will", which forms part of the intention to act. The concept of a process, and some of the ways in which it may be defined, is examined. The concept of development is briefly considered in the light of the analysis of the concept of a process. It is concluded that education may be termed a super-process. As a process, education can never be completed, but continues throughout an Individual's life. The purposes of education and what might be meant by desirable states of mind are discussed. The primary purpose of education, it is asserted, is the imparting of values. The question of who decides what states of mind might be termed desirable is considered and it is concluded that it is society, or the community who decide what values are to be imparted.
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    From the industrial to the convivial ethos : Ivan Illich on needs, commodities, education and the politics of change
    Pantas, Ignatios Jack ( 1991)
    The appearance of the soul-stirring views of Ivan Illich in the early seventies made for an iconoclastic campaign against current claims and definitions of objective social progress in our industrial-computer-technology age. His controversial message expressed serious concern about the consumerist ethos of modern societies and the pathogenic nature of our institutions. Today, the radical literature boom, of which Illich was part, appears to have gone quiet. Additionally, aspects of his writings have been superseded by new radical discourses. Yet still, for all that, Illich has produced an imposing and provocative critique of modern industrial society that goes a long way to demythologize our world view of "what is" of the sociocultural reality around us. In this sense, Illich has posed problems and offered positions that remain relevant to radical politics, and that are likely to concern us for a very long time. Throughout this thesis, I will attempt to contextualize and present the matrix of Illich's thought. In view of the ample critical responses to Illich's work, I do not intend to present a comprehensive critical appraisal, though I will concentrate on an assessment of his proposed strategy for the transition to a more humane society. I will begin, in chapter one, by mapping out Illich's critique of the increased importance of commodity culture within both the production and social reproduction - the ways in which advanced industrial society reproduces itself in individual thought and behaviour. Illich's investigation of the consumer society points to how institutions and a wide variety of cultural phenomena within social life are becoming forms of commodification and consumption, thus engendering deleterious and dehumanizing consequences. Chapter two takes Illich's objections to the consumerist ethos and investigates the role of compulsory public schooling within the logic of the commodification process. On the whole, Illich illustrates that the school, by packaging knowledge as a consumer commodity, distorts the meaning of education for its own vested interests. While the first two chapters attempt to contextualize Illich's writings, chapter three explores his conceptualization of the "ideal society" and his proposals for social and educational transformation. In chapter four, I will critically appraise Mich's thinking on radical social reconstruction in contradistinction to his Marxist critics and their proposed strategies. Out of this debate, the relevance of Illich's political concerns to current radical politics will be further clarified. My purpose in chapter five will be to confront the dilemma posed by Mich: should a radical policy be directed to reform or to deschool? I will attempt to present and appraise some of the prominent critical views levelled against Illich's politics for social change. In the final chapter, an attempt will be made to reveal what the deschooling analysis does not take into account. Attention will be given to how "resistance" theories, in particular the work of Paul Willis, provide an alternative view of how school reproduces the social order. New possibilities for schools acting as agents of social change are presented. The efforts of "empowerment" theorists build up these possibilities and call for "transformative" pedagogies to be developed within the schools. The major concern here will be to ascertain whether there is a role for the school, as we know it, to play in radically transforming society, and whether some middle ground can be charted with respect to Illich's project for deschooling society.
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    D.H. Lawrence, fulfilment and education : a presentation, interpretation and evaluation of his educational views, with specific reference to his core ideas of individual and social fulfilment
    Michel, Jacques E. Max ( 1981)
    Lawrence despaired of civilisation, which he considered to have left the rails and become profoundly dehumanising. It was all the more demoralising because he harboured what to him must have appeared a viable vision of 'fullness', of human fulfilment, which, he thought, it would be possible to articulate and realize through education. Man he saw as potentially spontaneous, integrated, vital, creative, authentic, flexible, possessed of every strength and virtue, once he would have fully recovered his birthright in a world permeated creatively by the Life-Force he assumed was active in the universe. He envisioned reconstructed Society as a projection, not as in contemporary Society, of distorting national ambitions or economic imperialism, or yet of purposes unconnected with human fulfilment, but of the regenerated individual's hopes, needs and achievements. The schools of his own day, however, Lawrence saw as conniving in the decay and drift of civilisation and in the dehumanisation of man. They failed to challenge the ambient decay and inertia, and instead sought to indoctrinate, to intellectualise all experience and to promote unreal hopes of social mobility. They imprisoned and frustrated; they stifled human energy and destroyed human integrity. They were instruments of 'nullity'. However, this scathing view of schools is counter-balanced by their potential instrumentality in human regeneration. In this context, Lawrence emphasised responsible leadership, flexible institutions, fulfilment-centred methods and programmes, a closer relationship between school and life, the fostering of intrinsic values, the need for strong ethical and spiritual purpose and for educating the whole individual. Cumulatively, he hoped, these emphases would enable individuals, and thereby, society, to attain to 'fullness', to be fulfilled. It is my contention, though, that Lawrence, while having a perfectly coherent if incomplete educational blueprint for human renewal, mistook, to some extent, formal and substantive requirements; that he had serious temperamental and philosophical limitations which hamstrung his social and educational views; and that, even if his package was successful enough to improve appreciably the climate of schools and the capacity of individuals for self-realization in many ways, it was unlikely to lead society as a whole to change positively to the degree he envisioned. For one thing, his view of individual fulfilment left out women and the handicapped, and his attempt at liberating individuals politically must be seen as potentially enslaving; for another, while having a most generous and formally liberal view of education, he overestimated its power to bring about radical cultural change. While concentrating,like Freud, on the psychic and psychological bases of the reality of individual and social life, he ignored its other dimensions, especially the material and the economic, and underestimated the will and the power of entrenched social forces to resist change. It is fair to say that despite the marginal gains his efforts at securing the millenium may have ensured, the latter remains as elusive as ever.