Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

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    Egan's stage theory : an exploratory study of its use in the analysis of science textbooks
    Valmadre, Christopher Charles ( 1985)
    Kieran Egan (1979) has challenged educationists to consider the need for a Theory of Development which is specifically Educational. Such a need is discussed and examined in the context of science teaching. Egan's Theory was applied to the selection of science text material for a group of eleven and twelve year old students. The students' responses to the materials were compared with Egan's descriptions of certain developmental stages, particularly of his Romantic Stage. The author concluded that Egan's theoretical proposition assisted in interpeting certain student behaviour and preferences. Possible classroom uses of Egan's theory are discussed, implications for text usage and design are outlined, and some areas of research are suggested.
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    Literacy, thinking and engagement in a middle years classroom community of philosophical inquiry: a reflection on practice
    Harvey, Gordon P. ( 2006)
    I present the introduction and concluding chapter in the first person in an ontological acknowledgement of self as one who practised my profession and reformed my practice, and who has reflected on my practice as a teacher, as a researcher, and as teacher-researcher. I wrote the other chapters in the formal language of the third person to assist me in developing some degree of objectivity about my practice; it served as a constant reminder to me that I was writing about something that could be considered, to some degree, as other than myself. I was investigating a teacher's practice, my past practice, and as such I strove for a non-egocentric assessment, yet acknowledge that it was my practice at a unique time in my career, a period through which my practice has now grown. This reflection on- practice was not easy, either intellectually or emotionally, and I needed to constantly remind myself that I could be simultaneously a merciless critic, and an empathic one. I moved from the role of teacher to researcher and into teacher-researcher as the moment required and used the third person to present my experience from these perspectives as seemed most appropriate and for presenting the narrative elements of the lived moment. I concluded by uniting those three perspectives into the one, whole self and so wrote the conclusion in the first person.
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    Active participation in the emergence of musical phenomena: a commentary and guide
    Bignell, Barry ( 1994)
    It is intended that this work be used by students of music, and specifically, by students of conducting. For that reason, it is both epistemological commentary and developmental guide. Part A of the study identifies a perceived deficiency of artistic feeling in contemporary musical life. It argues that human consciousness is a continuum which, as it evolves, develops modes of thinking which it believes to be appropriate for human existence in the world at this time, and further, that the history of humankind is, at the same time, a contraction of consciousness rather than, as is commonly thought to be the case, an expansion. The commentary argues, correlatively, that in seeking freedom from dependence, consciousness has not only developed thinking which it believes to be applicable to all human endeavour, but has unwittingly accommodated modes of thinking which are singularly inappropriate for the creation of artistic as distinct from acoustic phenomena. The discussion centres around the cognitive confusion in formal education and in musical life generally, a situation which, it is contended, has grown out of failure firstly, to recognise the abovementioned cognitive distinction, and secondly, to formulate epistemological questions in a manner which might lead to the explication of musical knowing, or that which enables us to be musical prior to any speculation about what music is. Part B of the study, which grew out of a period of phenomenological research, takes the form of a corrective to the hidden presupposition that musical artistry is an expression of self dependent on unconscious inspiration rather than a liberation of potentially perfect, and therefore, objective tone-forms, whose actualization in sound is reliant on conscious acts of imagination leading to intuition. For musical purposes, the retrieval of this lost but essential mode of thinking is possible only through the acknowledgment of a more capacious, qualitative concept of knowing, and in the systematic education of previously neglected inner faculties. As a method, Part B of the study is an experiential response to the questions, 'How does a musician know a musical tone?' and, 'Can this knowledge be drawn on to enhance performance?'