Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

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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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    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.
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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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    On democratic schooling: an analysis of developments in Victoria
    Beckett, David (1950-) ( 1990)
    This is a thesis in philosophy of education. There are many points of contact between philosophy and, education, and there are bodies of intellectual enquiry in the English-speaking analytic tradition of philosophy which are centrally concerned with issues clustering around teaching and learning, the formal provision of these in schooling and society in general, and more generally, the nature of knowledge, truth, justice, identity and reality insofar as these are part of educative processes and outcomes. Traditions of philosophical enquiry which have engaged with these issues in influential ways have become philosophies of education in their own right, and have contributed to, and informed, continuing debates over the provision and practice of schooling in western societies which are themselves democratic in political outlook, and capitalist in economic activity. Indeed, it can be shown that these two aspects of western societies have symbiotically influenced philosophical enquiry in general and deliberations on education in particular. Relatively discrete philosophies of education, it would seem, can then be fairly regarded as products, as much as ingredients, of the intellectual and material life of a society. Bearing all this in mind, then, any substantial philosophical enterprise centering on education and related issues must take into account the contextuality of that enterprise itself, as much as it recognises and deals with the contextuality of other philosophical contributions to the issues under consideration. This thesis has schooling provision, policy and practice in the Australian state of Victoria as its material context. The intellectual context is provided by a consideration of the central concepts, "democracy" "education" and "schooling", as these have evolved since the seventeenth century, in English-speaking capitalist democracies. Chapter One is concerned with this, and ends with a plan for the rest of the thesis. In brief, Chapters Two, Three and Four argue for an emergent theory and practice of democratic schooling. This is taken to be an extension of liberal education, which is itself in some tension with the closely related notion of the provision of schooling in a liberal democracy. A more effective democracy, it is argued, will result if at least the type of schooling it provides and encourages breaks with excessively individualistic and inequitable "marketplace" models of curriculum, achievement and resourcing. Democratic schooling, by contrast, will seek co-operative participation, more inclusive teaching and learning strategies, and, most important, a recognition and fostering of the diversity present in the members of a western society in the late twentieth century. Accordingly, all three are present in each of "cultural formation", "educational' autonomy" and "social justice", which are argued for in detail as the cornerstones of democratic schooling. In Chapter Five, these, and the considerations of Chapter One, are drawn together, and suggestions are made about the future: there is much to be learned from current feminist thinking on democracy and education.