Melbourne Graduate School 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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    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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    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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    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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    Towards redressing the neglect of "dispositional knowledge"
    Wyatt, Scott A ( 1991)
    Dispositional knowledge has been long neglected (with only few exceptions) by philosophers even though this topic should be of particular interest to philosophers of Education. All dispositional knowledge can be expressed in the grammatical form 'x knows how to 0'. So, in examining dispositional knowledge statements, we need only consider statements which are expressible in this form. Kyle's work on dispositional knowledge (or knowing how to) was misleading in that he assimilated cases of human dispositional knowledge with cases of physical dispositions. More recently David. Carr has proposed an alternative view of knowing how to which culminates in three criteria for the application of physical know how to an agent; these criteria are parallel to the widely acknowledged tri-partite account of propositional knowledge. Carr neglects an account of mental know how on the grounds that mental know how cannot be distinguished from mental ability. Carr's account of physical know how is flawed. And an analysis of mental know how is required. An examination of mental know how reveals criteria for mental know how which are parallel to the criteria for physical know how.
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    Knowledge and vital piety: John Wesley's ideas on education - sources, theories and practice
    Klan, Julian Stanley ( 1990)
    Education was an essential element in the Wesleyan Revival of eighteenth century England. John Wesley sought not only to save souls but also to nurture them in the Christian life: literacy was a pre-requisite for this. He could not rely on the schools of his day to provide an acceptable education, so he established his own school at Kingswood, Bristol, in 1748. For Wesley, the basic aim of education was "to overcome the principle of evil with the principle of Grace", or to set right the "natural bias" of humanity. The daily programme, the rules and the curriculum at Kingswood School were geared to achieving this educational aim. By avoiding all negative influences and enforcing positive ones, he sought to overcome the principle of evil with God's grace. Constant supervision was crucial. The students (all boarders) were awake from 4a.m. to 8p.m. and constantly at their lessons, spiritual exercises or physical exercise - no "playing". There were no holidays or home visits until a child's education was completed. Only children under the age of twelve were admitted. The curriculum was an extension of the same principle. The traditional Classics Course was revised to exclude any un-Scriptural values and to include works of religious biography and ethics. In developing his educational theories, Wesley was truly eclectic. His own religious experience and Arminian theology, and the influence of his mother were seminal. He drew upon other educational systems, particularly the Dissenting Academies in England, the French Port Royal Schools and the German Moravian schools. The writings of Plato, Law, Locke, Milton, Comenius, Fleury and Poiret were also most influential in forming his ideas. These influences, tempered by Wesley's own experiences and failures in three earlier schools, shaped Kingswood School, the definitive expression of his educational philosophy.
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    Constructing a map of Australian occupations: Gottfredson's hypotheses and relationships within the world of work
    Harvey-Beavis, Adrian Peter ( 1994)
    This dissertation evaluates L. S. Gottfredson's concept and graphical depiction of the Cognitive Map of Occupations and the Common Cognitive Map of Occupations. The evaluation is guided by a revised version of Popper's argument that there are three types of existence. These he names 'World 1' (the world of material objects and processes) 'World 2' (the world of subjective experience) and 'World 3'. It is argued that Popper misconstrues World 3 by describing it as consisting of the products of the human mind. By adapting the arguments of Bhaskar, it is shown that World 3 can be interpreted as social existence. This theoretical framework shows that the Cognitive Map of Occupations is appropriately conceptualised by Gottfredson. It indicates that the graphical depiction that she presents of the Cognitive Map of Occupations should be regarded only as a heuristic device. When the Common Cognitive Map of Occupations is so regarded, it is argued that Gottfredson erroneously infers its existence because she uses concepts which refer to World 2 processes to extrapolate into World 3. Her graphical depiction of the Common Cognitive Map of Occupations is, consequently, also flawed. When the critique of the Cognitive Map of Occupations and the Common Cognitive Map of Occupations is completed, new data are described and a theoretical context is developed to interpret these data. This theory starts from the critique of Gottfredson's ideas. A map of Australian occupations is then constructed. This map and related data are explored using Exploratory Data Analysis showing that the World of Work may consist of subcultures related to the nature of the work environment. These sub cultures are found to be internally divided along various dimensions. Despite these divisions, they have strong enough boundaries to retain their field type identity. These findings help to show that the Map of Australian Occupations provides a coherent view of the world of work.
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    The pedagogy of St Thomas Aquinas and its significance for contemporary catechetical methodology
    Gaskin, Gerard M. ( 1991)
    This thesis sets out to achieve two related tasks. First, it aims to extract from the massive corpus of the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) a coherent pedagogical theory. The Introduction gives a brief overview of the man in history, sets out the confines of the investigation and establishes a working definition of pedagogy. Chapter One argues that for pedagogy to be effective it must cooperate with the operation of the intellect. It then proceeds to examine St. Thomas's understanding of the operation of the intellect. It also considers the role of the senses in intellection and the notion of the perfection of the intellect. Chapters Two and Three work systematically through St. Thomas's basic epistemology. They analyse his principles of cognition, abstraction, the use of reason, the purpose of knowledge, the divine truth and Catholic doctrine. Secondly, this thesis draws specific (Thomisitic) catechetical principles from this pedagogy. Chapter Four examines St. Thomas's explicit pedagogy. It considers the teacher, potency to knowledge, discovery and instruction. It reviews the notion of pre-existent knowledge, derived and perfected by St. Thomas from the Greek philosophers. It also deals with the letter written by St. Thomas to Brother John on "How to Study". Chapter Five draws thirteen catechetical principles from St. Thomas's pedagogy. It considers the use of intellect, will and reason, teaching and instruction within this catechetical framework. In the process of completing this second task Chapter Six examines a contemporary Catholic catechetical document and evaluates its methodological precepts in the light of Thomisitic catechesis derived in Chapter Five.
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    Teacher narrative: illuminating the commonsense reality of teaching
    Eischeid, Helen ( 1993)
    This study began as research on the pedagogical content knowledge of three teachers working with the researcher in a Catholic girls' school. It developed as a discourse framing each teacher's knowledge within a moral imperative which took into account the purpose of the teacher, the culture of teaching, the teacher as a person, and the relationships that teachers have with their colleagues. Each of the resulting narratives illuminated their teaching as creative, knowledgeable and compassionate. The reciprocal interaction between the observer and the observed resulted in a shared epistemology of practice. This illumination of the common sense reality of teaching led to significant professional development for all the teachers involved in the study. Research of this type may facilitate a closer partnership between schools and universities that would sponsor collaboration between teachers to articulate their professional knowledge and in so doing, improve the quality of teaching.
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    Anton Semyonovich Makarenko and progressive education: a study of Pedagogicheskaya Poema, or, The Road to Life
    Cartelli, Concetta ( 1991)
    The aftermath of the 1917 October Revolution in the U.S.S.R, brought about a climate of radical reforms in the entire education system. The first minister of education, Lunacharsky, introduced experimentation in schools; he encouraged the implementation of a school curriculum influenced by Marxist-Leninist ideology combined with the ideals of John Dewey and the Western Progressive tendencies in education. In Russia, a product of the October revolution was also a multitude of 'bezprizornie', homeless children who needed urgent educational attention. In 1920, a young Ukranian teacher, imbued with the fervour of revolutionary ideals, was given the task of running a colony for 'bezprizornie'. Antonich Makarenko accepted the task with reluctance but also with a firm belief that educational processes could re-educate children. He also believed that the education system could cater for the interests of both the individual and the group. Makarenko's educational experiment became known as 'The Gorky Colony', in honour of his source of inspiration, the Russian writer, Maxim Gorky. In the running of the Gorky Colony, after initial difficulties, Makarenko, experienced fame and success. He recorded his pedagogical experience in a literary work which he called: A Poem of Education, translated into English and thereafter known as: The Road to Life. His work, first published in 1933, coincided with the end of the Lenin-Lunacharsky's influence in education and with the rise of Stalinist policies of return to traditionalism in education. Makarenko survived the party purges of the early Bolsheviks by adopting the Stalinist policies in education. Calling his methodology 'the Soviet Way', and by stressing the belief in 'collective education', he gained favour within the Stalin regime and also during the 'de-Stalinization' years of the Khrushchov regime. Detailed analysis of The Road to Life, reveals that the 'Makarenko method' remains most of all a reflection of the child-centred, progressive approach to education of the early Bolshevik years, the 1920's.