Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

Permanent URI for this collection

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    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.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    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 Additionally, aspects of his writings have been superseded by new radical discourses.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.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    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.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    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.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    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.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    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.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Beyond Goodman
    Brown, Liane Marise ( 1992)
    This minor thesis is an investigation of the educational works of the American writer Paul Goodman. The first chapter includes a brief account of his private life, such as his relatively poor beginnings and his enthusiasm for an idealised version of academic life, and captures the turbulent context in which he was writing. The second chapter delves into Goodman's view of education and the schooling institution. It necessarily includes both his criticisms of the current system and his many proposals for reform. In the light of Goodman's suggested alternatives, the third chapter examines the framework of some Australian, American and British open schools and free schools, as well as the notion of deschooling. Comparisons are drawn between his propositions, practices in the open and free schools, and the concept of deschooling. The fourth chapter critically analyzes Goodman's works, with particular focus on his proposed alternatives to the current schooling system. Where applicable, Goodman's critics are also held up to scrutiny. The fifth chapter concludes the minor thesis with an overall appraisal of Goodman's contribution to the field of education, along with some issues that are relevant to the Victorian-Australian context of the early 1990s. In this minor thesis, one purpose is to reach beyond the words of Goodman, and to investigate his possible influence in the field of education. Notwithstanding many criticisms of Goodman's style of writing and his often sketchy description of ideas, and notwithstanding sentiments for which he deserves no credit (such as being the first 'deschooler'), the quality and extent of Goodman's contribution are considered from the angles of his active participation in the educational movement of the American 1960s, the many practices of open and free schools which strongly resemble his ideas, theory which may have emerged from his works, such as the concept and network components of 'deschooling', and the contemporary publications of educational material that heavily borrow from his writings or specifically refer to them.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    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.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Intrinsic value and education
    Barnes, Meredith Rachel ( 1994)
    The object of this enquiry was, firstly, to investigate the nature of intrinsic value, and, secondly, to discover what relationship, if any, it has with education. While intrinsic value remained difficult to actually define, several broad senses of the term were identified. That is, value of something as part of its intrinsic nature, value of something for its own sake as distinct from value due to something else of value to which it leads, and the prima facie sense of value attaching in the first instance to certain basic kinds of experience instinctively judged to be good or bad. Two broad approaches as to how value, and intrinsic value in particular, is conceived were identified, these being the objective and subjective approaches respectively; and much of Part I was occupied with examination and comparison of the different problems encountered by each. While the objective approach was held to be relatively untenable, due to its lack of assimilation of the inalienable element of human cognition in the meaning of value, the subjective approach was considered not to offer an acceptable alternative in the relativistic form in which it is generally known. An alternative version of the subjective approach was suggested, which provides a more stable and enduring foundation than can relativism, while incorporating the agent-basing element of value. Under this alternative approach, intrinsic value can be identified in the latter two senses in which the term is used. The views of three educationalists were considered, of whom two (Plato and Rousseau) have specifically accorded instrumental value to their respective conceptions of education, while the third (R. S. Peters) has related intrinsic value to his. It was found that this relationship is one of conceptual necessity, which offers little further enlightenment as to the nature of intrinsic value, yet indicates that such a relationship is nevertheless possible.