Faculty of Education - Theses

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    What is logical deduction, in relation to physics, and how can students improve in this?
    McKenzie, Russell David ( 2023-11)
    This research was done in the context of the increasing emphasis on thinking in education and the contention by many researchers that improvement in thinking leads to improvement in learning. The other context is the difficulty of physics as a subject at high school and the constant search for better methods of teaching the subject. The objective was to investigate the suitability of logic education as a method to improve students understanding of physics. The current state of physics and thinking education was explored in the Literature Review. This included an analysis of methods aimed at improving student performance in physics, improving thinking and improving performance in physics by improving the thinking that occurs in this subject. Consequently, logical deduction in physics was deemed an area with the potential to support such improvement. As well, the process of logical deduction was found to need clarification. The nature of logical deduction was, therefore, explored using a philosophical method. The first outcome of this was that the process usually thought of as ‘logical deduction’ was reconceptualised as ‘deductive inferring’. This was to better reflect its nature as a thinking process. Wittgenstein’s critique of solitary rule-following was then applied to the processes of deductive and inductive inferring, and they were problematised accordingly. Consequently, a more accurate delineation of these processes was given as deductive-like and inductive-like inferring. To assess the suitability of logic education for physics education, the thinking involved in physics problem-solving was investigated empirically using a think-aloud method. It was found that deductive-like inferring played a key role in this thinking. For instance, it was implicated in moving from the information given in a question, alongside assumed knowledge, towards an answer. The results strongly suggested that logical deduction should be an element in a suite of thinking skills explicitly taught to high school physics students, and that more emphasis should be placed on logic and thinking more generally in education. The results of these analyses also motivate further research in this area and suggestions for these were made.
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    Gesture-based approaches to language learning
    McKinney, Jennifer. (University of Melbourne, 2012)
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    Aims and experience in outdoor education
    Nicolson, Malcolm A. (University of Melbourne, 2010)
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    Scaffolding practices in ESL writing classes in Zanzibar
    Maalim, Haroun Ayoub. (University of Melbourne, 2009)
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    More than music : freely painting in glorious sound
    Davies-Splitter, Susie (University of Melbourne, 2009)
    The study consisted of the design and implementation of a course of musical instruction based on the teachings of Carl Orff (1895-1982), specifically through an approach based on improvisation. Twenty six participants volunteered to take part in a 25 contact hour course run over seven weeks. All had at least a rudimentary knowledge of improvisation and all but one (a music therapist) were actively teaching music in a classroom or studio setting prior to the course. The main aim of the course was to instil a sense of confidence in the participants in relation to musical improvisation, a determinate of self that has been lacking in many teachers, according to anecdotal evidence. It was not a jazz or piano based course and was 'More than Music', as it aimed to teach values and life skills as well as music skills. The course consisted of a series of activities that included practical music-making in small and large groups, discussion and reflection, and special guests that culminated in a recording studio experience. Data was collected through questionnaires, both pre-course and post-course, mid-course evaluations, reflective journals, interviews, video-tapes and photographs, and analysed for themes and content. Results of the investigation showed that most participants felt their confidence in improvising had increased and that, following the completion of the course of instruction, most were using the Orff approach in their teaching. A further outcome of the course was the production of a teaching manual and three CDs that have been used in further courses of instruction.
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    Lined scaffolding : mediating the learning of early writing
    Clifton, Elisabeth. (University of Melbourne, 2008)
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    Investigating the Use of Augmented Reality Game-Based Learning in Classrooms to Support Student Learning in Victoria
    Dixon, Janelle Denise ( 2023-09)
    In our rapidly changing world, technology has become an inescapable part of people’s lives. Unprecedented availability of cost-effective technology offers opportunities to innovate teaching practices to match the demand for young people to understand and use emerging technologies. Despite the importance of augmented reality as an emerging technology that affords students access to tools and environments not available previously, and the opportunities it offers when combined with game-based learning to form augmented reality game-based learning (ARGBL) for innovative practice in education, there has been limited research conducted into the emerging area of ARGBL. Specifically, there is a lack of research into teachers’ perceptions and use of ARGBL in classrooms in Victoria, Australia. This two-phase qualitative case study that consisted of an online survey and semistructured interviews investigated how ARGBL is used in classrooms across Victoria and identified how teachers use ARGBL in classrooms and for what purpose. The online survey and semistructured interviews had eleven and four participants, respectively. The study found that a range of teachers in different school settings across Victoria use AR and ARGBL across nearly all learning areas. The affordances of ARGBL were focused on the unique presentation that ARGBL facilitates and how this benefits student engagement and learning outcomes. The main areas teachers found challenging when implementing ARGBL were cost, technical issues, easy-to-use technology, and the ability and confidence to employ an emerging technology in their classrooms. This research also demonstrated how the TPACK Framework can be used to model and analyse the knowledges required to integrate ARGBL into the classroom. This study contributes a new understanding of the ways in which teachers integrate ARGBL into their classrooms to support student learning in Victoria, providing a new perspective on Victorian teachers’ practice, experience, and perspectives on using ARGBL in their classrooms.
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    The influences of learning and change on primary physical education teachers
    Dawson, Jane E. (University of Melbourne, 2008)
    With the familiar call for reform in physical education (PE), more needs to be known about factors that promote or inhibit change. Increasing the ability of primary PE teachers to learn and adapt to change is one way of improving the current situation of PE. Teachers' capacity to change, and learn is influenced by their personal experiences, school organisations, professional development experiences and communities of practice. Using a collective case study methodology, this thesis explores the experiences of four primary PE teachers in order to gain a deeper understanding of the factors that have influenced their values, beliefs and practices. The experiences of each teacher are compared and discussed with the other participants in the study, using a process of identifying general themes from the literature and the data. The experiences of each teacher are used to generate discussion about their influences on the teachers' ability to learn and adapt to change. The concept of communities of practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991; Wenger, 1998) is used to reflect on how to create more effective learning opportunities for primary PE teachers. There were two key findings to this thesis: firstly, teachers' personal experiences in PE and sport, together with organizational factors, have a significant influence over the teachers' values and practices and their ability to adapt to change; secondly, teachers who work in thriving communities of practice have greater opportunities to learn and cope with change.