Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

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    Origins and development of general science in Victoria 1942-1962
    Boyd, Lawrence Charles ( 1976)
    This thesis is a detailed study of the teaching of General Science in Victorian secondary schools during the period, 1942-1962. The beginnings of the General Science movement can be traced to investigations into science education in England in 1918. However, many ideals of the subject date back to the nineteenth century. Hence some time has been spent in researching the aims and practice of science teaching in England during these earlier stages. Similarly, it has been necessary to study early science curricula in Australia. This background allowed an analysis of effects that Nature Study courses, university science subjects and any unique aspects of Australian education may have had on the origins and implementation of General Science. Syllabuses, courses of study, examination papers and examiners' reports have been thoroughly studied to determine the nature and direction of teaching that took place. In particular, the effect of subject content, examinations, text books and teaching methods has been researched. Hence it has been possible to analyse critically the origins and evolution of General Science. This retrospective study has not only allowed close scrutiny of the ideals and actual classroom practice of the time; it has also afforded valuable insight into essential guidelines that are necessary for general curriculum evaluation and development. Many of these guidelines remain relevant today, even though some thirty years have elapsed since the first General Science course was adapted in Victoria.
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    Opening the door of the 6th form chemistry laboratory: a study of professional collaboration between a science teacher and an English as a second language (ESL) teacher in senior chemistry
    Acevedo, Margaret Claire ( 1997)
    True professional teacher collaboration has been limited by the institutional roles which are constructed for us and through which we view ourselves. This thesis is a narrative case study of teacher collaboration for the purpose of addressing the language learning needs of English as a Second Language students in Year 12 Chemistry classes. It explores the issues involved in the professional working relationship through the voices of a Science teacher and an ESL teacher over a two year period. This was done through transcripts of classroom teaching, analysis of teaching and learning materials produced, interviews and reflective journal writing. The study looked at the groundwork which took place to establish a school climate conducive to the collaboration in terms of the Habermasian interests; technical, practical and emancipatory. The emancipatory nature of the collaboration is explained in terms of the repositioning of the teachers with regard to each other, the students, the scientific and linguistic subject matter. By exercising power in their respective fields the collaborating teachers achieved a professional parity which allowed them to reflect on their practice and move beyond the static and ritualised institutional roles of a Chemistry and an ESL teacher. Through the interaction they established language as legitimate content in the science classroom and together explored new practices afforded by the adoption of a social constructivist epistemology. This research points to the emergence of a new more empowering professional development role for ESL teachers in the future. At the heart of this collaboration is a commitment to conversations about issues of fundamental importance in classroom practice which reconcile boundaries of differing departmental cultures and discourses.