Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses
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ItemUp close and personal : listening to children's and adults' voices in the children's museumTadich, Ingrid Kryger ( 2005)New images of children as competent beings, capable of forming and expressing ideas and opinions have emerged. Young children's voices are now actively being sought to express their views on issues that affect them and there are recent examples of Local and State Govenrment policy makers actively seeking children's persepctives for future planning. Museums as cultural institutions are historically responsive to the societies in which they operate, but with the exception of recent studies of children visiting in pre-school groups , childrens voices are notaby absent in the evaluation and planning of exhibitions that are being developed with them in mind. Are museums relevant to them and what are children saying about their visits and experiences they have there? What are they interested in and how can exhibitions and programs really meet the needs of these younger audiences and enthuse them to play, discover and learn? This study, located in the Children's Museum at Melbourne Museum, actively sought to listen to children's voices, as well as the voices of their parents, to gain insight into their visit and to better understand what they experienced, what they saw and what they were interested in. Twelve families with children from three to ten years old took part in this study. Using digital cameras, all participants took photographs of objects or experiences that interested them, including opportunities for family interaction. At the end of the visit families received their photos and were encouraged to document any follow up discussions or thoughts by writing or drawing in their journals. Families returned for an interview to discuss their photos, their journals, their memories and their thoughts. The results are illuminating, children's voices came out strong and clear and their photographs, which were one of the surprises of this study, were an "up close and personal" record of their interests, their culture of childhood and their visit.
ItemProblem based learning in a traditional curriculum: the case of dental materials scienceBurrow, Michael F. ( 2002)Curricula in Medical Schools worldwide have seen a large change in the way student learning is approached. There has been a change in philosophy away from the traditional lecture-practical format to small groups that encourage students to work more independently. This has been commonly referred to as Problem-based Learning (PBL). In most cases whole curricula have been changed to this style of learning. In the case of Dental education, the concept of PBL is still new, with only a few Schools embracing the ideals and philosophies of PBL. This may in part be due to the different nature of Dental education or even a reflection of the conservative nature of dental educators. To bring about change in dental education, we need more information demonstrating how best to use PBL as well as determining if this style of learning can be applied universally to all the subject areas of dental education. There is almost no information in current education literature to determine whether a single PBL subject can work in an essentially traditional lecture-practical curriculum. This thesis investigates the implementation of the Dental Materials Science course into the first year of the dental curriculum at the School of Dental Science at the University of Melbourne using PBL as the method of learning. The curriculum at the School of Dental Science uses a traditional learning method for all other components in the first year curriculum. The project investigated student satisfaction of PBL using a series of questionnaires given to students in their first year of the BDSc curriculum in 1997 and 1998. Part of the investigation also looked at demography and how this may effect the success and acceptance of PBL. The convener of the subject also prepared a journal in the first year of implementation reflecting on the day to day experiences of implementing and modifying a PBL subject. The findings did not support the use of PBL for a single subject in a traditional curriculum. There were no differences observed in the ability to learn in a PBL environment with respect to ethnic heritage. Although a small group of students enjoyed learning in small groups, in general the outcomes showed most students did not like PBL and did not show appreciable benefits in their exam performance or self-reported learning strategies. It was concluded that other styles of learning such as Co-operative Learning in association with lectures is a better choice for students learning a subject where they have little or no prior experience.
ItemAssemblages and representations: boys' interactions and displays in a Year 8 coeducational classroomBain-King, Gerald ( 2005)This thesis draws on themes from postmodern philosophy (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, Grosz, 2004) and gender (Connell, 2002) to render boys' behaviours in a coeducational classroom and depict diversities in classroom cultures. The study engages one site, a Year 8 coeducational classroom, in an outer suburban Catholic secondary college of Melbourne, gathering moments and capturing shifts and responses to a range of representations during timetabled lessons. This ethnographic study of classroom behaviours of boys recognises the powerful influence of metanarratives on identities and agendas in schools. It employs a lens that views the metanarrative discourse as a field, where interplays between individuals and assembled cultures take place, as shifting, becoming, transiting bodies (Grosz, 2004). The research rejects deceptive simplifications that some totalising perspectives can bring to a study about gender, preferring stances that recognise multiple, unstable representations (Connell, 2002, p. 89). There is a recognition that particular challenges apply to ethnographic research of classes, including influences of histories and stances of the observer. It contests objective epistemological models and utilises conceptions of knowledge that reject objective accounts of reality to view cultures as `happenings' and multitudes of differential relations (Edgar & Sedgwick, 1999, Semetsky, 2003). Assemblages and representations observed in this study may not be reproduced in other settings, but lessons can be drawn from an understanding of representations, relationships and interplays between boys, their teachers and their peers. The study contributes to the debate about boys' education by providing connections between the observations and analysis of classroom interactions and boys' education literature. It shows how representations by participants in an educational setting can influence assemblages. It offers advice for educators about approaches that can effectively influence learning events.