Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

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    The dawn of the thousand year reich : the ascendancy of didactic and neo-classical architecture during the Third Reich
    Kapaufs, Norman R. R ( 1978)
    In the past, Nazi architecture has been a much maligned subject which most commentators, historians and writers have carefully neglected. This legacy has left a deplorable lack of information, especially in the English language. This laudable position becomes more absurd for the copious amount of books, art journals, articles that flourished under the Third Reich are today virtually non-existent. Often when cited, the architecture is used in a hysterical fashion, usually in association with some alleged atrocity, thus pushing even further into the background the original concepts for the architecture's being. Had it not been for recent publications and research, carried out in West Germany, this thesis would have not been possible.
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    The vertical curriculum meeting the needs of students of high intellectual potential
    Ryan, Maree J ( 2000)
    This pilot project investigated one Victorian Independent School's implementation of the vertical curriculum in Grades Five and Six in over a one-year period in 1998. The study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of the vertical curriculum model for students identified as intellectually Gifted, High (Gifted and Bright) and Mainstream (Average, Low Average and Low) students by reviewing the students' progress in mathematics. Using Progressive Achievement Tests in Mathematics at the beginning and end of the year the identified Gifted, Bright and Mainstream students' progress was monitored to track their mathematical development, consisting of - achievement or progress made. The cohort reviewed consisted of eighty eight students incorporating eleven identified intellectually Gifted students, thirty three Bright students and forty four Mainstream students, as identified by the Raven's Progressive Matrices. The findings indicated firstly that an advanced level of mathematical achievement was found for the identified Gifted students. Secondly, it was found that the vertical curriculum assisted the Mainstream students as they showed significant mathematical progress. The findings indicated that the vertical curriculum provided an equitable educational option for the identified intellectually Gifted, Bright and Mainstream students.
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    A study of teachers' experiences of six years of laptop computers in the classrooms of a senior secondary school
    Nicholson, J. A ( 2000)
    This is the report of a study based on a Melbourne Secondary School looking at the use of laptop computers made by the staff in their teaching. Questionnaires were the instrument used to find a measure of the level of penetration and overall acceptance of laptop computers and computer technology by the Teaching Staff. The questionnaire was administered in 1997 and again in 1999. This study looks, with regard to the use of laptop computers by staff, at aspects of the teaching curriculum, administrative tasks and teaching at the classroom level over the two-year period 1997 to 1999. The questionnaire used is a `census' of all staff teaching at Years 9-12 where the laptop program is mandatory in a variety of study areas. The finding of this report is that the program at Goodlands Grammar has, at least in the short term, created a teaching environment that is still working within the traditional curriculum, using computers to achieve traditional outcomes. The computer has not, as yet, become integrated into the classroom program; rather it remains a complicated overlay to the existing curriculum.
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    Paulo Freire : conscientization. the road to freedom
    Sabto, Gina (1938-) ( 1978)
    Freire's chief concern with regard to the oppressed in Brazil involved a view of education as a tool for social and political change. Conscientization is the - method by which he aimed to achieve change. His programme however, should be seen, not as an isolated effort to liberate the oppressed; it should be viewed in the context of other programmes that emerged in Brazil at the time. These were mainly inspired by radical Catholic action groups and characterised by the need to achieve the process of self-realisation along populist lines, that is without interference and indoctrination. Freire's programme came after exploring the traditional methods of adult literacy and rejecting them as bankrupt. His method involved a problematisation of the themes of the life of the oppressed and a representation of that problematic to them for their identification and critical analysis. This was achieved by means of dialogue and in the course of group meetings where co-ordinators and students held equal. status. Concurrently with dialogue, ABC literacy took place; words arising out of discussions of themes formed the basic material for the ABC course. Much depends on the co-ordinator for the success of the method. Generally Freire's critics focus their attention on him as a potentially manipulative agent and as such, no better than the cruel masters from whom he is attempting to rescue the oppressed. Freire's principles governing his theory and method however, are so clearly enunciated, so tightly knit together, that an internal unity emerges from the programme as a. whole, which in itself, acts as a deterrent to abuse and distortion. Finally, two questions arise from the study of Freire's conscientization: one is whether revolutionary action would naturally follow from it; the other is whether Freire's adherence to absolute authenticity is emphasised to the detriment of an essential aspect of the task, which is the mobilisation of the oppressed into an effective task force to bring about revolutionary change, Both questions are closely linked together. It may be more realistic to view Freirets programme, not as a task achieving revolutionary action itself, but as an effective preparation for it and as such an honest and therefore necessary part of it,
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    Leadership and management in three exemplar non-government Australian Christian schools
    Twelves, James Bertrand ( 2000)
    The aim of this study was to identify some of the keys to the success of three non-government Protestant Christian schools, two parent controlled and one church sponsored. An expert panel nominated successful schools. Those with the greatest number of nominations were invited to become case studies. Qualitative methods of in-depth interviewing and document study were employed in each of the three schools. Eleven interviews were conducted, three chairpersons, three principals, three deputies, one school general manager and one sponsoring church general manager. The two research questions focused on a description of the current leadership and management practices and an understanding of the outcomes of the leadership and management in the lives of the students. These questions were developed into a conceptual framework that underpinned the study, namely that the leadership and management styles create distinctive structures in effective schools that in turn lead to the key attributes of success in the three Christian schools. The most significant findings of the research were that a collaborative leadership style dominated the organisations and that the school boards were now concentrating on governance and the implementation of a modified CEO model for their principals. Distinctive enrolment policies were being carefully implemented by committed Christian teachers whose contribution was regarded as the single most important factor that has led to the success of the schools. The teachers' primary objective was to see the lives of the students transformed, which was the central feature of the schools' dynamic vision. It is hoped that this study will be of value to anyone who wishes to see Christian schooling in Australia continue to succeed.
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    Conversational or instructional discourse : the opportunity for production of language by high school age students in English conversation classes in Japan
    Pollard, William James ( 1999)
    Some recent views on English language teaching suggest that one of the goals should be to use natural or genuine conversation in the classroom in preference to more traditional classroom communication. This study set out to find if naturalistic conversation used by the teacher was able to promote more active production of language by learners in a classroom of Japanese high school learners of English in Japan than in comparison to instructional classroom discourse. The length of responses to both referential and display questions were measured in terms of the mean length of utterance of the responses of the students to teacher questions in order to gauge the relationship between the type of language used and the potential for production of language. It was assumed that referential questions were characteristic of more naturalistic language and that display were characteristic of more 'traditional' classroom language. Opportunities for the negotiation of meaning were also sought by measuring the frequency of occurrence of echoic questions, associated with negotiation of meaning for both conversational discourse and for instructional discourse. The results for this particular study initially showed that in terms of the length of response and opportunities for the negotiation of meaning, both display questions and referential questions produced longer responses in instructional discourse than in comparison to conversational discourse. This suggests that in the case of the students studied, traditional classroom language or instructional discourse showed more potential for production of language than did naturalistic conversation, regardless of the question type. The results also showed that display questions promoted longer segments of classroom talk and negotiation of meaning than did referential questions suggesting that classroom conversation, as characterised by display questions, holds more potential for the negotiation of meaning than natural conversation. The results also showed, however, that there may be difficulties in producing conversational discourse and instructional discourse in a lesson in this context suggesting that the research questions and design of this particular study may be in need of reconceptualisation.
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    Rater consistency and judgment in the direct assessment of second language writing ability within the certificates in spoken and written English
    Smith, David R ( 1998)
    The introduction of competency-based models of language and literacy education in Australia has, to a large degree, coincided with an increased emphasis on direct assessment as the most common means of evaluating second language writing ability within the Adult Migrant English Program. The key problem in directly assessing writing ability is having two or more raters arrive at a similar judgment or rating for the same piece of writing. While there is a long tradition of research on rater consistency and judgment in the holistic assessment of writing ability, similar research on the direct assessment of second language writing ability within the context of competency-based language and literacy education is almost non-existent. This study aims to determine the degree to which the performance criteria designed to assess second language writing ability within the Certificates in Spoken and Written English can ensure acceptable levels of rater consistency, and to describe the decision-making behaviours and strategies used by raters when reading for the purposes of assessment. The think-aloud verbal reports of six experienced ESL raters assessing three texts written by intermediate level adult ESL learners were transcribed and subjected to a rigorous interpretive analysis. In terms of rater consistency, analysis of raters verbal reports indicated that while there was generally a high degree of rater consistency at the overall performance or text level there was considerably tess agreement at the level of individual performance criteria. Analysis of the data revealed that raters adopted distinctive styles or approaches to reading for the purposes of assessment and that raters interpreted and applied the performance criteria statements in a range of different ways. These findings have significant implications not only for the development of competency-based assessment procedures but also for the training of raters. v11
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    Defining the characteristics of a good middle school teacher in an Australian setting
    Douglas, Linda Jane ( 1995)
    The purpose of this study is to. identify the characteristics of a middle school teacher that define that teacher as a good teacher in the eyes of their Australian colleagues. A model of the good middle school teacher was developed from the North American literature. This formed the basis for interviews with Australian teachers who have been identified as good middle school teachers by their school community. This has led to the establishment of a model based on the responses from the Australian teachers. The focus centred on the characteristics of the teacher but at times has included reference to curriculum and other structures within the school. The report's results reflect the Australian teacher's approval for child centred teaching but with a subject focus. The teachers feel a need for teachers to retain a passion for a subject area in order to inspire and enthuse their students, but doing this within a context of a curriculum focussed on young people and their needs. This study clearly suggests the strong link between teaching philosophy and curriculum and the need to cater towards the needs of both the staff and students in order to educate successfully.
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    The value of library advisory committees
    Salisbury, Fiona Anne ( 1996)
    The study reported in this thesis investigated the value of Victorian university library advisory committees to committee members, with particular reference to their liaison function. A review of the literature gave some indication of their value. It also indicated that their liaison function was wide ranging and successful to varying degrees. However, the literature focused on these aspects from the point of view of librarians. There is a paucity of literature that articulated the views of non-librarian committee members, or investigated the value of library advisory committees from their perspective. It was the aim of the present study to redress this imbalance and investigate the value of library advisory committees, thus highlighting their benefits and disadvantages, for both librarians and non-librarians alike. The methodology used in the study was a survey using a self-administered questionnaire. The sample consisted of all members of all library advisory committees in four major Victorian universities. In addition to closed questions, the questionnaire used many open questions in order to draw out members' attitudes to and perceptions of their committee. The results of the survey indicated that on many aspects of committee operations and functions, committee members have parallel views regardless of whether they are librarians or non-librarians; consequently a profile of the typical committee member emerged. These results suggested that committees are functioning successfully and are valuable to their members, particularly as a means of liaison. However, it was notable that, in relation to policy issues, the views and priorities of librarians and non-librarians differed significantly. Unlike librarians, non-librarians were more likely to be of the opinion that their committee should offer more opportunity for policy input and involvement. The present study also revealed that more work needs to be done to determine the value of library advisory committee for students.
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    Television viewing and dramatic play behaviour of pre-schoolers
    O'Neill, Carole ( 1995)
    The main purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between television and dramatic play by exploring the impact of television viewing upon the play content and play behaviour of pre-school children. This research extends the findings of previous research which assumed that there was a direct causal link between television viewing and the themes, roles and content of children's dramatic play. The results of this research suggest that this view is far too simplistic. They suggest that the outcomes of dramatic play may be modified by a number of factors including: the situational context, the role of adults, and the role of other children. This thesis advances three major findings. Firstly, that others such as parents, peers and teachers have significant influence over pre-schoolers' dramatic play decisions such as in roles, themes and content. Secondly, that the physical environment within which play occurs must be taken into consideration as the situational context can influence and modify the nature of dramatic play. Thirdly, that the child is an active, reasoning participant in dramatic play as the child can choose from the resources available from television and 'replay' only a selection of what was viewed. It is suggested that each child must be considered as a 'selector' exerting control over his/her role in dramatic play.