Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

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    Dichotomies and paradoxes of youth unemployment : a philosophical and comparative study
    Scherbakowa, Sweta M ( 1989)
    Youth unemployment (YU) and unemployment by choice (UBC) have been considered from four perspectives, labour market, economic aspect, education and social sciences. First the problem of YU in general and UBC in particular is outlined. For policy-makers and job-creators this information is obviously vital to avoid disappointments of predictions and results. Workaholics and UBC have totally different goals and values and choose accordingly. Then the economic perspective is considered: The economists' views and theories are analysed and comparative profiles of some OECD countries presented. Some of the other questions asked are: is there a nexus between excessive imports and unemployment and what may this indicate, and what solutions do some of the economic theorists present. This is followed by a comparative study of educational thrusts and training in various OECD countries. Again comparative profiles in various OECD countries are used in unravelling or demystifying this complex problem, which may be seen as at least partly a matter of choice of life-style. An attempt is then made to use principles from the social sciences to explain the personal, social and economic causes and effects of UBC and some recommendations are made.
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    Cultural preservation : the Estonian experience in Australia 1947-1987
    Redenbach, Merike ( 1987)
    This study is based on an historical perspective which traces the origins and development of Estonian organisations which are viewed as representing the 'conscious' attempts to preserve Estonian culture in Australia. The organisational problems and strategies to preserve the culture are examined in terms of the relationship between strategies used by the Estonian community and those used simultaneously by the wider community in response to changes in social relationships and emerging government policies. A major source for research material has been through oral history sources in interviews and contacts with several ethnic Estonians(primarily immigrants),who have been actively involved with organised Estonian cultural life : extensive interviews were conducted in Melbourne,Sydney, Thirlmere,Adelaide and Canberra; the writer has also spent almost twelve months being actively involved in some of the Estonian organisations including the Melbourne Ladies' Choir, Festivals and concerts. Other important sources of information include the Eesti Paevad Albums(Estonian Festival Albums, 1954-1986),historical writings about Estonia and Estonian people,contemporary publications, research and other projects, an original questionnaire for second generation Estonians,and the writer's participation in the National Research Conference on Ethnicity and Multiculturalism at the University of Melbourne (May 14 - 16) in 1986. Part 1 introduces the underlying concepts of 'culture', 'community' and 'ethnicity',with a section on the relevant historical and geographical background of Estonia and Estonian immigrants. Aspects of the Estonian culture within the Australian context are examined using an adaptation of Raymond Williams' interpretation of culture this study stresses the importance of creating a balanced interpretation of Estonian culture at three levels,that is,the 'living community','recorded' culture and 'selective tradition' in the argument for developing strategies for preserving the Estonian culture through the process of mainstream education. Part 11 follows on from the foundations laid by the 'Old Estonians'(pre-World War ll),and outlines the changing role of major Estonian organisations such as the Festivals,Choirs, Estonian school,the press,and to a lesser extent the Church,in preserving the Estonian culture according to emerging trends within the Estonian community and the surrounding culture. Part 111 highlights the nature of the 'ageing' and diminishing Estonian community in Australia,with - the emergence of the younger generation of ethnic Estonians in Australia as the vehicle for the creation and transmission of Estonian culture. The intercultural context and the nature of contemporary social relationships provide evidence of the change from the ethnic exclusiveness of the earlier period,to the widening framework for Estonian ethnicity and interest in preserving the Estonian culture. Many of the current developments from within the Estonian community and its wider context are presented as evidence of trends which are moving towards the realization of crucial strategies which are needed to preserve the Estonian culture in Australia through the process of education.
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    A preliminary investigation of language function and educational success in primary school children
    Wheeler, H. G ( 1980)
    This study is an attempt to establish if there exist differences in pupil performance at the level of language function which will support teachers' intuitive judgements of pupil ability in the context of the primary school classroom. The type of study was naturalistic and descriptive and involved children in grades two and six of a regional city State Primary School. The 12 subjects were selected by the respective grade teachers on perceived performance, and allocated by them to either an upper or lower ability grouping. Each group consisted of three pupils and the same teacher conducted each lesson in the same classroom situation. The task was concerned with the developing concept of floating and sinking and involved pupils having to initially classify 82 items as either float or sink objects. After this task was completed the pupils tested each object to establish if their initial hypothesis was correct. Results were analysed using an interaction based functional model of language and subjected to statistical analyses to establish which functions reached a level of significance. Results indicate that significant differences do exist at the level of function between ability groups at each grade level and between respective grades. The lower ability pupils at grade two appear to interpret the demands of the educational task differently from their upper ability counterparts. At the level of cognitive discourse function the lower ability group interpreted the task as requiring the use of the hypothesis discourse function which was linguistically realised principally by use of the one term/single response strategy and by general statement. The upper group however interpreted the task as requiring the use of evidence in support of any hypothesis made in an initial response and this function was linguistically expressed by using the causal statement strategies. The lower ability group also used the procedural function as a continuous commentary on their ongoing actions but the upper group employed this function significantly less. There was no significant difference in the choice of cognitive discourse function between groups at grade six, and both groups interpreted the task as demanding a different approach than that adopted by grade two. Both groups employed the 'use evidence' function as an initial response and the procedural function virtually disappeared. Differences did emerge in the selection of linguistic strategies to realise the cognitive discourse functions and three of these reached a level of significant difference. These were the one word/single term, single attribute, and no response strategies which were consistently employed by the lower ability group. The upper ability group employed more anecdote and affirm/ deny strategies than the lower group. The use of the social discourse function also changed between grades. At grade two both ability groups interposed their own social discourse between educational exchanges with the teacher. By grade six this function was almost exclusively used by both groups to support peer statements and acted as a cohesive element in the discourse. At the level of teacher reaction the teacher used significantly more of those reaction types which extended discourse with upper ability groups at both grade levels. The teacher also employed 'request for extension' significantly more at the grade six level than with the grade two groups. In this study, because only two groups of three subjects each have been compared, individual differences could influence the results obtained and therefore any interpretation and generalisation from the results found in this study will have to be limited and tentative in nature.
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    Coming, ready or not! : predicted growth in participation in adult education over the next decade
    Whyte, Elizabeth Ann ( 1989)
    This report identifies the expectations the adult education sector has of school leavers if a system of lifelong education is to be achieved in Australia, and predicts strong growth in participation in lifelong education. It finds that young people need to have a positive attitude towards learning throughout life and it explores how the number of students who leave school with a negative attitude towards learning might be reduced. In exploring problems with schooling it became apparent that changing schools alone would not achieve the desired outcomes. Thus the report also looks at the likely demand by adults for lifelong education and some of the policy and legislative changes as well as changes in the workplace that are necessary if lifelong education is to be a reality for all who wish to participate. The material for the report was gathered from a joint Australian Teachers Federation and Commission for the Future project and associated inquiries. This was combined with ideas and strategies outlined in a number of major recent. Australian reports to develop predictions about participation in lifelong education over the next decade. Two of the inquiries used a modified Delphi technique to achieve concensus about expectations of schooling and strategies to reduce the number of students who leave school with inadequate basic skills and a negative attitude towards learning. Ancillary material about the kind of skills adults think they will need in the next ten years was collected from simple interviews with 52 members of the general public. To predict likely demand for adult education the research combines demographic data with enrolment statistics and value segment analysis. Value segment analysis describes the population in terms of its values and has been used because of the relationship between motivation and participation in adult education. Overall the project is a descriptive piece of research developed through selective survey methods involving interviewing groups and individuals and combining this data with ideas identified through a literature review. The numbers of people involved in the two Delphi inquiries and interviews are so small that the findings can only be treated as indicative of the public's views rather than as finite statements. The report concludes by predicting a strong growth in participation in lifelong education caused by increased educational expectations in the community generally the ageing of the population increased need to continually learn and update skills for work and personal life and a growing concern generally about our social and physical environments.
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    The triple-I model of continuing development in school communities
    Waters, Wendy Patricia ( 1984)
    The Triple-I Model of Professional Development was first aired in the James Report (England, 1972) and developed by the Research Unit of the School of Education, Bristol University, under the direction of Dr. Ray Bolam. This Pilot Study- is an initiative of the Catholic Education Office of Victoria. The research project is an illuminative study of the Triple-I Model of Continuing Development Programmes of fourteen Catholic Parish Primary Schools, over a period of two years. It is assumed in this model of continuing development that schools are groups of people engaged in an educational enterprise. Positive outcomes have resulted in the development and sharing of personal resources within these school communities. Within this context, the teacher moves more surely through the INITIATION, INDUCTION and IN-SERVICE (Triple-I) phases of personal and professional development. This report concludes with recommendations and suggests further research, particularly in the area of resource processes for school principals.
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    Youth unemployment : a force for change in the existing class structure of Western society
    Salkin, Ivor W ( 1981)
    The main theme of the thesis is the inter-relationship between unemployed youth, the educational process and the work-world. A subsidiary theme is the underemployment which has emerged as a result of a large number of graduates from tertiary institutions flooding the labor market and the subsequent lack of suitable employment to fit their professional qualifications. The first chapter gives a short description of the nature of technological change that is causing structural unemployment. The chapter then appraises the nature and cause of underemploymeat. in the second chapter the ways in. which governments exercise social control over unemployed youth is examined, especially in Australia. Chapter Three goes on to look at the ways in which youth has responded to unemployment and underemployment and discusses the theories of job-entitlement beliefs propounded by a number of sociologists. The final chapter is devoted to an analysis of the problems of unemployment in Australia and the effect it has had. in raising the class awareness and cultural consciousness of youth. The position taken by various employment agencies is also discussed in relation to what they see as the role of educational institutions.
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    Australian studies and the Geelong College
    Peel, Geoffrey W ( 1988)
    The Geelong College pioneered the teaching of Australian Studies as part of the secondary school curriculum. The notion of teaching about Australia through an inter-disciplinary course was seen as revolutionary in its early days of the mid-1970s. Since that time, however, the teaching of Australian Studies has become increasingly widespread in schools, and also in some tertiary institutions. Over the same period, the Australian Studies course at The Geelong College has undergone review and change according to staff interests, student reaction and the contemporary situation. In the early 1980s, the face of Victorian Education was to change through the effects of the "Blackburn Report", an enquiry into post-compulsory schooling, of which a major recommendation was that all students should undertake a study of Australian society at Levels 11 and 12. The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Board has used this recommendation as the basis for introducing a compulsory two-unit course titled "Work and Australian Society" as part of the new Victorian Certificate of Education, which will be fully operational by 1991. The Geelong College, like all other secondary schools in the state, is having to prepare for the introduction of Australian Studies in this form. Although this school has had the advantage of experience with an established Australian Studies course, the present course does not fully satisfy the requirements of the VCAB guidelines; therefore some degree of modification and rewriting is necessary. This thesis will attempt to design, implement and evaluate some units of work for Year 11 Australian Studies students at The Geelong College, units which satisfy both the VCAB requirements and the needs of the student clientele of this particular school. In order to undertake such a project, this thesis initially examines the development in the study of Australian society and culture. It then attempts to identify a methodology which could be used as a model for the planning of curriculum modfications for this course. The nature of the particular institution in question will be examined as a preparatory step to the development of a curriculum. The thesis concludes with a review of the process undertaken and discusses its applicability as a general methodology.
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    Egan's stage theory : an exploratory study of its use in the analysis of science textbooks
    Valmadre, Christopher Charles ( 1985)
    Kieran Egan (1979) has challenged educationists to consider the need for a Theory of Development which is specifically Educational. Such a need is discussed and examined in the context of science teaching. Egan's Theory was applied to the selection of science text material for a group of eleven and twelve year old students. The students' responses to the materials were compared with Egan's descriptions of certain developmental stages, particularly of his Romantic Stage. The author concluded that Egan's theoretical proposition assisted in interpeting certain student behaviour and preferences. Possible classroom uses of Egan's theory are discussed, implications for text usage and design are outlined, and some areas of research are suggested.
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    The history of the development of specialist teaching training programmes for teachers of migrant children, 1947-1973
    Todd, Brian Martin ( 1983)
    Information concerning the development of specialist teacher training programmes for teachers of migrant children is fragmentary, being scattered through some 130 published and unpublished documents. The aim of this thesis has been to present, with some degree of order and continuity, that information in a single volume. The resulting compilation is largely descriptive, though some analysis and interpretation could not be avoided. To supplement and to substantiate some of the data collated from the numerous documents, the experiences of a number of teachers who have taught significant proportions of migrant children between 1947 and 1973 have been related. Some of these experiences were gathered by means of a questionnaire which was completed by teachers who had responded to advertisements placed by the writer in The Sun (August 4, 1983) and The Age (August 15, 1983). The advertisements are included as Appendix A.1, and the questionnaire as Appendix A.2. Other experiences were gathered by means of personal interviews with a number of teachers. A full list of all persons from whom information was gathered appears as Appendix A.3. The paper concentrates on the development of specialist teacher training programmes within the Federal and State education systems, with only brief mention of developments within the Catholic education system. Such concentration is not intended to reflect a view that efforts made by the Catholic Church towards the problems of migrant children are insignificant. Indeed, the Catholic schools bore a very substantial share of the influx of migrant children and faced immense educational difficulties as a result, yet they succeeded in making as good a job as possible under the circumstances. Because the history of developments within the Catholic education system is a considerable area on its own, and because much material in that area has already been documented by Carmel O'Dwyer (Responses of Government and Catholic Educational Authorities to the influx of migrants, 1950-1960, with special reference to the experience of a selected group of schools conducted by the Victorian Sisters of Mercy),1 Michael Elliot (Migrant Education in Fitzroy, 1965-1975),2 and Denis Moore (The initial response to the migrant presence in four inner suburban Christian Brothers' schools as revealed in the inspectors' reports and other available sources),3 those developments are not included in this history. The population elements to which the discussion refers to as 'migrants' are those people from 'non-English speaking' origin, excluding Aboriginals. 1. Unpublished Master of Education Thesis, University of Melbourne, 1977. 2. Unpublished Master of Education Thesis, University of Melbourne, 1977. 3. Unpublished Master of Education Thesis, University of Melbourne, 1981. The introductory chapter briefly outlines the Federal Government's immediate steps to provide some training for teachers of adult migrants, and serves to highlight the official indifference outlined by Chapters II, III and IV, to the needs of training for teachers of migrant children until the late sixties when short in-service training courses were introduced. Chapter V traces the history of these short courses. Chapter VI presents the development of in-service teacher training under the Child Migrant Education Programme, the development of some tertiary courses leading to awards, and the development of pre-service courses, all of which take place in the emerging notion of 'multiculturalism'. The initial assumption levelled at teachers of migrant children was that no special training in migrant education was necessary because no special effort was necessary to teach migrant children. If teachers were kindly and understanding, and approached the problem with good sense, migrant children in their care would be rapidly assimilated. Requests for specialist help were made as early as 1954, but a general lack of appreciation of the problem by administrators ensured that these requests were unheeded. The contents of the Haines Report and the Dovey Report in the late fifties vindicated the belief that teachers of migrants did not require special training. The Dovey Report in particular lulled disquiet about the problems of migrant school children, for the four years immediately following its release witnessed only a few ad hoc and unco-ordinated attempts to draw attention to the need for teacher training. By the mid-sixties, however, a number of changes in educational thought were responsible for some new developments in migrant education. It became a public issue, and a number of surveys highlighted its needs. The result was the introduction in Victoria in 1968 of some short in-service teacher training courses. The inadequacies of these courses were soon felt. A survey conducted in New South Wales in 1969 prompted the Commonwealth Government to assume responsibility for the development, management and financial control of child migrant education. Financial assistance was provided to cover the cost of special training courses for teachers, in the method of teaching English as a foreign language. These four-week courses were introduced in 1970. At the same time, and in the setting of a developing notion of multicultural education, the first specialized teacher training course in migrant education to be offered by an Australian tertiary institution was developed. This course led to the award of the Diploma of Migrant Teaching, and commenced at Armidale Teachers' College in 1973. By the end of 1973, some other tertiary institutions were developing graduate and pre-service courses. The history of the development of specialist teacher training programmes obviously does not end in 1973. That year was chosen as the cut-off date for this history for two reasons. Firstly it was, as stated previously, the year in which the first specialized course was offered by an Australian tertiary institution. Secondly, by 1973 the stage was set, in terms of an awareness of the urgent need for pre-service and in-service teacher training,, for the developments that were to take place from 1973 to the present time.4 4. Cf. L. Sislov, Conceptions of Bilingual Education; the contexts in which conceptions emerge and certain practical pedagogical initiations emerging therefrom in Australia and other countries. Unpublished Master of Education Thesis, University of Melbourne, 1982, Chapters 9 and 10.