Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses
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ItemTaking social capital into account when implementing educational policy : implications of the Kirby report for social capital in IronbarkTinkler, Jacqueline A ( 2002)There is a growing body of research around the concept of social capital that suggests that there are connections evident in relation to successful educational achievement and employment, and high rates of social capital. Social connectedness - one of the outcomes of having social capital - is held to be very important for young people of post-compulsory school age, particularly in the current economic climate. This exploratory study will examine the problem: What can social capital mean in post-compulsory education policy, and in the manifestation of that policy?' This study examines The Ministerial Review of Post Compulsory Education and Training Pathways in Victoria, commonly referred to as The Kirby Report. Kirby takes the view that the links are strong between community and social values, the economic future of the state, and educational outcomes for young people. Within this report and its recommendations, the concept of social capital and its contribution to building community values is deemed to be one of the broad requirements of the community in relation to young people and their experiences in education and training. The concept of social capital and the effects of the growth or reduction of social capital within rural communities is also examined, and it is the links between social capital, the implementation of the recommendations of a report such as Kirby, and the ramifications of these links for a rural town in North-East Victoria of 2,500 residents, that provide the framework for this study.
ItemAustralian Education Council deliberations on education and technologyRedman, Keith ( 1989)In November 1983 the Australian Education Council (AEC) established the Task Force on Education and Technology to develop options for a strategy of related policy and program initiatives. The study covered AEC interest in the relationship between technology and education, the establishment and operations of the Task Force, the preparation and presentation of its final report, and the AEC's replacement of the Task Force in June 1986 with an Executive Working Group. Research centred on the process followed by the Task Force, and the extent to which the Task Force report could be considered a 'good' policy document. Consideration was also given to the importance of the chairmanship of the Task Force, and the adequacy of resources to fulfil the terms of reference set by the AEC. The policy development process was traced through AEC documentation which included minutes of meetings, correspondence, reports, and discussion papers. For analysis, a conceptual framework was provided by Caldwell and Spinks' models for the policy making process and for policy statements. Corroborative material was drawn from comments by the Chairman of the Task Force, the Hon L M F Arnold. Findings included a failure by the Task Force adequately to specify its definition of 'technology' or to limit to a manageable scale the scope of its deliberations. The chairmanship of the Task Force by Mr Arnold was seen to be significant in terms of the importance of having a Minister chairing a working group, with the potential for leverage to take place, but questions regarding the quality of the chairmanship were raised in light of the problems experienced by the Task Force in defining terms and parameters, and in producing an appropriate policy statement which would take due account of AEC attitudes to projects requiring funding. While the process followed by the Task Force could be matched to Caldwell's model for policy development, and the Task Force was well aware of 'the need for a structured approach, meetings were dominated by discussion of procedural matters rather than content, leading to frustration on . the part of some members and resulting in a relative lack of direction in the development of report content. Geographical remoteness of members, and, the, need to balance Task Force demands against continuing normal workloads, were seen as factors impeding high levels of involvement and participation in the preparation of the policy statement. It was suggested that unrealistically broad terms of reference had been set, without the AEC being,either willing or able to provide the resources necessary to fulfil them, and that Task Force members' perceptions of being inadequately resourced affected the performance of their duties. The final report to the AEC was criticised by educators and educational adminstrators particularly on grounds of excessive generality in its recommendations, and of having taken inadequate note of activity already occurring around Australia. In all categories offered by Caldwell as criteria for a good policy statement, the. report received adverse criticism. It was suggested that the Task Force failed to fulfil its terms of reference, both by offering a series of discrete recommendations in specific areas, rather than a range of options, and by failing to supply details of anticipated cost. The report's major practical recommendations were not implemented.
ItemStatistics of public expenditure on education in Australia : requirements for the formation of national policySegall, Patsy (1942-) ( 1976)In Australia's federal system the provision of educational services is the responsibility of the state governments. However, the federal government has also acquired responsibilities for. education. Since the second world war, the state governments have been dependent on the federal government for a large proportion of the funds needed to discharge their responsibilities. More directly, the federal government has greatly extended the scope of its activities in education, mainly through the use of specific. purpose grants to the states. By 1970 these grants affected all levels of education in the states. To be effective, national 'educational policies should take account of differences between the states as well as of 'national needs. Necessary information includes national statistics which are compiled on the same basis for each of . the states. The coverage and quality of national educational statistics has improved considerably, but there are still deficiencies. In particular, the statistics of public expenditure on education do not provide an adequate account of the states individually, or of national trends. Unpublished records of the Australian Bureau of Statistics provide the basis for a set of figures of public expenditure on education which are both more comprehensive and more detailed than those published. Analysis of these figures for the period 1963-64 to 1973-74 shows large differences in the patterns of educational expenditure in each of the states. Nationally there have been considerable changes in the composition of total public outlay on education, the rapid growth of the tertiary sector outside universities being particularly noteworthy. Official statistics of this kind are needed to make possible an effective assessment of the priorities and directions of Australian education.
ItemSkilling the Australian community: futures in public education : young people's perspectivesHamilton, Andrew E. ( 1990)Young people were interviewed to ascertain their perceptions of Australia in the next ten years and what skills that they expected that school leavers [i.e. secondary school leavers] will need to have to cope with the future. The findings provided data for a national conference, sponsored by the Commission for the Future and the Australian Teachers' Federation, in Melbourne in April, 1966. The conference explored the demands on education as seen by representatives of six user groups of education, including industry, parents and students. The methodology was basically determined by the nature of the project. The young people reached an "agreed statement" for the project. Their attitude towards the future indicated uncertainty, anxiety and pessimism and that their lives will be increasingly controlled by impersonal technology. The young people believed that there are four main areas of skill development needed by school leavers to cope with the future. The areas are: Intellectual/academic, vocational, social and personal. Some details are provided for each of the skill areas. The young people believed that the development of these skills should be possible through the public education system. Consideration is given to the possibility of implementing student participation and school-work relationships - two of the areas seen as important for the skill development of young people. A scenario of public education in 1998 is provided as a starting point for deeper thought and consideration of the issues raised as a result of the opinions expressed by the young people on the skills needed to cope ten years into the future.
ItemThe Schools Commission: national policies and administration in Australian schoolingBartos, Michael ( 1992)The Schools Commission was the Australian Federal Government's policy making agency in schooling from 1973 until it was abolished in 1987. The creation of the Commission as an election promise of the incoming Australian Labor Party Government came after three decades of growing support for a national role in supporting schooling. The Interim Committee for the Australian Schools Commission established the funding programs and the main educational values followed by the Commission. The largest program provided recurrent resources to government and non-government schools or school systems, on the basis of need. The needs principle was compromised because funding targets were achieved by government schools earlier than anticipated and because from 1976 to 1982 the Government increased support to wealthier non-government schools in the face of contrary advice from the Commission. In 1985 the Government transferred the general resource programs away from the Commission following the report of the Quality of Education Review Committee, leaving the Commission with only its specific purpose programs which were directed to areas of special educational need. The Schools Commission's educational ideas all reflected well established issues in national schooling policy. They represented a policy elaboration of the two basic ideas that schooling should promote greater equality of opportunity and that it should be progressive and child-centred. Traditions in policy analysis and the sociology of education in Australia, Britain and the U.S.A. reflected changes in and informed the policy making environment of the Schools Commission and comparable international developments. Ultimately, however, an historical policy analysis reveals that broad theorisation fails to capture the dynamics and continuities in policy making. The first main set of policy notions of the Schools Commission concerns schooling and the nation. A close examination of these notions illustrates the development of the Schools Commission's ideas about the national purposes of schooling, schooling for citizenship and democracy, and equal outcomes and opportunities.
ItemEducational accountability and organisational capacity in school science departments: a material critique of management models of mandated curriculum reformsBainbridge, John ( 2007)In Sociology, Bourdieu (1977), Giddens (1984) and Schatzki (2001) have developed theories of practice to offer an alternative to rational and normative concepts of action and to solve the problem of the relationship between agency and structure. They argue that cultural, political and economic processes are mutually constitutive of social agency, as agency can be productively read as a historically specific confluence of discursive and material processes. In applied disciplines such as organizational and management studies (Niccolini, 2001) as well as in education (Southerland, Smith, Sowell and Kittleson, 2007), practice has been adopted to redefine the concepts of knowledge and learning and to understand change in working life. In these contexts, practice-based research has become part of new research areas, such as organizational learning, knowledge management, innovation and workplace studies and this research is in this modern tradition. This is a study of the praxis of two groups of science teachers, in different countries under different policy regimes of state mandated curriculum management. It is a study towards an understanding of the pedagogy of resistance and transformation. The significance of the resistance of material entities for the objectivity of knowledge is an important theme in the sociology of knowledge. The practice theorists in science and technology studies (for example Pickering 1993,1995, Latour 2000, Miettinen, 2006) have taken this resistance manifesting itself in experimental activity as a constitutive factor in accounting for the emergence of facts and scientific concepts. Pickering (1955: 560) talks about the temporal emergence of experimental activity in research as a "real-time dialectic of resistance and accommodation". Resistance refers to the blockage in reaching a goal or realization of a hypothesis. Fleck (1981) proposes that a fact is understood as a resistance expressed in experimental work and interpreted by the practice community. The widespread notion of "constraint" is usually understood as some kind of external condition that objectively limits scientific activities and epistemologies of transformative material activity more generally. "Resistance" is to be preferred, Pickering argues, because resistances are genuinely emergent in time, as a block arising in practice to a passage of goal-oriented practice" For Latour (200) objectivity refers to the presence of things that "object to what is told about them". This study uses surveys of whole school and science department staff as well as interviews conducted over a year in each of two schools, one in England and one in Melbourne Australia. It looks at the agency of science teachers as a transformative material activity, its relationship with policies of State mandated standards, and the objectivisation of teacher knowledge. Whereas subjective identity operates here in terms of types of experience that are available, agency of these teachers has to do more with a distribution of acts. Bhaskar's (1993) Transformational Model of Social Action has been applied to the analysis of staffroom praxis and offers an informing under-theory to the study of teacher agency and practice.