Faculty of Education - Theses

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    Social area indicators and educational achievement
    Ross, Kenneth N (1947-) ( 1982)
    This study was concerned with the development and validation of a national indicator of educational disadvantage which would be suitable for guiding resource allocation decisions associated with the Disadvantaged Schools Program in Australia. The national indicator was constructed by using a series of stepwise regression analyses in order to obtain a linear combination of census based descriptions of school neighbourhoods which would be highly correlated with school mean achievement scores. A correlational investigation of the properties of this indicator showed that it was an appropriate tool for the identification of schools in which there were high proportions of students who (1) had not mastered the basic skills of Literacy and Numeracy, (2) displayed behavioural characteristics which formed barriers to effective learning, and (3) lived in neighbourhoods having social profiles which were typical of communities suffering from deprivation and poverty. A theoretical model was developed in order to estimate the optimal level of precision with which indicators of educational disadvantage could be used to deliver resources to those students who were in most need of assistance. This model was used to demonstrate that resource allocation programs which employ schools as the units of identification and funding must take into account the nature of the variation of student characteristics between and within schools. The technique of factor analysis was employed to investigate the dimensions of residential differentiation associated with the neighbourhoods surrounding Australian schools. Three dimensions emerged from these analyses which were congruent with the postulates of the Shevky- Bell Social Area Analysis model. The interrelationships between these dimensions and school scores on the national indicator of educational disadvantage presented a picture of the 'social landscape' surrounding educationally disadvantaged schools in Australia as one in which there were: high concentrations of persons in the economically and socially vulnerable position of having low levels of educational attainment and low levels of occupational skill, low concentrations of persons living according to the popular model of Australian family life characterized by single family households, stable families, and separate dwellings, high concentrations of persons likely to have language communication problems because they were born in non-English speaking countries.
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    Secondary education in the Australian social order, 1788-1898: a study in the evolution of the theory and the curriculum of secondary education, and the methods of teaching, in the changing Australian social order
    French, E. L ( 1958)
    In spite of all the hard words said about educational histories there should be no need to justify the historical study of education. The school, like the Church or the Theatre, is a social institution: if we may write the history of one, we may write the history of the others. As to the peculiar value of the enterprise, there will be differences of opinion; the distinctive values of the study of history are again in question. Suffice to say that it is the writer's suspicion that the debate on the content and method of secondary education, which has been conducted with considerable vigour in Australia in the past twenty years or so, would have been more fruitful if, to the various capacities brought to it, there had been added the capacity to see the problems of secondary education in the perspective of their development. It is surely not unimportant that the architects of educational policy should he enabled to see their problem in depth.