Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses
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ItemThe poetical understanding of children's imagery of nature : how is poetical understanding evident in children's art?Zaper, Suzana ( 2005)This study explores the way in which preschool children engage in the creative process and how their sensory engagement with nature leads to invention of poetical attributes and symbols in their art. The study also examines the teacher's role in creating an environment that nurtures sensory learning, provides new energy and fosters discovery. This study also inquires into the educational theories of 'Reggio Emilia', 'emergent curriculum' and 'phenomenological pedagogy' and their influence in exploring significant moments of children's art creating within the process of 'aesthetic engagement' and 'aesthetic cognition'. The data related to these moments consists of children's visual and verbal images of nature that allowed me to unfold their perceptions of nature associated with beauty and make them evident to the viewer. In that sense data analysis reveals both mine and children's discoveries, with an emphasis on utilizing children's voices within the arts curriculum and making them protagonists of their own learning.
ItemCharacteristics of reflective practice in students of a diploma in nursing program : an issue-centred curriculum evaluationRobson, Caryl Patricia ( 1993)This case study was a theory-driven evaluation and an issue-centred curriculum evaluation. By methods of critical multiplism a Diploma in Nursing program was evaluated to identify how a reflective approach to clinical practice was characterised by students, and how the reflective approach to teaching and learning was implemented in the program. Sources of data were the curriculum, Schon's writings and speeches on reflective practice, students, sessional clinical teachers and lecturers. First year graduates of the program were also surveyed, giving a longitudinal aspect to the study. Conclusions were that reflection in action or 'action present' was characterised in students of the course by excellent processes and actions of thinking and attitudes relative to client care when faced with unique, conflicting or divergent situations in practice The student' characteristics included a professional appreciative system of doing the right 'thing' by clients, within the boundaries or role frame of nursing practice. Graduates of the program displayed these characteristics in more autonomous situations consistent with their post-registration status. The structural and administrative arrangements for clinical conferences/reflective seminars were the main factor in developing a reflective approach in students. Implementation of a reflective approach to teaching and learning by means of formal policies or guidelines on the topic was poor. However, although unaware of the reflective approach as a teaching/learning strategy in the formal sense, sessional clinical teachers facilitated reflection on scientific, procedural and intersubjective concepts of understanding with the students, for the purpose of nursing care delivery, as prescribed in the curriculum.
ItemA philosophical analysis of the concept of educationOzolins, John Talivaldis ( 1989)The thesis critically examines some of the concepts involved In the elucidation of the concept of education developed by R.S. Peters who says that education Is a family of processes whose purposes are the development of desirable states of mind. In particular, it critically examines the concept of mind built into Peters' conception of education and argues that Peters is correct to imply that the mind cannot be reduced to brain states. Education, I .claim is a telological concept primarily concerned with the transmission of cultural values. The thesis begins by briefly looking at behaviourist views of mind, and introduces the Identity Theory as an attempt to provide a better explication of the nature of mind. Feigl's views on the nature of mind are examined, in particular, his attempted reduction of the mental to the physical. His rejection of the concept of emergence is challenged and what is meant by the reduction of one theory to another is elucidated. It is concluded that the mental cannot be reduced to the physical. The features of scientific explanation in general are explored. It Is found that scientific explanation is applicable largely in physical science contexts, and so is of limited use in explaining the concept of mind, and so the concept of education. Teleological explanations are examined, since it is apparent that education is a teleological explanation. The question of whether teleological explanations can be reduced to non-teleological explanations is considered. It is found that there are at least three forms of teleological explanation, (i) functional explanation, (ii) goal-directed explanation and (iii) purposive explanation. It is clear from an examination of these that education is explained in terms of purpose. An examination of the concept of intention and its relationship to action forms a major portion of the thesis. The problem of whether there can be several descriptions of one action is considered, as well as whether Intentions are entailed by desires. The relationship between actions and events is considered, discussing in particular the concept of cause. Five uses of the term "cause" are outlined. It is postulated that the causal power In agent causation is the "act of will", which forms part of the intention to act. The concept of a process, and some of the ways in which it may be defined, is examined. The concept of development is briefly considered in the light of the analysis of the concept of a process. It is concluded that education may be termed a super-process. As a process, education can never be completed, but continues throughout an Individual's life. The purposes of education and what might be meant by desirable states of mind are discussed. The primary purpose of education, it is asserted, is the imparting of values. The question of who decides what states of mind might be termed desirable is considered and it is concluded that it is society, or the community who decide what values are to be imparted.
ItemEgan's stage theory : an exploratory study of its use in the analysis of science textbooksValmadre, 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.
ItemLive and learn: a plan for an educated citizenryCumming, Ian ( 1946)The creators and improvers of Attic prose, the chief literary and most elegant language of ancient Greece, were the Sophists, who flourished in the latter half of the 5th century B.C. They were really a class of teachers or popular lecturers which met the demand for education among the people in those days. It is extremely doubtful if they had any common philosophical doctrine. Grote has disproved the traditional view of the Sophists that their intellectualism was characterised by scepticism and ethical egoism; this charge is still made against adult educators: Whatever criticism might be made of the Sophists - Socrates and Plato opposed them - they made a definite contribution to culture. Adult education had its genesis with them. They introduced the people to a wide range of general knowledge, they led their listeners into discussions, they investigated history, poetry, mathematics and science. The fact that they received fees for their courses and made a livelihood out of their teaching did not commend itself to the Greece of that time. It is strange how history repeats itself; even today there is a reluctance on the part of some individuals to pay teachers in order that they might make a livelihood: From the time of the Sophists, philosophers of all hues have agreed on the point that education is a lifelong process. It is no matter for congratulation that today we are far from applying that fact. When the franchise was extended greatly during the last century and politicians decided that, in their own interests, their masters should be educated, the education provided was confined to childhood. Some years ago H. G. Wells surprised a complacent world by declaring that we must choose between education and catastrophe. We know now which prevailed. But because we have suffered a world catastrophe, the primary and secondary schools are not to be castigated. The children could have done nothing to avert this conflict; the older generation, the adults, with parochial prejudices, should have served this world better. It should be the supreme aim of a democratic state to have an informed and intelligent citizenry; democracy is sustained by education. (From Introduction)
ItemConstructing a map of Australian occupations: Gottfredson's hypotheses and relationships within the world of workHarvey-Beavis, Adrian Peter ( 1994)This dissertation evaluates L. S. Gottfredson's concept and graphical depiction of the Cognitive Map of Occupations and the Common Cognitive Map of Occupations. The evaluation is guided by a revised version of Popper's argument that there are three types of existence. These he names 'World 1' (the world of material objects and processes) 'World 2' (the world of subjective experience) and 'World 3'. It is argued that Popper misconstrues World 3 by describing it as consisting of the products of the human mind. By adapting the arguments of Bhaskar, it is shown that World 3 can be interpreted as social existence. This theoretical framework shows that the Cognitive Map of Occupations is appropriately conceptualised by Gottfredson. It indicates that the graphical depiction that she presents of the Cognitive Map of Occupations should be regarded only as a heuristic device. When the Common Cognitive Map of Occupations is so regarded, it is argued that Gottfredson erroneously infers its existence because she uses concepts which refer to World 2 processes to extrapolate into World 3. Her graphical depiction of the Common Cognitive Map of Occupations is, consequently, also flawed. When the critique of the Cognitive Map of Occupations and the Common Cognitive Map of Occupations is completed, new data are described and a theoretical context is developed to interpret these data. This theory starts from the critique of Gottfredson's ideas. A map of Australian occupations is then constructed. This map and related data are explored using Exploratory Data Analysis showing that the World of Work may consist of subcultures related to the nature of the work environment. These sub cultures are found to be internally divided along various dimensions. Despite these divisions, they have strong enough boundaries to retain their field type identity. These findings help to show that the Map of Australian Occupations provides a coherent view of the world of work.