Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

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    The nature and organization of secondary "method" programmes in teacher education : a comparison between selected institutions in Australia and England
    Stutterd, Tony ( 1977)
    Although Method of Teaching courses are conducted in all institutions preparing secondary teachers in Victoria, South Australia and England (the regions examined in this thesis), little research has been conducted in this field. Programmes tend to be derived from a combination of factors: personal teaching experience, intuitive judgements about student needs, the practice of colleagues and their comments on the lecturer's own course, and folklore. Whilst the survey on which this thesis is based revealed that instruction in teaching techniques and curriculum design and the provision of information about resources are given high priority in Method courses, this seems to be the result of a pragmatic rather than a coherently developed theoretical approach to the problem of what should be included in such courses. There is a lack of agreement among the lecturers responsible for this aspect of teacher education on the most effective way of building Method of Teaching into the administrative structures. The existing patterns - either including Method in academic subject departments or incorporating Method in a School or Department of Education - have their advantages and disadvantages. It would seem that historical and political rather than strictly educational reasons account for the particular format chosen in each institution. The survey showed that the staff who plan and teach courses in Method are either part-time practising teachers or have taught in schools in recent years, and the majority have less experience in tertiary education than other colleagues in the institution. This may explain why their status is relatively low and why they have rarely managed to develop structures which could enhance their group identity. In this thesis, some possible ways of developing both such a sense of identity and a more informed awareness of the major aims of courses in Method have been examined, and some new approaches to course review and development have been suggested.