Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses
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ItemThe educational theory of G.H. Bantock in the context of British educational thought 1965-1975Pear, David Adrian ( 1990)The 1960s and early 1970s witnessed changes in many social values in Britain; the educational world was not immune to the turbulence of these years. The classifications of `traditionalist', `conservative', `progressive' and 'radical' were attributed indiscriminately to the wide spectrum of party affiliations. As a result, the characteristics of these `parties' became difficult to isolate amid the vague condemnatory generalisations and intense criticism of personalities which characterized the period. G.H. Bantock (b. 1914) was considered a prominent traditionalist of these times, and as such, attempted to swim against the tide of what he believed was an increasing, uncultured progressivism. This study attempts to present a summary of Bantock's principal concerns, and to offer a profile of the main thrusts of the arguments which he advanced in over eighty major publications. As a subsidiary theme, it considers the nomenclature of the period, particularly from the perspective of the traditionalist, and seeks to isolate the foundations of that philosophical stance. Part 1 is a summary of the main concerns which consumed Bantock's attention during his career. Part 2 considers the means by which Bantock believed the problems of contemporary education could be solved, and Part 3 presents the author's evaluation of the ideas outlined in the previous sections.
ItemWho pays the piper? : government funding of private schools in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia in the 1980sO'Grady, Seamus ( 1985)The study identifies trends and analyses policies relating to the government funding of private (non-government) schools in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia in the 1980s. Six trends are considered: Intersectoral shifts; Calls for new initiatives for aid to private schools; The renewed debate; The effects of laicization of catholic school teachers; The regulation of private schools in receipt of aid; The evaluation of the role of federal (central) governments in aiding private schools. A final chapter deals with the insights into the Australian trends gained from the study.
ItemUtopia, community and education: Robert Owen and the co-operative movement, Britain 1800-1845Bexley, Maurice T. ( 1986)Mankind seems to entertain a perennial dissatisfaction with the present. The ideal of a better, even perfected, future is also perennial and equally likely to occur in the individual consciousness as the collective one. In times of turmoil and hardship, the more visionary individuals have articulated schemes for a better future, and these have become known as 'utopias'. This thesis represents an exploration of one episode of utopian thought. Robert Owen's vision for a better world was formed against the background of the industrialization of Britain early in the nineteenth century. In the following analysis of Owen's thinking, three contentions are posited: 1. Owen and the followers of his doctrines saw an inextricable link between education and the community. 2. Owenism can profitably be interpreted within the context of the tradition of utopian thought. 3. The concept of community provides a wholeness and unity in Owen's thinking. The first chapter examines the nature of utopian thought, something which appears necessary to understand Owen's concept of the community. Subsequent chapters deal with Owen's design for the ideal community, the mode of education he felt should attend this, and the links between the two. The conclusion summarizes and draws together the above contentions, considers the possibilities for further research, and argues for the relevance of Owen as a possible theoretical precursor to current educational thinking which emphasizes the role of the community.
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.