Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Research Publications

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    What Videogames have to Teach Us (Still) about Subject English
    Bacalja, A (Australian Association for the Teaching of English, 2018)
    This paper reports on a participatory action research project which used videogames as the central texts for play and study in a middle-years English classroom in Australia. Ongoing questions about the nature of subject English have often focused on the discipline's ability to accommodate twenty-first century literacies. Videogames, as increasingly popular and digital forms of texts, are often praised for their ability to engage students (Gee, 2003), yet less is understood about the pedagogies necessary to enable the rigorous study of these texts in classroom contexts. This study found while that existing conceptual and pedagogic models of subject English can be adopted and adapted to suit the unique affordances of this text type, issues associated with play and interactivity complicate the use of videogames in the classroom. It offers a new contribution to the evolving field of study associated with games as texts (Beavis, Dezuanni, and O'Mara, 2017). The study has implications for those seeking to engage more closely with students' textual worlds but unsure of how to negotiate videogames' intrinsic textual features
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    Representing Australian Indigenous Voices: Text Selection in the Senior English Curriculum
    Bacalja, A ; Bliss, L (Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE), 2019-01-01)
    This paper reports findings from a study investigating trends in character, historical setting, authorship and themes across Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) text selection lists between 2010 and 2019. We address the fictionalisation and imagining of Australian history through narratives about Indigeneity and settler-colonisation. While we will describe positive trends that have emerged over time, by and large this study agrees with Leane’s (2016) and Langton’s (1993) assertions regarding the transmission of knowledge and representation of Indigeneity and Australian history in the classroom; namely, there is an under-representation of Indigenous authors, poets, playwrights, film directors, and complex, non-stereotypical charactertypes and an over-representation of non-Indigenous authors representing themes and stories of Indigeneity, reconciliation and colonisation.
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    What critical literacy has to offer the study of video games
    Bacalja, A (AUSTRALIAN LITERACY EDUCATORS ASSOC, 2018-10-01)
    Through the proliferation of digital technologies and the increasing accessibility of video games, young people are engaging with these texts today, more than ever. However, there is a growing concern regarding what exactly young people are taking away from these textual experiences. This paper responds to the call made by Comber (1993), to document multiple cases of critical literacies developed in different contexts. It reports findings from a study which used video games as the focus texts in a middle-years English classroom in Melbourne, Australia. It found that critical literacy pedagogies could be effectively used to build new understandings with this everyday text-type.
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    Science and Mathematics Literacy: PISA for Better School Education
    She, HC ; Stacey, K ; Schmidt, WH (SPRINGER, 2018-08-01)
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    New research directions in learning and cognition
    Williams, G ; Huang, H-ME (SPRINGER HEIDELBERG, 2014-07-01)
    Research in learning and cognition continues to extend the boundaries of possibilities for theoretical frameworks, research designs, and questions interrogated. This overview captures a snapshot of recent research for the purpose of drawing attention to new directions. It includes: types of theoretical frameworks employed to study student learning, the reciprocity of teaching and learning, and identifying underpinning conceptual understanding that can contribute to curriculum development, including a discussion paper on possible roles of algorithms. Future directions for research are then discussed. The papers in this special issue are briefly introduced in relevant sections. This paper draws attention to the increased use of multi-theoretical perspectives and what they have enabled us to learn about the complexities of teaching and learning in classrooms. It also draws attention to some of the innovative research designs and analysis techniques that have been employed to enable the answering of various research questions.
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    Optimistic problem-solving activity: enacting confidence, persistence, and perseverance
    Williams, G (SPRINGER HEIDELBERG, 2014-07-01)
    Optimism supports creative mathematical problem-solving. To elaborate its nature, empirical data were analyzed to identify relationships between optimism and more commonly researched constructs, confidence, and persistence. To do so, theoretical links between these constructs were first explored. Theoretically, confidence and persistence were found to be mutually exclusive personal characteristics possessed by optimistic students. Then, five elementary school students were purposefully selected from a broader longitudinal video-stimulated interview study of the role of optimism in collaborative problem-solving to find whether all combinations of confidence and persistence existed. Activity of students possessing different combinations of confidence and persistence was analyzed to determine whether there were differences in their problem-solving activity. Perseverance emerged as a third mutually exclusive characteristic within optimism. By distinguishing between persistence and perseverance, the crucial nature of perseverance in creative mathematical thinking was illuminated. These findings should inform teachers, teacher educators, and researchers interested in building optimism to increase problem-solving capacity.
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    Developing Educational Leaders for the Future: New Ways to Consider Leadership Preparation
    Acquaro, D (Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration and Management, 2019)
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    Effect of Growth Mindset on School Engagement and Psychological Well-Being of Chinese Primary and Middle School Students: The Mediating Role of Resilience
    Zeng, G ; Hou, H ; Peng, K (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2016-11-29)
    The objective of positive education is not only to improve students' well-being but also their academic performance. As an important concept in positive education, growth mindset refers to core assumptions about the malleability of a person's intellectual abilities. The present study investigates the relation of growth mindsets to psychological well-being and school engagement. The study also explores the mediating function of resilience in this relation. We recruited a total of 1260 (658 males and 602 females) Chinese students from five diversified primary and middle schools. Results from the structural equation model show that the development of high levels of growth mindsets in students predicts higher psychological well-being and school engagement through the enhancement of resilience. The current study contributes to our understanding of the potential mechanisms by which positive education (e.g., altering the mindset of students) can impact psychological well-being and school engagement.
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    WELLFOCUS PPT - modified positive psychotherapy to improve well-being in psychosis: study protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial.
    Schrank, B ; Riches, S ; Coggins, T ; Rashid, T ; Tylee, A ; Slade, M (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2014-06-03)
    BACKGROUND: The promotion of well-being is an important goal of recovery oriented mental health services. No structured, evidence-based intervention exists that aims to increase the well-being in people with severe mental illness such as psychosis. Positive psychotherapy (PPT) is a promising intervention for this goal. Standard PPT was adapted for use with people with psychosis in the UK following the Medical Research Council framework for developing and testing complex interventions, resulting in the WELLFOCUS Model describing the intended impact of WELLFOCUS PPT. This study aims to test the WELLFOCUS Model, by piloting the intervention, trial processes, and evaluation strategy. METHODS/DESIGN: This study is a non-blinded pragmatic pilot RCT comparing WELLFOCUS PPT provided as an 11-session group therapy in addition to treatment as usual to treatment as usual alone. Inclusion criteria are adults (aged 18-65 years) with a main diagnosis of psychosis who use mental health services. A target sample of 80 service users with psychosis are recruited from mental health services across the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Participants are randomised in blocks to the intervention and control group. WELLFOCUS PPT is provided to groups by specifically trained and supervised local therapists and members of the research team. Assessments are conducted before randomisation and after the group intervention. The primary outcome measure is well-being assessed by the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale. Secondary outcomes include good feelings, symptom relief, connectedness, hope, self-worth, empowerment, and meaning. Process evaluation using data collected during the group intervention, post-intervention individual interviews and focus groups with participants, and interviews with trial therapists will complement quantitative outcome data. DISCUSSION: This study will provide data on the feasibility of the intervention and identify necessary adaptations. It will allow optimisation of trial processes and inform the evaluation strategy, including sample size calculation, for a future definitive RCT. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN04199273 - WELLFOCUS study: an intervention to improve well-being in people with psychosis, Date registered: 27 March 2013, first participant randomised on 26 April 2013.
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    Intelligence and Verbal Short-Term Memory/Working Memory: Their Interrelationships from Childhood to Young Adulthood and Their Impact on Academic Achievement.
    Schneider, W ; Niklas, F (MDPI AG, 2017-06-16)
    Although recent developmental studies exploring the predictive power of intelligence and working memory (WM) for educational achievement in children have provided evidence for the importance of both variables, findings concerning the relative impact of IQ and WM on achievement have been inconsistent. Whereas IQ has been identified as the major predictor variable in a few studies, results from several other developmental investigations suggest that WM may be the stronger predictor of academic achievement. In the present study, data from the Munich Longitudinal Study on the Genesis of Individual Competencies (LOGIC) were used to explore this issue further. The secondary data analysis included data from about 200 participants whose IQ and WM was first assessed at the age of six and repeatedly measured until the ages of 18 and 23. Measures of reading, spelling, and math were also repeatedly assessed for this age range. Both regression analyses based on observed variables and latent variable structural equation modeling (SEM) were carried out to explore whether the predictive power of IQ and WM would differ as a function of time point of measurement (i.e., early vs. late assessment). As a main result of various regression analyses, IQ and WM turned out to be reliable predictors of academic achievement, both in early and later developmental stages, when previous domain knowledge was not included as additional predictor. The latter variable accounted for most of the variance in more comprehensive regression models, reducing the impact of both IQ and WM considerably. Findings from SEM analyses basically confirmed this outcome, indicating IQ impacts on educational achievement in the early phase, and illustrating the strong additional impact of previous domain knowledge on achievement at later stages of development.