Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 1352
Plastic City: A Small-Scale Experiment for Disrupting Normative Borders
(Association of Early Childhood Educators of Ontario (AECEO), 2020-07-28)
Since plastics became available in the 1950s, consumers have dealt with the issue of plastic discards by simply sending them “away”—considering them “out of sight and out of mind” and looking away from any responsibility for this material and its ongoing effects. In this article, an interactive exhibit was generated to provoke relational encounters between children and plastic discards. Situated on a university campus that wins annual awards for sustainability, Plastic City was erected anew each week; a compelling small-scale experiment regarding what is made visible and what is outcast in the utopian settler-colonial imaginary of the U.S. Pacific Northwest.
New Empiricisms in the Anthropocene: Thinking With Speculative Fiction About Science and Social Inquiry
(SAGE Publications, 2020-08-06)
Interest in new empiricisms and transdisciplinary methods has led many social inquirers to engage with 20th-century post-classical physical science. Many of these projects have focused on alternative matter–mind mixtures and in/organic variation, concerned that past theories of sociality have dismissed the vibrancy and animacy of the nonhuman material world. This paper explores the power of speculative fiction to help us rethink empiricism in posthuman ecologies of the Anthropocene, in the midst of post-truth conditions and growing science denialism. We foreground speculative fiction as a way to open up scientific imaginaries, rethinking the relationship between nature, technics, and human “sense” making. We show how such texts offer alternative images of research methods for studying pluralist ecologies and new forms of worldly belonging.
Subjective Wellbeing and the Social Responsibilities of Business: an Exploratory Investigation of Australian Perspectives
(Springer (part of Springer Nature), 2020-06-20)
While the past decade has brought growing interest in and focus on the subjective wellbeing of society, there have been few empirical studies that have explored the social responsibilities, roles, and contributions of business, despite the pervasiveness of businesses as one of the core social institutions of modern societies. Through a survey of 1319 Australians, this study examines public perspectives of the social responsibilities of business to enhance subjective wellbeing. The findings suggest that the public does believe that businesses have some social responsibilities for subjective wellbeing. Exploratory analyses suggest that support is stronger for less privileged segments of the Australian public, and that a greater degree of social responsibility is expected for high-proximity stakeholders (e.g., employees) than low-proximity stakeholders (e.g., customers). Further, business activities that enhance subjective wellbeing may translate into desirable instrumental outcomes relevant to business performance. While findings need to be confirmed in other samples and using alternative study designs, the results suggest that ongoing policy debates on the various social determinants of societal wellbeing might benefit from incorporating consideration of the roles and responsibilities of business.
Journey Map: Facilitator Guide
(Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne, 2020)
The Journey Map workshop focuses on helping teachers better understand the journey they go on when they transition into an innovative learning environment. Participants complete a ‘journey-map’ activity, which encourages peer discussion around their formative teaching experiences. This is followed by individual reflections on what was done, felt and thought when transitioning into new learning spaces. With an emphasis on the social learning that comes from sharing concrete experiences, this workshop helps participants be explicit about their journey and learn from the experiences of their peers. Due to the nature and focus of the workshop, participants who have prior experience transitioning from a traditional space to one more innovative will gain the most benefit.
Fostering Digital Literacy through Web-based Collaborative Inquiry Learning – A Case Study
(Informing Science Institute, 2011)
Digital literacy (DL), a term that emerged with the explosion of digital information and multime-dia technology, refers to basic competence in using digital technology. The present study first analyzed the evolvement from media literacy to digital literacy and developed a four-branch theo-retical framework of DL by investigating related definitions of it. For the purpose of fostering DL, a set of web-based collaborative inquiry learning (WCIL) activities was designed and were implemented on weblog to further the DL of secondary 3 students (aged 14 to 15). To provide students with the necessary support and facilitate their progress, eight fortnightly lessons of one to one and a half hours each were arranged, at which students were asked to report/present the latest progress of their WCIL project, and their teacher gave suggestions and offered the students resources to deal with the problems they had encountered. The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of the WCIL activities on student DL levels and the problems that might be encountered by students and teachers in carrying out the activities. Data were collected from a variety of sources, including lesson observations, focus group inter-views, and student weblog postings. The findings show that (1) the WCIL activities were useful in involving students in DL practices and improved student DL levels across a wide variety of indicators, and (2) problems in the im-plementation of the WCIL activities included inexperience in collaborative inquiry learning, in-sufficient leadership skills of group leaders, and inadequate DL, which was mainly embodied as the difficulties that the students had in analyzing and synthesizing inquiry materials and improv-ing the level of their accuracy in accessing information. In addition to their development in DL, students also reported social benefits obtained through WCIL, which was embodied as their improvement in collaborative ability, interpersonal skills, leadership skills, articulacy, ability to adapt, judgment, and the courage to carry out interviews and surveys with strangers. Given these benefits, this study only represents a single case, and thus the findings may not be replicable in other educational settings. Further studies are needed to clarify the effect of WCIL on student DL.
Developing Digital Literacy through Collaborative Inquiry Learning in the Web 2.0 Environment – An Exploration of Implementing Strategy
(Informing Science Institute, 2012)
This study explores a strategy for Web-based collaborative inquiry learning (WCIL) for the pur-pose of developing students’ digital literacy (DL). In view of the problems and difficulties identi-fied in a previously published case study of WCIL practice in a class of secondary 3 students (aged 14 to 15), another round of WCIL activity was carried out in the same class. A series of measures designed to help students deal with the identified problems and difficulties were adopt-ed to enhance WCIL for developing students’ DL. We explored the effectiveness of the imple-mentation strategies through focus-group interview, weblog postings, and subject teacher inter-view. Initial findings indicated that these measures are effective in facilitating the implementation of WCIL. To sum up the measures adopted in this round of WCIL, a preliminary implementing strategy model is proposed. Although it is not sufficiently verified, and is still subject to revision and adjustment by future studies, it gives a visual and more manageable model for reference of teachers planning and implementing instructional activities of this kind.
Animal Magic, Secret Spells, and Green Power: More-Than-Human Assemblages of Children's Storytelling
Early childhood settings have become contested spaces, or sites of struggle, between economic and sociocultural interests disputing their purpose. Recent years have shown increased pressure on children in early education settings to demonstrate predetermined learning outcomes, which (a) limits the scope of what is possible in the classroom, (b) narrows the range of what learning is considered valid, and (c) privileges the experience and values of the dominant culture, thereby determining who and what matters in early childhood settings. Thus, in the current education climate where conventional knowledges are routinely privileged, unconventional knowledges and small stories from children’s lives are frequently disregarded or otherwise pushed to the margins of daily classroom life. The purpose of this post qualitative study was to position children’s storytelling as a disruptive force to western, positivist, and humanist knowledges in early childhood education and research. In this study, I am thinking with theory using critical posthumanist/new materialist theories as a research approach to consider children’s storytelling in an early childhood setting. Adopting the role of observant participator, I worked alongside ten 2.5-5-year-old (co)-participants using observations, photography, and classroom discussions to investigate the relational and emergent dimensions of children’s storytelling. I used pedagogical narration as an approach to data analysis, drawing lines between interconnected episodes and pointing to the more-than-human relational encounters that were present in children’s everyday storytelling practices. In this study, I found storytelling to be a generative process, produced within a complex assemblage of human and non-human actors. The second finding that emerged is that an expanded concept of narrativity is required to fully attune and attend to the multiplicitous storytelling occurring within early childhood settings. Lastly, in this study, children’s stories were shown to have to the potential to act as thought experiments for envisioning possible worlds. This study broke from conventional education research by considering not what worlds are being reflected in children’s storytelling, but rather what worlds are being produced. This is an important distinction at this particular moment in history, when we must consider what knowledges are legitimized and what are outcast by our systems of education, and what worlds are produced and reproduced in the process.
(Re)considering Squirrel––From Object of Rescue to Multispecies Kin
<jats:p>This is a story situated in the Pacific Northwest region of North America, where encounters with a non-native “rescue” squirrel present disequilibrium for an educator and surprises for an early childhood classroom community. Thinking with Haraway, Latour, and common world frameworks challenges the educator’s “back to nature” narrative and generates opportunities to engage with different perspectives about the intersection of nature and culture, human and nonhuman kin, and the limiting quality of anthropocentric, child-centered pedagogies in early childhood education.</jats:p>
Twelve-month outcomes of MAKINGtheLINK: A cluster randomized controlled trial of a school-based program to facilitate help-seeking for substance use and mental health problems.
(Elsevier BV, 2020-01)
Background: Young people experiencing mental health problems are often reluctant to seek help, particularly from professionals (i.e., doctors or mental health workers). MAKINGtheLINK is a school-based intervention that aims to help adolescents overcome barriers to seeking professional help for mental health and substance use problems. Methods: A cluster randomised controlled trial was conducted to evaluate the 12-month outcomes of MAKINGtheLINK among 2447 participants (Mean age=14.9 years, SD=0.5 years, 50% male). Randomisation resulted in 1130 students from 11 schools allocated to receive the intervention, and 1317 students from 10 schools allocated to the wait-list control group. After the baseline assessment, follow-ups were conducted at 6-weeks (n = 2045), 6-months (n = 1874), and 12-months (n = 1827). The primary outcome measure was help-seeking behaviour, from both formal (e.g., health professionals) and informal (e.g., friends, family members) sources. The trial was registered with the Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Register (ANZCTR) on the 27th of February 2013 (registration number ACTRN12613000235707). Findings: The intervention was not associated with overall help-seeking at the 12-month follow-up (p = 0.99, odds ratio [OR]=1.00, 95% CI for OR = 0.70-1.42), or help-seeking for depression (p = 0.28, OR = 1.21, 95%CI =0.86-1.69), stress and anxiety (p = 0.73, OR = 1.04, 95%CI = 0.74-1.47), or alcohol/other drugs (p = 0.84, OR=1.12, CI=0.37-3.37). However, the intervention was associated with increased help-seeking from formal sources (compared to informal sources) both overall (p = 0.005, OR = 1.81, 95%CI = 1.19-2.75), as well as for depression (p = 0.01, OR=2.09, 95%CI=1.19-3.67), and stress and anxiety (p < 0.006, OR = 1.72, 95%CI = 1.17-2.54). Interpretation: Rates of help-seeking remained unchanged following the intervention. However, MAKINGtheLINK effectively improved the quality of adolescent help-seeking behaviour by increasing help-seeking from formal sources. As prompt treatment is essential in reducing the long-term impact of early onset mental health problems, MAKINGtheLINK has the potential to make a significant contribution to existing early intervention and prevention efforts. Funding: National Health and Medical Research Council (APP1047492).
The new gendered labour of synchronisation: Temporal labour in the new world of work
(SAGE Publications, 2019-10-19)
<jats:p> Research considering how time is organised has shown that women tend to carry a disproportionate burden of coordinating the schedules of their households. However, little research has considered how these gendered inequalities may manifest in the context of the shift away from ‘standard’ work patterns and towards variable and non-standard hours. We address this question by using interview and digital data to consider how a selection of ‘ordinary’ Australian young adults in heterosexual partnerships manage and coordinate their time. We contend that even for middle-class young adults with relatively high employment security, increasingly complex working arrangements are shifting existing inequalities in gendered divisions of temporal labour in ways that heighten feelings of temporal insecurity. We conceptualise our findings as part of an intensification of the existing need to schedule and manage lives that is widely felt in the so-called ‘gig economy era’, even by those removed from gig work proper. </jats:p>