Melbourne Graduate School of Education Curriculum Policies Project

Australian Curriculum Theses 1985



"Brocklebank, R. J. (1985). The ACT Year 12 Certificate: a student based review. Canberra ACT, Canberra ACT College of Advanced Education."

"The aim of this field study is to establish the extent to which Year 12 students understand and appreciate the ACT system of senior secondary colleges and the information which appears on the ACT Year 12 Certificate. A description of what makes up the college system is provided. This includes an explanation of how the colleges relate to the high schools, their curriculum, the accreditation of courses, assessment and certification. The role of the ACT Schools Accrediting Agency is explained in the way it underpins the credibility of the system and of how it carries the responsibility for the final generation of the ACT Year 12 Certificate. The major part of the study was a survey of a sample of Year 12 students at the end of 1983 to establish the extent to which they understood the aspects of the system they had been a part of for two years. The data and findings of their survey are presented. The report concludes with an outline of the most recent changes, developments and reactions which in some way affect the system."


"Cat, B. V. (1985). Background studies for Vietnamese students of English. Canberra ACT, Canberra ACT College of Advanced Education."

"Recent years have witnessed many developments in the use of the communicative approach in language teaching. This approach aims at developing students ability to communicate with native speakers of the target language. To achieve this ability students are required to have not only linguistic competence but also communicative competence. That is why the students need not only the linguistic knowledge but also the background knowledge of the culture in which the language is spoken. Background studies, including culture, must be seen as a separate and indispensable component of the curriculum so that students gain some knowledge of English speaking countries, their peoples ways of life, their customs and habits and so on. Various techniques for the teaching of this subject are examined."


"Enright, C. (1985). The Co-Operative School, ACT, 1978 - 1980: curriculum options compatible with alternative, early childhood education. Canberra ACT, Canberra ACT College of Advanced Education."

"The aim of this study was to analyse the philosophy of the Cooperative School O'Connor, ACT as set out in the constitution, and to see how it related to curriculum and teaching strategies. Issues of freedom and choice within a compulsory school environment were examined in relation to the stated aims of the school. The developmental needs of children in the early childhood age group, and the personal variables they brought to the learning situation, were related to the school environment. Decision making strategies were examined for their relevance to consensus based processes and a cooperative style of community management. Areas of the curriculum which have traditionally been difficult for alternative schools to implement to the satisfaction of all community members were examined. The study ends with reflections on the place of alternative, progressive schools in the 1980s, and the need for such schools to exist to provide an educational choice for parents and children in the future."


"Gordon, P. (1985). Years 11 and 12 English curriculum in the ACT 1984. Canberra ACT, Canberra ACT College of Advanced Education."

"In 1976, following the recommendations of the Campbell Report, school based course development and assessment replaced the New South Wales Higher School Certificate courses and public examinations in the Australian Capital Territory. By 1984 the benefits of the new system were very clear in the area of English curriculum at Years 11 and 12 level. The hopes of the Campbell Report have been fulfilled in terms of providing students with greater freedom of choice and flexibility in the selection of options. Assessment instruments have become much more wide ranging. Teacher student relationships have become less authoritarian. Teaching strategies and learning approaches have generally made students more active participants in the learning process. The field study drew on English course documents in the senior secondary colleges, presenting an overview of the workings of the English curriculum."


"Lai, K. S. (1985). Streaming in the primary school. Belconnen ACT, University of Canberra ACT."

"This field study is a critical analysis of early streaming in Singapore. Primary school pupils are streamed at the end of Primary 3 on the basis of their performance in achievement tests in English, Mathematics and Second Language. The streaming policy is based on eugenic and economic premises. The policy makers believe that intelligence is largely determined by genes, and that the quality of human resources is a vital factor for nation building. The study identifies the ideological position of the policy makers by discussing some of their major assumptions about humans, society, knowledge, school and curriculum, and reveals the ideological underpinnings of inherited differences in IQ and meritocracy which support this policy. The study also examines the inequality of advantage of this form of streaming. The findings of the pre- primary study and the study on dropouts show that unnatural inequalities do affect the performance of pupils in achievement tests and their desire to stay on in school. The analysis of the planning and management of the change shows that different reactions of principals, teachers and parents can have different effects on pupil motivation and learning, with grave social implications."


"Skinner, G. (1985). Cognitive style and social needs of academically gifted children. Canberra ACT, Canberra ACT College of Advanced Education."

"Most departmental policy statements on the education of gifted and talented students recommended their retention, where possible, in mainstreaming classes in neighbourhood schools. The educational experience in such classes, of 14 students identified as academically gifted by their teachers, was investigated using a case study approach. Their cognitive style was studied by reference to information processing strategies as revealed in Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Revised (WISC - R) subtest scores. Interpersonal and communication skills were investigated through classroom observation and structured interviews. The theories of deviance and authority were applied in interpreting this data. Results indicated relationships between students cognitive style and teachers identification methods, and between students cognitive style and their school satisfaction. Sex differences in teacher response and student interaction were also noted."


"Welch, I. (1985). Reconstituting a tradition, core curriculum for Australian schools: a retrospect. Canberra ACT, Canberra ACT College of Advanced Education."

"The publication of the Curriculum Development Centres discussion paper core curriculum for Australian schools in June 1980 stimulated discussion of the concept of core curriculum in Australia. The driving force came from the foundation director of the CDC, Malcolm Skilbeck. This study discusses the themes and directions to which Skilbeck was committed through a study of his work prior to his return to Australia in 1975 and his subsequent writings. The study considers Skilbecks work against general thinking on educational matters in Australia and overseas. The study looks at Skilbecks approach to cultural mapping and school based curriculum development as the two fundamental planks of his approach to the development and implementation of a core curriculum for Australian schools. The study concludes that the CDC discussion paper was a valuable stimulus to discussion of curricular foundations at the time it was released but represented a point of view that was not fully understood or appreciated at the time. It laid the foundation for the renaissance of the general concept as democratic curriculum in 1984 and provides important indications of the potential for the development of the Participation and Equity Program."




"Barker, P. I. (1985). Dance and aesthetic education. Armidale NSW, University of New England."

"The thesis aims to raise practical and philosophical problems which bear upon dance and the arts in education. Resolutions for these problems are sought so that the clear nature and role of dance can be established. A case is made for the importance of including dance in the curriculum. Suggestions are given concerning an appropriate way to approach the development and programming of dance in education. Problems connected with dance include confusion of terminology, adverse societal attitudes, confused methodology springing from the traditional placing of dance in the physical education arena and misinterpretation of related concepts such as creativity and expression. More serious and deep rooted problems centre around the notions that dance is a subjective activity and therefore cannot be criticised or evaluated and that dance has no knowledge content and thus is unimportant in education. A five strand approach to the development of dance is suggested. The student is required to study the aspects of artist, critic, historian and aesthetician. An added dimension is that of society involvement which seems a two way interchange between the dancer and the community."


"Bradley, D. (1985). Science teachers perceptions of the secondary science curriculum in the context of the implementation of the science syllabus in some junior secondary schools in southern Tasmania. Armidale NSW, University of New England."

"The purpose of this study was to investigate, in a sample of junior secondary schools in southern Tasmania, the area of the implementation of the Science Syllabus (Schools Board of Tasmania, 1978). Data were collected on the characteristics of schools, science teachers, their perceptions of their science curriculum decision making processes, the strength of influences on those processes and the implementation of the Science Syllabus. The measuring instrument was developed by the researcher. This involved interviews with science teachers and two pilot studies outside the study sample. The main study sample was all the science teachers in junior secondary schools in Region 3 of the Schools Board of Tasmania. The measuring instrument was a self administered questionnaire. Ninety six questionnaires were distributed. The response rate was 83 per cent."


"Brandon, B. A. (1985). Factors affecting implementation of religious education guidelines in a sample of Catholic secondary schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne. Armidale NSW, University of New England."

"This thesis investigates the factors affecting the implementation of the Religious Education Guidelines in a sample of Catholic secondary schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne. Data were collected by means of surveys of both principals and religious education teachers and by interview with principals in the sample schools. It is clear from the data analysis that the leadership of both principals and religious education coordinators is crucial in the guidelines implementation process, the leadership being in both the level of direct involvement with the teaching of religious education and in the curriculum development aspect. This points to inservice needs for principals and religious education coordinators as well as for religious education teachers generally. There is strong support for the suggestion that the inservice requirements of religious education teachers are best met by school based, as distinct from centrally based, programs. The need for what is being attempted through the guidelines is acknowledged, but there are some problems with the clarity of presentation of the guidelines as well as with the quality of the material resources available to support their implementation. The general level of morale of the school, the faith position of the religious education teacher and the formality of approach to religious education are all seen as affecting the degree of implementation of the guidelines, as is competition, at a Higher School Certificate level, from subjects with external examination components."


"Carr, K. L. (1985). Integrating handicapped children into the mainstream of school and society. Camperdown NSW, University of Sydney."

"The question of segregated and integrated settings for education and the relationship of special and regular education are analysed as two of the consequences of legislation in the USA which mandates public education in the least restrictive environment for all handicapped children. The USA is focused upon because its attempt to legislate educational and social change for handicapped children is supported by federal funds which have enabled American educators and parents to develop many well documented and some longstanding programs of integration. Parents and professionals have a crucial but unequal relationship to each other as they seek to do what each believes is best for the handicapped child. Classroom teachers are the cornerstone of successful integration programs which require a new relationship between special and regular educators. The implications of integration for both able bodied and handicapped children are examined, with particular attention to the new call for social skills training of handicapped children who are now being stereotyped as deficient in these skills."


"Facer, E. J. (1985). Immigrant education. Social adaptation of immigrant children: Indochinese in Australian primary schools. Wollongong NSW, University of Wollongong."

"Social adaptation in Australia of Vietnamese, Laotian and Kampuchean immigrants was investigated. Of specific concern was evaluation of how immigrant children were being equipped, in schools, to meet cultural and social expectations of Australian community life. The empirical investigation involved 65 Indochinese children in primary schools in Wollongong NSW. English language ability, cognitive development, academic and social progress were analysed to assess performance in terms of demands of Australian school environments. Results highlighted implications for childrens long term adaptation of low proficiency in English communication, notwithstanding strong abilities in other areas. The influence on social adaptation of traditional cultural patterns and values, family structure and attitudes, learning styles, and communication, were established as areas for attention by educational planners."


"Finger, G. D. (1985). An analysis of the implementation of the primary science syllabus in Bundaberg and district state primary schools. Armidale NSW, University of New England."

"The purpose of this study was to examine and analyse the implementation of the primary science syllabus in Bundaberg and district state primary schools. A two part questionnaire was administered to 180 teachers from 2 Bundaberg and district state primary schools. Questionnaires were completed by and retrieved from 147 teachers from 24 of the schools. The findings of this study are reported and analysed in terms of the characteristics of the schools and teachers studied, the science planning procedures used by teachers, the planning problems encountered by them, and finally, the classroom practices employed in science teaching."


"Gee, D. R. (1985). Expectations of secondary education in a NSW country city. Armidale NSW, University of New England."

"The objectives of this study were to investigate the differing perceptions that the students, parents, teachers and employers in a NSW country city have of the secondary school curriculum, in order to provide a database which the participating schools may wish to use as a basis for curriculum change or further investigation. Survey research using a modified form of an instrument developed by Collins and Hughes (1978) formed the basis of the investigation. The three comprehensive high schools and a sample of employers from a large city in the New England region of NSW were involved in the study. It was found that students, parents, teachers and employers think in terms of four overall curriculum orientations which were described as academic, discipline, preparation for life and personal autonomy / social awareness. Most groups considered the schools achieved academic goals very well. However, other areas of the curriculum such as preparation for life and personal autonomy / social awareness were considered more important. There was also a division among the academic items by students and parents who saw two differing academic orientations. One of these contained traditional school academic subjects, mathematics and sciences. The other referred to cultural subjects. This second group was considered much less important by the students and parents."


"Hamer, P. J. C. (1985). Destreaming the primary school: a study of change and innovation. Camperdown NSW, University of Sydney."

"This study developed out of a concern for the widespread use of educational ability grouping in Australian schools. The opportunity to study a change proposal at first hand came with a Catholic four streamed primary school seeking to investigate its current practices with a view to possible future changes being made. An Attitude to Streaming Questionnaire completed by staff members, feeder school principals, Catholic education office consultants, Catholic education office regional directors and advisors and Catholic teachers college lecturers revealed that the staff attitudes differed greatly from all the other groups surveyed. The staff participated in a number of inservice activities designed to foster awareness of the streaming debate and to promote further investigations about the specific nature of the students currently enrolled at the school and how they were affected by educational ability grouping. This study clearly shows the importance of involving all staff members in any change proposal that seriously affects their classroom teaching, for no real change can take place within a school unless the behaviour of individual staff members is changed."


"Karaolis, J. (1985). The structure of narrative history: implications for teaching. Kensington NSW, University of New South Wales."

"Philosophical analysis of the historical task is complex. One aspect which requires investigation is the structuring of historical data into a coherent whole. This essay is an enquiry into one category of historical synthesis, that in which a complex transformation is diachronically related, which in this essay is termed narrative history. It is argued that narrative history is a cognitive tool by which the complex relatedness and interaction of disparate past individuals and changes can be made apparent. An analysis of historical narrative is undertaken which attempts to show that each narrative whole is composed of separate narrative strings, each with a philosophic individual as its continuing subject, and combined in a range of ways which express particular relations between each series. The strategies of discourse adopted by the historian are examined to determine the ways in which they express the historians conception of the object of his narrative. Different kinds of historical narrative are identified and the claims of narrative to be explanatory, and objective, are examined."


"McKinnon, D. H. (1985). Teachers and computer literacy: management of change. Camperdown NSW, University of Sydney."

"This essay is concerned with the management of curriculum change as it relates to teachers acquiring the necessary skills to use computers in the classroom. The essay begins with a review of the literature in which the concept of teacher computer literacy, and the teaching skills involved are examined. The professional development of various teacher groups is examined. The Concerns Based Adoption Model as a framework for the provision of diagnostic information relating to teachers concerns with respect to the acquisition of skills is discussed. The objectives of an inservice course available from the New South Wales Department of Education are examined. Argument is made for further research into the Concerns Based Adoption Model as a method for supplying relevant diagnostic information on teachers concerns about computers in order that effective inservice courses can be structured to meet the needs of teachers and therefore hasten the adoption of this particular innovation, computers in education."


"Melino, R. (1985). The rationale, development and evaluation of a programme of modified bilingual education in two schools using Italian as the second language. Camperdown NSW, University of Sydney."

"This essay studies the rationale for, and develops a modified bilingual program in two Sydney schools; Bondi Beach Public School and St Francis Primary School, Paddington. The programs are evaluated in the light of their feasibility and the conclusions are that primary children enjoy learning a language which they see as being relevant to their environment. The development of a suitable curriculum was initiated but by no means completed. Since all schools do not feel the impact of cultural diversity a curriculum should incorporate teaching about our society's diverse identity. In schools where a dominance of ethnic communities is low this study could be carried out in English. In other schools that have opted to learn one other language this could be done in the second language. The programs carried out showed that a second language can be learnt in the primary school so that the school is in fact a mini bilingual society."


"Nay Brock, P. K. (1985). A history of the development of English syllabuses in NSW secondary education, 1953 - 1976: a continuum or a series of new beginnings? Armidale NSW, University of New England."

"This study focuses upon the development of English syllabuses in New South Wales secondary education from 1953 to 1976. By means of a thorough comparative analysis of the texts of the five syllabuses of 1953, 1961 - 2, 1965, 1971 and 1974 - 6, the shifts in content of these syllabuses are identified. Through an examination of primary source documents, the interviewing of all the surviving principal figures involved in the process of syllabus formulation during that period, and reference to other relevant research, a history is constructed which accounts for the changes located through the process of comparative textual analysis."


"O'Toole, J. M. (1985). The Domremy supplementary science exercises: a case study of school based innovation and evaluation. Kensington NSW, University of New South Wales."

"This thesis is concerned with the evaluation of a school based innovation which produced resource materials to assist concerned science teachers to deal with the difficulties that the scientific style of English can cause for learners at the junior secondary level. In the course of the thesis, language features which are characteristic of the scientific style are described and research findings which deal with the problems that these features can cause are canvassed. A number of responses to these problems are raised, evaluated and one is suggested as being potentially fruitful. Some materials which were produced on the basis of this response are described. The materials were found to be flexible and attractive to both staff and students. They were also found to have a significant positive effect on students linguistic competence within the scientific style and upon their acquisition of science concepts."


"Pattie, I. E. (1985). The Karmel Report and selected primary schools in the Launceston region. Armidale NSW, University of New England."

"The Karmel Report, published in 1973, contained recommendations for the introduction of new educational programs in all Australian primary and secondary schools. Many of the new programs aimed at overcoming the educational disadvantages of some children and schools. This study examines the effects of the report on five Launceston (Tasmania) primary schools which were part of the state education system. Information about the administrative impact of the report on schools and the system was obtained mostly from structured interviews with officers of the Education Department including the five principals. It was found that, in administering the new projects, principals had incurred an increase in workload, a change in work pattern and a shift in leadership style. It was found also that the workload associated with the projects was an unequal load and fell heaviest on the principals of disadvantaged schools."


"Taylor, P. G. (1985). Curriculum development and decision making: a phenomenological study of the process at one school. Armidale NSW, University of New England."

"A case study utilising ethnomethodology was undertaken over a two year period. Participant observation was the primary data collection technique. Other data were obtained through the use of surveys, interviews, and unobtrusive techniques, such as use of minutes of meetings, interpretation of some school surveys and school newsletters. The research followed the process of curriculum decision making within the school. Initially, attention was focused on modes of how to develop curricula. From models, attention moved to the processes of curriculum development, in particular, decision making. A relationship is posited between the type of problem and the meaning of participation. Specifically, most decisions involve issues for which there are existing mechanisms for their resolution. The analysis offers some explanation for the incremental nature of school based curriculum development. This analysis derives essentially from the findings on problem solving."


"Wheeler, M. (1985). Interest electives in a Sydney high school: a case study of a school based curriculum innovation. Camperdown NSW, University of Sydney."

"This essay is a study of a school based innovation in operation in a Sydney high school. The innovation is a scheme which allows students to take interest elective subjects of leisure, vocational and sporting interest as part of their choice of subjects. One of the main features of the scheme is that the interest electives are integrated into the general school timetable. The introduction and progress of the scheme is observed over the period of two years, 1980 and 1981. The approach adopted in this essay is a process style analysis. Existing theory as to what aids or hinders the introduction and development of innovations is considered, the process involved in the scheme is then described and commented on in the light of the above mentioned theory. Considerable attention has also been given to examining the milieu in which the developments take place, and the effects of this milieu on the scheme and its outcome. Student reactions to the scheme, both encouraging and critical, are examined, and the influence of student opinion on staff perceptions of the worth of the scheme are discussed."



"Bechly, L. F. J. (1985). Towards a theory of art education for Queensland primary schools. St Lucia QLD, University of Queensland."

"This thesis maintains that creativity and a disciplinary orientation should not be viewed as a priori to the problems besetting art education in Queensland. Rather, it is argued that an adequate theory of art education for primary schools in which creativity is embedded as a valued human attribute should be explored. Drawing on the thought of Ernst Cassirer, in which man is defined as creator and user of symbols, a theory of art education in which creativity is not debased is postulated. The need, in primary school art education, to stress the childs continuous confrontation with the environment remains a central issue of this theory."


"Christie, M. J. (1985). The classroom world of the Aboriginal child. St Lucia QLD, University of Queensland."

"In this thesis, the classroom experience of Aboriginal children is examined closely, in an effort to identify exactly how the school is failing to cater adequately for the needs of this special group. Three strands of data informed the research. The first strand comprised phenomenological data gathered through interviewing and projective testing. The data revealed that Aboriginal children hold distinctive views on knowledge, school and academic work, the school generally being perceived as a ritual institution wherein knowledge is somehow sacramentally endowed upon those pupils who behave appropriately. The second line of research was quantitative in nature, directed at examining the Aboriginal childrens effort when required to perform purposeful learning behaviours. A theory of purposeful learning behaviour, that which the special nature of classroom education demands, is developed. The third form of data derived from participant observation of actual classroom behaviour. It focused on the ways in which the Aboriginal children respond when teachers demand academic behaviour which they are incapable of, or unused to performing, and on the teachers responses to the childrens constant failure to respond as desired."



"Dadds, B. J. (1985). Politics, incrementalism and professionalization of reform in Advisory Curriculum Boards in South Australia, 1972 - 1976. Bedford Park SA, Flinders University of South Australia."

"In 1972 a Primary Schools Advisory Curriculum Board and Secondary Schools Advisory Curriculum Board were established to replace existing less representative groups which advised the Director - General of Education about curriculum in government schools but only four years later both Boards had ceased to function and were in abeyance for three years. The Advisory Curriculum Boards did not operate successfully because they relied too much upon rational research and development approaches and lack awareness of the importance of political processes in the development of school curriculum policies. In addition to those factors which hindered their operations, the Boards were prone to domination by professional educators who believed that they were uniquely able to provide solutions to curriculum problems. When technical experts assumed responsibility for change, professionalisation of reform generated antipathetic attitudes towards community involvement in curriculum policy making within Board members. The prevailing opinions about good management practices in 1972 contributed to the degeneration of positive and active community membership of the Primary School Advisory Curriculum Board and the Secondary Schools Advisory Curriculum Board. The business of the Boards became merely the endorsement of policies and decisions presented by its professional educator members."



"Baker, J. R. (1985). A chance for equality? Hobart TAS, University of Tasmania."

"This study looks at the development of comprehensive education in Tasmania. It suggests that the Tasmanian experience of comprehensive education has been marred by a systemic misinterpretation of the principle. It considers the powerful social factors which militate against the realisation of the comprehensive education principle and questions whether the influence of these factors will ever weaken enough to allow it to succeed. Warrane High School, an urban four year comprehensive high school located east of the Derwent River in southern Tasmania, is the focus of this study. In making judgments about the various intellectual and social aspects of the schools population and in assessing its feeder community, it looks at other studies and considers their findings in the light of the expectations held for comprehensive education. In its final stages, the study examines the federal government�s compensatory education programs and then suggests directions that planning for education should take to ensure that the system of education which prevails caters fairly for all children in Tasmania."


"Broughton, L. (1985). What might count as art in schools? Hobart TAS, University of Tasmania."

"Art as a school subject embraces a broad epistemological domain. It is quite accepted for an art teacher to include in a single art curriculum such diverse fields as art history and ceramics, drawing and metal casting, paper making and basic design, furniture design and the making of videos, conceptual art and weaving, book binding and body art, computer graphics and wood carving, clay modelling and photography, painting and performance. The intent of this dissertation is to inquire into the apparent morass of diverse knowledge in art, into the educational potential of the various philosophies, ideologies, processes and techniques all of which can, it seems, legitimately constitute the content of school art curriculum. Behind this inquiry is a desire to resolve the problem as to what should count as Art in schools."


"Harington, D. G. (1985). The introduction of transition education into the Campania District High School. Hobart TAS, University of Tasmania."

"The plight of the rural school leaver suggested the need for a better preparation of students leaving the Campania District High School. In 1980 a case to support the introduction of a transition education program was prepared. The various alternatives which were available to overcome the problems of transition from high school to beyond were investigated and these included careers education, transition education, work experience, link courses and vocational education. The small size of the Campania District High School proved ideal for the smooth implementation and ready monitoring of this innovation. The evaluation process used was informal and based upon feedback from all the individuals concerned and the ultimate destination of the students. The experience gained from the program has given rise to certain policy recommendations: the main areas being that a formal program of transition education should be introduced into district high schools. Such a program should be taught as a separate subject and administered by a senior member of staff. Transition education should commence as early as Year 7 and include work experience for both Year 9 and Year 10 country students."


"Strube, P. (1985). The physical science textbook since 1800: a study of its language, structure and rhetorical style. Hobart TAS, University of Tasmania."

"This thesis examines physical science textbooks and evaluates the language of science textbooks as it relates to the history and purpose of science education. It is based on the premise that such language can be characterised not only by structural factors (such as sentence length and vocabulary) but also by what the language attempts to achieve. The thesis explores the history of physical science texts since 1800, and uses that history to develop both a classification system for textbooks, and a framework against which to view the changing purposes of science textbook authors. It is based on an analysis that provides information about the development of the modern science text, uses past and present texts as mirrors of the long standing debate about the place of the textbook in science education, and provides the classification and characterisation of textbooks needed for any further rhetorical consideration of the textbook as prose."


"Towns, K. W. (1985). School improvement: curriculum renewal through professional development. Hobart TAS, University of Tasmania."

"The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the key elements of effective schools and to develop a framework or model though which a school may enter into curriculum developments, realising that such an approach will lead right into professional development. It is an avenue which finds teachers engaging in sharing their ideas and it seems to be a natural and most effective course for progress into professional development."



"Anset, R. M. (1985). Curriculum days in primary schools and professional development: the present scene. Geelong VIC, Deakin University."

"This dissertation investigates the impact curriculum days are having in primary school since their introduction in Victoria in 1983. It is argued that curriculum days, if seen as part of an ongoing process, are having a positive impact at the school level in the development of teachers and curriculum. The research focuses on one primary school to find out what is actually occurring on curriculum days. Contextual factors impinging on the school are noted and analysed as to their influence on curriculum day topics. The paper emphasises that the processes involved in planning curriculum days are of vital importance to the effectiveness of curriculum days and their follow up phase. Four case studies of different curriculum days are analysed and reflected on. Two of these were regarded as being successful by the staff at the case study school while the other two were seen as being unsuccessful."


"Blachford, K. R. (1985). Curriculum evaluation policy with special reference to geographical education. Clayton VIC, Monash University."

"The present study proposed to analyse critically the concept of curriculum evaluation policy with a view to identifying the nature and elements of such a policy in order to make recommendations for the improvement of evaluation policy, particularly in geographical education in schools. Consequently, the study involved an exploration of the meaning of curriculum, evaluation and policy, and a study of the recommended curriculum and evaluation approaches in the recent literature and particularly in geographical education. In geographical education, the subject is only beginning to accept the humanistic approach to curriculum and the literature in evaluation is overwhelmingly dominated by student testing. The relevance of geographical education, the existence of classes in geography, and the content of published kits, texts and courses, is assumed valid for all contexts; there is little attention given to assisting teachers in context evaluations, evaluation for course planning and improved practice or implementation, and little attention to assisting in the detection of unintended and long term outcomes. There is little evidence of a participatory orientation beyond the development of courses with other geography teachers."


"Bulleid, N. (1985). A proposal for an expanded syllabus in physical education at the higher school certificate level. Clayton VIC, Monash University."

"This project contains an expanded syllabus for the core units of the subject of Physical Education that are taught at the Higher School Certificate level within the state of Victoria. It is an attempt to produce a course guideline that follows a logical, sequential order covering the core units of the subject. It is not a comprehensive text book but merely an expanded syllabus that may be used by both teachers and students involved in the study of physical education at the Higher School Certificate level. This study is an effort to enhance the uniformity of the teaching and the studying of the subject at the Higher School Certificate level within Victoria."


"Busch, A. G. (1985). History was never like this: oral history in the classroom. Clayton VIC, Monash University."

This project is a study of the oral history method as it can be utilised in the classroom. The place of history in the school curriculum is considered and oral history is defined and discussed. The study looks at the specific benefits that are supposed to accompany student involvement in the oral history method.


"Calder, R. (1985). School integration through cooperative learning: implications for special education. Bundoora VIC, La Trobe University."

"The integration of disabled students into mainstream schools is now part of Victorian Government policy. The implementation of this policy is causing concern among many teachers, parents and others in the community. This paper describes some of the problems facing students in special schools and discusses the advantages of allowing so called disabled students to work in mainstream schools. The benefits of a cooperative working group are emphasised with regard to the introduction of disabled students into mainstream schools. A pilot program which allowed both disabled and mainstream students to work together through the medium of drama is described. Recorded discussions with students from both the mainstream school and special school as well as teachers who worked in the program suggest that joint programs can be beneficial in promoting successful integration. From the projects described conclusions are drawn and recommendations are made which suggest a direction for further study."


"Clutterbuck, J. M. G. (1985). Microcomputer applications in individualizing foreign language teaching. Clayton VIC, Monash University."

"This thesis seeks to reexamine the theoretical principles of individualised instruction against the background of computer assisted instruction. It demonstrates that these principles can be adhered to in designing programs employing microcomputers in teaching foreign languages. The study reviews the theoretical considerations in computer assisted instruction and indicates some of the advantages and limitations of using computers in foreign language teaching. Five documented studies are outlined to demonstrate how theory is put into practice, and the study discusses such factors as the reduction of drudgery in the classroom, the humanisation of classroom teaching, error analysis, compilation of item banks and student reaction to computer assisted instruction. The study concludes with a reminder that the computer is still only a tool and should never be seen as anything more than an ancillary to a competent human teacher."


"Crisp, K. (1985). An implementation and evaluation of Graves approach to process writing in a postprimary school. Clayton VIC, Monash University."

This study sought to implement and evaluate in a postprimary school a process approach to writing which had been developed in a primary school by Donald Graves and his associates. Action research strategies were used in both implementing and evaluating the study. The resultant findings suggest that it is possible to use Graves approach in the postprimary setting but allowances must be made for the differences in school organisation and the previous school experiences of adolescent students. General observations about the implementation of the innovations in the postprimary school are also suggested.


"Edwards, J. (1985). Are you satisfied?: review of parental attitudes towards the curriculum of an independent girls' secondary school. Parkville VIC, University of Melbourne."

"This thesis examines the attitudes of parents to a range of issues concerning the content and application of the educational program of a small independent girls school in Melbourne's eastern suburbs. The material that forms the basis of the thesis was gathered from information supplied in response to questionnaires sent to all parents of daughters in the senior school, supplemented by a limited number of interviews. The intention of this review of the school was to establish the extent to which the schools educational program reflected the wishes and needs of the present parent body, to establish whether there were any areas of substantial dissatisfaction that need immediate attention, and to determine whether there were particular reasons why parents chose this school as such information could assist in the development of a particular style for the school. The thesis analyses the 198 responses to the questionnaire (with some illumination given by the interviews of 28 parents) and suggests areas for change. However, the overall impression gained from the analysis is that the present parent body is extremely satisfied with the school."


"Forsyth, A. (1985). Using the media in developing economic courses. Clayton VIC, Monash University."

"The chief aim of this investigation was to study the effect the media may have on the development of school economics courses. As school economics is justified largely on the basis of citizenship and our courses are drawn generally directly from the discipline of economics itself, it was decided to explore other means of developing economic curricula which in this case involved the study of one section of the media - the newspaper. One hundred and twenty pages were drawn at random from a years publications of the Age newspaper. The content of these pages was then analysed in term of column space devoted to economics subject matter to check how significant is the amount of economics material reported in the general pages of the newspaper. Furthermore, data were collected to derive a picture of the economics concepts involved. Once these data were collected it was reported that in percentage terms, a significant amount of column space was devoted to economics issues. Furthermore, there was a large range of economic concepts and terms presented in the sample; these concepts and terms were grouped together to form the basis of an outline for a school course."


"Garrood, J. and G. W. Matthews (1985). A review of the Tertiary Orientation Programme psychology courses in the southeastern metropolitan region of Victoria. Clayton VIC, Monash University."

"The present study was primarily concerned with student retention and the motivations of students. The effect of the differential treatment of subject matter and different assessment methods utilised by the providers upon the retention of students in the various Tertiary Orientation Program (TOP) psychology courses was investigated. This differentiation was defined as formality, or the degree to which a particular course approximated a general undergraduate psychology course. On the basis of the literature reviewed, it was anticipated that the formality of the course, would be the major predictor of student continuance. In order to test this, and other predictions about student retention, as well as student perceptions and expectations, questionnaires were administered to both the teachers and students attending six Technical and Further Education (TAFE) providers in the south eastern metropolitan region of Victoria. Analyses of results supported the major prediction that course formality was associated with student retention. The more formally structured a particular college course, the higher the student retention rate in that course."


"Gilding, A. M. G. (1985). The design and evaluation of computer based microworlds in chemistry education. Melbourne VIC, Melbourne College of Advanced Education."

"The present research was an investigation into the design and evaluation of computer based microworlds in chemistry education. Two computer microworlds were evaluated using a multimethod approach focusing primarily upon clinical observation and interview. One of the microworlds, Atom Alchemy, had been developed prior to the study. The second microworld, Molecular Alchemy, was developed within the study. A video monitoring technique was developed to record the students using the microworlds. It was found that both computer based microworlds used in the study were useful tools in chemistry education. It was also observed that where the learning taking place was predominantly heuristic, the microworlds were very effective. However, there was mixed success where learning took place by the association of information and labels. While there are some limitations, the model upon which these microworlds were based was found to be useful in chemistry education."


"Green, R. M. (1985). Developing curriculum policy: a process of representation. Geelong VIC, Deakin University."

"Over a period of five years the ACT Schools Authority was engaged in a process of developing curriculum policy. A large number of people from various positions in the bureaucratic hierarchy participated in that development. During the period some people had a fleeting connection with the policys development while others stayed with it from beginning to end. This thesis attempts to describe particular understandings associated with systemic policy development through the ordinary experiences of the people involved. Some themes are evident: powerlessness, managerial authority, dialogical dysfunction, for example: and some difficult situations revealed: managerial interaction, pressure on subordinates, control mechanisms. The paper traces the development of the policy slightly beyond its secondary stage. The third stage was completed in 1984. Of particular importance to the paper is the relationship of the committee of 15 that comprises the ACT Schools Authority, to the officers of the system. That relationship remains problematical."


"Harding, R. (1985). A review of enrolments in mathematics and science education in Victoria. Clayton VIC, Monash University."

"The aim of this project is to examine enrolments in mathematics and science subjects in secondary schools and in postsecondary courses in Victoria. In addition consideration is given to the output of tertiary science and mathematics based courses in terms of their disciplines and their employment prospects. Data collected in sample surveys conducted by the Victorian Education Department has been used to examine participation in mathematics and science in the secondary years. Participation rates as indicated by these surveys are linked with retention rates to Year 10 as given by the Commonwealth Bureau of Statistics. In the tertiary field, data on enrolments in mathematics and science based courses was obtained from the statistics of the universities and the colleges of advanced education. There appears to be an increasing demand for tertiary mathematics and science courses especially in the universities. While there is still some unemployment amongst tertiary maths science graduates, the data shows that they have a better chance of gaining employment than do many other graduates."


"Ikin, R. R. (1985). The influence of an inspectors involvement in curriculum planning and the use of curriculum support services within a group of small Victorian rural primary schools. Clayton VIC, Monash University."

"The purpose of this study was to consider the problem faced by teachers in the small rural primary schools of the Traralgon Inspectorate of the Victorian Education Department in planning and implementing curriculum over the period 1978 - 1982. In particular, it was to consider the administrative action of the district inspector for that inspectorate, in response to the problem and the influence his actions had on the organisational cohesion of the group of schools involved, and the behaviours, attitudes, morale and motivation of the teachers and curriculum consultants. The study gave rise to a deeper appreciation of the complexity of the curriculum planning and implementation issue in rural schools. What at first seemed a widespread but nevertheless straight forward problem involving the production and teaching of primary school courses of study, proved to be a hybrid of professional, personal, organisational and psychological issues. Individual values, attitudes and motivations seem to have played a major part as they were constructed and construed in terms of individual perceptions and interpretations of the actions of others. Furthermore it appears that when the varying factors of teaching experience, competence, access to communication and time involved within cooperative schemes are added, there arises much potential for change, conflict, consternation and cooperation."


"Larkin, C. E. (1985). Commonwealth and Victorian Government involvement in the education of Victorian school - aged children with disabilities as perceived from a review of selected government publications 1970-1985. Clayton VIC, Monash University."

"This study describes some of the major developments in the involvement of both the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments in the education of school aged Victorian children with disabilities from 1970 to 1985. The information has been obtained mostly from published government reports and legislation. Four issues: government responsibility; integration; teacher training; and human rights, which are concerned with certain aspects of the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments arrangements or the education of disabled children, have been selected for discussion. The two most important findings are that there are significant inconsistencies in the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments policies, partly as a result of two different government authorities being involved at each of the two levels of government, and that the theme of human rights is an emergent issue with enormous implications for the future involvement of both the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments in the education of children with disabilities."


"Lenten, T. (1985). The integration of aesthetic, moral and social values in the curriculum. Bundoora VIC, La Trobe University."

"Over the last 20 years there has been a resurgence of interest in the value component of education under labels such as values education, moral education and aesthetic education. It is argued in this study that consideration needs to be given to the question of how the value domains of the aesthetic and the moral (including the social) can legitimately and usefully be developed. To carry out this task adequately it is necessary to analyse key concepts such as value, education, integration and curriculum; and to examine various approaches to establishing the relationship between aesthetic, moral and social values. The position adopted in this study is that it is both possible and desirable for teachers and curriculum developers to deal with the aesthetic, moral and social value areas simultaneously because of the intimate and integrated nature of the relationship between them. It is argued that the respective value domains referred to cannot be treated in an entirely separate way, and that efforts to do so will distort that relationship."


"Letts, L. J. (1985). Drug education in its administrative context: a study of primary schools in the Western Metropolitan Region of Melbourne. Geelong VIC, Deakin University."

"This study was designed to establish the administrative contexts in which curricular decisions are made about drug education in state primary schools in the western metropolitan region of Melbourne. One hundred and four state primary school principals were sent a survey consisting of 12 questions. Eighty four schools returned the survey. The results indicated that 26 schools conduct drug education. Fifty eight schools do not. Of the 26 schools who made decisions to conduct drug education, 14 made routine decisions and 12 made reflective decisions. School councils, principals, parents and community attitudes acted as official and unofficial agents of curricular respectability and were powerful influences in schools deciding not to introduce drug education. The main reason for not introducing drug education is that there is no perceived need. This study reveals that the contexts in which some schools are making decisions about drug education are leading some schools to adopt counterproductive approaches to drug education."


"Living, L. J. (1985). Video and television in the modern language classroom: a survey of the response to technological challenge. Clayton VIC, Monash University."

"The literature of this survey comprises a large number of experiments using video and television in the language classroom. Generally, educationalists and researchers are optimistic about their effects and potential. Despite the abundance of attitudinal and subjective surveys about the use of these media in education, there still remains an unacceptable lack of experimental evaluation of video and television methodologies and of their effects on language learning. The pervasiveness of technological innovation and its popular acceptance cannot be ignored by educationalists. They must adjust and adapt to the new technologies. Video applications to language learning will become even more sophisticated with its marriage to computers in the form of interactive videodiscs, to become perhaps one of the most complex learning resources developed to this time."


"Manson, B. A. (1985). Designing a course of study for Year 7 Social science: a report on course construction at a new secondary school in the Shepparton district. Clayton VIC, Monash University."

"The development, in 1982 of a new, private, secondary school, in a rural environment, created a need for the design, initially at Year 7 and 8 level, of a suitable Social science curriculum. Many elements such as objectives, content, methods, and evaluation go to make up a school curriculum, however the argument was put forward that more information than this was required. A situational analysis, where many factors relating to the students, the school and the teacher are looked at in more detail, should also be included. The requirement to have a Social science course available for the beginning of the new school year meant that certain assumptions had to be made in regard to the students needs, interests and abilities. To check the validity of the assumptions it was necessary to question the students and their parents, after which modifications could be made to the course, as required. The present study looks at the stages involved in the design, assessment and final evaluation of a suitable Social science course, for Year 7 students, in a particular school."


"McGilp, E. J. (1985). Children writing. Geelong VIC, Deakin University."

"This study concentrates on the narrative, expository and artistic writing of children in Year 3 and Year 6 in a Catholic primary school in Adelaide. It attempts to investigate how well children are taught to write at these two critically important years in the school. Research and theory presented provide the background to the study. The school statement of philosophy and the relevant South Australian Education Department documents, are reviewed for their significance to the study of writing. The outcome of the study shows that children are mainly exposed to narrative writing. It also shows that expository writing is not an easy task for the children, while poetry writing, the type of artistic writing nominated for the study, has much appeal for the weak writers. The study highlights the importance of a child grasping the schematic structure she is to use for writing. it also shows that when a child shows confidence in handling the schematic structure she is often prepared to share writing with others. Hence mastery of schema influences ownership of the written text. The study also challenges future evaluation of writing by teachers."


"McLean, R. J. (1985). Computer assisted instruction for elementary school mathematics? Parkville VIC, University of Melbourne."

"This investigation represents an attempt at examining the effectiveness and feasibility of instructional computer use in a Victorian primary school. The study involved the development of a computer assisted instruction (CAI) program for the teaching of addition of vulgar fractions. This was tested with 19 Year 5 children at an independent primary school. The children were tested on the topic before and after exposure to the program, and also received a questionnaire on their attitudes and perceptions. The results were analysed by differing mathematical abilities. The program appeared to be only moderately effective. This could have been because of deficiencies in the program and / or the shortage of student exposure. The effectiveness appeared to be greater for students of medium ability."


"Murphy, E. J. (1985). Research on school and community-based curriculum practice in Aboriginal, multicultural and migrant education. Geelong VIC, Deakin University."

"The research proposal includes a study of some key problems in relation to curriculum reform in multicultural and migrant education. The contents include an attempt to link issues that emerge from practice to wider educational and social concerns through the identification of explanatory social concepts of multicultural education, curriculum and evaluation theories and policy developments within the historical context of the development of special purpose projects in Victorian, Australian and International education. Issues include those of language, identity, rights, participation, social cohesion, cultural tolerance, acceptance of diversity, pluralism, self determination, equality of opportunity and outcomes in relation to life chances, lifestyles, racism, prejudice, conflict, structural change in schools, employment, funding and devolution of power and the exercise of power. The contents also include an attempt to facilitate self study and action research in some multicultural education projects and examples of the evaluation practices developed."


"Newton, A. J. (1985). An analysis of how an innovation is disseminated, by using the origins of the vertical curriculum concept in Victorian state secondary schools. Parkville VIC, University of Melbourne."

"The purpose of this investigation was to discover the origins of the vertical curriculum structure that has made a considerable impact on state secondary schools in the last decade and to establish how the idea spread throughout the system and why schools made this major change away from the horizontal curriculum. Three research methods were used in this study. Firstly, Education Department secondary school handbooks were studied to identify the vertically structured schools in 1975 and 1982. Secondly, a telephone survey was undertaken in order to find more information about each of the 44 vertical models discovered in the 1983 handbook. Finally, the key carriers of the concept were interviewed to gain in depth information on the innovation. The outcome from the data collected should assist in the understanding of how a major curriculum change can disseminate throughout the schools in an education system."


"O'Hara, M. (1985). A philosophical analysis of some of the problems associated with integrative curricula. Clayton VIC, Monash University."

"Any curriculum must effect a compromise between two fundamental types of integration: the integrating power of knowers and the integrated structure of knowns. More traditional curriculum arrangements tend to stress the latter, whereas many innovative programs move towards emphasising the former. The pedagogical tension existing between these two emphases, which are neither entirely antagonistic nor completely complementary, is reflected in proposals to integrate the curriculum. Interdisciplinary studies and schemes aimed at unifying an area of understanding take the logical characteristics of differentiated knowledge as their starting point; but entertain quite different assumptions about how it can be integrated. Both these forms of integration are more likely to structure the curriculum by reference to the objective feature of knowledge than by considering the commonsense understandings and interests that particular students or groups of students bring to school with them. By contrast any enquiry based form of curriculum integration inclines toward organising the curriculum exclusively around the perplexities and interests of pupils."


"Pearson, H. J. (1985). A review of selected social studies curricula for Australian primary schools: 1952 - 1984. Parkville VIC, University of Melbourne."

"This thesis analyses social studies curriculum guidelines prepared by state education departments for use in primary schools. Curriculum guidelines from Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia, in the period from 1952 to 1984 are examined. The review of these curriculum guidelines was designed to be a textual analysis focusing on five aspects of the materials which have been published: the way in which social studies has been defined; aims and rationale; teaching strategies; content; and evaluation. Features of recent curriculum guidelines, published after 1980, on which further research and development might be undertaken are also identified. These include: the strategies which could be used to develop children�s understandings of concepts and generalisations about society; clarifying whether or not particular values should be promoted in social studies programs; alternative approaches to structuring the content of programs to ensure that content matches intended aims; and alternative strategies to enable teachers to deal more easily with the difficulties involved in the evaluation of children�s progress."


"Pigdon, K. J. (1985). Childrens perceptions of a collaborative, inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning in social studies: a unit on television and advertising. Bundoora VIC, La Trobe University."

"A social studies unit on television and advertising was written in association with three Year 6 teachers and was then taught to a class in a Melbourne primary school in collaboration with their teacher. After the unit had concluded, data were gathered from eight selected children in the class through paired interviews and through a cloze procedure and a post cloze discussion. The data were analysed, categorised and organised under aspects concerned with content and aspects concerned with process. Major findings included the fact that the children possessed, in varying degrees, a sound grasp of the understandings around which the unit was planned. There were marked idiosyncrasies in the children�s responses to the content of the unit and in the ways they expressed their understanding. The children made clear distinctions between the teaching approach used in this unit and those used in previous social studies units. The children were able to differentiate between the various resources made available to them as sources of information for their inquiry and assess their effectiveness."


"Piper, K. J. (1985). The Language Development Project Phase II: a case study in cooperative curriculum development and the role of formative evaluation. Parkville VIC, University of Melbourne."

"The Language Development Project was a major initiative in national curriculum development, the first of its kind in language education in Australia. The study focuses on three major themes or constructs underlying Phase II of the project, its developmental phase, and explores their implications for national curriculum development in the Australian federal context and for English language education in Australian schools. As such it is essentially an exercise in construct evaluation, a formative approach to the evaluation of outcomes. The study analyses the development of three major constructs: the tripartite model of language education; the cooperative model of curriculum development; and the collaborative evaluation model, as they were exemplified in the experience of the project, examines their relationship to the wider context of practice, and explores their implications for the development of a practical framework for the English language curriculum, the resolution of ambiguities in the cooperative model of curriculum development, and the development of a reconstructed model for the formative evaluation of cooperative national programs."


"Richardson, J. (1985). Introducing LOGO to a Year one curriculum: an investigation. Clayton VIC, Monash University."

"The computer language LOGO, with its emphasis on expediting and facilitating user control and user definition, appears well suited as both a means and a site for investigation of learner autonomy within a classroom curriculum context. Indeed, LOGO in particular, and educational computing in general, appear to offer a unique opportunity for the improvement of education through resolving some of the contradictions between learning psychology and the social constraints of formal instruction. The problems of interfacing notions of instruction with a psychology that stresses the learners active construction of his or her own knowledge are immense. Indeed it is arguable that this is the central issue in education. Certainly it is this issue which this project attempts to address in both theory and practice."


"Robottom, I. M. (1985). Contestation and continuity in educational reform: a critical study of innovations in environmental education. Geelong VIC, Deakin University."

"This study explores the notion of contestation in environmental education. Contestation is a process in which self interested individuals and groups in a social organisation cooperate, compete and negotiate in a complex interaction aimed at solving social problems. A framework for critique is developed, comprising technicist, liberal / interpretive and critical paradigms in each of scientific knowledge, educational innovation, educational research and education itself. This framework forms the basis from which a critique is mounted of contesting perspectives in environmental education at international, national and local levels. The thesis addresses the issue of which of several contesting forms of educational research offers the most coherent response to the educational problem of environmental education, and argues that, for the time being, approaches grounded in the critical social sciences are both the best justified and most promising approaches to educational research for environmental education."


"Smith, G. (1985). Humanities in the primary school: towards a more structured approach. Bundoora VIC, La Trobe University."

"This paper is an attempt to review and evaluate current practice in primary humanities topics and to suggest strategies for improving such practice. Currently, childrens interests are often given priority over a view of knowledge or consideration of the role of the school in content selection, continuity in learning between grades and topics is very lax, evaluative and record keeping procedures are scarce, skills of inquiry dominate activities to the extent of distorting the relation between skills and content, and the rationale behind activities is seldom communicated to children. In an attempt to overcome such weaknesses it is suggested that a more structured approach to the choice of content and planning of learning activities be adopted. A planning strategy for topic work in primary humanities is suggested with criteria to employ in the choice of content, relating method to content, and the practical drawing up of a curriculum program."


"Stitson, R. M. (1985). The narrative analysis of the novel 1984 and its film version: with application to senior secondary school studies in humanities. Bundoora VIC, La Trobe University."

"The object of the thesis is to provide secondary school students with a method of analysing literary and film narratives, through a comparison of Orwell's 1984 with its 1956 film version directed by Michael Anderson. It stresses that before adequate narrative comparisons can be made, a novel's film version must first be considered in its own right as a product of cinema rather than as visual resource material for the study of set novels. The method of approach is to regard a fiction narrative (both literary and film) as composed of three constructs: text, story and discourse. These constructs allow for a common ground to be drawn between literary novel and cinematic film version, from which all discussion proceeds. The author concludes that the film version is a serious drama with elements of 1950s cold war propaganda, and as such cannot possibly be an innocent visual retelling of the novel."


"Swan, A. E. W. (1985). Rhetoric and reality: responses of school councils to curriculum review. Geelong VIC, Deakin University."

"This dissertation discusses the politicisation of educational governance in Victoria and the rhetoric of the Ministerial Paper ( 1983) devolving more authority and responsibility to school councils. The research focuses on school council involvement in curriculum review in Geelong�s postprimary schools, with particular reference to two schools currently funded under the School Improvement Plan. The proposition advanced is that despite the rhetoric of change, in reality little change has occurred. The evidence produced suggests that the slogans of change have been adopted by schools, but that there has been scant relocation of power in decision making and that school councils have played little part in curriculum review. There is some evidence to indicate that innovators have used the rhetoric of reform to legitimate changes already under way and to consolidate the place of staff controlled curriculum committees in the area of curriculum review."


"Williamson, J. G. C. (1985). Economic development, schooling process and curriculum form: some strategic implications. Bundoora VIC, La Trobe University."

"This thesis commences by reviewing four main theoretical outlooks of the mutual relations of the economy, schooling and curriculum which have been present in national and international debate. Increased consideration is given to the Victorian experience of economic, schooling or curriculum matters. The thesis proceeds to discuss a number of key concerns about the overall theoretical and practical settlement which has emerged in a manufacturing oriented economy like that in Victoria, in what has come to be regarded as a postindustrial era. Mention is made of increases in levels of social division, the inadequacy of government policy, the type of theory which has been in favour and the concept of radical needs. The thesis concludes with the observation that the theoretical and practical aspects of curriculum relations, schooling and the economy can both be reconceptualised, and acted on in important ways."


"Woods, R. D. B. (1985). Simulation games in the teaching of history: a case study. Clayton VIC, Monash University."

"The purpose of this case study was to construct, use and evaluate a simulation game as an integral part of the Year 10 history course at an independent boys school in Melbourne. The simulation game used in this study was devised to suit the needs of a particular course in Year 10, was used in all Year 10 history classes, and was assessed as achieving its purpose of arousing interest among the students, providing opportunity for participation, and conveying some sense of the way in which history is formed. As a result of this study it is suggested that simulation games could and should be used more widely in the teaching of history in secondary school courses."



"Chiang, L. C. T. (1985). Conceptual analysis of the hidden curriculum. Bentley WA, Western Australian Institute of Technology."

"This project has inquired into the contextual meanings of hidden curriculum as used in the literature via the method of linguistic analyses. Its findings indicate that this term has no single referent but conceptions of it abound. It is also noted that while there is no consensus among critics on an essential meaning of the concept of the hidden curriculum, boundaries of possibility are vaguely discernible. This study further suggests that the failure of researchers to unveil the hidden curriculum indicates that the concept is but a creation of the mind of educationists who exploit it to achieve their own political ends, whether the intention is to maintain the status quo or to launch an attack on educational practices. Consequently, it has been proposed that it is impractical if not impossible to dispense with the amorphous hidden curriculum concept, but that research in the relationship between the hidden curriculum and educational rhetoric is both essential and belated in the face of a changing society."


"Hyde, N. H. (1985). The development of a structural model for the analysis of school based curriculum decision making. Murdoch WA, Murdoch University."

"This study of school-based curriculum decision making was conducted within a large Western Australian secondary school which had a well documented history of innovation, at the basis of which was a participative decision making approach. The inquiry was designed in a longitudinal case study mode and involved the investigation of nine ongoing and eight posthoc strategic, or policy level, decisions. The whole process was found to be highly political in regard to the underlying actions and events which occurred over time. These actions and events were found to be characterised by lobbying to gain support for or against a particular course of action, with unequal distributions of power and influence among participants."


"McNamara, S. E. (1985). Matching feedback and cognitive style for improved performance in computer assisted instructional materials. Bentley WA, Western Australian Institute of Technology."

"This study sought to examine the design of feedback for the correction of errors in computer assisted learning (CAL) courseware materials by investigating the interaction of feedback and cognitive style in a CAL program. Participants were asked to complete a CAL tutorial program comprising 16 problem solving tasks. Each task involved cognitive manipulations of visual information in order to identify the correct response. From the results of the study it was concluded that field dependence predicts performance on problem solving tasks involving the use of visual information. Field dependence predicts the length of first response time, the number of first response errors and the total number of errors made on tasks. Conceptual tempo does not predict performance in terms of response time, error rate or the number of attempts required on problem solving tasks involving the use of visual information. The interaction of feedback (information feedback) and cognitive style improves performance for learners with particular cognitive styles on problem solving tasks involving the use of visual information. Both field dependent and reflective learners performed better with given feedback containing an explanation of errors and strategies for correcting errors, than when given only an indication that an error has been made."


"Teh, G. P. L. (1985). Designing interactive videodisc for concept learning in geography. Bentley WA, Western Australian Institute of Technology."

"This study sought to report the results of a developmental project aimed at the production and evaluation of geographical instructional materials suitable for use on an interactive videodisc system. More specifically, this developmental project involved the development of geographic materials on a videodisc, preparation of a computer assisted instruction (CAI) program on the concept of weather forecasting using these materials, reporting on the process of development, and testing the product with a group drawn from the intended audience. The materials were systematically trialled with a group of 14 undergraduate students, all of whom were enrolled in a social science unit with geography as their major option. Subjects were requested to complete a written pretest. Each subject was then requested to work through the weather forecasting program individually; and to complete the posttests. Each of the pre and posttest consisted of a cognitive test on weather forecasting and a semantic differential scale concerning attitudes towards technologically based learning systems. The posttest also contained another semantic differential scale dealing with attitudes about the videodisc system used in the trial. Finally, subjects were asked to evaluate a CAI program developed in connection with the project."

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