In this chapter, we report data from two projects concerned with the aspirant principals’ perspectives about school principal
recruitment in three Australian states. In particular, we consider what our respondents perceive as factors that inhibit the
realisation of their aspirations. One of these factors is to do with aspects of the operation of school-based processes of
application and selection. Principal aspirants regard selection as a game that works to the advantage of internal applicants
for advertised vacancies. We analyse a number of dimensions of the selection game and we liken the bias towards internal candidates
as a form of personnel cloning. Finally, we consider some possible explanations for this practice and review its wider significance
in respect of the themes of risks, risk-taking and risk aversion in employment recruitment.
This paper reviews the Australian evidence on the presence of chronic shortages of mathematics and science teachers and on the loss of excellent teachers from the classroom. Although there are no rigorous Australian studies on these issues, the best available evidence suggests that these problems exist. Overseas information suggests that chronic shortages occur because fewer science and mathematics graduates, compared to humanities and social science students, are attracted to the tasks involved in teaching children. Attraction is a matter of degree however, and higher earnings can be used in order to attract more of the scarce mathematics and science graduates, who also have an aptitude towards teaching, to a teaching career. Higher earnings can also be used to reduce attrition of the most able teachers from all of the discipline areas.
Student demand for seamless education and lifelong learning is leading to increased levels of cross-sectoral provision by publicly funded education and training institutions. However the sectoral divisions that characterise Australia's education funding frameworks make it difficult for institutions to provide cross-sectoral courses and inhibit the development of ‘student-centred’ learning programs. Where cross-sectoral programs are implemented, the sector-based funding arrangements lead to anomalies and inequities for both institutions and students. This paper argues that public funding for postcompulsory education and training should be distributed according to principles that are consistently applied, regardless of the sector in which studies are undertaken.
Tested the validity of the state-trait curiosity distinction, investigated the effect of manipulating state curiosity upon learning performance, and assessed the reliability and validity of state (C-State) and trait (C-Trait) curiosity scales. 300 senior secondary school students (aged 15-18 yrs) were assigned randomly to (i) Curiosity Stimulating Instructions; (ii) Neutral Instructions; or (iii) Boredom Inducing Instructions groups respectively. These treatments preceded the first agitation of a test-battery. A learning task ensued, followed by a second administration of the test-battery. Finally a post-test of immediate retention permitted assessment of each group's learning performance. Stability correlations were higher for the C-Trait scale than for C-State. Both concurrent and discriminant validity correlations were significant. Only tentative support for the state-trait curiosity distinction resulted, since the factor analyses were dominated by reversed and nonreversed items and subscales. Only for females in grade 12 did the instructional sets influence C-State scores and subsequent learning performance as predicted. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Reports data from the 1st phase of a longitudinal study of the processes by which selected structural, social-psychological, and group variables influence the capacities and achievements in both educational and occupational spheres of a cohort of young people (1,108 Year 12 students in 26 schools in Queensland, Australia). A causal recursive path analytic model, which hypothesizes both direct and indirect effects of social origins, schooling, the perceived influence of significant others, and self-assessment on aspirations for tertiary education, is developed. The model was found to have more explanatory power for men than for women. For both groups, the perceived influence of parents, teachers, and peers had the major impact on aspiration formation. Social origins were more important in aspiration formation for women than for men, although for both groups mediating and direct effects were observed. Schooling also had mediating effects for both groups and direct effects among men. It is concluded that while the analysis provided strong support for crucial elements of the social-psychological theory of aspiration formation, there are linkages for status transmission not identified in the model. (41 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Examined the factors related to the occupational plans of 2,135 imminent Australian urban school leavers, with attention directed to differences by gender and level of school attainment (grade level). The conceptual distinction between preferred and expected occupational plans is discussed. Generally, males had higher career plans than females, as did students with higher levels of school attainment. Expected occupational destinations were more predictable, in terms of the variables in the model, than preferred occupations. Finally, there was no systematic variation in the disparities between preferred and expected occupation. The relevance for understanding career orientations and the need for further research into the formation and attainment of occupational goals are discussed. (44 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Describes recent developments of the clinical interview and of the teaching experiment. Applications and extensions are discussed in the context of developing models of cognitive mechanisms in a constructivist framework. Purposes for which the clinical method has been adopted are described, and problems associated with it are discussed in relation to these purposes. A teaching experiment, conducted with 8 6–9 yr olds, that was designed to reveal constructive mechanisms that children use in establishing knowledge of numeration and addition and subtraction is reported. Connections between these 2 methodologies are examined. (60 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Content and process learning are described as two important and complementary ways of looking at the educational experience, and their relationship to the function of schooling in society is outlined. Educational experiences send out both explicit and implicit messages: the explicit ones are the ‘official’ concern of educators; the implicit ones refer to ‘unofficial’ beliefs and values about society and the self. Process and content learnings are maximally beneficial when the implicit and explicit messages are compatible. Strategies of facilitating and of evaluating compatible content and process learnings are outlined.
An examination of nineteenth and early twentieth century events reveals the origins of the following three traditions of school mathematics in Australia:
1. Many groups in society will not benefit from having access to any branch of mathematics other than elementary arithmetic. Such groups include females, working-class children, and Aboriginal and other children whose cultures differ from the dominant Anglo-Saxon culture. 2. The main purpose of school mathematics is to prepare students for tertiary courses. 3. Rote teaching and learning procedures associated with rigidly defined courses of study, prescribed text books, and written examinations are desirable.
Over the last 25 years the validity of these traditions has been questioned. This paper argues that the heavy dependence on overseas ideas, and the acceptance of tertiary mathematicians' views on school mathematics, which characterised earlier times, have diminished because of the greater involvement of school teachers, and tertiary and government mathematics educators, in discussions on school mathematics.
This article discusses students' comments about the experience of shifting from primary to secondary schooling, and of their first year of secondary school. The material was gathered from research carried out in three Victorian primary schools and four Victorian secondary schools in 1993 and 1994. This article discusses the meanings students give to their experience of transition against earlier research and policy documents which use different methodologies and which talk of different cultures of primary and secondary schools. It argues that student reactions are more complex than are indicated by methodologies which take comments at face value and that their concerns challenge some common assumptions about the problem of disruption in the break between primary and secondary. The article also notes widespread changes in students' lunchtime activities compared with primary school and discusses ways students assess the new curriculum and teaching styles of the secondary school.
Until recently, theories of trade union development have been absent from historical studies of teacher unions. However, a recent modification to American labour development theories has been useful in explaining in comparative terms the early growth of teachers’ unions. In this essay the same framework is employed to explain the emergence of teacher unionism in nineteenth-century Queensland. The existence of three separate but interrelated growth factors: ‘teachers’ work situation’, ‘union leadership’ and ‘favourable socio-political climate’ provides a framework for understanding the origins, formation and initial strength of the Queensland Teachers’ Union, Australia's oldest teachers’ union.
The labelling theory of deviance is applied to the study of historical materials concerning the segregation of educational deviants. It is suggested that educational segregation in Victoria gained impetus as a result of various campaigners (‘moral entrepreneurs’), and in addition, the introduction of mental testing with its assumptions of fixed intelligence and dullness provided the rationale for the removal of educational deviants into segregated classes. These classes flourished as a result of pressure brought to bear by various interest groups such as the Teachers' Union and Head Teachers' groups.
The ideas of McRae, the architect of the highly flexible segregational system in the 1920's, were subsequently taken over by the Victorian Education Department and turned into a rigid structure, emphasizing the abrupt separation of educational deviants from the normals. This system remained intact until 1968 when a ‘new’ move was made to change opportunity grades into more flexible teaching units.
This paper offers a case study of the difficulties involved in associating teachers' college and university in teacher preparation through the device of joint appointment of professor-principal. The dual post, which was created in Melbourne in 1919, terminated in 1939 in an atmosphere in which the aims and ideals of university and State education department respectively were patently in conflict. Compromise negotiations in 1938–1939 served largely instead to underline incompatibilities between bureaucratic control and academic freedom. Even more fundamentally, the 1938–1939 experience demonstrated the difference between departmental stress on “technical” training and university emphasis on liberal education for teachers.
The State School Teachers decision of 1929 was recently overturned in the High Court (June 1986) thereby opening up the possibility for federal teachers organizations to obtain registration in the federal arbitration system, and eventually obtain one or more federal awards. The 1929 decision by the High Court of Australia was a significant decision in education and industrial relations, because it prevented state teachers and other public employees obtaining access to federal awards for the next 54 years. The decision, however, was veiled in unsettled legal argument, because the High Court overturned much of its expansive thinking of the 1918–25 period. Later generations of academic lawyers described the decision as a ‘bad one’ or ‘an anomalous decision’, but they and the current High Court failed to give any satisfactory explanation of why the Court had reached its decision. This paper offers such an explanation, arguing that the decision was not based on law (or the educational situation) but on the High Court's perceptions of the politics of federal-state relations in the period. The state teachers who had asked for a High Court ruling on the application of the Commonwealth's industrial relations powers (section 51 XXXV of the Constitution) to their work and employment were thus dragged momentarily onto the centre stage of Australian politics and law. They found themselves denied access to a federal award because the High Court felt that the federal arbitration ‘experiment’ had caused too much embarrassment to the federal system of government.
The identification and discussion of general trends in an education system is difficult if only single variables are considered. A synthesis of the comments made by a diversity of variables provides a more reliable and valid basis. The paper demonstrates a methodology through which significant and meaningful patterns of change can be identified. These patterns can then be interpreted in terms of the political, social and economic contexts of the years to which they pertain. Data for the NSW education system have been used for the longitudinal analysis and they cover the period 1950 to 1975. Patterns in system inputs are identified and discussed separately from patterns in system processes.
The emergence of Federal aid to schools is probably the most important single development in Federal education policy since World War II. This paper seeks to explain the origins of the Federal science laboratories scheme, the controversial and crucial precedent which paved the way for the rapid acceleration of Federal aid to schools in the decade after 1963.
In this paper, twenty-eight recent research studies on inquiry teaching in social studies and the social sciences are reviewed. Although a number of statistically significant results were claimed by the respective researchers, methodological deficiencies in many of the studies greatly reduce the importance of their efforts. Reference is made to a number of research deficiencies, including unsuitable evaluation instruments, lack of comparability of groups, lack of comparability of tasks and instructors for experimental and control groups and inadequate research designs. Although inquiry teaching has become widely espoused as a teaching method in schools, there are few substantial research studies to support its superiority over other teaching methods.
A survey of trainee teachers' attitudes to teaching and to training is reported for a three-year sample of trainees at the University of New England. Retrospective attitudes to teaching indicate that only a third of intending teachers have a definite wish to teach at the time of recruitment and at the time training commences. At the conclusion of training about half plan to leave teaching as soon as possible. Sex differences in attitudes and MTAI scores are reported. The need for a training format to deal with trainee attitudes is stressed, and the unseasonability of recruitment policies is explored as an aspect of negative attitudes in trainees.
Lorenz curves and Gini coefficients of concentration are used to measure the extent to which school places are uniformly distributed between provinces in Papua New Guinea. Enrolment and school age population data for 1972, 1975 and 1978 are used. For both primary and secondary places, the distribution has become significantly more uniform over the period studied. This is in keeping with PNG's planning objectives to spread educational opportunity more evenly throughout the country.
This paper is a critical historical review of the development of school computing policy primarily in the Victorian secondary state school system. As Victoria is linked to the national computer education program, relevant developments at that level are also explored. Computer technology is conceptualised as a social phenomenon and policy development as both a historical and political process. Policy development is located within the context of the development of microcomputer technology and of teacher relationships to that technology. In the early stages of policy development, the rudiments of a critical social perspective on technology are apparent. In the Victorian policy, this perspective became marginalised during the policy process. The orientation towards a broad social concept of technology was displaced by an instrumental framework in which computers were conceived as an unproblematic set of tools and associated techniques.
This follow-up study of 275 university freshmen confirmed that the final secondary examination, the Higher School Certificate, is a moderately good predictor of university success. Of the other variables studied (satisfaction with university and various personality measures) only a study habits score contributed further to the prediction of university performance. (Author/SJL)
Following earlier controversies concerning the administration of the police force, the electoral act, and the right to demonstrate, the Queensland Government has recently thrown the education establishment into turmoil by its decision to ban the much-discussed SEMP and MACOS programs. Core features of the anti-SEMP/MACOS arguments are shown to be the presumed supremacy of faith and instinct over reason, and a doctrine of inequality.
It is contended that the arguments of both the anti-SEMP/MACOS forces (Section III) and the pro-SEMP/MACOS forces (Section IV) are gravely deficient, the former because of their inclination to unreasoned dogmatism, and the latter because they typically remain on a superficial level at the expense of clear appreciation of underlying metaphysical issues. The context for a consideration of the general relationship between society and the school system is set by offering some comparative points regarding Dewey and Plato.
This paper reviews the policy context that has sought to shape the curriculum of Australian schools during the 1980s. Three elements which have shaped that context are identified: concern with the economy, concern with the cost of education and the integration of education and youth policies. In theoretical terms, the policy context is firmly located in instrumentalist thinking and the curriculum of schools has become very much a public policy issue. Education systems seem to have responded to this context by moving towards a full secondary education for all students, stressing the need for balance and coherence in the curriculum, introducing new curriculum options and giving more credence to the vocational orientation of students. There have been no explicit attempts to move towards an overly vocational curriculum. Two basic problems remain: the extent to which current policy priorities will cater specifically for disadvantaged groups and the willingness of teachers to move curriculum practice in the directions being advocated by policy makers.
This paper provides a summary and overview of indigenous people within the Australian education system. A cohort analysis of changes in educational participation and the level and type of educational qualification over the last three censuses for the indigenous and non-indigenous populations is presented. The main finding is that although there have been some absolute improvements in indigenous educational outcomes over the period 1986 to 1996, relative to the non-indigenous there have been little if any real gains. The lack of improvement relative to the non-indigenous population occurs not only in the proportion of the population with post-secondary qualifications, but also in the proportion of indigenous teenagers staying at school. By any measure, the indigenous population remains severely disadvantaged. Another finding is that, for younger age groups, the non-indigenous population has a higher participation rate in post-secondary education than the indigenous population. This situation is reversed for older age groups.
Drawing on research interviews and relevant document analysis, this paper analyses the changing forms of the national education agenda as it was developed and modifed in the Australian Education Council from 1987 to 1993. Particular attention is given to four significant developments in this period: national curriculum statements and profiles in schooling, and Mayer competencies; the training reform agenda; higher education; and the National Strategy for Equity in Schools. The study is located against general developments in Australian federalism and the changing political complexion of State governments across the period which led to the creation of the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs.
This article examines the ways in which primary, secondary and middle school teachers are represented in four Australian reports on middle schooling in the 1990s. All reports argue for changes in school culture in the middle years but portrayals of each group of teachers reinforce the gender order in contemporary schools. Although there are continuities in the ways teachers are discussed across the reports, a focus on action research and the discourse of teacher as researcher appears in the two most recent documents. The final section of the article considers the potential of this discourse to reconstruct teachers' work and challenge the gender order of the occupation. It concludes that if the positive potential of teachers as researchers is to be realised, then primary, secondary and middle school teachers, men and women, must be participants in all types of research which inform middle schooling.
Concern about low rates of participation and achievement among Aboriginal students intensified from the late 1960s. Twenty years later this concern was formalised into the National Aboriginal Education Plan (NAEP), a commonwealth/state agreement which identified 21 goals for Aboriginal education, grouped into four main purposes: to increase Aboriginal involvement in educational decision making; to improve equality of access for Aboriginal people to educational services; to increase Aboriginal participation to the same level as all Australians; and to achieve equitable and appropriate outcomes for Aboriginal people. This policy took effect from January 1990. Although progress in achieving these goals is recognised as being very slow (Partington, 1998, p. 4), there has been little examination at the state level of the effectiveness of the policy process underpinning Aboriginal education.
Using interest group theory and the idea of public policy development and application following sequential stages, this paper explores how key decisions were made about the establishment and implementation of the controversial national quality assurance program for higher education that operated in Australia from 1993 to 1995. The paper explains how Australia came to introduce a quality assurance program that differed substantially from those established in other OECD countries.
This paper examines the argument of a previous article published in this journal by Boufoy-Bastick (1997). In that article, Boufoy-Bastick made some comparisons between the language policies of Australia's and Singapore's education systems. The author claimed that Australia's language policies are more egalitarian and promote multiculturalism, whereas Singapore's policies produce only superficial harmony and are, in fact, discriminatory. The present article questions these claims on the grounds that they are either untrue, contradictory or lacking in evidence to substantiate such serious allegations about the educational and social policies of one of Australia's closest neighbours in Asia.
This paper examines the relationships between secondary schools and their local neighbourhoods in the developing urban and suburban contexts of Auckland, New Zealand, during the 20th century. It discusses the problematic and changing characteristics of school neighbourhoods, especially those relating to physical location, transport facilities, and social geography. The construction of school communities and neighbourhoods is seen as political in its character, involving clear awareness of the effects of social class and, more recently, ethnic differences upon the academic attributes and reputation of the school, even when ?equality of opportunity? has represented the main official ideal of schooling. Detailed examples of the patterns of secondary education are employed to help explain the ingrained assumptions of schools and local communities and to provide a historical context to major national schooling policy changes in New Zealand in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
THE management of quality in Australian higher education has had one eye on the quality agenda associated with accountability and the other eye on the major transformations affecting teaching and learning. This paper examines some of the ways in which these two trajectories are intersecting and forecasts how quality will be managed in the 21st century. The paper recognises trends towards diversity among institutions in the sector and the need to tailor quality approaches for particular market niches. The impact of communication and information technologies and the rise of collaborative teaching and social learning on the nature and quality of university teaching are discussed. A reduction in mistrust of the quality agenda is forecast as data and methods improve and academics regain a sense of control over formative uses of quality activities.
The Australian university system developed with a commitment to academic independence of the sort expressed by von Humboldt in early nineteenth-century Europe. ‘Pursuit of truth’ came to be seen by many members of the academic community as a sufficient safeguard of quality outcomes in higher education. However, changes such as ‘massification’ and subsequent blurring of the divide between university and vocational education have led to increased demands for accountability. Much of the current policy framework relating to higher education will probably survive for many years, despite movements in the political spectrum, and the issue of quality must be reassessed in this context. Suggested models for the future assessment of quality in higher education include the development of statements of purpose for individual institutions, increased benchmarking among institutions of similar natures, more use of student feedback, and appraisal of quality in research.
This paper reports the results of two experimental studies of teaching in A.S.E.P. classrooms. Initially, two instruments designed to measure teacher educational values were administered to 157 persons. Six teachers and 15 science Diploma in Education students representing the major value orientations identified were selected for the experimental studies. Half the experienced teachers received inservice training and half did not. The data indicate that training in the use of the materials was beneficial, particularly for teachers whose values are dissonant to those embodied in the new curriculum. Classes of the diplomates were assigned to three treatments which differed in the degree to which activities were structured by the teacher and the materials. The relationships found in this study were complex, but do indicate that additional structuring by the teacher can be advantageous while too great a divergence from the curriculum guide is likely to lead to lower achievement.
This article highlights the principal recruitment problem in Ontario. It suggests that the problem is closely associated with the retirement plans of principals which is resulting in a significant loss of human capital; poorly planned implementation of policy changes which presents problems at the school level and discourages potential leaders from pursuing the principalship; and a lengthy and burdensome certification process. The article concludes that leadership succession planning and development in Ontario represents a major policy challenge to government and school boards alike.
Previous research indicates that mean patterns of mental ability show striking differences between different ethnic groups. In this paper, some salient features of information processing on which there are likely to be differences between children of Australian born parents of low SES and children of migrant parents are discussed. An empirical study of these differences is described. The mean performance of the migrant children studied compared with children of low SES Australian born parents was found to be related to the balance between verbal and cognitive aspects of the task. The greater the cognitive demand for a given verbal requirement the better the performance of the migrant children relative to the children in the “Australian” group. Further, the intercorrelations between performances were found to be markedly different for the two groups. The results suggest that migrant children in particular may benefit from teaching which emphasises the pragmatic use of language to indicate desired discriminations and concepts.
The present study examines some relationships pertaining to socioeconomic status (SES) and cognitive ability patterns of primary school children. Specifically the purpose of the study was to explore the relative merits of an hierarchical theory of two levels of cognitive ability, in contrast to a process scheme, positing two parallel modes of coding information. The subjects were 120 grade 4 primary school students. Analyses of the data are supportive of a simultaneous-successive process distinction and provide little confirmation for the hierarchical model. Some suggestions for the apparent lack of support for the hierarchical model are presented and implications for future research are considered.
The extensive development of co-operative (sandwich) education overseas is compared to the slight Australian experience. The claim, that the integration of academic and work experience required in such courses, materially assists students in achieving greater development is investigated by surveying students and ex-students, employers and academic staff and by analysis of academic performance.
By comparison with the full-time student, the co-operative student is seen to gain in social and academic maturity and in technical preparedness for his role as a graduate. Analyses of examination results over a nine year period show a significant improvement, after exposure to industrial experience, both by comparison with the previous performance and by comparison with equivalent full-time student performance. It is concluded that the wide-scale adoption of co-operative programes in Australia is highly desirable and that government support for their introduction should be made available.
Several authors have indicated that the pygmalion effect (Rosenthal and Jacobson, 1968) may best be accounted for in terms of differential teacher attention to pupils whom they perceive as more and less able. Researchers have reported such disparate interaction patterns in primary and secondary classrooms in a number of countries. This paper reports separate non-participant observational studies of six community school classes and five provincial high school classes, showing that the teachers directed a disproportionately large number of questions (the principal teacher-pupil interaction initiator) to those pupils judged most able. In the high school study, teacher praise and disapproval were observed to be similarly unevenly distributed to the more able pupils’ advantage. These results are discussed as possible exemplars of the self-fulfilling prophecy in our schools.
This paper describes the major findings of an ethnographic study investigating the first year of school in two urban classrooms for several Aboriginal students. It explores the adaptations to classroom life of these students and their teachers' consequent responses. It illuminates the culturally based skills, assumptions and values which these Aboriginal students bring from home to school relative to those of the Anglo students. It describes how a combination of cultural differences, ideology and subsequent micro-political processes resulted in the marginalising of some of the Aboriginal students, both academically and socially.
This research was designed to investigate culturally specific elements of non-traditional Aboriginal motivation. Among the aims of the research were to study: (a) the salient determinants of motivation of urban and rural non-traditional Aboriginal students in mainstream educational settings; (b) the relevant background factors that influence Aboriginal motivation in these settings; (c) the dynamics of decision making that orient the Aboriginal student to continue with school beyond the minimum school leaving age, and (d) ways in which education programs may be made more adaptive to the special needs of Aboriginal children. A consistent picture of the urban Aboriginal child at school emerged from the analyses. In contrast to the Anglo and migrant comparator groups, the explanatory base for the Aboriginal child's decision making within the school environment appears restricted to a small number of key variables.
Indigenous academic outcomes are in many ways negotiated at the interface between student spatialities--including their residential patterns and choices--and the mainstream school system. The current model of education delivery rewards regular attendance at well resourced schools. Conversely, sporadic interactions with under-resourced schools generally produce poor educational outcomes. This paper draws on qualitative case-study research in Yamatji country, Western Australia, to present a grounded analysis of the mutually effectual relationship between the mainstream education system and Aboriginal spatiality. It begins with a discussion of how school location and standards influence Aboriginal migration and residence choices, and outlines the significant policy implications of this relationship. It then examines the impacts of Aboriginal itinerancy on student learning and school functionality, and critically evaluates a number of strategies for tackling student mobility in terms of their applicability and appropriateness to Indigenous contexts. The paper ultimately argues the need for researchers, policy-makers and educators to engage more intentionally with the spatial practices of Aboriginal students. (Contains 2 notes and 1 figure.)
The education of Aboriginal children in Australia has been extensively examined and reviewed. Missing from this investigative activity, however, is the attempt to critically conceptualise the current approaches to the delivery of education for this highly disadvantaged group. There are two main aims behind this paper. Firstly, it devises a framework of seven discrete models of Aboriginal education to guide policy and practice. Secondly, the paper investigates the extent to which the official discourse reflects an understanding of these models. Finally, some thought is given to implications for government flowing from an understanding of the models, especially in the areas of improving policy development and official review.
THIS paper considers patterns in Aboriginal education recorded over the past 25 years in one small country town in south west Queensland. Data from this longitudinal study are used to illustrate national patterns and trends. Discussion highlights the levels of systemic bias and structural violence which continue to obstruct positive developments adapting the largely monocultural education system to the needs and aspirations of Aboriginal communities. Particular Aboriginal community initiated innovations related to school/community relations and the teaching of Aboriginal studies are examined and analysis is related to general factors influencing these important components of Aboriginal education.
In the mid-twentieth century many Aboriginal Australians moved to live in Australian cities in search of life opportunities that were not available to them in rural areas. This article explores the life history narratives of three Indigenous people who were brought to live in Sydney as children during this period. It considers the processes by which, in spite of the dominant policy position of assimilation at the time, they were alienated from the school education system and failed to make the most of their talents. None of them could recognise themselves in the meritocratic narratives held up to them. In addition, each experienced obligations to family and/or to home country that were incompatible with the rhythms of life associated with school education.
The recent publishing history of the academic journal Melbourne Studies in Education is used as a case study illustrating the contradictions between Commonwealth Government calls to establish a ‘clever country’ of intellectual creativity and debate, and the economic rationalist dictates of the changes to Australian higher education flowing from the White Paper. On the one hand, the demand is for openness, risk taking and the practical application of intellectuality; on the other hand, educational resources are cut, academics' subsidising of journal production is discouraged and academic activities are evaluated in dollar terms. The consequences and contradictions of these policies are thrown into relief by the University of Melbourne's decision to cease subsidising the publication of Melbourne Studies in Education and the journal's subsequent transfer under new arrangements to La Trobe University School of Education.
This paper explores how the Vietnamese culturally situated notions of ‘politeness’, which are embedded in Vietnamese postgraduate students' performance at different Australian universities, influence the way they write academic English. The data of this qualitative study were collected from in-depth interviews with four Vietnamese postgraduate students from different universities in Melbourne. The paper also makes suggestions to Australian academics on how they can best help Vietnamese postgraduate students' writing at universities.
Regression surface analysis was used to examine relations between the family environment and measures of academic achievement at different levels of school-related attitudes for 800 11-year-old children from different Australian social groups. The sample included lower social-status families from the following groups: Anglo Australian (250), Greek (170), recent English immigrants (120), and Southern Italian (120). In addition, there were 140 Anglo-Australian middle social-status families. A semi-structured family interview schedule was used to assess parents' aspirations for the child, press for English in the family, satisfaction with the child's school, and satisfaction with teaching in the school. Standardized tests were used to measure performance in mathematics, word knowledge, and word comprehension while an attitude schedule was devised to assess children's affective commitment to school and their academic adjustment to school. The regression surfaces were generated from models that examined possible linear, interaction, and curvilinear relations between the variables. Results indicate that there are differential relations between family environments, attitudes, and children's academic achievement within the ethnic and social-status groups. Tentative support is provided for a theoretical framework which suggests that there can be no change of social reality which is not the common effect of pre-existing social values and individual attitudes acting upon them.
A total of 484 tenth-grade students, evenly divided between schools with Commonwealth libraries and those without, were assessed for motivational dispositions (need for achievement, test anxiety, and sense of responsibility for successes and failures), academic values, and displayed motivation (as revealed in choice of tasks). The two groups of students did not differ with respect to dispositions and values, but those from schools with Commonwealth libraries showed greater motivation. This finding is interpreted as evidence that the effects of improved library facilities have now seeped through teaching and learning strategies to an important outcome in students.
A longitudinal study of one university was conducted retrospectively on the associations between two quantifiable indices of academic merit and advancement through the academic hierarchy. These data are the first longitudinal data to be presented on the careers of a group of Australian academics. The findings did not support the general model of success by merit. Nor did they support the hypotheses that senior academic women have lower formal qualifications or publish less than men of similar rank. If academic excellence is to be promoted in a systematic way, then a great deal more research into the phenomenon will be required.
Academic motivation is conceived here as an amalgam of personality dispositions, goals, and varying states of arousal. Some attention is given to the nature and development of each of these components, and their implications for classroom teachers are discussed. It is claimed that, when pupil motivation is low, intervention might take the form of strategies aimed at: (a) increasing the strength of motivational dispositions; (b) raising the value ascribed to academic achievement; and (c) maximum arousal of intrinsic motivation and elimination of suppressor variables. Although classroom teachers may be able to effect some improvement in the strength of motivational dispositions and values, their main contribution to promoting motivation in their pupils probably lies in their ability to arouse the dispositions and values.