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Australian Catholic University

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Full-Text Articles in Education

Identification Of Gifted Students In Australian Catholic Primary Schools, Catherine Mary Young Jan 2019

Identification Of Gifted Students In Australian Catholic Primary Schools, Catherine Mary Young

Theses

The research investigated the problem of identification of giftedness in primary-aged school students. The study was conducted in primary schools in a large Australian metropolitan Catholic education system, referred to in the study as the system that claims best practice and has historically provided strong support for the specific needs of students with learning difficulties. Gifted education is, however, new to the culture of this system of schools and the under-identification of gifted students has been identified as a matter of concern. The scholarly literature provides considerable research regarding teacher attitudes and their impact on gifted education and gifted students ...


Implementation And Participation In Vocational Education And Training In Catholic Schools, Michelle Deanne Swan Jan 2019

Implementation And Participation In Vocational Education And Training In Catholic Schools, Michelle Deanne Swan

Theses

Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS) is recognised in all Australian states’ and territories’ education systems in the senior secondary certificates of education. The federal government has researched the benefits of VETiS and promoted it as a subject area of worth through both policy and funding. System leadership in schools have also included VETiS in their strategic direction by establishing and resourcing Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) to manage the compliance issues associated with the national Vocational Education and Training (VET) system. VETiS is offered in the majority of schools in New South Wales (NSW), including Catholic Schools; however, there ...


Exploring Teachers’ Phenomenological Experiences Of A Principal’S Change Initiative, Anne-Marie Louise Black Aug 2018

Exploring Teachers’ Phenomenological Experiences Of A Principal’S Change Initiative, Anne-Marie Louise Black

Theses

Educational change has traditionally been viewed as an objective and rational process. From this perspective, school leaders have been dependent on solving the infuriatingly elusive effective change process puzzle by trying to “finetune the plan to ensure it incorporated every essential piece of the jigsaw” (Branson, 2010, p. 18). Despite educators seeking to explain events and control processes for change for many decades, effective educational change remains an elusive outcome. By striving to objectify the process, people can overlook the subjective influence that a change initiative may have on the behaviour and attitudes of those involved in enacting change. For ...


The Affordances Of Online Multiplayer Games For The Social Interactions Of Middle-Primary-School-Aged Students With Asd, Bessie Gay Stone Aug 2018

The Affordances Of Online Multiplayer Games For The Social Interactions Of Middle-Primary-School-Aged Students With Asd, Bessie Gay Stone

Theses

This descriptive ethnographic case study investigates the potentials and constraints of online multiplayer games for the social interactions of students with an autism spectrum disorder. Minecraft® was selected as the online multiplayer game platform of focus within the research context, given its popularity among primary-school students. The study also describes the multimodal forms of social communication that students with an autism spectrum disorder used as they engaged with online multiplayer games. It investigates students, parent, and teacher perspectives of the enabling and constraining features of online multiplayer games for the social interactions of students with autism spectrum disorder. This research ...


How The Principals Of New Zealand Catholic Secondary Schools Understand And Implement Special Character, Siân Maree Owen Jul 2018

How The Principals Of New Zealand Catholic Secondary Schools Understand And Implement Special Character, Siân Maree Owen

Theses

The purpose of this study is to explore how Catholic education authorities guarantee the Special Character of New Zealand Catholic schools. Since principals hold primary responsibilities in demonstrating evidence of Special Character of the Catholic school, this study particularly explores how secondary school principals fulfil this responsibility.
New Zealand Catholic schools are State integrated schools under the 1975 Private Schools Conditional Integration Act (PSCIA). This Act enabled private schools to be fully government funded, while continuing to maintain and enhance their Special Character. Special Character is important to the Catholic Church because it enables its schools to offer an authentic ...


A Matter Of Time: An Investigation Into The Learning And Teaching Of Time In The Middle Primary Years, Margaret Christine Thomas Jun 2018

A Matter Of Time: An Investigation Into The Learning And Teaching Of Time In The Middle Primary Years, Margaret Christine Thomas

Theses

This is a report into the investigation of the learning and teaching of time in the middle years of primary school. The study began with the identification of the major Components for a clear understanding of time by investigating the purposes for and tools by which time has been measured over the centuries. Having identified the major Components of time as Awareness of time, Succession, Duration and Measurement of time, key ideas that gave additional information about each major Component were drawn from the literature and listed.

A Framework for the Learning and Teaching of Time was developed incorporating each ...


Teaching Children About Allah, Huseyin Aldemir Mar 2018

Teaching Children About Allah, Huseyin Aldemir

Theses

The increasing growth rate of the Muslim population in Australia highlights the importance of children being taught various aspects of Islam to gain a competent understanding about Allah. Diverse levels of government authorities in Australia affirm that children ought to be taken to learning environments where they will gain quality education and be provided positive impact on their lives. The process of teaching Islam is important as it lays a suitable platform through which children are given the adequate knowledge, belief, practice, rituals, and devotion. The purpose of the study was to examine the different ways through which Muslim children ...


The Work Of Infant And Toddler Specialists In University-Based Early Childhood Teacher Education In Australia And Aotearoa, New Zealand, Katherine Anne Bussey Jan 2018

The Work Of Infant And Toddler Specialists In University-Based Early Childhood Teacher Education In Australia And Aotearoa, New Zealand, Katherine Anne Bussey

Theses

This doctoral thesis is a qualitative case study of the work of six university-based infant and toddler teacher educators in Australia and Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Research literature is presented to locate the study within early childhood teacher education as a cultural phenomenon in its institutionalised form. This thesis explores issues related to status, professionalisation, and the education of teachers, who work with infants and toddlers, and reflects the growing awareness of the importance of infant and toddler curriculum in teacher education programs. Conceptually the study is positioned within Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT). This conceptual framework was chosen in order to ...


Sensory And Motor Interventions For Very Early School-Age Children: A Cluster Pragmatic Randomised Controlled Trial Examining Effect On Development, Behaviour And Academic Learning Outcomes., Sandra Jennifer Miles Jan 2018

Sensory And Motor Interventions For Very Early School-Age Children: A Cluster Pragmatic Randomised Controlled Trial Examining Effect On Development, Behaviour And Academic Learning Outcomes., Sandra Jennifer Miles

Theses

Sensory and motor interventions are implemented in schools with the aim to improve children's development, behaviour and academic learning outcomes, albeit with limited research evidence of effect. These are particularly used as an early intervention with very early school-age children in an effort to ease the transition to formal schooling and enhance school readiness. This thesis presents a six-phase study undertaken to examine the effect of one such intervention. The aim of this study was to determine any effect from a mixed sensorimotor and sensory integration group intervention, on early academic skills and cognitive, behavioural and socioemotional development of ...


Enlightening Science: Addressing The Cognitive And Non-Cognitive Aspects Of Science Learning, Munirah Shaik Kadir Jan 2018

Enlightening Science: Addressing The Cognitive And Non-Cognitive Aspects Of Science Learning, Munirah Shaik Kadir

Theses

Physical science (or physics) is known to be one of the least popular school curriculum domains, mainly because of its complexity. When students encounter seemingly insurmountable difficulties when learning something, they lose the motivation to continue. It has been suggested that both the cognitive (e.g., students’ conceptual understanding and achievement) and non-cognitive (e.g., psychological aspects such as academic self-concept and motivation) factors of learning are essential for helping students achieve their optimal best in a curriculum domain. However, there has not been much research, if any, which uses a dual approach to investigate both aspects of science learning ...


Constructing The Espoused Purpose Of Islamic Schools In Australia, Nada Nemra Ghamra-Oui Jan 2018

Constructing The Espoused Purpose Of Islamic Schools In Australia, Nada Nemra Ghamra-Oui

Theses

Evidence showing a positive link between Islamic practices and rituals at the everyday level with civic participation is on the rise (Harris & Roose, 2014; Patton, 2014; Vergani, Johns, Lobo, & Mansouri, 2017). Yet, character building to produce women and men of adab (Al-Attas, 1980) for active and confident engagement with society, has always been the raison d’etre of Islamic schools (Buckley, 1997). What remains unexplored is how these schools and their educational practitioners intervene and actively engage with their central purpose in the minutiae of everyday life (Apple, 2006). Specifically, how the racialised Islamic schools (Gulson & Webb, 2012, 2013) and their leaders mediate the “pluri-cultural” life (Said, 1977, p. xvii), articulating, embodying and defending alternative educational possibilities for parity of educational outcomes, lacks analytical consideration.

This study explored the construction of the espoused purpose of Islamic schools in Australia. Grounded in a critical race position (Ladson-Billings & Tate, 1995) and a faith-centred epistemology (Zine, 2004), it employed a collective case study methodology (Stake, 1995; Merriam, 1998; Yin, 2012) to understand how a disenfranchised community understands and experiences its everyday lived realities, and how leaders speak back to authoritarianism (Said, 2004; Apple, 2006) to achieve their aspirations in a diverse marketised Australian society (Walsh, 2014). An analysis of the promotional materials (Symes, 1998) and an online survey of stakeholders of Islamic schools in Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane were conducted in the exploratory phase of this inquiry, followed by ...


An Exploration Of A Variation Of Achievement, Sue Jury Jan 2018

An Exploration Of A Variation Of Achievement, Sue Jury

Theses

In 2006, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) identified New Zealand as not only having some of the highest levels of achievement in reading but also, and of far more national concern, having some of the lowest levels. Thus, it was of little surprise that the New Zealand Ministry of Education set goals to address this concern. One of the outcomes of this particular national educational goal was the introduction of the National Literacy Professional Development Project (LDP), a project to improve student performance in literacy, particularly for those students who struggle with reading.

The purpose of this study ...


The Influence Of On-Site Professional Development On Teacher Practice, Catherine Margaret Forrester Jan 2018

The Influence Of On-Site Professional Development On Teacher Practice, Catherine Margaret Forrester

Theses

The purpose of this research was to explore how on-site professional development (PD) addresses the goal of improved teacher practice. It was conducted within the context of a national educational reform in Australia. This reform, implemented from 2009 to 2012/13, was a National Partnership Agreement (NPA) with the Commonwealth Government that included the Smarter Schools National Partnerships (SSNP).

This research was a multi-site case study of five Catholic primary schools that implemented on-site PD for four years as part of a system response to a reform agenda. Learning on-site was a change in practice for teachers that involved the ...


Teachers' And Students' Perspectives Of Using Restorative Practices In Schools: "It's Got The Power To Change Behaviour", Michelle Kehoe Nov 2017

Teachers' And Students' Perspectives Of Using Restorative Practices In Schools: "It's Got The Power To Change Behaviour", Michelle Kehoe

Theses

In recent decades, there has been a shift away from authoritarian, punitive discipline in school communities and a movement towards approaches that promote inclusion, respectful relationships, and understanding. This shift was due to growing concerns about the negative impact of bullying and victimisation that was not resolved using traditional punitive measures. Whole-school restorative practices is an approach that has been reported as successful, in not only addressing misbehaviour as it occurs, but also as a preventive measure that builds social and emotional skills for all those within the school community.

The aim of this research was to explore teachers’ and ...


Student Wellbeing As Educational Practice: Learning From Educators’ Stories Of Experience, Helen Butler Oct 2017

Student Wellbeing As Educational Practice: Learning From Educators’ Stories Of Experience, Helen Butler

Theses

The promotion of student wellbeing is a key goal of Australian education, increasingly acknowledged as the responsibility of all educators. This study was designed to improve understanding of how educators develop understanding and practice of student wellbeing. The significance of the inquiry is that it is focused on how educators integrate student wellbeing within their practice and identities rather than simply on what they need to know about student wellbeing and how they can be trained to deliver student wellbeing related content and skills. Narrative methodology and methods are used to explore how educators conceptualise student wellbeing; how they locate ...


Building Capacity For Leading Learning In Low Socio-Economic Status Catholic Secondary Schools, Michael Blowes Oct 2017

Building Capacity For Leading Learning In Low Socio-Economic Status Catholic Secondary Schools, Michael Blowes

Theses

The purpose of the research was to explore how leaders and teachers of low socio-economic status (SES) Catholic secondary schools engaged with a system led reform to build capacity for leadership to improve learning in their school communities. The research was informed by the school and system improvement literature which noted the limited success of large-scale reforms in secondary schools and identified the need to understand how leaders can better build capacity for improvement.

The case study focussed on the leadership of four low SES Catholic secondary schools from New South Wales (NSW), Australia who were part of the National ...


Love Spoken Here: Exploring The Experience Of One Primary School With A School/Community Partnerships Program, Cornella Koch Oct 2017

Love Spoken Here: Exploring The Experience Of One Primary School With A School/Community Partnerships Program, Cornella Koch

Theses

Parental engagement is low SES schools is either minimal or rarely valued. Subsequently, this critical ethnography explores perspectives of staff and parents of the Community Partnerships Program (CPP) in a multiethnic, low SES, Catholic primary school in South East QLD. The purpose of the CPP was to offer support for students, staff and parents. Whilst the program excelled at sociocultural responsivity and care, questions arose as to whether demonstrated authentic parental engagement entailing transformation through participatory democracy. Staff and parents’ perspectives of how they perceived care and transformation as purpose for a school based CPP are explored in this thesis ...


Teaching And Learning Spatial Thinking With Young Students: The Use And Influence Of External Representations, Peta Spencer Oct 2017

Teaching And Learning Spatial Thinking With Young Students: The Use And Influence Of External Representations, Peta Spencer

Theses

Previous research suggests spatial thinking is fundamental to mathematics learning (Bronowski, 1947; Clements & Sarama, 2007, 2011), and acts as a predictor for future mathematical achievement levels (Battista, 1990; Gunderson et al., 2012). However, research with regard to spatial thinking is almost non-existent in early years mathematics classrooms (Bruce, Moss, & Ross, 2012; Clements & Sarama, 2011; Newcombe & Frick, 2010; Sarama & Clements, 2009, 2011; Stipek, 2013), and how to teach it in these contexts has received little attention. Fewer studies again have focused on the use of virtual manipulatives in influencing young students’ spatial thinking (Highfield & Mulligan, 2007; Ng & Sinclair, 2015). Despite a recent surge in studies exploring the influence of virtual manipulatives in mathematics classrooms, little is known about how these manipulatives compare to physical manipulatives, especially in regard to the changes that occur in the social interactions between teacher and students during the learning process. To date, there has been no comparative study conducted that explores the influence of different external representations (e.g., physical manipulatives and virtual manipulatives) on both the teaching and the learning aspects within mathematics classrooms. The purpose of this research is to explore the use of external representations (i.e., physical manipulatives as compared to virtual manipulatives) in the mathematics classroom and how these representations support young, disadvantaged students’ spatial thinking. The use of manipulatives is a common starting point for the teaching and learning of spatial thinking.

Previous research on manipulative use (both physical and virtual) in mathematics education has yielded positive results with regard to student learning (Clements, 1999; Heddens, 1997; Highfield & Mulligan, 2007; Riconscente, 2013; Siemon et al., 2011; Warren, 2006; Warren & Miller, 2013). Recent studies indicate that these newer digital technologies promote interactions between visual and kinaesthetic learning, which have been shown to support the teaching and learning of spatial thinking (Battista, 2008; Bruce, McPherson, Sabeti, & Flynn, 2011; Clements & Sarama, 2011; Highfield & Mulligan, 2007; Jorgensen & Lowrie, 2012; Sinclair, de Freitas, & Ferrara, 2013; Sinclair & Moss, 2012). However, results from comparative studies between physical manipulatives and virtual manipulatives have been varied (e.g., Brown, 2007; Olkum, 2003; Suh, 2005). It is proposed that ...


Leading Within The Middle: Perspectives On Middle Leadership In Secondary School Improvement, Vittoria Lavorato Aug 2017

Leading Within The Middle: Perspectives On Middle Leadership In Secondary School Improvement, Vittoria Lavorato

Theses

This study provides an investigative and analytical view of the social and political processes occurring within the implementation of a system initiated and resourced, secondary school improvement initiative (SSII) in a Catholic urban school system in a capital city on the East coast of Australia. The SSII follows a tiered model of implementation within a local school system [in this case, the MacKillop Catholic School System, (MCSS)] and its schools through a group of school-based middle-level leaders, the School Improvement Middle Leaders (SIMLs). This thesis is a six-site case study. The lens of symbolic interactionism is adopted as the theoretical ...


The Understanding Of Early Childhood Development That Alberta Kindergarten Teachers Bring To Their Work When Administering The Early Development Instrument (Edi), Jennifer Weber Aug 2017

The Understanding Of Early Childhood Development That Alberta Kindergarten Teachers Bring To Their Work When Administering The Early Development Instrument (Edi), Jennifer Weber

Theses

Recent research into the abilities of children beginning school is powerfully influencing government policy and the provision of early childhood education in Canada. The Early Child Development (ECD) Mapping project, undertaken by the Offord Centre for Child Studies, McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) is one such body of research. The Early Development Instrument (EDI) is designed to gather information about developmental outcomes of children’s prior-to-school experiences at the time of starting kindergarten (the first year of school). The EDI is administered by kindergarten teachers at the level of individual children, with outcomes reported at the population level. However, many ...


Secondary Teachers’ Perceptions Toward School Leadership: A Generational Divide?, Kamahl Taylor Russell Jul 2017

Secondary Teachers’ Perceptions Toward School Leadership: A Generational Divide?, Kamahl Taylor Russell

Theses

There has been a diminishing pool of suitable candidates for school leadership positions in the Australian Catholic education sector. Currently, there are three major generational cohorts of teachers in schools, including Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials. Research in corporate and government sectors has found that these cohorts have distinctive traits and characteristics that shape their approach and expectations to the workplace. Significant research has been undertaken into the declining number of teachers willing to undertake middle and senior school leadership roles. But there is limited research into the factors behind this numerical decline. One area to consider is whether generational ...


The Work Of Infant And Toddler Specialists In University-Based Early Childhood Teacher Education In Australia And Aotearoa, New Zealand, Katherine Anne Bussey May 2017

The Work Of Infant And Toddler Specialists In University-Based Early Childhood Teacher Education In Australia And Aotearoa, New Zealand, Katherine Anne Bussey

Theses

Infants and toddlers are the fastest-growing group of children enrolled in early childhood education around the world. This thesis describes the work of infant and toddler specialist teacher educators in university-based early childhood teacher education in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. This thesis explores issues related to status, professionalisation, and the education of teachers, who work with infants and toddlers, and reflects the growing awareness of the importance of infant and toddler curriculum in teacher education programs. Conceptually the study is positioned within Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT). Findings showed that the participants in the study were involved in a series ...


Principals' Experiences Of Regional Networks, Judith Gurvich May 2017

Principals' Experiences Of Regional Networks, Judith Gurvich

Theses

In the Australian state of Victoria, the years of the Blueprint policies (Department of Education &Training, 2003; Department of Education and Early Childhood, 2007a) represented a distinctive time of educational reform in which the quantum of strategies and resources that were fed into the education system were unprecedented. Regional Networks were one component of that reform agenda. Seventy such networks were formed in October 2008. They were system-organised groups of around 25 schools led by a Regional Network Leader. The intent of the structure was to build the capacity of principals and schools within a district by fostering collective responsibility for students ...


Exploring Ecumenical Charism Of An Anglican And Uniting Church College Through Members' Understandings Of Its Ethos, Culture, Climate And Leadership, Trevor John Collie May 2017

Exploring Ecumenical Charism Of An Anglican And Uniting Church College Through Members' Understandings Of Its Ethos, Culture, Climate And Leadership, Trevor John Collie

Theses

The context of this research is an ecumenical college created by both the Anglican Church and the Uniting Church in Queensland, Australia. The advent of the modern ecumenical movement of the Christian Church has introduced initiatives from churches to demonstrate fuller unity by cooperating in ministry and mission through the establishment of ecumenical agencies such as ecumenical schools. The purpose of this thesis is to explore how members of one particular school understand and experience what it means to be involved in an ecumenical school and how they cultivate its ecumenical charism.


Consensus On A Specialist Clinical Learning And Teaching Framework For Australian Nurse Practitioners, Christopher Helms May 2017

Consensus On A Specialist Clinical Learning And Teaching Framework For Australian Nurse Practitioners, Christopher Helms

Theses

Background

The Australian nurse practitioner (NP) role is represented by over 1,400 endorsed NPs practising in over 50 different specialty areas. Generic standards have broadly supported the role’s behavioural, professional and expanded practice expectations since 2006, and have been used for the accreditation of NP Masters programmes nationally.

The need for consistent and flexible specialty clinical education for NP students has been described in the Australian literature. The clinical learning and teaching of Australian NP specialty roles has traditionally occurred in the student’s workplace, within a specified area of practice. Jurisdictional differences at state/territory and local ...


A Teacher's Journey: Shifting Theoretical Positions In Early Childhood Education, Elizabeth Joy Hunt Apr 2017

A Teacher's Journey: Shifting Theoretical Positions In Early Childhood Education, Elizabeth Joy Hunt

Theses

This thesis is a self-study conducted from an insider perspective that chronicles the changes I made to my work practices as I moved from using a developmental to a cultural-historical theoretical approach in my teaching.

Early childhood teachers are faced with differing theoretical perspectives with which to work as described within the Early Years Learning Framework (DEEWR, 2009). There are still many teachers within the field who have been solely trained in Piaget‟s constructivist theory. Many of these teachers are not able to access newer information that easily explains how to alter their practices as most of the information ...


From Vision To Reality: The Perceptions And Practices Of School Leaders In Christian Education National, Christopher Michael Prior Feb 2017

From Vision To Reality: The Perceptions And Practices Of School Leaders In Christian Education National, Christopher Michael Prior

Theses

Christian Education National (CEN) is an association of Christian schools started in Australia, in the 1960s by Christian parents, predominantly with a Dutch Reformed heritage. Its vision for education includes the lordship of Christ over all of life, the fact that the gospel is to inform practice, and that parents are responsible for the education of their children. CEN dedicate significant resources to supporting member schools to understand the beliefs that underpin their vision for education and to develop practice based on these beliefs. School leaders in Christian schools have responsibilities that include an understanding of the faith perspective of ...


An Investigation Of Learning Processes And Contexts Of A Curriculum Program For The Formation Of Spiritual Directors, Peter Stuart Bentley Feb 2017

An Investigation Of Learning Processes And Contexts Of A Curriculum Program For The Formation Of Spiritual Directors, Peter Stuart Bentley

Theses

In recent times Spiritual Direction has grown in popularity amongst lay people seeking to nurture their own spirituality. This trend has given rise to an increased enrolment of people seeking to train as Spiritual Directors. This study aims to identify key factors underpinning the learning processes in a spiritual direction curriculum program that is part of a graduate course offered by an Australian University. Having identified the factors, the researcher will assess its effectiveness in forming spiritual directors, from the perspective of participants involved in the program. This qualitative study was based on the insights of adults who are already ...


From Metaphors To Mantras - Principals Making Sense Of And Integrating Accountability Expectations: A Grounded Theoretical Model, Judith Norris Jan 2017

From Metaphors To Mantras - Principals Making Sense Of And Integrating Accountability Expectations: A Grounded Theoretical Model, Judith Norris

Theses

There is increasing pressure on principals in Australia in general, and in New South Wales (NSW) in particular, to report and justify the results of their students on externally mandated assessment programs such as the Higher School Certificate (HSC) examinations and the National Numeracy and Literacy Assessment Program (NAPLAN). However, our understanding of the way these principals interpret and respond to accountability demands is limited. Research on the way principals understand, prioritise and comply with system accountability requirements regarding student learning is scarce. This study addresses this gap in the literature. It adopts a case study approach to investigate this ...


A Visual Arts Transformative Learning Practice In The Aesthetic Re-Imagining Of Contemporary Society, Adam Staples Dec 2016

A Visual Arts Transformative Learning Practice In The Aesthetic Re-Imagining Of Contemporary Society, Adam Staples

Theses

This thesis is located in the areas of arts education, visual arts learning and society formation. The aims of the study were to undertake an analytical, empirical and conceptual study of the relationship between learning in the visual arts and contemporary society formation; to clarify the conceptual, policy, professional and practical issues relevant to the role of learning in the visual arts in stimulating learning and promoting contemporary society formation in a time of societal transition and change; and to generate theory and develop recommendations for theory, research, policy and practice. The study began with an examination of literature pertaining ...