Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Inc
ABN: 20 438 800 399

Seventh Annual Research Forum

28th-29th August 1992

Grace Vaughan House, Stubbs Terrace, Shenton Park

FRIDAY, 28th August

5.00 - 6.00 pm.Registration
Wine and cheese
6.00 - 7.45 pm.Welcome:Andrew Taggart, President WAIER

Opening: Sandra Renew, Co-ordinator, Gender Equity In Curriculum Reform Project

Invited Forum Address


Stephen Houghton - WAIER 1991 Early Career Award Winner
Presentation: Body marking amongst adolescents in corrective institutions - Educational implications


Simone Volet - WAIER 1990 Early Career Award Winner
Presentation: Improving the quality of university teaching - The role of educational research


Chair: Andrew Taggart

Presentation of Awards:


WAIER prizewinners:
Early Career Award
Institution Post Graduate Research Awards
7.45 - 9.30 pm.FORUM DINNER

SATURDAY, 29th August

8.30 - 8.45 am.Registration
Coffee
9.00 - 10.30 am.Concurrent Sessions (1, 2, 3)
10.30-11.00 am.MORNING TEA (Sponsored by ACER)
11.00 - 12.30 pm.Concurrent Sessions (4, 5, 6)
12.30 - 2.00 pm.LUNCH
2.00 - 3.00 pm.Concurrent Sessions (7, 8)
3.00-3.30 pm.Forum Review and Closure

WAIER 1991 EARLY CAREER AWARD WINNER

Stephen Houghton - University of Western Australia

Stephen Houghton is a lecturer in the Department of Education at the University of Western Australia. He completed his PhD at Birmingham University in 1989, and has subsequently been a productive scholar in a variety of research areas. Stephen's research and publication in special education and applied behaviour analysis has been extensive and is highly regarded in the field. He is currently investigating aspects of body marking/tattooing in Perth.

ABOUT THE AWARD

The aim of the WAIER Early Career Award is to recognize excellence early in a career and to encourage continuing contributions to research. The award is an incentive as well as an acknowledgement of early success, and it is hoped that the person receiving the award would proceed to complete further research of excellent quality.

The award is open to all presently enrolled postgraduate students, and anybody who has yet to complete three years following a Master's or Doctoral degree, and/or who would not be considered an established researcher.

A select committee of the executive of WAIER reviews nominations and selects a short list. The short list of nominees is then invited to submit evidence of their educational research.

HOW TO READ THE PROGRAMME

  1. Page 5 provides an overview of the various themes and all presenters.

  2. Pages 6, 7 and 8 detail the presentations by title and presenter for each time block:

      9.00 - 10.30 am. (Sessions 1, 2 and 3)
    11.00 - 12.30 pm. (Sessions 4, 5 and 6)
      2.00 - 3.30 pm.   (Sessions 7, 8 and 9)

  3. The abstracts begin on page 9, and are presented ALPHABETICALLY by the surname of the presenter.

WAIER RESEARCH FORUM: SATURDAY, 29th AUGUST 1992

8.30COFFEE
TIMESESSIONSEMINAR - ROOM 1SEMINAR - ROOM 2SEMINAR - ROOM 3LECTURE - THEATRE


READING RESEARCHCOMPUTER WRITING
CURRICULUM DESIGN
DISTANCE EDUCATION
MARRIAGE & MEASUREMENTLEARNING MOTIVATION
COMPETITION, CO-OPERATION
9:001Carolyn HoganBetty WalshElizabeth TuettemannBeverley Moriarty
9.302Ruth SmithClare McBeathJohn HarrisJudy MacCallum
10.003Jennifer NevardAllan Herrmann & Bob FoxDeidra YoungLen King et al
10.30TEA


TEACHERSSCHOOL - SCHOOL- WORK TRANSITIONPOLICY - SCHOOL DEVELOPMENTLEARNING - HOME AND TECHNOLOGY
11.004Susan HallDenise KirkpatrickBarry DownRanbir Malik
11.305Rod ThieleTim McDonaldGraham DellarDorit Maor [cancelled]
12.00 6Diane SpinaDale MasonVal KlenowskiDavid Evans
12.30LUNCH


LITERACYMANAGEMENT
EFFICACY
CURRICULUM
ASSESSMENT OF TERTIARY STUDENTSLEARNING PERSPECTIVES
2.007Mary RohlRoger Liebmann
Kathryn Dixon & Len Vlahov
2.308Marion MiltonBill HutchinsonMurray Swain et alTony Fetherston
3.009

Ron Oliver & Trevor KerrPaul Swan

TITLEPRESENTERSROOM
SESSION 1: 9.00 am.
COMPLIANT OR RESISTANT WRITERS? THE ROLE OF GENDER IN CHILDREN'S NARRATIVESCarolyn HoganSeminar 1
THE COMPUTER AS A WRITING ENVIRONMENTBetty WalshSeminar 2
THE MARRIAGE GAME: TAKE YOUR PARTNERS AND LEARN AS YOU GO?Elizabeth TuettemannSeminar 3
COMPETITIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS: CRUCIAL ELEMENT AFFECTING SELF EFFICACY AND ACHIEVEMENTBeverley MoriartyLecture Theatre
Session 2: 9.30 am.
IS INFERENCE-MAKING TAUGHT TO SEVEN YEAR OLD CHILDREN THROUGH READING INSTRUCTION?Ruth SmithSeminar 1
CURRICULUM DESIGN FOR A UNIT OF TERTIARY STUDYClare McBeathSeminar 2
CONSEQUENCES FOR MEASUREMENT OF COLLAPSING ADJACENT CATEGORIES WITHIN ITEMSJohn HarrisSeminar 3
MOTIVATION OF HIGH ABILITY STUDENTS IN DIFFERENT CONTEXTS: A STUDY OF YEARS 6 AND 7 PEAC STUDENTSJudy MacCallumLecture Theatre
Session 3: 10.00 am.
GIRLS SPEAKING OUT, WHAT NEXT?Jennifer NevardSeminar 1
SEX DIFFERENCES IN THE PERCEPTIONS OF DISTANCE EDUCATION STUDENTSAllan Herrmann/Bob FoxSeminar 2
HIERARCHICAL LINEAR MODELLING: A WORKSHOP FOR THE USE OF MLMDeidra YoungSeminar 3
SYSTEM FOR SMALL GROUP INTERACTION ANALYSISLen King et al.Lecture Theatre
Session 4: 11.00 am.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE EXPLICATION OF WORKING KNOWLEDGE AND IMPROVEMENT TO PRACTICE WITHIN A TEACHER'S FORMATIVE EVALUATION OF HER LITERATURE LESSONSusan HallSeminar 1
STUDENT PERCEPTIONS OF FACTORS AFFECTING THE TRANSITION FROM YEAR 7 TO YEAR 8Denise KirkpatrickSeminar 2
POLICY DIRECTIONS FOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS: CONSTRUCTING THE HEGEMONY OF SOCIAL EFFICIENCYBarry DownSeminar 3
INFLUENCE OF HOME LEARNING ENVIRONMENT ON ETHNIC CHILDREN'S EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENTRanbir MalikLecture Theatre
Session 5: 11.30 am.
AN INTERPRETIVE EXAMINATION OF SECONDARY TEACHERS' USE OF ANALOGIESRod ThieleSeminar 1
STUDENT PERCEPTIONS OF THE TRANSITION FROM YEAR 10 TO YEAR 11Tim McDonaldSeminar 2
IS OUR SCHOOL READY TO UNDERTAKE IMPROVEMENT? SOME INDICATORS FOR CHANGEGraham DellarSeminar 3
THE ROLE OF TEACHERS' EPISTEMOLOGIES IN COMPUTERISED LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS [cancelled]Dorit MaorLecture Theatre
Session 6: 12.00 noon
ROLE ANALYSISDiana SpinaSeminar 1
A COMPARISON OF GEOGRAPHIC AND EDUCATIONAL INFLUENCES ON THE VOCATIONAL CHOICES OF STUDENTSDale MasonSeminar 2
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR SELF EVALUATION: A SELF SUSTAINING PROCESS?Val KlenowskiSeminar 3
VIDEODISC TECHNOLOGY: CAN IT INFLUENCE EFFECTIVE TEACHING BEHAVIOURS WHEN CATERING FOR LOW PERFORMANCE STUDENTS?David EvansLecture Theatre
Session 7: 2.00 pm.
PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS OF EARLY LITERACYMary RohlSeminar 1
PUPIL MANAGEMENT IN THE INDUCTION YEAR CLASSROOMRoger LiebmannSeminar 2
FACTORS INHIBITING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF STUDENT CENTRED LEARNING AT A WA SECONDARY SCHOOL: A PILOT EVALUATIONKathryn Dixon/Len VlahovLecture Theatre
Session 8: 2.30 om.
SYNTACTIC AWARENESS AND READING ACHIEVEMENTMarion MiltonSeminar 1
RELATIONSHIPS AMONG TEACHER WORK-RELATED STRESS AND TEACHER EFFICACYBill HutchinsonSeminar 2
PEER ASSESSMENT OF STUDENTSMurray Swain et alSeminar 3
THE IMPLICATIONS OF QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE VIEWS OF STUDENTS' IDEAS FOR CLASSROOM PRACTICETony FetherstonLecture Theatre
Session 9 :3.00 am.
STUDENT ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY: EQUITY ISSUES FOR EDUCATIONRon Oliver/Trevor KerrSeminar 3
A COMPARISON OF SKILLED AND UNSKILLED MENTAL CALCULATORSPaul SwanLecture Theatre

IS OUR SCHOOL READY TO UNDERTAKE IMPROVEMENT? SOME INDICATORS FOR CHANGE

Graham DELLAR

Edith Cowan University

Much of the conflict associated with the process of restructuring appears to stem not only from the imposition of a corporate managerial restructuring agenda (Hyslop, 1988), but also from hastily conceived and poorly designed plans for management of the changes. Such a state indicates a lack of understanding about the complex nature of the change process within educational settings by those with the responsibility for formulating the policies and implementing change at the school level.

The purpose of this paper is two-fold. Firstly, to report on specific outcomes of a three year empirical study concerning the process restructuring in three Western Australian secondary schools. Secondly, to suggest an approach for assessing school preparedness and capacity (readiness) to implement restructuring reforms. It is proposed that information about the school's readiness for change will enable both policy makers and implementors to better designed plans and strategies to manage the restructuring process.

Outcomes of the research

The importance of site specific factors such as the prevailing organizational climate, subsystem linkage, leadership and administrative decision-making on school improvement initiatives are clearly evidenced in the data. For each factor identified as affecting a school's readiness to undertake restructuring, particular recommendations for action are forwarded.

In addition, the analysis of a school's initial response to the innovation indicates that a complex process of evaluation of the innovation was undertaken within the school. It appears that the principal, staff and other members of the school community used their knowledge about the existing characteristics of the school to make judgements about how well the proposed restructuring would fit with the existing school organisation. This initial evaluation of "organizational fit" appears more than just a simple cost-benefit type analysis of implementing the innovation. Judgements seem to have been less rational and influenced by a large number of related yet more problematic considerations. Issues such as the possibility for disruption to the existing authority relationships within the school, the impact of implementation of classroom processes, the impact on the school's relationship with parent groups and the school's capacity to resource and sustain the implementation process, all appeared to have played an important role in each school's determination of organisational fit.

FACTORS INHIBITING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF STUDENT CENTRED LEARNING AT A WESTERN AUSTRALIAN SECONDARY SCHOOL: A PILOT EVALUATION

Kathryn DIXON and Len VLAHOV

Edith Cowan University

In this session, the findings of a pilot evaluation of the Student Centred Learning Project at a Western Australian secondary school are presented. Quantitative (questionnaire) and Qualitative (interview) data were collected from both staff and students. The purpose of the evaluation is to:

  1. establish if the major problem at the school is student passivity which manifestsitself as student lack of responsibility, ownership and commitment to their own learning;

  2. review the implementation of a "learner focused philosophy" at the school, including Active Learning approaches adapted by the whole staff and the Student Centred learning philosophy and strategies;

  3. identify the factors affecting the implementation of the philosophy, including:

    1. those factors facilitating the adoption of the philosophy; and
    2. those factors influencing the non-acceptance of the philosophy.

The implications of the findings are discussed in terms of the current implementation strategy which is in place and the future of the Student Centred Learning Project in the school.

POLICY DIRECTIONS FOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS: CONSTRUCTING THE HEGEMONY OF SOCIAL EFFICIENCY

Barry DOWN

Edith Cowan University

With the onset of the world-wide recession in the mid 1 970s, and the Australian Labour Government's preoccupation with deregulation, restructuring, privatisation and internationalisation, a renewed debate on the relationship between education and the economy has dominated the political agenda about education. Like the tertiary sector, the secondary school system is being swept along by the New Right philosophy of economic rationalism. This paper looks at the implications of economic rationalism in three major ways: first, it argues that the human capital approach to education is fundamentally flawed, and that calls for a closer relationship between secondary schools and the requirements of industry need to be challenged; second, that the New Right's ideology of social efficiency has been organised and constructed in official educational reports; and finally, the paper concludes by looking at how the secondary school curriculum is being reorientated into career pathways that might more readily reproduce the capitalist division of labour.

VIDEODISC TECHNOLOGY: CAN IT INFLUENCE EFFECTIVE TEACHING BEHAVIOURS WHEN CATERING FOR LOW PERFORMING STUDENTS?

David EVANS

Edith Cowan University

Education support services for low performing students have been shrinking steadily over the past three or four years (Westwood, 1991). This unfortunate, often politically driven, dilemma requires regular education teachers to cater for these students in the mainstream setting without additional assistance. One avenue of assistance available to teachers in regular education settings is the use of technology (eg. computers). The effectiveness of technology and modern media has been hindered by poorly designed software and lack of teacher expertise in its use. However, emerging evidence suggests that instructionally sound software can assist teachers in catering for low performing students, and modify teaching behaviours highly correlated with catering effectively for low performing students (eg. it releases teachers to spend more time with low performing students).

Developments in videodisc technology have shown that effective instruction can be delivered to both regular and low performing students. It is also claimed that videodisc technology frees teachers to monitor students more frequently, and to academically engage low performing students more often. A case study investigating the effects of videodisc instruction in mathematics with regular and low performing students was conducted to investigate these claims. Results of this study will be discussed, focusing on changes in teachers' behaviour (eg. monitoring of low performing students, frequency of academic related interactions), maintenance of these behaviours, and generalisation of behaviours to other subjects.

THE IMPLICATIONS OF QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE VIEWS OF STUDENTS' IDEAS FOR CLASSROOM PRACTICE

Tony FETHERSTON

Edith Cowan University

In this session, details of research into students' ideas about energy are presented. As well as providing details of what the sample of Year 9 students think about the concept of energy, the differing results of the quantitative (questionnaire) and the qualitative (repertory grid technique) methods used are compared. The implications of two different views of students' ideas for classroom practice are discussed.

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE EXPLICATION OF WORKING KNOWLEDGE AND IMPROVEMENT TO PRACTICE WITHIN A TEACHER'S FORMATIVE EVALUATION OF HER LITERATURE LESSONS

Susan H HALL

Murdoch University

This study, conducted in a year seven primary school class over the course of a school year, has relevance to the literatures on teachers' work, teachers' knowledge and review and development of work practices as well as to methodologies and ways of theorising about each. It was an ethnographic case study of what happened when one teacher, "Ellen", began to make explicit her working knowledge as she went about formatively evaluating her literature lessons. By undertaking the evaluation, Ellen aimed to enhance the students' interest in literature by increasing their emotional involvement in the lessons.

The first aim of my study was to identify the relationship between Ellen's explication of her working knowledge and the quality of her literature lessons; in terms of student interest. The second aim was to explore and declare how the methodology, including the epistemology of the study, impinged on the findings.

The "substantive theory" (Glaser & Strauss, 1976) of the thesis was produced using what the same authors call the framework for developing grounded theory. The substantive theory is that there was a positive relationship between explication and the quality of literature lessons. That is, as Ellen explicated her working knowledge, she became more focussed and deliberate in her teaching actions, bringing them more into line with her values and beliefs about teaching and with her knowledge of her students. Furthermore, the nature and timing of this change to her practice suggests that it was directly related to the gradual increase in student interest in literature lessons.

Features of the methodology/epistemology for the study are:

One or more the above-mentioned aspects will be discussed in the presentation.

CONSEQUENCES FOR MEASUREMENT OF COLLAPSING ADJACENT CATEGORIES WITHIN ITEMS

John HARRIS

Ministry of Education

The use of ordered categories for social measurement is discussed and associated requirements for measurement are considered. The scaling of responses onto a linear continuum is examined, and requirements which might be imposed on the scaling process are considered. The concept of collapsing categories is explained, and the key issue identified. The scaling of responses is examined in terms of the Thurstone cumulative probability model and the Rasch cumulative threshold model. The approaches used by the two models in scaling responses are described and contrasted.

The issue of collapsing adjacent categories and the consequences of scaling in terms of the two models are considered, together with an examination of competing theoretical principles. The fundamental principle, that a respondent's choice of category should be identical whatever the actual boundaries between categories, was put to an empirical test. Subjects used two sets of ordered categories to judge some stories, with all conditions constructed to provide the maximum opportunity for them to make identical judgements whatever the number of categories in the set.

All analyses of the response data indicate that the principle is untenable - the subjects judged the stories differently depending on which set of categories were used, and the differences were significant. The choice of categories affects the measurement, which means that if measurement is achieved using one set of ordered categories, then using a different set of categories will change the measurement.

Implications include a reconsideration of the practice of post hoc pooling of data for analysis. As post hoc pooling of data is intended to predict the effects of a priori collapsing of adjacent categories, analyses using such post hoc pooling are brought into question.

SEX DIFFERENCES IN THE PERCEPTIONS OF DISTANCE EDUCATION STUDENTS

Allan HERRMANN and Robert FOX

Curtin University of Technology

An examination of the history of higher education external studies/distance education in Australia, reveals this mode as a product of political pressure and educational pragmatism. The little research that has been undertaken is fragmented and often raises more questions than are answered.

One of the critical questions currently begging an answer has been highlighted by Commonwealth interest in implementing alternative delivery modes, as used for distance education, in the on-campus context. The question is one of the students' perceptions of the appropriateness of the delivery mode.

Using a sample of Curtin University distance education students, this paper examines some of these perceptions emerging from research in progress, particularly highlighting five perceptions which may vary significantly between males and females.

COMPLIANT OR RESISTANT WRITERS? THE ROLE OF GENDER IN CHILDREN'S NARRATIVES

Carolyn HOGAN

Edith Cowan University

Teachers of writing commonly claim that there are discernible and consistent differences between the written narratives of girls and boys, to the extent that it is usually possible to ascribe an anonymous piece of writing to one gender or the other. The popular view has it that, given 'free choice', boys write action-packed, often violent narratives which tend to focus on objects in the external world, while girls write sensitive, subjective narratives which derive from experience or personal fantasy.

This study sought to establish, through a broad survey of narrative writing, the extent to which such differences are real rather than mythical. If careful analysis shows that significant differences do exist across a range of important criteria, we need to ask whether children do learn from an early age to produce writing which is 'masculine' or 'feminine', what social or cultural interests this process might serve, and how such practices might be learned.

If, by contrast, we discover that the narrative writing of boys and girls differs little or not at all across these factors, we need to ask how the myth of difference is maintained; how it is that teachers construct different readings of texts according to whether their authors are male or female - and once again, whose interests are served by these practices.

As one aspect of this study, I decided to present students with a writing task in which they did not have a choice of genre, as this could produce an interesting 'window' through which to observe the process of 'gendering' at work in their writing. Though this was not an empirical study, my basic hypothesis might be stated as follows:

Certain genres are perceived by student writers as the preserve of one sex or the other. When students write in a genre which is seen as appropriate for their gender (such as girls writing romance or boys writing science fiction) they will tend to comply fairly rigidly with the conventions of that genre. When, by contrast, they are required to write in a gender-inappropriate genre, both boys and girls will use various strategies for resisting or disrupting the conventions of that genre.
I explored this hypothesis through a classroom-based writing project in three secondary schools, then undertook a detailed analysis of the scripts produced by all the young writers involved. I would like to share the results of this study, and my reflections on them, with other teachers who are interested in the complex relationship between gender and literacy.

RELATIONSHIPS AMONG TEACHER WORK-RELATED STRESS AND TEACHING EFFICACY

Bill HUTCHINSON

University of Western Australia

This study investigates the relationships among self-reported occupational stress and teacher efficacy within the context of person-environment fit. The sample for the study is drawn from secondary school teachers in Western Australian government schools within metropolitan Perth. Four specific objectives formed the basis of this study. First, the study measured teaching efficacy expectations which are held by secondary school teachers. Second, the levels, physiological symptoms and the importance of selected sources of work-related stress were ascertained for teachers in the sample. Third, the study investigated the relationships among levels of perceived efficacy and the sources, levels, and symptoms of self-reported occupational stress. Fourth, it was hypothesized that the extent of person-environment fit which existed between the teachers and the organisational climate of the school in which they worked would explain variance in both stress and efficacy.

The results indicate small negative correlations between levels and symptoms of stress and teacher efficacy. Workload, innovation, extra-curricular responsibilities and working conditions in the school are more closely correlated with general work-related stress than relations with other teachers, superiors or students, including student behaviour. Higher efficacy expectations in managing workloads, adapting to innovations and the maintenance of discipline are associated with reductions in levels of work-related stress. Results of the regression analysis indicate that the anticipated levels of fit provide more explanation of the variance in stress than that attributable to the discrepancy between preferred and actual organisational climates.

SYSTEM FOR SMALL GROUP INTERACTION ANALYSIS

Len KING, Kevin BARRY, Carmel MALONEY and Collette TAYLER

Edith Cowan University

The presentation is a follow-up to our 1990 paper which outlined the development by inductive means of an instrument to analyse the verbal interactions of the teacher and students during small-group co-operative learning lessons. At this time, the development of the instrument has been completed. The instrument has formed the basis of data gathering for our recent research work. As well, the instrument has now been adopted by Tom Good and his research team at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Our presentation will describe the instrument, how data are processed from use of the instrument, and the kind of reliability procedures undertaken. A near completed Technical Report on the instrument will be available shortly, following the Research Forum.

STUDENT PERCEPTIONS OF FACTORS AFFECTING THE TRANSITION FROM YEAR 7 TO YEAR 8

Denise KIRKPATRICK

Edith Cowan University

The achievement of a successful transition from primary to secondary school is crucial for students who wish to pursue academic careers. There is little research literature which describes this change, particularly as perceived by the students involved.

This paper presents the findings of questionnaires administered to primary school students (N=200) at the end of Year 7 and at the conclusion of their first semester of secondary school. Student concerns and beliefs about secondary school are described before entry to high school and after a semester's experience, and their responses at these times are compared. The questionnaires form part of a larger study investigating student perceptions of their experiences during the transition from primary to secondary school.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR SELF-EVALUATION: A SELF-SUSTAINING PROCESS?

Val KLENOWSKI

Ministry of Education

This paper provides an evaluation of a professional development training programme which focuses on the development of skills for self-evaluation and school development review in the context of local, school and system accountability. The evaluation sought answers from participants, presenter and observers to questions pertaining to relevance and value of the learning experience, skill acquisition, understanding of the self evaluation process and the feasibility of its institutionalisation.

The rationale which drives the programme is one which values and respects the need for the collective professional development of teachers, school administrators, school district personnel and superintendents. The importance of establishing interdependent relationships to harness the collective capacity for responding to new challenges, managing and institutionalising the change, is discussed in the evaluation and considered in the retrospective account of the programme. Case study methodology has been utilised and material gained from interviews, surveys, video recordings, document and report analysis, raise vital questions concerning the development of collegiality, the role of critique and exhibitions of learning in the development of the self evaluation process.

PUPIL MANAGEMENT IN THE INDUCTION YEAR CLASSROOM

Roger LIEBMANN

Curtin University of Technology

This paper will consider three case studies of pupil management in the professional classroom by beginning teachers during their induction year. Case one (Fay) taught in an alternative metropolitan high school. Case two (Portia) taught in a government metropolitan high school. Case three (Jan) taught in a government country high school.

Although recent pupil management studies direct attention to work-related behaviour rather than misbehaviour (Doyle, 1986), this study is conducted within the epistemological framework of a disciplined inquiry which records the reactions of each beginning teacher to pupil misbehaviour in observed lessons during the induction year classroom situation.

Data on pupil response to statements relating to the subject's pupil management on a modified Classroom Environment Scale, as well as interviews with the beginning teachers and their principals which focus on pupil management, are compared with the beginning teacher's behaviour in reaction to pupil misbehaviour as recorded in the classroom situation. Comparisons are also made between each beginning teacher's reaction to pupil misbehaviour during their induction year observed lessons and their reaction to pupil misbehaviour during observed lessons on teaching practice as part of their preservice teacher training.

MOTIVATION OF HIGH ABILITY STUDENTS IN DIFFERENT CONTEXTS: A STUDY OF YEARS 6 AND 7 PEAC STUDENTS

Judith MacCALLUM

Murdoch University

According to the ecological-intentional perspective (Nicholls, 1989) children with different personal goals employ different concepts and interpret situations so as to serve their different goals. Thoughts and actions can be interpreted in terms of each individual's purposes. In the school context, different achievement goals have been found to be associated with differences in beliefs about what causes academic success, views about the aims of education, satisfaction with school (Nicholls, Patashnick & Nolen, 1985; Thorkildsen, 1988), perception of the teacher's goals and valuing and use of study strategies (Nolen, 1988; Nolen & Haladyna, 1990). Nicholls has identified three different types of motivational orientations towards learning characterising different personal goals; task orientation, ego orientation and avoidance of work. A task orientation, with the goal of improving understanding, appears to be the most adaptive. Previous studies have dealt with student's general goals for school or goals in one particular area at one point in time (eg. Year 2 maths, Year 10-12 reading science texts) but not addressed how children's personal goals interrelate with different contextual demands over time.

The present project studies the same students in a number of different contexts (ie. in different subject lessons), through the last years of primary school and into high school. All students completed questionnaires accessing their motivational orientations, perception of their teacher's goals, beliefs about the causes of success, and perceived ability in specific aspects of both maths and story writing.

This paper concentrates on 38 Years 6 and 7 PEAC students, who completed a third questionnaire in their PEAC classes. The task orientation of these students was higher than their regular classmates in maths and story writing but was further significantly increased in their PEAC classes. Differences in the students' perceptions of their regular and PEAC classes, and the relationship of these perceptions to their personal goals, will be discussed.

A COMPARISON OF GEOGRAPHIC AND EDUCATIONAL INFLUENCES ON THE VOCATIONAL CHOICES OF STUDENTS IN A RURAL WESTERN AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY

Dale MASON and Ken STEVENS

Edith Cowan University and Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Little is know about the influence of isolation on the vocational choice processes of rural students, except that such people often make very traditional career decisions. The matter of vocational choice is of particular importance in rural communities in most countries, and often has to be addressed at a relatively early age in outback Australia, because of the lack of full secondary education facilities. Students, sometimes accompanied by their families, often migrate to urban centres to complete Years 11 and 12 in order to matriculate. This Western Australian study investigates the influence of both geography and education as influences on the career decisions of twenty-four students in a rural school.

GIRLS SPEAKING OUT, WHAT NEXT?

Jennifer NEVARD

DEVET, Adult Literacy Service Bureau

Interview material and writing samples were collected from twenty-one girls in Year 10 at two coeducational schools. The workshop will discuss the findings.

The girls voiced a range of needs that they consider are not being addressed in their classroom reading programmes. As well, the girls participate in a number of youth cultural practices which value particular narrative forms.

On these grounds, I advocate an inclusive approach to narrative texts in schools designed to address a range of purposes and assembled to take account of the complex and diverse ways meanings are constructed. An inclusive curriculum must 'write' girls in and also reveal or deconstruct the processes involved in their potential exclusion.

Slippage in meaning has been highlighted, and I advocate the development of a dynamic language model to explain (girls') access to a range of versions of female identity and how this may be applied to the different types of storying that girls engage with.

STUDENT ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY: EQUITY ISSUES FOR EDUCATION

Ron OLIVER and Trevor KERR

Edith Cowan University

Students' achievements in many tertiary courses of study are frequently based on their submission of written work in the form of essays and assignments. Students can prepare their written submissions in many ways and in doing so can make significant or little use of the technology available to them.

Computers can be used in the data gathering process. CD-ROM devices can be used to locate relevant references, databases can be queried to locate specific information. Computers can be used in the preparation of the submission and can be used to enhance the quality of the presentation of the finished product.

Such possibilities raise questions that must be addressed by educators. One important question concerns whether or not access to, and use of information technologies can influence assignment grades.

This paper will report the findings of a study undertaken by the presenters that sought to establish the impact of the use of word processors in the preparation of written assignments in a tertiary course of study. The findings showed a significant advantage was gained by students who prepared their assignments in this fashion. The equity issues that are raised by such findings will then be discussed.

INFLUENCE OF HOME LEARNING ENVIRONMENT ON ETHNIC CHILDREN'S EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT

Ranbir MALIK

Willetton Senior High School

Studies in the United States have provided some tools for studying the factors that affect students' school outcomes and their future educational/occupational goals. In Australia, Marjoribanks' study of the home learning environment of ethnic families is considered to have made a significant contribution in our understanding of the processes and patterns of learning of ethnic children. However, these cross-sectional and quantitative studies have been unable to account for the complex ways ethnic families prepare their children to find the pathways to social mobility. Cross-sectional studies cannot provide in-depth inquiry in the home environment of ethnic families. On the other hand, ethnographic research has its own limitations. It is not an easy task to be accepted in families, especially if the researcher comes from a different cultural background. Even if a workable rapport is developed and the researcher is accepted in a family, it is extremely difficult to be physically present to study the on-going processes of a family life and parent-child interaction.

To discover what is going on in ethnic children's homes, nine families from three different ethnic groups which are at a varying level of socioeconomic status, have been included in this study. These nine ethnographic case studies have demonstrated that the complexity of home learning environment can be better understood through the case study approach. These case studies provide rich and revealing account of interactional processes operating in ethnic homes in the Perth metropolitan area. Through prolonged contact with these families, I have been able to demonstrate that each family is a unique system. Socioeconomic status and ethnicity are too broad factors to account for the varying level of performance of ethnic children at school. In general, the factors that appear to exert strong influence on educational aspirations of ethnic children in Australia are family attitudes towards education, the parental belief system, parents' and their children's experience with the host society, children's perceptions of their parents' life circumstances and parents' awareness of the educational system in Australia.

THE ROLE OF TEACHERS' EPISTEMOLOGIES IN COMPUTERISED LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

Dorit MAOR

Curtin University of Technology

The purpose of this session is to discuss the results of a study which investigated students' development of inquiry skills in a computerised learning environment, which was designed to facilitate an inquiry-based approach to learning. The study involves an interpretive research approach which was complemented by the analysis of quantitative data obtained from questionnaires. The original theoretical framework of the study, which was based on the field of inquiry learning, was extended to include constructivist perspectives. Interpretive analyses of data were conducted from personal and social constructivist perspectives, and led to the formulation of assertions.

In particular, the session will focus on the fourth assertion which addresses the influence of teachers' epistemologies on the development of students' higher-level thinking skills. In the class where the teacher implemented a constructivist oriented approach to teaching that emphasised both the personal and social construction of students' knowledge, most students developed higher-level thinking skills.

Therefore, this study suggests that it is not the computer itself which facilitates inquiry learning; the facilitative role of the teacher is essential for students to be able to utilise the computer as a tool of scientific inquiry.

CURRICULUM DESIGN FOR A UNIT OF TERTIARY STUDY

Clare McBEATH

Curtin University of Technology

This paper describes the curriculum and design decision making behind the production of a new Study Guide and Workbook for internal and external students enrolled in Education 350 at Curtin University of Technology. Education 350 is a basic curriculum development unit studied by students enrolled in the TAFE and vocational teacher education programme. The new Study Guide was to be a model of the sort of curriculum development that students at this level are required to produce for assessment, and needed to exemplify the curriculum concepts and principles contained in the unit. The paper describes the important issues behind the needs assessment, curriculum development, instructional design and technological decisions which helped to shape the new package. It also looks briefly at the importance of case studies in curriculum development and course evaluation.

STUDENT PERCEPTIONS OF THE TRANSITION FROM YEAR 10 TO YEAR 11

Tim McDONALD

Edith Cowan University

The transition from Year 10 to Year 11 has largely been ignored by researchers. Previous research has predominantly focussed on the Primary to Secondary transition process. The existing problem of lower school to upper school transition has been compounded by the increased importance of upper school and the rising retention rates.

This study investigates student perceptions of the transition from Year 10 to Year 11. It explores student concerns encountered in the transition and the differences they perceive between Year 10 and Year 11 after having entered Year 11. A case study approach, incorporating both qualitative and quantitative data gathering techniques, is used to collect data from the student perspectives on the issues involved in the transition from Year 10 to Year 11.

SYNTACTIC AWARENESS AND READING ACHIEVEMENT

Marlon MILTON

Edith Cowan University

This presentation reports longitudinal research on the relationship between syntactic awareness and reading achievement. The two studies to be discussed were follow-up studies to an earlier training study in which syntactic awareness was trained in Year 1 children.

In the first follow-up study, which was undertaken at the end of Year 1, it was found that there was a core of poor readers in each experimental group. These poor readers had failed to achieve success in reading despite controls for background, behavioural problems, sensory deficits and verbal intelligence. By the end of Year 1, they were already six months behind the other children on three measures of reading ability. Examination of initial scores on several tests undertaken at the commencement of Year 1, indicated that the poor readers scored significantly lower than other children on a range of language measures, including syntactic awareness.

The second follow-up study was completed when the students were in their fourth year of school. Findings indicated that the majority of poor readers identified in Year 1 were still poor readers in Year 4. Further, syntactic awareness measured at the beginning of Year 1 predicted reading ability in Year 4.

COMPETITIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS: CRUCIAL ELEMENTS AFFECTING SELF-EFFICACY AND ACHIEVEMENT

Beverley MORIARTY

University of Western Australia

Recent research which examined self-efficacy as a mediating variable between the learning environment and achievement has provided evidence that students' self-efficacy levels and behaviour standards decline under competition. Seven Year 5 classes (N=179 students) participated in a 1 0-week study in which it was found that the severity of the problems associated with competition appear to be moderated by the particular definition of competition which is employed, the length of time that students work competitively, type of task and prior levels of self-efficacy and on-task behaviour. The negative effects of competition may also be reversed by changing to co-operation.

PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS OF EARLY LITERACY

Mary ROHL

Edith Cowan University

This paper describes part of a 2-year longitudinal study of 76 initially prereading children, which examined the relationship between phonological awareness (the knowledge that words consist of sounds), verbal working memory and the development of reading and spelling. Phonological awareness was measured by tests of rhyme and alliteration, phonemic segmentation and phoneme deletion. Tests of verbal working memory were devised and administered. Scatterplots, which were generated, showed a non-linear threshold effect for phonological awareness and reading and spelling, which suggests that phonological awareness is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for learning to read. Results of hierarchical multiple regression analyses, in which age and vocabulary were controlled, showed that whereas prereading awareness of individual phonemes failed to predict later reading and spelling, prereading awareness of rhyme and alliteration made a significant contribution to reading and spelling in Grades 1 and 2. Further, awareness of individual phonemes measured in Grade 1 strongly predicted reading and spelling in Grade 2. For the most part, these relationships remained significant when the effects of verbal working memory were controlled. Phonological awareness can thus be seen as an important factor in early literacy. Some implications of these findings are discussed in relation to reading theory and educational practice.

IS INFERENCE-MAKING TAUGHT TO SEVEN-YEAR-OLD CHILDREN THROUGH READING INSTRUCTION?

Ruth SMITH

Murdoch University

The discussion will be on the research design for a PhD investigating how 5-8 year old children are taught to use particular discourses for inference-making. A major component is an empirical study comparing two groups of 7-year-old children. One group will be taught to make particular kinds of inferences for at least one term. The other group, having their usual instruction, will be used as a control. The analysis will be informed by social semiotic theory. It is expected to contribute to that field as well as to the field of reading comprehension.

ROLE ANALYSIS

Diane SPINA

University of Western Australia

Although researchers continue to differ as to definitions for roles, assumptions about roles, and explanations for role phenomena, there has been an extensive use of role theory by researchers in the fields of education, sociology, psychology and anthropology. While it has a long tradition of use, role theory has been used less by sociologists during the past decade. The recent changes in the Ministries and the industrial area toward defining the duties of teachers has led to a resurgence of interest in role theory.

Role theory provided a basis for an analysis of "what teachers don, and so gleaned some useful and interesting perspectives about a section of Western Australian teachers and their principals. How this was applied and the influences/moderators on such a strategy are investigated in this session. It invites discussion, comment and perhaps argument as to the components and means of investigating a teacher's role.

PEER ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT ASSIGNMENTS

Murray SWAIN, Janet WILLIAMS and John GODFREY

Edith Cowan University

This study examined how closely lecturers' marks for an assignment matched the marks of fourth-year university students who marked the same assignments of their peers. The reactions of students to peer marking were also sought. The students were preservice and inservice teachers who marked in teams and submitted a group average mark for each of three or four assignments randomly allocated as batches. A total of 46 assignments were marked.

The null hypothesis was that there is no significant difference between the mean-marks awarded by student teams marking class-peer assignments anonymously and the marks awarded to the same assignments by class lecturers. Research questions also examined how valid and reliable student assessments would be and whether there were benefits to students in assessing peer assignments.

Results from a correlated samples t-test showed no significant difference between student and lecturer means, and distributions and variances of marks from all lecturers and all student teams were almost identical. Closer inspection indicated that the differences between student and lecturer marks ranged from a median of zero (20% of papers) to at least four marks out of 20, positively and negatively. Just over a quarter of papers (26.09%) showed a difference of three marks or more between lecturer and students. The discrepancies, it is suggested, are too large. The exercise was enlightening and informative for students, and in some cases, threatening.

A COMPARISON OF SKILLED AND UNSKILLED MENTAL CALCULATORS

Paul SWAN

Edith Cowan University

The purpose of this study was to investigate the various strategies used by Year 7 students when carrying out division computations mentally. A comparison was made between the strategies used by high and low performing mental calculators.

A number of high and low performing mental calculators were chosen as a result of their performances on 12 interview items. Both groups of students were given a set of division problems to complete mentally. After solving each problem the students were asked on a one-to-one basis to reflect on the strategy or method they used to solve the question. The interviews were audio-taped, transcribed and coded. Nonverbal behaviour was recorded on a separate sheet during the interview.

The data were analysed to determine what differences exist between high performing and low performing mental calculators in relation to the strategies or methods they use to solve division computations mentally. The diversity and range of strategies used by each group were compared. Commonly used strategies were noted together with those which hinder the mental solution of problems.

AN INTERPRETIVE EXAMINATION OF SECONDARY TEACHERS' USE OF ANALOGIES

Rodney THIELE

Curtin University of Technology

International interest in the use of analogies in education has been centred around three aspects of analogy, those of instructional design characteristics; advantages and constraints of analogy and the misconceptions that may arise as a result of their use or misuse; and their utility as a problem-solving or testing device. However, despite almost a decade of research that has been generated from this interest in analogies in science education, there have been few studies that have actually investigated or described how teachers and students use analogies in the natural environment of the classroom, and how effective those naturally set analogies were in providing alternative explanations to students.

This paper reports on an interpretive examination of four teachers' use of analogies to teach science. It describes why and how the teachers chose to use the analogies, how the characteristics of the analogies employed varied from teacher to teacher and from the textbook sources available, and it presents evidence of the planning and/or spontaneity of the teachers' analogy use.

Following discussion concerning the above issue, implications for teaching and further research are described.

THE COMPUTER AS A WRITING ENVIRONMENT

Betty WALSH

Murdoch University

In today's society more and more emphasis is being placed on writing at the keyboard of a computer. The end product of this writing could be a written paper or electronic mail. Where are people obtaining the skills to enable them to write at a computer terminal? Word processing skills alone do not mean that a person can compose within the computer environment.

Teachers need to recognise that the computer is a writing environment and that certain techniques are needed to work within that environment. A recent survey of primary schools in Western Australia indicated that students were not being instructed in the skills necessary for successful composing at the computer keyboard.

In secondary schools, word processing skills and written communication skills are taught but not together; students do not seem to make the connection between the two skills so that they have strategies for writing in the computer environment. As a result, they are not able to meet the expectations which educators place on them.

THE MARRIAGE GAME: TAKE YOUR PARTNERS AND LEARN AS YOU GO?

Elizabeth TUETTEMANN

University of Western Australia

Most people go into a long-term relationship such as marriage with the expectation that this will be a lasting, fulfilling and harmonious relationship. Sadly, the statistics on marriage breakdown testify to a very different outcome in more than one-third of cases. People give many reasons for the collapse of their marriage (and these frequently include dissonance in beliefs, attitudes and values), but almost universally the final unravelling of the relationship is accompanied by communication breakdown. The couple is no longer "speaking the same language". All too frequently, they never did, but they discovered this lack of congruence well into the marriage; they had not considered that the 'meanings' they were each attaching to their verbal and nonverbal communications were often wide of the mark. A case of not so much "learning as you go" but discovering too late that some of the prerequisites to a happy union were either missing of mismatched.

To carry the analogy a little further, when people embark on the marriage journey, they both bring with them their own 'personal baggage'. Of course, this includes their demographic characteristics such as age, education, occupation, ethnic background and so on, but (and probably more importantly) it includes personality characteristics, attitudes, expectations and family background. Then, once embarked on the journey, the couple is inevitably overtaken by life events such as job changes, pregnancy, illnesses, death in the family, moving house - some of which will strengthen the bonding, others will put stress on the marriage. When this happens, the couple (sometimes for the first time) takes stock of their joint resources - the baggage they brought with them - and frequently discovers some dissonance. At this stage, some seek help in solving conflict situations. Depending on the extent to which the relationship has deteriorated, this attempt to prevent marriage breakdown may be unsuccessful.

Is there a better way of preparing partners for the journey? Does it lie in a pre-journey checking out of the baggage - something like a pre-marital assessment? Or is this too soon? Or too late? Should the preparation start much sooner? Are we starting too late to educate our young people for satisfying adult relationships?

HIERARCHICAL LINEAR MODELLING: A WORKSHOP FOR THE USE OF HLM

Deidra J YOUNG

Curtin University of Technology

Traditional educational research often makes the assumption that students are independent of one another, even though they may attend the same school or have the same teacher. Researchers have included school characteristics at the student level of analysis, or aggregated student level variables to the school level. By not accounting for the differences between schools, as well as within schools, the standard error may provide misleading tests of significance. This neglect by most statistical analysts of the hierarchical nature of students clustered within schools has led to erroneous and dubious conclusions.

Fortunately, there is available a computer software package which accounts for both school and student levels of analysis: HLM. This workshop will provide some hands-on experience for those people who would like to know more about Hierarchical Linear Modelling and how this methodology can be applied to educational research.


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