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Thesis abstracts

This section publishes abstracts from theses in education from Australian tertiary institutions. Abstract information for future editions is welcome. Contributors should forward a copy of their abstract, together with relevant biographic and institutional information, to: The Editor, 'Queensland Researcher', Research Services Branch, Queensland Department of Education, P.O. Box 33, North Quay Q 4000.

Title:Curriculum Change in Queensland Primary Schools : An Ethnoparadigm Analysis.
Author:Postle, G.
Institution:University of New England
Date:November 1981.


This study was undertaken to examine the consequences of a shift in the pattern of authority and responsibility for curriculum development within the Queensland Department of Education. The purpose of the study was to investigate the consequences of this change. The theoretical framework for the study was derived from a paper by Imershein (1976) which analyses organisational change in terms of Kuhn's theory (1970) of scientific revolutions. This framework was selected because it focuses attention on the notion that knowledge in institutional settings is ordered or coherent (paradigm-like in Kuhn's terms) and it is this order and patterned activity which must be altered if change is to occur. The study was designed to be carried out in three phases. First, a survey was undertaken to discern the presence of anomalous conditions in respect to central authority initiatives concerning curriculum development and school-level activity in this area. Second, an investigation was carried out at the central level in order to determine the elements of the "official" paradigm concerning curriculum development. Finally, a case study approach was used to determine the elements of the school paradigm. It was found that significant differences existed between the official paradigm and the school paradigm concerning curriculum development in Queensland primary schools. These differences were attributed to the omission from the official paradigm of "exemplars" which could provide teachers with the concrete models for both the type of curriculum product expected and the processes to be used to produce them. Two recommendations were made for further research. First, there is a need to ascertain how best to combine product and process elements of curriculum development to provide exemplars which might be used for school-based curriculum development. Second, there is a need to investigate how the curriculum issued by the central authority is mediated from the central level to the school level in order to indicate the type of exemplars needed to provide all members of the organisation with an understanding of the roles and functions of different members involved in different curriculum development activities in different settings.

Title:A Comparison of Abilities of Young Children on Pattern Reproduction Tasks as a function of Modality and Pattern Complexity.
Author:Rohde, A.
Degree:B.A. (Hons)
Institution:University of Queensland
Date:November, 1983


This study explores the abilities of 3, 4 and 5 year old children on tasks involving the reproduction of visual and auditory patterns. Tasks were defined as Level 1 or Level 2 as a function of code length. It has been found that younger children fail to construct visual patterns which are more complex than level 1 because they require two or more operators.

Research on the auditory abilities of children exists in the form of enquiries into the rhythmic abilities of children. Work has mainly centred on investigations into the success or failure of children on such tasks but very little work concerns itself with reasons for such performance.

It is argued in the present study that younger children will succeed on Level 1 visual and auditory tasks but may have difficulty with the more complex Level 2 tasks in both modalities. Thus previous research concerning visual patterns should be generalized to the auditory modality.

Friedman 2 way analyses of variance showed that the two younger age levels found it significantly more difficult to construct Level 2 visual patterns than Level 1 visual patterns. Children in all age groups found Level 2 auditory patterns more difficult than Level 1 auditory patterns.

Significant differences were found between modality at both Levels for 3 year olds, but with 4 and 5 year olds the only significant modality differences were found for Level 2 visual compared with Level 2 auditory (Patterns G and H). This lack of generalization across modalities was explained by considering the methods of stimuli presentation employed. Implications for future research were discussed.

Please cite as: QIER (1986). Thesis abstracts. Queensland Researcher, 2(3), 42-44. http://www.iier.org.au/qjer/qr2/thesis-abs-2-3.html

Contents Vol 2, 1986 ] [ QJER Home ]
Created 17 Mar 2008. Last revision: 23 Mar 2013.
URL: http://www.iier.org.au/qjer/qr2/thesis-abs-2-3.html