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[ Contents Vol 9, 1993 ] [ QJER Home ]

1993 Annual Research Forum

Queensland Institute for Educational Research

Presentation Abstracts

Title:An evaluation of an audio-graphic device for the teaching of degree level visual arts at a distance
Researcher:Nita Lester
Institution:University of Southern Queensland

A six-week course in 'coiling' (a topic taught to full-time students at USQ) was designed by the textile lecturer for presentation via the Optel Telewriter. Two groups of ten volunteers from two different Queensland centres participated. All were eligible to enrol in the full-time course, however, due to family, work and distance restraints, they were unable.

This presentation illustrates their achievements, their attitudes to a course of visual arts at a distance, and the advantages and disadvantages of the audiographic device in the transmission of visual arts material.

Title:Investigation of the types and levels of functional literacy skills used in clerical workplace settings
Researcher:Lidia Stojkovic
Institution:Department of Education

While there has been some research conducted in the area of functional literacy in relation to young adults, and more specifically, in terms of clerical workers, these studies have tended to report the perspective of employers. There appears to be little research conducted from the employee's perspective. This study explores the types and levels of functional literacy utilised in clerical workplace settings by correlating data provided by clerical staff with the observations of the investigator. Functional literacy is defined within the project to incorporate the ability to apply literacy skills, through written and oral modes; thinking processes; and strategies; to a variety of contexts and for a range of purposes, in order to enable the individual to participate effectively in society and to achieve his or her potential as a worker and learner. It is intended that the results of this study be used to inform programs of instruction which train students for the workplace thereby ensuring that such programs become more relevant and effective.

The theoretical framework for the study is based on theories of cognition, literacy and discourse as well as socialisation, as related to the dichotomy between the culture of work and the culture of school. This framework was applied to a naturalistic investigation of four case studies in workplace settings. The sites included clerical workers in the private and public sectors in both large and small businesses. The tentative hypothesis that clerical workers require a variety of functional literacy skills, and that a certain number of these skills is common to all clerical workers, underpinned the study. Data collected included observations of clerical workers, a questionnaire completed by the subjects, and artefacts. From these data, the types and levels of functional literacy skills utilised by clerical workers were identified.

The data were analysed to identify skills common to worksites, those specific to some worksites, and the generic skills needed. Synthesis of these led to the identification of three main dimensions of work performance related to functional literacy: skills and knowledge, management of self and others, and thinking skills (metacognition). A model depicting the relationship between these dimensions in the performance of clerical tasks was developed. The model challenges educators to reflect on their practice by proposing change of educational emphasis in vocational education and training. It is proposed that such training will enhance student learning and ease the transition from school to work. To effect change, in terms of instructional practice, modifications to classroom pedagogy are essential.

The study recommends a number of possible classroom strategies as a means of enhancing functional literacy skills, including the related development of metacognitive skills and strategies, to assist the transition from school to work and ensure successful performance in the workplace. It also identifies the knowledge base of specific and generic skills related to clerical work which should form the basis for such instructional programs.

Title:Colonialism, race and religion in the classroom: Aspects of the London Missionary Society's educational activities on Darnley Island in the Torres Strait, 1871-1914
Researcher:Patrick Danaher
Institution:University of Central Queensland

Between 1871 and 1914, the London Missionary Society (LMS) tried to civilise and christianise the island communities of the Torres Strait. To that end, they settled on many islands several south sea islander 'teachers'. These 'teachers' contributed to a range of radical changes to traditional life in the Strait, many of them not anticipated by the LMS.

Using Darnley Island in the Eastern Strait as a case study of wider changes, this paper presents aspects of colonial education in the Torres Strait in the context of a confluence of other forces, specifically colonialism, race and religion.

Title:Following the show: Issues relating to the education of the children of the Showmen's Guild of Australia
Researcher:Robert Thompson
Institution:University of Central Queensland

The national Schooling in Rural Australia report (Commonwealth Schools Commission, 1988) classified itinerant students as a group with special educational needs. This paper reports ongoing research into issues relating to the education of a clearly defined group of itinerant students - children following the show circuit - by investigating the appropriateness of the educational provision experienced by them. The research, currently in its second phase, is being undertaken in conjunction with teachers from the School of Distance Education, Brisbane, and members of the Showmen's Guild of Australia. The purpose of the research is to develop an understanding of issues in the provision of education to this group with a long-term aim of considering the applicability of the Showmen's Guild program to other groups of itinerant students.

This p resentation reports on one element of the current research - the importance of special forms of triadic relationships, involving parents, teachers and students, which underpin the strengths of the program. Issues relating to this aspect of the students' education are explored with implications being drawn for the education of other itinerant groups.

Title:Discourses at variance and the roles teacher-trainees play
Researcher:Tony Erben
Institution:University of Central Queensland

This paper outlines results from an investigation into the effects of tailored practica on teacher development within a pre-service primary LOTE teacher education program which is operated through partial-immersion in the Faculty of Education at the University of Central Queensland, Rockhampton (UCQ).

The concept of second language as well as content-based learning through immersion teaching as a model for preschool, primary and secondary education is not new in Australia or overseas. The Canadian experience in L2 immersion education has been expanding since 1965, it is well documented and is credited with having provided a unique contribution to second language pedagogy (Cummins 1980; Krashen 1984; Genesse et al 1985). Even in Australia, experiments in bilingual education can be traced back to the German Lutheran schools of the mid-1800s in South Australia (Harmstorf & Cigler 1985).

Accompanying the growing acceptance of immersion schooling in Australia is the refocusing by governments on the importance of Australia's 'language-wealth' and the reprioritising of LOTE within school curricula (Queensland: LOTE Initiative 1991; New South Wales: Excellence and Equity 1989, LOTE SPCD 1992; South Australia: LOTEMAPP 1992, Victoria: Languages Action Plan 1989). At the federal and state levels, issues of efficiency in our modes of teacher training have ranked high in recent reports into LOTE education and LOTE teacher training (Leal 1991, Finn 1991, Mayer 1992, Nicholas 1993). Other, no less significant, issues being currently highlighted include proficiency standard requirements, means of delivery and access to LOTE education to name a few.

However, the practice of an immersion tertiary education for pre-service primary LOTE teacher-trainees of Japanese is unique in Australia.

The question then is, how does one create a LOTE teacher training program to be suitably streamlined and customed tailored in order to graduate flexible, multiskilled LOTE teachers? Or how does one train immersion teachers and solve what Berthold (1991) describes as the 'catch 22'?

Designing an immersion teacher-training course which matches and keeps the interest of all students, fosters their overall growth and development, and provides ample opportunities for meaningful input and output, are necessary ingredients for success. The series of practica built into the UCQ partial-immersion program hopes to facilitate the students' interactions in the L2 and offer each student a wide array of practice teaching environments.

Recent studies into the practicum component of pre-service immersion teacher training indicate that it is preferable for teacher trainees to try immersion teaching after having experienced success in regular monolingual and foreign language classes (Majhanovich & Grey 1992). The UCQ partial-immersion program has just such sequenced built-in practicums. These offer students ample opportunity for observation and time to build up confidence in mainstream monolingual and foreign language teaching, before having to deal with actual immersion teaching themselves. By having such a variety of experiences and methods made available to them, future teachers can adopt the one that most suits the circumstances and best caters to the individual needs of the primary school language learner.

Title:Effective teaching through observation of exemplary processes
Researchers:Ian Kindt, Pat Moran
Institution:University of Central Queensland

One purpose of supervision is to promote students' critical awareness of professional classroom practice. For first-year students particularly, 'good' practice can be 'lost' in the complexities of classroom activity and supervision demands.

To allow students to focus more clearly, specifically and autonomously on teaching in a way that complements school visits, Ian Kindt and Pat Moran at UCQ have developed a set of four videotapes, with brief accompanying notes, to initiate discussion and sharing of ideas about teaching practice. The package Effective Teaching Through Observation of Exemplary Practice, shows different aspects of exemplary practice in four primary school classrooms, with the notes inviting students to respond as critically reflective observers. The expectation is that insights about teaching, gained through close observation of 'good' practice and through subsequent group discussion, will help students to consider their own practice, and teaching in a more general sense, from a critical perspective.

Title:UCQ - DPI - LCD
Researchers:Pat Moran, Bobby Harreveld
Institution:University of Central Queensland

The experiences of Pat Moran and Bobby Harreveld from the University of Central Queensland as we 'teach others to teach others'.

As tertiary educators, we've experienced the joys and frustrations of working with people from 'different worlds'. The world of the Department of Primary Industries is different indeed - where else would one have regular discussions with people known as 'animals, soils, water and grasses'?

This autobiographical account documents our experiences over the last twelve months as consultants to the Sustainable Beef Production Project undertaken by the Department of Primary Industries in the Central Queensland area and funded by the Meat Research Corporation. The project involved the DPI using the Local Consensus Data technique to discover the needs using the principles of action learning.

Our experiences included not only working through challenges in the instructional/presentation skills area, but also the editing of producer generated reports, facilitation of small groups during producer workshops, educational mentoring and collation of evaluation feedback. Thus we 'lived' the action learning/research cycles as we planned, acted, checked, planned, revised, acted and so on with our colleagues from the DPI.

What did we learn? We learnt the 'old' lesson, that the transfer of learning and changing practices does not occur readily. The DPI officers were trying to challenge the beef production methods of the producers. When working with these DPI extension officers, we were challenging their present knowledge, skills and attitudes, as well as modelling future practices as their jobs are redefined within the context of organisational change.

Title:Quality initiatives for teaching and learning development in higher education
Researcher:Jill Borthwick
Institution:Queensland University of Technology

The recent award to QUT by the Good Universities Guide 1994 of the title Best University of the Year has prompted the question: what's going on in teaching and learning at the University to warrant such an award? QUT ha s adopted an institutional wide strategic planning model for teaching and learning, one that is designed to support, enhance, and reward teaching. The first year of the planning/implementation cycle has been completed and outcomes evaluated. This presentation reports on the key documents concerned with quality in teaching and learning development and some of the strategies designed to achieve such quality. In addition, outcomes of the evaluation of the initial planning/implementation cycle are recounted.

Title:Parents and Literacy (PAL)
Researcher:Julie Spreadbury
Institution:Queensland University of Technology

Parents and Literacy (PAL) is a project involving parents from low SES areas of Brisbane. It aims at investigating family literacy practices in low SES homes then providing a parent program that supports parents in their important role as the child's first teacher and informs them of changes in literacy pedagogy. In this way PAL hopes to strengthen the collaboration between home and school, parents and teachers.

Title:Exploration into post-graduate supervision: A teaching reflection and collaboration project (TRAC)
Researcher:Susan Danby
Institution:Queensland University of Technology

The presentation highlights the research on post-graduate supervision currently being undertaken by individuals working collaboratively within a teaching reflection and collaboration project at QUT. While individual research projects explore different aspects (e.g. supervisory styles, culturally responsive supervision) the overriding focus has been on using the reflective process for both students and supervisors.

Title:Cara David and the 'truths' of her 'unscientific' travellers' tales in Australia and the South Pacific
Researcher:Professor Noeline Kyle
Institution:Queensland University of Technology

Nineteenth century middle-class female travellers and adventurers are usually presented as amazingly different from their stay-at-home peers or are ignored altogether. This article takes the view that for a realistic portrait of women as independent travellers to be painted, the concepts of travel and adventure need to be re-conceptualised relative to the traditional domestic role of Victorian middle class that women invariably had to occupy. Through the life of an Australian woman, Cara David, the complexity of both the travelling and how that 'travellers' tale' might be told is explored. The study concludes that there is a rich field of inquiry for feminist researchers in the lives of so-called 'ordinary' women who do not readily fit the stereotype of the great, the extraordinary, the victimised or the strikingly politically active in some of the yet untold stories about women, travel, adventure, domesticity and the travellers'tales they told.

Title:Language and literacy: Past, present and proposed research from a multi-disciplinary base
Researchers:Colin Lankshear, Michele Knobel, Linda Gerut
Institution:Queensland University of Technology

This presentation offers a precis of the research interests and products of Linda Gerut, Michele Knobel and Colin Lankshear. We table some of our research publications (books, reports, articles, etc.) and display overviews of past, present and proposed research projects. Our disciplinary and methodological bases span systemic functional linguistics, philosophy, and qualitative and quantitative empirical approaches to research in classrooms, communities and workplaces. Current projects include investigating Year 6 students' own perceptions and understandings of their language acquisition and practices in and out of school; the linguistic construction of classroom reading and classroom mathematics; working with teacher researchers on aspects of education in disadvantaged schools; and a study of maternal literacy and child health in Nicaragua.

Title:Research into the comparability of tertiary entrance schedules
Researcher:Julie Straughair
Institution:c/- Office of Higher Education / TEPA

More than half of the aspirants for tertiary entry in Queensland (and Australia-wide) apply on the basis of qualifications other than the current-year Queensland Senior Certificate and Tertiary Entrance Statement.

Universities and TAFETEQ, working with QTAC, have over the years devised assessment tools, loosely termed 'schedules', to assist in the consideration of commonly encountered qualifications presented by applicants. Their use has aimed to make selection amongst similarly qualified applicants consistent and accountable and to ensure that the relative standing between differently qualified applicants is fair. The relativity of groups on the various tertiary entry pathways has been the subject of debate by stakeholders.

This presentation concerns recent research commissioned by the Tertiary Entrance Procedures Authority to investigate the comparability of tertiary entry schedules in recent years.

Title:Media, policy and education
Researcher:Sue Thomas
Institution:Griffith University

The presentation outlines the rationale and research design for a current research project which is studying the ideological dimension of educational policy making. Of special concern is the public representation of educational debate in the print media. The display illustrates work in progress and aims to generate discussion and critical comments from colleagues.

Title:A collaborative action research model for school review
Researchers:Neil Cranston, Christina Grieve
Institution:Department of Education

Collaborative School Reviews (CSRs) have been in operation in Queensland state schools for a number of years. They represent the 'formal' review phase of the planning and review cycle undertaken by all schools. The review process usually occurs at the end of a three-year implementation period of the school's School Development Plan (SDP). Ongoing internal reviews and annual operational planning are other elements of the cycle.

The CSR serves the dual related purposes of improvement and accountability at the school and system levels. Significantly, the school is seen as the prime site for the review, i.e. decisions regarding the foci for review, methodology employed and determination of recommendations are taken at the school level. Ownership at the school level of the review process, its recommendations and subsequent actions is a key element of the process. The review process is built upon a model of 'public' accountabi lity through openness of the process involving strong community involvement.

The school's SDP determines, in large part, the issues for the CSR. The review is conducted under the broad guidance of a member of the Regional Review and Evaluation Team. External participation of those with expertise and skills is encouraged with most CSRs involving teachers, parents, students, and outside 'experts' in a range of ways. The use of a variety of information collection techniques is encouraged. Schools are encouraged to use those best suited to the issues under review which take account of the particular characteristics of the school community. Interpretation of review information and subsequent development of recommendations by the reviewers at the school level are key elements of the process. Skill development of participants in review strategies, consultation and group decision-making capacities are important by-products of the process.

Title:Not now, maybe later. Rejecting Queensland tertiary course offers
Researchers:Barry Cameron, Majbritt Reugebrink
Institution:Tertiary Entrance Procedures Authority

Rejected offers of enrolment in tertiary education are not a new phenomenon and for more than a decade have, in part, caused offers of enrolment in Queensland university courses to exceed the quota of places for those courses by up to 40 per cent.

This presentation displays the findings of research undertaken by the Tertiary Entrance Procedures Authority (TEPA) into factors related to the rejection of offers of enrolment in Queensland higher education courses and illustrates patterns of rejection by institution, field of study, and level of entry qualification for the 1991-92 and 1992-93 tertiary admissions periods.

Title:Within-group variation in two cohorts of children with Down's syndrome
Researchers:Pat Gunn, Alan Hayes, Mary Crombie
Institution:University of Queensland

This paper reports analyses of data for two cohorts of home reared children with Down's syndrome differing widely in the extent of their experience of early intervention. Analyses of the child developmental data indicate no significant differences between the cohorts at age eleven years, despite participation in early intervention by the younger cohort. The discussion highlights the importance of balancing investigation of syndrome-specific characteristics and within syndrome heterogeneity, and explores some of the implications for educational policy and practice.

Title:The primary school planning project
Researchers:Neil Dempster, Judyth Sachs, Grace Distant, Lloyd Logan
Institution:Griffith University/ University of Queensland

This national study consists of a survey of primary school practices in respect to development planning and 12 case studies documenting the activities and influences on school-wide planning." The initial study ascertained the duration content of development plans and the forums for their approval. The second survey sought information on the meaning of planning, the process of school wide planning in schools and the validity of claimed benefits of development planning derived from the literature and official documents. A third survey will collect data on regional perspectives on school planning.

Title:Trial by profile: Report on the trialling and validation of the National Arts Profiles (draft) - An independent research study conducted in conjunction with Queensland Schools
Researcher:Jan Boyd
Institution:Griffith University (Mt Gravatt Campus)

This research project focused upon the implementation of the Draft profiles of the National Arts Curriculum in clever schools.

The two major purposes of the study were to:

In this study, the strand investigated was Visual Arts and Design inclusive of its four components.

Title:The effects of attributional re-training on the self-perception and career aspiration of gifted Year 9 girls who are underachieving
Researcher:Elizabeth Mason
Institution:Griffith University

This display reports on the initial findings of a pilot intervention project that is investigating if attributional retraining using cognitive problem solving and assertiveness will have positive effects on the self-perception and career aspiration of grade 9 gifted and talented girls who are underachieving. 42 underachieving gifted girls were selected from 3 secondary schools using multidimensional criteria (Renzulli & Reis, 1987; Clark, 1992). The self-perception instruments used are the Self-Description Questionnaire (Maish, 1990) and the Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents (Harter, 1988). Career aspiration was collected by a questionnaire designed by the researcher using the Daniel's (1983) Prestige Scale.

This study also examines similar effects of the intervention on other Year 9 girls exposed to the program.

This study is planned to be completed by the end of 1993.

Title:Variety in Teaching and Learning (VITAL)
Researcher:Patricia Weeks
Institution:Queensland University of Technology

VITAL is one of the Academic Staff Development Unit's TRAC groups. Members from nine different schools across the Queensland University of Technology campuses meet on a monthly basis to discuss VITAL strategies and techniques. We share successful teaching/learning strategies and techniques which have worked for members of the group and explore additional techniques which could be applied to our diverse classes. Eventually we plan to put together a book of successful strategies and techniques which other lecturers may wish to apply to their teaching environments.

Teachers or lecturers design strategies which encompass the overall plans for learning to ensure students achieve the objectives of a specific unit or piece of work. Techniques are specific processes which teachers may design for or with students so learning will be likely to occur. The teachers sets learning environments where s/he may be a facilitator or mentor.

Some specific techniques which we are currently exploring are: computer-based education; contract learning; journal and diary writing; synectic reciprocal teaching; and home and expert groups.

Title:The research program for TEPA
Researcher:Bruce McBryde
Institution:Tertiary Entrance Procedures Authority

The project will focus on two major current resear ch projects, the ACER/TEPA joint study of comparability of Year 12 assessment and the USQ/TEPA joint study of the perception by stakeholder groups of the first implementation of the Student Education Profile. Completed projects and future priorities will also be displayed.

Title:More quality, less pedagogy: Understanding, knowledge and problem-based learning
Researcher:Don Margetson
Institution:Griffith University

Does the requirement to 'do more with less' rule out problem-based learning (PBL) because this form of learning seems to depend on resource-expensive small-group teaching? If it does, this would be unfortunate in regard to quality, since problem-based learning appears to facilitate the achievement of excellence in qualities generally considered to be highly desirable, such as a deep approach to learning, depth of learning, initiative, critical reflectiveness, independence, and cooperativeness. Is PBL, then, just a nice idea from the profligate '70s which is impracticable in current hard times? Answers to these questions may depend, in part, on the conception of understanding and knowledge in terms of which they are considered. Does a 'traditional' subject-based conception, for example, tend to close the mind to the rich potential of a more humane education? In approaching such issues, the presentation points to questions such as whether problem-based learning is just another passing educational fad; whether it is suitable only for vocational or professional courses of study or whether it is pertinent to education generally, and whether it is an educational practice reflecting a more coherent and realistic conception of human knowledge and understanding.

Title:Policy and Research Branch, Research and Development Division, Office of VETEC
Researchers:John Dungan, Denis Reghenzani
Institution:Office of VETEC

The Queensland Vocational Education, Training and Employment Commission (VETEC) advises the Minister for Employment, Training and industrial Relations on a range of issues relating to the vocational education, training and employment (VETE) system. The Policy and Research Branch within the Office of VETEC engages in a range of policy analysis and development, research, review and evaluation activities. Current areas of activity include the development of a social justice policy for the VETE system, reviewing the delivery of adult and community education, various policy development activities regarding the Mayer employment-related key competencies and exploring the distinctive nature of vocational education and training.

Title:Review of the delivery of adult and community education in Queensland
Researchers:John Dungan, Denis Reghenzani
Institution:Office of VETEC

On 17 March 1993 the Honourable Matt Foley, Minister for Employment, Training and Industrial Relations authorised a review of the delivery of adult and community education in Queensland be undertaken by the Vocational Education, Training and Employment Commission.

Ninety-eight submissions were received from the public, providers, industry and other government departments which affirmed support for adult and community education programs. There is a paucity of research substantiating the outcomes from participation in such programs, but the literature search and anecdotal evidence from consultations indicated a strong vocational motive in electing to participate in adult and community education courses.

The recommendations from the review are intended to maintain and strengthen the general adult education programs (Stream 1000) offered by TAFE-TEQ through the following major reforms:

Title:Beginning teachers' conceptions of teaching: An ethnographic study spanning the first three years of professional work
Researcher:Kathryn Kelly
Institution:Griffith University

The study is concerned with the way in which beginning teachers come to understand the nature of their professional work. It seeks to discover the concepts that beginning teachers use to make sense of their experiences as well as how they explain these concepts. For some people their conceptions of teaching undergo significant changes during the time between being a student teacher and being a practising teacher. The study describes how the nature of teachers' knowledge about teaching is developed through their personal practical knowledge as well as through professional socialisation.

Title:The utilisation of repertory grid analysis in understanding how beginning teachers construe teaching and learning
Researcher:Ruth Kane
Institution:Griffith University

Beginning teachers continue to face the apparent dilemma of effectively utilising the propositional knowledge (gained from theoretically based pre-service training) in their classroom practice. This study seeks to make explicit the developing knowledge of two beginning teachers through the use of repertory grid (Kelly 1955) analysis.

The repertory grids, compiled at three instances during the participants' first year of teaching, trace the ways in which the beginning teachers construe effective teachers and teaching. Repertory grids prove a useful method for elucidating the otherwise tacit knowledge and views of the neophyte teacher.

Title:Students researching students: A research methodology and an equity project
Researcher:Bill Atweh
Institution:Queensland University of Technology

An equity project with the Faculty of Education at QUT has been in progress for two years. Years 11 and 12 students have been employed as Research Assistants, given a certain amount of training in research and some information about university structure and courses. Students then plan a study on why certain type of young people from poor backgrounds do not aspire or get to university. The evidence of success of such a project is in:

Title:Family relationships of children with disabilities: Beyond monolithic models
Researchers:Alan Hayes, Monica Cuskelly, Roshni Senapati
Institution:Queensland University of Technology

This paper explores two issues. The first concerns the influence of family configuration on the play interactions of young children with Down's syndrome and their siblings, and found significantly more cooperative play occurred in dyads where the older child has Down's syndrome while significantly more solitary play was observed in families where the younger child has the syndrome. The second issue concerns the relative incidence of adjustment problems in the siblings of children with Down's syndrome, and reports two studies. One study showed a significantly higher level of problem behaviour in the sisters of children with Down's syndrome while the other found no significant increase in incidence either for brothers or sisters. The studies highlight the need for finer examination of the sources of between- and within-family variation and variability, and to move away from 'monolithic' models of family life (Dunn & Plomin, 1990).

Title:Young children's interpretation of pictures
Researcher:Beverley Broughton
Institution:Queensland University of Technology

This study documents the parental strategies employed by mothers of young children in discussing two types of pictures with them. The pictures were: (i) photographs of parent and child involved in a playgroup activity; and (ii) pictures of everyday events in picture book.

Results revealed the active manner in which parents teach children about interpreting the meaning of pictures.

Title:International School Effectiveness Research Project (ISERP)
Researchers:Barry Green, Barbara Dundas, John Clarke, Roger Slee
Institution:Wellington Point State High School; Department of Education; Queensland University of Technology

ISERP is an attempt to study the range of variables - and the interaction between those variables which directly and indirectly influence school and classroom effectiveness. The project is essentially designed to identify effective classroom and school methodologies and practices within each participating country, as well as across countries.

ISERP is currently in the Pilot Study stage which involves data collection across a two year period. The main aim of this stage of the project is to attempt, through the study of schools in different national and cultural contexts, to both develop and test hypotheses concerning the multi-level variables (student classroom, school, systemic, societal and national) which impact upon student learning.

Australian data collection is currently being undertaken in twelve schools in Metropolitan Brisbane. This provides a sample of 750 students, in 31 Year 3 classrooms.

Title:Sole parents as adult learners in a TAFE community college - Their perspective of social support
Researcher:Eric Williams
Institution:Griffith University (Mt Gravatt Campus)

My basic research question is how do women, as sole parents, experience the social support they receive when they become adult learners in a community college?

The notion of social support is interpreted from a number of perspectives:

This is a qualitative research project using interpretive interactions as its methodology.

Title:From the Centre: Perceptions of an emerging culture
Researcher:Ken Jarman
Institution:Department of Education

The prime purpose of the study was to gather the perceptions of all of the Central Office executive of the Queensland Department of Education. This group provided significant insights into the strategies and difficulties of reconstituting the culture of an organisation. They also elaborated their roles, as the most senior executives, in implementing these changes.

Among the principal findings were:

Please cite as: QIER (1993). 1993 Annual Research Forum: Abstracts. Queensland Researcher, 9(2), 13-30. http://education.curtin.edu.au/iier/qjer/qr9/forum-abs.html

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URL: http://education.curtin.edu.au/iier/qjer/qr9/forum-abs.html