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  • About
  • The Global ETD Search service is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations. This service is provided by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
    Our metadata is collected from universities around the world. If you manage a university/consortium/country archive and want to be added, details can be found on the NDLTD website.

A rock or a hard place? : teaching assistants supporting physically disabled pupils in mainstream secondary school physical education : the tensions of professionalising the role

Farr, Jacqueline January 2010 (has links)
As a Physical Education (PE) teacher in both special and mainstream schools over a 15 year period, I witnessed the use of the teaching assistant (or Learning Support Assistant as they were known) for purposes which might be deemed to be related to a medical/welfare/care-giver role. In addition, previous small-scale research into the experiences of secondary-age disabled pupils in mainstream as opposed to special school PE showed that their experiences in an inclusive setting were restricted and that the presence of a TA did little to rectify this situation (Farr, 2005). Recently, the professionalisation of the role of the TA may have created a ‘teacher-in-waiting’ (Neill, 2002) and thus the nature of the TA’s role in PE, and the ability of the specialist teacher to work collaboratively with them is complex. This mixed methods study, inspired by critical ethnography (Thomas, 1993, 2003) incorporated five techniques of enquiry initially based on the work of Giangreco and Broer (2005). In keeping with a constructionist paradigm and integrating what I have termed a distorical theoretical perspective, I counted the interaction between people and the social structure in which they operated as important (Crotty, 1998, Broido, 2002) and drew on dominant participant voices (Lincoln and Guba, 2003). Adopting a theoretical perspective grounded in disability studies, I explored the perceptions of the role of the TA in inclusive PE through qualitative and quantitative data and presented a role definition which combines the humanistic with the instructional (or professional) after Reiter, 2000. I argued whether responsibility for the child’s learning should be devolved through the TA. Do we use the TA to make the teacher’s life easier or to support, collaboratively, the inclusion of the disabled pupil? The impact of this study on professional practice relates to the clarity of role definition for TAs generally and for TAs specifically who work in PE; the collaborative nature (or otherwise) of the TA/teacher relationship and the implications of these findings for the future training and deployment of teaching assistants in PE with a physically disabled pupil in a mainstream secondary school. This study found that TAs in PE share many traits or characteristics with those TAs working in other subject disciplines, or across subjects. However, in PE they were inclined to rate a willingness and ability to ‘join in’ and participate in practical activities alongside pupils above pedagogical knowledge. Training either reinforces an instructional or coaching role, or it focuses on the caring or medical aspects. The reality for the TA in this study however, is that they neither define themselves as one or the other but see themselves as drawing on their own skills, empathy and initiative to facilitate a positive, inclusive environment, with or without the input of the PE teacher. They deem themselves to be both care-givers where appropriate as well as supporters of autonomous participation (as opposed to learning). That the professionalization of their role moves them towards the pedagogical places the TA between a rock and a hard place.

Constructing concepts of learner autonomy in language education in the Chinese context : a narrative-based inquiry into university students' conceptions of successful English language learning

Jiang, Xiaoli January 2008 (has links)
The present study aims to explore Chinese learners' conceptions of learner autonomy from learners' perspective since researchers in language education argue that concepts of learner autonomy may bear cultural imprints and recent college English language education reform in China sets learner autonomy as a prime goal. The study first presents general background and an introduction to the research context. There follows a comprehensive literature review, tracking origins of the concept of learner autonomy in the fields of philosophy, general education, and language education, with distinctive 'Western' and 'Chinese' emphases. This is followed by a review of relevant research on learner autonomy in language education, which consists of research on learner autonomy as a concept, as a means for effective learning, relationships with culture, and methodological issues. To investigate Chinese learners' conceptions of learner autonomy, the study adopted a mixed research approach to collect data: with a qualitative method as the main research method to capture in-depth understandings of learners' conceptions, and a quantitative method as a supplementary one to support qualitative data findings and at the same time reveal further diversity. Moreover, to avoid any imposition of learner autonomy theory pre-occupied in the researcher's mind, the study does not ask directly about learner autonomy to learners but instead examines whether concepts of learner autonomy are embedded in students' accounts of successful English language learning. The study involved 27 interviews and a questionnaire survey of 450 college English language learners among three different Chinese universities. The main findings of the study are as follows: 1) Both 'Western' and 'Chinese' emphases and core elements of learner autonomy are found in Chinese learners' conceptions of successful English language learning; 2) Chinese learners' conceptions of learner autonomy are found to exist in two distinctive domains: learner autonomy for academic success (LAAS) and learner autonomy for communicative competence (LACC). 3) Learners' conceptions of learner autonomy can be influenced by different sources: political, economical, social, cultural, and individual. 4) Learners' conceptions of learner autonomy are dynamic, and subject to various factors such as progress of level of education and individual language learning experiences. Based on the data findings, a reconsideration of concepts of learner autonomy drawn out from students' conceptions of successful English language learning is discussed, which combines 'Western', 'Chinese' emphases and core elements of learner autonomy, associated behaviours, and sources of influences on them. This reconstruction of the concept of learner autonomy in the Chinese context contributes to a better understanding of learner autonomy theory. The research has important implications for policy makers, teachers, parents, and students in understanding learner autonomy from learners' perspectives and for research into concepts of learner autonomy in different contexts.

School improvement in a small island developing state : the Seychelles

Purvis, Marie-Thérèse January 2007 (has links)
This thesis presents an evaluative case study of school improvement initiatives in the Seychelles, in a context specific to small island developing states (SIDS). It examines the complexities of borrowing a school improvement model from a larger and more open system (the UK) and the possibilities for adapting it to the local needs. It also considers the significance of the small island and centralised contexts into which the school improvement model was imported. In so doing, the research attempts to determine the factors that may help schools in the SIDS context to develop the internal capacity to improve and to establish the basis for a possible model for school improvement in SIDS. The research is significant because it provides originality as the only study of school improvement in Seychelles secondary schools. It also contributes further insights into the development of the Seychelles School Improvement Programme (SIP); it complements the existing knowledge base on the SIP and adds to the scant literature on school improvement in small states and in centralised systems. The study attempts to capture the multi-faceted nature of the SIP and the multiple forms of people's understanding of it, by examining the most salient aspects of the Programme from the perspectives of different stakeholder groups, through the case study approach. A 40% sample of the country's state secondary schools were studied, using documentary analysis, semi-structured interviews and observation of meetings as the means of data collection. While the SIP has had far reaching implications for school development in the Seychelles system and school improvement strategies such as development planning and school-based professional development have become institutionalised, schools are yet to take ownership of them. It is hoped that the findings of this study may contribute to educators' reflections on effective teaching and learning as well as inform policy and practice.

Induction of newly qualified teachers in the Seychelles : professional and organisational dimensions

Marie, Sherley January 2012 (has links)
This thesis presents the findings from exploratory research on the induction of newly qualified teachers (NQTs) in Seychelles. The Seychelles education system has no formal policy or framework for the induction of NQTs. The research aimed at discovering if and how NQTs were inducted and supported during their first years of teaching. The management and implementation of induction were examined and NQTs’ perceptions of their induction experiences were sought, thus bringing to light their socialisation process within their institution. The research is significant as it is the first major study of induction and mentoring in both primary and secondary schools in the country, targetting a cohort of new teachers. It explored the issue of induction and mentoring holistically by using mixed methods. The NQTs’ perceptions of their induction and subsequent mentoring were obtained through a survey questionnaire. In addition, key officials and policy makers in the Ministry of Education were interviewed, to ascertain their intentions and expectations of new teacher induction. Finally, three case studies (two in primary schools and one in a secondary school) were carried out, enabling the researcher to explore the induction and mentoring practices in these schools in depth. The findings revealed that induction in the Seychelles is incidental, lasting for about a week. The head teachers play a pivotal role in welcoming new teachers only and the subject leaders play the dual role of mentors and assessors. The induction process is not successful because school leaders lack the expertise to design, implement and evaluate their induction programmes. Hence, this research leads to a proposal for an induction model with implications for policy development and with a recommendation for a decentralised induction process which will cater for, the socialisation, the improved competence and the continued professional development of novice teachers.

Navigating mathematics : making sense of purpose and activity in contemporary English mathematics education

Ward-Penny, Robert January 2013 (has links)
Mathematics education serves a number of purposes within contemporary English society. Many of these concern the learning of knowledge and skills which an individual may need in their everyday life or in a future occupation. Other purposes are predicated instead on the merit afforded to mathematics by society, such that mathematics is used as a benchmark of intelligence or as a gatekeeper to future opportunities in education or employment. This thesis describes a research project which explores how a variety of learners recognise, navigate and make sense of this range of intents, and how the learners’ subsequent understanding informs both their decisions and their personal sense of mathematical purpose. It uses a critical grounded theory methodology to research and report the experiences of four groups of learners: adults returning to the formal study of mathematics after leaving school; undergraduates choosing to leave mathematics behind after completing their degrees; and GCSE students on and beneath the borderline of a watershed C grade. The results first support specific observations concerning each group then go on to reveal a number of resonances and commonalities which establish how purpose is inferred by, and how purpose influences, learners within contemporary mathematics education. Together the findings demonstrate that the place of mathematics as cultural capital plays a dominant role in steering mathematical trajectories. They go on to illustrate how this role and others impact on mathematical identities, and describe how many learners respond defensively to the current layering of discourses surrounding the purposes of mathematics education. In particular this thesis observes the deployment of minimisation and ego defence strategies, including partitioning mathematical learning, deferring its import and critiquing systems within mathematics education, each of which is advantaged by certain aspects of prevailing practice. In conclusion this thesis considers critically how these findings might inform both contemporary debates in mathematics education and current trends in pedagogy. It argues in turn for renewed attention regarding how the purposes of mathematics education are considered, balanced and communicated.

Reflection for specific purposes : the use of reflection by Nigerian English language teachers

Hyacinth, Timi B. January 2013 (has links)
Reflection is yet to be fully understood as a concept, practice and experience in many English language teacher education programmes. The calls for data-led studies to prove its benefits and to make the concept less vague continue against a new argument that academic presentations of reflective inquiry may be flawed because teachers perceive reflection differently. Studies suggest that many trainees, teachers and teacher educators still do not understand reflection, and that rejections or fleeting tolerance of reflection by teachers or trainees may be connected to top-down approaches to teaching reflective practice. In a two year exploratory, interpretive research study of Nigerian English language teachers, the Nigerian ELT context is explored for evidence of reflective inquiry. The study integrates classroom explorations, teacher group meetings, focus group and individual interviews that aim to project the voices of participants. Reflection is identified in the context in teachers who used it intuitively and through those who have participated in a formal reflective international teacher development course. Findings show that reflection is multifaceted, distinctively construed and used for specific purposes. Four types of reflection are identified: learner-centred reflection; teacher-centred reflection; skill-centred reflection and knowledge-centred reflection. By comparing the two groups of participants’ perspectives of reflection and their use of reflection, the benefit and potential of reflection to bring change and development in the context is highlighted. The study shows that as participants progress through the spectrum of reflection-in-use that was identified in the study, they make sense of teaching and learning and of themselves as teachers; moving from intuitive encounters of reflection-in-use to the more explicit zones of systematic reflection. The study concludes that because reflection is multifaceted and used in specific ways, teacher educators will need to develop specific and relevant learning tools to teach it in more teacher-centred ways.

A study of the technical and vocational education initiative (T.V.E.I.) in relation to its role as a strategy for change in educational management

Hodge, Selwyn John January 1992 (has links)
This thesis investigates the introduction of The Technical and Vocational Education Initiative (TVEI) to schools and colleges. It examines how far, and in what ways, the Initiative was able to bring about changes in LEAs and institutions. The evaluation studies carried out by the Author in three Local Education Authorities are considered and, in addition to discussing the methodology which was used, the ways in which the research was affected by its association with a contractually arranged evaluation programme are analysed. Features of educational innovation are considered in relation to the main participants in TVEI, and the ways in which these groups and individuals attempted to implement change are reviewed. The research studies, which were conducted at local and national levels. are considered. and the evaluation data that was obtained is used to consider the ways in which one of the projects managed the Initiative. The change strategies that were employed are analysed, and the developments occurring in TVEI are set against the educational background of the Authority. The ways in which the policies of the LEA influenced individual institutions are evaluated. The outcomes of this particular case study are then compared with the approaches used to introduce and manage TVEI in two other LEAs. The main findings are that: (1) there was a shift of control from the MSC to the LEAs and institutions during the lifetime of TVEI which resulted partly from the centre/periphery change model employed. This shift enabled practitioners to gain a considerable degree of control over the ways in which the Initiative was implemented. (ii) many of the changes taking place were peripheral to the main aims of TVEI. and the available funding allowed the introduction of a number of long established ideas. (iii) TVEI had a considerable influence on other initiatives introduced during the 1980's. (iv) TVEI enabled changes to take place in those LEAs and institutions that were willing and prepared for innovations to occur. (v) the initiative was introduced rapidly, and many of the changes were partial and incomplete. (vi) the ways in which TVEI influenced practice in institutions was dependent upon the roles and attitudes of the headteachers, coordinators and other key staff involved. (vii) the relationship between an LEA and its institutions was critical to the ways in which changes were introduced.

Early-years teaching of science in Cyprus : appreciation of young children's preconceptions

Kambouri, Maria January 2011 (has links)
The goal of this study is to investigate the area of young children’s preconceptions in science. The research focuses on teachers working in public and private kindergartens, and children attending these kindergartens, aged from three to five and a half years old. The area of the children’s preconceptions, has been extensively investigated by other researchers in the past but research focusing on early-years teachers and children’s preconceptions is still almost untouched, especially when talking about Cyprus. Inspired mostly by other countries’ literature and the importance of foreign research results, this study aims at identifying the Cypriot teachers’ appreciation of the children’s preconceptions by discovering whether teachers identify and take into account the children’s preconceptions when planning and teaching a Natural Sciences lesson. It also aims at giving suggestions and implications on how teachers can respond to the preconceptions that children might have. To do this, a case study has been applied to facilitate the utilization of a number of different methods, like questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, observations and a minor document analysis. The results indicate that teachers tend to avoid identifying the children’s preconceptions when teaching Natural Sciences. This indicates that there is lack of appreciation of the children’s preconceptions and their consequences when not acknowledged. It also indicates that teachers in Cyprus are not aware of the constructivist theory and its importance in children’s learning. As a result, teachers in Cyprus need to be better trained and informed in regard to the children’s preconceptions and to Natural Sciences in general. To help teachers respond to the children’s preconceptions, the study develops a list of children’s common preconceptions and a number of different ideas and suggestions for proper methods which can be used to help teachers identify the children’s preconceptions and guide children to overcoming them.

An effective services framework for sharing educational resources

Yang, Shanshan January 2012 (has links)
Nowadays, the growing number of software tools to support e-learning and the data they rely upon are valuable resources, supporting different aspects of the complex learning and teaching processes, including designing learning content, delivering learning activities, and evaluating students’ learning performance. However, sharing these educational resources efficiently and effectively is a challenge: there are many resources, these have not been described accurately and in general they do not interoperate, and it is common for the tools to rely on different technologies. This thesis explores a solution – a novel educational services framework – to improve the sharing of current e-resources, by applying the latest service technologies in the context of higher education. Our findings suggest that the proposed framework is effective to deal with the technical and educational issues in resource discovery, interoperability and reusability, however, there are still technical challenges remaining for implementing this service framework. This research is divided into 3 phases. The first phase investigates the sharing of elearning resources through a literature survey, and identifies limitations on current developments. In the second phase, the current problems relating to resource sharing are addressed by a proposed educational service framework, which contains both educational and technical components. Through a case study, nine e-learning services and their dataflows are identified. To determine the technical components of the framework, a novel Educational Service Architecture is proposed, which allows resources to be better described, structured and connected, by following the principles of discoverability, interoperability and reusability in service technologies. In the third phase, part of the framework is implemented and evaluated by two studies. In the first study, users’ experiences were collected via a simulation experiment, to compare the effectiveness of a service prototype with that of the use of current technologies. During the second part of the evaluation, technical challenges for implementing the services framework were identified via a case study, involving the implementation of another service prototype.

Religion, cultural diversity and conflict : challenging education in Northern Ireland

Richardson, Norman L. January 2012 (has links)
No description available.

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