347 results for Scholarly text, 2008

  • In Search of Effective Principal Appraisal

    Chapman, Patricia (2008)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The board of trustees of each New Zealand state and integrated school is responsible for the performance appraisal of its principal. Empirical data on the effectiveness of the appraisal for principals and boards is scarce. This research set out to describe principal appraisal within a region containing approximately one tenth of New Zealand schools. A survey to collect quantitative and qualitative data on the 2006 appraisal was completed by the principal and/or chair of just under half the schools in the region. The results suggest four critical success factors: the way in which the appraiser is selected and their personal qualities; the fairness and clarity of the process; the specific expectations that principals and chairs have of the outcome; and the completeness and congruity of principals' and chairs' understanding of appraisal. The reported experiences were mostly positive. However, understanding and resourcing of effective practice was found to be limited. A professional external appraiser and good interpersonal chemistry are dominant contributors to a satisfying appraisal experience. A functioning process with adequate resourcing and time for evidence gathering and evaluation, appear to be important appraisal prerequisites but do not guarantee a satisfying outcome. Unsatisfying appraisal experiences can be traced to a lack of clear understanding of appraisal aims and practice, together with resources to support their development. It is further compounded by the transient nature of boards. Four key action programmes are suggested to address shortcomings and recommendations are outlined for key stakeholders.

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  • Reviving Hedonism about Well-Being: Refuting the Argument from False Pleasures and Restricting the Relevance of Intuitive 'Evidence'

    Turton, Daniel Michael (2008)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Throughout the vast majority of its history, hedonism about well-being has been perennially unpopular (Feldman 2004). The arguments in this essay take steps towards reviving the plausibility of hedonism about well-being. The main argument currently used to refute hedonism about well-being, the Argument from False Pleasures, is shown to lack sufficient evidence to be compelling. The main evidence provided for the Argument from False Pleasures comes in the form of two thought experiments, the Experience Machine (Nozick 1974) and the Deceived Businessman (Kagan 1998). These thought experiments typically produce strong intuitive responses, which are used to directly support the Argument from False Pleasures. This essay investigates how theories of well-being are currently evaluated by moral philosophers, with a specific focus on the place our intuitions have in the process. Indeed, the major role that moral intuitions play in evaluating theories of well-being, despite their sometimes dubious epistemic credentials, leads to an in-depth enquiry into their inner workings and potential for containing normatively significant information. The investigation, which draws on the work of Woodward and Allman (2007), concludes that intuitions about unrealistic thought experiments should not play an important role in evaluating theories of well-being. Rather, they should only act as a warning sign, highlighting moral propositions for further analysis. Based on these findings, a new method for assessing theories of well-being is suggested and applied to a specific internalist account of hedonism about well-being to show how the Deceived Businessman and Experience Machine thought experiments lack normative significance, leaving the Argument from False Pleasures without sufficient evidence to be compelling. Indeed, this essay concludes that the Argument from False Pleasures should no longer be thought to provide any good reason to believe that hedonism about well-being is implausible. This result is only one step on the road to reviving hedonism about well-being, but it is a very important one.

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  • Tax and volunteering: empirical evidence to support recommendations to solve the current problems surrounding the tax treatment of volunteers’ reimbursements and honoraria in New Zealand

    Tan, Letisha; Dunbar, David; Cordery, Carolyn Joy (2008)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    On I November 2007 the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Revenue asked for submissions on ways to simply the current law on the taxation of reimbursement and honoraria paid volunteers in the non-profit sector. A number of proposals were outlined in a Inland Revenue Department issues paper released on 1 November. This working paper presents the results of a survey of 1537 individuals and 224 organisations who replied to a web based questionnaire that was conducted in August and September 2007. The results have been used to support a number of recommendations towards simplification and clarification of current tax law.

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  • Sex Differences in the Relation of Aggression to Social Dominance Orientation and Right Wing Authoritarianism

    Howison, Luke (2008)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Two general population studies examined the association of Social Dominance Orientation (SDO) and Right Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) with the Aggression Questionnaire, and any sex differences in this relationship. SDO and RWA were both associated with aggression; however, contradictory sex differences were found. In Study 1 (N = 270), SDO and aggression was associated for females but not males; the opposite was found in Study 2 (N = 178). A model of the relationships between SDO, RWA, sex, hostility, anger and physical aggression was constructed and evaluated for Study 1. Study 2 included additional measures including instrumental/expressive aggression, femininity/masculinity, gender group identification and sexism. SDO was related to instrumental aggression, suggesting that social dominators use aggression instrumentally. Masculinity/femininity did not have a major effect on the aggressionSDO/RWA relationship; however, gender identity mediated the relationship between sex and SDO, replicating previous challenges of the invariance hypothesis

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  • The importance of Incorporating Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) into the Secondary Curriculum in Order to Minimise the Problems of Waste on South Tarawa

    Moy, Sina (2008)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Waste is an increasing problem in Small Island States (SIDs) such as Kiribati. In Kiribati the major concern is on the capital island, South Tarawa with more than 6,500 tons of solid waste generated each year. With only a tiny strip of land supporting a large population, it is no wonder it resulted as the highest population density compared to Tokyo. More than half of the Kiribati population lives on the capital, South Tarawa with an estimation of 150 people per/km^2 Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)/Environmental Education (EE) are taught through Social Studies, Science and other disciplinary subjects only in primary up to junior secondary school. The missing link of this ESD/EE can be found at the secondary level. The main aim of this research is to find out ways of incorporating ESD/EE at secondary level in order to help minimise waste issues that are present on urbanised South Tarawa. By formalising education for sustainable development/environmental education into the secondary school syllabus, it will help young citizens of Kiribati prepared as active members of society. As the Ministry of Education (NZ) states "nvironmental education provides a relevant context for identifying, exploring, and developing values and attitudes that can ensure students' active participation in maintaining and improving the quality of the local, national, and global environment."(Education for sustainability). This thesis argues that it is important to include Education for Sustainable Development into secondary school syllabus in order to help minimise the waste issues that have been experienced by the people living on South Tarawa.

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  • Professional Culture Compatibility and Performance in International Joint Ventures: A Chinese Experience

    Gan, Xiangfu (2008)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This research was influenced by Sirmon & Lane's (2004) model of cultural differences and international alliance performance. Sirmon & Lane's model introduced the concept and importance of partners' professional culture compatibility in international alliances. However, to date, their model lacks empirical testing. This research therefore took the study further by empirically investigating the influence of professional culture compatibility between partners and international alliance performance by using a selected sample of Sino-Foreign joint ventures in China. The findings overall support Sirmon & Lane's (2004) model that (1) Partners from similar national cultures experience lesser differences in their professional cultures as opposed to partners from diverse cultures; and, (2) Professional culture differences between partners negatively influence the overall performance of international joint ventures. However, this research also argues that the relationships shown in Sirmon & Lane's (2004) model are not as straightforward as was previously proposed, and the findings suggest several additional factors that contribute to the relationship between partner professional culture compatibility and international alliance performance.

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  • One More Rainy Day

    Goulter, Tom (2008)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    FADE IN: LED-screen filtered stock footage: TIDAL WAVES decimate cities. MEDIEVAL WOODCUTS of the Deluge, Noah's boat on huge waves. INT. BOOKSHOP - DAY.The MONTAGE CONTINUES on a shiny LED SCREEN: LIGHTNING STORMS crackle above a RAGING VOLCANO. TRIBAL PAINTINGS of winged serpents sparking from flame. The screen sits at the centre of a TABLE FULL OF BOOKS. A SIGN beside the table: " MARTIN WEAREY - SIGNING INSTORE TODAY". A patient LINE of customers queue for the author. Onscreen, SNOWSTORMS obscure the FAINT SUN. CUSTOMERS glance occasionally at the onscreen display: NORSE ART depicts THE WORLD TREE withering in ice. At the queue's HEAD, a trestle-table at which sits MARTIN himself, beside a large DUSTJACKET PHOTO of same. He's a pudgy fellow in his LATE 60s, greying hair roughly combed. Martin SMILES as a fan presents him with a STACK OF BOOKS ...

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  • Learning Through Communities of Practice: a Strategic and Collaborative Approach

    Roberts, Sue; Clements, Charlotte (2008)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    As Wenger (2002, 2003) highlights, researchers and practitioners in many different contexts find communities of practice (CoP) a useful approach to knowing and learning. This showcase explores the development of such a CoP for Library staff involved in learning and teaching at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

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  • The use of pragmatic devices by German non-native speakers of English

    Terraschke, Agnes (2008)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Mastering the pragmatic norms of another language is one of the greatest challenges to non-native speakers. One particularly difficult aspect of pragmatic conventions is the appropriate use of pragmatic devices such as like, you know, I think, and or something like that which have been found to serve a number of important textual and interactive functions in discourse. This study investigates the use of such devices by non-native speakers in cross-cultural conversations in terms of frequency and function in order to establish to what extent L2 usage differs from native speaker norms. In particular, the study examines the use of the English pragmatic devices like, eh and General Extenders (and things like that, or something like that) by German non-native speakers of English (GNNSE) in interactions with native speakers of New Zealand English (NSNZE). The results are compared with the use of these forms in native-native conversations in New Zealand English and the use of close equivalent forms in German by the same GNNSE. The analysis is based on a corpus of approximately 18 1⁄2 hours of dyadic conversation or about 224,338 words of transcription.

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  • Unintended Consequences: the Montessori Story of the Early Childhood Education Qualification Requirement - 2000-2007

    Freeman, Sola (2008)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In 2002, the Ministry of Education in New Zealand released Pathways to the Future: Nga Huarahi Arataki. This 10year strategic plan for early childhood education was the culmination of years of advocacy, research and consultation within the early childhood sector. A key component of the plan is a staged requirement for teachers in early childhood centres to have a Diploma of Teaching ECE or equivalent qualification. The study analyses the impact on the Montessori early childhood sector of the requirement that teachers in a centre be qualified with a Diploma or equivalent. This thesis draws on the results of a qualitative study involving interviews with key policy informants and focus groups of teachers and the story that emerges describes the complexities, frustrations and positive outcomes for centres and their teachers. The story points to a need for support, intervention and creative strategies to ensure no part of the early childhood sector is left behind, and diversity within early childhood education in New Zealand is maintained. The final outcome of the study raises the dilemma faced by the Montessori community; how can the approach accommodate the current ideas of early childhood education brought to centres through the policy requirement and remain identifiably Montessori?

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  • Encapsulation Enforcement with Dynamic Ownership

    Gordon, Donald James (2008)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Unrestricted aliasing is a problem endemic to object oriented programming. It allows notions of encapsulation fundamental to object oriented programming to be violated. This thesis describes ConstrainedJava, an implementation of a language that provides alias control via a much stronger encapsulation guarantees than traditional object-oriented programming languages, integrated with a constraint system. Unlike most existing aliasing control systems, this encapsulation system integrates well with untyped dynamic languages such as ConstrainedJava. This stronger form of encapsulation has been enhanced to make it easier to write practical programs while still providing useful encapsulation guarantees.

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  • Exploratory Study of the Development of REDD Incentives in Bolivia

    Jannes, Stoppel (2008)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    International climate change mitigation efforts have been establishing strategies and programs to achieve Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) in developing countries like Bolivia. This research aims to assess these developments and examine the major challenges in the conceptualisation, planning and implementation of these strategies in Bolivia. A review of international negotiations and of current literature on various surrounding issues supplied this research with the needed secondary data. Primary data on Bolivian perspectives and visions on the arising challenges of REDD developments were gathered in January and February 2008. The semi-structured interviews aimed to cover a cross societal range of participants from govt to local forest-inhabitant level. Partially, due to climatic instability, the field-research was hampered by a national flood disaster that challenged the gathering of local forest-inhabitant's visions and perspectives. Through this methodology this research defined key issues in the development of international REDD funding governance and in the challenges of national and local policy and project implementation measures. These are evaluated in consideration of global and local equity and climate-justice issues, offer earthcentric considerations in the evolution of REDD and therefore attempt to contribute to the underlying discourse on ecological ethics in climate change mitigation and adaptation.

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  • Light Scattering in Glass Ceramic X-ray Imaging Plates

    Winch, Nicola Maree (2008)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Glass ceramic materials have been suggested as a possible high resolution replacement for current commercial storage phosphor imaging plates. The low spatial frequency of the current plates is caused by strong scattering of the laser light incident on the plate during the read-out process. Glass ceramic materials show very small scattering due to their transparent nature, which should lead to a higher resolution. However, a competing argument is the small amount of scattering that does occur travels a much greater distance in the plate, limiting the resolution. The aim of this thesis was to simulate the scattering of light in imaging plates and use this to optimise the trade-off between resolution, sensitivity and transparency which is implicit in plate design. Additionally, experiments were performed to determine the resolution of glass ceramic and commercial imaging plates. Simulations show that high resolution can be achieved in both the strong and weak scattering limits, corresponding to opaque and transparent materials. Increasing the absorption of the laser light increases the resolution, as does decreasing the laser beam diameter and power. An increase in the resolution almost always comes at a cost of a decrease in the sensitivity. The resolutions of an Agfa MD30 and glass ceramic imaging plate were found to be 4:5 line pairs/mm and 6:5 - 8:0 line pairs/mm respectively for an MTF equal to 0:2.

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  • Institutional Investors and Corporate Governance: A New Zealand Perspective

    Tan, Aik Win; Keeper, Trish (2008)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In recent years there has been an increasing expectation that institutional investors should become more active in the corporate governance of companies in which they invest. The plethora of renowned corporate governance failures in the last decade has only added to this expectation. The first part of this paper examines the central arguments supporting increased institutional shareholder activism in corporate governance. The paper then explores, in the New Zealand context, the constraints against increased involvement and argues that the proposition for institutional investors as active shareholders is more normative than realistic, given both the legal and economical barriers that actively discourage intervention by institutions in their investments.

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  • Climate Change and Food Security

    Weaver, Sean (2008)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper explores the global trends associated with food security and climate change and the linkages between them. This comes at a time of unprecedented international concern for global food security, against a backdrop of dramatically fluctuating world food prices. Underlying the food security issue is a trend of rapidly growing populations in many developing countries, and projected changes in food production dynamics associated with a warming and drying climate for many regions during the 21st century. This paper looks into demand and supply trends associated with world food security, in an effort to inform a coordinated policy response to this emerging crisis. The final sections of the paper explore the implications for New Zealand, and then reflect on options for a broader global policy response.

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  • A Study in Splitting the Ant Complex Monomorium antarcticum (Fr. Smith) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Dann, Michael J (2008)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This work provides new information about the native Southern Ant complex Monomorium antarcticum. In the first experimental chapter (chapter two) the diversity of species within the complex, the utility of DNA barcode molecular data in such taxonomic work and how DNA barcode data combines with traditional morphological and morphometric data is investigated. The second experimental chapter (chapter three) explores the genetic structuring of the complex and how that relates to the complexs recent biogeographic history and the dispersal potential, both natural and human mediated. The two experimental chapters (chapters two and three) in this thesis have overlap of portions of the methods and results as they have been written as a pair of papers so as they can be read independently from each other.

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  • Doctoral Theses Digitisation

    Mason, Ingrid (2008)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    A doctoral theses digitisation project began in March 2008 and was estimated to be complete by November 2008. The phases (some overlapping) of the project were: contract settlement; database development; batch processing (itemisation and transportation); letter generation (permissions); and item processing (receipt of digital files). The planning, implementation, business and technical details of the thesis digitisation project are described in this report.

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  • Cognitive Underpinnings of Symbolic Pretend Play and Impossible Entity Drawings: Imaginative Ability in Typical Development and Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Den-Kaat, Steven (2008)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The individual differences in imagination ability in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were tested in a sample of 14 children with ASD and 14 matched typically developing (TD) children. Analysis was conducted on the extent of imagination in symbolic pretend play and impossible entity drawings. Aside from difficulties with imagination, children with ASD showed significant group deficits in executive function (generativity, visuospatial planning and cognitive flexibility) and false belief theory of mind understanding. Amongst children with ASD, executive function abilities (generativity and visuospatial planning) related to imaginative play and drawings. In contrast, amongst participants in the TD group, a mixture of both executive function (cognitive flexibility) and false belief theory of mind understanding predicted imaginative ability. These results are discussed in terms of how executive control plays a broad and important role in imaginative ability across groups, but the contributions appear to be expressed and routed differently in ASD. The discussion also highlights the theoretical implications of not having theory of mind that underpin imagination in ASD.

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  • Maori Language Use in New Zealand Secondary Schools: What Are the Issues for Teachers and Students?

    Tito, Janie (2008)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The aim of this study was to examine the issues surrounding Maori language use in secondary schools. This was to test the hypothesis that the learning experience for Maori students is influenced by a school's responsiveness to Maori needs. In particular the focus was on the use of te reo Maori e.g. pronunciation. It was found that when features of te ao Maori are reflected positively in secondary school practices, values and environment, the overall learning experience may be enhanced and become more positive for Maori students. Ultimately such practice has the potential to reduce the disparity between Maori and non-Maori educational achievement. The prevalence and quality of Maori language learning opportunities during and after teacher training, is currently not meeting the needs of students and teachers. This shortcoming requires further research and investigation. This mixed method qualitative study followed kaupapa Maori research principles and ethics. It incorporated interviews, repeated focus groups and surveys. Participants were teachers and Maori students from selected Wellington secondary schools. The sixty-four student participants raised issues around teachers and their teaching practice. They saw teachers as important role models for positive attitudes and behaviours towards te reo and tikanga Maori. In particular, correct language use and pronunciation was important. The small sample of teachers reported a variety of concerns. One frequent complaint was their lack of knowledge in using te reo and few chances to learn and improve. This study identified a need for more professional development programmes and educational policy to be introduced in secondary schools, which include aspects of Maori language and tikanga learning. This would help address some of the difficulties faced by teachers when using te reo in the classroom and improve overall teaching and learning for Maori students.

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  • What Were They Thinking? An Experimental Investigation of Child Sexual Offenders' Beliefs.

    Keown, Kirsten (2008)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In the field of forensic psychology, child sexual offenders (CSOs) are often hypothesised to hold abnormal beliefs that facilitate the onset and maintenance of their offending. This idea has had considerable impact upon current CSO assessment and treatment practices. However, despite its intuitive appeal, empirical evidence supporting the hypothesis is unfortunately lacking. Information regarding the role that cognition plays in child sexual offending has been gathered almost exclusively using self report (i.e. interview and questionnaire) methods. In interview studies, CSOs talk at length about their offending and their statements are analysed for the presence of so-called cognitive distortions: utterances deemed to represent abnormal, offence-facilitating beliefs. In questionnaire studies CSOs and controls rate the veracity of listed cognitive distortion items and their answers are compared. In general, interview and questionnaire studies have tended to find that CSOs endorse cognitive distortions, which seemingly supports the notion that they hold offence-supportive beliefs. However, serious issues plague the use of these self-report methods because endorsement of cognitive distortions might reflect phenomena other than beliefs. The primary aim of this thesis was to examine the idea that CSOs hold offence-supportive beliefs using methods designed to side-step issues associated with self-report methods. Across three studies, three cognitive experimental techniques were for the first time applied to the study of CSO cognition. In Study One, CSOs and offender and community controls completed an experimental procedure called the lexical decision task. Against hypotheses, when compared to controls CSOs did not interpret offence-related sentences in line with distorted beliefs. A possible explanation for this finding was that CSOs' offence-supportive beliefs were insufficiently activated during testing. To investigate, in Study Two half the CSO and half the offender control participants were primed with images of scantily-clad children before commencing experimental testing. During testing, CSOs and offender controls read sentences describing children behaving in potentially sexualised ways. Participants were then given a surprise recognition test in which half the sentences were re-presented in an unambiguously sexual form, and half in an unambiguously nonsexual form. Contrary to hypotheses, neither primed nor control child sexual offenders showed memory biases for sexualised sentences, suggesting they did not interpret the original sentences in line with offence-supportive beliefs. Finally, in Study Three, CSOs' beliefs were examined using interview methods, and CSOs' and offender controls' beliefs were measured using a questionnaire as well as an experimental technique that used sentence reading times to implicitly measure beliefs. As hypothesised, CSOs showed evidence of holding offence-supportive beliefs according to the interview and questionnaire measures, but against predictions they demonstrated no experimental evidence of such beliefs. In fact, the three methods showed virtually no agreement regarding the belief-types each CSO was deemed to hold, raising important questions about the phenomena measured by each method. Overall, the results of this thesis did not support the stance that CSOs generally hold offence-supportive beliefs that set them apart from others. The implications of these findings for theory and treatment are discussed and directions for future research are suggested.

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