1,573 results for ResearchCommons@Waikato, Masters

  • Evaluation of composite laminates interleaved with nanofibre and microfibre veils

    Collins-Gargan, Rosalie (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    The research covered in this thesis aimed to investigate the use of nanofibre and microfibre veils in carbon fibre reinforced composites and assessed the potential of the veils to improve damage resistance during impact and fatigue loading. It was hypothesised that the interleavings would increase the amount of energy required for crack propagation because of toughening due to fibre reinforcement mechanisms such as crack deflection, fibre pull out and fibre breakage. The work was undertaken as a combined project between the University of Waikato (Hamilton, New Zealand) and Revolution Fibres Ltd (Auckland, New Zealand). During this investigation, six thermoplastic polymers were chosen (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA), polystyrene (PS), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and polycarbonate (PC)) that could potentially be used for the electrospinning of polymer nanofibre veils. Nanofibre veils were successfully produced from PMMA, and a polymer blend of polyamide 6,6 (PA6,6) and PMMA, (referred to as 'nanoNyplex'). These veils, along with three other nanofibre veils (nanoPA6,6, poly vinyl butyral (nanoPVB), and poly ether sulfone (nanoPES)), three microfibre veils (polyphenylene sulfide (microPPS), polyetherimide (microPEI), and woven polyamide 6 (microtricot)) procured from other manufacturers, and three veils combining one of the nanofibre veils with each of the microfibre veils (microPPSnanoPA6,6, microPEInanoPA6,6, and microtricotnanoPA6,6) were then used as interleaves in the manufacture of carbon fibre reinforced epoxy composite panels. Interleaves were placed between every ply of prepreg. After curing the panels, test specimens were created to assess fatigue, vibration damping and compression after impact performance. From the vibration damping study, it was found that the nanoNyplex interleaving improved damping the most. It was thought that energy dissipation was due friction brought about by the movement of the interleaving fibres in the matrix, resulting in friction due to weak adhesion between the nanoNyplex fibres and the epoxy matrix. From the compression after impact (CAI) section of this study, it was found that specimens interleaved with nanoPA6,6, microPPS and microPPSnanoPA6,6 had the highest CAI strengths. From optical inspection, it appeared (in general) that as the CAI strength of the specimen increased, the length of the damage region also increased. However, those identified with the highest CAI strengths had shorter damage regions. From the fatigue section of this study, it was found that the use of most interleavings, (apart from microtricot) increased the number of cycles to failure. Post fatigue test scanning electron microscopy confirmed that crack deflection was present for most interleaved specimens. Some evidence of pull out and breakage of the interleaving fibres was seen on the fracture surfaces of the nanoPA6,6, microPPS, microPEI, microPEInanoPA6,6 and microPPSnanoPA6,6 interleaved specimens. For both CAI and fatigue, it was found that improvement was generally greater with veils that had a large number of fibres per unit area and high adhesion strength with the matrix. However, for CAI it seems that high fracture toughness was also desirable.

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  • Stigma: You do your time, you come out and do more: A phenomenological analysis of the experiences of stigma as lived by ex-prisoners.

    MacLennan, Brigitte Amber (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This thesis explores the phenomena of stigma and its effects upon offenders who have spent time in prison. There has been a long history of stigma attached to those who have engaged in criminal activity. As far back as the late 1800's it was concluded that a criminal could be identified by their physical facial features alone. While it is no longer common to stigmatise offenders based on the distance between a person’s eyes, there is still a great deal of stigma attached to having been in prison which can prevent offenders from living a pro-social life. There is little research in this area, particularly within the New Zealand context. This thesis uses phenomenological research to engage with the participants in order to gain an understanding of their lived experiences with stigma. Interviews were conducted to explore this phenomenon. Allowing offenders who have served time in prison to have their experiences heard has potential implications for policy makers with regards to release conditions and also for services that are run in prisons. Making successful transitions from prison living to living a pro-social life has benefits for not only the offender, but the community in which they are residing as a whole.

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  • Electric Vehicles in New Zealand - Policy, Regulation and Technical Standards for Emerging Vehicle Technology

    Schafer, Mark Gerald (2011)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    The need for a technical standard for the conversion of Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles to electric drive has been identified by government regulators in New Zealand (NZ). The aim of this project was to review the technical and inspection requirements that would allow Electric Vehicle (EV) conversions of passenger vehicles of gross weight < 3500 kg (Class MA), to be safely designed, built, sold, and operated in NZ. A detailed description of the spectrum of EV technology is given. A literature review of NZ and international transport regulations and technical standards has shown many requirements affecting EVs. A risk analysis showed that most EV technological risks related to electrical, battery and braking safety are controlled by implementing a reduction in risk event likelihood, rather than a reduction in risk event severity. This indicates that risk controls need to be reliable in order to be effective. A detailed review of EV electrical systems, Lithium Ion (Li-ion) battery systems and regenerative braking technology is also carried out. With the use of battery chemistries and designs which minimise the risk of failures, coupled with adequate safeguards in the form of redundant protection and well designed component management systems, EV converters can achieve safe and high performance conversions.

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  • Establishment of THP-1 Monocytes with Compromised Mitochondrial Functions

    Chou, Tzu-wen Joy (2009)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    The process of inflammation is important for both normal health and in a number of diseases, such as metabolic disorders, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. Mitochondria are vital for the functioning of all cells. It had been implicated as a key player in inflammatory processes, especially through reactive oxygen species as signals of various immune responses. This study aimed to establish a THP-1 cell line with compromised mitochondrial functions, using antimycin A as a Complex III inhibitor, and to investigate the role of mitochondrial stress, as monitored by the expression of Hsp60, in inflammatory processes. High concentrations of antimycin A (100 and 200 μM) were cytotoxic to THP-1 monocytes that they were rapidly killed within 48 hours of exposure. Lower concentrations of antimycin A (5, 10, 25 and 50 μM) gave growth inhibition effects to THP-1 monocytes. Pyruvate and uridine were used with an intention of rescuing the THP-1 cell growth at lower antimycin A concentrations. The THP-1 monocytes treated with antimycin A with uridine and pyruvate showed more growth compared to the ones without uridine and pyruvate supplement. Yet this difference is insignificant statistically. The expressions of Hsp60 and TNF-α at the mRNA level was monitored using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Hsp60 expression from THP-1 monocytes only showed some minor fluctuations in different antimycin A concentrations, regardless of uridine and iii pyruvate supplement, indicating the stress mitochondrial response was unobvious. On the other hand, TNF-α expression was dramatically down-regulated in THP-1 monocytes treated with antimycin A only compared to the untreated control and ones supplemented with uridine and pyruvate. These results suggest that antimycin A may have inhibition effect towards TNF-α expression, and uridine and pyruvate could also have other functions in THP-1 monocytes apart from redox rescue compounds. Yet the mitochondrial stress response shown by Hsp60 induction still remains to be further investigated.

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  • Correlates of Tertiary Student Life Satisfaction

    Raman, Jerode R (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    What determines life satisfaction for young people? Many studies have looked at factors that correlate with an individual’s level of life satisfaction however the vast majority of those studies focused on elderly populations. The aim of this study was to explore the relationships of a number of research variables with life satisfaction for a tertiary student population. The relationships would be determined by correlating the research variables with life satisfaction. General intelligence, romantic relationship, academic goals, academic performance, health status, religiosity and social contact were measured, and correlated with life satisfaction. The sample in the current study comprised 129 undergraduate students from the University of Waikato. It was found that general intelligence, religiosity and social contact did not have any significant correlations with any of the other research variables, including life satisfaction. Romantic relationship, academic goals, academic performance and health status were found to have a significant positive correlation with life satisfaction. Success in a select group of life domains had a significant positive correlation with life satisfaction for undergraduate tertiary students. Having a successful romantic relationship, focusing on academic activities and being in good physical health all correlated positively with life satisfaction for undergraduate tertiary students. Practical implications of the results as well as future research possibilities are discussed.

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  • Investigation of extractable materials from biochar

    Yang, Wenjuan (2012)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Biochar has been used to improve soil productivity and has been a subject of discussion since 1804. However, research and development of biochar for environmental purposes on a global scale are a recent development. Due to the increase of its uses and interest in biochar as soil amendment, there is a need to understand the intrinsic chemistry of biochar to understand how this might affect its action in the soil. In this work two principal topics were addressed: 1) Investigation of volatile organic compounds in biochar that has been derived from various biomasses and the effect of different temperatures of pyrolysis 2) Identification of some chemical structures of biochar. GC-MS analysis identified 60 extractable organic compounds. With respect to pyrolysis temperature, GC-MS results of Green Waste chars and Sucrose chars shows that extractable organic compounds changed their proportions with differing pyrolysis temperatures. MALDI-TOF and high resolution mass spectrometry results suggested that the characteristic ions for biochar that appear in MALDI-TOF spectra with m/z values of 301,317, 413,429 and 453 are plasticizers whereas 685/ 701 are ions, [M+Na] ⁺/ [M+K] ⁺ respectively that are intrinsic to biochar.

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  • Vocal Detection: An evaluation between general versus focused models

    Tsai, Yi-Na (2011)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This thesis focuses on presenting a technique on improving current vocal detection methods. One of the most popular methods employs some type of statistical approach where vocal signals can be distinguished automatically by first training a model on both vocal and non-vocal example data, then using this model to classify audio signals into vocals or non-vocals. There is one problem with this method which is that the model that has been trained is typically very general and does its best at classifying various different types of data. Since the audio signals containing vocals that we care about are songs, we propose to improve vocal detection accuracies by creating focused models targeted at predicting vocal segments according to song artist and artist gender. Such useful information like artist name are often overlooked, this restricts opportunities in processing songs more specific to its type and hinders its potential success. Experiment results with several models built according to artist and artist gender reveal improvements of up to 17% when compared to using the general approach. With such improvements, applications such as automatic lyric synchronization to vocal segments in real-time may become more achievable with greater accuracy.

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  • Questions And Answers: Exploring Mobile User Needs

    Su-Ping (Carole), Chang (2011)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    The users of mobile devices increasingly use networked services to address their information needs. Questions asked by mobile users are strongly influenced by context factors, such as location and user activity. However in research which has empirically documented the link between mobile information needs and context factors, information about expected answers is scant. Therefore, the goal of this study is to explore the context factors which influence the mobile information needs and the answers expected by mobile users. The results, are obtained by analysing information from paper diaries and digital diaries. This project involved a user study, comprising two different types of studies concerning a paper diary and a digital diary. The analysis of both the paper diary and the digital diary was conducted through grounded theory and taxonomy of information needs. our results indicate a relationship between mobile information needs and context factors and expected answers. Our study explored this relationship between mobile information needs and context factors, and provides a better understanding of the expected answers related to mobile information needs.

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  • The Effect of Effort: An analysis of Killeen's (1994) Mathematical Principles of Reinforcement

    Bjarnesen, Rebecca Claire (2011)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Mathematical Principles of Reinforcement (MPR, Killeen, 1994) is a mathematical model comprising three main concepts; an animal’s arousal to behaviour based on its motivation for a particular reinforcer, time and energy constraints on responding, and coupling between a response class and reinforcer. This experiment tested the ability of MPR to predict response rates when the minimum force requirement and topography of response was changed. Increasing the minimum force requirement was expected to increase the value of δ, the parameter related to response constraint. Altering the topography of the response was expected to also alter the δ value, as different response forms were expected to take different lengths of time to perform. There were four conditions; low force key, low force door, high force key and high force door, and 6 hens responded under each of these conditions in an ascending geometric series of Fixed Ratio (FR) values. It was shown that hens responded at a faster rate and to higher FR values when responding on the key than on the door, and for both apparatus, the hens stopped responding at lower FR values when weights were added. Unexpectedly, there were no statistically significant differences in the value of δ across conditions, but the values for a, meant to represent the animals’ arousal, did change. It was suggested that the changes in a reflected changes in the animals’ motivation to perform the different responses, probably due to rewarding or aversive properties of the operant response related to the different response forms.

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  • The Relationship between Underemployment and Job Attitudes of New Zealand Graduates

    Cockroft, Kara Beverley (2011)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Given the current economic climate marked with organizational restructurings, downsizing and streamlined global enterprises, more individuals are choosing to study at a tertiary level in order to secure and enhance their employment opportunities. The result is an increase in more highly educated workers trying to find jobs which utilize their skills and qualifications. When this is not achieved, an individual may perceive a discrepancy between their current job situation and their desired job situation, and feelings of 'underemployment' may result. A self-report questionnaire was completed by 568 alumni from the University of Waikato and Victoria University to determine the relationship between underemployment and individual and organizationally-relevant outcomes. The results revealed that graduates who perceived themselves to be underemployed reported lower levels of job satisfaction, stronger careerist attitudes (belief that one does not get ahead mainly on the basis on merit), lower life satisfaction, lower affective commitment, increased intention to quit, and increased job searching behaviour. Relative deprivation, defined as the perceived discrepancy between an individual‘s current employment situation and the job situation they both desire and feel entitled to, was assessed to determine its mediating effects on underemployment and the predicted job outcomes. The analysis showed that relative deprivation mediated twenty three of the thirty five mediation relationships that were tested, indicating that relative deprivation plays a significant role in explaining how negative job attitudes arise from feelings of underemployment. The findings from this research have important implications for the way in which individuals and organizations can manage levels of underemployment and the resulting job attitudes. This may include assessing the nature of work and an individual‘s responsibilities by allowing for more job scope or 'job crafting' – shaping the task boundaries of the job, within the context of defined jobs, to better suit individuals expectations for satisfactory employment.

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  • Characterization of the bacterioplankton communities in the melt-water ponds of Bratina Island, Victoria Land, Antarctica

    Archer, Stephen David James (2011)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Antarctic ecosystems (such as the ponds by Bratina Island, Antarctica) provide an excellent opportunity to examine organisms that can live in one of the most extreme and geochemically varied environments in the world. These ponds are of interest as each one can vary greatly in size, depth, and age as well as profiles of dissolved oxygen, metal concentrations, pH and salinity. Even within ponds geochemically distinct stratified layers can form which can greatly influence their microbial communities. There are a number of studies which indicate that microbial populations found in Antarctic ponds will be highly diverse and variable due to the uniqueness of the environment. This study aims to increase our knowledge of microbial biodiversity and the environmental factors which structure them, in particular the stratification transition zones within ponds water columns. A thorough set of biological samples were taken from five selected ponds during mid-summer in the 09-10 season to complement those taken during the winter freeze-up in the 07-08 extended season by Hawes and co-workers. Oxygen concentration, pH, conductivity and temperature of each pond water sample were measured in the field and water samples were taken back to the University of Waikato for further analysis. This research primarily used the DNA fingerprinting technique ARISA, matched with geochemistry to identify and characterise the resident and functional members of the microbial community and understand how the community is structured in relation to environmental conditions. We found that the planktonic populations of the Bratina Island ponds do vary between ponds, that each pond has its own chemical signature and that populations do change with depth. One of the studied ponds, Egg, was found to have an extreme chemical stratification leading to significantly different populations at each depth. Data analysis using BEST analysis determined that the changes in the bacterial populations in Egg are primarily in relation to the pH and conductivity at each depth which changes dramatically in the lower depths.

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  • Five case studies exploring the value of technology education in New Zealand secondary schools

    Bowskill, Nicholas Ralph Martin (2012)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    There are many factors that influence students in their choice to take vocationally focussed or general technology subjects at secondary school. Equally, there are many factors that contribute to whether or not they succeed in their studies, and what value they place on the different types of knowledge and skills they learn. A student‟s choices cannot be separated from the social and environmental context in which the student acts. This study presents five case studies that explore the context and experiences of five, very different students of technology who have all recently graduated secondary school. Each case study brings together data from semi-structured interviews conducted with the student participant, one of their parents and their principal technology teacher at secondary school. They provide an insight into how each student perceived their technology education, what influenced them in choosing technology classes, what knowledge and skills they learnt, how that knowledge and skill has served them in their transition into the workforce or tertiary study, and what they perceive are the differences between vocational technology education and general technology education.

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  • The Relationships between Coping, Gender and Personality on the Experience of Interpersonal Conflict at Work

    Marovic, Jovana (2011)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    The present study explored the relations between task-based and relationship-based interpersonal conflict and several outcomes of employee well-being and organizational importance, examined the role of coping styles as moderators in the stressor-strain process, and investigated how the individual difference characteristics of gender and personality affect these processes. An online questionnaire measuring task-based and relationship-based interpersonal conflict, dispositional coping styles, job satisfaction, affective organizational commitment, turnover intentions, social dysfunction, loss of confidence, anxiety and depression, and several personality dispositions was completed by 178 participants working in the Toronto, Ontario region. All of the participants worked in the IT industry and were recruited from a single organization and the business-orientated networking site LinkedIn. Results showed that both task-based and relationship-based interpersonal conflict were negatively correlated with job satisfaction and affective organizational commitment, and positively correlated with turnover intentions, social dysfunction, loss of confidence, and anxiety and depression. The coping styles of problem-focused, emotion-focused and avoidance moderated several of the relationships between task-based and relationship-based interpersonal conflict and the criterion variables. No gender differences were found in perceptions of relationship-based interpersonal conflict. When faced with relationship-based interpersonal conflict, female employees indicated significantly lower levels of job satisfaction than their male counterparts. While no gender differences were found in the reported use of the problem-focused coping style, female employees reported using the emotion-focused and avoidance coping styles more often than their male counterparts.Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Locus of Control were examined as direct and moderator variables in the experience if interpersonal conflict at work. Conscientiousness was negatively correlated with perceptions of task-based and relationship-based interpersonal conflict, while Neuroticism was positively correlated with perceptions of both. Internal Locus of Control was positively correlated with perceptions of task-based interpersonal and did not show a significant correlation with relationship-based interpersonal conflict. Both Neuroticism and Conscientiousness moderated the relationships between task-based and relationship-based interpersonal conflict and the coping styles of problem-focused, emotion-focused and avoidance. Findings indicated that Locus of Control did not moderate any of the relationships between both types of interpersonal conflict and the coping styles. Limitations and strengths of the present research are discussed in the final chapter, along with recommendations for future research, practical implications, and a conclusion is drawn from the findings presented.

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  • Influence of Vegetation Cover on Coastal Aquifer Fluctuation and Sand Transport on Matakana Island

    Muller, Joshua Alois (2011)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    The Bay of Plenty beaches on the east coast of the North Island, New Zealand are of significant physical, ecological and economic importance. Over the previous century, anthropogenic development and the introduction of non-indigenous coastal plant species has lead to a degradation of many of the Bay of Plenty regions’ coastal dune environments. Restoring these sections of coastline to their natural state strengthens the barrier they provide between coastal developments and the coastal ocean, whilst also promoting the growth of native plant species and improving habitat for local macro-invertebrate species. The influence of vegetation on aquifer levels and aeolian sediment transport in the dune and foredune was investigated at Matakana Island in the Western Bay of Plenty. Monitoring of the water table between March and November 2010 was undertaken at two adjacent sample sites, with different dominant overlying vegetation, Ammophila arenaria and Spinifex sericeus. During this time, aeolian sediment transport rates were also monitored through the deployment of sediment traps and two small climate stations. Results showed that aquifer levels beneath the dune face were highly variable. Fluctuations occurred at a range of time scales, stemming from variations in tide, rainfall and profile shape. Short-term fluctuation was primarily linked to tidal forcing. Tidal fluctuations were observed in the aquifer, and differed from tidal fluctuations directly offshore in their shape and amplitude, with some lag between tide and aquifer fluctuations also evident. Aquifer fluctuation shape and lag, and differences between sample sites were linked to the beach drainage capability through aquifer porosity and permeability; hydraulic conductivity; and transmissivity. Long-term change in beach profile shape further influenced aquifer levels, with an accreting beach resulting in an elevating average aquifer level and an eroding beach resulting in a diminishing aquifer level. Aeolian sediment deposition varied greatly across the cross-shore profile. Transport rates were limited by a small beach width when high tides combined with storm surge and wave run-ups limiting the source area. Rainfall further reduced transport potential when coinciding with high wind speed events. Sediment deposition was evenly distributed in the Spinifex dominated dune system, whilst deposition in the Ammophila dune primarily occurred at the seaward limit of vegetation growth. This pattern of deposition is linked to the characteristics of each species, primarily their average height and growth density. Sediment deposition differences between sites explain variances in sediment compaction which alters dune porosity and permeability at each site. Greater porosity and permeability in the Spinifex dominated dune saw the aquifer draining more readily. Lower beach aquifer levels aid accretion and greaten the source for onshore aeolian sediment transport. Spinifex dominated dunes are therefore suggested to provide healthier beach states on Bay of Plenty beaches.

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  • The Composition of Arylstibonic Acids

    Wright, Cody Elvin (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This thesis describes a detailed ESI-MS investigation into the arylstibonic acids, organo-antimony-containing compounds that are currently of interest as anticancer reagents. Four arylstibonic acids, of nominal formula RC6H4SbO3H2 [R = p-chloro-, p-tolyl-, p-nitro- and α-naphthyl-] were synthesised, and a further eight archival samples from the National Cancer Institute Repository were obtained for use in the project. Results indicate clearly that the acids exist as polyoxometalate aggregates [H8(RSb)12O28], rather than monomeric species, in both the solid state and in acetonitrile solution, thus resolving a century-old debate concerning the nature of their molecular composition. Variations in solvent, time in solution and pH have also defined the stability of these aggregates under different conditions. Synthesis of arylstibonic acids by traditional methods (pre-1940) has been shown to lead to products contaminated with cations present during their preparation. An improved method of synthesis has been devised, and the crystal structure of an intermediate in the synthesis of these acids, [C6NH6][p-O2NC6H4SbCl5], is reported. Salts of arylstibonic acids with a range of cations were investigated by ESI-MS and shown to form a diverse family of polyoxostibonates with nuclearities including Sb12, Sb14 and Sb16. Crystal structures containing some of these aggregates, verified through parallel studies with collaborators, are described. Preliminary study of mixed polyoxometalates (Sb/As) showed a strong tendency to form As4Sb2 species but these could not be fully characterised.

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  • The experiences, perceptions and expectations of teachers, students and parents of the Community High School Model in Solomon Islands: A Case Study

    Memua, James (2011)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This study considers students’ educational needs in the Solomon Islands’ education system. In particular it explores the experiences, perceptions and expectations of teachers, students and parents of the Community High School model. While research has been done on some educational aspects of Community High Schools, none has been carried out amongst the teachers, students and parents. We therefore know very little about their experiences, perceptions and expectations of the Community High Schools in Solomon Islands. Research data were gathered using qualitative case study methods. Specifically, interviews were conducted with four teachers, three students, three parents and four Education Officers. The teachers and students were from an urban Community High School, and the parents had children enrolled at the school. Data gathered were analysed using a thematic analysis approach. The data gathering was conducted in the Solomon Islands in May 2010. The key findings revealed that a number of social justice issues impacted on the majority of students in Community High Schools. They include improved access to secondary education, unbalanced curriculum, teacher-centred teaching and learning practices, poor preparation of students for the future, limited resources, democratic school leadership practice, a mutual school community partnership and a strong School committee. Other key findings which related to the future aspiration encompass more Rural Training Centres, expansion of tertiary education, and inappropriate education policies in general. This study also found that while there is advocacy for Community High Schools to be more responsive to the needs of the majority of students, many of which are rural children, this is not happening. Moreover, while the participants preferred to contextualize school practice to cater for all students however current educational policy does not allow this to happen.

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  • Stress and anxiety in IVF and non-IVF pregnancies

    Clausen, Elizabeth Dorothy (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    As an increasing number of couples experience difficulties conceiving a child, the demand for assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) continues to grow. A great deal of research has been done on the process of enabling conception but much less research has been done on pregnancy experiences of the parents, and previous research has concluded that couples treated with ARTs experience higher levels of stress and anxiety. Given that these responses can negatively impact the development of the foetus, this is an important area of study. The aim of this study was to compare pregnancy experiences, including stress and anxiety levels, of women and their partners who were pregnant after treatment with ARTs with pregnancy experiences of women and their partners who had conceived spontaneously. Participants in the study were 38 women pregnant from IVF, 31 IVF partners, 38 control women who conceived spontaneously, and 13 control partners. The women were all past their first trimester of pregnancy. All participants completed a battery of psychometric measures including demographic questionnaires and seven self-report inventories. The study found that IVF mothers did not experience pregnancy differently from control mothers, however, both IVF mothers and control mothers experienced higher anxiety and lower mood compared to their partners, and IVF couples reported lower quality of life. Focusing on IVF couples, the pregnancy experiences of partners revealed they felt more controlled in their relationship, irrespective of having prior children, and IVF couples with children felt less supported from family and their social network. Furthermore, IVF partners felt more controlled within their relationships irrespective of the treatment type used and the duration of the treatment process. Analyses also revealed two or more treatment cycles had an effect on couple’s ability to cope. The findings of this study showing similar pregnancy experiences between IVF mothers and control mothers, and IVF couples pregnancy experiences on the basis of prior family, treatment type and duration, is advantageous for the positive outcomes of their unborn children. The small number of control partner participants was a limitation of this study, and future research could include strategies that might improve the response rate. In addition, future studies could include qualitative data to gain a personal perspective as a supplement to statistical analyses, and longitudinal studies could compare similar groups from conception to a period after the birth of the child. The study showed the resiliency of IVF couples who had endured the processes of ARTs, some of whom commented that they would prefer extended professional care as an addition to the treatment processes.

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  • Master of Hallucination: A Pragmatist Epistemology and Exploration of Mystical Experience

    Barron, Daniel James (2011)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Mystical experience appears to have always been a feature of human consciousness, and occurs with an enormous variety of content, character, and context. A modern awareness of the variegated nature of mystical experience has led to particular types being almost automatically considered false, usually on somewhat dubious grounds. How might a sound epistemology of mystical experience be developed? Most philosophers who tackle this question attempt to shoehorn mystical experience into a relatively traditional epistemology, with unconvincing results. God or whatever supernatural realm or entity a mystic might claim to perceive is a special kind of object, and requires a special epistemic approach. A common theme of mystical experience is the special knowledge or power that its subject claims to have gained. Perhaps such potentially tangible benefits should be made the focus of an epistemology of mysticism. In this thesis, my first act is to define mystical experience in a broader, more inclusive sense than most other treatments of the topic have done. I then examine the problems of formulating a viable epistemology of mystical experience around the traditional notions of objectivity and subjectivity, explore the question of whether current evolutionary theory can aid us in understanding the epistemic worth of mystical experience, and develop a pragmatist epistemology of mystical experience that draws on the work of William James and John Dewey. I conclude the thesis by arguing for an understanding of mystical experience as a supremely valuable force regardless of the reality of the supernatural, and as a potential cornerstone in a twenty-first century humanism.

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  • Learning food technology outside the classroom: A study of a secondary class visit to a live historical village

    More, Beatrice Anne Maria (2011)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This thesis explores food technology learning experiences outside the classroom. The participants in this study were year 11 students who had selected food technology as one of their NCEA subjects. A living historical village, near to the students’ school, was chosen as the site for an interactive learning experience. The era and artefacts represented by this village are associated with 19th century New Zealand. The purposes of this study were to determine to what extent an interactive learning experience through a live historical village helped students learn about food and the technologies used to produce food; and whether this experience helped students better understand the complex relationship between food technologies and society. The study was informed by research literature on technology education in general and food technology in particular, as well as literature examining student engagement with history and learning outside the classroom. The study adopted a qualitative, interpretative methodology and data was gathered from surveys, tests, classroom activities, document analysis and a focus group interview. The study’s findings clearly indicated that the trip to The Historical Village helped the students learn about the constituents of food products and the technologies used to produce food. The historical context of the village engaged the students and enabled them to associate developments in food technologies with changes in society.

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  • Sports Fans' Evaluations of Sporting Code Innovations

    Musgrave, Christopher Rex (2011)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Today's professional sports are frequently evolving and changing their design, structure and format. Many such innovations have been spurred on by the opportunity to capitalise financially on new markets and increase profit. This study used both quantitative (survey) and qualitative (depth interviews) methods in order to examine fans' attitudes towards the current state of Rugby Union, Rugby League, Netball, Soccer and Cricket. The findings for Rugby Union concluded that the recent experimental law variations have succeeded in what they were introduced to do. Fans believe that Rugby is more exciting to watch than ever before and that it is now a faster and more attack-focused contest. Fans believe that Rugby League has improved following the introduction of the video referee and in particular by the use of two on-field referees. They believe that it is now a more exciting and faster game. Fans also believe that salary caps are good for Rugby League and help to increase competition and spread the wealth of talent among the teams. Netball fans are excited by possible new innovations and show support for the inclusion of power plays, two point goals, rolling substitutions and increased physical contact. Fans believe that Soccer needs to adopt technology in order to help its officials but they also admire the traditionalism of the code. Surprisingly, fans show support for increasing the sizes of Soccer‟s goals in order to make it easier for teams to score. Fans show support for Twenty20 cricket and seem undeterred by recent match fixing scandals. There is also evident support for the introduction of Beach Cricket to New Zealand. Analysing fans' attitudes towards professional sport's product innovations has led to a final implication and conclusion for the administrators and governing bodies of professional sport. That is, it would be wise to keep the traditional codes and their formats as traditional as possible. However, evolve the same sport in to a completely separate format in order to financially capitalise on different markets. Twenty20 cricket is a perfect example of this.

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