1,024 results for Doctoral, 2014

  • Education and the boarding school novel : examining the work of José Régio

    Santos, Filipe D. Saavedra (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This thesis is centred on the work of Portuguese writer José Régio (1901-1969). He was a teacher-writer and, arguably, the most philosophical of Portuguese school novel authors. In his novel ‘A Drop of Blood’ (1945), Régio shows interest in the formation of the artist as the special object of education – the ‘marked man’ –, whose sensitivity distances him irremediably from the crowd. He adopted the radical individualism of Nietzsche not in order to be ‘for’ or ‘against’ this or that schooling model but to exemplify the perpetual clash, inherent in mankind, between the individual and the group, the artist and the non-artistic person, the young and the adult, the son and the father and the self and the world. Published Proquest ebook version: http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/canterbury/detail.action?docID=4799556 (UC Staff and Student use only)

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  • A spatial analysis of dengue fever and an analysis of dengue control strategies in Jeddah City, Saudi Arabia

    Alkhaldy, Ibrahim (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Dengue fever poses a constant serious risk and continues to be a major public health threat in Saudi Arabia, particularly in the city of Jeddah where, since 2006, despite formally introduced Control Strategies, there has been a significant increase in the number of cases. International literature suggests that a range of variables can influence the persistence of dengue, including climatic conditions, the quality of the urban environment, socioeconomic status and control strategies. The overall aims of this research are to understand neighbourhood influences on the pattern of dengue fever across Jeddah City and to make a preliminary determination of the enabling factors for, and barriers to, the effective implementation of the Control Strategies for dengue fever in Jeddah City. A mixed methods research design using quantitative and qualitative data was used. Quantitative data were obtained from administrative sources for dengue fever cases and some of the spatial and temporal variables associated with them, but new variables were created for neighbourhood status and the presence of surface water. Qualitative data are drawn from key informant interviews with 15 people who were, or who had been, working on dengue fever Control Strategies. A qualitative descriptive analysis was based on pre- determined and emergent themes. The spatial and temporal analysis of the variables related to dengue fever in Jeddah City neighbourhoods revealed that neighbourhood status has a direct relationship with dengue fever cases, which is mediated through population density and the presence of non- Saudi immigrants. While there was no relationship with the presence of swamps, seasonal variations in the incidence of dengue were most pronounced in neighbourhoods of low socioeconomic status. The qualitative review of dengue Control Strategies indicated five themes: (1) workforce characteristics and capability, (2) knowledge about dengue fever in Saudi Arabia and Jeddah City, (3) operational strategies for dengue fever control in Jeddah City, (4) the progress of implementation, and (5) overall view of the Government strategies in Jeddah City. This analysis found that the Strategies were well regarded but that aspects of implementation were not always effective. Nevertheless, both quantitative and qualitative results showed the persistence dengue fever problems in Jeddah City neighbourhoods and suggested how cases might be controlled. The number of dengue fever cases in Jeddah City neighbourhoods could continue to rise if the direct and indirect variables affecting dengue fever at the neighbourhood level are not well controlled. Careful attention to the further monitoring of patterns of dengue and specific neighbourhood Control Strategies are recommended, and established Control Strategies need to be implemented as designed. Nonetheless, there is still a need to develop new approaches that can examine and address neighbourhood level issues of dengue fever control.

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  • Predation risk and the evolution of odours in island birds

    Thierry, Aude (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    It is only recently that studies have explored the use of olfaction in birds. Birds are now known to use odour cues for navigation, and locating food. Odours produced by the birds themselves can also function in nest recognition and even mate choice. The odours of most birds stem from the preen wax produced by the uropygial or preen gland. The wax is comprised of a complex mixture of esters and volatiles, and is known to vary in some species with age, sex, season, or environmental conditions. Its function has been associated with feather maintenance, but it may also play a role in sexual selection and chemical communication. In this thesis, I used the preen gland and its preen wax to perform comparative studies on the evolution of odours between island birds and their continental relatives. I used the birds of the Oceania region as a model system, where most passerines originated from continental Australia but have colonised numerous surrounding islands such as New Zealand and New Caledonia. As islands generally lack mammalian predators, and have less parasites and less interspecific competition than continents, these differences in environmental conditions likely shaped functional differences in the preen gland and its products. I measured the size of the preen gland and collected preen wax from a variety of forest passerines in Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia. I found that island birds have larger preen glands and therefore likely produce more preen wax than their continental relatives. I also found that the preen wax composition differed among species, with a shift to birds on islands producing disproportionately lighter and more volatile compounds. I suggest that selection favoured the gain of more volatile molecules in island birds as they were released from the constraint to camouflage their odours that is imposed by mammalian predators on continental areas. It is possible that this also allowed greater communication through olfactory channels in island birds, and such communication is enhanced through the use of more volatile compounds. To support this hypothesis I showed that the South Island robin (Petroica australis) was able to detect and react to the odour of a conspecific (odours produced by preen wax) in the absence of any visual cues. From a conservation perspective, increased volatility of the preen waxes of island birds might place them at increased risk from introduced mammalian predators that use olfaction to locate their prey. However, in both laboratory tests using Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus), a common exotic predator, and in field trials using rodent tracking tunnels, I found only limited evidence to suggest the odour of island birds places them at greater risk, and more experiments are needed to test this hypothesis. Finally, my findings of more conspicuous odours in island birds suggest new avenues of research for their conservation, including whether island species that seem especially prone to predation have preen waxes (and thus odours) that are also especially attractive to exotic mammalian predators. Conservation programmes to protect endangered island birds may even benefit from considering whether olfactory cues can be minimised as a method of reducing predation risk.

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  • New Zealand learning environments: The role of design and the design process

    Alsaif, Fatimah Mohammed (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Learning environments are important spaces because these are where primary school children spend many hours. These environments can vary from single cell classrooms to modern open plan learning studios. As the design of these learning environments can affect the learning outcomes of students, their design and the design process behind them are important fields of investigation. Involving the users of learning environments in the design process is an important factor to be considered. Studies overseas stress the importance of involving teachers and students in the design process of learning environments. However, studies about learning environments in New Zealand show less consideration for the internal layout of classrooms and the involvement of users in their design process. Thus, this thesis studies and compares the design process behind learning environments in New Zealand with those overseas and the effect of this involvement on the design of primary school internal learning spaces, specifically classrooms. The aim of this thesis is create an understanding of the design process behind primary school classroom learning environments in New Zealand. To achieve the aim, this thesis undertakes five phases of study. The first phase is surveying primary school teachers and architects who design educational spaces, about the design and design process of learning environments in New Zealand. The survey results show that both teachers and architects support participatory design in schools and wish for more student user involvement. The second phase is a trial using social media to encourage more teacher and student participation in designing learning environments. Wordpress and Facebook groups were used for this experiment and teachers and students of primary schools in New Zealand were invited to participate. The trial result appears to indicate that social media does not work in encouraging students and teachers in thinking about the design of learning environments in general without having a specific project as a focus. The third phase is a workshop gathering five teachers and one architect to discuss the detail of the design process behind learning environments in New Zealand. The workshop result suggests that again participants support participatory design but suggest the need for guidance on how to do this, possibly from the Ministry of Education. The fourth phase is a case study of the early stages of a re‐build project for Thorndon Primary School in Wellington city. The case study included interviews, focus groups, observations, and collecting documentation. The main conclusion from the case study is that all parties to the project were in support of participatory design but would have benefitted from guidance as the whole design process and user involvement in it is unclear. The last phase is also case studies but here the focus is on the design process for rearranging the internal layout of two classrooms in two primary schools in Wellington city. The case studies covered observing the involvement of students in the design process, some classroom and brainstorming sessions, and interviews with teachers. The main result of this phase is the observation that students enjoy working on the design of their own environments and that they are able and ready to work as part of such a design process. The key conclusions of this thesis are that all parties involved in this research supported user participation in the design process, but in all the cases investigated there is almost no proper participatory design; students enjoy designing their learning environments and that enjoyment makes them belong and connect to these more; and proper preliminary guidelines for participatory design in learning environments could improve and encourage user involvement in designing learning environments in New Zealand.

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  • The Potential for Augmented Reality to Bring Balance betweenthe Ease of Pedestrian Navigation and the Acquisition of Spatial Knowledge

    Wen, James (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Being completely lost in an unfamiliar environment can be inconvenient, stressful and, at times, even dangerous. Maps are the traditional tools used for guidance but many people find maps difficult to use. In recent years, new tools like outdoor Augmented Reality (AR) have become available which allow virtual navigation cues to be directly overlaid on the real world, potentially overcoming the limitations of maps. However, it has been hypothesized that lower effort invested in processing navigation guidance may lead to diminished spatial knowledge (SK) thereby making users of such navigation tools far more vulnerable to getting lost should the tools fail for any reason. This thesis explores the research question of how AR and maps compare as tools for pedestrian navigation guidance as well as for SK acquisition and if there is a potential for AR tools be developed that would balance the two. We present a series of studies to better understand the consequences of using AR in a pedestrian navigation tool. The first two studies compared time-on-task performance and user preferences for AR and Map navigation interfaces on an outdoor navigation task. The results were not aligned with expectations, which led us to build a controlled testing environment for comparing AR and map navigation. Using this simulated setting, our third study verified the assumption that AR can indeed result in more efficient navigation performance and it supported the hypothesis that this would come at the cost of weaker SK. In our fourth study, we used a dual task design to compare the relative cognitive resources required by map and AR interfaces. The quantitative data collected indicated that users could potentially accept additional workload designed to improve SK without incurring significantly more effort. Our fifth and final study explored an interface with additional AR cues that could potentially balance navigation guidance with SK acquisition. The contributions of this thesis include insights into performance issues relating to AR, a classification of user types based on navigation tool usage behavior, a testbed for simulating perfect AR tracking in a virtual setting, objective measures for determining route knowledge, the capacity that pedestrian navigation tool users may have for performing additional tasks, and guidelines that would be helpful in the design of pedestrian navigation tools.

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  • Restricted Verb Phrase Collocations in Standard and Learner Malaysian English

    Abd Halim, Hasliza (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The English used in Malaysia is one of the varieties of New Englishes and this variety has emerged due to the spread of English around the world (Platt, et al., 1983; Pillai, 2006). In the case of Malaysia, Malay is the national language and standard English exists to be the language of an elite (Bao, 2006), also as a language of interaction. Over years of playing its various roles as a language of interaction, there has emerged a variety of English that is distinctively Malaysian (Asmah, 1992). Baskaran (2002) points out that English is now adopted and adapted in the linguistic ecology of Malaysia, and all Malaysians should be proud of it with all its local ‘nuances and innuendos’. Malaysian English today is ‘a rich tapestry of a typical transplanted variety of English’. Malaysian English (ME) is one of the new varieties of English, with some distinct features include the localized vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar as well as pragmatic features (Pillai, 2006; Pillai and Fauziah, 2006, p.39). The present study has embarked on a specialised study of vocabulary. In particular, it examined the English collocations produced by non-native speaker English users in Malaysia. The study provided insight into the nature of the internal norms of English used in Malaysia to see how these English restricted collocations being used by this group of learners. The investigation focused on the learners’ productive knowledge of Verb-Noun collocations of their written English with the impact of exposure and frequency. Nesselhauf (2003) has the opinion that verb-noun combinations are the most frequently mistaken so they should perceive particular attention of learners. Investigating collocation in English language learning is paramount as such study may inform us on the use of restricted collocations in English language teaching and learning in Malaysian context. The findings in Chapter 4 and 5 suggest that the frequency of the cloze verb does have an effect as predicted by Kuiper, Columbus and Schmitt (2009). This is so because frequency is a measure of likely exposure. The more frequent an item is in corpora, the more likely a learner is to be exposed to it. What is needed is a much more nuanced notion of exposure. The findings in Chapter 6 proves that the malformed collocations make sense could be a way of making the World English perspective relevant after all. A new testing approach is proposed; semantic plausibility metric, which is used as a tool for this study, can be useful used as a measure of vocabulary acquisition as well as looking at learners’ test taking strategies. The findings of the present research on Malaysian English collocations contribute new knowledge to the existing understanding and literature on the acquisition of collocations.

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  • Screening for Antisocial Development

    Tyler-Merrick, Gaye Margaret (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Teachers report that there are an increased number of students engaging in persistent antisocial behaviour in their classrooms. Teachers need to identify these students early because if there is early identification then there is the potential for early intervention, which in turn may prevent negative long-term outcomes for these students as well as long-term costs to society. The aims of this study were (1) develop a psychometrically sound, cost effective, three-step multiple gating behaviour screening procedure that teachers could use in their kindergarten/classroom so that they could identify those students at-risk of antisocial development, (2) examine if the third gate of this procedure was necessary for the accurate identification of these students, and (3) could such a screening procedure be adapted for classroom teacher use in New Zealand kindergartens and schools. Forty eight teachers from three kindergartens and 10 primary/intermediate schools volunteered for the study, of which 34 teachers completed all three gates of the screening procedure. Results indicate the three gate screening procedure was easily adapted for kindergarten and classroom use with, at Gate 3, teachers’ self-recording 30 direct observations of a nominated and control student during their normal teaching lesson with good accuracy. All three gates were effective in identifying those students at-risk of antisocial development but Gates 1 and 2 were the most effective in terms of accuracy, time and resourcing. The teachers found the three gate procedure manageable, required very little training and did not interrupt classroom routine or schedules. The implications of these findings are discussed.

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  • International Student Mobility and Internationalisation of Universities - The role of serendipity, risk and uncertainty in student mobility and the development of cosmopolitan mind-sets through knowledge and intercultural competence. Employability, students’ future mobility aspirations and the EU’s support of international student mobility

    Weibl, Gabriel (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The background to this study lies in the discrepancy between the perceptions of international student mobility in the context of the internationalisation of higher education by the EU and universities on one hand and international students themselves in terms of their motivations to study abroad on the other hand. This is a comparative study based on three main case studies, of six universities in New Zealand, Oxford University in the UK and the Charles University in the Czech Republic. It explores the students’ experiences abroad in terms of their intercultural competence, the shaping of identities, the acquisition and transfer of knowledge, the possible forming of cosmopolitan mind-sets and empathy, perceptions of employability and their future mobility aspirations. This thesis also considers the barriers and ‘push and pull’ factors of mobility, perceptions of risk and uncertainty in regards to mobility and the role of serendipity in student mobility, which has been overlooked in the literature on mobility and migration. The theoretical framework of the study builds on social capital theory, Europeanisation and the ‘do-it-yourself biography’ theory. The nature of this topic, however, suggested the employment of the concepts of globalisation, transnationalism and consideration of other forms of capital, such as the total human capital, mobility capital and transnational identity capital. This is predominantly a qualitative, mixed-method and longitudinal research project, which uses surveys, case studies, interviews and the data collecting tool called grounded theory. It triangulates data to support and enhance the analytical validity of the thesis. This research concludes that student experiences abroad as well as the internationalisation efforts of universities and the EU would benefit from the introduction of education for global citizenship, which should focus on the intercultural competencies of students. The thesis suggests sociocultural elements for example the cosmopolitan mind-set can enhance the economic, academic and political rationales of internationalisation, such as employability.

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  • Luck egalitarianism and educational equality.

    Calvert, John Sinclair (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This thesis investigates whether luck egalitarianism can provide a cogent and coherent interpretation of educational equality. Historically, the belief that each child should receive an equally good education has exerted a strong influence on policy makers and thus on educational practice, and this despite the vagueness of the egalitarian formula. More recently however, the ideal has been undermined in practice by the rise of neoliberalism and in theory by a number of thinkers advocating other principles of educational justice. But it is vital to be clear about what each child is owed because of the profound effects of education on a person’s life prospects. The motivation for this work is therefore to determine whether educational equality can be rescued as a desirable and animating ideal of educational justice. In order to achieve this, I examine luck egalitarianism, a theory of distributive justice that has its origins in the work of John Rawls, but is now the major rival to his account of egalitarian justice. I probe at the fundamental moral intuitions underpinning luck egalitarianism and how it brings together the morally potent ideas of equality, luck and choice. I argue that these are of relevance for the education each child is owed and I propose a luck egalitarian conception of educational equality, argue that it is a cogent interpretation of egalitarian justice, and conclude that a luck egalitarian conception shows educational equality to be an ideal that is relevant, coherent and what morally matters most for justice in education. I describe luck egalitarianism as resting on three basic moral beliefs: that distributive equality is a fundamental demand of justice; that luck undermines fair equality; and that a person’s genuine choices can sometimes, under certain background conditions, render some otherwise objectionable inequalities not unjust. I then examine whether these three beliefs are compatible with each other and what, if anything, links them. Next, I consider luck egalitarianism’s status as a theory of distributive justice and argue that far from this being a weakness, as Elizabeth Anderson (1999) has notably argued, it is a strength of the position. But to appreciate this it needs to be seen that luck egalitarianism makes no claim to being all of justice and that the equalisandum of equality is complex and egalitarianism is intrinsically pluralist in nature (with a particular understanding of what is meant by pluralist). I consider too whether it is a mistake to say that inequalities that are largely due to luck can really be thought of as unjust. Thomas Nagel (1997) has argued that it is merely misfortune, unless the result of deliberate actions or social structures for which someone is responsible. I reject that position and argue that no one has to be responsible for an inequality for it to be unjust. Having interrogated luck egalitarianism and found it to be a sound account of egalitarian distributive justice, I turn to looking at whether it can illuminate our understanding of educational equality. Educational equality is often interpreted in terms of equality of educational opportunity. I look particularly at a conception of equality of educational opportunity, strongly influenced by Rawls, that has been thoughtfully and carefully articulated by Harry Brighouse and Adam Swift (2008). I find their conception powerful, but flawed, and argue that a luck egalitarian conception can account for the appeal of their conception, but is an advance on it. I end by looking at a specific question of educational justice to test the luck egalitarian conception – is there anything inegalitarian about ability grouping? I conclude that, while still needing to have its implications worked out in full, particularly as regards choice, a luck egalitarian conception provides a compelling account of educational equality and reasserts that equality matters for justice in education.

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  • Export participation, employee benefits, and firm performance: The evidence from Vietnam’s manufacturing SMEs

    Vu, Van Huong (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    Vietnam has seen a significant rise in the number of SMEs since introducing the Enterprise Law in 2000. Non-state SMEs are playing a key role in economic growth, creating jobs, and reducing poverty. However, these non-state SMEs participate only modestly in export activity despite the high export performance of the economy. What are the factors impeding export participation? And how does the role of export performance affect employee benefits (e.g. higher wages) and firm performance? This thesis is the first study to provide empirical evidence for answering these research questions. Chapter 3 investigates the causal relationship between export participation and productivity by examining two popular hypotheses, self-selection and learning by exporting. Using a balanced panel dataset from 2005-2009 for Vietnamese private manufacturing SMEs, the results show strong statistical evidence for the self-selection of more productive firms into the export market. The alternative hypothesis, learning by exporting, is shown to be invalid by employing a fixed-effect panel data estimation and a fixed-effect instrumental variable regression. This study also reveals that export participation has no impact on technical efficiency, technical progress, and scale change. Chapter 4 explores the role of export participation in increasing employee benefits in terms of wages and employment quality. First, based on a unique, matched firm-worker panel dataset between 2007 and 2009, the study shows that export participation has a positive impact on wages when taking into account only firm characteristics. However, the exporter wage premium falls and dissipates when both firm and worker characteristics are controlled for. In addition, the effect decreases further and becomes less significant when controlling for time-invariant, unobservable factors by a spell fixed-effect estimation. Second, using a firm level balanced panel dataset in the same period, the results show that there is a positive linkage between export participation and the share of casual workers. However, the effect of export participation on wages and employment quality varies greatly across sectors. Chapter 5 investigates linkages between export participation, firm survival and profitability in Vietnam. Using an unbalanced panel dataset from 2005 to 2009, the study shows no difference in survival probability between exporters and non-exporters. However, the probability of a firm’s survival is greater for those who engage continuously in export but is lower for firms which have ceased export activity, as indicated by their export status at different stages. Using ordinary least squares (OLS) to consider the relationship between firm profitability and export activity, the results indicate that export status is not related to firm profit growth. However, a quantile regression approach shows that export participation is positively related to profitability for firms with high profit growth but negatively related for those firms with low profit growth. This might suggest that the productivity advantages of exporters with low profit growth are absorbed by costs relating to trading activities in overseas markets. This thesis may have several potential policy implications. First, export promotion policies may not be effective if they are not accompanied by strategies to help SMEs become more productive. In addition, policies encouraging and supporting exports should focus not only on the number of employment created but also on the quality of employment, especially for low-technology industries. Finally, export-promoting policies (e.g. improvement in firms’ innovative activities) coupled with policies maintaining firms’ positions in export markets could be helpful since these measures in turn may help firms improve their survival probability and profit growth. However, the policy issues are very complicated and these suggestions should therefore be considered an initial foundation for further study.

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  • Microstructure and mechanical properties of aluminium based nanocomposites strengthened with alumina and silicon carbide

    Gazawi, Amro Abdul-Karim (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    Al-Al₂O₃ and Al-4wt%Cu-SiC metal matrix nanocomposites were studied because these materials have a potential for offering good ductility, high strength, and high electrical and/or thermal conductivity, which make them ideal for engineering applications such as aerospace and automobile components. In order to achieve these goals the reinforcement phase needs to be in a particulate form, and the size of the particles needs to be small. Samples of aluminium based nanocomposites were produced with different volume fractions, ranging from 2.5-10 vol.% of alumina (Al₂O₃) and silicon carbide (SiC) nanoparticles. High energy mechanical milling (HEMM) with various milling times ranging from 6-12 hours was used to produce these samples. Optical microscopy, XRD, SEM, TEM and microindentation were used to characterize the milled powder and bulk samples. Bulk solid Al-(2.5-10) vol. % Al₂O₃ and Al-4wt%Cu-(2.5-10) vol. %SiC nanocomposites samples were produced using different powder consolidation techniques such as powder compact forging and powder compact extrusion. The microstructure of the composite powder/balls/granules produced was studied in details to understand the morphology, macrostructure and microstructural evolution during the HEMM and with changing volume percent of the reinforcements in the matrix. The nano SiC and Al₂O₃ were imbedded into the aluminium matrix due to the high forces and strains affecting particle surfaces during milling and the very small size of the reinforcement relative to the size of the Al particles. The average microhardness was increased with increasing volume fraction of reinforcement within the matrix. HEMM was used to fabricate Ultra-Fine Grained (UFG) and nanostructured Al- (2.5-10) vol. %Al₂O₃ composites with a dispersion of nano alumina within the matrix and Al-4wt%Cu- (2.5-10) vol%SiC with two different sizes of SiC in the micro and nano ranges. A UFG structure in the Al and Al-(2.5-10)vol.% Al₂O₃ nanocomposites can be synthesized by a combination of high energy mechanical milling and severe plastic deformation used to consolidate the powder compacts into nearly fully dense forged discs and extruded bars. No significant microscopic yielding was found in the Al-2.5 and 10 vol. %Al₂O₃ composites produced by powder compact forging. However, Al-5vol. % Al₂O₃ showed plastic yielding of 8%, and the best fracture strength of 343 MPa. No significant microscopic yielding was noticed for the Al- 10 vol. %Al₂O₃ composite produced by powder compact extrusion. Al-2.5vol. % Al₂O₃ showed plastic yielding of ~1% with the highest tensile strength of 364 MPa while Al-5vol. % Al₂O₃ showed plastic yielding of 8% with a yield strength of 318 MPa. The average microhardness of the extruded bars for Al-4wt%Cu-(2.5-10)vol.% SiC increased from 104 HV to 205 HV with increasing the volume fraction of SiC nanoparticles from 2.5 to 10%. The ultimate tensile strength increased from 168 MPa to 400 MPa with increasing volume fraction of SiC nanoparticles from 2.5 to 5% while the ductility dropped from 6.8% to 1.2 %. The fracture strength of the Al-4wt%Cu-micro-SiC was increased from 225 MPa for Al-4wt%Cu-2.5vol. %SiC to 412 MPa for Al-4wt%Cu-10vol. % SiC. The Al-4wt%Cu-2.5vol. %SiC forged disc did not show any macroscopic plastic yielding, while the Al-4wt%Cu-(7.5 and 10)vol. %SiC forged disk showed macroscopic plastic yielding with a small plastic strain to fracture (~1%).

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  • International Climate Change Governance: Issues of Democracy, Institutions and the Media

    Pandey, Chandra Lal (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was established in 1992 to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. The nation states of the world have attempted to arrest climate change through a state-centric large scale multilateral treaty making process. Yet, over a period of more than twenty years, little has been achieved toward that objective. The making of international climate change governance required to arrest climate change is falling short. Greenhouse gases, which scientists consider to be the main culprit of climate change, are increasing rapidly making every subsequent year’s emissions concentration a new record. Climate scientists say global temperatures rising above 2 degrees Celsius could be extremely dangerous. The 1992 Convention, 1997 Kyoto Protocol, 2009 Copenhagen Accord and subsequent agreements have failed to translate the goal and achieve the threshold target as no serious and viable policies are forthcoming. Instead, the United Nations’ climate conferences have become a yearly chore for diplomats. The complexities of climate change governance arise not only from the nature and uncertainty of its impact, but also from its embedded relationships with social, cultural, political, economic, historical and institutional dimensions. Appropriate responses to address the challenges of climate change are difficult in the absence of potential solutions in sight. The pre-requisite for any effective policy responses is that the decision making process be democratic, transparent, and inclusive so that the ultimate addressees can ‘own’ the problem and contribute to solutions. A sizable literature focuses on the causes and reasons behind climate change and advocates radical actions to arrest it. Other research highlights economic implications, alternatives to fossil fuels, consumption and production, scientific uncertainty and challenges the perennial North-South politics in seeking to explain the lack of progress. There has been little research on why international climate change governance is making only incremental progress. This thesis takes as its starting point the paucity of attention to working out how and why progress has not been made, drawing on insights from climate change negotiations, major climate agreements and analyses of data on media communications on the issues of international climate change negotiations for policy making. The research recognizes the complexity of climate change and takes a comprehensive approach in considering why has there been little progress in the making of an effective international climate change governance to prevent climate change. The thesis takes three complementary approaches in addressing the central research question. The first develops from the concept of a democratic deficit and posits that the failure of progress can be attributed to a lack of the democratic processes in grappling with the issues. The second explores the state-centric framework of UNFCCC and posits that since the environmental issues are non-territorial, the challenges postulated by climate change cannot be resolved and progress made by solely relying on a state-centric approach. The third is to do with media communications and posits the role of the media in public education as central to develop the necessary public support for addressing the issues of climate change. The Kyoto Protocol and the Copenhagen Accord, and how they were achieved are central to this research as these are the two major climate change agreements achieved internationally so far. This research concludes that the approaches we have adopted so far have been inadequate because of the lack of involvement of the main stakeholders in decision making processes. The common but differentiated and historical responsibilities, pertinent principles in 1992, no longer reflect current economic growth and greenhouse gas emission patterns. There is a need to review our state-centric institutional framework toward a more inclusive, participatory, and deliberative accountability whereby the public and businesses can ‘own’ the problem. The role of the media is paramount in this because it is the media that passes information from the scientists, experts and policy makers to the public. The research concludes that the media has a key role to play and needs to be more critical in advancing measures to address the problems of climate change.

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  • Characterisation of Novel Nitric Oxide and Carbon Monoxide Donors

    Kumari, Sweta (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    Nitrogen monoxide (NO) and carbon monoxide (CO) are small messenger molecules which play multiple roles in mammalian physiology. Currently, available NO and CO donor drugs are limited in therapeutic potential due to a lack of organ or tissue specificity and stability. These limitations have stimulated great interest in the development of compounds that can generate NO and CO in a controlled and sustained manner with minimal toxicity. Two new therapeutic agents are under development at the University of Otago, New Zealand, tDodSNO, a photoactivated NO donor and CO-13, an organic based CO donor. This thesis examines some of their pharmacological characteristics trialing as cardiovascular and anticancer therapeutics. Our data demonstrate that photosensitive tDodSNO had a half life of > 4 h under photoactivation (25 W/m2) and was highly stable in vitro in the absence of photoactivation (0 W/m2). The NO release kinetics of tDodSNO was then compared to other commonly studied SNT’s, GSNO and SNAP. We found a steady state concentration of 8 ± 2 μM NO was achieved under photoactivation (300 W/m2) of 100 μM tDodSNO which could be regulated by modulating intensity of photostimulus. The CO release kinetics of CO-13 was also investigated and we found that CO-13 was a slow releasing CO donor compared to commonly studied metal based CO donor (CORM-2). To test the efficacy as vasorelaxing agent, vasorelaxation on vascular smooth muscle tissue was investigated. There was an 8 fold decrease in EC50 value of tDodSNO upon photoactivation. In contrast, both GSNO and SNAP induced NO dependent vasorelaxation, at lower concentrations than tDodSNO, but this activity may be due to their rapid metabolic decomposition, and could not be modulated by photoactivation. Similar to tDodSNO, CO-13 was found to be a potent vasorelaxing agent compared to CORM-2. We also evaluated the cytotoxicity of tDodSNO and CO-13 on A549 lung cancer cell line. Our data with tDodSNO revealed that the photoactivation (25 W/m2) induced highly significant increases in cytotoxicity compared to nonphotoactivation. A time and concentration dependent decrease in cell viability was observed with CO-13, which was substantially different compared to its CO depleted form BP-13. In conclusion, our study suggests that photosensitive tDodSNO and CO-13 have the potential to be promising novel cardiovascular and anticancer therapeutic agents.

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  • One dose of Architecture, taken daily: Building for Mental Health in New Zealand

    McLaughlan, Rebecca (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Thousands of New Zealanders were treated in the nation’s mental hospitals in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Existing research has examined this history of institutionalisation from the perspectives of policy, psychiatric medicine and nursing culture, but to date little has been written about the built fabric of this type of institutional care. This dissertation asks what does the architectural approach taken to Seacliff Asylum (1878-84), Kingseat Hospital (1927-40) and Cherry Farm Hospital (1943-71) indicate about official attitudes to mental illness in New Zealand. Architecture was thought to be capable of performing a curative role in the treatment of mental illness; the administrators of New Zealand’s mental hospitals stated this belief publically in various press releases and reports to the government between 1878 and 1957. This dissertation examines Seacliff, Kingseat and Cherry Farm against current thought regarding the treatment of mental illness and against best architectural practice in mental hospital design. While these three institutions were the jewels in the crown of New Zealand’s mental hospital network, only Kingseat could be considered an exemplary hospital of its time. The compromises that occurred in the construction of Seacliff, Kingseat and Cherry Farm hospitals indicate that meeting the needs of the mentally ill was only one of a number of agendas that were addressed by the officials involved in the design of these institutions. Many of these agendas were peripheral to the delivery of mental health care, such as the political desire for colonial propaganda and professional concerns of marginalisation, and conflicted with the attainment of ideal environments for the treatment of mental illness. The needs of the mentally ill were a low priority for successive New Zealand governments who exhibited a reluctance to spend taxpayer funds on patients who were not considered curable. The architects and medical advisors involved in the design of these facilities did attempt to meet the needs of these patients; however, they were limited by a design and procurement process that elevated political and operational concerns over the curative potential of these hospitals. This dissertation also examines the role of individuals in the design of these institutions. Architect Robert Lawson was reproached for deficiencies in the curative potential of Seacliff Asylum. Similarly, medical administrator Theodore Gray has received criticism for limiting the development of New Zealand’s wider network of mental hospital care. This dissertation establishes that Lawson and Gray deserve greater recognition for their relative contributions to the architecture created, within New Zealand, for the treatment of mental illness.

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  • Designing accurate and effective means for marine ecosystem monitoring incorporating species distribution assessments

    Jones, Timothy (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Monitoring marine ecosystems is essential for the conservation and management of marine biodiversity as it is central to the development of sustainable management practices and for assessing the effectiveness of the increasing number of marine reserves (MR) globally. Monitoring data are often collected in MRs to assess the state of natural marine systems in the absence of anthropogenic disturbance or to assess recovery of previously impacted species. In recent years, MR designation has attempted to move away from ad hoc approaches to MR establishment and towards using existing species distribution and abundance data to define protected areas. Given the logistics and cost of collecting biological data in the marine environment, effective methods are required to successfully demonstrate changes associated with MRs and to identify the spatial distribution of organisms and habitats for the planning of further MRs. The aim of this thesis was to identify effective protocols for the monitoring of fish and invertebrate species inside MRs in New Zealand, and to develop and apply methodologies to identify spatial distribution patterns relevant to marine spatial planning. Using baseline data of fish and invertebrate species abundances for the Taputeranga MR I performed prospective power analyses to identify the most cost-effective monitoring approach for subsequent monitoring. Based on before-after-control-impact (BACI) tests the power to conclude statistically that abundances were higher at MR sites was low for even large simulated changes in abundance (two-fold or four-fold increases) for most species. Due to differences in baseline abundance and spatio-temporal variance terms, power varied considerably among species, highlighting the difficulty of monitoring all species to the same degree, whilst also remaining cost-effective. Furthermore, the results highlight the need for temporally replicated survey designs as “one-off” surveys had much lower power than those that were temporally replicated. Longer term monitoring effectiveness was analysed using three long-term datasets from MRs in the South Island of New Zealand. I analysed the power of alternate underwater visual census (UVC) monitoring configurations to conclude statistically that there were increasing/decreasing trends in abundance, as well as the precision and accuracy of trend estimates. Overall even the highest replication designs considered had low power (< 80%) to conclude there was a non-zero trend even when simulated data represented trends equivalent to the population doubling or halving over ten years. The most cost-effective monitoring design varied among species and MRs, further highlighting that monitoring choices need to be location- and species-specific. A general finding, however, was that increasing the number of sites was almost always more beneficial than increasing the number of transects per site. Based on these results, I recommend that monitoring design planning focuses more specifically on assessments of precision and accuracy of estimated parameters, with less focus on power, as this places greater emphasis on interpreting monitoring data in terms of potential biological significance rather than testing for statistical significance. Monitoring can never achieve complete coverage of large areas therefore methods for extrapolating or predicting species or habitats to un-surveyed locations are necessary for evaluating large-scale spatial distributions. To address this I used modelling techniques to identify the spatial variation in species and habitats along the Wellington south coast, with a particular focus on elucidating the potential and realised effects of wave exposure. A wave simulation model (SWAN) was used to identify the spatial variation in wave exposure relevant to intertidal and subtidal communities. In particular the spatial variation in wave forces was compared to the distribution of two subtidal macroalgal species, Macrocystis pyrifera and Ecklonia radiata, taking into consideration the biomechanical thresholds of damage for these plants. Despite considerable wave forces during winter storms, healthy E. radiata is unlikely to be damaged, whilst larger (>15 m stipe length) M. pyrifera plants are likely to be damaged in certain locations dependent on local sheltering effects. Furthermore, the distribution of M. pyrifera from aerial imagery coincided with areas that were predicted to have lower wave forces, suggesting that the distribution of M. pyrifera may be related to wave exposure. I subsequently constructed species distribution models revealing the relationship between intertidal species distributions and environmental factors, as a predictive baseline of the current distributions of species. The abundances of Chamaesipho barnacle species were found to be best described by wave exposure, with increased cover correlated with increasing wave exposure, while contrasting patterns were observed for C. brunnea and C. columna with respect to distance from the harbour entrance, suggesting differential larval supply or differential responses to changing water column characteristics. Macroalgal assemblage composition was explained predominantly by wave exposure, with a rich macroalgal assemblage at the less exposed locations, and more exposed locations exhibiting a community consisting of coralline algal species and the large brown alga Durvillaea antarctica. The predictive models were then used to predict species distributions for a section of coastline demonstrating how this form of modelling can be used to maximise the potential of monitoring data. Finally, a literature keyword search along with methodological developments and results from previous chapters are used in the final chapter to develop a framework for the collection of data from the planning phase all the way through to long-term monitoring of MRs.

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  • Feature Extraction in Edge Detection using Genetic Programming

    Fu, Wenlong (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Edge detection is important in image processing. Extracting edge features is the main and necessary process in edge detection. Since features in edge detection are implicit, most of the existing edge features only work well on specific images. Using a moving window has a trade-off between noise rejection and localisation accuracy. Genetic Programming (GP) has been widely applied to image processing, and GP has potential for extracting edge features, although there is little work in GP for edge detection. The overall goal of this thesis is to investigate GP for automatic edge feature extraction using different amounts of existing knowledge from only using raw pixel intensities and ground truth to more advanced domain knowledge such as Gaussian filters. First of all, this thesis conducts an investigation on fundamental low-level edge detector construction with very little prior edge knowledge. Search operators based on a single raw pixel, a block of pixels, and two blocks of pixels are proposed to construct edge detectors. Unlike most existing methods, this GP system automatically searches neighbours and avoids manually predefining a window size. The results show that the evolved edge detectors outperform some existing edge detectors, such as the Sobel edge detector. Secondly, from the pixel and image views, localisation of detected edges, and observations of GP programs, new fitness functions are suggested in this thesis. It is found that the pixel view is better than the image view to design fitness functions without allowing a distance from predictions to ground truth. However, in terms of edge localisation, the pixel view is worse than the image view to design fitness functions. A new fitness function combining detection accuracy and localisation effectively improves the performance of evolved edge detectors. When utilising observations of GP programs to construct soft edge maps, two new fitness functions including a restriction on the range of observations are proposed to evolve edge detectors with good soft edge maps on test images. Thirdly, pixels implicitly selected by the GP system based on full images are analysed. A set of pixels are extracted from the evolved programs and used to construct edge filters. A merge operation is proposed to extract six pixels to construct second-order edge filters. The results show that a rich but compact set of pixels can be extracted from the evolved edge detectors. Fourthly, GP is utilised to evolve edge detectors based on the Gaussian-based technique. These GP evolved edge detectors are significantly better than the Gaussian gradient and the surround suppression technique. An efficient and effective sampling technique is proposed for evolving Gaussian-based edge detectors. From the results, there are no significant differences between the Gaussian-based edge detectors evolved by a full set of images and by the sampling technique on the training set. Fifthly, GP is employed to construct features using an existing set of basic features. The distribution of observations of GP programs is estimated. Evolved composite features are proposed using known distribution models to indicate the probability of pixels being discriminated as edge points. It is found that the composite features effectively combine advantages of basic features and can richly indicate edge responses. Finally, a Bayesian-based GP system is proposed to construct high-level edge features via employing two general algebraic operators and a function developed from a simple Bayesian model. The simple Bayesian model utilises a general multivariate normal density to combine basic features. Experiments show that the GP evolved programs perform better than the simple Bayesian model to obtain composite features. Overall, this thesis shows that GP has the capability to effectively extract edge features using different degrees of prior knowledge about edges.

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  • Families and the 1951 New Zealand waterfront lockout

    Millar, Grace (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    From February to July 1951, 8,000 New Zealand watersider workers were locked-out and 7,000 miners, seamen and freezing workers went on strike in support. These workers and those who were dependent on their income, had to survive without wages for five months. The dispute was a family event as well as an industrial event. The men were fathers, husbands, brothers and sons, and their lack of wages affected the family that they lived with and their wider kin networks. The thesis examines families in order to write a gendered social history of the 1951 waterfront dispute. The discussion starts by exploring the relationship between waterfront work and watersiders' families before the lockout. Then it turns to examine the material support that families received and the survival strategies used during the dispute. It examines the decisions union branches made about relief and other activities through the lens of gender and explores the implications of those decisions for family members. The subsequent chapters examine the dispute's end and long-term costs on families. The study draws on a mixture of union material, state archives and oral sources. The defeat of the union has meant that union material has largely survived in personal collections, but the state's active involvement in the dispute generated significant records. The oral history of 1951 is rich; this thesis draws on over fifty existing oral history interviews with people involved in the dispute, and twenty interviews completed for this project. The thesis both complicates and confirms existing understandings of 1950s New Zealand. It complicates the idea of a prosperous conformist society, while confirming and deepening our understanding of the role of the family and gender relationships in the period. It argues that union branches put considerable effort into maintaining the gender order during the dispute and set up relief as a simulacrum of the breadwinner wage. Centring workers' families opens the dispute outwards to the communities they were part of. Compared to previous historical accounts, the thesis describes a messier and less contained 1951 waterfront dispute. This study shows that homes were a site of the dispute. The domestic work of ensuring that a family managed without wages was largely women's and was as much part of the dispute as collective union work, which was often organised to exclude women. The thesis argues that homes and families were the sharp edges of the 1951 waterfront dispute, the site of both its costs and crises.

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  • Heterogeneity and Female-Headed Households in Sri Lanka: Vulnerability and Resilience in a Transitional Development Society

    Adikaram Boyagoda, Adikaram Mudiyanselage Kumudika Suramya (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    Since the 1970s, female-headed households (FHHs) in developing countries have often been used in development literature as a proxy for poverty and vulnerability. In reality the profile of women-headed households is diverse; they include, at the least, rich and poor women, aged widows as well as young single mothers and wives of migrant workers, educated professionals and semi-literate manual labourers. This diversity of characteristics, with its attendant diversity of experience and vulnerability unfolds a picture of heterogeneity, rather than homogeneity. Yet, despite ample evidence that FHHs are, in fact, heterogeneous and not homogeneous, contemporary research and practice remains caught dominantly within the ‘poverty-vulnerability’ nexus. The heterogeneity of female headship is undermined by conventional notions of homogeneity. It is this gap that the present research addresses. Drawing on interdisciplinary perspectives especially from demography, gender studies; particularly gender and development, risk and vulnerability studies, as well as scholarship on social capital, this thesis employs a ‘heterogeneity’ lens to specifically examine the complexities of household formation, economic conditions and social relations of FHHs in Sri Lanka, in an attempt to explore their vulnerabilities and resilience. The choice of Sri Lanka as the context for this study is grounded in the demographic reality of a relatively high, and consistently increasing, proportion of households headed by women since the 1970s. By 2009/10, FHHs accounted for nearly one-quarter of all households, throughout the country. In order to capture the geographical and social diversity of FHHs, empirical research was conducted in three contrasting types of district in Sri Lanka, encompassing urban, rural, and estate sectors. Two main data collection strategies were employed in a mixed methods approach: a sample survey of a cross-section of 534 FHHs, and in-depth interviews with 32 female heads purposively selected from among the survey participants. The findings and discussions include quantitative statistical and qualitative thematic analyses based on primary data, combined with secondary data from censuses, national survey reports and micro-studies of FHHs in Sri Lanka. The key findings show the diversity in profile of FHHs in the sample: they range from single person to large extended households. While some households consist of only the woman head and her young children, others comprise aged parents and a woman head. Households were also constituted of ‘working-age’ household members, including the female heads who were totally reliant on others for income and other resources. The study also revealed novel findings that challenge the emphasis of most conventional perceptions of poverty and female headship. From an economic perspective, the results show women from rich households can be personally poor, lacking, among others, in skills to manage household economies, while women in low-income brackets may be resilient, enterprising and satisfied with their needs, despite their apparent poverty. Finally, the thesis highlights the significant role of social capital, a relatively under-researched area in relation to FHHs. The findings reveal that many female heads in Sri Lanka are rich in social capital, a resource in its own right for these women. However, social capital itself needs to be disaggregated into ‘support networks’ and ‘leverage networks’ to understand the role it plays in providing long-term security and resilience. The results show that the majority of FHHs in the sample had access to support networks that provide day-to-day subsistence, but which did not offer them prospects to leverage out of their current situation.

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  • The effect of lexical content on sentence production in nonfluent aphasia

    Speer, Paula (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Individuals with nonfluent aphasia are able to produce many words in isolation, but have great difficulty producing sentences. Most research to date has compared accuracy across different types of sentence structures, focussing on grammatical aspects that may be compromised in nonfluent aphasia. However, based on the premise that lexical elements activate their associated grammatical frames as well as vice versa, lexical content may also be of vital importance. For example, rapid access to lexical elements – particularly ones appearing early in the sentence - may be crucial, especially if the sentence plan is weakly activated or rapidly decaying. The current study investigated the effect of different aspects of lexical content on nonfluent aphasic sentence production. Five participants with nonfluent aphasia, four participants with fluent aphasia and eight controls completed two picture description tasks eliciting subject-verb-object sentences (e.g., the dog is chasing the fox). Based on existing evidence suggesting that common words are accessed more rapidly than rarer ones, Experiment 1 manipulated the frequency of sentence nouns, thereby varying their speed of lexical retrieval by varying the frequency of sentence nouns. Nonfluent participants' accuracy was consistently higher for sentences commencing with a high frequency subject noun, even when errors on those nouns were themselves excluded. This was not the case for the fluent participants. Experiment 2 manipulated the semantic relationship between subject and object nouns. Previous research suggests that phrases containing related words may be challenging for individuals with nonfluent aphasia, possibly because lexical representations are inadequately tied to appropriate structural representations. The nonfluent participants produced sentences less accurately when they contained related lexical items, even when those items were in different noun phrases. The fluent participants exhibited the opposite trend. Finally, the relationship between the patterns observed in Experiment 1 and 2 and lesion location in the aphasic participants was explored by analysing magnetic resonance scans. We discuss the implications of our findings for theoretical accounts of sentence production more generally, and of nonfluent aphasia in particular. More precisely, we propose that individuals with nonfluent aphasia are disproportionately reliant on activated lexical representations to drive the sentence generation process, an idea we call the Content Drives Structure (COST) hypothesis.

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  • Language Learning Strategies: An Action Research Study from a Sociocultural Perspective of Practices in Secondary School English Classes in the Seychelles

    Simeon, Jemma Christina (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Research on language learning strategies (LLS) suggests that LLS are indispensable to helping second language learners learn English (Oxford, Crookall et al. 2008). However, most research studies to date have been experimental and have focused on listing certain aspects of learners' strategy use. By contrast, I have taken a sociocultural approach and carried out a collaborative Action Research project in which I have looked at learners' strategy use as "a cognitive choice and an emergent phenomenon" (Gao 2010, p.20). I have studied English language learning as embedded within social events and occurring as learners interact with people, objects and events in one secondary school in the Seychelles. I used an ethnographic approach which included classroom observation, interviews with teachers and journals, audio-recording and field notes. Phase 1 of my study focused on current practices in three classes. In Phase 2, I analysed the data and reported back to the participating teachers. Common practices in the three classrooms were that the teachers taught students content knowledge only. For example, English lessons emphasized the development of English language literacy skills. In particular the teachers were concerned with getting students to understand ideas and facts about a topic being learnt such as writing a notice. They would also focus on linguistic topics such as grammar and vocabulary knowledge and writing mechanics in general. The teachers were seen as the main transmitters of knowledge while the students had very little voice in their learning, for example, choosing topics, purposes and audience. The students were given very few opportunities to talk among themselves about their work or strategies they used to solve their problems. Teacher talk consisted of giving instructions and asking students questions that tested their knowledge. There were few occasions where the teachers provided instruction that provoked new thinking and understanding about what was being taught. The teachers felt that students depended too much on them for learning and wished to see their students becoming more independent learners, particularly in writing. Thus in Phase 3 of the research, the teachers and I focused on strategy instruction in the process approach to writing instruction with the aim of fostering dialogue among teachers and students about writing processes and problem-solving strategies. The analysis of findings of Phase 3 show that compared to Phase 1, the teachers minimised the practice of being merely transmitters of knowledge. Instead, they altered instruction and mediated learner writing strategies in a number of ways in a dialogic process through classroom instruction, use of collaborative writing tasks, questions and students' L1. However, while this was a step forward in making their students strategic, the teachers were yet to emphasise writing as a more holistic strategic activity which could have been accomplished by modelling their own thinking or self-talk or strategies related to planning, drafting, revising and editing of texts. Evidence also suggests that students used a number of strategies to mediate their own writing processes. These included using their film knowledge, humour, mother tongue, thinking aloud, teacher and peers to help them create text. There were also times when a few students drew on teaching techniques such as teacher-like scaffolding questions to mediate their own and their peers' learning.

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