ACADEMIC HISTORY (to December 1988)

David George BESWICK

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Note: this is an edited version of a statement of teaching, research and administrative experience prepared for university purposes in 1988 shortly before I retired from the University of Melbourne. It has not been updated, but there is not a great deal to add from the time I have been full time in church work except for the supervision of Ph D students and serving on the Council of the University.

Date and place of birth: 9 May 1933; Derby, Tasmania

Citizenship: Australian

Marital status: Married; four adult children

Wife's full name: Joan Mavis Beswick (nee Green)

University training and degrees: MA (Melb., 1958), PhD (Harvard, 1965)

1963-64: Completed thesis for PhD (Harvard) in Social Psychology 1964 while in a church appointment: awarded 1965. (Topic: Theory and Measurement of Human Curiosity)

1961-62: Completed theological studies and ordained 1962. (Note: I retained my ministerial status in an honorary capacity while in university appointments.)

1958-61: Fulbright Scholar and Graduate Student in Department of Social Relations, Harvard University, in program for the PhD in Social Psychology with concentration on personality research.

1957-58: University of Melbourne: MA in Psychology (First class honours).

1956: University of Melbourne: BA (Hons.) (First class honours and first place in third and final years).

1953-55: Arts course, with majors in philosophy and psychology, at the University of Melbourne; theological subjects taken part-time at Queen's College.

Fellowships and Awards: FACE (Fellow of the Australian College); MAPsS (Member, Australian Psychological Society); Fulbright Award 1958-61; British Council ALIS Awards, 1981 and 1986


From 1 January 1989: Professor Emeritus, University of Melbourne

1976-1988: Director and Professor, Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Melbourne

1971-76: Fellow in the Education Research Unit, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University. Acting Head of the Unit for 12 months, 1972-73.

1969-71: Senior Lecturer in Psychology, ANU. Taught social psychology, personality and assessment. (Dec. 1969 - Jan. 1971: Senior Research Scientist, American Institute for Research in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, California, while on leave from ANU.)

1967-69: Lecturer in Psychology, Australian National University.

1963-66: Minister in the Methodist Church: superintendent of the Mornington Circuit, Victoria.

1961-62: Assistant Minister in the Methodist Church, Wesley Church, Yarra Street, Geelong, Victoria; assistant to the President of the Victoria and Tasmania Conference of the Methodist Church. Part-time Lecturer in psychology, University of Melbourne.

1958-61: Fulbright Scholar, Department of Social Relations, Harvard University: Teaching Fellow 1959-60; Research assistant in the Laboratory of Human Development (1959) and the School Mathematics Study Group, Yale University (1959-60); George W. Naumberg fellowship for full-time research at Harvard (1960-61).

1957-58: Senior Tutor in Psychology, University of Melbourne.

1956: Tutor in Psychology, University of Melbourne.

Visiting Appointments:

University of London Institute of Education 1981,86

University of Lancaster, UK, 1981

University of California, Berkeley, 1981

University of Uppsala, Sweden, 1986

Teaching experience:

The Centre for the Study of Higher Education is both an academic department in the Faculty of Education (of which was Deputy Dean for several years) and a central service unit serving the University at large. As a professor in the faculty I taught graduate courses and supervised masters and PhD students in the higher education program which is run by the Centre. Since 1980 I have shared (initially with Grant Harman and later with John Anwyl) the teaching of the MEd semester units `Higher Education Institutions and their Functions' and `Higher Education Policy and Evaluation'. I currently [ie in 1988] have six PhD students; one has just submitted and two are about to submit.

Other teaching in my present position is in professional development groups helping university staff to improve their teaching, in which I led seminars and acted as a consultant. Over 500 members of the academic staff of the University took part last year in seminars run by the Centre. Topics I have dealt with recently include `Curiosity and learning with understanding', `How to supervise a postgraduate' and such general staff development issues as `Writing a successful research proposal' or `The role of chairmen of departments in staff development'.

For the general purpose of improving the quality of teaching and learning, I managed the considerable resources of the Centre (35 to 40 staff, varying with project funding) to provide a wide range of educational services to the University, including educational technology and institutional research, as well as the research and graduate studies expected in an academic department.

At the ANU in the Department of Psychology, 1967-71, I taught courses in personality and social psychology; in 1961 I lectured part time in psychological statistics at Melbourne; at Harvard in 1959-60 I tutored in social psychology and related fields; and at Melbourne 1956-58 introductory psychology and psychological statistics.

Research Experience and Interests

There have been two main strands in my research over the past 15 years or so (1972-88 approx). While the relationship between them has become increasingly interesting, they have been quite distinct. One has to do with basic processes and the other with policy studies.

The first derives from my background in psychology and is concerned with the processes of individual development, especially from senior secondary school through tertiary education to professional employment, with particular attention to the role of attitudes and motives in cognitive and personal development. This strand is closely related to the study of the basic processes of teaching and learning which is one of the main areas of concentration in the Centre for the Study of Higher Education.

As a result of an initiative I took in 1978 to promote graduate studies and policy related research in higher education, over the past ten years research in the Centre has been at least as much concerned with policy studies, mainly for agencies of the Commonwealth Government but also for the University of Melbourne and other institutions and for State bodies. This strand has occupied the greater part of my own research time in recent years, but the particular policy problems we have dealt with have tended to interact with the other strand so that I have been concerned, for example, with such questions as the impact of structural changes like college amalgamations on the quality of education, or the ways in which students attitudes and motives are likely to affect the outcome of changes in student financial assistance as far as decisions about participation are concerned.

My present research [1988] includes a joint project with Professor Millicent Poole of Monash University on the entry of women into the professions. It is part of the later stages of a large sample longitudinal study of career development I began at ANU and which has been funded from many different sources at different stages. I have maintained a continuing interest in the development of government policy on higher education and have written and published several papers on it in the past year, mainly for overseas conferences in Britain, Japan and the US, to which I was invited. In a study of the management of incentives for academic work, which I began in London and Sweden in 1986, I have been attempting to apply to staff some of what we have learned from the study of intrinsic motivation in students and other sources in the management literature and recent psychological research on the conditions under which extrinsic incentives suppress the operation of intrinsic motivation. I have not been able to give very much time to this last topic, but gave one conference paper on it at HERDSA this year.

As part of my service to the University I have continued work on student admissions and selection procedures which was a point of heavy involvement in the period 1983-86. I was the author of the University of Melbourne Special Admissions Scheme and have been its principal guide over the past four years, including general oversight of the evaluation of the Scheme. At the same time I did several studies of testing procedures which might be needed if the HSC (VCE) basis of selection breaks down; this included one major report for the Victorian Vice Chancellors' Committee which was confidential and two published monographs. I am presently working on a new system for VTAC which will enable the sorting and offering procedures of the joint admissions facility to function without the kind of scoring procedures associated with what is known as the Anderson score. However, apart from publishing one major review of selection issues last year, I have tried to move away from this field. A major commitment continues in the Centre to the study of secondary-tertiary transition processes, to factors influencing participation and the quality of learning especially in the first year of University study and I have recently published in that area.

Much of my research has been assisted by experience gained from responsibilities of the Centre, my membership of University committees and the councils of other institutions and my participation in policy discussions in Canberra. For example, for many years I have served at Melbourne on the Academic Committee and the Selection Procedures Committee, and I have represented the University on the VTAC [Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre] executive (formerly VUAC) and on the VVCC Committee on Selection. I have been a member of the councils of the Gippsland Institute of Advanced Education, Melbourne State College, Wesley College and St. Hilda's College (University of Melbourne). I was a member of the Victoria Institute of Colleges Board of Studies and Educational Specifications Committee and several course accreditation committees in Victoria and New South Wales. Contracted research such as the national evaluation of the Tertiary Education Assistance Scheme or work for the Committee of Inquiry into Education and Training (Williams Committee) or the National Inquiry into Teacher Education (Auchmuty Committee) has led to participation in policy seminars in the Commonwealth Department of Education and the Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission. These contacts have also provided a means in addition to the normal methods of publication of disseminating the results of research.

My PhD students this year [1988] have been researching the following topics: the application of a psychological stress model to explain students' withdrawal from study; individual and situational influences affecting transition to higher education by young people in Australia; a comparative evaluation of the provision of clinical education in the health sciences in Australia and the United Kingdom; improving student learning of anatomy; sex differences in achievement motivation and goal setting; models of evaluation in higher education; the policy implementation process - concepts of justice in selection procedures.

With my colleagues I have attracted external grants and contracts at a rate which has averaged about $100,000 per year over the past ten years. I would not claim full credit for all these grants and contracts; Grant Harman was a partner in many of them and recently I have been pleased to see that younger members of staff have begun to attract their own funds: I would claim to have built up the Centre as a research centre of national importance and international reputation.

At the Australian National University in the Research School of Social Sciences Education Research Unit (1972-76) I carried out a national study of regional colleges with Don Anderson, Grant Harman and Chris Selby Smith, and with Don Anderson a study of the policy proposal which led to the establish of senior secondary colleges in Canberra.

In the Department of Psychology (1967-71) at ANU in addition to some basic work on curiosity or intrinsic motivation building on my Ph D research, I developed the Australian Ethnocentrism Scale and used in large scale survey with Michael Hills, and other studies of attitudes. During this time I spent over a year (Dec 69 - Jan 71) at the American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, on some applications of my work on intrinsic motivation and a national evaluation of innovative educational programs for the US Office of Education.

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