Identifying the True Military Factor in RNZAF Training
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Education
This thesis seeks to identify both the existence and cost of the military factor in RNZAF training. In the past, educational evaluation teams have had difficulty in assessing the efficiency of RNZAF training because no clear definition has existed for this uniquely military element. This thesis attempts to define the term by dissecting the popular use of the phrase into three separate parts: the true military factor, the corporate factor and inefficiencies. The true military factor is defined as the component of RNZAF training that inculcates the military culture in students during formal training. This culture is further refined to focus on the teaching of institutional values. The corporate factor however, refers to the selected methods and standards employed by a training provider. Instead of the military factor, it was hypothesised that the corporate factor represented the greatest cause for the cost difference between the RNZAF and civilian training providers. Based on the findings of overseas research, the thesis goes on to consider the possibility that the military factor may in fact be self-selected, rather than inculcated. To investigate this hypothesis, the study uses an established instrument to assess student attitudes of loyalty. To test whether the RNZAF self-selects pro-military attitudes, the study compared the scores of new recruits with the scores of serving personnel. To test whether the RNZAF inculcates promilitary attitudes during formal courses, the study compared students' pre- and post-course scores. The study found that only minimal increases in attitudes were evident as a result of formal courses and that no significant difference was found between recruits and serving personnel. In addition to those two investigations the thesis goes on to develop a spreadsheet model for optimising corporate factors and minimising inefficiencies. Although this model is functional in its present form, future developments will further enhance its potential. The study concludes that the RNZAF self-selects pro-military attitudes and, with the exception of recruit courses, does not teach them. The thesis argues that the military factor represents only a minimal part of RNZAF training.