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Staff describe their current research interests and list some of the topics they have been involved in supervising. Enquiries from future HDR candidates are welcomed.
Dr Glenn Auld
My research explores the complex intersection between Indigenous Education and Literacy in a classroom and higher education contexts. Theoretical perspectives include Bakhtinian theorists such as Gary Saul Morson, Rights based theorist such as Tove Skutnabb-Kangas and critical theorists of Indigenous studies such as Linda Tuhiwai Smith and Martin Nakata. My research is based on my many years of teaching in remote and rural communities in Australia. I seek to challenge the 'othering' that is common in Indigenous Education. Through respectful partnership strategies with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders I seek to reposition the discourse of Indigenous Education as a resource for mainstream educational practices in Australia and beyond.
Dr Anne Cloonan
My research, which spans the broad area of contemporary notions about and teaching of literacies, has predominantly drawn on traditions of participatory action research and case study incorporating visual methodologies. Working in partnership with teachers, these approaches enable sustained, nuanced and situated explorations of teaching and learning, which are sometimes supplemented by quantitative means. Theoretically, I locate my research at the intersection of studies of new literacies (including socialsemiotics influenced theories of multimodality) and sociocultural studies of literacies and teaching which foreground the social, cultural, political and historical meanings of literacies across contexts. I seek to stimulate and support innovative literacy pedagogies which engage and transform teachers and their students.
Professor Brenton Doecke
My research ranges from literary studies to classroom based inquiry in collaboration with practising teachers. Key theoretical resources for me currently include the work of Georg Lukacs, Walter Benjamin, Frigga Haug, and other philosophers of 'praxis'. My research foregrounds the importance of writing (including storytelling) as a mode of inquiry into our everyday lives. Thus I seek to challenge the epistemological assumptions behind traditional forms of research, especially the 'evidence' that underpins standards-based reforms. I encourage my research students to explore alternative ways of constructing knowledge and representing experience to traditional forms of academic writing.
Dr Kirsten Hutchison
Broadly located within educational sociology, my research is centred on the nexus between education and social justice. I am interested in the intersections between gender, race, culture and class and their relationships to the experience of schooling. In particular, my research foregrounds the centrality of literacies in the everyday lives of children, families and teachers, within and beyond the classroom and explores the power of sociocultural contexts in shaping educational trajectories. I draw on Bourdieusian and feminist theory and traditions of ethnographic, case study and visual research methodologies. I endeavour to engender and support the development of innovative pedagogies and research activities which explore the dynamic, changing and situated nature of literacy.
Dr Sarah Ohi
The core focus of my research is upon the importance of language and literacy development of children in the early years. I draw upon a number of research approaches including critical discourse analysis, casestudy, action research and mixed methods. My research in this area involves collaborative investigations with teachers, parents and children about their perceptions of literacy, their literacy pedagogy and practices (including digital) and how they can work in partnership. My interest in the operation of the Research-Policy-Praxis Nexus has also lead to research about improving the quality of teaching and learning in Higher Education, through innovations involving the use of technology.
Dr Jo O'Mara
My research program is centred around questions about teaching and learning across the areas of new literacies studies, secondary English and the Arts. I work across a range of theories and methods, but am particularly enthusiastic about critical theory and arts-based methodologies. I am passionate about my ongoing series of research projects around drama education pedagogy and practices, digital games and emergent literacies and new textual practices. I work with a range of teachers in primary and secondary school settings in these projects, and am concerned to support teachers to innovate. I supervise a wide range of PhD studies, some of which use arts-based methodologies such as theatre performance and art exhibition.
Dr Louise Paatsch
My research investigates the types of discourse surrounding language and literacy learning and practice, including digital communication practices. Specifically, I am interested in the use of pragmatic skills in face-to-face and on-line conversations in students with and without hearing loss, as well as teacher and child talk during literacy teaching and learning. I am also interested in the innovative teaching practices which promote language and literacy development in primary school aged children. This research is informed by sociocultural studies of literacies and aspects of applied linguistics. The key research methodologies used in my research include mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative), and comparative case study.
Dr Muriel Wells
My research is focussed across the use of emerging technologies including digital literacies and teacher professional learning. I am interested in how teachers use emerging technologies to bring teaching and learning into the 21st century. Key theoretical perspectives that I draw on are the use of Action Research methodologies in collaboration with practicing teachers and Narrative Inquiry as a way to understand the complexity of the lived experience of work of teaching.