Muriel Wells and Damian Blake- 2008

Knowledge work: taking school education forward

A local primary school is in the process of redevelopment. This school is one of the oldest schools in Geelong and redevelopment is aimed at working with the schools' historic buildings and new to create a built environment that is conducive to the effective teaching in the 21st century. The principal approached Deakin staff in an endeavour to draw on the insights and knowledge of Deakin Education academics to provide advice on the physical redevelopment in general and the set up of a multimedia/library centre and a creative arts centre in particular. It was also agreed that changes to the built environment would inevitably lead to changes in teaching practices if full use is going to be made of the new opportunities afforded by new and better technologies that will be included into all aspects of the school and into the multimedia/library and creative arts centres.

Following this the researchers will work with the school staff in a professional action research model as the teachers review their current teaching practices and investigate alternative pedagogies for teaching in their newly resource school. The focus will be firstly on pedagogy and secondly on the infusion of new technologies into these areas.

This project will draw on the research currently being done by Wells and Blake on the development of a 'Framework for Reflective Practice: Teacher Professional Development in the 21st Century', which draws on the understandings of professional action research. This will be an opportunity to evaluate the framework as it is played out in this particular school context.

The aims of this research are to:

  • explore the impact of change in the form of a new built environment on teachers' experience as professional educators
  • explore the framework on primary teachers' understanding of professional action research in practice
  • explore the impact of change in the form of a new built environment ont teachers' experience as professional educators
  • explore the enablers and barriers to effective infusion of new technologies into this school community
  • development recommendations to assist other schools to implement similar professional action research programmes

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