Humanities, Societies and Environments Education

The Humanities discipline group comprises people with expertise and educational experience in civics and citizenship, geography, history, futures education, economics and enterprise, psychology, global education, indigenous education, and environmental education.

About the group


The group is committed to researching and practising innovative teaching and learning strategies alongside new and creative technologies. Key aims in preparing humanities teachers for early childhood, primary and secondary settings are to encourage critically, reflective practice and classroom pedagogies that support student-centered, inquiry-based learning, connections to 'real' issues, people and places, knowledge of cultural and bio-diversity, creative and critical thinking skills and effective communication.

The team believes in the centrality of humanities in developing key values in students' understandings of democratic processes, active citizenship, social justice, resilience, futures thinking, environmental sustainability and peace. An overarching endeavor is to develop cooperative and supportive research and learning communities which encourage critical engagement with, and collaborative exchange of, knowledge and ideas to help people to understand themselves and their world.

Contact us

The group welcomes enquiries from future HDR candidates, schools and the industry and business sector. We invite you to contact any of our staff to discuss future collaborations.

HDR supervision

The Humanities discipline group comprises people with a wide range of expertise and research experience in fields such as geography, history, futures education, psychology, global education, civics and citizenship, outdoor education and environmental (sustainability) education. An overarching focus of this group is research on curriculum and pedagogy and this is conducted in a range of contexts including higher education, primary education and rural/regional education settings. In the field of psychology broad research areas include student welfare, special education, gifted education and classroom management.

Dr Lou Preston
Areas of interest: Environmental Education, Geography Education, Outdoor Education, Humanities Education, Curriculum and Pedagogy, Place and Space, Teacher Education
Qualitative research methodologies: Discourse analysis, Case studies, Longitudinal study, Participatory Action Research, Critical theory, Post-structuralist theory

Assoc Prof Bernadette Walker-Gibbs
Areas of interest: Rural education, New literacies/technologies, Community/university networks and partnerships
Qualitative research methodologies: Narrative analysis, Critical theory, Post-structuralist theory, Baudrillard

Dr Claire Spicer (Psychology)
Areas of interest: Student welfare and wellbeing, Gifted education, Special education settings, Behaviour management, Students with Dsycalculia, Assessment of musicality, Self-efficacy
Quantitative research methodologies, including regression analyses; anova, manova, correlations.
Qualitative research methodologies including survey analysis and case studies.

Dr Andrea Gallant - see Education Policy, Professionalism, Leadership and Internationalisation Discipline group


Recent Humanities Projects

Developing Multicultural Awareness of Senior High School Teachers in Padang, Indonesia, and Australia
Julie Dyer, James Campbell, Isnarmi Moeis & Fitri Eriyanti
Funded by the Australia Indonesia Institute for Humanity and Development

The Authentic Teacher Assessment - Researching our practice (2011- 2012)
Diane Mayer, Julianne Moss, & Julie Dyer
Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University

Learning from Location: Northern Territory Global Experience Program (2011-2012)
Julie Dyer
Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University

Innovative learning environments (2010)
Jill Blackmore, Anne Cloonan, Debra Bateman, Mary Dixon, Jill Loughlin, Jo O'Mara & Kim Senior
Funded by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development/Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Making sense of 'correct conduct' in relationships between teachers and students: A case study of perspectives from different cultures (2010-2011)
Andrea Allard, Andrea Gallant & Julie Dyer
Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University

Investigating the effectiveness of teacher education for early career teachers in diverse settings: A longitudinal study
Diane Mayer, Brendon Doecke, Mary Dixon, Alex Kostogriz, Andrea Allard, Simone White, Bernadette Walker-Gibbs, Leonie Rowan, Claire Wyatt-Smith, Richard Bates.
Funded by Australian Research Council Linkage grant

Academic Skills and Mentoring Program: U.Life - in partnership with Warrnambool College (2011)
Bernadette Walker-Gibbs, Sandra Herbert & Julianne Lynch
Funded by Deakin University Participation & Partnerships Program Grant

Strengthening work integrated learning (WIL) experiences for rural teacher education students: exploring community based partnerships (2010 - 2011)
Simone White, Maxine Cooper, Bernadette Walker-Gibbs, Michelle Ortlip
Deakin University/Ballarat University Collaboration Fund
Department of Education and Early Childhood

Victorian Primary Teachers' Beliefs, Perceptions and Conceptions of Geography (2012 - 2013)
Lou Preston
Funded by Centre for Research in Educational Futures and Innovation, Deakin University

Young Parent in VCAL pathways -strengthening aspiration to University
Bernadette Walker-Gibbs, Emma Charlton, Sandra Herbert & Julianne Lynch
Deakin University Participation & Partnerships Program Grant and Deakin University TAFE Partnership Funding

Longitudinal Teacher Workforce Study
Diane Mayer, Brenton Doeke, Richard Bates, Alex Kostigriz, Bernadette Walker-Gibbs, Julianne Moss, Jodie Kline &  Suzanne North 
Funded by theDepartment of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

Evaluation of the National Partnership (Teacher Quality, Supply and Retention) initiatives for the Victorian school workforce
Brenton Doeke, Russell Tytler, Trevor Gale, Chris Hickey, Bernadette Walker-Gibbs, Alex Kostogriz, Jodie Kline, Ria Hanewald, Damian Blake, Peter Hubber, Coral Campbell, Anne Marie Morrissey, Alan Marshall, Julianne Moss
Funded by Department of Education and Early Childhood

Page custodian: Faculty of Arts & Education
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