Major research projects

Australian Research Council

Teacher professional development under the impacts of internationisation and the 'Asian Century' 2014

Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) Fellowship
Dr Ly Tran is the recipient of a 2014 DECRA for research into the significant professional challenges faced by teachers in the VET sector under conditions of internationalisation, global skills mobility, the 'Asian Century' and the sector's compliance culture. How this impacts on professional development needs and practices of VET teachers- an under-researched area will be investigated. This unique data will help to develop concepts, policies and practices that enhance VET teacher's professional development under changed circumstances. It will also produce an innovative conceptual framework for examining teacher professional development in response to internationalisation.

Science of Learning Research Centre 2013-2017

ARC Special Research Initiative
Professor Russell Tytler is research partner in this innovative new centre led by University of Queensland and University of Melbourne, in which researchers in education, neuroscience and cognitive psychology are working together with teachers to better understand the learning process. This collaboration will establish new criteria to assess the impact of different types of learning and strategies to inform teaching practices of benefit to all Australians. The particular program Professor Tytler is involved in utilises the new Science of Learning Classroom at U of M which has sophisticated video and audio capture facilities to track student learning and reasoning.

Social justice dispositions informing teachers' pedagogy in advantaged and disadvantaged secondary schools 2013-2015

ARC Discovery Grant
Professor Trevor Gale leads this research that studies the different perspectives that teachers have towards social justice and how these differently influence their teaching in advantaged and disadvantaged secondary schools. This work will produce new concepts and methods for researching educational inequalities and to better enable teachers to act in more socially just ways.

Capacitating student aspirations in classrooms and communities of a high-poverty region 2012-2014

ARC Discovery Grant
Professor Trevor Gale leads this research in partnership Victoria University and University of Queensland. The research will study the aspirations of students in a disadvantaged metropolitan area, as cultural resources for completing school, accessing higher education and realising desirable futures. It will produce new concepts and research methods for increasing social equity by working closely with students and families and making links between schools and communities.

Enhancing the quality of science learning through a representation-intensive pedagogy 2012-2014

ARC Discovery Grant
Professor Russell Tytler, Associate Professor Peter Hubber and Dr Gail Chittleborough lead this research in partnership with La Trobe University, University of Wollongong and University of Technology Sydney. The research will investigate the quality of science learning occurring through an approach to teaching that involves students generating, negotiating and evaluating representations of scientific concepts. Students will generate multimodal representations using digital technologies, linking to the new Australian science curriculum.

Leadership in entrepreneurial universities: cross national investigations of engagement and diversity 2011-2014

ARC Discovery Grant
Professor Jill A Blackmore leads this research into attracting and retaining academics in leadership roles and how this is critical to developing twenty first century universities that promote innovative and creative economies and inclusive civil societies. This comparative study will provide policy makers and universities with empirical evidence and policy options to build leadership capacity and increase diversity in leadership.

Developing digital pedagogies in inquiry science through a cloud 2013-2016

ARC Linkage Grant
Associate Professor Peter Hubber and Professor Russell Tytler lead this research in partnership with Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, STILE Education Pty Ltd. This project will extend innovative, cloud-based teacher planning software in order to develop effective strategies for using digital resources in inquiry science. Work will be done with a number of schools to investigate the development of an inquiry based digital pedagogy, and a professional learning approach utilising cloud-based, digital resources.

Turning them on: Engaging young people in disrupting silences about their sexual wellbeing 2013-2016

ARC Linkage Grant
Associate Professor Lyn Harrison is research partner in this project which is led by the University of SA. This research investigates what young people think they should be taught in school-based sexuality education programs. Information gathered will inform the re-design of these programs and promote the sexual health of the next generation of Australians.

Intercultural understanding in primary and secondary schools 2012-2015

ARC Linkage Grant
Professor Christine Halse leads this significant project which builds knowledge and appreciation of Australia's social, cultural, linguistic and religious diversity, and the ability to relate to and communicate across cultures. What facilities or impedes intercultural understanding in children adolescence and schools? How can this be addressed how can we know what makes a difference? This project answers these questions at the individual school and national level using a novel cultural systems approach and methodological and technological innovations Industry partners are DEECD, Victoria Curriculum and Assessment Authority, Pukunui Technology. For more information please visit

Interagency collaborations supporting resilient students, families, schools in disadvantaged communities 2009-2014

ARC Linkage Grant
This project led by Professor Jill A Blackmore, investigates the ability to display resilience in the face of challenging circumstances poverty, poor health, geographical isolation, alienation, family breakdown is internationally recognised as a capacity enabling those 'at risk' to achieve educational and life successes. Developing resilience requires input from multiple agencies but little is known about the most effective ways for schools, health/community/sport/leisure organizations and employers to collaborate on this objective. This project will identify resilient students and communities and highlight the specific intervention types (educational, health, employment, leisure) with proven ability to foster resilience and improve the educational and life chances of Australian youth.

Moments in time: investigating a national history curriculum in early childhood settings and primary classrooms 2011- 2014

ARC Linkage Grant
The focus of this project led by Associate Professor Mary Dixon, is the teaching and the learning of History in early childhood settings and primary
classrooms located in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Findings from the project will provide evidence-based curricular and pedagogical theorising of effective and productive teaching and learning of History.

Other projects

Reconceptualising mathematics and science teacher education programs through collaborative partnerships between scientists and educators 2013

Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) Project
Professor Russell Tytler and Associate Professors Peter Hubber and Stuart Palmer (Faculty of Science Engineering Built Environment) partner with University of Melbourne, La Trobe University, Monash University and DEECD on this significant project. This project promotes active partnership between researchers and educators in science, mathematics and education to reconceptualise the education of teachers of mathematics and science. Reconstructed coursework and practicum components will require pre-service teachers to connect mathematical and scientific content, thinking, practice and pedagogy in developing expertise in inquiry-based classroom practices.

School based pedagogies and partnerships in primary science teacher education 2012-2014

Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) Project
Dr Linda Hobbs, Associate Professor Coral Campbell, and Dr Gail Chittleborough lead this OLT project in partnership with the Universities of Melbourne, Tasmania, ACU, and RMIT. The project explores school based teacher education approaches in primary science to develop a framework and case studies that will inform more sophisticated relations between theory and practice in the education of teachers.

Year 8 Mentoring Program, Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP)2012-2014

Deakin University Access and Equity Program
Professor Jill A Blackmore and Dr Kirsten Hutchison lead this longitudinal qualitative research project that involves Deakin University students mentoring and tutoring small groups of students in seven partner secondary schools throughout Melbourne and its surrounding regions. The project was piloted in 2012, and implemented in 2013 and 2014. The schools, Deakin students and the secondary students have reported positive outcomes. Further funding is being sought for ongoing implementation of the project. For more information please contact program facilitator, Dr Anne Keary.

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