Profile image of Jo Raphael

Dr Jo Raphael



Senior Lecturer in Education (Arts Education)


Faculty of Arts and Education


School of Education


Melbourne Burwood Campus


Doctor of Philosophy, University of Melbourne, 2013
Master of Education, University of Melbourne, 2004
Bachelor of Education, Victoria College, 1984

+61 3 924 46829

Biography summary

‘Drama is both art and pedagogy. It is also a fundamental and highly accessible way in which human beings make meaning and as such, has much to contribute to arts-based inquiry. I am driven by a desire to enable others to understand the transformative possibilities of drama and theatre, and the potential all the arts offer, to explore and explain the world we live in.’

Dr Jo Raphael is a lecturer in drama education who teaches drama education in Deakin’s graduate and undergraduate education courses. She remains active as a teacher/director in school and community settings. She has wide experience in applied drama and theatre with a commitment to working in communities of disadvantage and disability. Jo is Artistic Director of Fusion Theatre, an inclusive community-based theatre company. She has won multiple awards for her teaching and has been awarded for her extensive contributions to her professional community. She was awarded Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2018. Her publications span the areas of arts curriculum and pedagogy, drama and digital technologies, teacher education, inclusive education and teaching for diversity.

Research interests

Research Interests:

  • Drama Education
  • Drama/Arts pedagogy and practice
  • Applied drama and applied theatre
  • Drama for learning across the curriculum
  • Drama, theatre and disability
  • Inclusive education and teaching for diversity
  • Teacher education – pre and in-service

I welcome research interest from prospective research students in the following areas:

  • Arts Education
  • Drama Education
  • Drama/Arts pedagogy and practice
  • Applied drama and applied theatre
  • Drama, theatre and disability
  • Inclusive education and teaching for diversity
  • Teacher education

Research methodologies:

  • Self-study of Teaching
  • Reflection on Practice
  • Participatory Research Methodologies
  • Participatory Action Research
  • Arts-based Research (drama, performance, visual, narrative)

Research Motivation
Jo Raphael’s research is strongly influenced by principles of social justice. She believes in the potential of research to be transformative. Not only through the outcomes of research but in the process of doing research. Jo has developed inclusive participatory research approaches including participatory action research. She is committed to reciprocity in the researcher participant relationship with the communities she has worked within. Participants become co-researchers and this has been particularly important in her research with people with disabilities whose voices are seldom heard. Her research has provided access for people with intellectual disabilities to have a say within universities and professional sites to which they do not normally have access.

Jo draws on multiple and mixed methods—whatever is likely to be most effective and appropriate for participants. Amongst these are arts-based methodologies. As a drama educator Jo naturally draws upon the potential of drama as simultaneously pedagogy and a process of inquiry. She has also made systematic use of artistic processes including poetry, story, movement and images as a way of understanding experience both for herself as researcher and for the participants in her studies.

Over arching these methodologies is a commitment to reflective practitioner research. As a drama educator and a teacher educator, Jo is naturally disposed to reflection on practice. Every project is also seen as an opportunity to further reflect on her own practice and share these understandings with the professional communities she works within. In her desire to reflect differently and more deeply on her practice, Jo draws upon post-structuralist conceptual frameworks as tools to help disrupt habits of thinking. In particular she has drawn upon concepts developed by Deleuze and Guattari, in order to shift and promote new understandings of her practice.


Drama Victoria
Drama Australia
Arts Access

National Drama (UK)


Teaching interests

Teaching Motivation

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. –Albert Einstein

Dr Jo Raphael’s teaching is student-centred and energised by a passion for arts education and drama as pedagogy. She designs practical and relevant learning experiences that take place within schools, community settings, cultural institutions and virtual communities. In her classes education theory is integrated with practice as students work alongside her to complete rich and authentic tasks and collectively reflect on their practice. Her students frequently comment on the way her inclusive approach motivates and inspires them to learn.
Jo teaches in the area of Arts Education with a particular focus on Drama, which she considers to be an aesthetic, embodied and social art form as well as a method of teaching and learning. Her teaching at Deakin encompasses undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the School of Education and providing flexible delivery modes through the Institute of Koorie Education. Outside of these University programs her teaching also occurs in schools with classes of primary and secondary students and practising teachers, through professional development sessions and conferences, and in broader community settings. Jo believes her ongoing participation in these spheres keeps her practice relevant, contemporary and informed, and enhances her teaching at the university level.
Jo’s teaching is energised through creating the conditions where she and her students are required to work together on authentic tasks. She believes that her students are motivated to learn when they are working with teachers who demonstrate a desire to learn. The following are examples from Jo’s teaching practice:

• The ‘Drama Lab’ and 'Drama for Learning' school-based teaching projects in which pre-service teachers work as a team alongside Jo and teachers in a primary school to design workshops for primary students’ learning both in and through drama.
• ‘Drama beyond the classroom’ projects in which Drama education students develop ideas for arts-based teaching and learning in collaboration with Melbourne cultural institutions such as museums and galleries.
• The ‘Teaching for Diversity’ project providing workshops on inclusive education for all final-year pre-service teachers.

Units taught

Unit chair /Drama Module chair and lecturer in:

ECP711 Creativity and the Arts in Childhood  (U/C)

EEA311 Primary Arts Education: foucessed study (U/C)
ECA431/5 Drama Education A (Secondary)
ECA731/5 Drama Education A (Secondary)
ECA433/733 Drama for Learning Across the Curriculum 
ECA434/734 Research in Drama Education (U/C)

Professional activities

Drama Australia (Director of Projects 2007-2013, Director of International Liaison 2013-16, Director of Communications and National Liaison 2016-17, Editor NJ Book Reviews 2016-18, Co-Editor Monographs, 2019-.)

Drama Victoria (Conference Director/DALO/Vice President/President 2000-2011)

Artistic Director, Fusion Theatre

Community Engagement
Jo Raphael is Artistic Director of Fusion Theatre, an inclusive community-based theatre company that welcomes people of all abilities. Fusion’s history is linked to Deakin University and began with a phone call to the university from a man with an intellectual disability who was seeking assistance to set up a drama group for people with disabilities in the Dandenong area. Jo responded to the call and the group was established in 1997. Since then students of Drama Education at Deakin have gained experience working with the company as assistants, performers, theatre technicians and directors. Some have continued their involvement with the company over many years and currently two members of the Fusion Board are Deakin alumni. Several Deakin drama education graduates have moved into areas of applied drama and theatre and special education following experience with Fusion. The partnership has mutual benefit for both university students and members of the company through the energy, challenges and ideas they offer each other.

Jo was instrumental in setting up Drama Victoria’s Footprints project that brings together drama teachers and their students to visit and take inspiration from cultural institutions including museums and galleries and develop drama and theatre. She has written about this and has developed curriculum materials and projects with the Immigration Museum and the Old Melbourne Gaol Crime and Justice Experience. In conjunction with these institutions she has developed and written drama-based programs including the Settlers Under Sail Regional Arts Victoria tour and peer-mentoring program for at risk youth with Whitelion.

Jo has been a long term member of the Drama Victoria committee of management. In over 10 years of serving on the committee she has held positions of Conference Director, Drama Australia Liaison Officer, Vice President and President. In 2013 she was awarded The CPTAV Outstanding Professional Service Award for her service to Drama Victoria.

Jo was on the Board of Drama Australia for more than 10 years, holding the position of Director of Projects for over seven years before moving into the portfolios of Director of International Liaison and Director of Communications & National Liaison. She has been a key contributor and writer of many of Drama Australia’s guidelines documents including Equity and Diversity and Acting Green.

Arts Practice
Jo Raphael’s performing arts background began in dance and soon became more focused on drama and theatre. In her undergraduate degree she was a student in the double drama strand at Rusden. She continued training in voice, movement and theatre design especially puppetry. She lived in Japan for two years in the 1990s where she studied Noh Theatre (Kanze style), Butoh (with Kazuo Ohno) and puppetry with the contemporary puppet company Puk Pupa Teatro. Her work with Fusion Theatre has mainly involved her in theatre direction and production. Recently she has returned to stage acting.


  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • The Drama Australia President's Award 2018
  • Vice Chancellor's Teaching Excellence Award 2016
  • Leadership Award (City of Greater Dandenong) 2017
  • The Council of Professional Teaching Associations of Victoria Outstanding Professional Service Award for service to Drama Victoria, 2013.
  • Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning, 2010

    Citation: For creative approaches in providing relevant, authentic and student-centred learning experiences to inspire education students to become effective and reflective future educators.

  • Deakin University Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, 2008
  • Drama Victoria Award for Best Innovative Curriculum for Drama, 2004.
  • Deakin University Commendations for Excellence in Teaching: 2008, 2009, 2010



Encountering Diversity: preparing inclusive-minded teachers. Deakin's Centre for Research for Educational Impact (REDI). 2016-19.

Stem Cell Drama Sequence - Teaching controversial issues in science through drama. ReMSTEP

Widening participation through university-school partnerships and arts-based pedagogies in public spaces in Dandenong. Sub-project: Diverse Encounters: Fusion Theatre and Dandenong High School, DUPPP, 2013
Diverse Encounters Film:

The Teaching for Diversity workshop: Drama as pedagogy for challenging pre-service teachers into new ways of thinking about students with disabilities. 2008-14 

Arts Education in Second Life: Deakin University Strategic Teaching and Learning Grant Scheme (STALGS) project  2008- Developing a Virtual Arts Education Village Deakin. A Virtual Village: Building an e-Learning community to support collaborative, applied and life-long learning in a multidisciplinary university context. 


Filter by


Drama for Teaching Controversial Issues in Science

P White, J Raphael

(2023), Vol. 11, pp. 155-173, Learning Science Through Drama, Cham, Switzerland, B1

book chapter

Evolving teacher education practice through collaborative arts-based autoethnography

Shelley Hannigan, Jo Raphael, Peta White

(2022), pp. 48-61, The Routledge International Handbook of Autoethnography in Educational Research, London, Eng., B1

book chapter

Understanding pedagogies for climate change education through collaborative arts-based autoethnography

J Raphael, S Hannigan, P White

(2022), pp. 99-128, Methodological Approaches to STEM Education Research Volume 3, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, B1

book chapter

Developing a drama-based inclusive education workshop about disability for pre-service teachers: a narrative inquiry after Scheler and Levinas

J Raphael, E Creely, J Moss

(2022), Vol. 74, pp. 978-991, Educational Review, C1

journal article

Encountering Diversity: drama as a democratic pedagogy to prepare inclusive-minded teachers

Jo Raphael, Joanne O'Mara, Ben Whitburn, Edwin Creely, Kate Anderson, Julianne Moss

(2021), Vol. 47, pp. 119-131, Inclusive Education is a Right, Right?, Leiden, The Netherlands, B1

book chapter

Transdisciplinarity: Science and Drama Education Developing Teachers for the Future

Jo Raphael, Peta White

(2021), pp. 145-161, Science and Drama: Contemporary and creative approaches to teaching and learning., Cham, Switzerland, B1

book chapter

Sparking Learning in Science and Drama: Setting the Scene

Jo Raphael, Peta White, Kitty van Cuylenburg

(2021), pp. 1-25, Science and drama : contemporary and creative approaches to teaching and learning, Cham, Switzerland, B1

book chapter

"Drawing out" understandings through arts-based inquiry in teacher education

S Hannigan, J Raphael

(2021), Vol. 21, pp. 87-100, Qualitative Research Journal, C1

journal article

Entangling Our Thinking And Practice: A Model For Collaboration In Teacher Education

P White, J Raphael, S Hannigan, J Clark

(2020), Vol. 45, pp. 93-110, Australian Journal of Teacher Education, C1

journal article

ACTive pARTicipation: social inclusion and drama research

Jo Raphael, Kelly Freebody

(2019), Vol. 62, pp. 19-36, Drama research methods: provocations of practice, Leiden, The Netherlands, B1

book chapter

Drama, diversity and equality: working creatively together towards social inclusion

Jo Raphael

(2019), pp. 111-127, Drama in education : exploring key research concepts and effective strategies, Abingdon, Eng., B1

book chapter

The arts and teaching for diversity

J Raphael, M Hunter

(2017), pp. 251-265, Education in the arts, South Melbourne, Vic., B1

book chapter

Collaborative reflective experience and practice in education explored through self-study and arts-based research

S Hannigan, J Raphael, P White, L Bragg, J Cripps Clark

(2016), Vol. 9, pp. 84-110, Creative approaches to research, Melbourne, Vic., C1

journal article

Drama, imagination and hope in education for sustainability

J Raphael

(2015), Vol. 3, pp. 246-251, International yearbook for research in arts education: the wisdom of the many - key issues in arts education, Munster, Germany, B1

book chapter

Teaching and learning in the crucible: Actors with disabilities as experts preparing pre-service teachers to be inclusive educators

J Raphael

(2014), Vol. 5, pp. 1-19, Drama Research: International journal of drama research, London, England, C1

journal article

Media arts and learning in the digital world

M Dezuanni, J Raphael

(2012), pp. 145-159, Education in the arts, Melbourne, Australia, B1

book chapter

Positioning people with intellectual disabilities as the experts : enhancing pre-service teachers' competencies in teaching for diversity

J Raphael, A Allard

(2012), Vol. 17, pp. 1-17, International journal of inclusive education, Oxon, U. K., C1

journal article

A blog says I am here! : Encouraging reflection on performance-making and drama practice through blogs

J Raphael

(2009), pp. 129-148, Drama education with digital technology, London, England, B1

book chapter

Art embodied and disembodied : expression, representation, and reflection

J Deans, J O'Toole, J Raphael, S Young

(2009), pp. 160-192, Education in the arts : teaching and learning in the contemporary curriculum, South Melbourne, Vic., B1

book chapter

Fruits of the vine : reflection on performance-making through blogs

J Raphael

(2009), Vol. 32, pp. 21-34, N J Drama Australia journal, Brisbane, Qld., C1

journal article

Equal to life: empowerment through drama and research in a drama group for people with disabilities

J Raphael

(2004), Vol. 28, pp. 73-86, NJ (Drama Australia journal), Brisbane, Qld., C1

journal article

A challenge, a threat and a promise: drama as professional development for teacher educators

J Raphael, J O'Mara

(2002), Vol. 43, pp. 77-87, Melbourne Studies in Education, Carlton, Vic., C1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

Other Public Sector Funding

Secondary Mathematics and Science initiative for out-of-field teachers.

Prof Russell Tytler, A/Prof Jill Brown, A/Prof Peta White, A/Prof Linda Hobbs, A/Prof Julianne Lynch, Dr Jo Raphael, Dr Carly Sawatzki, A/Prof Wanty Widjaja, Dr Seamus Delaney, Dr John Cripps Clark, Prof Damian Blake

DETVic Grant - Research - Department of Education and Training Victoria

  • 2023: $217,396
  • 2022: $1,305,002
  • 2021: $1,984,010
  • 2020: $764,034

CIRCLS - Support program for Secondary Mathematics and Science Initiative.

A/Prof Julianne Lynch, Dr Jo Raphael, Dr Carly Sawatzki, Prof Russell Tytler, A/Prof Jill Brown, A/Prof Peta White

DETVic Grant - Research - Department of Education and Training Victoria

  • 2022: $16,823
  • 2021: $154,545

City of Greater Geelong - Climate Change Professional Development - Research Proposal - Project 1

A/Prof Peta White, Dr Jo Raphael, Dr Llewellyn Wishart, Dr Genee Marks, Dr Shelley Hannigan

City of Greater Geelong

  • 2022: $35,899

Design and delivery of a Graduate Certificate of Secondary Digital Technologies.

A/Prof Julianne Lynch, A/Prof Andrew Cain, Dr Jo Raphael, Dr George Aranda, Dr Sunil Aryal, Dr Chathu Ranaweera, Dr Carly Sawatzki, Dr Matthew Thomas, Dr Guy Wood-Bradley, A/Prof Glenn Auld, Dr John Cripps Clark, A/Prof Linda Hobbs

DETVic Grant - Research - Department of Education and Training Victoria

  • 2023: $412,385

Design and delivery of a Graduate Certificate of Secondary Design and Technologies.

Dr John Cripps Clark, Dr Clara Usma-Mansfield, Dr George Aranda, Mr Matt Jennings, A/Prof Peta White, Mr Rob McHenry, Dr Seamus Delaney, A/Prof Siva Krishnan, Dr Jo Raphael

DETVic Grant - Research - Department of Education and Training Victoria

  • 2023: $422,584

Industry and Other Funding

Enriching teaching excellence through collaboration with professional theatre companies.

Dr Jo Raphael

Drama Victoria

  • 2021: $20,000


Associate Supervisor

Christopher Summers

Thesis entitled: Floodlights, Flare-ups and Frameworks: Positioning the Playwright/Teacher in 'Pedagogy', 'Curriculum' and 'Assessment'.

Doctor of Philosophy (Education), School of Education


Susan Mullane

Thesis entitled: Coming to Know the Accompanied Solo

Doctor of Philosophy (Education), School of Education

Raffaele Rufo

Thesis entitled: Re-engaging Touch in Tango: An Experiential Framework for Kinesthetic Listening

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Communication and Creative Arts