Profile image of Sarah Ohi

Dr Sarah Ohi



Senior Lecturer in Education (Language and Literacy Education)


Faculty of Arts and Education


School of Education


Melbourne Burwood Campus


Doctor of Education, Monash University, 2007
Master of Educational Studies, Monash University, 1999

+61 3 924 43747

Biography summary

Sarah Ohi’s research is encompassed by the overarching theme of the Power of Language and Literacy (discourse) and her publications are nested in three main areas under this; Early Years Literacy, Teacher Learning and Policy. Although Sarah’s research focuses upon many important aspects of Early Years Literacy, her main emphasis is upon the power of words and the impact of discourse and the development of concepts in Literacy Education settings. This is evident in her most recent work focusing upon issues associated with building Intercultural Understanding through literature and literacy. The second research area is that of Teacher Learning involving a focus on ensuring that pre- service, in-service teachers and Early Childhood Educators establish firm foundational knowledge of Early Years Literacy development. Furthermore, she interested in the affordances that technology offers to engage in Teacher’s Professional Learning. This has resulted in the development of rich partnerships with early childhood centres, schools and the winning of government research tenders. Finally, Sarah’s research encompasses a focus upon Early Years policy and the way in which it is subject to political change and is continually evolving. Sarah contributes to Deakin’s LIVE 2020 agenda by continuing to transform IDEAS into innovative research, as an individual and collaborative, leading team member.

Research interests

Language and Literacy Development in the Early Years

Digital Play and Multimodal literacies in Early Childhood

Improving Online Learning in Higher Education

Discourse Analysis

Education Policy Analysis

Pasifika Education



Australian Literacy Educators Association (ALEA)

Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA)

E-Lit/The Primary English Teaching Association (PETA)

Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE)

Early Childhood Australia (ECA)

Founding member Victorian Early Childhood Research Consortium (VECR)

The Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT)

Teaching interests

ECE703 Early Childhood Language, Literacy and Mathematics

ECE762 Language and Literacy

ECE230 Language & Literacy Development in Early Childhood

Units taught



Recent Conferences: Ohi,S.(2011), Understanding Language and Literacy Development in the Early Years; Complexities and Challenges for the Early Childhood Sector.Paper presented at the AARE International Education Research Conference,27th Nov-3rd Dec,Fremantle, Aust. Yim, B., Grenfell, J., Ohi, S. & Hodder, P. (2011). Teaching and learning issues of undergraduate early childhood education courses: a progress report. Deakin Teaching and Learning Conference 2011: Educating the Professions: new curricula, new pedagogies and new technologies, 2nd -3rd November 2011, Melbourne, Australia. Ohi,S. (2011). Developing Essential Language and Literacy tools for early childhood education, Deakin Teaching and Learning Conference 2011: Educating the Professions: new curricula, new pedagogies and new technologies, 2nd -3rd November 2011, Melbourne, Australia. Ohi, S. (2010) Enhancing On-line Research, Teaching and Learning Through Research. Paper presented at the AARE International Education Research Conference 2010, 28th November - 2nd December, Melbourne, Australia. Ohi, S. (2010), Engaging in Group Research Projects On-line: Clever Collaboration or Calamity? Paper presented at the Deakin Teaching and Learning Conference 2010: Flexible Education Futures: Partnering for Collaborative and Active Learning, 3rd-4th November 2010, Melbourne, Australia. Ohi, S. (2010), A Day in the Life of an Early Childhood Educator; Teachers Perceptions of their Daily Roles. Paper presented at The 2011 Early Childhood Research Symposium @ Deakin University: Early Childhood Education, Policies and Practices, 13th January, 2011, Melbourne, Australia.

Professional activities

Faculty of Arts and Education Human Ethics Advisory Group

Bachelor Early Childhood Education Re-accreditation Committee, Deakin University.

Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) Course Re-accreditation Committee, Deakin University.

Deakin Alliance, Academic Mentor to Schools, (Hallam & South East).

Research groups

2011-21  Victorian Early Childhood Research Consortium, Founding Member

2015-20  The Melbourne Group, Founding Member

2011-20  The Language, Literacies and Learning Teaching and Research Group

2011-12  The Early Childhood Research, Emerging Research group, Leader and  Founding Member,


2017 School of Education Teaching Award for Sustained Excellence in Teaching from 2015-2017

2013 Vice Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Partnerships, 27th November, 2013, Geelong Waterfront, BECE DAYD team.

2010 The Deans Teaching Award, for Excellence in Teaching;
First Year Teaching
, Faculty of Arts & Education, Deakin University, Prof. Jennifer Radbourne.

2010 Best Abstract Award, Deakin Teaching and Learning Conference 4/11/10, Deakin University, Prof. Colin Mason, Director Institute of Teaching & Learning,


Chief Investigator: Exploring effective early years literacy teaching practices in Early Childhood settings in Australia, Ohi,S. & Ozturk,G.(2021-2022)

University Partnership with Swinburne Technology: Pre-service Teachers’ Theory-Praxis Nexus:  Perspectives on Early Years Literacy Education, Pale, M. & Ohi, S. (2018-2020).

Graduate Teacher Conferences: Design, Implementation and Evaluation Department of Education and Training (DET), Victoria. Walker-Gibbs,B., Ure,C.,Gallant,A., Thomas,M.,Rowe,E., Messer,R., Ohi,S.,  Mooney,A., Arnold,J., Hope-Rowe, G., O'Keefe, P., Harvie,K., Peters,J., Broadhead,K., Chaur, K., Moncrieff,K.& Sanders,K. (2018-2020).

The Intercultural Understanding in Primary & Secondary Schools Project,Halse,C(CI),Mansouri,F,Arrowsmith,C(RMIT),Moss,J.,Paradies,Y., Arber,R,Charles,C.,Cloonan,A.,Nida,D.(UWS),Ohi,S.,O’Mara,J.,Priest,N.(MU).The Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant (2013-2015)

The Literacy and Numeracy Strategy, Literature Review, DEECD, Vic. Kostogriz,A. (CI), Vale,C. (CI), Auld,G., Blake,D., Bragg,L., Ohi,S., Ollis,T., O’Mara,J., Paatsch,L., Williams, G. (2013)

Chief Investigator: Implications of the restructuring of Early Childhood Education for Teacher Professional Development, Ohi,S. & Yim,B. (2012).

Pilot Statewide Professional Mentoring Program for Early Childhood Teachers (Deakin/VU partnership, Funded by DEECD). Nolan, A., Morrissey,A., Aitken, J., Doig,B., Hamm,C., Hunt,J., Laskey,L.,Ohi,S.,Rouse,L. (2011-2013)

Chief Investigator: Developing Essential Language and Literacy Tools for Early Childhood Education, Deakin University. Ohi,S. (2011-2012)

Chief Investigator: Investigating the Role of Early childhood Teachers in the Research Policy Praxis Nexus; A focus upon Language and Literacy in Early Childhood.Ohi,S.(2010-2012)

Chief Investigator: Enhancing On-line Teaching and Learning through Research.Ohi,S. (2010)

Chief Investigator: A Day in the Life of an Early Childhood Educator.Ohi,S.(2010)


Filter by


Preparing I-Kiribati for the future: probing the English language research-policy nexus in Kiribati education in the South Pacific

Sarah Ohi, P Ingram

(2021), pp. 1-19, Asia Pacific journal of education, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

Interrogating the promise of a whole-school approach to intercultural education: An Australian investigation

S Ohi, J O’Mara, R Arber, C Hartung, G Shaw, C Halse

(2019), Vol. 18, pp. 234-247, European Educational Research Journal, C1

journal article

What do they do digitally? Identifying the home digital literacy practices of young children in Turkey

Gulsah Ozturk, Sarah Ohi

(2019), pp. 1-16, Early years, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

Understanding young children's attitudes towards reading in relation to their digital literacy activities at home

Gulsah Ozturk, Sarah Ohi

(2018), Vol. 16, pp. 393-406, Journal of early childhood research, London, Eng., C1

journal article

An analysis of the use of autobiographical narrative for teachers' intercultural learning

A Cloonan, B Fox, S Ohi, C Halse

(2017), Vol. 28, pp. 131-144, Teaching education, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Building a model of support for preschool children with speech and language disorders

N Robertson, S Ohi

(2016), Vol. 5, pp. 173-181, Journal of education and learning, Toronto, Ont., C1

journal article

Doing diversity: intercultural understanding in primary and secondary schools

C Halse, F Mansouri, J Moss, Y Paradies, J O'Mara, R Arber, N Denson, C Arrowsmith, N Priest, C Charles, A Cloonan, B Fox, C Hartung, C Mahoney, S Ohi, G Ovenden, G Shaw, L Wright

(2015), Melbourne, Vic., A6

research report/technical paper

Supporting intercultural engagement in literacy education

A Cloonan, J O’Mara, S Ohi

(2014), pp. 83-98, Becoming a teacher of language and literacy, Port Melbourne, Vic., B1

book chapter

A day in the life of an early childhood teacher: identifying the confronting issues and challenges that arise

S Ohi

(2014), Vol. 5, pp. 1008-1018, Creative education, Irvine, California, C1

journal article

Literacy in early childhood and primary education : issues, challenges and solutions

C McLachlan, T Nicholson, R Fielding-Barnsley, L Mercer, S Ohi

(2013), Cambridge, England, A1


The literacy and numeracy strategy literature review

A Kostogriz, C Vale, G Auld, D Blake, L Bragg, S Ohi, T Ollis, J O'Mara, L Paatsch, G Williams

(2013), Melbourne, Vic., A6-1

research report/technical paper

Investigating Ways of Enhancing Online Research

S Ohi

(2011), Vol. 8, pp. 1-6, International journal of instructional technology and distance learning, Pittsburgh, Pa., C1

journal article

The teacher's role in the research-policy-praxis nexus

S Ohi

(2008), Vol. 52, pp. 95-109, Australian journal of education, Sydney, N.S.W., C1-1

journal article

An evaluation of the early years literacy program

J Williams, M Fleer, K Power, S Ohi, S North, M Long

(2008), Adelaide, S. Aust., A6-1

research report/technical paper

Teacher's professional knowledge and the teaching of reading in the early years

S Ohi

(2007), Vol. 32, pp. 1-14, Australian journal of teacher education, Graylands, W.A., C1-1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

Other Public Sector Funding

Pilot statewide professional mentoring program for early childhood teachers

A/Prof Anne-Marie Morrissey, Dr Sarah Ohi, Ms Louise Laskey, A/Prof Liz Rouse, Prof Andrea Nolan

Victoria University Linkage Coll grant, DEECD Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

  • 2015: $188,450
  • 2013: $64,200
  • 2011: $64,200

Literacy and Numeracy Strategy - Literature Review

A/Prof Colleen Vale, Prof Damian Blake, Dr Glenn Auld, Dr Leicha Bragg, Prof Louise Paatsch, A/Prof Trace Ollis, A/Prof Joanne O'Mara, Dr Gaye Williams, Dr Sarah Ohi

DEECD Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

  • 2013: $54,420


Associate Supervisor

Dewi Mulia

Thesis entitled: The role of play in teaching English as a foreign language in early childhood settings in Indonesia

Doctor of Philosophy (Education), School of Education

Kathy Swinkels

Thesis entitled: Mathematically-rich Interactions in Early Childhood Centres

Doctor of Philosophy (Education), School of Education