Research that drives educational reform

Teacher workforce shortages, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, has led to a proliferation of ‘innovations’ to boost the supply of graduate teachers to the workforce. We recognise that there is an urgent need for evidence-based research that informs the design of teacher education. Through our research, we evaluate the consequences and implications that impact the preparation and supply of teachers.

Our research draws on mixed methods, including novel and innovative theoretical positions, to address overarching research questions relevant to teacher education policy and practice issues. We prioritise the co-production of research-informed partnerships and alliances across early childhood, school and higher education.

Our research areas

The Innovating Teacher Education group has six overarching research streams that frame our research:

Curriculum design and innovative pedagogies in teacher education

Exploration of the factors that enable and constrain curriculum and pedagogy in teacher education, and evaluation of their impacts on graduate outcomes.

Accountability and assessment in teacher preparation

Research that examines the quality of assessment and moderation practices, including teacher performance assessment.

Graduate capabilities, practices and teacher wellbeing

Research that examines how the conditions and experiences of teacher education support graduate capabilities, practices and wellbeing and how this might influence graduate teacher retention.

Teaching for, and as, socially-just practice

Examination of the innovations in the design, delivery and assessment of teacher education that enable or constrain the preparation of quality, socially-just teachers.

Policy and reform impact

The impact of policy and reforms that shape quality and supply in the teaching workforce.

Partnerships and alliances

Exploration of the partnerships and alliances that are key for effective teacher education.

Connecting all parts of the education system

When you study a PhD or postdoctoral research with the Innovating Teacher Education group, you'll be supported by renowned researchers.

Explore our research degrees

Featured projects

Our partnerships with government, community and industry allow us to deliver research with impact. We lead bold initiatives that seek solutions beyond traditional research and organisational boundaries.

Innovative initial teacher education

Innovative initial teacher education

This project, led by Professor Damian Blake, Associate Professor Amanda Mooney and Dr Natalie Robertson, evaluated the outcomes of Victorian Government-funded innovative initial teacher education programs delivering a workplace-based pathway for mid-career entrants to become early childhood and applied secondary teachers. Through our research, we assessed if these programs were able to increase supply to workforce shortages in early childhood and applied secondary education.

Improving mentoring in teacher education

Improving mentoring in teacher education

This project, led by Dr Matthew Thomas, aimed to improve mentoring in schools across the state of Victoria in a multi-stage approach. Over 130 primary and secondary schools in Warrnambool, Melbourne, Geelong and Horsham/Wimmera regions were involved and over 9000 teachers shifted to Deakin mentoring practices through the research project.

Our researchers

The Innovating Teacher Education team delivers original projects for all tiers of education under the leadership of:

Professor Amanda Mooney is the Associate Head of School (Teaching and Learning) in the School of Education. Her research interests are underpinned by a strong commitment to social justice and the role that education can play in furthering this pursuit.

Dr Natalie Robertson is a senior lecturer in early childhood education in the School of Education. She conducts research positioned in early childhood education.

Research team

Professor Damian Blake, Head of School

Dr Trent Brown, Senior Lecturer

Dr Rose Buchanek, Lecturer in Education

Dr Katherine Bussey, Research Fellow

Kate Chealuck, Lecturer in Education

Dr Mandy Cooke, Lecturer in Education, Early Childhood

Nicole Downes, Lecturer in Education (Early Childhood)

Edwina El Hachem, Lecturer in Education (Pedagogy and Curriculum)

Juliet Erekson, Lecturer

Dr Brandi Fox, Lecturer

Dr Joanne Hericksen, Lecturer in Education (Education Business Leadership)

Dr Brendan Hyde, Senior Lecturer, Education (Pedagogy and Curriculum)

Dr Cassandra Iannucci, Senior Lecturer

Dr Kate Johnstone, Lecturer in Education (Pedagogy and Curriculum)

Professor Amanda Mooney, Professor in Education

Kate Moncrieff, Lecturer in Education (Health and Physical Education)

Dr Maria Nicholas, Senior Lecturer in Education (Language and Literacy Education)

Dr Sarah Ohi, Senior Lecturer in Education (Language and Literacy Education)

Dr Jacqui Peters, Lecturer in Education (Health and Physical Education)

Dr Fiona Phillips, Lecturer in Education (Arts Education)

Dr Natalie Robertson, Senior Lecturer, Early Childhood Education

Dr Dylan Scanlon, Lecturer, Education, Health and Physical Education

Dr Matthew Thomas, Director, Professional Practice

Dr Kellie Tobin, Lecturer in Education (Applied Learning)

Dr Cameron Van der Smee, Lecturer, Health and Physical Education

Helen Weston, Site Director, Hallan and South East Alliance

Our partners

To ensure our work is relevant to teacher education and the teaching workforce at large, we partner with several organisations, including the Department of Education, the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) and the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA).

We also work with early childhood organisations, and schools across education tiers through our projects, placements and through events such as Deakin’s annual early childhood conference. Our expertise in teacher education means our researchers regularly feature in the media.

Our publications

Take an in-depth look at our latest research, available in a variety of formats and publications. For a full list of publications visit the profile pages of our researchers.

Latest publications:

Featured publications:


*QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022

*U.S. News & World Report, Best Global Universities Subject Rankings 2022–2023

Contact us

Our team is here to answer your questions and help you learn more about the Innovating Teacher Education group.