Education and Pedagogy Research Group

The Education and Pedagogy Research Group comprises dedicated and expert researchers from the School of Education. Our researchers engage in a wide range of educational and school focused research in innovative theoretical and applied research, in collaboration with governments, education systems, schools, industry, communities and not-for-profit organisations.

education and pedagogies
Our areas of expertise include:  
(early childhood - post-secondary education)
(early childhood - post-secondary education)
Indigenous educationLeadershipSpecial needs education
EmployabilityVisual artsProfessional identity and resilience
Online learningOnline technologiesPolicy and governance

Research projects

Our experts in the Education and Pedagogy Research Group engage in a wide range of research and project work. The following highlight several of these. For more detailed information concerning research activities, projects and tenders please visit our academic staff list or register of supervisors.


Making Music Work: Sustainable Portfolio Careers for Australian Musicians

The Making Music Work project involves a major national survey of musicians from around the country, as well as a dozen in-depth case studies, in order to create a comprehensive and detailed picture of the working lives, career trajectories, and economic circumstances of portfolio musicians in Australia. This research not only looks at how long musicians have been working in the sector, but – most critically – the diversification of roles that they hold, the ways in which they balance doing so, and ultimately how they sustain their livelihoods.

Curtin Investigator: John Curtin Distinguished Professor Dawn Bennett

Funded by the Australian Research Council (Linkage Grant) [$222,515]

Learn2Analyze (L2A): An Academia-Industry Knowledge Alliance for enhancing Online Training Professionals’ Instructional Designers and e-Trainers) Competences in Educational Data Analytics

The scope of the Learn2Analyze project is (i) to enhance existing competence frameworks for instructional designers and e-trainers of online and blended courses with new Educational Data Literacy competences for using emerging Educational Data Analytics methods and tools and (ii) to develop and evaluate a series of professional development Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for cultivating these competences with emphasis on combining theory and practice through authentic work-oriented tasks. The Learn2Analyze international consortium comprises six organisations from five European Union countries (Greece, Norway, Germany, Italy and Ireland) and one partner from Australia.

Curtin Investigators: Prof Demetrios Sampson & Prof Lina Pelliccione

Funded by European Commission, Erasmus+ Program, Knowledge Alliances Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices Program [Curtin’s funding: $156,000]

STORIES: Stories of Tomorrow – Students Visions on the Future of Space Exploration

Stories of Tomorrow is a European research and development project designed for teaching professionals in STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). It introduces teachers to the concept of digital storytelling and inquiry-based science teaching techniques to develop, improve and enhance teaching practices. The STORIES international consortium consists of 15 universities, research centers, science centers, policy makers and e-learning service providers, as well as a network of K12 schools.

Curtin Investigator: Prof Demetrios Sampson

Funded by European Commission, European Commission, Horizon 2020 Framework Programme [2,703,375 EUR]

Open Schools for the Open Society (OSOS)

The Open Schools for the Open Society (OSOS) is a European research and development project designed for school leaders to explore opportunities for transformative school leadership through the Open School model. It aims to connects K-12 schools with their local communities and to engage students in responsible citizenship development. The international OSOS consortium consists of 19 universities, research centers, science centers, policy makers and e-learning service providers, as well as a network of K12 schools.

Curtin Investigator: Prof Demetrios Sampson

Funded by European Commission, Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, Science with and for Society: Open Schooling and Collaboration on Science Education [3,042,250 EUR]

Early Childhood iSTEM Numeracy Project: Grant/Funded by Department of Education – Budget $72,800

In this research and development project, early childhood educators engage in a 6-month action research project. The educators are supported with professional learning workshops and other resources to increase their understanding of key mathematical concepts relevant to young children (aged 3 to 7 years), and to identify the mathematical demands and opportunities of young children’s STEM experiences.

Investigators: Dr Karen Murcia and Dr Sharon Davies

Funded by the Department of Education (14 DoE Primary Schools) [$72,800]

Mentoring Programs and Equity Groups: The Australian Story

This project mapped the extent to which mentoring programs are used in Australian universities to support students from the different equity groups during the different phases of university life: enabling, engagement and employment. It examined the extent to which features of a cross-section of programs aligned with existing best practice in mentoring guidelines and benchmarks, and resulted in a map of mentoring programs in Australian universities that included or targeted students from underrepresented groups.

Investigators: Associate Prof Susan Beltman, Dr Shamim Samani, Kate Ala’i

Funded by the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education Research Grants Program [$39,285]

iSTEM Numeracy for infants and young children under 5 years old. Goodstart Early Learning

Goodstart Early Learning educators participated in a 6-month action research project. Educators were supported with professional learning workshops to increase their understanding of key mathematical concepts relevant to young children (aged birth to 5 years). The research provided opportunities for educators to engage in professional development to enhance skills in developing effective ‘Learning Stories’ – observing, recording and evaluating children’s learning.

Investigator: Dr Sharon Davies

Funded by Goodstart Early Learning [$18,054]

Managers’ Perspectives of the Suitability of CELTA in a Changing Australian TESOL Environment: An Exploratory Study

This study sought to investigate the perceived effectiveness of a pre-service Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) qualification called CELTA which is provided in the private English language teaching sector and taken prior to Curtin’s Graduate Certificate in TESOL.

Investigator: Dr Toni Dobinson and Dr Paul Mercieca

Funded by Cambridge English Funded Research Programme (Round 7) [$10.000]

Developing Digital Literacies and Using Digital Technologies in the Montessori Classroom

This project involves observing the actions of children as meaning makers to map how digital literacies are developed. Observations are used to identify a methods for using digital technologies in the Montessori classroom and embedding the development of digital literacies.

Investigators: Dr Sharon Davies, Dr Samantha Owen and Sarah Thomas

Funded by The Beehive Montessori School, Perth Western Australia [$8000]

The employABILITY Initiative

The employability of the 21st century worker is developed and sustained through explicit, career- and life-long identity and employability work. The Initiative is underpinned by EmployABILITY thinking, which is a strength-based, metacognitive approach delivered in the existing curriculum. The approach prompts students to understand why they think the way they think, how to critique and learn the unfamiliar, and how their values, beliefs and assumptions can inform and be informed by their learning, lives and careers. The Initiative involves 28 institutions worldwide.

Investigator: Professor Dawn Bennett

Funded by the Department of Training

Academic staff / Research interests

StaffResearch interests
Associate Professor Jill Aldridge
  • Inclusive schools

  • Learning environments

  • Professional development

  • School improvement
  • Associate Professor Susan Beltman
  • Mentoring

  • Qualitative research

  • Teacher emotions and motivation

  • Teacher resilience and wellbeing (pre-service through to leaders; early childhood, school and vocational settings)

  • University student and staff resilience and wellbeing
  • Professor Dawn Bennett
  • Creative industries

  • Employability development

  • Graduate work

  • Higher education curriculum and pedagogy

  • Identity development
  • Professor Rob Cavanagh
  • Educational leadership and change
  • Learning environments

  • Measurement

  • Mixed methods research designs

  • Rasch model
  • Dr Sharon Davies, Lecturer
  • Action research

  • Digital Literacies and digital technology

  • iStem

  • Teacher professional development
  • Dr Audrey Cooke
  • Engagement with mathematics

  • Use of 360 degree video cameras in reflective process

  • Mathematics anxiety

  • Mathematics noticing
  • Associate Professor Judith Dinham
  • 21st century capabilities and pedagogical practices

  • Arts education methodologies for 21st century learning

  • Literacy in the 21st century

  • Qualitative research and visual methodology

  • Reflective practice and critical thinking
  • Dr Kathryn Dixon, Senior lecturer
  • Adult learning

  • Online Learning

  • Organisational change

  • Professional development

  • Training and development
  • Dr Toni Dobinson, Senior Lecturer
  • Applied linguistics

  • Critical pedagogy

  • Developing transcultural competence in higher education and the school sector

  • Internationalisation of the curriculum

  • Language and literacy education
  • Dr Madeleine Dobson, Lecturer
  • Early childhood and care

  • Professional learning and development

  • Qualitative research

  • Resilience and wellbeing

  • Social justice
  • Dr Paul Gardner, Senior Lecturer
  • Language and literacy

  • Transformational literature

  • Writer agency and paradigms of writing

  • Multi-modal intersemiosis
  • Dr Brad Gobby, Senior Lecturer
  • Critical education policy analysis

  • New materialisms

  • Poststructuralism in education

  • School autonomy and governance
  • Dr Qian Gong, Lecturer
  • Chinese media studies

  • Gender studies

  • Language education

  • Popular culture
  • Dr Hiroshis Hasegawa, Senior Lecturer
  • Ethics in education

  • ICT-led educational reform

  • Second/foreign language education

  • Second/foreign languages pedagogy and learning
  • Dr Chris Hurst, Lecturer
  • Big ideas of primary mathematics

  • Pre-service teacher mathematics education

  • Primary mathematics curriculum development

  • Primary mathematics education

  • Primary teacher mathematics content knowledge
  • Associate Professor Jenny Jay
  • Early mathematics learning

  • Early childhood education

  • Introduction of the AfGT

  • Representations of children on social media

  • Undergraduate writing projects
  • Dr Rekha Koul, Senior Lecturer
  • Classroom and school learning environments

  • Learning environments

  • Science education

  • Stem education
  • Ms Sonja Kuzich, Lecturer
  • Critical pedagogy and literacy for sustainability

  • Education for sustainability

  • Education policy development and implementation

  • Impact of nature on children's affective and cognitive outcomes

  • Social justice and equity goals within education
  • Dr Paul Mercieca, Senior Lecturer
  • Applied linguistics

  • Teaching English as a second language
  • Ms Jane Merewether, Lecturer
  • Early childhood

  • The educational project of Reggio Emilia

  • New materialisms

  • Environmental Humanities

  • Posthumanism
  • Mrs Val Morey, Academic Professional Fellow
  • Casualisation of university teaching

  • Motivation and engagement amongst academic teaching staff

  • Online learning and teaching
  • Dr Chad Morrison, Senior Lecturer
  • Early career teachers and teaching

  • Educational disadvantage

  • Initial teacher education

  • Teacher professional identity

  • Teacher resilience and wellbeing
  • Associate Professor Karen Murcia
  • Numeracy across the curriculum

  • Scientific literacy

  • Stem education

  • Technology enhanced learning environments
  • Associate Professor Karen Nonis
  • Development and learning

  • Early childhood and special needs

  • Education specific to motor control

  • Fundamental motor skills

  • Physical disabilities
  • Dr Samantha Owen, Lecturer
  • Community education

  • Digital Literacies

  • Education and nationalism

  • Gendered perspectives

  • Methodologies for history and Hass teaching
  • Dr Lisa Paris, Academic Lead; Professional Learning Hub; Senior Lecturer
  • Beginning teacher retention

  • Experienced/in-service teacher models for professional learning

  • Inclusive Arts education

  • Interdisciplinary research methods
  • Professor Demetrios Sampson
  • Context-Aware Adaptive and Personalised Mobile Learning

  • Digital learning and teaching

  • Educational Data Analysis

  • Learning Technologies

  • Open educational resources and practices
  • Ms Von Sawers, Senior Lecturer
  • Primary education

  • Language and English education

  • Primary literacy
  • Dr Cindy Smith, Lecturer
  • Inclusive practices for students with autism

  • Mentoring as an intervention for youth at risk

  • Strength based programs for adolescents

  • Teacher development as a pathway to inclusive education

  • Women’s issues concerning development of self, workplace/education equity
  • Dr Rebecca Walker, Senior Lecturer
  • Assessment

  • Mixed methods research

  • Online higher education

  • Work integrated learning
  • Dr Craig Whitsed, Senior Lecturer
  • Writing, the writer and paradigms of composition

  • Transformational children’s literature

  • Process drama

  • Critical literacy for social change

  • Multimodal meaning making

  • Collaborative learning
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