ARC Discovery and DECRA Grants
Vocational institutions, undergraduate degrees: distinction or inequality
This project aims to identify and understand the equity of broadening participation to undergraduate degrees through the recent expansion of higher education in vocational institutions. The intended outcomes will provide relevant knowledge about the effects of this expansion on creating opportunities for more equity groups to obtain degrees and for the higher education system to better drive national innovation and economic restructuring in ways that give a fairer chance to all equity groups to participate.
See project website for more information.
- Professor Sue Webb (Monash University)
- Dr Shaun Rawolle (Deakin University)
- Dr Steven Hodge (University of Glasgow)
- Professor Trevor Gale (University of Glasgow)
- Professor Ann-Marie Bathmaker (University of Birmingham)
ARC Discovery Grant 2017-2019: $396,500
Rights in records by design
This project aims to design and develop a Lifelong Living Archive for children who experience out-of-home care. Children cared for out-of-home need quality recordkeeping systems to develop and nurture their sense of identity and connectedness; account for their care experiences throughout their lives; and detect, report, investigate and take action against child neglect and abuse. This research is expected to support children experiencing family dislocation through efficient, effective, and responsive recordkeeping systems to ensure the highest standards and continuity of care.
- Dr Joanne Evans (Monash University)
- A/Prof Jacqueline Wilson (Federation University)
- Professor Susan McKemmish (Monash University)
- A/Prof Philip Mendes (Monash University)
- Professor Keir Reeves (Federation University)
- Dr Jane Bone (Monash University)
ARC Discovery Grant 2017-2019: $542,500
Traditional play-based learning in early childhood education cannot account for new play
Traditional play-based learning in early childhood education cannot account for new play: very young children's everyday play with technologies, digital media and popular culture. This project uses a recently developed web-mapping tool to create a pedagogical approach to new play. The pedagogical approach to new play comprises teaching practices and learning outcomes that capitalise on the educational potential of children's everyday play with technologies, digital media and popular culture. It aims to enable teachers to work from a theorised and empirically validated perspective for connecting young children's everyday play with technologies, digital media and popular culture artefacts to their 21st century learning needs.
ARC Discovery Grant 2015-2017: $191,900
A study of the digitisation of school health and physical education
While there is growing enthusiasm for using digital technology in school health and physical education (HPE), this is happening in the absence of systematic empirical research. This project will describe the forms digital HPE is taking, analyse the commercial and ideological forces shaping it, and discuss its impacts. It will provide educational stakeholders with a knowledge base on which to anchor debate, policy and further research concerning the complex ethical and philosophical issues raised by the digitisation of HPE. As the first HPE research grounded in theories of digital culture, the project will also challenge the intellectual foundations of HPE teacher training as well as widely held views about the public health role of schools.
- Associate Professor Michael Gard (UQ)
- Professor Deborah Lupton (Univ. of Canberra)
- Dr Deana Leahy
- Dr Carolyn Pluim (Northern Illinois University)
ARC Discovery Grant 2015-2017 $177,000
The Creative Turn: An Australia wide Study of Creativity and Innovation in Secondary Schools
The Melbourne Declaration's Educational Goals for Young Australians advocate that all young Australians should become 'confident and creative individuals' for whom 'critical and creative thinking are fundamental to becoming successful'. This project addresses how creativity and innovative thinking can be nurtured in Australian secondary schools, to help learners better meet the needs of emerging twenty-first century creative economies, particularly as they are developing in the Asia-Pacific region. This project addresses this imperative by seeking to define, measure and cultivate creativity in Australian schools and, ultimately, to develop a new theoretical framework with which to compare these findings internationally.
ARC DECRA grant 2014 – 2016: $378,442
Making a digital difference? An investigation of new technologies in secondary schools
This project addresses the long-standing question of why digital technologies have largely failed to have a consistent impact on the core processes of schools and schooling. The overarching aim of the project, therefore, is to identify the socio-technical adjustments that might be made within schools to facilitate 'better' uses of digital technology. Using an innovative combination of large-scale surveying, in-depth ethnographic study and critical participatory design, the project will: provide rich insights into why digital technologies are often not being used to their full potential in schools; and actively collaborate with school communities in experimenting and constructing alternatives
ARC Discovery Grant 2014 – 2016: $325,000
Using pedagogical reasoning to explicate expert practice that aligns with national teaching standards
Standards and accountability are being used to measure and judge teachers, thus the ability to determine pedagogical expertise is increasingly important. Standards alone give little about the teacher reasoning and expertise required to demonstrate them. This project will research how pedagogical reasoning (PR) can be used to understand expert teachers' professional knowledge, to offer richer ways of interpreting and using standards in judging expertise in practice. This project intends to map the PR of science teachers whose pedagogy generates deep understandings and high levels of engagement onto the standards and research how to represent the outcomes to provide others with scaffolds and expertise to make the standards meaningful in daily practice.
ARC Discovery Grant 2014 – 2016: $343,000
An investigation into the relations between imaginary situations and scientific abstractions in preschool digital play
Imaginative play is the leading activity of preschoolers. But imagination is also important in scientific work, for example in the work of Niels Bohr and Barbara McClintock. Aided through digital tablet technology to create animations of scientific learning, this study examines how imaginative play helps children to imagine scientific explanations not visibly supported in real life, such as the Earth circling the Sun, or science concepts not directly observable, such as, how sugar dissolves faster in hot water. Studying imagination in play and imagination in science will contribute to new understandings about the nature of science teaching in preschools.
ARC Discovery Grant: 2014 – 2016: $290,000
Pathways to work engagement, wellbeing and positive teaching among mid-career teachers: The role of personal and workplace resources
Teaching is a highly demanding, yet rewarding career for many. It is also a decidedly stressful occupation associated with high burnout. By following a large sample of teachers recruited ten years earlier into their mid- career, this project investigates the coping and motivational resources that keep them engaged, allowing them to thrive personally and professionally in different kinds of school environments, versus pathways that predict to burnout, ill-being and negative teaching behaviours. Selected subgroups who were most at risk and most positively engaged earlier in their career will be the focus of longitudinal case studies to uncover more nuanced processes promoting positive and negative pathways.
ARC Discovery Grant 2014 – 2016: $352,000
Education meets play: A sociological study of how the new compulsory national learning framework for children zero to five years influences educators' practice
New theorising about play and education in early childhood settings has challenged traditional notions of play. This project investigates how educators respond to the requirement for play-based learning by identifying characteristics of successful educators and professional leaders, and strategies and practices that merge education and play.
ARC Discovery Grant 2013 – 2016: $299,122
Can educators make a difference: experiencing democracy in education?
International research has found that teachers and students understand democracy as only the obligation to vote and obey the law. Knowing how the Australian education system understands democracy will have great benefit to the development of appropriate school civic and citizenship programs to promote and strengthen our democratic society.
ARC DECRA Grant 2013 - 2015: $366,158
Affective imagination in science education: exploring the emotional nature of scientific and technological learning and engaging children and teachers
Children are born into an increasingly complex world and knowing how to engage with technologies and to think scientifically is central, yet preschool teachers are becoming reluctant to teach science. This project explores the emotional dimension of concept formation, to generate methodologies that engage teachers to teach more science.
ARC Discovery Grant 2013 - 2015: $298,073
Articulate science: rethinking the school education of prospective scientists
Scientists are also citizens, but it is difficult to develop a science curriculum that supports this ideal. This project asks scientists to explore how their own education helped them develop as citizens and scientists; the insights they provide will shape the school science education of future Australian scientists - and citizens.
- Dr Dorothy Smith (La Trobe University)
- Emeritus Professor Dick Gunstone
ARC Discovery Grant 2012 - 2014: $311,000
Enhancing numeracy learning and teaching across the curriculum
Leaving school without an adequate level of numeracy has devastating consequences for young people's life chances. This project will implement a rich approach to numeracy across the curriculum in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 with the aim of improving students' numeracy learning outcomes and teachers' confidence with and understanding of numeracy.
- Prof Merrilyn Goos (University of Queensland)
- Dr Shelley Dole
- Dr Vince Geiger
- Professor Helen Forgasz
ARC Discovery Grant 2012-2014: $210,000
Conceptual play: foregrounding imagination and cognition during concept formation in early years science education
The National Quality agenda has created the need for better understanding learning in early childhood. This study seeks to find out how the imagination of preschool aged children helps them to learn scientific concepts. The outcomes will help early childhood educators in childcare centres and kindergartens to teach science to young children.
ARC Discovery Grant 2011 - 2013: $100,997
Participation in mathematics and science careers: longitudinal study of motivational and contextual predictors
Australia faces escalating shortages of suitably qualified individuals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, negatively affecting economic and national wellbeing. Why young people are losing interest and not pursuing these fields will be determined in three complementary longitudinal studies spanning ages 12 up to their early 30's.
- Prof Helen Watt - Australian Research Fellow
ARC Discovery Grant 2011 - 2015: $564,539
Elite independent schools in globalising circumstances: a multi-sited global Ethnography
This is a study of elite independent schools in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, India, Barbados, South Africa, the USA and England. Because such schools are often seen as the gold standard for school education, and because their alumni are often highly influential in economic, political and professional circles, understanding what they do and the ideals they stand for is important nationally and globally. This study will identify the impact of increased global connections on such schools and will enhance understanding of how education forms many national and international leaders and with what possible implications.
See project website for more information.
- Emeritus Prof Jane Kenway - Australian Professorial Fellow
- Dr AS Koh
- Prof D Epstein
- Prof FA Rizvi
- Prof C McCarthy
ARC Discovery Grant 2010 - 2014: $710,182