ARC Discovery and DECRA Grants

Data-smart schools: enhancing the use of digital data in secondary schools.

This project aims to investigate the use of digital data in schools to identify ways to improve its capture and use. Masses of digital data are generated within schools every day, but despite its potential, this data remains poorly used and understood. The project intends to work with school communities in order to develop innovative data tools and techniques that make more effective use of the data. The project will provide new insights into the technical, informatics, organisational and social issues surrounding the (re)use of digital data in schools and the development of digital data ‘best practice’ models. This project should provide benefits in terms of improved teaching and learning, parent engagement and use of infrastructure investment.

Investigators

Grant

ARC Discovery Grant 2019-2021 $352, 351


School autonomy reform and Australian public education

This project aims to provide an evidence base for policymakers and practitioners that articulates how Australian public schools at an individual and system level engage with school autonomy reform. The project expects to generate an evidence base and new knowledge in the form of dilemma cases, position papers and a practice framework to support social justice through school autonomy reform. This evidence base will produce national economic and social benefits for Australian communities by identifying the requisite knowledge and practices that will enable key stakeholders to mobilise school autonomy in ways that produce just outcomes for all students.

Investigators

  • Professor Amanda Keddie (Deakin University)
  • A/Professor Jane Wilkinson
  • Professor Jill Blackmore (Deakin University)
  • Dr Bradley Gobby (Curtin University)
  • Dr Richard Niesche (University of NSW)
  • Dr Scott Eacott (University of NSW)

Grant

ARC Discovery Grant 2019-2021 $340,692


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.

Investigators

  • 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)

Grant

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.

Investigators

  • 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)

Grant

ARC Discovery Grant 2017-2019: $542,500


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.

Investigators

  • Associate Professor Michael Gard (UQ)
  • Professor Deborah Lupton (Univ. of Canberra)
  • Dr Deana Leahy
  • Dr Carolyn Pluim (Northern Illinois University)

Grant

ARC Discovery Grant 2015-2017 $177,000


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

Investigators

Grant

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.

Investigators

Grant

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.

Investigators

Grant

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.

Investigators

Grant

ARC Discovery Grant  2014 – 2016: $352,000


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.

Researchers

Grant

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.

Researchers:

Grant

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.

Researchers

Grant

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.

Researcher

Grant

ARC Discovery Grant 2011 - 2013: $100,997


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.

Researchers

Grant

ARC Discovery Grant  2010 - 2014: $710,182