Category 3 - Industry and Other Research Funding

The internationalization of Australian Independent Schools:  The influence of Confucian Heritage Culture on Pedagogy

Australia has many students from Asian countries with a Confucian Heritage Cultural (CHC). The learning styles of these students needs to be better understood, particularly within influential contextual factors within Australian educational systems.

This project will be using a social constructivist methodological approach that will allow the researchers to make sense of and interpret the internationalization of Australian independent schools as well as on the pedagogical challenges of Australian independent schools with an increasing number of international students with Confucian Heritage Culture background in the contexts of internationalization. We will undertake a thorough review of literature and critical review of relevant Australian federal, State and Territory policy documents to provide documentary data for this study. These data will be read in conjunction with data collected by both survey and interviews of principals, teachers and students from selected independent schools in Victoria, allowing triangulation to be undertaken in the analysis phase.

The project is expected to find out the opportunities and challenges which international education in Australia is facing while China is opening up with its “the Belt and Road” initiative.



Xin Jin Shan Education Foundation Research Grant, 2017-2019:  $200,000

Are Islamic schools in Indonesia educating for or against religious extremism?

Education that counters extremist thought and behaviour most commonly centres on the teaching of civic values, citizenship, democracy, and tolerance. Yet, imparting these values in schools does not necessarily mean that students have the ability to recognise extremist propaganda. This research project seeks to understand how formal schooling may influence the radicalisation process and contribute to the development of extremist worldviews in Indonesian private Islamic schools.



Australia-Indonesia Centre (AIC) Tactical Research Projects Grant Award: 2017-2018:  $24,539

Remote placement experience for students

The research project involves developing partnerships with remote locations in the Northern Territory in order to establish a placement program for the Faculty of Education at Monash. As part of this project we will document the experiences of students and the participating schools to understand what  is gained professionally through these experiences and how we might do this work more effectively. The study also aims to track the career choices of students involved in the program post their degree.



Department of Premier & Cabinet: 2015-2016:  $23,500

Specific Learning Difficulties: project for SPELD Victoria

Peer assisted learning (PAL) involves the training of student mentors to support other students in their learning and has been shown to have both academic and non-academic (e.g., social skills, emotional development) benefits for the students involved as tutees in the program. One subgroup of students  particularly at risk for both academic and social/emotional difficulties is students with a specific learning disorder (SLD) such as dyslexia. While students with SLD have regularly been the target of PAL strategies, limited research has examined the effectiveness of using SLD mentors to tutor SLD students.  Such an innovative approach could be expected to result in positive academic and non-academic outcomes for not only the SLD tutees involved, but the SLD tutors as well.



SPELD Victoria 2015-2016: $36,871

Skills 4 Life Evaluation

The Sport Taranaki Skills4Life Programme was launched in March 2013. Centring on fundamental sports skills and games in primary schools, the programme has been designed with the aim of enhancing student learning and teacher capabilities relevant to Health and Physical Education. The programme is educationally  oriented and emphasises sustainability, capacity building, and contextually relevant development in primary schools across the Taranaki region.

The Skills4Life Evaluation commenced in April 2014. It is a 3-year project that has been designed to support the ongoing evaluation of the programme in four areas:

  • Student outcomes within and beyond school: encompassing sport-related skills; knowledge and understanding; social and affective outcomes; and transferable skills;
  • Teacher outcomes: increased confidence and competence in teaching physical education and sport in schools;
  • Wider school outcomes: including cultural and behavioural change across the school; learning opportunities and outcomes across the curriculum (particularly relating to New Zealand Curriculum key competencies, literacy and numeracy); and parent involvement and community links; and
  • System level outcomes: relating to sport / physical activity participation across the region (clubs, events); and the quality of provision of physical education and sport in schools across the region.

The evaluation project is gathering programme-wide and case study data from selected schools, involving school principals, teachers, Skills4Life coaching staff; students, parents and representatives of other stakeholders in physical activity and sport for primary school children.

For further information please contact:



Sport Taranaki, New Zealand 2014-2017: $155,893

Democracy, Political Literacy and the Quest for Transformative Education

The research seeks to broadly address important, systemic issues in an interdisciplinary way, favouring a thicker interpretation of democratic thinking/perceptions/experiences within education, including political and media literacy, critical engagement and emancipation. This research will have significant  benefits to educators, decision-makers, scholars and other stakeholders. While a substantial amount of research in this area exists, the proposed research will provide a critical assessment of how democracy is, and could be, undertaken within the educational context, making use of a critical, qualitative,  comparative framework that has been missing from the literature.

The research focuses on the following question: How do educators give meaning to democratic literacy, engagement and transformation, broadly defined as democratic education, through the educational process? The research team will follow this main question with an inquiry that examines educators can  build a more inclusive, emancipatory, critical and democratic educational experience for all students.

The study seeks to contextualize, identify, problematize and analyze how educators experience, understand and perceive democracy, and how this connection to democracy actually shapes the democratic experience for themselves and students in and though the education experience. The methodological approach  for this project favours critical, qualitative, interpretivist inquiry. The research involves interviews and focus-groups with samples of teacher-education students, teachers, principals, professors of education, and community members (n=750 participants) at five sites (Orillia, Ottawa and Montreal in  Canada, Chicago (US) and Melbourne (Australia)). In addition to local and synthesis analyses and reports, the project will develop detailed reports on five key themes, including policy, institutional culture, pedagogy, curriculum, and epistemology in relation to democratic education. During the five-year  project, consultation with specialists is also planned, and these events will provide further support, documentation and evidence to be disseminated throughout the educational sector. Another innovation of this project is the proposed development of instruments, tools, policy, practices and proposals  that focus directly on local and international contexts. The aim of the project is to further democratize education and, concomitantly, society, to develop not only competencies, skills and knowledge but also curriculum, pedagogy, policy and practices that may positively affect the institutional culture  of education.


  • Dr Paul Carr, Lakehead University, Canada
  • Dr Gina Thesee, University of Quebec
  • Dr Brad Porfilio, Lewis University, USA
  • Dr David Zyngier


Canadian Social Sciences Human Research Council 2012-2016:  $14,440

Parenting as a focus of recovery from mental illness: A review of evidence to inform the revised NSW Children of Parents with a mental illness (COPMI) Framework

This rapid review examined the evidence regarding parenting as a focus of recovery in mental health and other health and family services, to inform the revised NSW Children of Parents with a mental illness (COPMI) Framework.

A search of relevant academic literature published between 2006 and 2015 was conducted in the Cochrane library, Medline (Ovid), PsychINFO (Ovid), Scopus and the Australian Family & Society Abstracts database (Informit). Additionally, the papers of leading researchers and key national and international  website based sites were searched with key search terms.

Identified interventions consider the parent as a potential catalyst for change within the family. Overall, interventions were parent led, strength based and responsive to parents' and family's needs and usually delivered in conjunction with treatment as usual. While collaboration between adult and  child mental health services (and other services) was a critical component of these interventions, no formal system or process of partnerships between services was described. No economic cost modelling had been conducted on these interventions though it was noted that intervention intensity varied considerably  with one intervention delivered over 2-3 sessions while others were delivered weekly over 12 months. None of identified interventions focused specifically on any one sub-population, nor were evaluation data examined for possible differences between family types.

Overall, it was found that parenting is a central component of the recovery process for parents with a mental illness, though evidence is still emerging as to intervention effectiveness. Recommendations for workforce training, practice, systems change and policy conclude the review.



Sax Institute 2015: $30,000

Enhancing Community Cohesion through Teacher Education

The Keep on Learning Program brings together pre-service teachers and young adults with intellectual disabilities to partake in a literacy and numeracy tutoring program, through the development of a unique university and service-provider partnership. The aims of the project are to equip mainstream teachers  with productive attitudes and practical skills for advancing inclusive practices and to enhance the literacy and numeracy skills of young adults with intellectual disabilities.



Ian Potter Foundation 2015: $20,000

Monash-Hastings Literacy Partnership Project

The city of Hastings, Victoria serves a disadvantaged community (rated in the highest 7% in Victoria) through a variety of programs that build communal ties between businesses, schools and local organisations such as the one Hastings primary schools has maintained with Monash University since 2010.  The Literacy Partnership Project aims to support classroom teachers in three primary schools (St. Mary's, Hastings, and Wallaroo) with their instruction in the following ways:

  • motivating and engaging their students,
  • building systematic means for vocabulary acquisition, and
  • promoting critical comprehension development.



St Mary's Primary School 2013-2014: $18,324

The Constitution Education Fund of Australia (CEFA) Research Project

The Constitution Education Fund of Australia (CEFA) has recently been given a project grant by the Attorney-General's Department, to be submitted by November 2014 for a proposed digital Australian Constitution Centre for online education and resources. CEFA is working with the Minister of Education,  the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, to deliver school education programs for the Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum. This project will develop teacher professional development for Civics & Citizenship Education (CCE) that will be delivered to teachers free online using the LAMS (Learning Activity  Management System, developed by Macquarie University).

This project requires qualitative and quantitative analysis into teacher education in CCE, which the Global Doing Democracy Project which Dr David Zyngier is co-director and founder is already producing and involved in.

This project will develop a qualitative and quantitative framework for research into the effectiveness of CCE to formalise collaboration with organisations that deliver and provide research in Civics and Citizenship Education to deliver Civics and Citizenship education to every school and to every student  throughout Australia.

The research has three components:

  1. The examination of existing research and it implications for the future of ongoing programs in Australia for Australian Constitutional education and democracy.
  2. Qualitative and quantitative data analysis of teacher knowledge and engagement in Civics and Citizenship, our Constitution and Democracy, including the impact and conclusions this has for teacher education and wider implications for students and the wider community. This research will form the basis    for the Project Activity development and implementation of a qualitative and quantitative research framework.
  3. Review of teacher training modules being developed by the Project, to ensure they meet with ideals of "thick" democracy and to assist teachers in developing deeper understanding of the issues involved with CCE.



The Constitution Education Fund of Australia 2014: $25,197.

Gia Lai ECCD Project

Plan in Vietnam is implementing an Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) project in 7 communes in Gia Lai province between 2012-2017. The project's overall goal is to reach Education for All targets in Gia Lai Province by improving young children's development and wellbeing through effective and  holistic early childhood interventions with the 4 key components of parenting, preschool, transitions to primary support and advocacy/networking for improved policy environment for ECCD.

To measure the impact of the project and to build an evidence base for advocating to donors, government and partners on the importance of ECCD for education outcomes and reducing inequality, a 3 year research study is being led by a team of 6 academics from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia and  the University of Auckland, New Zealand. The Centre for Analysis and Forecasting (CAF) is the local research partner.

Using a range of innovative and participatory research tools, the study will follow a cohort of children and their families within the Plan-supported ECCD project for 3 years and compare them to a control group of children and families who do not have access to early childhood supports through Plan.

Based on the findings, the researchers will identify the strengths and limitations of the project with a view to helping improve components that will have a larger impact on children's development and learning skills needed for primary school. The study will therefore help to identify and maintain a  level of quality required for impact on primary school learning performance.



PLAN International 2014-2016: $57,022.

The 6R's: Rethinking reading instruction for struggling and disengaged readers

Adolescents are rarely the focus of studies of reading however, with the increasing importance being placed on monitoring the reading performance of adolescents through the NAPLAN testing program and the strong emphasis on the importance of literature and the teaching of reading in the recently developed  Australian English curriculum a renewed research agenda concerning both adolescents and reading instruction in the secondary years is necessary and timely.

This study is developing and implementing a new approach to reading instruction with four groups of middle year 8 students who are both struggling and disengaged readers. The program combines theoretical ideas from both cognitive and sociocultural theories of reading. In addition to focusing on the  instructional needs of readers, it also acknowledges the importance of the relationship between the teacher, the reader and the text and takes into account the importance of motivating and reengaging reluctant readers with the practice of reading.



Emmaus School 2014: $15,906

The discursive construction of MOOCs

A team of LNM researchers (led by Scott Bulfin and Neil Selwyn) will lead one of the 28 projects just selected for funding under the MOOC Research Initiative. This program is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is bringing together an international group of researchers to explore the  recent rise to prominence of massively open online courses (MOOCs) in post-secondary education. The Monash project will develop a critical discourse analysis of the popular debates surrounding MOOCs over the past three years – drawing on established methodologies from linguistic studies and the  social sciences. The project aims to identify and explore broader societal struggles over education and digital technology and capture a significant moment before these debates subside with the normalization and assimilation of MOOCs into educational practice.



Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 2013-2014: $13,059