Topics and projects

Admission to education honours depends on finding a suitable research topic and supervisor. The list below shows the faculty's research supervisors, in alphabetical order, their current research interests, and the number of undergraduate education honours students they can supervise. Further information regarding research topics and projects is available from the relevant supervisor.


Supervisors and projects 2016

Arts Education

Supervisor Student places available Details – click heading to reveal or hide project information

Robyn Ewing

2

Topic areas:
  • English, literacy and drama
Special projects for students:
  • the School Drama program
  • Sydney Story Factory
  • creative teaching and learning

Robyn Gibson

2

Topic areas:
  • The Arts
  • Arts education specifically primary
  • Creativity & creative teaching
  • Innovative research methodologies including arts-informed inquiry
  • Dress and identity
Special projects for students:

Possibility of being involved in a learning and teaching project involving students' perceptions of USS evaluations?

Alison O'Grady

2

Topic areas:
  • Thematic discourse analysis
  • English curriculum
  • Drama practices and pedagogy
  • Creativity and teacher artistry
Special projects for students:
  • Historical consciousness and dramatic interaction
  • Thematic discourse analysis and preservice teacher education
  • Performed research

Civics and HSIE Curriculum

Supervisor Student places available Details – click heading to reveal or hide project information

Yeow-Tong Chia

2

Topic areas:
  • Ancient history curriculum in historical and comparative perspective
  • Citizenship in history curriculum/education
  • (In)visibility of Asian history in history curriculum
  • Comparative and international education
  • History of education (especially non-"white" perspectives)

Murray Print

3

Topic areas:
  • Civics
  • Citizenship
  • Curriculum
  • Student civic engagement
  • International education
  • Comparative education
  • ACARA
  • NSW Bureau of Studies/BOSTES
  • Australian Curriculum Review
  • Teacher Education Review
  • International comparative research with China
Special projects for students:
  • Professor Print was the lead writer for the Australian Curriculum Civics and Citizenship (2011–2015) and is researching all aspects of that curriculum
  • Joint project on citizenship with China

Catherine Smyth

2

Topic areas:
  • History K–6
  • ICTs for teaching history and/or geography
  • Geography K–6
  • Digital storytelling
  • Primary students' historical thinking
  • History and/or geography site studies
  • Civics and citizenship
  • Primary history pedagogy
  • Scoop.it! and digital curation

Developmental Science and Learning Science

Supervisor Student places available Details – click heading to reveal or hide project information

Paul Ginns

2

Topic areas:
  • Embodied learning

Michael Jacobson

2

Topic areas:
  • Learning and cognitive sciences
  • Educational technology
  • Virtual reality
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Science education
Special projects for students:
  • Projects within either of two Australian Research Council Discovery projects, depending on the sudent's experiences and interests

Minkang Kim

1

Topic areas:
  • Emotional and moral development in children
Special projects for students:
  • Educating for empathy in childhood

Rachel Wilson

2

Topic areas:
  • Child development
  • Early childhood
  • Educational participation
  • School systems
  • STEM education
Special projects for students:
  • The role of sport (and social participation) in education, wellbeing and employment outcomes in Indigenous communities
  • Working conditions and roles of principals and teachers within schools, in the context of shifts in school autonomy
  • An analysis and mapping of NAPLAN, school-funding and school-characteristics data published on the My School website.

Early Childhood Education

Supervisor Student places available Details – click heading to reveal or hide project information

Belinda Davis

2

Topic areas:
  • Early childhood curriculum for infants and toddlers
  • Educators' understandings of infants and toddlers
  • Reflective practice

Marianne Fenech

1

Topic areas:
  • Conceptualisations of quality in early childhood education
  • Early childhood policy
  • The National Quality Framework
  • Child care choice
  • Advocacy as teacher/leader professionalism in early childhood
  • The leadership and management of early childhood services
  • Early childhood workforce issues
  • Early childhood education as an avenue for social inclusion

Amanda Niland

3

Topic areas:
  • Music in early childhood
  • Creativity in early childhood
  • Picture books for young children
  • Inclusion in early childhood
  • Participatory research with young children
  • Ethnographic, narrative and arts-informed methodologies

English and Literacy Education

Supervisor Student places available Details – click heading to reveal or hide project information

Jon Callow

2

Topic areas:
  • Literacy pedagogy – reading, writing, talking, listening, viewing
  • Visual literacy
  • Assessment, teaching and analysis of multimodal texts
  • Literature for children
  • Technology and literacy
  • Engagement and literacy/English

Jen Scott Curwood

3

Topic areas:
  • Literacy
  • Technology
  • Visual literacy
  • Teacher professional learning
  • Visual literacy

Alyson Simpson

2

Topic areas:
  • Teaching reading with childrens literature
  • Dialogic pedagogies
  • Multimodality
  • Children's Choice awards
  • The role of libraries in schools
  • Developing agentive pedagogies
Special project for students:
  • TARDIS – teaching about reading dialogic interactions in schools

Health and Physical Education

Supervisor Student places available Details – click heading to reveal or hide project information

Kellie Burns

2

Topic areas:
  • Schools, allergies and anaphylaxis (attitudes, knowledge, training, management, experiences of teachers, parents, children)

Wayne Cotton

2

Topic areas:
  • Outdoor Education in tertiary settings
  • Experiential education (including study abroad) in tertiary settings

Steve Georgakis

2

Topic areas:
  • History and sociology of sport
  • Physical education and sport pedagogy

History Curriculum and History of Education

Supervisor Student places available Details – click heading to reveal or hide project information

Tim Allender

3

Topic areas:
  • History
  • History curriculum
  • Gender
  • Feminism
  • Colonialism

Indigenous Studies/Education

Supervisor Student places available Details – click heading to reveal or hide project information

Cathie Burgess

2

Topic areas:
  • Aboriginal/Indigenous studies in schools and universities
  • Curriculum, pedagogy and policy in Aboriginal education
  • Teacher professional learning and identity in Aboriginal contexts
  • Aboriginal community engagement
  • Social justice, equity and diversity
  • Narrative and case-study methodology
Special projects for students:
  • Impact of Aboriginal-community-controlled cultural immersion on teachers, teaching and schools

Lorraine Towers

1

Topic areas:
  • Culture and politics of education
  • Race, ethnicity and education
  • History of education policy, practice and experience
  • Comparative and international education
  • School subjectivities, identities: modernity and urbanisation
  • History of Indigenous education in Australia
  • Intercultural and comparative indigenous studies of education experience
  • Indigenous knowledges and education
  • Postcolonial studies/decolonial perspectives and practice
  • Settler colonialism and education
Special projects for students:
  • Academics without doctorates – an investigation into the nature and extent of underqualification of academics in South Africa, Mauritius and Australia, as well as the strategies and policies to address the issue (AAUN funded)
  • Education and culture – exploring curricula and identities in settler societies
  • Education, urbanisation and modernity – subjectivities and pragmatics

Language Education

Supervisor Student places available Details – click heading to reveal or hide project information

Hongzhi (Veronica) Yang

2

Topic areas:
  • Language teaching and learning
  • Language teacher identity and agency
  • Language assessment
Special projects for students:
  • Language teaching and learning
  • Language teacher identity and agency
  • Language assessment

Mathematics and Science Education

Supervisor Student places available Details – click heading to reveal or hide project information

Judy Anderson

1

Topic areas:
  • Secondary mathematics curriculum
  • Mathematical problem-solving
  • Mathematics teachers’ beliefs and practices
  • Algebraic thinking
  • Secondary mathematics teachers’ knowledge and beliefs

Janette Bobis

1

Topic areas:

Primary mathematics education in the areas of:

  • Student learning: their understanding of computational strategies (eg. using the empty number line); motivation and engagement in mathematics; the relationship/connections between internal and external represenations that assist conceptual understanding; the role of gesturing/tracing as a form of representation in mathematics
  • Teachers’ professional learning of mathematics: including preservice or practising teachers’ mathematical beliefs, knowledge, teaching practices and emotional engagement with mathematics

Armstrong Osborne

2

Topic areas:
  • Projects in science education investigating children's understanding of earth-science concepts and related areas

Debra Talbot

1

Topic areas:
  • Pedagogy
  • Teachers' professional learning
  • Physics concepts
  • Teacher education

Jennifer Way

3

Topic areas:

My current research program centres on the role of representations in mathematics learning and development of understanding for children aged 6–12 years (plus or minus two years). The first stage of the program of study is focused by three questions:

  • What are the characteristics of a child's internal representations for particular mathematics concepts or processes? (structure, colour, 2D or 3D image, static or dynamic etc)?
  • What are the characteristics of the external representation produced by the child, and how well does it map to the internal representation? (eg. drawings, models, digital tools)?
  • What are the relationships (similarities and differences) between the learner's own representations and the conventional representations used by teachers, text books and digital resources?
Special projects for students:

Students would be encouraged to develop their own study by selecting a specific mathematics concept or topic, selecting an age range and designing a task (or tasks) for a child (or children) to do. The selected topic should allow for exploration of internal and/or external representations. The preferred methodology is 'videoed tasked-based interview'.

Social Perspectives on Education

Supervisor Student places available Details – click heading to reveal or hide project information

Donna Baines

3

Topic areas:
  • Working conditions in schools
  • New public management
  • Social inequities
  • Gender, race and class in everyday practice
  • Policy issues
Special projects for students:
  • Restructuring in social services
  • Promising practices in long-term care
  • Precarious work in community agencies – international comparative data

Nikki Brunker

3

Topic areas:
  • Children's social and emotional wellbeing
  • Student behaviour
  • Teacher education
  • Alternative education

Kate Keeley

2

Topic areas:
  • Social justice in education
  • Inclusive education
  • Civics and citizenship
  • Refugees and education
  • Indigenous education

Remy Low

3

Topic area:
  • Education policy, especially in relation to class, race, gender/sexualities and religion
Special project for students:
  • Critical analysis of Federal and NSW Government policies for "deradicalisation" and "countering violent extremism" in schools

Alex McCormick

2

Topic areas:
  • Global and multilevel education/social policies, for example including: Education for All (EFA), the Millennium Development Goals, and the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Community and civil society engagement in education policy processes
  • Education in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific (including but not limited to: Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu)
  • Education as a human right; aspects of equity and social justice in education

Nicole Mockler

1

Topic areas:
  • Education policy
  • Politics of education
  • Education and the media
  • Teachers' work
  • Teacher professional learning and development
  • Curriculum
  • Pedagogy

Matthew AM Thomas

3

Topic areas:
  • Curriculum and instruction
  • Pedagogy
  • Education policy
  • Social inclusion of students from diverse backgrounds

Jonnell Uptin

1

Topic areas:
  • Refugees and forced migration and intercultural understanding
Lorraine Towers is also available to supervise honours students in this study area. The details of her projects are available under the Indigenous Studies/Education heading.

Special and Inclusive Education

Supervisor Student places available Details – click heading to reveal or hide project information

Michelle Bonati

1

Topic areas:
  • Inclusive service-learning
  • Inclusive education
  • Promoting positive peer interactions of students with disabilities
  • Curriculum access for students with complex support needs
Special projects for students:
  • For students interested in disability or service-learning, a project is being implemented for EDUF3031. Students will collaborate with adults with intellectual disabilities to implement service-learning projects. There are several options to conduct research involving this project. Focus areas could include: attitudes toward disability; social networks of individuals with disabilities; and examining project outcomes.

David Evans

1

Topic areas:
  • Curriculum access for students with disabilities
  • Universal design for learning
  • Teacher attitudes, beliefs and knowledge of inclusive education
  • Evidence-based practices
  • Inclusive early literacy and numeracy programs

Cathy Little

2

Topic areas:
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Behaviour support
  • Attitudes towards disability and inclusion
  • Early intervention
  • Social inclusion

Ilektra Spandagou

1

Topic areas:
  • Cultural representations of disability
  • Attitudes on disability and inclusive education
  • Policy on disability and inclusive education