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 2015

Arts Education

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

Robyn Gibson

2

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

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



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: namely their understanding of computational strategies (e.g. using the empty number line); motivation and engagement in mathematics
  • Teachers’ professional learning of mathematics: including pre-service or practicing 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

Christine Preston

2

Topic areas:
  • Teaching science using toys
  • Science visual literacy
  • Primary students' ideas about the marine environment
  • Primary children's interpretation of scientific diagrams

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 to 12 years (plus or minus 2 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? (e.g. drawings, models, digital tools)
  • What are the relationships (similarities and differences) between the learner's own representations and the conventional representations used by teachers, textbooks and digital resources?
Specific projects:

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) that allows 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

Anthony Loughland

2

Topic areas:
  • Research on the Sociology of Knowledge and the Curriculum
    Keywords: Neo-Bernsteinian, Critical Policy Research, Pedagogic Device, Social Justice, Equity
  • Research on Teacher Education and Professional Learning
    Keywords: professional learning, professional experience, mentoring, working beyond the teacher standards, SOLO taxonomy.
Specific projects:

Students may develop their own research study within the very broad parameters of the keywords above. For example, this year I am supervising a student who is conducting a critical policy analysis of the creation of Independent Public Schools in WA.

Remy Low

3

Topic areas:
  • Culture and Education
  • Race and Education
  • Religion and Education
  • Gender and Education
  • Texts and Representations
  • Fictional and narrative research methods
Specific projects

Issues concerning any of the above areas or intersections of the above areas.

Alexandra McCormick

1-2

Topic areas:
  • Global and multi-level education/social policies, for example including: Education for All (EFA), the Millennium Development Goals and 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)
  • Eduction as a human right; aspects of equity and social justice in education
  • Critical Discourse Analysis methodology


Developmental Science and Learning Science

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

Paul Ginns

2

Topic areas:
  • Application of cognitive science and embodied cognition perspectives to instructional design.
Specific projects
  • Do specific instructions to point and/or trace out elements of instructional materials assist learning?

Minkang Kim

1

Topic areas:
  • Application of dynamics systems theory to human development and education, neuroscience and education.
Specific projects:

Educating for empathy, emotional development.



Early Childhood Education

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

Marianne Fenech

2

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


Special and Inclusive Education

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

Michelle Bonati

2

Topic areas:
  • Inclusive service-learning
  • Inclusive education
  • Promoting positive peer interactions of students with disabilities
  • Curriculum access for students with disabilities
Specific projects:

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, examining project outcomes, etc.

David Evans

2

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


Health and Physical Education

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

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

Louisa Peralta

1 or 2

Topic areas:
  • Increasing student motivation and active learning in physical education and/or sport
  • Teaching healthy eating/nutrition in K-6 schools
  • Professional learning for pre-service and in-service PDHPE teachers
Specific projects

Measuring adolescent health literacy/tool development. This is an international project that aims to define adolescent health literacy and produce a tool that could be used to measure adolescent health literacy in a school-based context. This project is underpinned by a whole school approach, otherwise known as the health promoting schools framework, and will be used to determine how schools, teachers, students and wider school community members can enhance adolescent's health.



Civics and HSIE Curriculum

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

Catherine Keeley

2

Topic areas:
  • HSIE Curriculum; Civics and Citizenship; refugees, cultural diversity; early career teachers and teacher accreditation issues.
Special projects:

Mostly refugee and cultural inclusivity

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
Specific projects

A current ARC project on student civic engagement offers opportunities for students to research specific aspects of civic engagement including use of social media.

Catherine Smyth

2

Topic areas:
  • Historical thinking
  • ICTs for teaching history
  • HSIE K-6
  • Historical literacy