Abstracts of faculty grants 2013

New grants


Global arenas of knowledge: centre/periphery relations and change in knowledge production on a world scale
R. Connell, F. Collyer, J. M. Maia & R. Morrell

Organized knowledge has become a valuable commodity produced and exchanged on a global scale. The system of knowledge is socially structured, with some countries leading the process and obtaining greater economic and social benefit. This project examines in fine detail the formation of new bodies of knowledge and the socio-cultural factors shaping the inequalities of the system. It will draw on interviews, linked ethnographic fieldwork and quantitative publication data from both core and peripheral countries. The study will contribute to higher education policy, and lead the international research effort in this emerging field.


Ongoing grants


Anticipation and decision-making skill: from testing to training
D. O'Connor, P. Goodyear, M. J. Jacobson & J. Causer

This project examines how experts anticipate and make decisions in dynamic, time constrained environments. The project will identify factors that contribute to the development of expertise and develop simulation-based training programs to facilitate the more rapid acquisition of the skills underpinning anticipation and decision making.



A comparative study of international mindedness in the IB Diploma Programmes in Australia, China and India
A. Sriprakash & M. Singh

This project will critically examine ‘international mindedness’ as a conceptual and pedagogic approach to education in Australia, China and India. It will investigate how ‘international mindedness’ takes shape in the IB’s Diploma Programme (DP) in relation to differing national education policies and local socio-cultural contexts. In doing so, it will generate intercultural, empirically-grounded, and theoretically-informed knowledge to better understand how international mindedness (IM) is manifested in IB Diploma Programmes.



Empowering teachers of middle years mathematics: becoming self-directed learners
J. M. Bobis, J. A. Way & J. A. Anderson

This project will provide innovative strategies to enhance mathematics teaching and learning of middle years students. It will develop a robust teacher learning development model that can be used by our industry partner and practitioners in the wider educational community to contribute to the development of teachers becoming self directed learners.



An investigation of ethnicity, socio-economic status and social networks as drivers of childhood obesity and body image among children and adolescents
J. A. O'Dea, M. Dibley & L. Hossain

This study addresses the problem of obesity and overweight in children and adolescents in Australia. It aims to build a longitudinal picture of relevant social, behavioural and environmental factors and includes a unique study of the role of social networks in determining and reinforcing understandings and prevalence of obesity and overweight.



Learning the complexity of scientific knowledge about climate change with computer modelling and visualization technologies
M. J. Jacobson, H. Cherry, R. O'Reilly & L. Markauskaite

This project provides benefits to the national priorities of a environmentally sustainable Australia; and frontier technologies for building and transforming Australian industries. The project helps students in Australia more deeply understand the sciences that underlie environmental sustainability. Learning with modelling and visualization technologies will help students learn important scientific knowledge and prepare them for the use of frontier technologies that are becoming infused into the practices of scientists and professionals in many fields. This project also directly contributes to the national Digital Education Revolution initiative.



The making of market society on a world scale: social experience and social theory from the global south
R. Connell

How does our social world change, when markets become dominant? This project explores the problem on a global scale-beyond Eurocentrism. Placing Australia in a broad world context, using both web-based and close-focus research methods on four continents, this project will pioneer a new approach to understanding modern society.



Maximising real education achievement - The REACH Project: integrating motivation and self-concept to optimise students academic outcomes at school
H. Marsh, A. Martin & D. McInerney

The OECD reports that academic motivation and self-concept underlie young people's educational success, affect their long-term health and wellbeing, and also impact on economic outcomes at a national level. Through enhancing students' academic motivation and self-concept, the Real Educational ACHievement (REACH) Project will develop and sustain achievement that encompasses not only academic grades but also enhanced engagement, satisfaction in learning, attendance, participation, and aspirations. REACH will guide and support young Australians to achieve to their potential and through this Australian society as a whole will gain substantial educational, economic, labour market, health, and social benefits.



Maximising the potential of Australia's language resources: exploring and developing languages across sectors, schools and communities
K. E. Cruickshank, H. Chen, S. Kerkyasharian, L. Morgan, S. O'Grady, K. Olah, J. Wright & L. T. Tsung

Australia is resource-rich in languages; this project will explore strategies to co-ordinate and develop these resources across schools and communities. It is the first with an in-depth focus on key urban and regional sites, identifying how resources can be matched with more effective provisions especially in the area of key Asian languages.



The millennium child: new frontiers in understanding the adaptability of children and young people
A. Martin

Australian children and young people experience changes and challenges at micro (e.g. educational, psychological, social) and macro (e.g. climate change, globalisation) levels. Successfully resolving these relies to a large degree on their ability to adapt. At a broader level, for Australia to compete and innovate on a global scale and to most profitably fulfill its educational, social, economic, and cultural potential, it is essential that it nurtures children and young people who can adapt to and for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century. The Millennium Child Project scopes and progresses the concept of adaptability and answers important and complex questions relevant to a nation's capacity to adapt and thrive.



National educational goals, schools and building democratic citizens for the future
M. Print

Australia needs the next generation to understand, practice and support our democracy. Schools are expected to fulfill this role but evidence suggests students do not learn to become active and responsible citizens. This research investigates why this is the case and what can be done to resolve the problem.



Peopling educational policy: realising the new Australian English and Mathematics curricula
P. Freebody, P. Sullivan, J. Albright, D. Clarke, L. Farrell & D. Clarke

Implementation of Australian curricula in English and mathematics provides an opportunity for school systems to re-examine practice. This project will identify resources ad teacher learning opportunities needed to facilitate implementation of these curricula and use findings to develop interventions identified as likely to optimise implementation.



Rethinking timelines: a new methodology for describing and communicating history
I. Johnson, P. Reimann, S. Robertson, M. Crayford, R. Mostern & R. Tardif

The project will lead to better ways of understanding historical events in context through active engagement of learners in the construction of timeline visualisations. It will contribute to the development of better strategies for collaborative content creation and quality control in web-based community resources, and facilitate creation of significant online collaborative databases by communities of interest, without the technical requirements and costs of one-off programming. It will add value to Australian online resources such as MacquarieNet, contribute to new methods of information visualisation in Australian museums and visitor centres, and generate national and international consultancies for the project partners.



Working from the ground up: a participatory approach to community regeneration in public housing neighbourhoods
J. Irwin, M. Maljkovic, E. Baldry, T. Vinson, & S. Goodwin

This research will discover approaches, strategies and interventions that contribute to sustainable changes in public housing estates. It will trial interventions and develop quantitative tools. The outcomes of the project will include stronger, more cohesive communities, opportunities for residents to actively participate in their communities, and the development of services through partnerships between the communities and relevant government, non government and private organizations. This will enhance health and wellbeing and increase education and training opportunities for residents.