Topics and projects

Admission to education honours depends on finding a suitable research topic and supervisor. The list below shows the school'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 2018

Arts education

Supervisor Student places available Description of topics and projects

Robyn Gibson

2

  • arts education
  • art as research
  • creativity
  • creative teaching
  • innovative methodologies including arts-based research and arts-informed inquiry.

Kelly Freebody

2

  • social justice in education
  • drama education.

Civics and HSIE curriculum

Supervisor Student places available Description of topics and projects

Murray Print

2

  • Civics and citizenship is part of the Australian Curriculum and we need to research all aspects of the curriculum and how it is taught. International developments can also be investigated.

Catherine Smyth

2

  • using ICT to activate historical knowledge
  • what primary school students take away from history or geography excursions
  • primary students' historical sense-making.

Tim Allender

3

  • history of education
  • history curriculum
  • gender.

Yeow Tong Chia

3

  • diversity and sociocultural inclusion in civics and history curriculum
  • history curriculum in comparative, global and historical contexts
  • historical and global perspectives of civics and citizenship education
  • international, global and comparative education.

Developmental science and learning science

Supervisor Student places available Description of topics and projects

Paul Ginns

2

Available projects are based on frameworks of embodied and grounded cognition, aiming to develop embodied learning pedagogies that enhance attention, motivation and learning.

Early childhood education

Supervisor Student places available Description of topics and projects

Amanda Niland

2

I am interested in supervising topics related to:

  • children's perspectives and experiences in early-childhood settings
  • creative arts in early childhood
  • children's literature (picture books)
  • inclusion and social justice in early childhood
  • early-childhood educators' professional development.

Marianne Fenech

2

Proposals that fit with any of the following themes:

  • quality early-childhood education
  • early-childhood policy, including accreditation (teacher and service) and the marketisation of early-childhood services
  • working with marginalised families
  • childcare choice
  • teacher professionalism and advocacy
  • the leadership and management of early childhood services
  • workforce issues
  • childcare in the media.

Educational measurement and assessment

Supervisor Student places available Description of topics and projects

Jim Tognolini

2

Projects aimed at developing and validating tasks that could be used to assess key skills such as critical thinking, creativity and cultural competence.

English and literacy education

Supervisor Student places available Description of topics and projects

Alyson Simpson

2

  • dialogic teaching and learning
  • children's literature in education
  • teacher professional development
  • digital technologies
  • the English curriculum
  • multimodality in learning
  • knowledge co-construction

Jon Callow

1

  • areas of literacy
  • English
  • children's literature
  • engagement
  • multimodality
  • grammar
  • digital literacy
  • student equity.

Jen Scott Curwood

3

I am happy to supervise students who are interested in learning and literacy in school, community and online contexts. My qualitative research expertise includes teacher professional learning; literature and poetry; game-based learning; and media and technology.

Health and physical education

Supervisor Student places available Description of topics and projects

Wayne Cotton

1

  • outdoor education,
  • physical activity
  • nutrition.

Thea Werkhoven

1

I have just completed my PhD in SSESW in the field of nutrition and am teaching in the HPE program under the guidance of Donna O'Connor. My field of knowledge is health and physical education, sports and nutrition. I am confident at supervising an honours student, having co-supervised an honours student two years ago who went on to win the University Medal. My strengths are in quantitative research and preparing a student for entry into the PhD program and writing for publication.

Indigenous education

Supervisor Student places available Description of topics and projects

Cathie Burgess

2

  • Aboriginal studies
  • Aboriginal education
  • Aboriginal education policy
  • Aboriginal perspectives across KLA
  • Aboriginal community engagement
  • Aboriginal student outcomes
  • preservice/inservice teacher professional learning
  • community/cultural education
  • diverse pedagogies
  • teaching for social justice
  • national curriculum
  • teacher standards

Language education

Supervisor Student places available Description of topics and projects

Hongzhi Yang

3

  • languages teaching and learning
  • languages assessment
  • technology in languages teaching
  • language teacher/learner identity
  • teacher/learner agency.

Mathematics education

Supervisor Student places available Description of topics and projects

Judy Anderson

1

  • STEM education
  • secondary mathematics.

Deborah Tully

1

  • teacher efficacy in STEM
  • student engagement in STEM
  • preservice maths teacher education
  • mathematics teachers communities of practice

Heather McMaster

2

Two projects are available, both of which build on previous honours projects, consisting of investigations into:

  • the experiences of the 2017 cohort of BEd (Primary) graduates, who will have completed their first year of teaching in 2018. We would like to know what was expected of them as mathematics-specialisation graduates, the challenges they experienced in mathematics teaching and leadership, and how well the mathematics specialisation prepared them to meet these challenges.
  • upper-primary-school students' understanding of the attributes of mass and volume of liquid substances. This project relates to two honours projects being conducted in 2018: one on students' understanding of mass and volume; the other on students' understanding of volume and capacity.

Science education

Supervisor Student places available Description of topics and projects

Debra Talbot

3

  • inquiry learning
  • curriculum and pedagogy
  • teacher professional learning
  • social justice
  • equity.

Chris Preston

1

  • using toys to support science learning and/or teaching
  • representation-construction approach for teaching primary science
  • use of diagrams in science resource books.

Social perspectives on education

Supervisor Student places available Description of topics and projects

Nikki Brunker

3

My current research interests focus on:

  • the experience of families when school has not fit their child and the paths they have found or created for learning success
  • assessment in teacher education
  • teacher education pedagogy
  • alternative education
  • children's social and emotional wellbeing
  • innovative methodologies.

Remy Low

3

  • identity and difference in education (for example: culture, religion, race, gender, sexuality, class)
  • history and philosophy of education.

Victoria Rawlings

2

  • gender and sexuality in education
  • social structures of young people, for example, popularity
  • critiques of 'bullying' discourse
  • violence in schools especially towards minority groups.

Matthew AM Thomas

2

  • sociological, anthropological, and international perspectives of teachers
  • teaching, schooling and education policy.

Alex McCormick

2

  • comparative and international education
  • education and social justice.

Samantha McMahon

1

I am working on a University widening-participation-and-outreach research project that an honours student may contribute to. I am most interested in supervising qualitative research projects and am open to a project of the students' interests within the broad parameters of social justice and equity in education. I have expertise suitable to guiding projects that explore the relationship between teachers' knowledge and equity of students' educational experiences and outcomes.

Special and inclusive education

Supervisor Student places available Description of topics and projects

Cathy Little

2

  • autism spectrum disorders
  • social-communication intervention
  • Lego play therapy
  • Lego robotics
  • social inclusion
  • attitudes

David Evans

2

  • attitudes and beliefs
  • universal design for learning.