About Dr Nikki Brunker

Nikki’s research interests include children’s social and emotional wellbeing, Initial Teacher Education pedagogy, alternative schooling and innovative qualitative methodologies. Current research projects include an exploration of children’s experiences when school has not ‘fit’; pre-service teacher and teacher educator perceptions of ITE pedagogy; and the experience of moving from Home Education to being a Teacher. Nikki is interested in Post-Qualitative and Arts Informed Inquiry approaches to research.

Her PhD thesis involved an interpretation of Lawrence Lightfoot’s Portraiture overlaid with patchwork, which won the NSW Institute for Educational Research’s Beth Southwell Award for Outstanding Thesis.

Research interests include:
Educational history, sociology and philosophy

  • Alternative Paths for Schooling and Education
Research on teaching and learning
  • Initial Teacher Education
  • Innovative Research Methodologies
  • Social and Emotional Wellbeing


View Nikki's profile page here.

Selected publications

  • Brunker, N. (2019). Stepping off the drunkard's path to walk the "wild side": Patchwork as a torch for interpreting portraiture for research innovation. Qualitative Research Journal, 19(2), 104-120. [More Information]
  • Brunker, N. (2015). Having a cleanout are you? In Robyn Gibson (Eds.), The Memory of Clothes. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
  • Brunker, N. (2008). Primary Schooling and Children's Social Emotional Wellbeing: A Teacher's Perspective. AARE 2007 International Educational Research Conference, Australia: Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE).