Completed projects are listed on the Research Reports page

Current Projects

Collaborative Reflective Experience and Practice in Education (CREPE) Faculty Research Group

Funding: $15818 Faculty of Arts & Education – Faculty Group Research
Researchers: Dr Peta White, Dr John Cripps Clark, Dr Leicha Bragg, Dr Esther Loong, Dr Josephine Lang, Dr Jo Raphael, Dr Bernadette Walker-Gibbs, Shelley Hannigan
Summary:  Although teaching and learning are at their heart social, at a tertiary level can be an isolating. As educators, we are constantly adapting our practices to meet new challenges. Reflective practice is crucial to continue developing our teaching practices.  The Collaborative Reflective Experience and Practice in Education (CREPE) Faculty Research Group consists of eight academics within the School of Education at Deakin University who are conducting initial teacher education and reflective practice research with self-study methodologies. The group collaborates to perform meta-analysis via conversations regarding their research in both face-to-face and online (asynchronous) media. This research builds the capacity of these researchers both individually and collaboratively as well as augmenting their reflective practices through multiple, smaller research projects.

Developing digital pedagogies in inquiry science through a cloud

2013-2016 ARC Linkage Project (LP130100233)
 Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, STILE Education Pty Ltd
Funding: 2013 $42,277.50, 2014 $78,352.00, 2015 $73,776.50, 2016 $37,702.00
Researchers: Dr Peter HubberProf Russell Tytler, Dr Alan Finkel, Mr Peter Laver
Administering Organisation: Deakin University
Project Summary: This project will extend innovative, cloud-based teacher planning software in order to develop effective strategies for using digital resources in inquiry science. This project will work with a number of schools to investigate the development of an inquiry based digital pedagogy, and a professional learning approach utilising cloud-based, digital resources.

Enhancing the quality of science learning through a representation-intensive pedagogy

2012-2014 ARC Discovery Project (DP120101763)
Partners: La Trobe University, University of Wollongong, University of Technology Sydney
Funding: 2012 $75,000, 2013 $75,000, 2014 $75,000
Researchers: Prof Russell Tytler, Prof Vaughan Prain, A/Prof Garry Hoban, A/Prof Peter Aubusson, A/Prof Peter HubberDr Gail Chittleborough
Administering Organisation: Deakin University
Summary: This project will investigate the quality of science learning occurring through an approach to teaching that involves students generating, negotiating and evaluating representations of scientific concepts. Students will generate multimodal representations using digital technologies, linking to the new Australian science curriculum.

Exploring quality primary education in different cultures: a cross-national study of teaching and learning in primary science classrooms

2011-2013 ARC Discovery Project (DP110101500)
Partners: Edith Cowan University, Taipei University of Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Free University Berlin
Funding: 2011 $140,000, 2012 $90,000, 2013 $80,000
Researchers: Prof Russell Tytler, Prof Mark Hackling, Dr Peter HubberDr Gail Chittleborough, Dr Karen Murcia, Prof Dr Joerg Ramseger, Prof Hsiao-Lan S Chen, Prof Chao-Ti J Hsiung
Administering Organisation: Deakin University
Summary: This project uses video studies of primary science classrooms in Australia, Taiwan, and Germany to explore teaching and learning practices, situated in diverse cultures, which provide opportunities for quality reasoning and learning in science. The findings will inform primary science teacher education to improve student achievement.

The role of optimism in collaborative problem-solving in mathematics: Building problem solving capacity

2009-2012 (extended) ARC Discovery Project (DP0986955)
Funding: 2009 $100,000, 2010 $70,000, 2011 $70,000, 2012 $58,943, 2013(extended)
Researcher: Dr Gaye Williams
Administering Organisation: Deakin University
Summary: Integration of psychological and educational approaches is the strength of this proposal. The notion that student optimism may be key to strengthening problem-solving capacity in mathematics is new and exciting. Creative thinking, problem-solving, and mathematical proficiency are surely critical resources for Australia’s future. Understanding how these human resources are nurtured and enhanced informs pedagogies to increase academic performance. Whilst providing pedagogical insights, this study also informs the building of adolescent well-being, and the stimulating of interest in mathematics in ‘ideas workers’ for Australia’s future-three outcomes advantageous to Australian society and the economy.

Reconceptualising mathematics and science teacher education programs through collaborative partnerships between scientists and educators

2013 Office to Learning and Teaching Project – Funding: $3,200,000
Partners: University of Melbourne, Deakin University, La Trobe University, Monash University, VIC Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
Researchers: Professor Stephen Dinham (Project Leader), Professor Russell Tytler, Professor Vaughan Prain, Associate Professor Michelle Livett, Associate Professor Cristina Varsavsky, Associate Professor Deborah Corrigan, Dr Stuart Palmer, Dr Elizabeth Johnson, Dr Jim Tangas, Professor David Clarke
Summary: This project promotes active partnership between researchers and educators in science, mathematics and education to reconceptualise the education of teachers of mathematics and science. Reconstructed coursework and practicum components will require pre-service teachers to connect mathematical and scientific content, thinking, practice and pedagogy in developing expertise in inquiry-based classroom practices. Innovative units and science and mathematics educational activities will exemplify scientific practices, supported by an evidence-based framework and web-mediated public access resources facilitating collaborative work between specialist mathematics and science teacher educators and research mathematicians and scientists. Project dissemination structures anticipate networks connecting university mathematicians, scientists and educators in an enduring partnership with practicing teachers in primary and secondary schools, education systems and associated bodies.

School-based pedagogies and partnerships in primary science teacher education

2013-2015 OLT Project (ID12-2412)
Partners: Australian Catholic University, RMIT University, The University of Melbourne, University of Tasmania
Funding: Office for Learning Teaching Grant $206,000
Researchers: Dr Linda Hobbs, A/Prof Coral CampbellDr Gail ChittleboroughDr Sandra Herbert, Dr Mellita Jones, Dr John Kenny, Mr Jeffrey King, Dr Christine Redman
Administering Organisation: Deakin University
Summary: This project responds to international concern about primary teachers’ lack of science knowledge and confidence to teach science, and recent questioning of the effectiveness of traditional approaches to teacher education. This project will review and build on established, innovative and successful practices at five universities, to develop and promote a framework supporting school-based approaches to pre-service teacher education. The models involve partnerships between universities and primary schools to engage pre-service primary teachers in classroom teaching and learning that effectively connects theory with practice. Through critical appraisal of these and similar models, the project will identify key features of the approach and the critical success factors required to establish and maintain strong working relationships with schools and build student capacity.  The principles, framework, and resources together with exemplifying case studies, will be designed and disseminated to promote uptake of these innovative practices in the sector.

Online professional learning for rural teachers of Mathematics and Science

2011-2013 SiMERR Project
Funding: $6000 SiMERR
Researchers: Dr. Sandra HerbertA/Prof Coral CampbellDr Esther Loong
Summary: This project has a number of purposes which are inter-linked. Firstly, it is anticipated to rejuvenate interest in the teaching of mathematics and science at primary and secondary level through the engagement of rural and regional teachers in online professional learning. Secondly, it is expected that strong links will be forged between school communities and Deakin researchers that will provide ongoing support for the development of suitable online professional learning informed by the potential participants. Thirdly, it has potential to provide an online forum for rural and regional teachers through which to develop skills in the teaching of mathematics and science. While professional learning is offered within the Melbourne metropolitan area, the online environment has potential to provide opportunities for teachers in rural and regional areas to participate in professional learning in mathematics and science, thus strengthening their pedagogical content knowledge. Teaching positions in mathematics and science are often difficult to fill in rural and regional areas, so effective online professional learning has the potential to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics and science of students in rural and regional communities.

The other side of the fence: The perspective of non-school partners in rural school/community science collaborations

2012 – 2013 SiMERR Project
Funding: $5000 SiMERR
Researchers: Dr John Cripps ClarkProf David SymingtonProf Russell Tytler
Summary: The aim of this project is to understand the perspective and experience of community members who have been involved with schools and/or students in activities related to the school science program; the issues associated with their involvement with schools and students; and the outcomes of this involvement. The project is intended to fill a gap in our previous research into school-community linked science and mathematics initiatives which largely probed the experiences of schools and teachers. The aim would be to put us in a position to provide advice to schools and community groups on how best to pursue such links and maximise their effectiveness.

Literacy and Numeracy Strategy – Literature Review for the Department of Education and Early Childhood

2013, Deakin University
Funding: $60,000, DEECD
Researchers: A/Prof Colleen Vale, Dr Alex Kostigriz, Dr Glenn Auld, Dr Damian Blake, Dr Leicha Bragg, Dr Louise Patsch, Dr Sarah Ohi, Dr Joanne O’Mara, Dr Tracie Ollis, Dr Gaye Williams
Summary: The project involves a review of the literature concerning effective literacy and numeracy practice and leadership in early childhood, primary and secondary schooling and adult education settings and policy and systems settings for high levels of achievement, engagement and well being.

Using Demonstration Lessons to enhance primary teachers’ knowledge and teaching of mathematical reasoning

2012-2013 Faculty of Arts & Education, Emerging Research Group Funding
Funding: 2012 $9,085, 2013 $10,000
Researchers: Mathematical Reasoning Research Group (MaRRG): A/Prof. Colleen ValeDr. Leicha BraggDr. Sandra HerbertDr. Esther Loong, Assoc. Prof. Judy Mousley, Dr. Wanty Widjaja & Dr. Gaye Williams
Administering Organisation: Deakin University
Summary: This project uses demonstration lessons in primary classrooms to explore and develop primary children’s mathematical reasoning and primary teachers’ understanding and practice of teaching mathematical reasoning. The findings will inform primary mathematics teacher education to improve student achievement.

Teaching out-of-field: Preparing adaptable teachers (TOPAT)

2013, CRG Project, Deakin University
Funding: 2013 $22,000
Researchers: Dr Linda HobbsA/Prof Coral Campbell
Summary:Pre-service teachers (PSTs) undertake studies to prepare them for teaching certain subjects. However, the reality is that many early career teachers are expected to teach subjects they are not qualified to teach, that is, teach out-of-field. While teacher education programs are not required to prepare teachers for out-of-field teaching, the challenge is to produce adaptable, well-informed, capable teachers. This project aims to generate important insights into the interplay between discipline-based and general knowledge, skills and attitudes in shaping teacher readiness and identity. Case studies of non-metropolitanteacher education programs and a survey of pre-service teachers in Victoria and New South Wales are used to focus on learning and identity shifts that participants expect will ensure successful boundary crossings into teaching and when teaching out-of-field, and difficulties that are expected to arise. These insights are expected to inform approaches to teacher education, and transition arrangements required for teachers as they begin teaching. This project examines the curriculum of secondary teacher education programs in response to a demand for adaptable early career teachers. The project also provides baseline data for a future longitudinal study of early career teachers.
Project Page

Recently Completed Projects (2010-2012)

An investigation of causal relations between complex classroom practices and science learning using high capacity new research technologies and multiple theory-testing

2008-2011 ARC Discovery Project (DP0879603)
Partners: University of Melbourne
Funding: 2008 $100,000, 2009 $80,000, 2010 $100,000, 2011 $50,000
Researchers: Prof David Clarke, Prof Russell Tytler
Administering Organisation: University of Melbourne
Summary: The strategic importance of science and the need for high-quality science teaching is being highlighted at national and state levels. A variety of science education initiatives have been funded by government to address this priority. Policy makers and curriculum developers rightly demand that the advocacy of educational innovations be supported by empirical evidence, which, to now, has been limited by available research methods. This study exploits recent advances in the sophistication of educational theories, research designs and available technology to generate much more compelling evidence of the effectiveness of specific classroom practices for improving student knowledge and understanding of science.

ICT Innovation Fund Project: ICT in Everyday Learning: Teacher Online Toolkit 2011-2012

2011-2012, DEEWR Project
Victorian Information Technology Teachers Association, the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers, the History Teachers’ Association of Australia, Deakin University (A/Prof Peter Hubber, sole representative) and Macquarie University.
Funding: $907,603 DEEWR
Summary: This DEEWR funded  project was led by Education Services Australia in partnership with the Victorian Information Technology Teachers Association, the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers, the History Teachers’ Association of Australia, Deakin University and Macquarie University. The project involved the production and trialling of online professional support designed to enhance P-12 Australian teachers’ capacity to incorporate varied digital technologies into their classroom practice. The evaluation of the school trials of the ICT resources produced by the project was led by Deakin University (Peter Hubber) and Macquarie University (Michel Cavanaugh).

An exploration of the use of new video technologies in school partnership settings, to enhance science teacher education practices

2010-2011 Faculty of Arts and Education Small Grants for Teaching and LearningDeakin University
Funding: $5,000
Researchers: Dr Gail ChittleboroughA/Prof Peter HubberDr Wendy JoblingDr John Cripps-Clark
Summary: In this research pre-service primary teachers videotaped and critiqued their own practice and shared their analysis with peers to develop a reflective practice. The research took place over 6 weeks in three local primary schools, where the pre-service primary teachers, working in pairs, taught science, to groups of 6-8 children. Some pre-service teachers videotaped their teaching and selected an excerpt each week for three consecutive weeks for viewing by the class. The video recordings of pre-service teachers teaching small groups of children provided authentic data for deep and sustained analysis.

Science Education in Pre-School Settings

 Dr Coral CampbellDr Wendy Jobling
Summary: This project investigated the science education within four pre-schools in metropolitan and regional areas of Victoria. Data consisted of surveys to 75 pre-schools in Victoria, in-depth semi structured interviews with educators and researchers’ professional notes, Anecdotal evidence indicated that little science was occurring, although the study found that the actual science being undertaken varied according to location and the confidence of the pre-school educator.  Little or no professional learning in science education is offered to pre-school educators.

DEECD – Delivery of the Switched on Secondary Science Professional Learning Program (SOSSPL) 2010-1011 Hubber, P. (project leader), Chittleborough, G., Tytler, R. Campbell, C., Jobling, W. Barraza, L, Cripps-Clark, J.

DEECD – Design of the Switched on Secondary Science Professional Learning Program (SOSSPL) 2010: Hubber, P. (project leader) , Chittleborough, G. Tytler, R. Campbell, C., Jobling, W. & Barraza, L.

Past Projects