Past Projects

Australian Research Council 2007-2009: The role of representation in learning science, Russell Tytler, Vaughan Prain, Bruce Waldrip, Peter Hubber

Small Teaching and Learning Grant – 2009 Faculty of Arts and Education Partnerships with schools to provide rich professional learning experiences for Pre-service Science Teachers: A pilot study examining alternative practicum models. Gail Chittleborough, Peter Hubber and Russell Tytler.

Department of Education, Science and Training 2007: Case studies of innovation exemplars in the ASISTM project, Russell Tytler, David Symington, Craig Smith

The Deakin Bachelor of Primary Education (Science) and the Bachelor of Primary Education (Mathematics) are being offered in Malaysia as part of the Malaysian Government project to reintroduce the teaching of mathematics and science in English

Association of Independent Schools Victoria 2007-2008: AISV Project: ICT Integration Research, Gail Chittleborough, Filocha Haslam, Wendy Jobling, Peter Hubber, Russell Tytler My Place

Department of Transport and Regional Services 2005-2008: Science, ICT and Mathematics Education in Rural and Regional (SiMERR) Australia, Victorian Hub Coordinator

Australian Research Council & Victorian Department of Education and Training 2003-2007: Improving Middle Years Mathematics and Science, Russell Tytler, Susie Groves, Annette Gough, with Brian Doig, Linda Darby, Christine Kakkinen

The role of optimism in collaborative problem solving , Gaye Williams funded by Central Research Grant Deakin University (CRGS)

SiMERR (The National Centre of Science,Information and Communication Technology, and Mathematics Education for Rural and Regional Australia) & Deakin University 2009: ICT Use in Primary School Mathematics, Esther Loong, Brian Doig & Susie Groves

Association of Independent Schools Victoria 2006-2007: Using ICT to support Literacy and Numeracy in Rural Schools, Russell Tytler, Peter Hubber, Gail

Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, SiMERR Australia
Research forum: Charting futures for Science, ICT, Mathematics Education in Rural and Regional Victoria
Coral Campbell, Russell Tytler 2008

This forum reported on research carried out by SiMERR Victoria and its relation to broader trends and issues in rural Victorian Communities. The forum was designed to result in a series of insights and recommendations in relation to rural education policy and research initiatives.

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Supports & barriers to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) engagement at Primary-Secondary transition
Russell Tytler (CI), Gaye Williams, Jonathan Osborne (Kings College London, 2008.

This study reviews the literature related to participation in STEM subjects and occupations to ascertain the factors that affect student attitudes and aspirations in relation to these at various points in their lives. The study aims to develop recommendations for policy directions in Australia related to STEM.

Australian Research Council (DP0879603)
Funding: 2008 $100,000, 2009 $80,000, 2010 $100,000, 2011 $50,000
An investigation of causal relations between complex classroom practices and science learning using high capacity new research technologies and multiple theory testing
David Clarke,  Prof Russell Tytler, 2008-2011 (through the University of Melbourne)

This study exploits recent advances in the sophistication of educational theories, research designs and video classroom capture technology to generate much more compelling evidence of the effectiveness of specific classroom practices for improving  student knowledge and understanding of science.

Australian Research Council
The role of representation in learning science
Russell Tytler, Vaughan Prain, Bruce Waldrip, Peter Hubber, 2007-9

This research will take a new perspective into learning, focusing on representational aspects as the key element, to explore challenges in student learning of key science topics from a fresh perspective. It will explore effective pedagogies focusing on representation, including approaches to assessment, and generate exemplar materials capable of supporting this approach more generally

Department of Education, Science and Training
Case studies of innovation exemplars in the ASISTM project
Russell Tytler, David Symington, Craig Smith, 2006/7

This project involves the development of an innovation framework and the identification of innovation exemplars from the Australian School Innovation in Science, Technology and Mathematics (ASISTM) Project. It will research effective methods of supporting the dissemination and sustainability of these exemplars.

Association of Independent Schools Victoria
ICT Integration Research
Gail Chittleborough,Filocha Haslam, Wendy Jobling, Peter Hubber, Russell Tytler: 2007/8

An evaluation of a professional development initiative in the use of Web 2 technologies in a number of selected independent schools. This involves developing processes to identify and assess higher order thinking, and exploration of the SEQALL framework for pedagogy to promote resilience and optimism, and critical and imaginative thinking, that underpins the targeted use of Web2.

Association of Independent Schools Victoria
Using ICT to support Literacy and Numeracy in Rural Schools
Russell Tytler, Peter Hubber, Gail Chittleborough, Coral Campbell:, 2006

This project involves participation in and evaluation of a professional learning program in ICT for rural independent schools. The project involves the construction of case studies of rural schools in a process of change, and the identification of features of professional learning that can successfully be applied to a diverse range of rural schools.

Department of Transport Regional Services Science, ICT and Mathematics Education in Regional and Rural Australia (SiMERR)
Russell Tytler, Judy Mousley, Chris Bigum, Peter Hubber, and Heather Mays: 2005/8

This project is jointly funded by Deakin University Research funds and DTRS funding, and involves setting up a network of researchers and research projects focusing on regional and rural educational issues.

Deakin University Strategic Fund Redesigning teacher education to support science teaching in schools
Chris Bigum, Russell Tytler & others:, 2004/5

This project aims to improve the relevance of Deakin University’s science teacher education programs by redesigning the B.Teach/B.Sc. teaching award to both foster and reflect a new approach to science in schools. The bid is linked with the National ‘Charting Futures’ forum and involves consultation with industry and community and scientific research groups to explore new visions of science teacher education. The grant is supplemented by $20,000 from Faculty of Education seeding funding.


Australian Research Council (ARC) projects


Australian Research Council
Maximising Success in Mathematics for Disadvantaged Students
Judy Mousley and others: 2004-2006

This project is identifying specific strategies that teachers can use to overcome the obvious disadvantage some students experience in learning mathematics. Currently working class and Indigenous students in Australian schools are performing very much worse than their peers in mathematics; and some currently recommended teaching strategies are exacerbating this disadvantage. This project is identifying further factors that are contributing to this lack of success, and offering strategies that teachers can use to ensure that all students learn mathematics. Action research is being used to examine possibilities for implementation of these strategies.

Australian Research Council & Victorian Department of Education and Training
Improving Middle Years Mathematics and Science
Russell Tytler, Susie Groves, Annette Gough: 2003-2006

This ARC linkage project investigates the role of mathematics and science knowledge, and school subject cultures, in mediating change processes in the middle years. It builds on a highly successful change model developed for science teaching and learning in Victoria to investigate how generic conceptions of teacher pedagogy and school change intersect with subject matter knowledge and traditions in the closely related areas of mathematics and science.

Australian Research Council
Equity and the outcomes of using computers for the teaching and learning of secondary mathematics
Helen Forgasz: 2001-2003

Australian Research Council
Overcoming structural barriers to mathematics learning
Judy Mousley and others: 2000, 2001-2003

This project identified and described aspects of classroom teaching that act as barriers to mathematics learning for some students, particularly in lower socio-economic areas. In the context of open-ended mathematical tasks, focus groups examined video records of classrooms to define the nature of the barriers. Strategies for overcoming such barriers were developed, and the project measured the effectiveness of implementing such strategies.

Australian Research Council
Mathematics classrooms functioning as communities of inquiry: Models of primary practice
Susie Groves, Brian Doig and others: 1999

The purpose of this project was to examine current models of Victorian primary mathematics practice and investigate the extent to which these models support mathematics classrooms functioning as communities of inquiry. The project found a high level of agreement among principals, teachers and mathematics educators with the notion of mathematics classrooms functioning as communities of inquiry, together with a realisation that current Victorian primary classroom practice falls far short of this goal.

Australian Research Council
Flexibility and student autonomy in teacher education
Judy Mousley and others: 1999

This project focused on how flexible and relatively autonomous learning can contribute to the pre-service professional education of teachers. While terms such as flexible and autonomous learning were (and are) being used by many teacher educators, there had been no research of the implementation or effects of this significant shift. The aim of the project was to find out meanings attributed to such terms in practice, as well as how various approaches cater for students’ professional needs. Some likely barriers were identified, and data were gathered on how these were overcome. The project produced case studies, each involving document analysis and interviews with staff and students.

Australian Research Council
Technology and autonomous learning in teacher education
Judy Mousley and others: 1999

The project investigated ways that the Learning About Teaching resource was used by university lecturers, teachers and teacher education students, in several countries. Particular emphasis was placed on (a) its potential to stimulate high level critique of teaching, and (b) use of its potential for flexibility of application and possibilities for relatively autonomous student research.

Australian Research Council
Autonomous Learning: Rhetoric and Reality in Professional Education
Judy Mousley and others: 1998

This research investigated the effectiveness of autonomous/flexible approaches to learning in teacher education. Changes to tertiary programs are occurring due to emerging views on the needs of beginning teachers, the availability of technological tools, and changing views of learning processes. By studying specific examples of teacher education programs which incorporate autonomous learning approaches, we investigated approaches that are effective, for what aspects are they effective, and whether the programs have significant impact of subsequent professional practice.

Australian Research Council
Growing Up in Cities: A Cross-cultural and Longitudinal Study of Children’s Urban Environmental Experiences
Ian Robottom, Karen Malone: 1997

The project examined young people’s perceptions of the environment in ‘working class’ regions of a major city. The project articulated with a wider study encompassing a number of major international cities and provided longitudinal data subsequent to a similar study conducted some 20 years ago in similar sites.

Australian Research Council
Use of interactive multimedia to enhance teachers’ awareness of key characteristics of effective teaching
Judith Mousley and others: 1995-1997

The first stages of the project consisted of research on features of quality teaching. It resulted in the development of a descriptive framework of teaching that is now being used widely in teacher education and further research. Subsequently the framework was used as the basis for the production of videotapes and then an interactive multimedia resource that allows flexibility in study of the components of teaching.

Australian Research Council
Using interactive media to enhance awareness of key characteristics of effective teaching
Judy Mousley and others: 1995-1997

Teaching for conceptual change in science: Towards a theory of content
Russell Tytler and others: 1995-1996
There has been considerable recent interest in the science education literature concerning the nature of the informal conceptions held by students and the way in which these change with age or exposure to instruction. This project has examined the respective roles of theory and situation in shaping children’s conceptions, and the way this depends on aspects of the context, the structure of the knowledge itself and the age of the children. The results have been translated into curriculum sequences in collaboration with teachers, to examine the nature of progression in children’s understandings from a teaching perspective, and how this relates to current state and national curriculum models.

Australian Research Council
Practical Mechanics in Primary Mathematics: Fostering links between children’s spontaneous concepts and Newtonian mechanics
Susie Groves, Brian Doig: 1995-1996

This project investigated ways in which practical mathematics activities can be used to foster links between upper primary school children’s spontaneous concepts and Newtonian mechanics. Findings show that upper primary children can cope well with equipment-based science activities, with children in the experimental classes making significantly higher gains in their understanding of force and motion than those in the control classes.

Australian Research Council
Environmental Education and the National Curriculum Project
Ian Robottom, Rob Walker: 1994-1996

This project was entitled “Contestation over ‘national’ and ‘community’ interests in the development of environmental education”. The purpose of the study was to use researched case studies of schools and their communities to inform and sharpen the debate about the effects of the introduction of the National Curriculum on environmental education in Australia, and to look at the consequences of the debate for the provision of professional development opportunities for teachers.


International projects

Educating for Socio-Ecological Change: Capacity-building in Environmental Education, focussing on South Africa’s tertiary educators.
Ian Robottom, Annette Gough, Noel Gough & others: 1998-1999

This project was aimed at research capacity building in South African tertiary institutions. Funded for two years by AusAID under the Australia/South Africa Institutional Links Program.

Capacity Building in Research Institutes in Aquaculture
Ian Robottom & others: 2001-2002

Ian Robottom (with Professor Sena De Silva) was Australian Project Director in a project exploring approaches to capacity building in both aquaculture management and aquaculture extension (community extension). Funded for two years by AusAID under the Capacity Building for Aquaculture and Rural Development (CARD) Program.

Nationally funded (DEST) projects

Australian Government Quality Teacher Project
Pedagogical Framework for Later Years students
Russell Tytler and others: 2003

This project aimed to develop a framework for describing effective pedagogy in the later years, and preparing a report on examples of good practice in Victoria. It involved interviews with practitioners, and evaluation of the materials.

Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Training
A mapping, review and analysis of Australian research in numeracy learning at the primary school level
Susie Groves, Judy Mousley, Helen Forgasz: 2001-2004

The purpose of the Project was to map and provide information on key Australian research in the area of numeracy teaching and learning, with a focus on the primary school level, and to review this in the international research context, in order to inform teaching and learning programmes and further research to enhance students’ numeracy outcomes

Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Training
A process approach to the national statements and profiles in the context of the key principles of diversity, social justice and supportive environments
Judy Mousley (and others): 1995

This was a three-year NPDP project sponsored by the Health Promoting Schools Association. The aims of the project were to develop an integrated approach to curriculum development in the areas of health/PE, mathematics and science under the key principles of social justice, diversity and supportive school environments.

Commonwealth National Professional Development Program
Science Teacher Professional Development Project – A Step Ahead
Geoff White: 1994-1996

Eight week intensive program of professional development in discipline studies in science and technology (Faculty of Science and Technology) and pedagogy related to the Curriculum and Standards Framework (School of Mathematics, Science and Environmental Education)

Department of Education and Training (National Professional Development Project funds)
Learning in Primary Science: Science Key Learning Area
Russell Tytler and others 1994-1996

The Learning in Primary Science project was a collaborative project across four universities, the aim of which was to provide professional development for teachers in support of the Victorian Curriculum and Standards Framework. The project was manage The project involved the running of substantial courses in three strands of the CSF, which provide the possibility of accreditation for postgraduate courses for participants. A series of one day workshops was also run four regional centres, and this aspect of the program has been expanded in 1995 to include substantial professional development offerings of a variety of types at five regional campuses. The focus of the program was on the use of the CSF to support quality teaching and learning practice.

Commonwealth Department of Employment Education and Training
National Professional Development Program
Jennifer Andrew, Ian Robottom: 1994-6

The researchers (with the Australian Association for Environmental Education — AAEE) developed the Environmental Education Across Australia project, part of the National Professional Development Program developed for teachers of environmental education. The project has resulted in a professional development Study Guide and videotape and a series of workshops in all states and territories as well as in several provinces of Canada.

Victorian government education projects

Victorian Department of Education and Training.
School Innovation in Teaching project
Russell Tytler, Peter Hubber, Brian Doig, Alistair Webster, Alan Marshall: 2003-2004

This consultancy involved working with DE&T staff to devise a strategy for improving mathematics, science and technology teaching and learning.

Victorian Department of Education and Training.
Ongoing evaluation of the School Innovation in Science project
Russell Tytler: 2003-2004

This consultancy involved evaluating the outcomes of the first year of general roll out of the School Innovation in Science initiative, using a variety of data sources.

Victorian Department of Education and Training.
Middle Years Pedagogy Research and Development
Russell Tytler, Annette Gough, Susie Groves, Brian Doig, Peter Hubber: 2003-2004

This project aimed to develop and trial a strategy by which schools could improve their middle years teaching and learning, and to provide a snapshot of teaching and learning practice. The team worked with 9 clusters of primary and secondary school to generate and refine a model for improving practice. I was responsible for framing the research methods, evaluation, and managing the data collection, analysis and reporting.

Victorian Department of Education and Training.
Science in Schools Research Project
Russell Tytler, Annette Gough, Coral Campbell and others: 2000-2002

This project was the most important single project to have been undertaken in science education in Victoria for a number of decades. It is a companion project to the early literacy and numeracy, and the middle years projects, and reflects an increasing commitment to science education in Victoria. The project has involved working with more than 200 schools across the state, to develop, implement and evaluate strategies to support schools in developing their science provision.

Victorian Department of Education, Deakin University Faculty of Education Research Grant
Science in the Middle School Years
Annette Gough, Russell Tytler: 1999
This study was an extension of the baseline survey carried out by Deakin University into teacher beliefs and practices in primary and secondary schools across Victoria. The study was jointly funded, and involved more in depth analysis of science teaching practice and its effects on students, across the middle years of schooling.

Victorian Department of Education
A baseline survey of Science in Victorian Schools
Annette Gough, Alan Marshal, Russell Tytler, Geoff White, Paul Nicholson: 1997
This was a major survey study aimed at establishing science teaching beliefs and practices in Victorian schools. The survey was conducted across more than 1000 primary and secondary teachers, and the analysis is currently helping frame policy in science education in Victoria. I was a key member of the small group of researchers involved in submitting for and carrying out this project.

Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority
Consultation on Curriculum Reform Project
Annette Gough, Noel Gough and others: 2004

This consultancy involves working with the VCAA in information sessions across the state and an online questionnaire to ascertain reactions to and directions for the development of a framework of essential learnings for Victorian schools.

Victorian Department of Education & Training
Review of the Implementation of Early Years Literacy and Numeracy Programs
Annette Gough and others: 2003-2004

This Review is to provide direction and support for improving the standard of literacy and numeracy in students in Victorian primary schools.

Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority
Consultation on VCE Psychology
Annette Gough and others: 2003

This consultancy sought the views of stakeholders and teachers regarding the proposed revisions to the VCE Psychology design and made recommendations for directions for VCAA to follow.

Victorian Department of Education and Training
Evaluation of the Notebook Initiative for Principals and Teachers
Annette Gough, Alan Marshall and other: 1998-2002

This research project investigated the outcomes of the Notebooks for Teachers and Principals Program in terms of the appropriateness of the Notebooks Program in its current form and to make recommendations for the conduct, objectives and outcomes of the program in the future.


Victorian Department of Education
Evaluation of the four SET for Success: School Community Partnership Projects
Annette Gough: 1999

This project evaluated the four School-Community Partnership Projects initiated by the Department of Education as part of their Science in Schools: SET for Success strategy. The four projects were Science Experiences Program: Student Fellowships, Family Science Program, Scientists/Engineers in Schools Program, and Travelling Scholarships for Teachers of Science.

Victorian Department of Education
Feasibility Study for a Secondary Science Multimedia Resource for Years 7 – 8
Annette Gough, Alan Marshall: 1998

This feasibility study aimed to find out what teachers and students of Years 7 and 8 Science believe a multimedia resource should comprise in terms of format and emphases.

Victorian Science and Technology Taskforce
Science: Some Preliminary Research on Years 7 – 10
Annette Gough: 1997

This project investigated junior secondary science education in ten Victorian high schools/secondary colleges. Its findings provided the basis for the 1998 DE&T Science Baseline Study.

Other funded projects

Gould League
Evaluation of the Sustainable Schools Program Stormwater Action Project
Annette Gough: 2004

The purpose of this project is to evaluate the delivery of the pilot Stormwater Action projects of the Sustainable Schools Program in six schools and to develop case studies for each of the six schools.

Environment Australia
Evaluation of Hands on for Habitat kit and awards
Annette Gough: 2003

This project assessed and evaluated the 2003 Hands on for Habitat Awards National competition, the Resource Packand associated public relations, provided a summary report on the Resource Pack‘s success, and made recommendations for further development and improvement.

Commonwealth Department of Environment, Sport and Territories.
EnviroSheets: Snapshots of the Environment
Ian Robottom, Geoff Peel: 1997

This project sought to develop and evaluate a set of curriculum materials relating to contemporary environmental issues.

Victorian Department of Natural Resources and Environment
Forest Education Project Evaluation
Annette Gough, Alan Marshall: 1997

This project evaluated the materials and activities of the DNRE Forest Education Project and made recommendations for its future development.

Apple University Development Fund
Researching Classrooms: An interactive resource
Judy Mousley and other: 1996-1997

Apple University Development Grant
Interactive Multimedia in Professional Training

Judy Mousley and other: 1995

Commonwealth Department of Human Services and Health
Family Experiences of Organ Donation: A National Donor Family Study
Geoff White: 1995

This project investigated donor families’ perceptions of service quality provided by health professionals during the acute and post-acute phases of organ donation. The project was the first national Australian study of this area of health service. Its results informed professional education programs for health professionals.

Commonwealth Department of Primary Industries and Energy
Vertebrate Pest Program Project
Jennifer Andrew, Ian Robottom: 1994-1996

This project developed case studies of several community-based land management programs in rural Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

Australian Nature Conservation Agency Feral Pests Consultancy
Environmental education materials evaluation
Jennifer Andrew, Ian Robottom: 1994-1995

The aim of this project was to employ document analysis, survey and case study methods to evaluate nature conservation education resources, particularly those incorporating feral animals, native wildlife and pets, in Australian state schools.


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)


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.