Research Themes

The School of Education prides itself on conducting research that seeks to challenge established borders and perspectives in Education. To this end, researchers within the School have identified a range of research themes that help inform their interests and foci. These research themes are not meant to be definitive, but instead provides insights into researchers’ interests in the domains of: learning, development and identity formation; education in the margins; the holistic embodiment of learning, and; society, ethics and how we live together. These research themes are evident in the five main research areas, in the work of specific academics, and in the specific projects that currently inform our academics' work. 

Learning, development and identity formation

Exploring human learning, intertwining cognitive, social, emotional and psychological development and identity formation

The research in this theme explores human learning with the understanding that it is more than cognitive or academic development, but is intertwined and occurs simultaneously with social, emotional and psychological development, and identity formation. Our research considers that young people develop ‘learner identities’ in relation to and mediated by subject matter and skills, as well as other individuals and groups, both at and beyond school. These learner identities interact with a range of mediating influences that include but are not limited to school context, racial, geographic, gendered, socioeconomic, online and offline, and Indigenous ways of knowing, interacting, valuing, thinking, speaking and writing. This research also explores how teachers develop personal and professional identities mediated by their qualifications, experiences, professional learning, school context, and personal/professional goals.

Education in the margins & marginality

Interrogating and challenging marginality in national and international education, with reference to policy, practice and people

Researchers in this theme interrogate and seek to develop insights into marginality in national and international education with reference to policy, practice and people. We also theoretically and pragmatically use margins as contexts for explorations of student and teacher learning and how this learning can be better supported. This is an interdisciplinary group, as members engage with marginality and marginalized groups in different education spaces, both nationally and internationally, drawing on their disciplinary perspectives from such fields as diverse as global education policy, mathematics education and language policy and practice.

Holistic embodiment of learning

Utilising unique or emerging approaches to explore learning, including through neuroscience, and post-qualitative methods

The researchers in this theme seek to utilise unique or emerging approaches to explore learning such as holistic embodiment, more than human research methods, neuroscience/physiological responses and post qualitative methods. Learning is viewed through the lenses of contemporary methodologies (e.g. metalogue) and theories (social, critical and political theory).  Improvement of knowledge and practice of research and teaching are investigated through generative dialogues, dialogic pedagogies, co-regulation and communities of practice.

Society, ethics and how we live together

Exploring how educational research might contribute to a more ethical way of living together in society

The research thread of this theme relates to the ways in which educational research as praxis might contribute to a more ethical way of living together in society. Significantly, researchers in this cluster are drawn together by a bigger picture concern for the philosophical, pedagogical and political groundings of educating and education for an ethical society, and a closer to home concerns for diverse, intersectional and disadvantaged peoples who are marginalised under current conditions.