Current Research

http://w2606.ad.uws.edu.au:8085/portfolio_netpublish/api/v1/asset/1468/previewhttp://w2606.ad.uws.edu.au:8085/portfolio_netpublish/api/v1/asset/909/preview


2019 Projects Awarded/Commenced

An evaluation of the KARI Active program

Funding Body: KARI Foundation - $15,000

Researchers

Synopsis

The aim of the study is to determine the feasibility and efficacy of an 8-week Kari Active program which promotes healthy lifestyles for women in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The evaluation will: gather empirical data on the effectiveness of the KARI Active program to improve health and well-being outcomes of women and their families in daily life after the program - undertake a process evaluation to identify the extent to which the KARI Active program can be implemented as planned, and to reveal potential barriers and facilitators to implementation

Funding Period: Oct 2019 - Oct 2020

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Interconnected: Drama and EAL/D Learning in Tasmania

Funding Body: Tasmanian Department of Education- $26,000

Researchers

Synopsis

Interconnected will investigate An interdisciplinary approach:

  • for English and language acquisition underpinned by a Drama pedagogy
  • to develop cultural and civic awareness and intercultural understanding
  • that enables relevant Australian Curriculum content and a focus on the General Capabilities

The research and professional learning tools:

  • will be designed in stages of learning/learning progressions to ensure inclusivity and accessibility
  • will be developed through collaboration and consultation with EALD teachers Years 9-12 across the three educational sectors in Tasmania.

The project will include a pilot at three schools.

Funding Period: June 2019-Dec 2021

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Brightpath: Evaluating the adoption and impact of a writing assessment tool used by Western Australian teachers

Funding Body: Social Ventures Australia- $36,363

Researchers

Synopsis

This study investigates the use and impact of Brightpath, a writing assessment tool used by Western Australian (WA)

The research examines whether Brightpath is associated with gains in students’ writing NAPLAN scores. It also investigates Brightpath’s adoption and implementation by teachers across WA primary and secondary school settings. The study explores teachers’ views on the value of the assessment tool as well what are the enablers and barriers to its use.

Findings from the study will be confidentially reported to the School Curriculum and Standards Authority, WA.

Funding Period: July-August 2019

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Augmented Reality in Language and Literacy Classrooms: Emerging Possibilities for Pedagogical Connections

Funding Body: Primary English Teachers Association Australia (PETAA) - $74,920

Researchers

  • Dr Lynde Tan
  • Alice Chik (Macquarie University)
  • Angela Thomas (University of Tasmania)

Synopsis

This project aims to first investigate language and literacy teachers’ knowledge and concerns in teaching multimodal literacies, followed by building teachers’ knowledge of augmented reality (AR) affordances, and ways of harnessing it to integrate language and literacy. Drawing on formative and design experiments, it aims to foster students’ inventiveness by involving teachers and students in creating texts using AR. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative data, the findings will guide teachers to evaluate AR affordances, provide principles and lesson ideas to support educational uses of AR, and recommend units of work for all stages to draw on critical and creative pedagogies to meet the Australian Curriculum: English outcomes.

Funding Period: Aug 2019 - March 2021

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Seeding Success: A pilot study of the Royal Botanic Gardens’ Community Greening Program and Wellbeing

Funding Body: Royal Botanic Gardens and Domains Trust - $60,000 + WSU Partnership Grant $25,000

Researchers

Synopsis

The pilot study design will be founded on the initial co-construction of a program logic, or theory of change, for the CG program. Gray and Tracey will guide this process in collaboration with key personnel from the RBG&DT Sydney. Following this process, appropriate quantitative and qualitative outcome measures will be identified. The pilot study will be conducted with two purposefully selected groups of participants and collect both quantitative and qualitative data to address the study objectives.

1. Up to 75 new CG participants (across either new or existing CG programs). The 75 participants will complete a quantitative survey at two time points (upon enrolment and six months later). Twenty-five of these participants (high and low users) will be invited to complete an individual interview at the six months point to complete the process evaluation.

2. Personnel from the RBG&DT and partner services will be asked to provide quantitative data on participant recruitment and engagement, intervention fidelity, as well as cost data. Qualitative data to complete the process evaluation will be gathered via individual interviews with 10 staff.

The findings generated from the pilot study will be used to shape the future delivery of the RBG&DT’s CG program and scaffold the final program product and processes that could be evaluated in a future efficacy trial.

Funding Period: July 2019 – Aug 2020

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The collaborative research and development of EMI pedagogy for Huaqiao University academics-Phase 2

Funding Body: Huaqiao University - $50,500

Researchers

Synopsis

The objectives of this Project are to develop a culturally and language appropriate pedagogy with and for Huaqiao University academics to teach subject knowledge using English as Medium Instruction (EMI) and for the academics to research their teaching in order to disseminate their subject research knowledge into international journals with an English speaking audience.

It will explore technology embedded and engaged teaching/learning, multi-level interactive classroom environments, to facilitate the development of EMI language teaching/learning strategies and to build academics’ intercultural self-confidence in writing for research publications. As a core of the project, WSU provides EMI workshops for selected Huaqiao Academics. In 2018, the first group of Huaqiao academics participated in the first iteration of this project. The second group of academics in 2019, will provide the second cohort to extend the research into Phase 2. For this group, the project will involve:

1. Six days of intensive EMI workshops and seminars related to their teaching, provided by EMI experts from WSU to work with the academics selected by Huaqiao University;

2. The WSU team will continue to engage with the Huaqiao University participating academics to consolidate their approach to their EMI teaching practice over the following semester with a view to researching practice as data collection for academic writing;

3. the WSU project team will record their observations of Huaqiao academics’ EMI teaching, and provide guidance and feedback to academics Huaqiao University on future improvements in teaching and research practices.

The WSU project team will collect and analyse evidence from this group arising throughout the course of the Project in order to produce and deliver a report to Huaqiao University.

Funding Period: June 2019-June 2020

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Collaboration for Learning (C4L)

Funding Body: United Way Australia - $22,935

Researchers

Synopsis

The Collaboration for Learning research has a key focus on investigating innovations in pedagogical approaches undertaken by early years educators working in one of the most disadvantaged urban communities in Australia where the AEDC shows very high rates of developmental vulnerability in children starting school. Other aspects of the community profile include low participation rates in ECE. This research is undertaken in the context of community initiatives to raise participation rates and improve quality of early years provision.

Also under investigation is how educators participate in the action research methodology, the impact on their professional leadership identities, what conceptual resources educators take up and how these are adapted to be relevant to the context.

Funding Period: June 2019 – November 2021

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Practice Changing Practice: Leadership Development through Action Research (Phase 1)

Funding Body: Department of Education NSW - $55,000

Researchers

Synopsis

Western Sydney University, in collaboration with three networks (Bungarribee, Quakers Hill and The Ponds) has tailored a professional development program (Practice Changing Practice) to implement and evaluate long-term, on-going sustainable action research within Western Sydney schools with a focus on school leadership to improve teacher quality and student learning. The program supports a strategic approach to leadership by building the capacity of individuals through initial participation in the program and their subsequent role as coaches, ensuring the program’s longevity and sustainability.

Funding Period: May 2019 - February 2020

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Gender Matters: Changing Gender Equity Policies and Practices in Australian Secondary Schooling

Funding Body: Australian Research Council Discovery Scheme - $262,000

Researchers

Synopsis

Despite widespread concerns about gender-related issues in schools and society, system-wide policies on gender equity have almost disappeared. This research examines the contemporary policy and practice gap in gender equity in schooling, in relation to earlier approaches. It investigates young people's experiences of gender-related issues through the accounts of recent school leavers and current secondary school students, through creative arts-based methods, and the perspectives of teachers and school executive in four diverse secondary schools.

The research aims to interrogate and refresh gendered explanations of inequity and design new approaches for an era of rapid social, cultural and technological change and competing policy agendas.

Funding Period: 2019 - 2021

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Refugee Youth: Postcards to the Premier

Funding Bodies: Multicultural NSW, WSU REDI, $78,090

Researcher

Synopsis

Refugee Youth Voice: Postcards to the Premier will focus on the design of a youth voice engagement strategy with refugee and refugee like background 16-25year old young people in New South Wales. The project aims to capture and understand how to address the most pressing issues affecting a diverse range of refugee youth in this cohort. The project will build capacity and confidence in a range of research and job ready skills such as interview techniques, collecting and analysing data, communication and presentation skills. The project will do this by engaging 10 refugee youth leaders in training and the subsequent conduct of participatory action research methods to reach out to a diverse range of other 16-25 year old youth, from refugee backgrounds.

The data collected from the project will inform the work of the Joint Partnership Working Group (JPWG) Refugee Youth Sub-Group convened by the Coordinator General for Refugee Resettlement (CGRR), Chancellor Peter Shergold and Multicultural NSW, an action-oriented workshop, and a subsequent Policy Paper for the Premier of NSW addressing issues affecting refugee youth in NSW. The overarching aims of this project are to:

  • build capacity and support young people from a refugee and refugee like background to have their voices heard by people who can make change happen.
  • form an evidence base of concerns and opportunities facing young people from a refugee and refugee like background to inform the NSW Government and the broader service delivery sector in the design and delivery of policies

Funding Period: End Dec 2018 - August 2019

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Flooding in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley: School Geography Resource

Funding Body: Infrastructure NSW - $ 160,000

Researchers

Synopsis

The project will develop a useful, effective, high quality online resource that aligns to the Australian Curriculum and the NSW Geography Syllabus to teach the topic in Stage 4 “Water in the World’” in collaboration with key stakeholders, schools and teachers within the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood zone. This resource will develop students’ and community awareness and knowledge about flood planning within this local context, community preparedness, flood mitigation and community resilience.

Funding Period: Dec 2018 - Jan 2020

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Understanding the experience and perceived impact of RAW – Ready Arrive Work

Funding Body: NSW Department of Education, Funding amount not to be disclosed

Researchers

Synopsis

Ready Arrive Work (RAW) is a work readiness program designed by Job Quest (Penrith) and the NSW Department of Education that targets high school students from refugee backgrounds. This study will examine the impact of RAW on schools, students, workplaces, and civic organisations. Interviews and focus groups with selected key stakeholders are the primary source of data. A ‘vertical slice’ involving stakeholders from all layers of participation in RAW will provide insight from those closest to and furthest from the delivery to expose each to the other’s perspective and create a comprehensive understanding of the perceived impacts of the program, and identified enablers and barriers that will improve future iterations of RAW.

This study represents the first inquiry into the perspectives of participating stakeholders. The findings will advance understanding about the aspects of the program that are most valued by the participants and areas for improvements – and thus improve practice for future iterations of RAW.

Funding Period: 2019

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2019 Continuing Projects

Programming the Future: Harnessing the transformative potential of new and emerging technologies with children and young people

Funding Body: Save The Children Australia - $20,000Researchers

Synopsis This research project seeks to investigate the potential utility of new and emerging technologies to achieve positive personal and social development goals with children and young people in informal education settings. It draws conceptually on the digital theory of change (Dellow, 2017), which seeks to take children and young people through a staged progression, from discovering new and emerging technologies, to creating and making, acting and accelerating. The central aim of the digital theory of change is to encourage young people to ‘use new and emerging technologies to resolve social issues that they have identified in their communities’ (Dellow, 2017).   Programming the Future (PtF) is supported by an Advisory Group consisting of researchers, educators and digital Education specialists, who inform the design and implementation of cutting-edge resources and training in the use of a range of new and emerging technologies, including:  Robotics, Micro controllers, 3D modelling and printing, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Wearables and Digital Music.  This research will primarily focus on PtF workshops in Bathurst and Dubbo and its findings are intended to inform the development of refined strategies to scale the project up to 5 other locations including Orange, Parkes / Forbes, Young, Cowra and Wellington.

Funding Period: 2018 – 2019

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InFUSE: Increasing Female Uptake in STEM Education

Funding Body: Philanthropic funding - $29,000

Researchers

Synopsis

The InFUSE: Increasing Female Uptake in STEM Education project is an intervention aimed at increasing girls’ participation in STEM in the senior years (11 and 12) of secondary schooling. In this project, we will develop, pilot, and evaluate an intervention for teachers in secondary schools. The InFUSE: Increasing Female Uptake in STEM Education project focuses on teachers as “agents of change” and recognises the critical role that teachers play in students’ classroom experiences and attitudes towards themselves and their capacity to learn in STEM subjects. The planned intervention will include professional development focused on improving teacher knowledge of psychological, social, and linguistic factors that influence girls’ choices to continue in STEM subjects in Years 11 and 12.

Funding Period: 2018 - 2019

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Parramatta Light Rail Teacher Professional Development Project

Funding Body: Transport for NSW $62,850

Researchers

Synopsis

This project aims to assess the effectiveness of the professional development program based upon the Parramatta Light Rail project. The research aims to explore if the program increases participants' knowledge of inquiry based learning and their general awareness of Parramatta Light Rail and its impact on communities. The research will include teachers who have participated in the professional development program (four sessions, 2 face to face and 2 online) and designed, implemented (in their classrooms) and evaluated a unit of work based upon Parramatta Light Rail. Data will be gathered from teachers via interviews, from students via an online or paper survey and focus groups, and from published units of work and associated work samples. Results will contribute to understandings of the effectiveness of inquiry based learning and will be used to inform future professional development programs and teaching practice.

Funding Period:  October 2018 – September 2020

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Gender and Sexuality in Schools: Parental Experiences

Funding Body: Australian Research Council (ARC) – $313,076

Researchers

  • A/Prof. Tania Ferfolja
  • Dr Jacqueline Ullman
  • Prof. Tara Goldstein, University of Toronto

Synopsis

This project aims to analyse parents’ perspectives regarding the inclusion of gender and sexuality (G&S) diversity in school curriculum across Australia and to understand how parents of G&S diverse children navigate their child’s experiences in schools. It is anticipated this combined data will inform the development of a performance ethnography as a training resource for pre/in-service teachers. Teachers are reluctant to broach G&S diversity for fear of parental backlash despite the on-going marginalisation of these students. The intended outcomes of the research include policy and curriculum development and training resources as well as increased support for parents of G&S diverse children.

Funding Period: 2018 – 2020

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National Association for Prevention of Child abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) Respectful Relationship Program Northern Territory 2017-2018 Evaluation

Funding Body: National Association for Prevention of Child abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) - $33,300

Researcher

Synopsis

The aim of the project is to gather evidence of the work being undertaken by NAPCAN toward supporting Territory Families’ focus on reforming the Northern Territory youth sector, and to scope and inform further development of the project. Within the constraints of available time and funding, the evaluation strategy has been designed so as to gather data that is of specific relevance to the unique social, geographical and cultural context of the Northern Territory. It will thus focus on identifying the specific needs of the Northern Territory youth sector in relation to RRE and trauma-informed practice and investigating the effectiveness of specific training aimed at building capacity within the youth sector.

Funding Period: 2018

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Pathways to Wellbeing, Skill Development, and Participation: Royal Botanic Garden Sydney’s Master Gardener Volunteer Program

Funding Body: Royal Botanic Garden Trust (RBGT) - $50,000

Researchers

Synopsis

‘Master Gardener Volunteer’ (MGV) Program is a new initiative pioneered by the Royal Botanic Garden and Domain Trust to develop and maintain a dedicated group of volunteers to assist the development of community gardens and serve in a leadership capacity to achieve long-term sustainability of community participation. Funded by the Department of Social Services for a period of three years, the MGV Program involves an initial five-day course recognised and delivered through TAFE NSW, and a series of ongoing capacity building workshops, to help develop knowledge and skills to support the development and growth of community gardens.

Over the three-year period, the Western Sydney University research team will apply their research expertise to examine the development of self-reported changes in the volunteer participants over their involvement in the MGV program. The research team will implement a mixed-methods cohort design to determine trajectories of physical health, wellbeing, community participation, employment and education participation, skill acquisition and confidence amongst participants.

Funding Period: 2018 – 2021

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The Collaborative research and development of EMI Pedagogy for Huaqiao University academics

Funding Body: Huaqiao University - $69,500

Researchers

Synopsis

This project will research the development and trialling of an EMI pedagogy for Huaqiao University academics in China. Currently there are half a million international students within the higher education sector in China, and half of these students are conducting subject/discipline learning, which drives the demand for well-trained Chinese academics to deliver EMI in a variety of subjects. This project will contribute to EMI research and practice in China, with long-term benefits both for teachers and students of EMI classrooms.

The WSU research team will collaborate with Huaqiao academics to establish a baseline of EMI theoretical and pedagogical understandings followed by research which will investigate the implementation, evaluation and dissemination of EMI. An action research methodology will be utilised throughout this project.

Funding Period: 2018 – 2019

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Wilding Nature Play

Funding Body: Centennial Park Trust - $22,570

Researchers

Synopsis

This research will evaluate the impact of the Ian Potter Children’s Wild Play Garden (IPCWPG) at Centennial Park. It will:

  • investigate the ways that children and families from a range of cultural backgrounds engage with the IPCWPG and the benefits they derive from it
  • examine the involvement of children from special needs and disadvantaged backgrounds with the IPCWPG and elucidate any particular challenges and benefits for these groups
  • identify the ways specific features of the IPCWPG site encourage nature play and consider any associated developmental and/or learning outcomes
  • explore whether and how nature play at IPCWPG may be associated with increased environmental appreciation

Funding Period: 2018 – 2019

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Changing Australia’s Youth Drinking Culture: Education Intervention

Funding Body: Momento Foundation (in partnership with Macquarie University) – $81,820

Researchers

Synopsis

We propose to create an online program that will fill the gap that currently exists for alcohol education in the school system between the ages of 16-18 (Year 11 & 12). We suggest an online program as it is accessible to all students particularly in rural and remote locations. The vehicle to implement this program will be through the mandatory Year 11 & 12 Crossroads program. This project will involve:

  1. Creation of six x 30 minute interactive online resources
  2. Piloting of the resources in selected NSW public secondary schools
  • The resources will be piloted in selected schools in the Sydney region as part of their Crossroads program with Year 11 students (schools to be selected in consultation with the funding body and the NSW Department of Education). Participating students will complete pre- and post- surveys drawing on items from a previously conducted cross-sectional online survey. At each school a focus group of purposively selected students will be conducted to elicit in-depth reflections on the modules. Participating teachers will be interviewed to provide feedback on the modules from a teaching perspective.
  1. Final Report: Evaluation of the pilot program

Funding Period: 2018 – 2020

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Investigating literary knowledge in the making of English teachers

Funding Body: Australian Research Council (ARC) – $131,836 [via University of Melbourne]

Researchers

Synopsis

As a secondary school subject, English is considered fundamental to an individual’s personal, cultural and literate development, and Literary Studies has been viewed, historically, as a core component of English, yet the nature of literary studies is itself a matter of ceaseless shifts and developments both in universities and in relation to English teaching in schools. This project aims to produce a new empirical study of the role of literary knowledge in the making of English teachers, focusing specifically on understanding the experiences and approaches of Early Career English Teachers’ as they make the transition from university student to school teacher. It explores: key institutional settings, practices and policies in an investigation of ECETs’ experiences of literary education at tertiary level; the knowledge and values they bring to their work as English teachers, and the learning they undergo in their first years of teaching.

This project seeks to address crucial issues about the appropriate relationship between school English and tertiary English studies, as these relate to concerns about teacher quality, effectiveness and preparation. It aims to provide foundational evidence and insights for a more coherent and productive approach to the diverse field of Literary Studies, aiming to produce knowledge that is important to curriculum policy and to the education of English teachers. More broadly, this project aims to make a new contribution to: understanding Literary Studies as a field: debates over disciplinarity and knowledge: research on literary studies in the context of schooling, and current curriculum debates about schooling in the 21st century.

The methodological and conceptual framing of this project is a developed adaptation of ‘literary sociability’ which sees literary study as positioned in inter-personal, social and institutionally mediated practice. This approach facilitates examination of the social relationships and institutional settings in which the teaching of literature occurs.

Funding Period: 2016 – 2020

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Naming the World: Early years’ literacy and sustainability learning

Funding Body: Australian Research Council (ARC) – $278,038

Researcher

Synopsis

For children born in the 21st century, the enmeshing of natural and human forces in the survival of the planet requires conceptual and practical innovation. Early childhood education can be a fundamental driver in this process. This ambitious international study aims to integrate literacy and sustainability to produce powerful new learning for young children. It will theorise new forms of literacy emerging in sustainability education, articulate innovative pedagogies, and inform national and international policy and practice to address 21st century learning imperatives.

Funding Period: 2016 – 2018

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Resilient Families: Engaging parents in a social-emotional learning curriculum for high school students in a community-based resilience program

Funding Body: Social Ventures Australia (SVA) - $83,000

Researchers

Synopsis

This project is funded by Social Ventures Australia (SVA). SVA manages “The Learning Impact Fund” which seeks to identify, fund and evaluate programs aiming to raise the academic achievement of children in Australia. In 2016, the School of Education was successfully appointed to their “expert panel of evaluators” via a competitive tenure process.

Researchers Barker, Tracey and Ullman were then successful in tendering to conduct an evaluation on the program “Resilient Families” developed and conducted by Deakin University Centre for Social and Early Emotional Development.

SVA funds randomised-controlled trials (RCT) in order to produce an evidence-base for the impact of school-based programs on student outcomes. As such, the current study involves 28 Victorian schools and utilies a 2 (intervention vs control) x 2 (pre-intervention vs post-intervention) repeated measures, between-participants design.

Funding Period: 2017 – 2020

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Settlement Outcomes of Syrian-conflict Refugee Families in Australia

Funding Body: Australian Research Council (ACRG) - $180,000 [via University of Technology]

Researchers

Synopsis

The Syrian conflict has generated an unprecedented flow of refugees across Europe and other countries, including Australia. These countries face new challenges in providing successful settlement outcomes for the refugees. Utilising a longitudinal study of 250 refugee families and fieldwork in key areas of high refugee settlement in NSW, Victoria and Queensland, the project focuses on the policy responses to, and settlement outcomes for, Syrian-conflict refugee families in Australia with an emphasis on employment and education. International collaboration from Germany, Sweden, Finland, Canada and New Zealand will generate comparative insights to identify policy and program responses that lead to the most successful settlement outcomes.

Funding Period: 2017 – 2020

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Evaluating Inquiry Based Professional Development: Using Australia’s Largest Infrastructure Project to Engage Students in Authentic Inquiry Based Learning

Funding Body: NSW Sydney Metro - $58,917

Researcher

Synopsis

This research is situated within the Sydney Metro Education Program "Fast Tracking the Future". The following program of professional development and research includes the following activities:

  • Initiation of a community of practice interested in inquiry based learning
  • Development and promotion of inquiry based learning pedagogy
  • Support for participants in the design, implementation and evaluation of inquiry based units of work based on the Sydney Metro Southwest Infrastructure Project
  • Increase in the capacity of participating teachers to undertake action research projects for the implementation and evaluation of the designed units of work

The Units of Work and their implementation will be evaluated formally by through a research evaluation approach. Qualitative and quantitative data will be collected by the research team immediately following the program delivery. Data is being collected from the following sources:

  • Unit documentation
  • Teachers (interviews) and Students (surveys and focus groups)

Funding Period: 2017 – 2019

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2019 Cross and Inter-Institution Collaborative Projects

Low SES Student Referrals (Maximising low socio-economic status students’ uptake of university places following deferral)

Funding Body: Department of Education and Training: Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) [via La Trobe University] - $20,000

Researchers

Synopsis

The project will address two primary objectives:
* Seek to understand why disadvantaged students are more likely to defer or take a leave of absence by examining the factors associated with deferral/leave and subsequent return; and
* Identify strategies by which universities can promote the return to study of these students, and ultimately, drive improvement in the number of disadvantaged students returning to study after a break.
The specific outputs to be generated by the project include:
* a final research report, including good practice guidelines for institutions;
* de-identified national data sets as outlined in stage one of the project approach;
* development of at least two journal articles for submission in peer-refereed journals; and
* dissemination of the research through trade media, partner institution networks, and a conference presentation at AARE or equivalent.

Funding Period: July 2019 - July 2020

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Spoken English: Little Kids, Big Data, Wide Application

Funding Body: ARC- LIEF grant, $600,000

Researchers

  • Prof. Denis Burnham (Western)
  • A/Prof. Chwee Beng Lee (Western)
  • Dr Beena Ahmed (UNSW)
  • Prof. Kirrie Ballard (USyd)
  • A/Prof. Julien Epps (UNSW)
  • A/Prof. Felicity Cox (Macquarie)
  • Dr Vidhyasaharan Sethu (UNSW)
  • Prof. Katherine Demuth (Macquarie)
  • A/Prof. Joanne Arciuli (USyd)
  • Dr Barbara Kelly (Melbourne)
  • Dr Chloé Diskin (Melbourne)
  • Dr Titia Benders (Macquarie)
  • Prof. Eliathamby Ambikairajah (UNSW)
  • Dr Elise Baker (USyd)

Synopsis

A corpus of Australian children’s typically developing and disordered speech. This project aims to create a large sized, publicly accessible corpus of annotated Australian children’s speech, something currently lacking both in Australia and internationally. This corpus will provide the basic infrastructure vital for innovative research on children’s speech and the training of our speech scientists and engineers. It will be used to address real-life and significant research questions pertaining to the development of children’s speech and the role technology can play to develop it. Benefits would include applications such as remote speech therapy, interactive reading tutors, pronunciation coaching and educational games.

Funding Period: 2019 - 2020

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Building Australia-China research capabilities for intercultural knowledge collaboration

Funding Body: Australia-China Council

Researchers

  • Prof. Catherine Manathunga (University of the Sunshine Coast)
  • Prof. Michael Singh (SOE)
  • Prof. Tracey Bunda (University of Southern Queensland)
  • Dr Jing Qi (RMIT University)

Synopsis

This 2-year project will advance Australia-China knowledge collaboration and China literacy in Australian universities (WSU, USC, USQ, RMIT) through building the intercultural and multilingual research literacy of Australia research supervisors and Chinese students; undertake research with Chinese research students and supervisors in Australia to trial 5 training modules to increase intercultural knowledge collaboration; and pilot prototype training materials in Central University of Finance and Economics, Beijing and Northeast Normal University, Changchun as part of a systematic research preparation program for students planning to complete research degrees in Australia.

Funding Period: 2018 – 2019

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Menstruation Matters

Funding Body: Kimberley-Clark and Western Sydney University

Researchers

Synopsis

Many young women suffer from problems with their menstrual cycle, often having pain during or just before their period. Research at NICM and Western Sydney University are interested to find out how these kinds of symptoms affect young women's social, school or work life, how young women decide what a 'normal' period is, and how they deal with any period related symptoms.

This research will help identify areas where education on menstrual health can be improved, and will help shape future educational materials to improve young women's ability to manage their menstrual symptoms and identify any problematic symptoms that require further investigation.

Funding Period: 2018 – 2019

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Individual based measure of socio-economic disadvantage

Funding Body: Department of Education and Training: Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP)

Researchers

Synopsis

This DET-funded project is concerned with developing individual-based measures of socio-economic to assist in the identification of undergraduate students who would benefit from support as they undertake their studies. The project is using mixed-methods. In Phase 1, surveys were completed by 3,647 undergraduate students at three Australian universities and by 502 university staff across Australia who are involved in working with students experiencing disadvantage. Phase 2 is currently in progress and involves the conducting of focus groups with university students who have identified as experiencing socio-economic disadvantage together with groups composed with staff working in this area. The data gathered will be used to develop individual-based measures that can provide non-intrusive ways of identifying those in need of support because of socio-economic disadvantage.

Funding Period: December 2017 – 2019

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2019 Seed Grants

The CER Research Seed Grants scheme aims to increase the capacity of staff to gain external funding and/or high quality publications. In 2019, nine CER researchers were awarded funding to undertake the following projects.

Mentor teacher impact on preservice teachers’ self-efficacy in disadvantaged schools

Researcher

Synopsis

Exceptional Teaching for Disadvantaged Schools program at WSU, could be better supported by mentor teachers during their professional practice. Preservice teacher self-efficacy surveys have shown that there are fears around managing student behaviour and overcoming students’ poor literacy skills. It is not possible for Initial Teacher Education to anticipate all the specific experiences preservice teachers may encounter in the unique environments of individual schools and classrooms (Mena et al., 2017). This research, it is hoped, will demonstrate both the rewards and the challenges of professional practice in disadvantaged schools. It will also reveal some of the strategies that can support students such as an understanding of the impact of disadvantage, effective engagement, and classroom management strategies.

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Addressing gender and sexuality diversity in public education: Perceptions of school leaders

Researchers

  • A/Prof. Tania Ferfolja
  • Dr Jaqueline Ullman
  • Dr Victoria Rawlings (USyd)

Synopsis

This research examines school leaders’ perceptions and initiatives related to the inclusion, exclusion and navigation of gender and sexuality diversities (GSD) in their school. It will build on a currently successfully-funded ARC Discovery project entitled, Gender and Sexuality Diversities in Schools: Parental Experiences and Schooling Responses (Ferfolja, Goldstein & Ullman, 2018-2020) which also began as a SoE Seed funded project. The project will form a scoping exercise for a future ARC application (proposed submission 2020), which will examine school leaders’ attitudes towards GSD inclusions in education and enable a comparison to be made with findings from our current ARC examining parents’ experiences and perceptions regarding the inclusion of GSD identities in their child/ren’s schooling.

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Examination of the effects of a specialist post-graduate training in teaching primary mathematics

Researchers

Synopsis

The research interrogates the perceptions of course graduates in relation to how participation in the course has influenced their teaching of mathematics, and their attitudes to a range of aspects of their mathematics teaching experience. The research also seeks to document the opinions of graduating students’ colleagues in relation to the influence of participation in the course on the wider school community.

A multiple case study approach will be utilised in this research. There are two groups of participants in this project: graduates of the program, and colleagues of graduates. Data will be gathered via individual phone/Zoom interviews using a semi-structured interviews. Each teacher and nominated colleague is considered a single case. Data will first be analysed case by case and will be followed by a cross case analysis.

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Menstrual health literacy and management of period pain in young Australian women

Researchers

Synopsis

This projects aims to 1)understand how young girls view and respond to current approaches to menstrual health education in schools and 2)  understand the discourses associated with dysmenorrhea and how they construct perceptions of period pain. This project will draw on the qualitative responses from stage 1 of national research entitled, ‘Development and piloting of a menstrual health literacy program for women aged under 25’ currently being undertaken with colleagues from NCIM (WSU). A national online survey implemented in 2017, that focussed on the menstrual health and understandings of 5000 young women, has to date, remained unanalysed in the education context. Analysis of this data, comprised of open ended survey questions, and is critical to inform stage 2 of the project by highlighting areas for targeting and further inquiry. Stage 2 will undertake qualitative interviews with key stakeholders in schools such as HPE teachers, school counsellors and young women themselves. Other funding sources will be identified for stage 2.

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Assessment requirements for the new NSW Stage 6 Mathematics syllabuses: perceptions, concerns and opportunities

Researchers

Synopsis

This proposed research project will be a pilot study that examines the perceptions, concerns and opportunities related to changes in school-based assessment requirements for the new NSW Stage 6 Mathematics (Standard, Advanced, Extension 1, Extension 2) syllabuses that have been introduced from 2019, and will be examined as part of the NSW Higher School Certificate examinations in 2020. A particular focus of the study will be understanding the perceptions, concerns of secondary mathematics teachers in relation to the new mandatory assessment components (understanding, fluency, communication; and, problem solving, reasoning and justification); and, the implementation of an assignment or investigative-style task into Stage 6 (Year 11) Mathematics courses. There will also be the ability to investigate opportunities that secondary mathematics teachers might consider important, as they review their pedagogical practices to enhance the engagement and learning of students as part of the new school-based assessment requirements across the courses offered.

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Stepping into STEM: Building Teacher Capacity in Western Sydney Primary Schools

Researchers

Synopsis

The proposed research project is a pilot study of Western Sydney primary school teachers examining their self-efficacy in teaching integrated Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) subjects and building their teaching capacity by implementing a successful professional development program.It has two key aims:

1. To develop and pilot a scale to measure the STEM teaching self-efficacy of primary school teachers.

2. To understand and provide the best support teachers’ needs at a particular school setting, as they attempt to integrate STEM education into their classrooms.

The participants will be 60 teachers from 10 DEC Primary Schools in Western and South Western Sydney specifically sampled for this study.  Schools that do not have an existing STEM project will be selected and invited to participate in this study.

A 40-item STEM teaching efficacy scale will be developed from adapted items from established scales such as Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument (STEBI) (Riggs & Enochs, 1990) and Teaching Confidence scale (Woolfolk Hoy, 2000). This newly developed scale will measure teachers’ comfort with teaching STEM, knowledge of STEM, levels of efficacy for teaching STEM, confidence for teaching STEM.

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Cross-cultural validation of the Transition, Wellbeing, Help Seeking, and Adjustments Scale (TWHAS)

Researchers

Synopsis

The aim of the proposed project is to culturally validate the Transition, Wellbeing, Help Seeking, and Adjustments Scale (TWHAS) developed at Western Sydney University in selected Iranian universities.

The study will be employing quantitative, survey methodology. The expected sample size is 350-400 first year university students of all genders, enrolled in any course in four selected Iranian universities.  The finalised survey will be distributed to all potential participants via course administrators, following WSU’s ethical protocols.  The survey will be hosted on Qualtrics and hard copies of the survey will also be provided to students who can’t access the online survey

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The self-efficacy of parents and early childhood educators to guide young children’s technology use

Researchers

Synopsis

This quantitative project will be a pilot study. The aim will be to develop and test an instrument designed to measure the variability in the self-efficacy beliefs of parents and educators across four key domains of children’s technology use as articulated in Early Childhood Australia’s statement “Young People and Digital Technologies” (2018). The four domains are: 1. Relationships; 2. Health and wellbeing; 3. Citizenship; 4. Play and pedagogy. We will investigate if self-efficacy beliefs are higher for some domains and vice versa. Also, if demographic factors such as SES have statistically significant impacts on the patterns found in the data.

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Exploring the Impact of the Australian Graduate Teaching Standards on Secondary Pre-service Teachers’ self-efficacy in NSW

Researchers

Synopsis

This research will investigate how the Australian Graduate Teaching Standards impact on the development of Secondary Pre-service Teachers’ self-efficacy in NSW across four university Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programs.

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