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Centre for Research in Education

- Past Events 2012 -



Joining the dots: exploring independent validation of assessment and quality

Join us for an interactive workshop with Dr Shelley Gillis

Deputy Director, Work-based Education Research Centre, Victoria University

Friday 26 October 2012

One of the 'hot' topics in VET is the issue of quality and how we can improve (and prove) that the assessment processes are as robust and reliable as possible. The use of independent validation has been suggested as one way to achieve this goal. This workshop will examine a range of models for independent validation currently being explored at the national level; how each works and what it may mean for VET practitioners' work. 



de Lissa Oration

Re-thinking children

Presented by Professor Deborah Harcourt

Wednesday 17th October

Listen to Podcast

Best friends Tahlee and Ollie

If we know how to ask and listen for a reply, very young children can tell us what their experience is of their world (their neighbourhood, child care, preschool) and the people in it. Parents, educators and others who work with children will find Professor Deborah Harcourt's presentation useful, interesting and with ideas they can apply to find out about their settings from the children's perspective. Deborah will explore the potential for the active participation of very young children in research, particularly as relates to developing our understanding of how children experience their childhood. The capabilities and competence of young children as co-researchers will be highlighted through a brief overview of several research projects that have investigated topics such as measuring quality of early childhood programs, what it means to be a child and what rights look like to children. Children's conversations, writings, and drawings will be shared in order to demonstrate the extraordinary capacity of young children to engage with what are, at times, very complex ideas. In this way there is the possibility of re-thinking children as powerful contributors to a more democratic and more broadly informed approach to making decisions on behalf of children.

Professor Deborah Harcourt

Professor Deborah Harcourt joins the Australian Catholic University after 25 years in the field of early childhood education. She spent 12 years classroom teaching in a range of early childhood services including preschool, kindergarten, and junior primary. As the author of the first early childhood course for senior secondary students, she taught Year 11 and 12 students at Immanuel Lutheran College on the Sunshine Coast, and Lourdes Hill College in Brisbane. This was followed by the establishment of the Mary Waston College of Early Childhood Education, a private training institution, where Prof Harcourt was the Principal. Prof Harcourt then moved to Singapore, where she spent 8 years working across Asia as a consultant, tertiary educator and Director of Pedadgogy and Research for a Singapore based teacher's college. Upon returning to Australia, Prof Harcourt was the Co-ordinator of Children's Services for Bond University on the Gold Coast. She is the Professor of Early Childhood Education within the Faculty of Education at ACU and is also the Director, Early Learning and Research at Goodstart Early Learning.

Inclusive Education: Researching Parent Perspectives

Presented  by Dr Sue Nichols, Leanne Longfellow, Norshidah Abu Husin and Victoria Buchan

Friday 19 October 2012

Watch seminar Vodcast

This seminar presents socio-culturally situated perspectives on the inter-related themes of partnership and inclusive education. Each presenter has investigated parents' experiences supporting children with disabilities in a different regional context, including Malaysia, Canada and Australia. Thus, the seminar will generate dialogue regarding global and local patterns of how systems and schools work with parents to achieve inclusive education goals.

As practitioner researchers undertaking doctoral research, the presenters have considerable professional knowledge of the context which they are researching and histories of commitment to improving educational outcomes for children with disabilities. Their research reveals that worldwide, the drive for inclusive education has required parents to play significant roles with the aim of forming partnerships to support the participation of children with disabilities in mainstream schooling. However, performing these roles draws on families' resources of economic, social, linguistic and cultural capital. Inequality in access to these forms of capital creates differentiation between families in terms of their ability to participate in partnership thus threatening the aim of inclusive education.

The Complexity in Curriculum

Presented by Dr Linyu Fang

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Curriculum is not just a discipline or activities established for administrative convenience, it is a field that full of intellectual activities, emotion, value, belief, judgments, and influence of diversified individual and situation.  As a researcher or teacher, it is necessary for us to realize and enjoy the complexity of curriculum and develop unique curriculum reflecting our personality and educational purpose, promoting the realization of the potential ability of teachers and students and creating our curriculum for individual living in classroom every moment. The theme of the seminar is to explore the complexity in the purpose, content, implement and evaluation of curriculum, and discuss how to face the complexity of curriculum and develop our curriculum for every diversified individual.  Dr Fang will present it from theoretical and practical point.

My name is Linyu FANG.  I am an associate professor of Bohai University of China.  My qualification is PhD (education).  My research interests are the study of educational theory and the basic theory of curriculum and instruction. I am taking charge a project of Humanity and Social Science Project of the Ministry of Education of China and a project of the Education Department of Liaoning Province. I have published 13 papers in national journals and one monograph. I teach the following course: Principles of Education for undergraduate students and Lectures on Curriculum and Pedagogy for postgraduate.

The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre and the School of Education request the pleasure of your company to celebrate the launch of:

Child Protection: The essential guide
By Professor Freda Briggs AO

Child Protection book cover

To be launched by Ita Buttrose AO OBE

Sunday 14 October 2012 

Professor Freda Briggs is an eminent authority on child abuse and neglect, one of the greatest hidden problems in Australia today. She is dedicated to the cause of educating all who work with children so that they are better equipped to keep children safe, assist in bringing about justice for victims, and a change in societal attitudes. Child Protection is an essential guide for all whose work involves children, in the legal system, human services, schools, pre-schools and foster care.

Despite the fact that child abuse is acknowledged and professionals are mandated to report suspicions and disclosures, this scourge still occurs and children are being damaged emotionally, sexually and physically for life. Some even die.
This exceptionally well-researched book is shocking in its contents. Its intention is to reveal what is really happening in our society and to spur people into action to turn this shameful and complex problem around so that abuse stops and healing can begin. It should be a compulsory handbook for all whose work involves children, especially in the legal system, all human services, schools, pre-schools and foster care. It covers all aspects of child abuse and neglect and presents case studies of acts of abuse and the ways they have been dealt with in recent times. It is books such as this that 'get the message out there' so that something is done in this supposedly enlightened age.

Professor Freda Briggs AO has already written nine books on Child Protection, a subject about which she is passionate. Professor Briggs has a long history of employment in child protection as a lecturer and researcher, former teacher, child protection police officer and social worker and, currently, as Emeritus Professor of Child Development at the University of South Australia. Professor Briggs received the Order of Australia (2005), the Inaugural Australian Humanitarian Award, the Centenary Medal, a Rotary International Award and numerous other awards and was Senior Australian of the Year (2000) for her pioneering work in protecting children.

Area Out of Reach

Friday 12 October 2012

Emeritus Professor Freda Briggs and Laurel Leak were two of the "Four Grannies" who were noted for being the oldest volunteers to work in Nepal. Freda provided workshops on child protection for teachers, counsellors and carers while Laurel, a former nurse, worked with children born with AIDS at MSPN-The New Life Centre.

AIDS is a massive problem in Nepal, predominantly passed by fathers to mothers who give birth to HIV/AIDS infected children. These children are discriminated against and banned from attending school.

MSPN caters for up to 18 children born and living with HIV/AIDS, some of whom are already orphaned. They and their caregivers gain not only physical benefits from their stay but they learn to manage their disease, hopefully to live a full and meaningful life. MSPN also promotes HIV awareness and prevention in rural Nepal. Children treated at the centre are typically under 10 years of age and stay an average of 3 months. Food, lodging and medical treatment are provided free of charge. The centre provides emergency treatment, lodging and food to caregivers who are also infected by HIV.

The centre is a charitable organisation that, for its survival, depends on voluntary contributions from humanitarians. Government support is limited to ARV (antiretroviral) treatments. Treatment for additional illnesses acquired due to the heightened susceptibility associated with HIV/AIDS are not subsidized and are extremely expensive. Furthermore, the centre's capacity to provide food and care depends on donations.

Laurel Leak, assisted by Professor Briggs, is dedicated to raising funds to rent a large property to house the children (predominantly orphans) who are unable to return home after treatment. Laurel was especially touched by the plight of Umesh, a 12 year old boy whose role was that of sole carer of two young HIV infected siblings (see photographs). Their mother had already died, he spoke dialect and had been deprived of education. With funding, Laurel was instrumental in enabling Umesh to attend school and live with a normal family.

Ranju Pandey was persuaded to visit Adelaide having been invited to present at a Melbourne conference. She and Laurel will deliver this illustrated talk.


Visual dialogues: An agenda in justice research

Dr Rochelle Woodley-Baker
School of Education

Featuring video interviews from a group of scholars recorded at the recent International Visual Sociology Conference, Brooklyn, New York

Within the social sciences there is increasing interest in the potential of visual methods to capture the subtle and nuanced ways in which people live unequal lives, including the ways in which inequalities and justice are expressed and understood through the media of visual cultures. Visual approaches are both potent and powerfully evocative as they mirror the proliferation of the visual in life and illustrate the complexity of diverse existence. The speed with which visual techniques have been adopted is such that their value for understanding and their potential for challenging, ameliorating or sustaining inequalities remain unclear. At the same time the multi-disciplinary origins of visual methods and their location in distinct, and sometimes contradictory, epistemologies and theoretical traditions, is such that there is considerable debate about their scope and application for research. Considerations include: whether and how the visual might complement existing approaches or constitute a distinct innovative justice research agenda; and questions which are critically connected to social, cultural and political issues. This seminar will examine examples of visual technologies in social research, the capacity for understanding, sustaining and diminishing inequalities and the potential for informing a justice agenda. The focus will be on how, as researchers, we might understand, develop and use visual methods in research and practice, and on research capacity building through the development of a collaborative research group.

Rochelle Woodley-Baker photographs and writes on community life, and has 20 years’ experience in community health, local government and running a social planning consultancy. Her research interests are in the areas of equity in education, social planning and urban and visual sociology. Rochelle is currently working on the School of Education University Aspirations Project.

Dr Tom Short

Emeritus and Murray Koppelman Professor Jerome Krase, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York has published and lectured extensively on urban communities, and has been photographing urban neighborhoods around the world for thirty years. Books include: Self and community in the city, co-author of Ethnicity and machine politics, and co-editor of Race and ethnicity in New York City; The melting pot and beyond, and Ethnic landscapes in an urban world. His most recent book, Seeing cities change (Ashgate, 2012), demonstrates the utility of a visual approach and the study of ordinary streetscapes to document and analyse how the built environment reflects the changing cultural and class identities of neighbourhood residents.

Dr Tom Short

Professor Douglas Harper is Professor of Sociology at Duqnesgne University, Pittsburgh. His research interests, represented in five books published by the University of Chicago Press, include migrant labor, agricultural change and human values, the sociology of the small shop, and family life in contemporary Italy. These books include innovative uses of photography as well as other qualitative methods. Harper has also edited or co-edited four books on visual sociology. He is the founding Editor of Visual Studies, the official journal of the International Visual Sociology Association, now published in the UK by Routledge. His most recent book is Visual Sociology (Routledge, 2012)

Dr Tom Short

Professor Wendy Luttrell is Professor in Urban Education and Social-Personality Psychology, City University of New York. Wendy is a sociologist interested in issues of self and identity formation and transformation in school settings. She has an interest in how gender, race, class and sexuality systems of inequality take root in people’s self-evaluations and actions. Her research, Children framing childhoods, follows 34, low-income children from elementary school to high school, identifying how gender, race and immigrant status are portrayed in their social and emotional worlds.

Dr Tom Short

Professor Vincent O’Brien, Cumbria University UK, uses participatory video, photography and digital communication technologies as part of a community engagement and collaborative research strategy. He established Visible Voice (www.visiblevoice.info) in 2006, a collaborative inquiry into everyday life, health and well being. These projects make use of participatory video and photography to help people identify, prioritise and resolve community issues. He works with NGO’s and international partners helping communities identify, prioritise and resolve issues. The groups make short films and develop photographic exhibits illustrating different aspects of their lives and everyday concerns.

Dr Tom Short

Associate Professor Eric Margolis is a sociologist teaching in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, Arizona State University. His visual ethnography of coal miners was broadcast as Out of the Depths-The Miners' Story, in the PBS series A Walk Through the 20th Century with Bill Moyers. He has published widely on historic photographs and produced a number of visual sociology projects including photo exhibits, multimedia, and video programs, and photo essays for sociology texts. Edited books include: The hidden curriculum in higher education; Blackwell companion to social inequalities; and his most recent project, is featured in the Sage Handbook of Visual Research co-edited with Luc Pauwels was published in May 2011.



Book Launch - Learning life from illness stories

Learning life from illness stories cover

The Hawke Research Institute and the School of Education request the pleasure of your company to celebrate the launch of

Learning life from illness stories
Edited by Dr Peter Willis and Kate Leeson

To be launched by Dr Lynn Arnold AO
Former State Premier, humanitarian, and now student of theological studies

Learning life from illness stories brings together the stories of people who have lived with serious illness, either their own or that of a loved one. The authors share their experiences of pain, grief and despair, and of love, hope, seeking happiness, writing poetry, practising yoga, praying and protesting. This is a book about courage, and finding strength and joy in hard times. It will inspire anyone seeking meaning in the chaos of their own difficult circumstances.




Book Launch - Child protection


Teachers as resource hunters and producers


Friday 31st August

Sue Nichols, Jenni Carter, Christopher Brown

Powerpoint available - click here!

Journal article available - click here!

Providers of teaching resources represent a diverse array of agents including large established publishing corporations, new commercial entrants, commercial arms of governments, open source publishers, professional associations, and educational professionals turned 'webpreneurs'. The research project reported here investigated resource provision and uptake in two phases. In the first phase, online resource sites were viewed and monitored and resource descriptions were analysed. In the second phase, teachers were surveyed about their resource needs, searching strategies, gathering, and use. We discuss how the digital arena fosters permeability and hybridity of commercial and professional identities, resources, and agendas. At the same time, we consider how traditional conceptions of resource provision continue to shape educators’ use of digital resources, limiting attempts to foster interactivity and collaborative resource design in online spaces.




John Sweller Seminar

Cognitive Load Theory: What do we learn - and how do we learn?

Emeritus Professor John Sweller


Thursday 20 July 2012
The Hawke Research Institute and the School of Education co-hosted a lecture by Emeritus Professor John Sweller on Cognitive Load Theory: What do we learn - and how do we learn?

Video available - click here!

Our rapidly progressing knowledge of human cognitive architecture has considerable implications for instructional design. Two categories of knowledge important to instructional design are biologically primary and biologically secondary knowledge. We have evolved to acquire primary knowledge over many generations while secondary knowledge is cultural knowledge that humans have not evolved to acquire. Human cognition when dealing with secondary knowledge constitutes a natural information processing system that has evolved to mimic the architecture of biological evolution. Cognitive load theory uses this architecture to generate a large range of instructional effects concerned with procedures for reducing extraneous working memory load in order to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge in long-term memory. This talk reviewed the theory, summarised some of the effects generated and indicated the instructional implications that flow from the theory.

John Sweller is an Australian educational psychologist from the School of Education, University of New South Wales. He studies cognitive processes and instructional design with specific emphasis on working memory limitations and their consequences for instructional procedures. He is best known for formulating an influential theory of cognitive load. Professor Sweller has a PhD from the University of Adelaide's Department of Psychology and has authored over 135 academic publications, mainly reporting research on cognitive factors in instructional design, with specific emphasis on the instructional implications of working memory limitations and their consequences for instructional procedures. According to the Web of Science, that work has been cited on over 6000 occasions.




ATEA Conference 2012

ATEA 2012 conference flyer  

The 2012 Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA) Conference was successfully held at the Stamford Grand Hotel at Glenelg from Sunday 1 July to Wednesday 4 July. The conference began with a Welcome Reception where both Professors Tania Aspland and Nan Bahr made us laugh a lot! There was wine tasting by Wirra Wirra winery from McLaren Vale and entertainment by folk ensemble Tamarisque. Presentations began on the Monday morning and the conference concluded at lunchtime on Wednesday. Over 140 people presented during that time which was wonderful including a number of first timers! In lieu of a conference dinner delegates enjoyed smaller get togethers at the local pizza bar, and various first class restaurants at the Glenelg Marina. The whole conference was a great success with thanks to everyone involved.

In line with the upcoming Olympic Games the 2012 Conference theme was:
Going for Gold! Reshaping teacher education for the future

The program explored the following topics:
– exploring what’s worked and providing the evidence
– standards, outcomes and assessment
Sustainable practices
– professional learning and leadership
Pathways and Partnerships – what lies ahead for educators?
Technology – working smarter to enhance learning

The following Keynote Speakers began each day events:
Professor Marie Brennan (Victoria University) opened proceedings with Imagineering a future for teacher education in tough times - which was followed by ATEA President Tania Aspland welcoming Marie into the ATEA Halls Fame as an ATEA Research Fellow for her continuing efforts and lifetime commitment to education in Australia.

On Tuesday the day began with a Keynote Symposium with Dr Graeme Hall and Edmund Misson from the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) exploring Quality Teacher Education: More than accreditation

International guest speaker Professor Kay Livingstone (University of Glasgow), presented on the final day of the conference - Teachers' career-long professional learning: Impact and challenges.

Further details can still be found on the ATEA 2012 Conference website




Mohan Chinnappan Seminar

The Need for Conceptual-Procedural Confluence in Mathematics Teacher Knowledge

Professor Mohan Chinnappan
Associate Head of the School of Education (Research)

Friday 4th May
Mohan examined an aspect of mathematics knowledge for teaching by considering the conceptual and procedural character of that knowledge within the domain of fractions. The principal argument was that both dimensions are important to support numeracy but the challenge for classroom teachers and teacher educators is how best to develop this blend of knowledge. Evidence from recent research by Mohan and his colleagues suggest that a microgenetic study of modelling of complex mathematics concepts by beginning and experienced teachers constitutes a productive line of inquiry in unravelling these two related knowledge strands.

Professor Mohan Chinnappan is a K-12 mathematics teacher and teacher educator. He has national and international recognition for his research on mathematics cognition and instruction. His research endeavours have made significant contributions to the scholarship of teaching, and to the mathematics teaching profession. These contributions have been informed and supported by internationally recognised research and consultancy work in Australia and Asia.



Greg Yates Seminar

Your mind as a kluge: Why you believe faulty things and why instruction does not work

Dr Greg Yates
Senior Lecturer, School of Education

Powerpoint available - click here!

Friday 4th May
A kluge is an imperfect resolution brought about through an evolutionary process. Our mental capabilities appear to have evolved kluge-like. This perspective is supported by the wealth of studies (around 1000) into heuristics and biases inherent in human perception and judgement. Kluge theory in part helps to account for why learning is so hard since our species failed to evolve an efficient file transfer protocol. A jocund approach to erudition is offered.

Dr Gregory Yates is an educational psychologist whose major concern is with how people learn, ie skills and knowledge development, especially in educational settings. His emphasis is on a strong research (statistical) foundation crossing areas such as social learning theory, information processing, and a cognitive approach to emotional factors.



Ken Rigby Seminar

How teachers handle cases of bullying in schools: a review and an evaluation

Adjunct Professor Ken Rigby
School of Education

Powerpoint available - click here!
Handout available - click here!
Audio file available - click here!

Friday 25th May
Reports from schoolchildren who have gone to teachers for help after being bullied and also from school records suggest that interventions to stop cases of bullying from continuing have, at best, been only moderately successful. This presentation explores the evidence on the prevalence and effectiveness of alternative ways of addressing cases of bullying. Six major methods in current use are examined and evaluated in the light of relevant research findings. By far the most popular is the use of Direct Sanctions. However, evidence suggests that this approach is generally no more effective than less frequently used strategies, such as restorative practices and non-punitive methods, for example, the Support Group Method and the Method of Shared Concern. It is argued that rather than seek to determine which of the methods is, in general, the most effective, the focus should be on matching the mode of intervention with actual case characteristics. Future research should seek to assist schools by examining outcomes from interventions according to a mix of psychological and social factors that define the nature of particular cases.

Dr Ken Rigby is an ex-school teacher, currently Adjunct Professor (Research) in the School of Education at the University of South Australia. He has published widely in both academic and professional journals, especially on peer victimisation, and is the author of ten books on bullying These include ‘Children and Bullying: How parents and educators can reduce bullying in schools’(2008), ‘Bullying Interventions in Schools: Six basic Approaches’ (2010) and ‘The Method of Shared Concern: a positive approach to bullying in schools’ (2011). He has been employed as consultant and adviser to both Australian State and Federal Education Departments. He has been engaged to speak at many conferences around the world and regularly provides workshops for teachers and counsellors in Australia. His work on school bullying is described at www.kenrigby.net



Activism for Peace: Transforming lives with lessons from Nepal

Dr Chintamani Yogi

Audio file available - click here - this one takes a while to start!!

Dr Chintamani Yogi

February 24th 2012
Dr. Yogi will describe his work as part of the following programs in Nepal and elaborate on his humanitarian vision and goals

Hindu Vidyapeeth-Nepal (HVP) is an educational institute run on a non-profit basis. HVP aims to produce a generation of capable, dynamic, committed and thoughtful individuals who would devote their lives for world peace. HVP emphasizes the development in students of ideals such as love, peace, harmony, tolerance, fraternity and non-violence.

Peace Service Center (Shanti Sewa Ashram) provides programs such as a Children Study Centre, Women Education Centre, Women Training Centre, Seeds of Peace. SSA was founded for the promotion of peace as a reflection of Mr. C.M. Yogi’s effort to bring organizations working in several areas of the society into a common forum.

The Youth Society for Peace was founded by youth and aims at bringing social harmony and transformation by fostering peace in society. It focuses on the younger generation's potential and thus works specifically to promote peace through active participation of youths.

The Children’s Peace Home based in Dang has been serving orphans, war victims, destitute and homeless children of Nepal by providing them with free education, food and accommodation.

Children at school in Nepal Teachers from Nepal

Dr. Yogi is the:

Dr Yogi works with students and youth to develop values that serve humanity



Book Launch - Changing the paradigm: Education as the key to a socially inclusive future

Book cover - Changing the paradigm


Edited by Tom Stehlik & Jan Patterson


Thursday March 1st
Education has long been recognised as the key to addressing intergenerational and social disadvantage, but the notion of a socially inclusive future and changing the paradigm of the established system of schooling in Australia is the particular concern of this book. Authors from academic, policy and practice settings, drawing on the experience of South Australia’s Social Inclusion Initiative School Retention Action Plan, provide examples and ideas for ensuring that the benefits of a quality education system are available to all children and young people in Australia. Contributors include: Peter Bishop, Marie Brennan, Helen Dolan, Phillipa Duigan, Robert Hattam, Katherine Hodgetts, Susanne Koen, Alison Mackinnon, Jillian Miller, Patrick O’Leary, & Simon Robb. With a foreword by Emeritus Professor Alan Reid AM.

Tom Stehlik and his wife Chistobel, Judy Peters, Monsignor David Cappo, Rosie Le Cornu The Hon. Greg Crafter with Prof Alan Reid AM Authors Tom and Jan with Prof Alison MacKinnon

The book is presented in two parts:

The themes running through the chapters include: Chapters include: