Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and Environmental Education Research Group

Re-imagining futures in STEME

2022 Contemporary Approaches to Research in Mathematics, Science, Health and Environmental Education Symposium

Thursday 24th – Friday 25th November 2022

Blended (online as well as located in-person) Symposium

Register online at CAR Symposium and see the Deakin event page.

Download the Contemporary Approaches to Research Symposium 2022 flyer to share with your colleagues/HDR students.

The CAR Symposium is a highly successful annual event that is now in its 26th year (starting in 1993 to 2005 and again from 2010 to this year). We look forward to many more!

Each year the ‘Contemporary approaches to research (CAR) in mathematics, science, health and environmental education’ symposium focuses on practical and theoretical aspects of a range of research methodologies – such as cross-cultural perspectives, activity theory, capturing complexity, classroom video analysis, quantitative methods, and interviewing – which are discussed in a lively, informal setting.
The symposium in 2022 will focus on practical and theoretical aspects of research methodology (as usual).

The program will include two keynote speakers and themed sessions with short presentations and longer discussion. We do not host concurrent sessions. We all enjoy rich, friendly discussion about each presentation. In 2022 we are hoping to, once again, host the event in person (located) as well as online. This blended offering will be open to all. Registration details are coming soon.

Our Keynote Speakers have been selected to provide challenging perspective on methodology providing insights into new methodological approaches and ontologies. We are pleased to have Professor Ly Tran and Professor Louise Archer as our the Keynotes for 2022 CAR Symposium.

Presentations at the symposium will be grouped into sessions of two to four with similar methodological foci, designed to promote substantive discussion of a methodological issue. Presentations might focus on a) details and settings of the application of a methodology in ways that unpack how the methodology can operate in different contexts, or b) a particular methodological issue, problem, or strategic decision that explores or extends a methodology. The methodological issues should be broadly related to mathematics, science, health, or environmental education. The presentations should provide a grounded practitioner’s perspective.

Presentations will be 15 minutes in duration and should briefly outline the research question being addressed and may include the findings or likely outcomes of the research, but should focus mainly on the research methodology. Reports on work in progress are welcome but the focus is on the methodology.

Following each group of presentations, there will be the opportunity for extended discussion of the focus methodological issue, which may explore different approaches within the methodology (in research design, instruments, theoretical framing, or approaches to analysis), or different methodological approaches to a problem (for instance making sense of teacher practice, or tracking change in learners).

The program starts at 9am and concludes by 5pm each of the two days. We will host an informal book launch of the CAR Book Series at the end of the first day. All are welcome. We will also go for a meal (at own expense) at the end of the first day.

We will offer an opportunity to evaluate this symposium. The link to the online survey will be emailed during the last day of the symposium.

Expression of Interest to Present

The closing date for expressions of interest is Friday 7th October 2022 (extended until the 21st October).

If you are interested in presenting at this symposium please submit your expression of interest using the form below. All submissions will be acknowledged upon receipt and reviewed by mid October. Expressions of Interest to Present form


Presentations are to be a maximum of 15 minutes long (please be respectful by keeping to time). They should briefly outline the research question being addressed and may include the findings or likely outcomes of the research, but should focus mainly on the research methodology. Reports on work in progress are welcome.

You may choose to pre-record presentations (this is essential for all online presenters). The links will be included in the program and the recording will be played on the day. During the presentation the chat feature of Zoom can be used to start the conversations. Questions can be addressed by typing in the chat and in the following discussion. A feature of the CAR Symposium program is the rich and collegial discussion that follows the presentations in the session.


Presentation abstracts are available HERE (alphabetical on first name).

Thursday 24th November 2022

Zoom Link for day. Meeting ID: 837 1789 2697 and Passcode: 16146523

9.15–9.30amSign In and Prepare for the Day if online and arrive at Deakin Downtown if in-person
9.30–9.40amWelcome and Opening RemarksRussell Tytler

Keynote: Using longitudinal mixed methods to investigate science/STEM identity and participation among young people aged 10-23

In this talk, I will draw on insights and data from the 13-year, mixed methods ASPIRES study which has been tracking a cohort of young people from age 10-23 to better understand the factors shaping STEM trajectories. The study has conducted c. 48,000 surveys with young people and has also used repeat interviews with 50 young people and their parents/carers to gain insights into the formation and navigation of educational and occupational trajectories. In this presentation, I focus on some of the methodological affordances and challenges of researching science/STEM identity over time using mixed methods and reflect on implications for conceptualisation and operationalisation of science/STEM identity in research.

View Presentation

Louise Archer is the Karl Mannheim Chair of Sociology of Education at the IOE and is currently the Principal Investigator of a number of large national projects. She directs three large national research projects (ASPIRES 2, Enterprising Science, and Youth Equity & STEM). Louise also co-chairs the Sociology Activity Group.


Chair: Russell Tytler

11–1.05pmWorking with co-researcher/teachersChair: John Cripps Clark
Methodological considerations when positioning teachers as co-researchers in development and implementation of a PBL framework for school-based STEM education View PresentationJen Mansfield and Kathy Smith
Working as a community of inquiry to enact design-based research for science education during ‘challenging times’Melinda Kirk, Joseph Ferguson, and Maria Capsalis
Co-researching in a Design Based Study: Exploring the teacher-researcher collaboration View PresentationAmrita Kamath and Gary Simpson
Affordances of learning to teach mathematics: The case of out-of-field teachers View PresentationJill Brown and Carly Sawatzki
Shifting assessment cultures in science educationPeta White, Russell Tytler, and Shefali Sharma-Wallis
2.05–2.55pmResearch perspectives on climate changeChair: Peta White
Developing a Green Paper for climate change curriculum development View PresentationEfrat Eilam
A critical realist approach to climate change education View PresentationChris Eames and Sally Birdsall
2.55- 3.15pmBreak
3.15–4.05pmThinking about research qualityChair: Joe Ferguson
Putting it out there: Criteria used to evaluate social researchLinda Hobbs and Ann Osman
From pilot to scale: Can scholarly design compete on the free market?Carly Sawatzki and Jill Brown
4.05-5pmBook Launch
Methodological Approaches To STEM Education Research -Volume 3
Book Series – Contemporary Approaches to Research in STEM Education
Editorial Team: Peta, Russell, Joe, and John
5pmClose – let’s go for drinks and dinner (at own cost)

Friday 25th November 2022

Zoom Link for day. Meeting ID: 830 8015 0634 and Passcode: 52201727

8.30–9amSign In and Prepare for the Day if online and arrive at Deakin Downtown if in-person
9–9.10amOpening OrientationCAR Coordinating Committee

Keynote: Cross-cultural issues in ethnographic fieldwork with Australian students learning abroad in the Indo-Pacific region

Australia is one of the countries with the highest rate of learning abroad among its university students. Around one in four (23%) of Australian undergraduate students participated in learning abroad in 2019, compared to 7.4% (UK) and 16% (US) in 2018-2019 and 11% (Canada) in 2017. Of the more than 58,000 student international mobility experiences from across 34 Australian universities, almost half (49%) undertaken by domestic undergraduates were in the Indo-Pacific region, marking a significant shift from traditional Anglophone countries in the Global North to the Indo-Pacific in the Global South as key learning abroad destinations for Australian students. The STEM disciplines have emerged to top the list of the field of learning abroad for Australian students. This presentation focuses on a mixed-method study including policy analysis, in-country fieldwork and observations in the Indo-Pacific, a national survey of 1,371 students and alumni from 40 universities and 298 interviews with stakeholders and with Australian students studying in the Indo-Pacific across three stages: pre-departure, in-country and re-entry. In this presentation, I will discuss the complexities and the learning curve arising from conducting fieldwork in the Indo-Pacific. I will share insights into the negotiation of cross-cultural issues in undertaking ethnographic research in the Indo-Pacific and encountering ethical and professional issues arising from in-country fieldwork. In addition, the presentation addresses the design and implementation of the research entwining with policy issues underpinning the Australian government’s goal of using higher education and student mobility as a tool to enhance its position in the Indo-Pacific. It discusses the nexus between public diplomacy, outbound student mobility and the building of Indo-Pacific capability for the nation.

Ly Tran is a Professor in the School of Education, Deakin University, and an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow. Her research focuses on international education, international students, student mobility, international student graduate employability, the education-migration nexus, Australian students’ learning in the Indo-Pacific region via the New Colombo Plan and staff professional learning in international education. She also undertakes research on higher education, vocational education and graduate employability in Vietnam and China.


Chair: Peta White

10.30–12.10pmMethodologies for probing learningChair: Linda Hobbs
Designing an adaptive expertise video survey instrumentColleen Vale, Lihua Xu, Wanty Wadjaja, Joe Ferguson, Amanda Berry, Jan van Driel, Gahyoung Kim
The Issue-Concept Map (IC map) as an instructional tool for exploring students’ understanding on socioscientific issuesGahyoung Kim and Kongju Mun
On Space and Time – The methodological issues of analysing students’ conceptions of spatio-temporal scales when learning science” View PresentationUrban Eriksson, Jenny Hellgren, Elias Euler, Jennie Lundkvist
Opportunities and challenges with longitudinal study designsRussell Tytler
12.10–1.25pmPost qualitative inquiryChair: Jill Brown
Decentring phenomenologicallyGen Blades
Cooperative inquiry for life View PresentationSandra Wooltorton and Peter Reason
Emergent environmental education inquiry: A methodology of thinking with thingsScott Jukes
2.25–3.40pmArts-based methodologiesChair: Wanty Wadjaja
Problematising STEM Education: Policy analysis and impact in a Victorian context View PresentationAmanda Peters
The partisanship and performativity of creative practice research for EE: Questions around the methodology of editing interviewsCassandra Tytler
Attuning with more-than-human voices: Experimenting with ways to de-privilege humans when refiguring education in uncertain futures View PresentationPeta White, Jo Raphael, and Shelley Hannigan
4-4.50pmMethodologies based on social practicesChair: Lihua Xu
A netnographic exploration into the notion of ‘success’ about out-of-field STEM teachers View presentationMargaret Jakovac
A Prometheus of our times: Watching ‘Benjamin Franklin’ to bridge the gap between Peircean philosophy and the science classroomJoe Ferguson and John Cripps Clark
4.50-5pmClose of CAR 2022 (Evaluation survey)


Register online at CAR Symposium.

Book Series – Contemporary Approaches to Research in STEM Education

All presenters are invited to submit a proposal for a written chapter of 5000 – 7000 words for consideration for publication in the Cambridge Scholars Publishing book series Contemporary Approaches to Research in STEM Education. Proposals for Volume 4 are due on the 7th December 2022. Accepted chapters are due 15th February 2023.

Methodological Approaches to STEM Education Research – Volume 1, 2 and 3 will be showcased at the 2022 CAR Symposium.

CAR Coordinators

Dr. Peta White, Alfred Deakin Professor Russell Tytler, Dr. Joe Ferguson, and Dr. John Cripps Clark

Enquiries: please email Peta White (

Organised by the STEME Education Research Group in conjunction with the Research for Educational Impact (REDI) Centre.

Posted Nov 21, 2021

24 November 2022, 12:00am to 25 November 2022

Deakin Downtown and online