Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and Environmental Education Research Group

Re-imagining futures in STEME


Professor Russell Tytler

STEME Leader

Russell is currently involved in a number of ARC projects involving teacher change and student learning and reasoning through a representation construction inquiry approach. His research focuses on bringing contemporary science practices into the classroom in more authentic ways, through this approach and through linking schools and community scientists. His call for a ‘re-imagining’ of science education has received considerable publicity and support across Australia.

Dr. George Aranda

George is a lecturer in Science Education. Formerly a cognitive neuroscientist, he has worked on video-based research that has examined how science is taught around the world. He is interested in examining how digital/technology education can enhance learning in conjunction with concepts derived from augmented/virtual reality, coding and playing/creating games. George has an interest in STEM, examining how it can be developed to offer more authentic learning experiences.

Associate Professor Jill Brown

Mathematics Teaching Research Coordinator

Jill is internationally recognised for her research in the field of mathematics education. She has an impressive list of publications that focus on mathematical modelling, the teaching and learning of functions, and the use of digital technologies by teachers and students. Her interests include researching the teaching, learning and assessing of real world applications and mathematical modelling, mathematical thinking and reasoning, functions in technology-rich environments, affordances, zone theory, and anything that furthers our understanding of teaching and learning mathematics.

Associate Professor Coral Campbell

Coral’s research interests are in early childhood and primary science, design technology, and environmental education where she particularly focuses on practitioner learning and children’s development of science understandings. She is on the review panels for several international journals and is on the Board of Directors of the Australasian Science Education Research Association.

Dr. John Cripps Clark

John researches STEM education and science communication in Australia, Vanuatu and Korea. He works within cultural-historical activity research framework and coordinates the AARE special interest group and a longrunning reading group. He applies Vygotsky, Leonteiv, Peirce and Engestöm’s work on dual stimulation and activity theory to research in STEM professional development programs; the pedagogy of science communication (in particular digital literacy); off-campus teaching and learning; professional collaboration; the role of video in learning to teach primary science; school gardens as sites of pre-service teacher professional development; and STEM outreach programs (in particular Family Science Games Nights).

Dr. Seamus Delaney

Seamus’ research interests are chemistry education, the incorporation of augmented and virtual reality into teaching and learning, and science education in out-of-school/informal learning contexts. Previously he has designed and evaluated inquiry-focused science experiments for state-wide, large-scale assessments in Switzerland. Seamus is currently involved in an ongoing, international interdisciplinary project with chemistry and education researchers focussed on re-positioning chemistry as the sustainability science through an integrated systems thinking approach.

Professor Linda Hobbs

Linda is working on a project exploring issues around teaching ‘out-of-field’, including teacher identity, support needs, subject-specific knowledge and pedagogy, and boundary crossings. Linda is also working on a research project exploring school-based pedagogies in teacher education.

Dr. Virginia Kinnear

Virginia is a Lecturer in Education (Mathematics Education). She worked as a government solicitor for 10 years before studying and teaching early years Montessori education in the USA. These teaching experiences drew her into mathematics research, and following qualifying and teaching in early childhood education settings in Australia, Virginia taught at universities in South Australia and Tasmania, completing her PhD in early childhood mathematics where she researched young children’s statistical learning and reasoning. Her current research interests include the role of language in mathematics learning, reasoning, learning dispositions, and education policy.

Carly Sawatzki

Dr. Carly Sawatzki

Dr Carly Sawatzki is a teacher educator and educational researcher in Deakin University’s School of Education. She has more than 15 years’ experience working with preservice and practising teachers (including out-of-field and non-specialist teachers of mathematics) across primary and secondary courses. Carly’s work is distinctly “real world” and aims to gently influence the way teachers think about educating young people for active and informed citizenship. She is internationally recognised for her classroom research which explores how young people develop numeracy and financial capability within families, communities, and schools. Carly has led research and curriculum consultancies for Australian, State and Territory education authorities. She is a thought-provoking presenter who draws on educational research to challenge thinking, promote critical conversation, and inspire innovation. To find out more, go to

Associate Professor Peta White

Peta J. White is an associate professor in science and environmental education at Deakin University. She educated in classrooms, coordinated programs, supported curriculum reform, and prepared teachers in jurisdictions across Canada and Australia. Her PhD explored learning to live sustainably as a platform to educate future teachers. Peta continues her commitment to initial teacher education and in-service teacher education through research-informed professional learning programs. Peta’s current research follows three narratives: science and biology education; sustainability, environmental, and climate change education; and collaborative/activist methodologies and embodied research practice. She is committed to share research findings via accessible professional contexts.

Associate Professor Wanty Widjaja

Wanty’s research activity has driven her desire to transform pedagogical approaches in mathematics classrooms as evident in the three major foci – Lesson Study, mathematical reasoning and problem solving, and video-based classroom research. Wanty has adapted ideas of design-based research, hypothetical learning trajectory and Lesson Study to work with teachers and researchers to improve the quality of mathematics teaching and learning. Her current research explores the use of real-world tasks to promote interdisciplinary STEM teaching and lesson study in teacher education.

Dr. Lihua Xu

Lihua’s research activity has been focused upon video-based classroom research and cross-cultural comparative studies. She was involved in a number of ARC projects that investigated curriculum and instructional practices in both science and mathematics classrooms from East Asian and Western countries. Her current research explores innovative ways to improve teacher professional learning in schools and facilitate school change in the area of science education.

Dr. Joe Ferguson

Joe is a Lecturer in Science interested in investigating the various manifestations of reasoning in the science classroom, particularly reasoning of a creative kind. Through video-based methodologies and in-depth exploration of the philosophies and theories that underpin inquiry practices, Joseph seeks to add to efforts to clarify what it means for teachers and students to enact inquiry in the classroom. As an environmental educator often working beyond the confines of the traditional classroom, Joseph strives in his daily living and teaching to enact the types of relationships with the natural and human worlds that he supports his students to work towards in this challenging age of the Anthropocene.

Dr. Aylie Davidson

Dr Aylie Davidson is an experienced teacher educator and educational researcher who is committed to improving educational outcomes in children and young people, with a particular interest in mathematics. Aylie is recognised for her research in mathematics planning. Her ongoing work  with schools examines ways to help teachers work together to build their confidence and capability to teach mathematics and plan learning sequences and experiences that involve innovative pedagogies. Aylie is regularly engaged by teacher associations and school networks, being recognised as an educator who is able to translate research into practice in meaningful ways that inspires innovation and positively impacts student learning and engagement. Aylie writes for academic, teacher and preservice teacher audiences. 

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