Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and Environmental Education Research Group
Re-imagining futures in STEME
Professor Russell Tytler
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.
Dr. Leicha Bragg
Maths Teaching Research Coordinator
Leicha is involved in a joint research project with the University of British Columbia, Canada, exploring posing and adapting rich problems. Leicha, as a member of the Collaborative Reflective Experience and Practice in Education Team, is examining pre-service teachers’ assessment task and online learning through a self-study approach. Her research also focuses on the teaching and learning of mathematical reasoning and the educative use of mathematical games and children’s literature in primary classrooms.
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.
Dr. Zara Ersozlu
Zara’s research area focuses on mathematics and statistics anxiety (primary and secondary) and self-regulation, reflective thinking, technology education, mathematical reasoning and assessment in education. She has worked as a postdoctoral researcher and research fellow in various scientific projects in different countries including the USA and Taiwan. She has been teaching and researching over 15 years in the area of mathematics education as well as quantitative research methodology/data analysis.
Dr. Sandra Herbert
Sandra’s research interests lie in the areas of mathematics curriculum and pedagogy; science curriculum and pedagogy; and educational technology. She has particular expertise in phenomenographic studies. Current research focuses on the teaching and learning of mathematical reasoning and School-based pedagogies and partnerships in primary science teacher education.
Associate Professor Linda Hobbs
Science Teaching Research Coordinator
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.
Associate Professor Peter Hubber
Peter is Associate Professor of Science Education at Deakin University. He spent 22 years in the classroom as a science (Physics) and mathematics teacher before coming to Deakin University in 2000. He has researched and written extensively on student learning in science particularly around the role of representation in reasoning and learning, and pedagogy and teacher and school change. He has a strong record in professional development, working with teachers and schools in local, state and federal initiatives. He has led major professional learning initiatives for the Victorian Government, such as the Switched on Secondary Science Professional Learning (SOSSPL) program and Secondary STEM Catalyst Professional Learning Program. He has had experience in the role of VCE Physics Examiner and Assessor for the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA).
Dr. Wendy Jobling
Wendy’s research interests are in the area of design technology and science from early childhood through to secondary education, with a particular focus on student engagement. Wendy’s current research focus is on how design briefs can enhance learning in science through providing authentic contexts for learning.
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.
Dr. Jude Ocean
Jude is currently working with local schools in Geelong to improve students’ numeracy outcomes. Her recent research in maths education is focussed on authentic learning, supportive relationships and mathematical visualisation. Over the last 20 years, Jude has provided professional development in mathematics to New York City primary and middle schools, and to teachers in Australia, New Zealand and Sweden.
Professor Vaughan Prain
Vaughan has a strong international record in science education research including the role of writing for learning in science, and more recently in how this mode relates to other modes, such as visual, mathematical and embodied modes in constructing understanding of scientific concepts and processes. His current research focus includes the development of STEM education, and how constitutive subjects in this multi-disciplinary approach to curricular renewal can support quality applied learning within and across these disciplines. He is also researching how learning in science can be enhanced by incorporating strategies and approaches used in other subjects, including visual arts. He currently participates in ARC-funded research to reform science education in primary and secondary schools, with a particular focus on schools with low SES profiles.
Dr. Peta White
Peta’s research interests lie in teacher education, with a focus in environmental education or education for sustainability and science education (primary and secondary). She is also interested in critical pedagogy, action orientated methodologies (specifically self-study), positive learning environments (classroom management), student engagement, assessment and evaluation, contemporary qualitative research methodology, and activism in the academy.
Dr. 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. Carly Sawatzki
Carly is interested in how young people become financially capable within families, communities, and schools. She is rapidly gaining national and international recognition for her research, which focuses on the design of financial literacy tasks that reveal how young people think, feel and respond to financial problems. Carly has published in prestigious international journals and led curriculum and research consultancies for Australian government agencies. She is regularly engaged by teacher associations, being recognised as a dynamic, thought-provoking presenter who challenges thinking, promotes critical conversation and inspires innovation. Carly writes for The Conversation and is regularly interviewed by ABC Radio.