The School of Education at Murdoch University has a research culture rich in quality, breadth and depth. Our research is classified by the Australian government’s Excellence in Research in Australia (ERA) as world class. We are one of five disciplines at Murdoch that is ranked among the world’s top 2% of universities on the QS University Rankings.  We are globally connected, with a diverse academic staff and student profile. We publish in leading international journals, our research is widely cited by researchers in Australia and overseas and we collaborate with colleagues all over the world.

Research in Education at Murdoch falls into three categories: research_graphic.pngLearning and Teaching; Curriculum; Contexts and Systems. Common to all of these groupings are three interrelated research themes: wellbeing, equity and innovation.

Our mission is to conduct educational research that benefits a wide range of stakeholders – from students and young people, teachers and school leaders, families and communities, to the labour market and the larger society – and that promotes the ability of all citizens to reach their full potential.

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Click here for information on how to enrol in a research degree and to view the wide range of scholarships on offer for research students (Masters and PhD).

Areas of Research

The School's current areas of research strength are:

Learning and Teaching

This research group comprises researchers who are studying learning and teaching in real-life face-to-face and technology-based learning environments from a broad, multi-dimensional perspective. Our aim is to contribute to a solid, empirically based and ecologically valid foundation for designing environments that optimize high quality learning, motivation and wellbeing, and that embrace innovation to improve educational practice. Guided by social cognitive and sociocultural theories of learning and using multiple research methods, we examine how cognitive, metacognitive, motivational, emotional, social and cultural dimensions interact and co-contribute to productive engagement in learning. Our research spans across age groups and contexts, from early childhood to university, and includes learners and learning processes, teachers and teaching and innovation in diverse contexts. All our empirical work aimed at researching the best ways of facilitating learning is designed and implemented in partnership with educational practitioners. Other significant contributions of our research at the international level are the development of innovative research methodologies to capture, analyze and represent interactive data, and the examination of how established and emerging technologies can enhance the quality of learning.


The curriculum and pedagogy research area delineates a space in which content and pedagogy come together to support successful learning and teaching. Our research in key curriculum areas focuses on innovative pedagogy that fosters higher-order cognitive, social and emotional abilities in young people, preparing them to respond to the challenges of complex, contested and rapidly evolving contexts. Our curriculum and pedagogy research area spans a broad range of research interests and activities with researchers who are currently engaged in a range of national and international research projects. Specific topics of research include:

  • Arts in Education
  • Health and Physical Education
  • Literacy and Society
  • STEM and STEAM
  • Early Childhood Education

Contexts and Systems

This research theme focuses on the systemic and contextual forces that shape educational opportunities, experiences and outcomes. We investigate the educational practices, structures, ideologies and policies that shape educational equity. The role of schooling and its complex interrelationships with larger social, economic, political and cultural forces are also examined. Specific areas of interest include:

  • Schooling in diverse geographic, cultural and national contexts
  • Schooling for diverse groups of students and communities
  • Social justice and equity
  • Educational inequalities
  • Marketisation in education

Please contact Associate Professor Caroline Mansfield Associate Dean Research, for general queries about the School of Education's research strengths and current projects.We also have other opportunities for potential post-graduate research students. Please click here for more information.