Completed Research Students

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Mr. Brett Healey (2018)

Thesis Title (M.Ed Research): How Children Experience Writing: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Supervisors: Dr Susan Ledger
Current Position: Literacy Coach, Victoria Shanghai Academy; PhD Student, Curtin University
My Research: I sought to examine the ways in which children make sense of their creative writing experience in the classroom through the interpretive lens of phenomenology. I found that children tend to experience a conflict between their imagination which appears as a free flowing intuitive “other world”, and a sense of writing for schooled purposes. This conflict affects the writing behaviours of children as they move between different contexts and genres.


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Dr Helen Dempsey (2017)

Thesis Title (PhD): Career Casual Teachers: Negotiating professional identity in multiple communities of practice

Supervisors: A/Prof Caroline Mansfield and A/Prof Judy MacCallum
Current Position: Part time teaching, School of Education, Murdoch University
My Research:Helen Dempsey’s research focus is early career casual teachers’ negotiation and construction of professional identity. Increasingly early career teachers begin their working lives employed as casual teachers, however there has been limited research conducted with this cohort of teachers. A longitudinal case study approach was used, with data collected through focus groups, in-depth interviews and reflective tasks. Findings highlighted that professional identity was negotiated and constructed through various modes of engagement with personal, school and professional communities. Professional identity was strengthened when teachers had opportunities to develop relationships with students and colleagues which contributed to a sense of belonging to the profession. The findings have broad implications for the profession, especially teacher induction processes and policy regarding teacher registration.



Dr Nicki Rehn (2017)

Thesis Title (EdD): Video-conferencing in rural and remote secondary education in Canada: A mixed-method collective case study of teachers’ perceptions around presence, process and professional learning

Supervisors: A/prof Dorit Maor and A/Prof Andrew McConney
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Education, Ambrose University, Calgary, Canada
My Research: Videoconferencing technology offers an enticing opportunity for distance education providers to optimize the sharing of human resources by connecting geographically distributed teachers and students through real-time, two-way video. I investigated the experiences of eight teachers and their rural secondary students in courses that are delivered synchronously by videoconference.



Dr Neni Mariana (2017)

Thesis Title (EdD): Transforming mathematics problems in Indonesian primary schools by embedding Islamic and Indonesian contexts

Supervisors: Prof Peter Taylor and Dr Susan Ledger
Current Position: Mathematics Lecturer of Primary education Department, Faculty of Education, Surabaya State University, Indonesia
My Research:  The nature of this integrative auto ethnography lies on transformative research, which integrate three different research paradigms (interpretive, critical and post-modern) together.  It combines auto ethnography, ethnography narrative writing and various genres such as poems as methodologies.  The significance of this study is to enable me and educational stakeholders in Indonesia to explore our religious and cultural identity in order to govern our educator who holds religious and cultural identities and am committed to taking action to continue this self-discovery in my professional praxis, as well as to empower others.

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Dr Mariolina Pais Marden (2017)

Thesis Title (PhD): Investigating an Online Community of Second Language Learners Using Design-Based Research

Supervisors: Prof Jan Herrington and Mr Ross Williams
Current Position: Lecturer in Italian, Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts, University of Wollongong
My Research: My doctoral research investigated the development and implementation of an online community of language learners to enable student interaction and collaboration with native speakers of the target language through participation in authentic, real-life tasks. This research study was structured within a four‑phased design‑based research approach, which allowed me to progressively test and refine the learning environment developed through a series of successive iterative implementations, and to develop a new set of design principles to guide the development and implementation of similar learning environments in other second language learning contexts.

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Dr Ani Widayati (2017)

Thesis Title (EdD): Teachers' Professionalism and Continuing Professional Development: The perceptions of Accounting Teachers in Vocational High Schools in Yogyakarta Indonesia

Supervisors: A/Prof Judy MacCallum and Dr Amanda Woods-McConney
My Research: I conducted research on Indonesian vocational teachers’ perceptions of professionalism and continuing professional development (CPD). Employing a qualitative interpretive approach, my research included both certified and uncertified vocational high school (SMK) teachers who might have different views, supports, and constraints concerning their CPD. Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model was used to explore Indonesian vocational education teachers’ perceptions of professionalism and continuing professional development and the environments in which development occurs. The factors found to affect their CPD provide insights into ways to further support vocational teachers’ professional development.

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Mr Craig Butler (2017)

Thesis Title (M.Ed Research): A soldier's journey: An arts-based exploration of identity

Supervisors: A/Prof Judy MacCallum and Dr Chris Glass
My Research: My autoethnographic study used the developing theory of funds of identity as the theoretical framework to analyse seven of my cartoons focus on my military identity. Leveraging the concept of identity regulation, I found that multiple military identities develop throughout a career in response to and tension with the military community of practice’s education and training system and my own identity agency.  This finding has implications for the study of other communities of practice and the identity regulation of its members. It now leads me to begin my Doctoral research of Vocational Education and Training teachers’ attitude towards professional development.

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Dr Virginia Westwood (2017)

Thesis Title (PhD): Critical design for Indigenous language learning: a critical qualitative study of CALL design in an Australian Aboriginal language

Supervisors: Prof Jan Herrington and Mrs Libby Jackson-Barrett
My Research: Over 30 years of Indigenous language continuation efforts have not halted the decline in use of Indigenous languages. This study was seated in collegiate participation with Aboriginal co-researchers and investigated and designed a computer-assisted language learning (CALL) program through critical qualitative inquiry. Theoretical and practical outcomes included a Nyikina language program, a model and guidelines for oral language learning design, and identified an urgent need for postcolonial discourse in the linguistic domain. The question arises of how best to implement these findings in Australia and Indigenous communities globally.

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Dr Rebecca Saunders (2016)

Thesis Title (PhD):Professional development, instructional intelligence and teacher emotions: A Mixed-methods study of a four-year systemic change initiative

Supervisors: A/Prof Andrew McConney and Prof Simone Volet
Current Position: Scholarly Teaching Fellow, School of Education, Murdoch University
My Research: I completed my PhD by publication and published three research papers. My research examined the effects of a long-term systemic change instructional leadership professional development program. In examining effects the study examined the emotional (affective) experiences of teachers and the factors which facilitated or hindered teaches to make changes in their instructional practice and lead change initiatives.