Research at our core

Research underpins all of the work of the School of Education at Murdoch University. It is a strategic component of the School’s identity, and is a core value out of which the School acts.

The School of Education has an established track record in relation to translational research including research that informs practice and policy, generates new knowledge, and is in service to the diverse communities we serve. The research environment within the School is maintained through the energy and dedication of staff, and strong national and international links that results in consistent high-quality collaborations and outputs. Staff are regularly asked to provide keynotes at international and national conferences and contribute to competitive research grants, reflecting expertise and prestige.

In addition, the School has an outstanding reputation for providing research training to HDR students with high levels of completions thereby building both a new generation of researchers, further reflecting the culture and environment where research is a collective priority. In these ways, the School’s educational research is seen as contributing to a secure future. 

    Securing our future

    As a society, we are faced with dynamic changes including health, social, environmental, and economic challenges that impact on our ability to lead global ‘connected’ lives that are fulfilling and have meaning. The so-called ‘wicked problems’ that we face require trans-disciplinary approaches that go beyond one place, group, or discipline. This brings a series of challenges we are engaged with and committed to working on with key stakeholders and with our local and broader communities.

    Our research predominantly focuses on improving educational and learning opportunities—hence life experiences—and the ways in which individuals and their communities can engage in these opportunities facilitating the ability to ‘thrive’ in times of uncertainty and hyper-complexity. 

    Through our research, we examine aspects of teaching and learning and pursue opportunities to provide contemporary solutions through our research:

    • Equity in Education, identifying, responding to and countering issues stemming from a lack access, responsiveness, capacity and/or provision for children and young people 
    • Diversity of students, teaching work forces and of our communities 
    • Impact through our ability to make a difference for children and young people’s engagement, performance and learning outcomes, to their communities and society. 

    We approach this through educational research in the following ways: 

    • Undertake educational research that is translational in nature, building knowledge, improving practice, informing policy 
    • Engage in research collaborations, partnerships and affiliations, to extend the reach of our research, to broaden the knowledge that we draw on and enhance our research through interdisciplinary expertise 
    • Prioritise quality research through research training, research supervision and contributions to research through service to research activities within and beyond Murdoch University

    This work is underpinned and guided by the following principles and beliefs: 

    • Commitment to rigorous, high-quality research practice 
    • Social justice, equity and making a difference 
    • Building research funds of knowledge 
    • Conducting research of consequence 
    • Continual knowledge transfer

    Research projects

    Associate Professor Peter Wright, Dr Sian Chapman, Dr Sandra Hesterman, Dr Audrey Fernandez-Satar, Dr Barbara Hostalek, Dr Janene Sproul, Auntie Marie Taylor and Associate Professor Wendy Cumming-Potvin 

    Research conducted in conjunction with the Western Australian Maritime Museum 

    Funding: Murdoch University, Vice Chancellor’s Small Steps of Innovation Funding Program

    Dr Sian Chapman 
    Associate Professor Peter Wright 

    Dr Veronica Gardiner and Dr Chad Morrison 

    Associate Professor Peter Whipp, Dr Sian Chapman, Dr Helen Dempsey, Dr Silvia Dewiyanti, Wade Ellis, Dr Veronica Gardiner, Rachael Kostusik, Dr Chad Morrison, Dr Natasha Rappa and Ellin Sears
    Professor Laura Perry 
    Professor Laura Perry 

    Dr Jane Merewether 

    Associate Professor Peter Wright

    Associate Professor Peter Whipp, Nina Rovis-Hermann and Professor Laura Perry


    Dr Chad Morrison, Dr Alison Hilton, Kathryn Dehle and Sandi Fielder

    Associate Professor Peter Whipp, Dr Sian Chapman, Dr Helen Dempsey, Dr Veronica Gardiner, Dr Chad Morrison and Dr Natasha Rappa

    Dr Veronica Gardiner and Associate Professor Wendy Cumming-Potvin 

    Dr Sian Chapman 

    Associate Professor Peter Wright 

    Research undertaking in collaboration with BIG hART 

    Professor Laura Perry 

    Dr Chad Morrison, Kathryn Dehle, Dr Helen Dempsey, Sandi Fielder, Dr Veronica Gardiner and Dr Natasha Rappa 

    Dr Jane Merewether
    Associate Professor Peter Whipp, Dr Sian Chapman, Tania Corbett, Jen Featch, Dr Veronica Gardiner, Associate Professor Wendy Cumming-Potvin, Dr Chad Morrison, Paul Murphy and Dr Audrey Fernandes-Satar 
    Professor Laura Perry 

    Associate Professor Wendy Cumming-Potvin 

    Funding: Social Sciences Humanities and Research Council (Canadian Government) 

    Sandi Fielder (HDR student researcher) 

    Dr Helen Dempsey and Jen Featch 

    Dr Sian Chapman, Dr Alison Hilton, Dr Kirsten Lambert, Dr Genevieve McSporran, Associate Professor Peter Wright and Associate Professor Wendy Cumming-Potvin

    Associate Professor Wendy Cumming-Potvin 

    Funding: Curtin University 

    Associate Professor Peter Wright 

    Research undertaking in collaboration with BIG hART 

    Dr Helen Dempsey and Dr Bruce Hilliard 

    Nina Rovis-Hermann (HDR student researcher) 

    Dr Alison Hilton and Dr Rebecca Saunders

    Dr Genevieve McSporran, Dr Sian Chapman, Nina Rovis-Hermann and Dr Alison Hilton 

    Research conducted in collaboration with Yogazeit