Research

Educational research

The School of Education offers a wide range of research expertise to the community building on existing understandings of learning and providing contemporary evidence-based approaches to new methodologies and pedagogies which enhance education outcomes.

Our team has strong local and international partnerships with the Department for Education (DFE), the International Positive Psychology Association, Globalex lexicographical association, the Higher Education Research Group of Adelaide, the Australian Council for Educational Leaders, the Australian College of Educators, The South Australian Science Teachers Association and the OECD. At any point in time, we have over 100 students doing research at masters or higher level engaging in some of the most challenging issues of our time.


Our research strengths

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  • Wellbeing

    We focus on evidence-based approaches to enhance student and teacher wellbeing across primary years, middle years, secondary years and the tertiary sector.

    Researchers across the school are focused on:

    • Student wellbeing, wellbeing education, and positive education.
    • Teacher and leader’s wellbeing.
    • Character education.

    Our research groups and colleagues working in this area

    • Enhancing Educational Outcomes Research Group
    • Christ’s College, Canterbury, New Zealand
    • Upper Canada College, Toronto, Canada
    • TecMilenio University, Monterrey, Mexico
    • International Boys School Coalition (IBSC)
    • Positive Education Schools Association (PESA)
    • International Positive Education Network (IPEN)
    • Children’s Hospital Education Research Institute (CHERI), The Children’s Hospital at Westmead
    • Catholic Education South Australia (CESA) 

    Lead researchers

  • Leadership

    We research how educational leaders build positive learning and wellbeing cultures. We study effective educational leadership, management and governance processes across primary, middle, and secondary years and the tertiary sector.

    Researchers across the school are focused on:

    • How leadership responds to challenges.
    • How leadership can build strong teams.
    • How to lead positive teams and demonstrate impact as a leader.
    • How to lead positive approaches to change.

    Our research groups and colleagues working in this area

    Lead researchers

  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

    The ability to critique developments in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is essential for education in the 21st Century. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) focuses on contemporary trends and developments in research in STEM education and asks how the humanities contribute to this area.

    Researchers across the school are focused on:

    • How can STEM be incorporated into Schools?
    • How can we measure the success of STEM in schools?
    • What are the characteristics of a strong STEM education?

    Our research groups and colleagues working in this area

    Lead researchers

  • Indigenous and international perspectives

    We focus on strategies to understand and teach International and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Our research recognises and supports diversity in learning and teaching and supports the equitable and ongoing participation of all students by engaging in collaborative relationships with the community. Our international perspective allows us to study in depth the cultures, language and general diversity of 21st century students.

    Researchers across the school are focused on:

    • The role of international diversity in learning and teaching.
    • Promoting reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
    • How to engage international students in a broad learning community.
    • Exploring diversity and enhancing outcomes for all student.
    • How language affects learning and teaching?

    Our research groups and colleagues working in this area

    Lead researchers

  • Digital futures

    Our own research on digital teaching and learning underpins our understanding of technology for enhancing the student experience.

    Researchers across the school are focused on:

    • How can technology be best incorporated into Schools?
    • What are the roles of mobile devices and applications in learning?
    • How will new technologies such as augmented and virtual realities be used in education?

    Our research groups and colleagues working in this area

    Lead researchers

  • Higher education

    Our investigations into student culture and language use enable us to promote a more equitable higher education experience for a wide range of students.

    Researchers across the school are focused on:

    • What are the best strategies for teaching and learning in the 21st century in higher education?
    • Developing professionals.
    • Lifelong learning.
    • What is the role of technology in higher education?

    Our research groups and colleagues working in this area

    Lead researchers

  • Assessment, measurement and evaluation

    Assessment, measurement and evaluation are fundamental to educational outcomes. The associated research methods provide information growth, comparison and modelling area.

    Researchers across the school are focused on:

    • How can sophisticated measurement techniques enable evaluation of school-based outcomes?
    • What are the most effective methods of assessment?
    • What are the best methods of evaluating outcomes?
    • What is the role of standardised testing in Schools?

    Our research groups and colleagues working in this area 

    Lead researchers


Our research groups

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  • Educational Environments Research Group

    The Learning Environments group investigates issues of culture, language, equity, diversity and inclusion in the areas of teaching and learning. Our aim is to enhance the educational experience of the broader community, including those involved in schools and higher education institutions, as well as other stakeholders. 

    The group focuses on topics including assessment, measurement and evaluation; governance, leadership and management; character and wellbeing education.

    We are currently engaging in a longitudinal study on Inclusive Education for Refugees funded by the Spencer Foundation.

    Team leader: Julia Miller

    Research team

    Students

    • Ursula McGowan
    • Shila Panadgoo
    • Ha Thi Ngoc Tran
    • Andrew Kemp
    • Julie Hayford
    • Chido Alozie
    • Adele Feakes
  • Enhancing Educational Outcomes Research Group

    The Enhancing Educational Outcomes group is a transdisciplinary team undertaking research projects on evidence-based approaches that can be used to have a positive impact on education and narrowing the gap in contemporary and emerging topics in education.

    The group focuses on topics including assessment, measurement and evaluation; governance, leadership and management; character and wellbeing education.

    The group has been researching assessment using fully immersive virtual reality scenarios and has recently ended the first stage of a project in this area with the Australian Government. We are also underway in a 5-year consultancy with the OECD on wellbeing.

    Team Leader: Assoc. Prof Mathew White

    Research team

    Students

    • Bo Cui
    • Shaun Oakey
    • Stella Panozzo
    • Steve Cook
    • Richard Burton
    • David Isaacson

    Partnerships

    • OECD
    • Australian Government
    • School of Psychology, University of Adelaide
    • School of Computer Science, University of Adelaide

Interested in undertaking a postgraduate research degree with us?

We offer exciting opportunities for researchers at the honours, masters and PhD levels. Our research degrees are open to students from a broad range of backgrounds. If you are interested in education, consider furthering your research career with us.

Master of Philosophy

The Master of Philosophy is offered in every faculty as the primary research master’s degree available to prospective research students, and is conducted over two years of full-time study. It will train you in research methodology and techniques, and engage you in advanced, critical evaluation of literature and results.

Master of Teaching

The Master of Teaching provides an introduction to education-based research for candidates who wish to work as practicing teachers in Australia. The key aim of the program is to train experienced teachers with an emphasis on research approaches to enhance that qualification.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is our flagship research award and is the standard qualification for a research career or academic position. It is a stepping stone to a range of career opportunities and involves three to four years of research for a full-time candidate.


Ready to take the next step?

You’ll find full admission requirements for each of these degrees in the University’s Graduate Centre Academic Program Rules.

Then, to apply for one of our higher degrees by research, visit the Adelaide Graduate Centre

Admission application process