PeCALE current research

Title: Possible Me: Inspiring Learning with World of Work Experience.

Investigators: Anna Fletcher (CI), Margaret Plunkett, Cheryl Glowrey, Stuart Levy & Monica Green

Description: Federation University Australia in partnership with the Latrobe Valley Authority undertook a Literature Review framed to address a specific focus: What elements and frequency of World of Work experiences inspire young people's purpose for learning?

Research aim:

  • establish an evidence base, derived from a rigorous review of both policy and peer-reviewed research literature in the World of Work (WoW) field
  • provide a warrant, from the evidence base, for explicitly targeted work to be undertaken in this field
  • apply the evidence base to a) guide future initiatives and b) evaluate the impact of WoW initiatives

Title: Pre-service teacher perceptions of LANTITE (Literacy and Numeracy Tests for Initial Teacher Education)

Investigators: Jenene Burke, Peter Sellings, and Naomi Nelson

Description: This project seeks to collect student perceptions of their experience of a recently introduced national testing system for initial teacher education candidates known as LANTITE (Literacy and Numeracy Testing: Initial Teacher Education). It will explore the feelings and beliefs of these pre-service teachers in relation to this test and what effect it has had on their thoughts towards their university studies and the teaching profession. Stage one of this project will survey participants through an electronic survey with questions relating to their experiences, feelings and beliefs in relation to the LANTITE (Literacy and Numeracy Testing: Initial Teacher Education). Stage two of this project will interview a group of participants to gain further insight into survey responses in stage one. The data obtained from the two stages of the project will be used to explore the following key research questions:
1. What experiences did students have when undertaking the LANTITE (Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education)
2. What do students think of the introduction of the LANTITE (Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education).

Title: An exploration of international students’ online learning experience during COVID-19.

Investigators: Melania Pantelich, Mick Barrow, Dr Swapnali Gazula

This research project is designed to give international students and students from non-English speaking backgrounds an opportunity to share their experiences of online learning. Due to the restrictions on face-to-face teaching that were introduced as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, all tertiary students have had to adjust rapidly to a mode of teaching that they did not expect to be undertaking when they commenced their studies. While this has presented difficulties for all students, there is a possibility that international students and students from non-English speaking backgrounds may have been disadvantaged differently from domestic students and students from English-speaking backgrounds.

We anticipate potential that causes for this difference due to:

  • unequal English language skills across all four dimensions (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening), which will not be the same for students from all countries or backgrounds
  • the range of educational styles that students bring to the classroom, which may or may not align with the demand for self-directed learning expected in Australia
  • unfamiliarity with technological demands of online study; and
  • insecurity with housing and finances

Our study hopes to explore the student experience and use the findings to inform future online class design and delivery.  Participants will be asked to complete a survey developed by the researchers, as well as a validated tool (The Online Student Connectedness Survey, Bolliger & Inan, 2012).

Title: Navigating changing times: Exploring teacher educator embodied experiences of resilience

Investigators: Lisa Pappatrainaou (CDU); Caroline Mansfield (Notre Dame); Sharon McDonough (Federation University Australia); Denise Beutel (QUT)

Description: This is part two of a project that was awarded a AARE Strategic Research Grant in 2018 and includes a survey where we are inviting teacher educators to share their experiences of their work. This survey is divided into 3 sections with questions relating to:

  • Section 1: Your professional background
  • Section 2: Ten brief statements about your work
  • Section 3: A ‘situation that has stayed with you’ either sustaining or challenging.

Title: Teaching during a Pandemic: The impact of COVID-19 on teacher work and workload

Researchers: Sharon McDonough (Federation University Australia) and Narelle Lemon (Swinburne University of Technology)

Description: This project explores how in-service teachers are addressing the challenges of teaching in remote, flexible and blended modes during the COVID-19 pandemic and the coping strategies they are drawing upon in this context. The project seeks to identify what challenges and supports teachers identify in teaching remotely or in blended mode during a pandemic and the impact of this on their work and workload.

There are four key questions addressed in this project:

  • How has teachers work changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • What are the challenges that teachers are experiencing in teaching in remote and blended forms during the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • What impact has COVID-19 had on teacher workload?
  • What resources and supports do teachers call on to navigate the challenges of  teaching in this context?

Title: Science education beyond the classroom: pre-service teacher views and reflections

Investigators: Dr Monica Green & Dr Hongming Ma

Aim: The aims of the project include:

To explore pre-service teacher views and attitudes about teaching science beyond the classroom; To examine how a university–school partnership enables the reshaping of science teaching in schools; To determine how a university–school partnership enable pedagogical possibilities for science teacher education; To identify the contribution of a university–school partnership for supporting science teacher education and science teaching pedagogies in outdoor settings.

Title: Thinking in senior secondary mathematics: a case study of probability

Investigators: Heather Ernst, A/Prof Margaret Plunkett and Dr Peter Sellings

Aim: The key research aim of this project is to explore the Victorian senior secondary mathematics curriculum in the area of Probability. In 2016 the VCE mathematics curriculum was modified to align with the Australian curriculum. The changes include: increased content in the Probability area of study and changes in assessment tasks in the school-based and written examinations. This project aims to investigate the implementation of this curriculum from the perspectives of the levels of thinking and reasoning in the formal written curriculum, the implemented curriculum of the teachers and the attained curriculum of the students.

Research grants

2019. La Trobe Valley Authority ($30,000). Broadening Horizons: Modelling for the Future Interim Business (Strategic) Plan 2020-2025. Damian Morgan, Shoaib Riaz, Sisira Colombage, Anna Fletcher, Christina Lee, Leigh Kennedy and Claire McLachlan.

2019-2020. Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) ($265,087) for “Data, knowledge, action: Exploring sustained shared thinking to deepen young children’s learning”, with Tara McLaughlin, Karyn Aspden, Massey University, Sue Cherrington, Victoria University of Wellington, Claire McLachlan, Federation University and the Ruahine Kindergarten Association.

2018-2019. Teacher Led Innovation Fund ($106,856) for “Data, knowledge, action: A teacher-led inquiry into data-informed teaching in early childhood education”, with Lynda Hunt, Ruahine Kindergarten Association, Tara McLaughlin and Karyn Aspden, Massey University, Sue Cherrington, Victoria University of Wellington and Claire McLachlan, Federation University.