School of Education

Amy Claughton

Position: Scholarly Teaching Fellow
Study area: Education
Location: Mt Helen Campus, T Building, Room 301C
Phone: (03) 5327 9254


Master of Education – University of Ballarat - 2009

Bachelor of Arts/ Teaching (Primary) – Deakin University - 2004



  • Bachelor of Education (Primary)


  • Understanding Dis/ability (EDBED 1013)
  • Inclusive Education (EDBED 1014)
  • Differentiating for Diverse Learners (EDBED 2007)
  • Understanding Mental Health and Wellbeing (EDBED 2111)
  • Collaborative Partnerships (EDBED 2112)
  • Technology and Communication for and with Diverse Learners (EDBED 3116)
  • Teaching Students with Complex Needs (EDBED 3113)
  • Working with Challenging Behaviours (EDBED 3114)


Amy is a teaching fellow in Disability Studies in Education at Federation University Australia.  She is a PhD candidate researching play and learning for children with disability.   Amy has experience working as a generalist primary teacher in a mainstream classroom before retraining with into inclusive education. She has worked for several years in a special developmental school.  She uses a play-based learning approach to support children’s expression of their learning.  Currently Amy is working in Initial Teacher Education. She teaches inclusive education at a tertiary level, and is leading the development and implementation of a new disability studies elective stream.  Amy’s research area of interest relates to disability studies in education, children with disability, play and inclusion.

Areas of expertise

Amy is an educational researcher who works within inclusive education. She has a predominate focus on play based learning for children with disabilities.  Amy’s research areas are underpinned by Disability Studies in Education.

Amy's research interests can be slotted into three categories:

(1) Disability Studies

Amy’s research is underpinned by disability studies.  It draws on the theoretical perspective that disability is socially constructed.  Disability studies draws a distinction between and impairment and disability.  Through this construct people are more disabled by society and the barriers (such as policy, place and spaces, and assumptions about ability) that are created.  Amy draws on disability studies to help identify elements in education that empower students to achieve, and also understand components of practice that disengage and exclude.

(2) Childhood and play

Childhood and play as passionate area of research for Amy.  She examines how both childhood and play can be seen as social constructions.  Her research explores how play can be reframed to focus on abilities of children. Children are seen as active learners who exercise agency within their play.  Her PhD focuses on how children with disability demonstrate nuanced and complex play cultures that they construct themselves.

(3) Inclusion

Inclusion features in Amy’s research, and she is passionate about bring inclusion into all areas of education.  She has a focus on research that intersects disability studies and inclusion.  She aims to strengthen inclusion within Initial Teacher Education programs for both Initial Teachers and for children in schools.

Research interests

  • Disability Studies
  • Children with impairments and play
  • Play
  • Inclusive education


Book chapters

Claughton, A. (2017). Approaching play and inclusion. In B. Whitburn and V. Plows (Eds.), Inclusive Education: Making sense of everyday practice. Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers

Claughton, A. (2015). Choosing time: Supporting the play of students with a dis/ability.  In T. Corcoran, J. White & B. Whitburn (Eds.), Disability studies: Education for inclusion (pp. 89-102). Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers


  • Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE)
  • Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA)
  • Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT)