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Out at School: Verbatim Theatre for Social Justice Teacher Education The Experiences of LGBTQ + Families at School with Professor Tara Goldstein

Dean's Keynote Seminar series 8 May 2024

Join education researcher, playwright and teacher educator for a reading and discussion of Out at School, ​a verbatim play script based on 37 interviews conducted in the LGBTQ Families Speak Out research project (2014-2020).  Out at School is now available as an audio-play on popular podcast platforms and can be used by teacher educators at Southern Cross in their own classrooms.



Tara Goldstein’s teaching and research program at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education, University of Toronto, focuses on gender, sexuality and schooling, verbatim theatre and archival research. The findings from her recent research project The Experiences of LGBTQ Families in Ontario Schools are shared on her website www.lgbtqfamiliesspeakout.ca and in her books Teaching Gender and Sexuality at School: Letters to Teachers (Routledge/Taylor and Francis, 2019) and Our Children are Your Students:  LGBTQ Students Speak Out (Myers Education Press, 2021), winner of a 2022 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Award and 2023 Society of Professors of Education Outstanding Book Award.


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What does the meta-literature suggest needs disrupting and transforming with Laureate Professor John Hattie

Dean's Keynote Seminar series 6 March 2024

The session will outline the major messages from the synthesis of 2,400 meta-analyses, leading to outlining some key disruptions needed in our current schooling model.



John Hattie is Emeritus Laureate Professor at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne, Chief Academic Advisor for Corwin, i-Ready Technical Advisor, past Board chair of AITSL, and co-director of the Hattie Family Foundation.  His Visible Learning research is based on ¼ billion students and he continues to update this research (with the recent Sequel).  He has published and presented over 1000 papers, supervised 220 theses students, and 70 books – including 40 on Visible Learning.


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Extended Education – what is it? Where does it fit? with Dr Jennifer Cartmel

EYRL Seminar series 12 February 2024

Extended education represents a multitude of programs/activities/offerings, among other things, that provide children with a range of supervised activities designed to encourage



Extended education represents a multitude of programs/activities/offerings, among other things, that provide children with a range of supervised activities designed to encourage wellbeing, learning and development. Some of them pursue general goals, such as psychological well-being and social competence, others focus on specific educational outcomes and goals. They also are linked to the society’s need to provide care for children while parents are working and to create community links between generations.
In this session Jennifer will share some of the national and international research in which she is contributing to deepen understanding about the programs that are grouped under the banner of extended education including out of school care services and intergenerational programs.


Associate Professor Jennifer Cartmel is a member of the School of Health Sciences and Social Work at Griffith University. She has been involved in a wide range of research projects focussing on children’s social and emotional learning and the workforce in children's services including child care settings and human service organisations. Her research interests include the role of critical reflection in the development of professional competencies, the interaction between educators and children in group settings, intergenerational practice and the many facets of outside school hours care services. She is an executive member of the World Education Research Association Task Force Global Research on Extended Education. Jennifer is associate editor for the International Journal of Playwork Practice and on the editorial boards of the International Journal for Research on Extended Education and Journal of Social Inclusion.


Banner of the Early Years Research Lab seminar Annette Henderson

Identifying the roots of social competence by examining the factors that shape the development of prosocial behaviour across infancy and early childhood with Dr Annette Henderson

EYRL Seminar series 6 November 2023

Helping, sharing, and working together with others are critical for surviving and thriving in human societies; yet humans vary in their prosocial inclinations and, as a result, prosocial behaviours are difficult to sustain. Why are some people more likely to be prosocial than others? In this talk, I will present findings from.... 


an eight data collection wave longitudinal study looking at the development of prosocial behaviour from infancy through to early childhood. I will conclude with a brief discussion of this work and why it is important that researchers use diverse methods to assess key markers of social competence, such as helping, sharing and cooperation.     


Dr. Annette Henderson is an Associate Professor and Rutherford Discovery Fellow in the School of Psychology at the University of Auckland. She is a developmental scientist whose research examines the development of prosocial behaviour (e.g., cooperation) in early childhood with the ultimate goal of understanding how and why people are (or are not) prosocial. Dr. Henderson is the director of the Early Learning Lab (ELLA) where thousands of families have come to participate in studies on social, language and cognitive development in early childhood. Dr. Henderson also enjoys her contributions as an early childhood advisor for the socioemotional domain of the Growing Up in New Zealand study and on cooperation and developmental science for the company, Soul Machines.

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Material and embodied perspectives on STEM learning: Supporting students and teachers with Professor Russell Tytler

Dean's Keynote series 1 November 2023

There has been continuing interest in the multimodal nature of learning in science, including the embodied and material nature of scientific epistemic practices central to both discovery processes and classroom learning. This is a refreshing departure from traditional cognitivist approaches which tend to focus on abstract concepts without paying due regard to the semiotic processes central to reasoning and learning. 


While research into the need for multiple modes as part of the discursive language practices of science, and emerging research into how teachers can support student learning through construction and refinement of multiple representations, there is a lack of attention to exactly how students construct meaning across multi-modal representations, and how teachers can support this. Kress coined the term ‘transduction’ to describe how meaning shifts and is coordinated across modes.

In this presentation I will review a number of classroom studies we have conducted into the nature of students’ transduction across modes for learning, for students across the age span 6-12 years. We argue that transduction involves establishing correspondence and coherence across representations. We use Peircean semiotic analysis to describe the fundamental challenges for students, and the ways teachers support these transductive moves to support meaning making. We argue the transduction construct is powerful for opening up fresh insights into the nature of learning in science, and how teachers can support this.


Professor Russell Tytler is Alfred Deakin Professor of Science Education at Deakin University. He researches student reasoning and learning through the multimodal languages of science, socio scientific issues and reasoning, school-community partnerships, and STEM curriculum policy and practice. He is widely published and has led a range of research projects, including current STEM projects investigating a guided inquiry pedagogy for interdisciplinary mathematics and science, and representing contemporary science R&D in schools to support an informed Climate Change Education. He is a member of the Science Expert Group for PISA 2015 and 2025.

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The possibilities of thinking comprehensively about schooling and school improvement with Laureate Professor Jenny Gore

Dean's Keynote series 27 October 2023

Professor Gore will draw on decades of her own work in teaching and teacher education to argue for thinking comprehensively about schooling and school improvement if substantial gains are to be made. She identifies four areas where current policy reforms are, arguably, overly simplistic and builds the case for:


  • a comprehensive model of pedagogy that deepens our view and understanding of pedagogy;
  • a comprehensive approach to teacher development that addresses substantive, structural and relational matters;
  • a comprehensive approach to the teaching workforce that takes account of recruitment, initial teacher education, induction, recognition, leadership, casuals teachers; and
  • a comprehensive approach to research and evidence.


Laureate Professor Jenny Gore is a leader in education in Australia and internationally. Jenny has significant experience and expertise in educational research and leadership. Jenny was Dean of Education and Head of School at the University of Newcastle from 2008 to 2013 and is currently leading a number of major research projects with her colleagues at the University of Newcastle as Director of the Teachers and Teaching Research Centre. With more than $33 million in external funding since 1992, Jenny’s research is driven by the notion that all children should experience high quality teaching. Her ongoing work with colleagues on Quality Teaching and Quality Teaching Rounds over the last decade has shown how this framework can effectively support teacher professional development, increase teacher satisfaction, enhance teaching quality in schools, and improve student achievement while narrowing equity gaps.


Emeritus Professor Maggie MacLure

Something comes through or it doesn’t”: Some thoughts on the status of reading in postfoundational inquiry: Emeritus Professor Maggie MacLure

SEAE seminar series 4 October 2023

I have been thinking recently about how reading works, or could work, in post-qualitative or post-foundational research. How does the book engage life and possibility? The library is, after all, lifeless until we begin to trace a path through it. 



The path establishes a territory. It animates thought through the connections that it affords: with other texts, with inchoate ideas, with matter, with memories. To read in this mode is to construct an assemblage. Deleuze recalls an exchange between Jung and Freud, in which Jung related a dream of walking through an ossuary. While Freud insistently focuses on what a single bone would “mean” within the Oedipal logic of analysis, Jung insists on the significance of the ossuary as a multiplicity, through which desire flows. The real question, Deleuze asserts, is this: “Where does my desire pass among these thousand cracks, these thousand bones?” (Deleuze, 1996; emphasis added). The path that is carved through the library in reading for research can be understood, I think, in similar terms: as a passage among a thousand possible cracks, a thousand books, a thousand connections. We cannot entirely predict or control the path, and we never simply choose it: the adventure of reading, like that of thinking, relies on the conjoint operation of necessity and chance if it is to produce something new. I look back on some ways that reading has infused and infected my research over the decades.


Maggie MacLure is Professor Emerita in the Faculty of Health and Education, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. Her interests include theory and methodology in qualitative inquiry, and early childhood research. She is Founder-Director of the international Summer Institute in Qualitative Research.

Professor Tricia Eadie

Strengthening Children’s Learning through Quality Interactions: Professor Tricia Eadie

Dean's Keynote series 21 September 2023

This presentation will explore the importance of educator-child interactions and the ways they strengthen children’s learning, drawing on research conducted in Australian communities. 



Early childhood education and care programs offer Australian communities the promise of universal and equitable access to early education programs and optimal learning and development for all children. To realise this potential, education in the early years needs to be responsive to community contexts and be built around evidence-based teaching strategies. Importantly, research demonstrates that educator-child interactions occurring within high-quality play-based learning experiences have the greatest impact on overall program quality and children’s learning outcomes.


Professor Tricia Eadie is the Director of the REEaCh Centre (Research in Effective Education in Early Childhood) in the Faculty of Education at the University of Melbourne. Tricia’s research focuses on better understanding the evidence‐based learning experiences and intentional teaching practices which most influence children’s developmental outcomes. Tricia’s work includes projects that monitor children's developmental pathways, the use of observational tools to understand adult‐child interactions, and development and evaluation of professional learning programs for early childhood teachers. Tricia is currently leading the EDGE Study – a research project building evidence on the impact of two years of universal, funded kindergarten on children’s outcomes in Victoria and on how to achieve an equitable and impactful early childhood system in Australia.


Contemporary play-literacy and explicit phonics instruction in Australian Preschools

Contemporary play-literacy and explicit phonics instruction in Australian Preschools with Dr Stacey Campbell

EYRL seminar series 7 August 2023 - 3pm

Early Years Research Lab: Bridging education gaps, promoting quality ECEC,
and positive outcomes for young children. #EducationResearch

Karen Thorpe

Laureate Professor Karen Thorpe: Do we really know what high quality ECEC means? 

Dean's Keynote series 5 June 2023

In this presentation, Professor Thorpe will unpack current understanding, and gaps in understanding, in defining what constitutes quality in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC).

Current policy and academic writing refers to “high quality” ECEC ad nauseum , yet the reality is that current research only partially defines ECEC quality. Despite well-known examples showing the long reach of ECEC in child outcomes, most population level research has been poor in predicting child development outcomes. Intervention studies that train educators to match their behaviours to global definitions of quality have succeeded in changing pedagogical practice but had negligible effect on children’s development.

Professor Thorpe will provide evidence from my two decades of research , including large scale longitudinal studies, that challenge current measurement approaches in assessing ECEC quality, examine the causes of educational inequity in ECEC and place focus on support of the ECEC workforce.

Debra Hayes

Professor Debra Hayes: Everything, everywhere, all at once: challenges facing educators taking climate action

Dean's Keynote series 11th May 2023

Recently, the UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, stated in response to the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: 

This report is a clarion call to...

massively fast-track climate efforts by every country and every sector and on every timeframe. Our world needs climate action on all fronts: everything, everywhere, all at once. 

Teachers play a critical role in these efforts by supporting school students and their communities to prepare, respond, and recover from the disruptive impact of more regular extreme weather events.

What kinds of learning experiences prepare future (and current) teachers to engage in this type of action: to solve complex problems in dynamic contexts; to deploy a repertoire of professional practices, related to pedagogy, assessment, and leading teams, and; to be empathetic, compassionate, and hopeful in times of crisis.  

In this address, Deb Hayes reflects on some of the challenges facing educators who want to respond to climate action.   


Debra Hayes is an educator, and educational researcher committed to equity and education. She is a Professor and the Head of the University of Sydney School of Education and Social Work. Her recent co-authored books are Great Mistakes in Education Policy. And how to avoid them in the future (Policy Press, 2021) with Ruth Lupton; and Jean Blackburn. Education, feminism and social justice (MUP,2019) with Craig Campbell. 


Dr Jayne Osgood: Adventures requiring care and recklessness: a playful archive

SEAE seminar series 3rd May 2023

This paper offers a Playful Archive which t(h)reads a path through research undertaken in childhood studies over the past decade that insist uncertainty, speculation, and curiosity displace conventions that rest upon a search for knowability, linearity and solutions. The intention is for this Playful Archive to...

weave the promise of post-foundational inquiry through a series of provocations and propositions. The partial glimpses offered through images, poetry, and accounts of speculative research practices gesture towards the potential that doing research differently can make in the pursuit of making a difference in the world – research is understood as affective, unruly and ultimately activist in the difference it makes in how it comes about, in the act, and how it lingers and haunts long after (Manning, 2021). The paper works with a range of feminist theories and philosophies but is most heavily indebted to Haraway (2016) and her invitations to: serious play, go visiting, and to engage in practices of worlding to reorient both thought and practice. The paper seeks to address the question: what gets overturned or displaced when engaging in post-foundational research? The paper contests that complexifying what research is, how it is done, and what it generates involves bringing matter, affect, philosophy, ethics and theory together to push aside taken-for-granted practices and pursue research in an altogether different key.   


Dr Jayne Osgood is Professor of Childhood Studies at the Centre for Education Research & Scholarship, Middlesex University. Her work addresses issues of social justice through critical engagement with policy, curricular frameworks, and pedagogical approaches in Early Childhood Education & Care. She is committed to extending understandings of the workforce, families, gender and sexualities, ‘child’, and ‘childhood’ in early years contexts through creative, effective methodologies. She has published extensively within the post-modernist paradigm with over 100 publications in the form of books, chapters and journal papers. Her most recent books include Postdevelopmental Approaches to Childhood Research Observation (2023); Feminists Researching Gendered Childhoods (Bloomsbury, 2019); and Postdevelopmental Approaches to Childhood Art (Bloomsbury, 2p019). She has served on the editorial boards of various journals and is a long-standing board member at Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood. She is currently editor for the journals: Gender & Education and Reconceptualising Education Research Methodology. She is also Book Series Editor for both Bloomsbury (Feminist Thought in Childhood Research) and Springer (Keythinkers in Education).

Zid Mancenido

Dr Zid Mancenido: Educational outcomes, evidence-use and ITE

Dean's Keynote series 18th April 2023

There is renewed focus on ensuring pre-service teachers learn how to implement the most effective teaching practices before they graduate. In particular, the Quality Initial Teacher Education Review and the Teacher Education Expert Panel offer opportunities to reconsider what...

might form foundational content for ITE courses. Dr Zid Mancenido, AERO’s Senior Manager Research and Evaluation will open discussion about what is essential knowledge for teachers in training, and explore how ITE providers can better centre evidence-based teaching practices and the science of how students learn throughout their programs.  


Dr Zid Mancenido is an accomplished and knowledgeable speaker in the field of education research, teacher education, and evaluation. As the Senior Manager of Research and Evaluation at the Australian Education Research Organisation, his engaging and informative presentations provide valuable insights and practical solutions for those aiming to improve the education system through better research, policy and practice. 

Dr Mancenido started his career as a high school social sciences teacher in Canberra and has since gained diverse international experiences working across Australia, Singapore, the Philippines and the US. He holds a Bachelor of Philosophy (Honors) degree from the Australian National University, a Master of Teaching (Secondary) from the University of Melbourne, a master’s degree in Education Policy and Management, and a PhD in Education Policy from Harvard University. He is also a Lecturer on Education at Harvard, where he teaches courses in education policy and general pedagogy. 

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Professor Andrea Nolan: The social justice work of Early Childhood Educators

EYRL seminar series 17th Apri 2023

The importance of the early years of a child’s life to their long-term health, development, learning and wellbeing is unquestionable. For example, the first 1000 days of a child’s life are critical for their neurological and biological development, and the effect of trauma during these early years can...

have a significant and lasting impact. In Australia, evidence shows that children living with disability, in monetary poverty, or those living in jobless families tend to face multiple, complex, and deeper levels of deprivation when compared to their peers.


Professor Andrea Nolan is Professor of Early Childhood Education in the School of Education at Deakin University, Australia. She is a member of the university’s strategic research centre, Research for Educational Impact. Andrea is the founder and Chair of the Victorian Early Childhood Research Consortium, a group of 83 cross-disciplinary researchers from Victorian universities who support research capacity building in early childhood. She has conducted research in both schools ad preschools and has worked on a number of state, national and international projects. Her research is framed around the capabilities of the Early Childhood Education and Care workforce, focusing on the professionalisation and practice of teachers. She has researched the impact of the current Australian reform agenda on professional identities and educator practice, mentoring, inter-professional work, and reflective practice.

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Professor Marcia McKenzie: The incommensurability of digital and climate change priorities in schooling: An infrastructural analysis and implications for education governance

SEAE seminar series 1st March 2023

This presentation brings together infrastructure studies with considerations of climate change and education. It will discuss the links between the increased use of digital data and the...

central role of data infrastructures in education, and the energy infrastructure needed to support their growing use in schools and school systems. It elaborates a need for a greater accounting of the climate and related social costs of these interwoven digital and energy infrastructures of schooling. This is part of the ‘disposition’ of the infrastructures of schooling that should be weighed into decisions on whether and how to continue with digital technologies in schools.  Three implications for education governance will be discussed, including greater consideration of: current school climate change infrastructures such as ‘eco school’ programs and ed tech ‘AI for good’ initiatives, pushes for ‘computing within limits’ without substantial changes, and current school governance practices which unnecessarily rely on digital infrastructures. Instead, what is needed may be a reversal of the extensive use of digital infrastructures by schools and education governance bodies.


Marcia McKenzie is Professor of Global Studies and International Education in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, Lead of the Climate Communication and Education theme with Melbourne Climate Futures, and Co-lead of the Social Transformations and Education Academic Group at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She is a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists; and Director of the $4.5M SSHRC-funded Monitoring and Evaluating Climate Communication and Education (MECCE) Project (www.mecce.ca), and of the Sustainability and Education Policy Network (www.sepn.ca). Her research program includes both theoretical and applied components at the intersections of comparative and international education, global education policy research, and climate and sustainability education, including in relation to policy mobility, place, affect, and other areas of social and geographic study. She is co-author of Place in Research: Theory, Methodology, and Methods (Routledge, 2015) and Critical Education and Sociomaterial Practice: Narration, Place, and the Social (Peter Lang, 2016), and co-editor of Land Education: Rethinking Pedagogies of Place from Indigenous, Postcolonial, and Decolonizing Perspectives (Routledge, 2016) and Fields of Green: Restorying Culture, Environment, and Education (Hampton, 2009); and co-edits the Palgrave book series Studies in Education and the Environment.

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Dr Beth Mozolic-Staunton: Evidence-based practices for early detection of children with autism in early childhood education

EYRL seminar series 13th February 2023

Seminar slides

This presentation will provide an overview of findings from a series of research studies recently conducted in collaboration with the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre at La Trobe University. The project aimed to improve early identification of children showing early signs of autism and other social.... 

and communication challenges and link families with funded supports. During the project, early childhood education professionals in regional Australian communities received training and resources to conduct developmental surveillance in their workplace using the Social Attention and Communication Surveillance- Revised tool (SACS-R), which was previously developed by Dr. Josephine Barbaro and colleagues and validated in maternal and child health settings. Key findings were that population surveillance using SACS-R in early childhood education is effective for identification and referral for children who are showing early signs of autism. Implications and recommendations for capacity building for front-line professionals who work directly with young children and families in community settings to use SACS-R in the context of ongoing reform to early childhood intervention services funded through the National Disability Insurance Scheme will be discussed.


Dr Beth Mozolic-Staunton is an Associate Professor in the Master of Occupational Therapy program at Bond University, Faculty of Health Science and Medicine. Beth is an experienced occupational therapist with expertise across a broad range of practice settings including paediatrics, rural health, aged care, rehabilitation as well as school and community-based practice. Beth’s PhD research focused on the early detection and support of young children with developmental challenges, including autism in community-based settings. Other research interests include health service delivery and health workforce development, health promotion and topics related to promoting occupational participation for individuals across the lifespan.

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Professor Liz Mackinlay: What’s departing radically got to do with academic writing? Everything

Dean's Keynote series 8th December 2022

“Release the play of writing!” Donna Haraway (1991) cried over thirty years ago, “for transforming the standard, staid and stuck cultures of academic writing is now a ‘deadly serious’ matter!” Laurel Richardson (1997) heard her and excitedly joined the new writing fields of play begun by post-structural and... 

feminist writing non-conformers. For nearly a decade Richardson poked and prodded textual and discursive academic conventions wherever and whenever she could, but soon lamented that the incessant production of “unexamined fact-oriented, plain prose-style, linear narrative expectation (past theory, literature review, present hypotheses, methods of test, findings, future research)” (2000) continued to limit what can be known and told. Another ten years passed by but still the same-old, same-old academic writings conventions promulgated presentations and publications. Bewildered and bothered by this, Patti Lather and Elizabeth St Pierre called out, “What might the ‘new’ process, product and purpose of academic writing come to be if we left the ‘old’ behind and did something else?”  (Lather & St. Pierre, 2013, p. 631) In 2019, I brought together a small group of doctoral students, researchers and academics from the Humanities and Social Sciences at The University of Queensland to take heart and respond to Haraway, Richardson, Lather and St Pierre by departing radically in academic writing - and the DRAW movement came to life. The words “departure” and “radical” are at the heart of this transformative academic writing work, embracing the 15th century origins of the word “departure” deliberately to make “turning away” and “going away” from conventional academic writing practices to do “something else” an imperative. DRAW similarly adopts the etymological origins of the word “radical” in our praxis and pays attention to “roots” as the source from which the vitality of life is drawn. Drawing upon my transdisciplinary research in music, ethnography and education, in this performative presentation I suggest that departing radically has got everything to do with academic writing which seeks to move the world with words that are deeply connected and accountable to history, memory, passion, justice and the soul in ways they have never been before.


Professor Elizabeth (Liz) Mackinlay holds a PhD in Ethnomusicology from The University of Adelaide and a PhD in Education from the University of Queensland. Her first DRAW style book, Teaching and learning like a feminist: Storying our experiences in higher education was published by Sense Publishers in 2016 and together with Briony Lipton, she co-authored the narratively written 2017 Palgrave publication, We only talk feminist here: Feminist academics, voice and agency in the neo-liberal university. Prior to these radical departures, in 2007 she published her Education PhD as a book, Disturbances and dislocations: Teaching and learning Aboriginal women’s music and dance with Peter Lang and has co-edited several books since then including Musical islands: Exploring connections between music, place and research (2009), Applied ethnomusicology: Historical and contemporary approaches (2010), The Routledge international handbook of intercultural arts (2015). Liz’s most recent radical departures include her book Writing feminist autoethnography: In love with theory, words and the language of women writers published by Routledge in 2022 and a co-edited collection with Pamela Burnard, David Rousell and Tatjana Dragjovic titled Doing rebellious research: In and beyond the academy was released by Brill Publishers earlier this year.

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Professor David Spendlove: Lessons about government teacher education policy: Teacher education in England

Teachlab seminar series 6th December 2022

In this seminar, Professor David Spendlove speaks on his experience as a teacher educator in England. Teacher education in England over the past decade or so has undergone significant changes as a result of...

ongoing Government policy positions which have transformed how teachers are prepared in England. While teacher education is essentially the domain of Universities in Australia, in England, there are many different types of providers, even schools.  Further, there is a highly prescriptive teacher education curriculum mandated by the Central Government for providers to follow (which specifies in minute detail, not just the required outcomes but by implication the content and process of initial teacher education). This teacher education landscape is a contrast to that in Australia. In this seminar, we ask: what has generated this radical change in Government policy? What has this meant for those who prepare teachers in Universities, and importantly what has been the experience of schools and schooling systems of such changes?   


Professor David Spendlove is Professor of Education and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Manchester, England. David’s work has involved policy, practice and research in a variety of areas, having  held numerous university, regional and national roles in Initial Teacher Education. Since 2021 David has been adjunct professor in the Faculty of Education at Southern Cross University.  

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Professor Susan Garvis: Reflections on quality improvement within early childhood education

EYRL seminar series 11th November 2022

Across the globe, many governments are focusing on preschool quality as a way to improve entrenched inequalities and reduce social disadvantage and segregation. This has led to leveraging structural and process quality mechanisms to support quality improvement work with young children. In this presentation, international perspectives on...

quality improvement across the field of early childhood education and care are shared, also highlighting cultural and contextual understandings. Drawing on research from numerous countries, important insights are shown into policy and practice for early childhood teaching, teacher education and professional learning. This includes a greater focus on the importance of interactions and relationships with young children. 

Professor Susanne Garvis is a professor of early education at Griffith University. She is an internationally renowned early childhood education expert within policy, quality and learning. Susanne has worked with various governments, professional organisations and NGOs across the world where her research has informed teacher education, policy development and professional learning. Her most recent contribution to policy was a large scale meta-analysis showing how bachelor qualified teachers enhances quality in the early childhood sector. She is a mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative) researcher with extensive experience in narrative (story constellations) and arts-based research. Her focus is on supporting voice, experience and wellbeing within research.

Susanne has extensive research, teaching and leadership experience in early childhood education and teacher education in higher education in Australia and Sweden. She has previously been a Professor at the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) and a guest professor at Stockholm University (Sweden). She has been Director of the Centre for Educational Sciences and Teacher Education at Gothenburg University, comprising seven faculties and over 80 doctoral students and supervisors. In Sweden, Susanne was the leader of the government funded Nordic Early Childhood Research Group with over 50 members from across the Scandinavian region. The group had a specific focus on researching Nordic childhoods, learning and family. 

Frontify banner for SEAE seminar Eve Mayes

Dr Eve Mayes, Researcher, Senior Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Deakin University, in conversation with Natasha Abhayawickrama, Sophie Chiew, Netta Maiava, and Dani Villafaña: Young people’s multiple climate justice activisms

SEAE seminar series: 9th November 2022

In recent years, the inequitably distributed effects of climate change have...

fuelled school-aged students’ political action across the world. Climate change ‘amplifies, compounds, and creates new forms of injustices’ which are ‘interlinked and interconnected’ (Sultana, 2021, p. 448); in settler colonial societies, these injustices are intimately entwined with colonial logics and extractive capitalism (Birch, 2018; Whyte, 2020). This seminar is a conversation between five members of a research team, which includes four paid research assistants who are 18-21 years old and active climate justice organisers. This team is working together on a project co-constructing accounts of school-aged students’ climate justice activism(s); the five members of the team have been part of the project’s design, consultation and preparation of institutional ethics application, and will conduct research interviews, analysis, and be involved in co-authoring and co-presenting processes. Differentially positioned across identity markers and embodied experiences, we are interested in co-creating stories that compel attention to the textures and nuances of diverse young people’s multi-modal activism(s), and to the political differences and resonances between and among young people involved in climate justice activism(s). In this seminar, we discuss some of the ethical, methodological and political challenges we are grappling with as we work together.


Eve Mayes (she/her) is a Senior Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Deakin University in the School of Education (Research for Educational Impact). Eve is currently undertaking the Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Fellowship (DECRA) project: Striking Voices: Australian school-aged climate justice activism (2022-2025). Her book The Politics of Voice in Education is forthcoming (Edinburgh University Press).

Natasha Abhayawickrama (she/ her) is a recently graduated year 12 student with four years of experience as a volunteer community organiser with School Strike for Climate (Sydney and national organiser) and Sapna South Asian Climate Justice Solidarity. In her organising role, she has facilitated student meetings, coordinated outreach and partnership working groups, and has received training in social movement theory and campaign strategy.

Sophie Chiew (she/her) is an undergraduate university student with three years of experience in community organising and fundraising with School Strike for Climate and the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. Sophie has also volunteered as a youth advisor to Boroondara Council, a role which involved representing and collaborating with young people with diverse backgrounds and views. 

Netta Maiava (she/her) is an undergraduate student (Bachelor of International Studies, Development major, RMIT) and a volunteer community organiser for the Pacific Climate Warriors. Netta is currently undertaking an internship with 350 Pacific, and in her organising role, she has been involved with many projects. This experience and training have given her significant experiential knowledge of climate justice and activism.

Dani Villafaña (she/ her) is an undergraduate student and climate justice organiser with School Strike for Climate and Sweltering Cities, a small organisation focused on campaigning for cooler, more equitable cities (focusing on Western Sydney). She has also been an organiser in the sexual assault victim-survivor advocacy space, around the legislation of sex education and protections for survivors of gendered violence. She currently works as a campaigner with Fair Agenda.

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Associate Professor Michelle Neumann: Bringing Social Robots to Preschool

Dean's Keynote series 19th October 2022

Young children are growing up in a digital world that is constantly evolving and they are experiencing new technologies such as social robots. This presentation will introduce what social robots are and how they are being used to support learning in educational settings. It will also explore the...

potential benefits and barriers of using social robots for supporting early learning and consider ways in which bringing social robots to preschool could be disruptive or transformative to early years education. An overview of current research work in this field will be provided and future research directions and possibilities will be discussed.


Associate Professor Michelle Neumann is an academic in the field of early childhood education, emergent literacy, and educational technology at Southern Cross University (Gold Coast Campus). Michelle has had over 10 years’ experience working as a primary and secondary school teacher and is a registered teacher with Education Queensland. Michelle was listed in 2020 and 2021 as lead researcher in Australia, in the field of Early Childhood Education by the Australian Government. Her research interests are in early childhood education, particularly in early literacy, child development and learning, parent-child interactions, home and preschool settings, touch screen tablets, and social robots. Michelle is co-investigator on an ARC Discovery project “Parent involvement goes online: New ecologies of school-home relations”.

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Professor Lorraine Graham and Dr Sean Kang: Teaching how to learn

Teachlab seminar series 18th October 2022

A Q&A panel discussion on the ARC Discovery Project titled Teaching How to Learn: Promoting Self-Regulated Learning in STEM Classes.  This project investigated key factors that influence change in teacher practices and student achievement.  It involved the development and evaluation of interventions designed to...

help teachers create learning environments that promote student engagement and the development of the cognitive and metacognitive skills needed for success. The panel discussion will seek to highlight insights from the project thus far that have implications for improving quality teaching, teacher professional learning and teacher education. 


Professor Lorraine Graham is Professor of Learning Intervention at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne. Professor Lorraine Graham has led the Learning Intervention Team at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education since 2014. Her work relates to the effective teaching of students with learning difficulties, intervention research, and, sustainable learning. She has authored more than 90 published academic works, as well as extensive educational resource materials. 

Dr. Sean Kang is a cognitive psychologist whose research focuses on applying the cognitive science of human learning and memory towards improving instructional practice. After obtaining his Ph.D. at Washington University in St. Louis, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Diego, before becoming an assistant professor of education at Dartmouth College (USA). In 2019 he took up the position of Senior Lecturer in the Science of Learning at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne.

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Dr Shae Brown: Complexity thinking and understanding for everyone: a patterns-based approach

SEAE seminar series: 5th October 2022

Complexity thinking and understanding is a fundamental skill required in the 21st century. To assist students to be prepared for the challenges now and ahead, such as climate change and other global problems, education needs to include this skill. This work contributes an effective approach to...

the teaching and learning of complexity thinking, understanding and acting, all together described as complexity competence. Providing a language, conceptual framework, and practical strategy, Complexity Patterning supports students to engage effectively with complex phenomena. It is an embodied and experiential approach that can begin with students’ own lives and experience as the complex phenomenon of focus, aligning with recent pedagogical research stating that using a familiar phenomenon is most effective. Complexity Patterning engages a relational perspective of the world’s coming-into-being, and the co-generativity of our participation in emerging futures.


The success of implementing Complexity Patterning with secondary students inspired Dr. Shae Brown to undertake doctoral inquiry. With a passion to contribute to new paradigm education for the 21st century, Shae brings extensive experience teaching and learning in a wide range of educational settings. Having recently graduated with her doctorate, and attracting an award for her work with the International Society of Systems Science, Shae is currently exploring the most appropriate way to broaden access to this work. In the meantime, Shae is engaged in teaching, research assisting, and student advocacy at Southern Cross University.

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Etienne Wenger-Trayner: Social Learning Spaces: Learning to make a difference

Teachlab seminar series 27th September 2022

What Starting with an overview of how Social Learning Spaces emerged from Communities of Practice, this presentation explores how to generate and realise value from collaborative practices that focus on yet-to-be-answered meaningful questions and areas of enquiry. As a significant part of this presentation, Etienne will provide a detailed...

outline of the eight phases of developing Social Learning Spaces and drawing upon his wide range of experiences in implementing and sustaining such spaces, he will reflect on how it may be effectively implemented in educational settings. His presentation will conclude with a question and answer session where attendees will be encouraged to engage with Etienne to explore how Social Learning Spaces might be harnessed to develop answers to some of the perplexing questions currently facing educators.


Etienne Wenger-Trayner is a globally recognized thought leader in the field of social learning. He has authored and co-authored seminal books: Situated Learning, where the term “community of practice” was coined; Communities of Practice, which lays out a theory of social learning; Cultivating Communities of Practice, for practitioners in organizations; Digital Habitats, about the use of technology. His more recent books are coauthored with Beverly Wenger-Trayner. Learning in Landscapes of Practice expands the learning theory beyond single communities. Learning to make a difference proposes a new framework for understanding and supporting social learning. Systems Convening describes cross-boundary social learning leadership. Communities of Practice Guidebook provides practical guidance. Etienne is a sought-after consultant. He is also one of the most cited authors in the social sciences and the recipient of two honorary doctorates. To further develop social-learning theory, practice, and leadership, Etienne and Beverly recently founded the Social Learning Lab in Sesimbra, Portugal.

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Associate Professor Louise Phillips: Education through child and youth activism

Dean's Keynote series 21st September 2022

Across my career in education, I have been enduringly troubled by how children and youth are positioned as vulnerable, lesser-than and powerless in education systems and broader society. In this keynote, I will share insights from various research projects which...

have sought to inquire how education could be different for children and youth if their identities as rights holders, citizens, agents and activists were/are upheld. I have looked at pedagogies that teachers can adopt to welcome children and youth to flourish as rights holders, citizens, agents and activists. These have included listening to Aboriginal Elders on pedagogies of love, drawing from ancient pedagogical practices of storytelling and walking, and theories of action (Arendt, 1958/1998), relationality (Barad, 2007; Haraway, 2016; Plumwood, 1994), and literacies (Freebody & Luke, 1993; Pahl & Rowsell, 2020). I wonder what if education embraced activism with children and youth as pivotal learning provocations.


Associate Professor Louise Phillips is Chair of Initial Teacher Education in the Faculty of Education. She is a professional storyteller and early childhood teacher with more than 30 years of experience working with children across various settings, more recently as a researcher and tertiary educator. She is internationally known for her research and publications on storytelling, children’s rights and citizenship, arts based pedagogies and methodologies, sensation and place.

TeachLab Research Seminar Barnett Berry

Professor Barnett Berry: What future teaching and schooling?

Teachlab seminar series 23rd August 2022

What future teaching and schooling? Following the trends and exciting ideas to map what the future holds for those who teach and lead our schools.  The only constant in our modern world is...

constant change. But there’s another constant and that is the positioning of the local school. While many of societies' traditional institutions have faded away or struggle for relevance, the school and the work of teachers remain key in how we define childhood and the aspirations of a generation. This is not to say it's an easy position to be in. In fact, working in schools today is a highly complex and sophisticated occupation. Not to mention stressful and full of accountabilities. So, If the world is in a constant process of change with conflicting agendas and ideological positions, what might this mean for our schools moving into the future? In this exciting conversation seminar, Professor Berry draws on his many published works to paint a picture of what the future holds for those who teach and what it means for how our schools need to be organised.  


Professor Barnett Berry is a research professor at the University of South Carolina and Senior Director for Policy & Innovation in the College of Education. He advises Governments on education policy in the USA, and is a world renown thinker, formulating fresh ideas and defining practices for teaching into the future. He is the authors of internationally acclaimed books entitled TEACHING 2030 and Teacherpreneurs: Innovative Teachers Who Lead But Don’t Leave. He is currently conducting research in consideration of creating a system of leading teachers for whole child education and community schooling.

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Dr Aspa Baroutsis: Exploring place-belongingness through student voices

SEAE seminar series: 13th July 2022

Places, such as schools, are significant to children’s experiences of belonging. Non-belonging is often associated with detrimental effects on children’s lives, including their desire to participate in learning and schooling. This project is informed by the sociological concepts of place-belongingness and the...

politics of belonging, as expressed through children’s voices. Drawing on sentence starters, metaphor cards, and photovoice to gauge children's perceptions, I identify the physical, material, social, affective, and academic school environments where children experience affirmative or negative feelings of belonging, resulting from encounters of comfort, security, attachment, membership, and ownership. As evident through this socio-spatial lens, favourable physical and material environments alongside supportive social interactions were most likely to enable children’s positive experiences of school belongingness, and participation in learning.


Aspa Baroutsis is a senior lecturer and researcher in the Faculty of Education. Aspa is known for her research in media sociology, focused on portrayals of teachers, teaching, and schools across traditional print and social media; learning engagement and student voice across mainstream and alternative school settings; and digital pedagogies and school learning spaces that support student belonging and participation. Her research has cross disciplinary reach within social and cultural studies, social geography, school architecture, and digital and media sociology.

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Professor Sue Walker: Teaching about/to/for diversity: Exploring a new pedagogy of teacher education

Dean's Keynote series 9th June 2022

Decades of research have consistently shown that the ways in which teachers, schools and educational systems respond to various forms of learner diversity has a direct impact upon educational pathways, experiences and outcomes. Teaching for diversity is... 

an approach to teacher education in which pre-service teachers are supported to engage with specialist literature and critical reflection for social justice as opposed to a focus on simply applying tips and tricks in the classroom. Teaching for diversity requires teacher educators to engage with specialist literature that focuses on critical consciousness underpinned by evaluativist ways of knowing. In this presentation, I argue that teaching for diversity is fundamentally reliant on epistemically reflexive teacher educators who seek to address sources of knowledge (critical specialist literature) and ways of knowing (critical reflection) that are evaluativistic in nature.


Sue Walker is a Professor of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education. She has worked as an educator in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) particularly in prior to school settings. Dr Walker has been conducting research in educational settings including ECEC, school and higher education for over 25 years. Her research foci include epistemic beliefs and teachers’ practice; teaching to diversity in teacher education; early childhood social development; teacher-child relationships; child outcomes in relation to inclusive early childhood education programs; early intervention and the transition to school.


Dr Melissa Wolfe: Enabling constraints for angel-in-the-making

SEAE seminar series: 4 May 2022

The filmic conversation created through this post-qualitative study illustrate how schooling events play a central role in noiselessly (re)producing systemic misogyny and racism within everyday affective encounters. This study draws on...

Karen Barad’s concept of ethico-onto-epistemology by focusing on an ethics of relations that emerge within the specific social-material encounter and is read with brian massumi’s notion of enabling constraint, as a diffractive creation within the recounted events.

I focus here on mapping one exemplar girl student’s recount of her negotiation of the enabling constraints within pedagogical events, in situ. Her experiences are simultaneously agonistic and joyous and illustrate an affective undergoing of schooling processes. I map her navigation toward a seemingly affirming future.

This mapping highlights the importance of affective experiences within the ecology of classrooms and has consequences for students' ‘choosing’ subjects that frame them as a successful schoolgirl subject. Each pedagogical encounter discussed is considered as a unique, but connected event, making visible the differential potentials of capacity for affecting and being affected, enabling or disabling bodily action and growth with students that have consequences for matter and mattering. The cartography produced is not intended to form a prescriptive model for educationalists to follow but is intended to open up scrutiny of the consequences of affects that are in play for differentiated students as they negotiate school processes. I speculate how educationalists might enable a reimagining of numbing shame (non-belonging) as interest(ing) with the students themselves through recognizing enabling constraints existing in the classroom. I ask how can students and educators find comfort in their own discomfort as they emerge in events that may pose a threat to their identities, in order to metamorphose negative affect into a positive affirmation? Students emerge in situ and sculpt a performance of named (and apparently desirable) normative student behaviours within a contextual affective field. The field may be constrained but i ask how students can be enabled and shift these boundaries...as a making-of.


Melissa Wolfe is an educator with 20 years experience in the Australian public and private secondary education sector. She is also a photographer and film-maker. Melissa currently is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Methods, Media and Visual Arts education at Southern Cross University, Australia. Her research encompass a filmic synthesis of aesthetics, affect, gender, creative and public pedagogies.

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Professor Pasi Sahlberg: How post-pandemic recovery can help transform Australian schools

Dean's Keynote series 20th April 2022

The global pandemic has disrupted the ways we live, work and learning. Silver lining in this health and economic crisis is an opportunity to reimagine what school education could be and find new ways to address current social and...

educational challenges. In this presentation I will describe some of the most burning challenges in Australian education and offer practical, evidence-informed solutions to build fairer and more inclusive education system that would offer all children world-class education that they deserve. 


Pasi Sahlberg is Finnish educator and author. He has worked as a schoolteacher, teacher-educator, researcher, and policymaker in Finland and advised schools and education system leaders around the world. He served as a senior education specialist at the World Bank (Washington, DC), lead education expert at the European Training Foundation (Torino, Italy), director general at the Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture (CIMO), and visiting professor of Practice at Harvard University. Pasi is the current Deputy Director of the Gonski Institute at UNSW. 

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Dr Nathan Snaza: Deictic pedagogy, affect, and interrogative force

SEAE seminar series: 11 November 2021

In this talk I will elaborate an approach to pedagogy that draws on affect theory—in both senses of affect as emotion and prepersonal relational force—in order to propose that classroom engagement can be structured by...

two questions. The first, “Why this?,” which I find in Toril Moi’s writings about the method wars in literary criticism, pushes us to attend to deictic specificity: this is always singular, intimate, within reach. And it summons us to think about how what is here represents one possible configuration of world, spurring imaginative explorations of what could have been here as part of the class discussion. The second question comes from Sara Ahmed’s queer phenomenology: how does this thing arrive? This moves first through Marxist critiques of commodity fetishism, seeing “things” not as isolated entities emergent from labour and circulation. Ahmed’s account crucially pushes through Marxian anthropocentrism, though, seeing labour and relationality as more-than-human. Combined, these two questions enable education at any level—from early childhood through advanced graduate study—to attend closely to what is here and how it arrives, ultimately leading toward a conception of education (and agency) as always dispersed, where intimacies unfold across strange scales of time and space. We will consider, in conversation, how this pedagogy necessarily swerves into ecological attention.


Nathan Snaza teaches English literature, gender studies, and educational foundations at the University of Richmond (USA), where he also coordinates the Humanities. He is the author of Animate Literacies: Literature, Affect, and the Politics of Humanism (Duke UP, 2019) as well as many articles in journals such as Curriculum Inquiry, Cultural Studies – Critical Methodologies, Feminist Studies, Feminist Formations, Social Text, Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, and Journal of Curriculum Studies.