Western Australian Institute for Educational Research

36th Annual Research Forum at The University of Notre Dame

Forum 2021 Abstracts

Listed alphabetically by first author
[ Forum invitation ] [ Forum invitation ] [ Program ]


Home-based intervention for families in Saudi Arabia: A single subject design study

Hissah Alanazi, Shahad Alsharif and Cindy Ann Smith
Curtin University
Email: hissah.alanazi@postgrad.curtin.edu.au, cindy.smith1@curtin.edu.au, shahad.alghalib@gmail.com

The experimenters aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a culturally appropriate training program for primary female caregivers of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Saudi Arabia. The study included 5 Saudi female caregivers and their children between the ages of 4 to 8 years old. The primary dependent variable was the parents' fidelity in treatment implementation and the secondary dependent variable was the children's acquisition of targeted skills. The experimenters utilised a multiple probe across participants design to systematically observe and measure the effect of the female caregivers reliability and accuracy in delivering instruction to their children. The results showed that most of the participants implemented the home-based intervention with high fidelity and their children showed significant changes in their rate of acquisition of the targeted skills. Additionally, qualitative data were collected from the participants on their experiences and the different variables that contributed to successfully implement the home-based intervention.

[Scheduling for this presentation]


Self-regulation skills in primary school students with intellectual disabilities: Co-regulation supports in inclusive classrooms

Gillian Andrikos, Marina Ciccarelli and Cindy Smith
Curtin University
Email: gillian.andrikos@postgrad.curtin.edu.au

Self-regulation skills are an important predictor of success for school and life beyond. Students with intellectual disabilities (ID) often have difficulties with self-regulation that impact their functioning at school and the success of inclusive education placements. Self-regulation skill development is commonly provided in schools via Social Emotional Learning programs to all students, but those with ID may have difficulties accessing these programs due to language impairments, learning difficulties, and executive functioning deficits. Using a co-regulation approach to intervention for this population may support development of self-regulation skills in a more accessible format; however, no such interventions currently exist. A team from Curtin University aims to address this gap by developing and trialling an intervention package that inclusive primary schools can use to support classroom staff to provide effective co-regulation supports for students with ID.

This presentation will provide a summary of self-regulation skill development and co-regulation supports for students with ID, as well as an outline of the research project. This research will contribute to the evidence base used by educational leaders, policy makers and researchers to support the well-being and learning of primary school students with ID.

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A framework for supporting botanical literacies in Early Childhood Education

Kimberley Beasley
Murdoch University
Email: kimberley.beasley@murdoch.edu.au

This presentation shares a PhD research project on botanical literacies in Early Childhood Education(ECE). Although young children in ECE in Australia are often involved in learning in outdoor natural environments, research on their knowledge and attitudes towards plants is limited. Botanical literacies in young children involves developing knowledge and curiosity about plants, formulating questions about plants, and critically and ethically thinking about plants and their environments. The study explored young children's knowledge and attitudes of the flora in the native bushlands on their school grounds. A total of 41 children, aged five to eight from two schools in Western Australia were involved in the research over one school year. Fortnightly visits to the school bushlands with the lead researcher involved bush walks, informal and formal conversations about plants, children creating drawings, maps and taking photos, as well as visits from local Indigenous people to share Indigenous knowledge of the plants. The data was analysed using content analysis and a revised version of Uno's levels of botanical literacies. The results of this research led to the development of a framework for developing botanical literacies in ECE.

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What strategies do teachers use to maintain their motivation?

Susan Beltman and Emily Poulton
Curtin University
Email: s.beltman@curtin.edu.au, emily.poulton@curtin.edu.au

Even before the current pandemic, teachers faced many issues that contributed to burnout and attrition such as accountability and surveillance, a crowded curriculum, diverse student needs and demanding community expectations. So, what helps teachers thrive? This presentation examines strategies that practicing teachers report using to maintain their motivation for teaching. Teachers (N=209) from various countries and contexts completed online modules designed to enhance capacity for resilience. They responded to a question asking for 'your top 3 ways for maintaining your motivation for teaching'. The 606 strategies were inductively coded into first- and higher-order categories. The largest higher-order category, Intrapersonal, included ideas such as focus on the positive and remember why you originally became a teacher. Other higher-order categories were Interpersonal, Professional, and Personal Life. Strategies align with a social-ecological understanding of resilience where both personal and contextual resources are harnessed. The prevalence of personal factors may indicate a highly autonomous workforce, or reflect a view that teacher resilience is primarily an individual responsibility. Individual strategies align with the literature and provide a basis for confirming and supporting the motivational strengths of practicing teachers, for preparing pre-service teachers, and for supporting teachers who may be struggling in these challenging times.

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COVID-19 and the wellbeing of university teachers

Susan Beltman and Rachel Sheffield
Curtin University
Tina Hascher
University of Bern, Switzerland
Email: s.beltman@curtin.edu.au, rachel.sheffield@curtin.edu.au, tina.hascher@edu.unibe.ch

This research explores university teacher wellbeing during the challenging COVID-19 pandemic. Wellbeing is a contested, multi-dimensional concept, generally referring to a subjective evaluation of a situation, in the case of university teacher wellbeing related to their profession. There is limited research examining the wellbeing of teachers in higher education settings over time, particularly when faced with such a major challenge impacting all facets of life and work.

The present study aims to address this gap. Participants were 27 academics with a teaching role at an Australian university, who completed a bi-weekly survey ('pulse check') in relation to their wellbeing over a period of six weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic. They were asked each time to rate their wellbeing out of 10 and to explain this rating. Additional questions were added to the survey at different times to identify workplace challenges and successes, and critical "thing/s that have kept you going". Additionally, in-depth interviews were conducted with four participants. Common challenges, positive aspects reported and strategies used, were related to both home and work settings, and to students. The findings have implications for individuals' self-perceptions and personal lives, as well as for the nature of work settings in higher education contexts.

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Learning science in a digitally connected classroom

Julie Boston
Edith Cowan University
Email:julie.boston@ecu.edu.au

Despite decades of research surrounding Information Communication Technology (ICT) use in schools, the pedagogical reasoning required to provide meaningful ICT enabled learning opportunities is rarely analysed in the literature. This qualitative study followed a naturalistic multiple-case study design to explore the pedagogical reasoning and actions of three exemplary science teachers renowned for their expertise in utilising ICT, working in classrooms where students had school issued one-to-one computers and reliable network access.

The study identified, sophisticated reasoned decision-making drawing upon a range of teacher knowledge bases, most notably technological pedagogical content knowledge took place. The pedagogical reasoning and action model presented demonstrates a backward mapping approach where the use of ICT was directed at supporting the development of scientific content and educational outcomes of the mandated science curriculum. The research also demonstrated a reflexive relationship between the teacher's constructivist beliefs and their pedagogical practices. The teachers designed ICT enabled learning opportunities following a guided inquiry model, frequently involving collaborative problem-based strategies. In each case, the students were the dominant users of ICT in the classroom using ICT for discovering knowledge, constructing knowledge and for sharing knowledge. Many aspects of this iterative model bear close resemblance to Shulman's original conception of pedagogical reasoning and action.

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Why are children's unique personal values important in the school context? And why do they impact every child's wellbeing?

Trish Collins
Edith Cowan University
Email: trish.collins@ecu.edu.au

Personal values are broad motivational goals that transcend situations and reflect what is important to people in their lives. Personal values are a unique part of personality that has been prominent in psychological research in adults for decades and have been found to predict prosocial and aggressive behaviour as well as an individual's subjective wellbeing. Interestingly, it is only in the past decade personal values have gained attention in the adolescent and children's research. However, until now, there has been no research in education on the impact of children's personal values in the school context.

Historically when we think of 'values' we think of behaviours that we would like children to display. Additionally, schools have taught 'values' that are important to parents and the prevailing culture. However, the personal values (i.e., motivational goals) children already hold when they begin their educational journey have not been considered. Thus, this session will first outline personal values theory that has been validated in hundreds of studies in more than 80 countries. It will then discuss the impact of personal values in the school context before outlining what educators can do to address this in their classroom.

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Yarning, reflecting and redirecting: Infusing Indigenous perspectives in the curriculum and classroom

Wendy Cumming-Potvin
Murdoch University
Libby Jackson-Barrett
Edith Cowan University
Dominique Potvin
Murdoch University
Email: w.cumming-potvin@murdoch.edu.au

To improve Indigenous students' learning outcomes and all students' participation in reconciliation and cross-cultural awareness, The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (2016) identified the Cross-Curriculum priority of Indigenous histories and cultures. In addition, the Melbourne Declaration (Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs, 2008) and the Mparntwe Declaration (Education Council Australia, 2019) have underscored the significance of providing all young Australians with high quality, discrimination-free education, which builds on cultural experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, in tandem with local communities. However, researchers have raised concerns about schools' lack of emphasis on Indigenous curriculum and teachers' confusion about how to teach this content (Booth, 2019; Harvey & Russell-Mundine, 2019; Turner, Wilson & Wilks, 2017).

This qualitative study reports on early career teachers' strengths, starting points and challenges for becoming culturally responsive educators, who use multi-modal, Indigenous texts in the primary school setting. Results suggest that the practice of yarning (Bessarab & Ng'andu, 2010) can be used to reflect on teachers' experiences of infusing Indigenous texts in the primary classroom as well as to develop decolonising knowledge in the curriculum. Our presentation will redirect participant engagement through yarning and the use of multi-modal, Indigenous texts.

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Applying a theory-informed innovation in the higher education realm

Eva Dobozy Curtin University
Marika Guggisberg
Central Queensland University, Perth
Email: m.guggisberg@cqu.edu.au

Given the increasingly competitive and tight fiscal and regulatory environment, the higher education sector requires innovation in teaching and learning to meet the changing needs of students. An urgent need for effective theory-informed innovation in higher education has been identified. Although there is an agreement about its importance, a lack of understanding about its conceptualisation, development and implementation has been observed.

This presentation contributes to the clarification of the concept of innovation and demonstrates its application with the 6-tier-Innovation Reflection Model (IRM) developed by the first author. It will illustrate how the theory-informed innovative teaching and learning practice can be applied. It uses an illustrative example in sustainable environmental development and describes how higher education institutions could be ly involved in a 'green' initiative. It employs an action-oriented innovation strategy that focuses on waste management through composting. Innovation in education is characterised by its novelty, originality, desirability, feasibility, value and potential and actual learning impact. The IRM was designed to help teaching and learning innovators in their quest for theory-informed practice. It will provide conceptual clarity and operational direction for innovators in higher education to ensure evidence-based intervention.

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"As an educator my name is hope": Building caring communities in Initial Teacher Education

Madeleine Dobson and Samantha Owen
Curtin University
Email: madeleine.dobson@curtin.edu.au

Our research project embraces a feminist ethic of care and focuses on how academics in initial teacher education (ITE) envision care in the neoliberal university. Care is used as a discursive device to critically examine attitudes, behaviours, and strategies for teaching and relationship-building in university contexts. With our participants, who were fellow academics working in ITE, we approached care through autoethnographic reflection. Questions raised include: How do academics create caring communities? What model does/should the university serve for graduate educators? How does this resist a dominant culture which does not adequately reward caring professions in market terms? Stories and reflections are used to question whether building caring communities in the academy will create a community that feels empowered to demand recognition for their caring work, thereby resisting individualising impulses of a neoliberal society.

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The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme efficacy for Kuwaiti students

Mohamed Elbotaty
Curtin University
Email: mohamed.elbotaty@postgrad.curtin.edu.au

The efficacy of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is premised upon claims of the academic and non-academic knowledge, skills and abilities it affords students (IBO, 2020a). These claims are analysed in the context of a small, but significant number of Kuwaiti school students who chose the IBDP, in addition to the official route to secure government sponsored university scholarships. In particular, this study focuses on Kuwaiti undergraduates who attend international universities abroad, and explores their transition to, and success at, these institutions.

A sample of 22 Kuwaiti undergraduates took part in a mixed methods study. The purpose was to investigate whether studying for the IBDP provided Kuwaiti school students with the academic and non-academic resources for undergraduate study in the unfamiliar socio-cultural settings of international universities. These undergraduates represent a sample bounded by three factors; their nationality as Kuwaitis; their common experience of undertaking the IBDP; and their study at an international university. An extended investigation of a sub-set of undergraduates (N=6), through case study analysis, will garner rich qualitative data regarding whether undergraduates perceive the academic and non-academic resources gained are worth the additional effort, the factors that either support or negate their perceptions and the extent to which different factors affected their perception of the value of the IBDP.

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Effects of parent advocacy for children with disabilities on child outcomes and family relationships

Jasmin Fyfe, Cindy Ann Smith and Tony Pullella
Curtin University
Vicky Spencer
Shenandoah University, USA
Shahad Alsharif
Dar Al-Hekma University, Saudi Arabia
Raedah Alofi
Taibah University, Saudi Arabia
Email: jasmin.fyfe@curtin.edu.au

All children in Australia over the age of 6 are required to attend school. Children with disabilities have the right to attend school in mainstream settings with their peers as well as auxiliary services to support their learning. Parents must make decisions and advocate for their children as to what school and services are the most appropriate. The purpose of this study is to understand more about the lived experience of Australian families of children with disabilities, particularly the effect which advocacy and educational policy has upon the education and quality of life of children with disabilities and their families. Qualitative data was collected through semi structured interviews with parents of children with disabilities and analysed thematically. The presentation will discuss relevant published research, report on the results of the data analysis and discuss implications for future research and educational policy.

Note: This study is part of a broader international study with participant cohorts of families of children with disabilities in the USA and in Saudi Arabia.
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Innovative sexual intelligence application: Dating violence prevention in school using film

Marika Guggisberg
Central Queensland University, Perth
Email: m.guggisberg@cqu.edu.au

Teachers face competing demands with delivering curriculum content. Often time pressure along with personal discomfort and uncertainty around sexuality education results in "Sex Ed" receiving the lowest priority and regularly is the first to be dropped. Regardless, increased focus on teaching consent and respectful relationships at school requires teachers to examine sexuality issues and sexual coercion in class.

This presentation will provide information on the concept of sexual intelligence and discuss an innovative approach for teachers to address dating violence using film. The literature indicates a concerning and widespread prevalence of dating violence. In this regard, technology plays an important part given that most young people express themselves on social media and post private information readily without being aware of vulnerabilities. Several behavioural patterns, which may be mistaken as love and personal interest may indicate signs of risk of dating violence.

The Netflix series You will be used as an illustrative example (see Chung & Guggisberg, 2020) to raise students' awareness and build knowledge around important concepts of sexual violence. Besides being entertaining and appealing, film as an innovative approach can be used to encourage sexual safety and respectful interactions to protect vulnerable teenagers from exploitation and abuse in dating relationships.

Reference
Chugh, R. & Guggisberg, M. (2020). Stalking and other forms of dating violence: Lessons learned from You in relation to cyber safety. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260520966674

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An ecological understanding of what shapes WA Secondary English teachers' classroom practices

Theresa Jeewa
Curtin University
Email: theresa.jeewa@postgrad.curtin.edu.au

Ecology is a branch of biology that studies the relationships between organisms and their environment. Borrowing this term from biology and applying it to the field of education gives us the concept of 'educational ecologies of practices'. This means looking at teachers' relationship with their environment, both external and internal. External contextual factors include the curriculum and government/school policies. Internal contextual factors include the teachers' beliefs, knowledge and experiences. Adopting this ecological viewpoint, we can come to understand how teachers' professional autonomy (the freedom to act on their own will) are affected and therefore the role it plays in shaping their classroom practices. Previous studies about what teachers do in the classroom (their classroom practices), are usually about its effectiveness. Whether or not a classroom practice is seen as effective, is determined by how it can improve student outcomes or performance at school and researchers of these studies often conclude by presenting suggested best practices for teachers.

These studies assume that the responsibility lies solely on the teacher for practising effective pedagogies (methods of teaching) and does not take the full educational context into account. This presentation will explore the complex educational environment English teachers may face and the proposed PhD study on this topic.

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Constructing composite narratives to convey participant students' voices

Olivia Johnston
Edith Cowan University
Email: o.johnston@ecu.edu.au

People have always used stories to convey deep, resonating meaning to others. In qualitative research, too, stories can convey rich meaning that is transferrable for research end-users. But stories can also demonstrate methodological rigor in qualitative research. Composite narratives are an example, where first-person accounts are written as vignettes using data from multiple participants' interview transcripts. These vignettes can be constructed to convey research findings while also representing the data and analysis process from which the findings were developed. Composite narratives are increasingly used in disciplines including education, psychology, and environmental science and medicine. I refined and developed a systematic approach for writing composite narratives during a grounded theory research project. The narratives represent 25 Year 10 students' experiences of their teachers' expectations in three Perth government secondary schools, compiled from data including more than 100 interviews and 175 classroom observations. In this presentation, I will demonstrate how transparency in research methods can be established by conveying participant voices through composite narratives.

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Learning the emotional rules of teaching: Findings from a PhD thesis

Saul Karnovsky
Curtin University
Email: saul.karnovsky@curtin.edu.au

In 2020 I completed a doctoral thesis that explored how pre-service teachers learn the emotional norms and rules of teaching during an initial teacher education course. This post-graduate presentation will present the key findings of the thesis to report on a rich array of written, interview and visual data gathered through a longitudinal case study of initial teacher education course learning. The presentation will outline how my research utilised Foucault's theorisation of ethical subjectification. Principally, I examined how learning to teach shapes pre-service teacher self-formation as embodied and ethical techniques for professional emotional conduct. A significant finding that will be discussed in the presentation is that pre-service teachers learnt to accept they must craft their emotional conduct through embodied practices according to the norm of rational emotional control. Such practices led to significant emotional labour for the participants. I will additionally discuss how I have disseminated my research findings through media channels such as The Conversation, radio interviews and news media. The presentation will offer novel methodological, theoretical, and empirical insights to the field of emotion research in education contexts.

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Personal and social factors considered by Year 10 students in selecting Year 11 mathematics courses

Jane Kirkham, Elaine Chapman and Helen Wildy
The University of Western Australia
Email: jane.kirkham@research.uwa.edu.au

Many school students in Western Australia choose not to enrol in higher-level Year 11 and 12 Mathematics Methods and Mathematics Specialist courses. Female students are significantly under-represented in these courses, including females who have demonstrated high achievement in Year 10 mathematics and who would be expected to complete higher-level courses successfully. The avoidance of higher-level mathematics has the potential to place limitations on future educational pathways and career opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), areas in which the under-representation of females is an on-going concern.

Using qualitative research methods, this study aimed to explore established important factors in mathematics course choice described in Expectancy-value theory, and to discover potentially new or context-specific factors as revealed by mathematically capable Year 10 students. Data were gathered in a series of focus groups and analysed through a combination of directed and conventional content analysis. Intrinsic value, utility value, self-beliefs, and sociocultural influences were cited as important factors in students' decision-making. Excerpts from these data used to inform the design of a self-report survey will be described in this presentation, and selected findings from the use of this survey with a larger population of WA students.

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Supporting and transforming school principals' wellbeing and leadership

Johanne Klap
Murdoch University
Email: joe@tripleloop.com.au

Principal illbeing is an increasing concern with widespread reports of stress, burnout and associated negative health outcomes. Many principals are also over worked with little space to truly lead. Limited research has focused on effective ways to address this, and professional learning opportunities for principals still tend to focus on the technical skills of managing a school.

Mindfulness programs have become increasingly accepted in workplaces to support wellbeing and enrich leadership. This longitudinal mixed method study with 30 school principals who attended a mindful leadership training program (10 x 2-hour weekly sessions over a four-month period) that provided three core elements: mind training, mental strategies, and mindful work applications. The impact of the professional learning over the school year, were examined through interviews and questionnaires collected pre- and post-program and then six months later. Increases in participants' awareness to manage their wellbeing and successfully negotiate work-related stressors were identified and leadership authenticity developed in the six months following the program.

The research provides insight into how mindfulness training as PL not only improves school principals' wellbeing but also transforms their approach to being and leading more authentically.

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The effect of student perceptions of teacher-student relationships and classroom emotional climate on STEM education

Rekha Koul, Rachel Sheffield and Nicole Fairhurst
Curtin University
Email: nicole.fairhurst@postgrad.curtin.edu.au

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are essential investments in Australia's future, and while the need for STEM literacy is rising, enrolments and achievement in Australia are not adequately supplying this demand. This research explores upper-primary student perceptions of their STEM Learning Environment (SLE), their relationship with their teacher, and the impact these have on their attitude towards STEM education. While learning environments are an extensively researched field, SLEs are a relatively new concept to consider within primary education spaces. Students' perspectives of these spaces are a valuable way to measure the quality of learning experiences, as they spend large amounts of time within classrooms and have the capacity to make comparisons between contexts. The study involved 100 Year 5 students from a co-educational independent school north of Perth identified to be implementing quality STEM education. A questionnaire was utilised to measure the Classroom Emotional Climate of the SLE, the quality of the teacher-student interactions and their attitude towards STEM education. Additionally, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 mixed-gender participants for a more in-depth understanding of their responses. A specific question was also included to determine the participants' perceptions of their preferred SLEs to potentially determine improvements to these environments. The findings have implications for educators who implement a STEM pedagogical approach within their classrooms, or educational institutions that are seeking to improve their students' engagement with STEM education.

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Examining the paradox of Education for Sustainability in a primary school

Sonja Kuzich
Curtin University
Email: s.kuzich@curtin.edu.au

Teachers in many schools willingly engage with education for sustainability (EfS) - often against the odds. There is much enthusiasm and effort, but little formal policy imprimatur that guides their endeavours. Through an ethnographic, interpretive research approach I investigated how teachers at a Western Australian primary school interpreted and engaged with policy initiatives in EfS. Through the dual concepts of affordance and paradox, representations of sustainability in macro and micro sustainability policy discourses were interrogated. Fragmentation and disorientation; dislocation of affordances; and deep inertia were found to be major obstacles that impeded the implementation of EfS.

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Trajectories of academic achievement for students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

David Lawrence, Stephen Houghton and Vaille Dawson
The University of Western Australia
Email: david.lawrence@uwa.edu.au, stephen.houghton@uwa.edu.au, vaille.dawson@uwa.edu.au

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with negative social and occupational outcomes across the life course. We used data from Young Minds Matter: the Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, and linked NAPLAN data to examine academic trajectories for students with ADHD. Young Minds Matter surveyed over 6,000 families with children aged 4-17 years from around Australia, and sought permission to access NAPLAN test results for the period 2008-2016. ADHD was assessed using DSM-IV criteria. Using linked NAPLAN results, the academic performance and trajectories of 327 students with ADHD were compared with those of 3,916 students without a mental disorder.

In Year 3, students with ADHD were on average 1 year behind students with no mental disorder in reading and numeracy, and 9 months behind in writing. In Year 9, the gaps were much larger with students with ADHD on average 2.5 years behind in reading, 3 years behind in numeracy, and 4.5 years behind in writing. Students with ADHD have substantially lower achievement in reading, writing, and numeracy. Children and adolescents with ADHD need substantial support to manage inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Skilled remediation in literacy and numeracy is required throughout all school years.

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'Yes, he gets it': Enhancing 4-year-old children's research participation through a digitally interactive narrative approach informing story

Fiona Mayne
The University of Western Australia
Email: fiona.mayne@uwa.edu.au

This presentation examines how informed consent delivered using an interactive digital storybook can enhance the quality of young children's participation in research. Research indicates that touch-screen technologies are effective meaning-making tools due to the multimodal features that hold young children's ttention by stimulating their visual, auditory, and tactile senses and reducing reliance on motor skills. The rights-based theoretical framework is underpinned by Mayne et al.'s (2016) conceptual model of meaningful early childhood informed consent and a desire to build a more participatory image of young children in research. The study was conducted within a qualitative interpretive research paradigm. A multiple case study research design was used to collect data from 4-year-old children, and cross-case analysis used an inductive approach. Consent was obtained from both parents and, via an age-appropriate informing story, from the child participants themselves. Findings indicate that the democratising nature of touch-screen technologies provided opportunities for children's voices to develop through their choices, expanded their confidence to ask questions and share their understandings. This presentation highlights how touch screen technologies can positively impact young children's participation in the ethics process and can support the development of rich understandings of the purpose and context of research.

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Teaching careers ... if you build it, they will come

Lucie McCrory, Anne Coffey and Shane Lavery
The University of Notre Dame
Email: lucie.mccrory@cewa.edu.au

How do Year 12 Catholic school students perceive teaching as a career and why do they perceive teaching this way? What encourages and discourages students to select teaching as a career? Schools are being increasingly challenged to revisit the role of the educator in today's rapidly changing educational landscape. Best practice teaching and learning is at the forefront of this consideration. Attracting talented and committed students to the teaching profession is crucial if schools are going to play a part in adequately preparing future generations for society. It follows therefore that both the profession itself and the status of the profession must be appealing to passionate, committed and high-calibre students. Underpinning the purpose of this study are the beliefs that student perspectives surrounding careers lead to decisions that manifest in university course preferences and that those perspectives can be influenced.

The students' perspectives towards teaching as a career were gleaned from the analysis of data from five Catholic schools in Western Australia. The researcher conducted semi-structured interviews with five career counsellors, 470 Year 12 student online surveys, five Year 12 student focus group interviews with a total of 109 students, and researcher field notes.

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Queering interventions: exploring pre-service teachers' knowledge and awareness of LGBTQI+ inclusivity in the classroom

Bri McKenzie and Cindy Ann Smith
Curtin University
Email: bri.mckenzie@curtin.edu.au, cindy.smith1@curtin.edu.au

Recent research has highlighted the discrimination LGBTQI+ young people face in Australian schools. Improved teacher knowledge and behaviour to address the challenges that LGBTQI+ youth experience has been shown to significantly improve queer-identified secondary students' academic self-concept and school attendance. Current curricula inclusion of LGBTQI+ relevant topics are rarely utilised by Australian teachers as issues around gender can be uncomfortable for people to engage with in many settings, however, it is important for teachers to be able support all students in increasingly diverse Australian educational settings. An interdisciplinary group of researchers at Curtin University are seeking to address these issues through a pilot program to support pre-service teachers in their final semester of training. Pre-service teachers recently engaged in an interactive workshop session focusing on specific teacher interventions. In addition, students were provided with resources and suggestions for curricula interventions across a range of disciplines. The purpose of this interactive presentation is to present a proposed pilot research program, providing an opportunity for educational academics to reflectively engage with this subject. Participants will receive examples of proposed materials, discussion questions and resources.

References
Ullman, J. (2015). Free2Be: Exploring the schooling experiences of Australia's sexuality and gender diverse secondary school students. Centre for Educational Research, Western Sydney University. https://doi.org/10.4225/35/5aa0636045a3a
Ullman, J. (2021). Free2Be...yet?: The second national study of Australian high school students who identify as gender and sexuality diverse. Centre for Educational Research, Western Sydney University. https://doi.org/10.26183/3pxm-2t07
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The Thinking Frames Approach: A strategy to improve students' written explanations of phenomena in science

Felicity McLure
Murdoch University
Email: felicity.mclure@murdoch.edu.au

Secondary school students find it difficult to write elaborated causal explanations of scientific phenomena. They frequently present their own opinions and write descriptions of their observations rather than linking claims with evidence, reasoning, and theoretical frameworks. Science teachers also express difficulties in addressing the ACARA literacy general capability of composing texts and struggle to support students to improve their scientific writing skills. In order to improve students' scientific explanations, a teaching strategy known as the Thinking Frames Approach (TFA) was introduced into Grade 8-10 classrooms. This approach makes use of the affordances of student-generated multiple representations, teacher-student questioning, and small group discussions to support students in constructing understanding. Students' written responses to a number of higher order questions were collected over a nine-month period and analysed for causal relationships and in terms of the claims, evidence and reasoning that students used to justify their explanations. A significant improvement in students' written explanations linking evidence with reasoning and scientific theories was observed over this period. The TFA appears to support students to develop skills in writing explanations by providing an appropriate level of scaffolding in the writing process. An added benefit of this approach was increased confidence in producing written explanations.

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Death of a building: A collaboration of lively bodies

Jane Merewether and Jo Pollitt
Edith Cowan University
Email: j.merewether@ecu.edu.au

A building across the road from a suburban school goes unnoticed until it is scheduled for demolition. Children are dismayed at what they perceive as the waste of the building, which is used by graffiti artists, homeless people, rats, birds, bacteria and countless others. Vibrations from the demolition are felt in the classroom. Children move with the building. Dust billows into the air and enters the classroom where children breathe it in.

This presentation focuses on the urgent need for collaboration, connections and relations in times of ecological precarity. We tell a story of a project that included a short video-dance work co-created by researchers, artists, children and a demolished building. Grounded in a theoretical framework that understands nature and culture as situated, entangled and inseparable, we trouble notions of human and nonhuman relations by positioning building waste as lively and affective. This liveliness is enacted in a dance which reveals the affective engagement experienced by children during the demolition. We argue dance offers evidence of children's activist, collective and embodied ongoingness in a world in which the insatiable quest for the new even renders buildings as disposable.

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Research on the construction of geography as a senior secondary school subject

John Mortimer
The University of Western Australia
Email: john.mortimer@uwa.edu.au

In my published paper a broad outline of the historical development of geography as a subject internationally is provided. It then describes the existing corpus of research on the history of geography within the context of 'the whole curriculum'. It outlines a theoretical framework used in my recent PhD study to underpin an approach for research on how historically the subject was constructed as a senior secondary school subject in Western Australia during the period 1917 to 1997. The emphasis in that study is on the preactive curriculum as represented in the officially prescribed syllabi in order to increase understanding of the influences and interests functioning at that level. Finally, it details a related research approach that can be adopted. It is held that both the framework and the research approach could be used for engagement in similar studies in other Australian states and other countries.

This presentation will briefly introduce the theoretical framework of the study and will follow with an outline of the related research approach. The core of the presentation will describe, using examples from my PhD study, the document analysis that was undertaken. That analysis dissected the questions in geography examination papers and the spatial characteristics of textbooks and atlases prescribed in the syllabi.

References
Mortimer, J. (2020). Research on the construction of geography as a senior secondary school subject. Education Research and Perspectives, 47, 104-130. https://www.erpjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/05_ERPV47_Mortimer.pdf
Mortimer, J. & O'Donoghue, T. (2021). The making of geography as a secondary school subject: A perspective from Australia. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press. https://www.cambridgescholars.com/product/978-1-5275-6927-0
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Exploring students' experiences on using multimodal computer-mediated tasks for fostering English communication

Muntaha Muntaha
Curtin University
Email: muntaha.abdulqodir@postgrad.curtin.edu.au

The occurrence of the COVID 19 pandemic forced educators to optimise online tools, including social networking, to sustain teaching and learning. The possibility of social networking providing multimodal communication might reinforce informal language learning outside the classroom. This study aims to explore students' experiences of multimodal computer-mediated communication tasks using Instagram through mobile phones. Thirty first-year students at a university in Indonesia completed seven tasks consisting of information gap, reasoning gap and opinion gap tasks through three types of Instagram communication: text, voice, and video chat. Pre- and post-study surveys, journal reflections, and interviews were analysed using a mixed-methods approach. In this session I will discuss the qualitative analysis focusing on students' experiences on using Instagram tasks and the use of multimodal features of Instagram for additional language learning.

The majority of students had positive experiences with the Instagram tasks. Further, they also felt that multimodal features of Instagram such as emojis, audio, and visual elements facilitated better communication. However, students faced challenges during task performance and encountered unstable Internet connections. The findings supported previous studies that claimed social media features provide students improved accessibility and availability to communicate using various semiotics resources and could encourage them to use their multimedia skills strategically for messaging.

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The journey of a preservice teacher linking regional students to the arts

Rebecca Noonan, Sandi Fielder and Felicity Baker
Murdoch University
Email: becnoonan@yahoo.com.au, sandi.fielder@murdoch.edu.au, felicity.baker@murdoch.edu.au

This case study presents the impact of a metropolitan-based preservice teacher who completed her remote placement in Broome, 2020. Rebecca was passionate about teaching in rural and remote settings and about fostering student engagement and motivation. She prioritised the success of Indigenous students and creating culturally inclusive environments. Like many career-change preservice teachers, Rebecca was a wife and young mother and embraced these roles alongside teaching. During her placement in Broome, Rebecca seized an opportunity to create a sequence of lessons in the Arts, producing a rich and culturally inclusive program. A highlight was the connection Rebecca established with a national touring group of Indigenous performers, resulting in a close relationship with the local students and school community. Working in collaboration with university staff, her mentor teacher and the performance group, Rebecca established strong relationships with staff and students and fostered creativity through the Arts Learning Area. By combining contemporary and traditional (and culturally responsive) teaching practices, she engaged and motivated students, nurtured their self-esteem, and facilitated a collective sense of pride and belonging. This culminated post-placement during NAIDOC Week celebrations, where the national touring group made a surprise visit and performed with the class to the entire school community.

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The Digital Sabbath project

Lisa Paris
Curtin University
Julia Morris
Edith Cowan University
Email: lisa.paris@curtin.edu.au

Despite the known affordances of Arts-based Research (ABR) practice within the international education environment, its use still remains relatively uncommon in Western Australia. The reasons for this are likely the contested nature of quality criteria by which ABR is evaluated; the requirement to adopt arts making processes (praxis) as the primary investigation form at each stage of the inquiry; as well the challenges associated with the dissemination of research findings. Mixed-methods research (MMR) is increasingly recognized as an appropriate and practical approach for education phenomena, and within this domain inquiry that combines qualitative and arts-based strategies offer the education researcher advantages which are not readily available through other approaches. As professional artists and researchers in the School of Education at two Western Australian universities we share here our experiences in innovating our established practice by employing our visual arts specialism within a qualitative approach. Our focus for inquiry was a 'Digital Sabbath' intervention (a practice of regularly unplugging from all technology/devices with the aim of increasing social connectedness and mitigating stress) with seven early career visual arts teachers whose voices and experience of the digital disruption might otherwise have remained silenced.

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What makes a positive learning environment for the English subject area? Perspectives of secondary students

Emily Purvis and Jennifer Shand
The University of Western Australia
Email: 20931803@student.uwa.edu.au

Little is known about what secondary students view as a positive learning environment though student surveying is often used to indicate the effectiveness of learning environments. Research indicates that classroom interactions form an integral role in the construction of learning environments; students also hold disparate views of them, particularly when compared to their teacher's views. Learning environments and interactions in the classroom contribute to students' affective and academic outcomes; however, there is a gap in the research for English classrooms in secondary schools in Western Australia.

Qualitative, semi-structured interviews and scripted scenarios will be used to explore the perspectives of Year 10 students from lower-socioeconomic schools who are yet to meet minimum literacy requirements. Year 10 in Western Australia is the grade when students need to make pathway choices. Students who have not demonstrated a Band 3 in their Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA) are at risk of not graduating or being accepted for further study, limiting their career options. If propositions are generated regarding what students believe positive learning environments in English to be and how they are created, further research may support students who disengage in schooling and open opportunities for them closed previously.

[Scheduling for this presentation]


Developing preservice teachers' assessment literacy through simulated large-scale marking

Nathanael Reinertsen
Australian Council for Educational Research
Email: nathanael.reinertsen@acer.org

There are many questions around how preservice teachers in Australian universities are supported to become competent in making judgments about students' work. At the same time, there is literature and anecdotal evidence to support the claim that teachers working as markers in large-scale, standardised assessments derive a range of benefits that include developing skills related to assessment literacy. The research presented in this session evaluated whether preservice teachers reported similar benefits from a live simulation of large-scale marking.

The central activity of the research was a marking simulation, conducted on a single day with 22 final-year preservice teachers at a WA university. Interviews with participants were conducted pre- and post-simulation, and further follow-up interviews were conducted with seven of the participants after their first semester of teaching. The participants reported lasting benefits from being trained to apply the rubric, making scoring judgments, and participating in moderation discussions. A strong theme across the post-simulation and follow-up interviews was participants' insistence that the simulation, or an experience like it, ought to have been part of their ITE course - especially given that some participants had had very little experience in judging students' work in their teaching practicums and coursework.

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Women's perceptions and experiences with leadership and gender (in) equity in STEM professions: A semi-structured interview pilot

Mabel Rolt, Wendy Cumming-Potvin and Rebecca Bennett
Murdoch University
Email: mabelh@live.com.au, w.cumming-potvin@murdoch.edu.au

A report from Australia's Office of the Chief Scientist (2020) outlines that women are valuable to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), but are underrepresented, especially at the higher pay scales. In STEM professions, inequalities regarding a lack of women in leadership positions have been further complicated by the recent impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This phenomenon aligns with Australia's national gender pay gap, which is currently at 13.4% (Australian Government, 2021). This presentation reports on insights from pilot interviews in a qualitative research study, which aims to understand women's perceptions of and experiences with STEM leadership and gender (in) equity in the private sector of Western Australia. Attention will be drawn to the role of the pilot interviews in directing and refining both interview and research questions (Turner, 2010), thereby highlighting women's narratives about opportunities and challenges in STEM professions. Key interest groups for dissemination of findings are educational stakeholders and decision-making leaders in the private and public sectors.

[Scheduling for this presentation]


My vital cycles: A school-based ovulatory-menstrual health literacy program

Felicity Roux, Sharyn Burns, Jacqui Hendriks and Jun Chih
School of Population Health, Curtin University
Email: felicity.roux@postgrad.curtin.edu.au

A high prevalence of adolescent girls experience ovulatory-menstrual (OM) health difficulties (e.g. pain, irregularities and anaemia), which are associated with absenteeism, reduced concentration, negative body image, onset of eating disorders, non-suicidal self-injury and poor quality of life. The OM cycle is complex and stigmatised. Teachers can find it difficult and awkward to teach. This may account for a tendency to outsource its education to external facilitators. COVID highlighted how this fails to build capacity and to individualise learning beyond a "one-size-fits-all". This research convened a Delphi Panel of experts in fertility, education, and public health. Together with a systematic literature review of school-based OM health programs, they informed a draft program and questionnaire based on the principles of Positive Education, the Western Australian curriculum, Nutbeam's Health Literacy Model and the WHO's Health Promoting School framework. The program and questionnaire were face validated by adolescents, parents, teachers and school healthcare professionals. An award from the WAIER-Fogarty Foundation enabled refinements of visual teaching aids and an online learning platform. The program's impact is being measured in a trial at one single-sex school in Perth. Its findings will have implications for the delivery of OM health education, particularly in rural and remote areas.

[Scheduling for this presentation]


The impact of NAPLAN on the development of analytical and critical literacy skills in the secondary English classroom

Chantel Saunders
Curtin University
Email: chantel.saunders@education.wa.edu.au

This study will investigate English as a secondary subject and the impact of NAPLAN on the development of students' analytical and critical literacy skills. An analysis of the Western Australian lower and senior secondary English curriculum documents will be undertaken to determine the focus of the literacy, language and literature strands of the curriculum by comparing the documents to the four traditional models of English in Australia - Cultural Heritage Model, Skills Model, Personal Growth Model and Cultural Analysis Model. The four models and the literacy skills each favour will be explored to determine the central paradigm that frames their construction and how this is reflected in the curriculum documents and the NAPLAN test in year nine and the ATAR English exam in year twelve. The ATAR English exam favours the cultural analysis model, while NAPLAN favours the skills model. Both tests have high stakes, and this study aims to explore the impact upon teaching practice and the effect NAPLAN tests may have on the delivery of the lower school curriculum and the teaching of writing and reading. The ongoing impact on students' ability to succeed in the senior English courses will be evaluated using the four models to map the paradigm of skills focused on in the different year groups. The curriculum documents and tests will be examined and English teachers from WA schools will be snowball surveyed to explore the impact in their classrooms. This study presents the ability for teachers, heads of departments and school leaders to consider the way literacy is taught in lower secondary school English classrooms.

[Scheduling for this presentation]


The implications of heteronormativity on queer underrepresentation in educational research and practice

Estella Starcevich, Svarah Lembo and Siobhan Unwin
Curtin University
Email: 19390538@student.curtin.edu.au

Educational systems are poorly responding to opportunities for authentic integration of Queer themes in learning (Westcott, 2018, p. 49). Limited professional development and preservice training leaves queer and LGBTQI+ allied educators with unclear ideas of how to implement inclusive LGBTQI+ pedagogies or respond to accusations of 'agenda pushing' by conservative systems. We present a review of the literature, alongside our own anecdotal evidence as preservice teachers, to critically examine the difficulties in navigating queerness in a system that expects us to mould to the values and beliefs held by our placement schools and mentors. Our findings explore the manifestation of professionalism centred on heterosexual norms. Such heteroprofessionalism compromises educator authenticity and vulnerability as they are forced to compartmentalise who they are to preserve their image and safety. We examine implicit biases that could potentially impact our academic and professional potential as educators. Further, we challenge the performative nature of the education system whose 'inclusion' often reveals itself as superficial attempts of representation (Formby, 2015, p. 636; Malmquist et al., 2013, p. 9). For example, we critique the representations often attributed to queer identities, as quarantined, obscured and victimised. Our recommendations for educational practice are aimed at the facilitation of critical professionalism with the aim to deconstruct hetero and homonormative assumptions of sexuality and gender in teacher professionalism. This practice is essential for Queer and non-Queer educators alike as we work together to foster educational environments that simultaneously prepare students for navigating encounters with a diverse society inclusive of LGBTQI+ people and encourage students' own self-exploration and acceptance.

[Scheduling for this presentation]


Teaching speakers of Indigenous contact languages in Australian classrooms

Carly Steele
Curtin University
Email: carly.steele@curtin.edu.au

Most Indigenous peoples live in urban and regional settings across Australia and no longer speak their traditional languages fluently. Instead contact languages, creoles and dialects, are widely spoken. Little is known about these languages especially in educational settings where the first languages of many Indigenous children remain "invisible" to educators (Sellwood & Angelo, 2013). Consequently, these students may not be treated as second language learners of Standard Australian English (SAE) and their language learning requirements are not considered. In this presentation, I analyse the SAE learning needs of Indigenous primary school aged children in Far North Queensland using oral elicited imitation of simple sentences in SAE as a research method. The results are compared with native monolingual SAE speakers showing significant differences in SAE oral language ability between the two groups. This finding has important implications for classroom teaching practices and educational policies, including the need for improved educational recognition of Indigenous students' language backgrounds and the targeted teaching of SAE in classroom settings.

[Scheduling for this presentation]


Novice's journey

Veronika Sutton
Edith Cowan University
Email: veronica.sutton@education.wa.edu.au

Veronika Sutton has worked as Associate Principal at Woodvale Secondary College for twelve years. Her passion for social and emotional wellbeing was fortified when she managed the school priority of Social and Emotional Wellbeing of staff and students through two school Business Plan cycles from 2014-2020. During that time Veronika embedded positive psychology initiatives through the college and worked closely with the wider community. She then commenced a PhD measuring the effectiveness of implementing Positive Education in a government secondary metropolitan high school in a cost effective and sustainable way. In this mixed methods, case study research, her data focus were students transitioning from primary to secondary over two years to understand their challenges and supports. Veronika evaluated whether their immersion into Positive Education and, in particular, the explicit teaching of positive psychology interventions that enabled every child to recognise their emotions and build a tool kit for managing them, was effective. Veronika also conducted focus group semi structured interviews of teachers to see whether explicitly teaching Positive Education lowered their stress levels. As she moves towards submitting her PhD thesis, Veronika presents a reflection of the learning journey she has followed.

[Scheduling for this presentation]


Negotiating the old and the new: Translingual identity of postgraduate international students in Australia

Ana Tankosic and Sender Dovchin
Curtin University
Email: ana.tankosic@postgrad.curtin.edu.au

Translingual identity, as part of the translingual paradigm, is a concept that encompasses one's hybrid language background and practices as well as sociocultural, ethno-racial, and religious backgrounds and represents them as elements that work in unison in its mobile and transformative construction. This study argues how transformative nature of translingual identity leads to the negotiation between the heritage legacy of cultural rituals and languages and those embedded within the host environment. It looks into international students' construction of translingual identity in Australia and their sociolinguistic and cultural adaptation into the host community, as well as negotiation of multiple obstacles that they come across in their integration process. Transtextual data analysis shows how their linguistic integration is characterised by complex processes of negotiation between heritage and host language and culture and initial cultural shock informed by the transition from academic English to everyday English. Ultimately, the findings in this study portray how translingual identity of international students is characterised by the continuous negotiation between the old heritage attachments and new reality in terms of language and culture, and how in their process of adaptation, they still employ strategies and coping mechanisms that entail familiarity to preserve their well-being that is often disrupted with their migration. This research expands the literature on translingual identities showing how linguistic and cultural integration of migrants does not entail a complete assimilation to the ways of life in the host community, but negotiation of linguistic and cultural aspects of their translingual identity.

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Inattentive, needy and demanding: Is this really Generation Z? Presenting from a scoping review

Siobhan Unwin, Timothy Teo, Anabela Malpique and Sian Chapman
Curtin University
Email: siobhan.unwin@curtin.edu.au

Much has been written about Generation Z. The Z Generation has been described as inattentive (Camfield et al., 2020; EAB, 2019), needy (Camfield et al., 2020; Deluiis & Saylor, 2021) and demanding (Goldman & Martin, 2016; Patton, 2015; Varallo, 2008). The issue with these characteristics is they come entirely from studies that are not peer-reviewed or, more likely, from media articles. This generation is entering a crucial time of transition: from secondary education to further education and training or transitioning to the world of work. It is crucial that educators understand what the empirical literature says about the characteristics and learning needs of this generation. This presentation is based on the first scoping review on this topic. We explore the findings of 28 empirical studies on the characteristics of Generation Z, their learning needs and the evidence-based teaching approaches that work. We reframe much of the discussion on Generation Z and provide a new perspective on how the study of this generation is one way to address the present and future challenges of the 21st Century.

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The assessment of EFL speaking skills: Comparing digital representation and conventional methods

Thi Bich Hiep Vu, Jeremy Pagram, Anne Thwaite and Alistair Campbell
Edith Cowan University
Email: hiepvuthibich@gmail.com

The assessment of speaking skills in the teaching of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) involves more complicated logistics, management, and expense than other language skills assessment, with its reliability and accuracy questionable (Fulcher, 2014). Conventional face-to-face interviewing methods are effective to measure learners' communicational abilities in their target language but are not logistically efficient and are quite localised. The integration of computer based methods in speaking assessment has been available for some time and these technologies seem to reduce logistical problems and ease assessment management. However, they have been criticised for their inability to replicate the true nature of conversational and interactive face-to-face interviews (Kenyon & Malone, 2010). Digital representation, which was explored in Stables and Kimbell's (2007) performance assessment, appears to be a method that retains the conversational nature of speaking assessment while supporting effective logistics and assessment management.

This paper describes a study which compared digital representation and conventional face-to-face assessment of EFL speaking in a university in Vietnam. The findings show that digital representation and conventional assessment of EFL speaking were correlated and suggest that digital representation might be a new method for reliable speaking assessment. The study confirmed that digital representation of EFL speaking enhanced the reliability and accuracy of speaking assessment, retained evidence of students performance for later review, and facilitated marking and administration.

References
Fulcher, G. (2014). Testing second language speaking. New York, NY: Pearson Education ESL. https://www.routledge.com/Testing-Second-Language-Speaking/Fulcher/p/book/9780582472709
Kenyon, D. M., & Malone, M. (2010). Investigating examinee autonomy in a computerized test of oral proficiency. In L. Araujo (Ed.), JRC Scientific and Technical Reports, pp1-28. Luxembourg, Belgium: Publications Office of the European Union. https://www2.testdaf.de/fileadmin/Redakteur/PDF/Forschung-Publikationen/Volume_European_Commission_2010.pdf#page=10
Stables, K. & Kimbell, R. (2007). Evidence through the looking glass: Developing performance and assessing capability. In 13th International Conference on thinking: Curious minds think and learn by exploring the unknown. Norrköping, Sweden, 17-21 June. http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/316/
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The role of educators and parents in managing young children's engagement and safety online

Sinead Wilson
Curtin University
Email: sinead.wilson@postgrad.curtin.edu.au

The proposed research will investigate the digital technologies young children are engaging with, how parents and educators can best manage children's active learning with these technologies while staying safe online. A secondary aim of the research will be to understand if a correlation exists between technology use in Early Years Centres and technology use in the family home. Through qualitative analysis of data collected through both observations of young children, and interviews with the parents and Early Years educators, the research will present an in-depth investigation into Western Australian children's use of digital technologies. This qualitative analysis will include an exploration of the opportunities and risks related to children's engagement with digital technologies, specifically at 3 and 4 years of age. Research evidence of effective strategies utilised by carers of children could inform governments and policy makers and enable them to create relevant and up-to-date policies for Early Years Centres, as well as provide valuable and informed advice to parents.

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Informed choices: Investigating the resources used by WA primary school teachers to inform the teaching of written grammar

Jeannine Wishart
The University of Western Australia
Email: jlwishart61@gmail.com

This research presents an investigation of the resources primary school teachers of Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 in Western Australia used to inform the teaching of written grammar, in the context of the implementation of the Australian curriculum. The social constructivist paradigm was used to frame the study which used a mixed methodology approach of surveys and semi-structured interviews. The study found that the participating teachers, whilst believing in the importance of teaching written grammar, found grammar difficult and complex to teach. The teachers believed that they had limited pedagogical content knowledge about grammar and reported difficulty in locating appropriate resources to assist them. These findings are important in the context of often deficit discourse regarding teacher knowledge about written grammar and the expectation on teachers to teach it as part of the curriculum. The study has important implications for curriculum development, professional learning and teacher practice in the area of written grammar.

[Scheduling for this presentation]


Threats to the emotional wellbeing of mainland Chinese students studying in Australia: A recurring theme

Jian Zhao, Elaine Chapman and Thomas O'Donoghue
The University of Western Australia
Email: 22645807@student.uwa.edu.au

In 2017, international students contributed almost $32 billion to Australia's (Maslen, 2018). More than half of that was attributable to students from China (McGowan, 2018). In light of this, it is vital from an economic perspective that research continues into ways to ensure that Chinese students' study experiences are positive and productive. This paper is one contribution to that goal. It is based on a study that aimed to generate theory on the potential risk that may influence mainland Chinese postgraduate students' mental health and well-being while studying at an Australian university at the end of their first year of enrolment. Nineteen such students in one Australian university participated in one-on-one in-depth semi-structured interviews. Data were analysed using grounded theory approaches. Results are presented in a tripartite model of interactive risk factors: psychological stress, perceived safety and displacement. Implications for further research are also considered.

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Awakening to intercultural awareness in young language learners: Teachers' practices and beliefs in early childhood classrooms

Yue Zhao
Edith Cowan University
Email: yzhao12@our.ecu.edu.au

Development of intercultural capability is integral to language teaching and learning. For global citizens, as students are in the present era, it is expected that language teachers design and implement pedagogies for effective engagement in activities that facilitate intercultural understanding as an essential part of the language program. Despite advances in empirical research in theory and practices in this area, little has been done to investigate how and to what extend teachers of young Chinese as a second language learners employ culture embedded practices in the Australian context. Drawn from both literature and data collected in a doctoral project which explores Pre-primary to Year 2 Chinese teachers' practices and beliefs in a few Australian primary schools, this presentation intends to discuss the findings that demonstrate what teachers do in their everyday teaching to enhance children's intercultural awareness, their beliefs about why these activities are considered effective, as well as the challenges they encounter. The audience might be able to take away some classroom strategies for raising children's intercultural awareness at a young age. Ways of how to integrate cultural activities into language content teaching and how to conduct self-reflection as teachers on the adopted cultural activities would also be discussed.

[Scheduling for this presentation]


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