Seminars 2015

Symbolic Interactionism as a Framework for Education Research

Professor Tom O’Donoghue and Dr Angela Evangelinou-Yiannakis

This presentation locates Symbolic Interactionism (SI) within the Interpretivist research tradition. It emphasises its value in terms of the clarity it provides on a key set of concepts loosely used in other Interpretivist approaches. The manner in which this then provides clear direction for research design is outlined. The challenge the position raises for those who advocate so-called ‘mixed’ (not to mention ‘mixed methodology’) approaches is also considered. The seminar concludes with an overview of a recent SI study undertaken in WA.

Tom O’Donoghue is Professor of Education and PhD Coordinator in the Faculty of Education, The University of Western Australia. He is an elected Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and of the Royal Historical Society (UK). Drawing on historical and interpretative research approaches, he specialises in research on education, curriculum and leadership in both faith-based and challenging circumstances.

Angela Evangelinou-Yiannakis is an Honorary Research Fellow of the Faculty of Education, The University of Western Australia. She has been a teacher and leader in secondary education for 35 years. Her research expertise is in the teaching of Greek as a second language in Western Australia. Angela’s EdD thesis, a longitudinal qualitative study, conducted under the framework of Symbolic Interactionism, has recently been published.

Conducting research to inform education policy making

Associate Professor Laura Perry

In this presentation Laura Perry will discuss her experience and perspectives about conducting research that can be used to inform education policy. The presentation will cover the following points: choosing effective methodologies, research designs and paradigms; translating results in a way that is useful for policymakers; communicating results to the public; choosing a topic, and answering the “so what” question; and the importance of talking about effect sizes and educational significance.

Laura Perry is Associate Professor of education policy, comparative education and the social foundations of education at Murdoch University. She is also Associate Dean for Research in the School of Education. Her work about educational equity in Australia has been used by policymakers and was cited in the Gonski Report: Review of Funding for Schooling.

September 2015

Complexity thinking and education research

Professor Brent Davis

“Starting out with a brief history of complexity theory/science/thinking, I offer an Education-anchored definition of “complexity” and a brief survey of the ways that this evolving discourse has been taken up among educational researchers. I then illustrate what I perceive to be some possibilities for complexity thinking within educational research through the example of spatial reasoning”- Prof Davis

Professor Brent Davis has held multiple distinguished positions including the Canada Research Chair in Mathematics Education and the Ecology of Learning (University of Alberta), David Robitaille Chair in Mathematics Education (University of British Columbia), and is a current Werklund Professor and the Distinguished Research Chair in Mathematics Education (University of Calgary). Brent’s research is focused on the educational relevance of recent developments in the cognitive and complexity sciences. He has published books and articles in the areas of mathematics learning and teaching, curriculum theory, teacher education, epistemology, and action research. The principal foci of his research are teachers’ disciplinary knowledge of mathematics and the sorts of structures and experiences that might support mathematics learning among teachers.

July 2015

Power and participatory methodologies in school-based intervention research

Professor Liesel Ebersohn

The purpose of this presentation is to describe the use of Participatory Reflection and Action (PRA) methodology in education research contexts with high diversity. The deliberation is based on more than a decade’s school-based intervention research in primary and secondary schools faced with high risk and high need. The postcolonial South African ecology implies multiple diversity factors, including language, culture, educational opportunity and socio-economic class. It will be explained how PRA is beneficial to co-generate knowledge by acknowledging and accommodating power in an unequal society.

Liesel Ebersöhn is the Director of the Centre for the Study of Resilience and Full Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria. She is a registered educational psychologist and has received several awards for her research in Education and Educational Psychology – including in the category of Distinguished Researcher Women in Science Award, South African Department of Science and Technology. She is Secretary General of the World Education Research Association, Executive Editor of the South African Journal of Education and has been appointed as Visiting Professor world-wide (including Yale University, Department of Psychology and Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in AIDS, and the Fogarty Learning Centre, Edith Cowan University). She has read keynote papers and has been invited to present lectures across the globe.

July 2015

Multimodal Approaches to Video Analysis

Associate Professor Kay O’Halloran and Dr Sabine Tan

This seminar introduces a multimodal approach to video analysis using Multimodal Analysis Video software that has facilities to organize and code the analysis of language, image and sound resources. The time-­‐stamped annotations can be viewed as an interactive visualization where combinations of multimodal choices are displayed over time. The visualization is dynamic so that the patterns of systemic choices in the video and the time allocated to those combinations of choices can be discerned and related to higher levels of analysis. In this way, it is possible to investigate how multimodal resources combine to create meaning at different phases and to identify key patterns across multimodal corpora. The approach, demonstrated through an analysis of a micro teaching session, has major implications for educational research.

July 2015

These seminars are generously sponsored by the Teachers Mutual Bank.