Dr Sonja Kuzich (President)
Dr Sonja Kuzich is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Education, Curtin University. Sonja is a passionate educator who advocates strongly for teachers, teacher education, and the promotion of educational research through service as a (former) VP of the Professional Teaching Council of Western Australia (PTCWA); AITSL Teacher Accreditation panelist; co-convenor of the United Nations (WA) Education Committee; and, President of WAIER. Sonja was recipient of the 2021 WAIER Early Career Award. My research interests include social justice and equity, literacy practices in schools, educational policy development and implementation particularly through a sustainability agenda, and the impact of nature on children’s affective and cognitive outcomes. My Ph.D. is in education for sustainability and I have published articles in the fields of teaching and learning, educational policy, literacy, and sustainability.
“I have been commissioned by UNESCO to investigate Global Citizenship Education (GCED) within schools and in teacher education across Australia. Of particular interest is the ways GCED may be interpreted in Australia – for example, as sustainability education, peace education, and human rights education This project will result in a practical handbook for teachers across the Asia Pacific region to embed the principles of GCED into their classroom practice.”
“For the last three years, I have been working on the Centre of Excellence in the Explicit Teaching of Literacy project with the Department of Education. This project has drawn on the knowledge and expertise of exemplary schools to create a bespoke literacy professional learning (PL) program for teachers and school leaders. This unique model of PL provided classroom teachers and school leaders with role models and mentors for the explicit teaching of literacy and to be able to see the practices in situ. The project has resulted in a positive and sustained impact on whole school literacy teaching practices in 65 schools across Western Australia.”
In teacher education, I have three current research projects: 1) Teachers as writers/writers as teachers – investigating the writer identity and confidence of pre-service teachers and the impact it may have on their work as teachers. 2) First-year student engagement, support, and retention- investigating the needs of first-year education students to thrive in a higher education environment. 3) Storybuilders – examining the use of interactive, collaborative story creation on the development of oral and written narrative knowledge of primary children.
“I was invited to join the WAIER Committee by a colleague as an introduction to the educational research community. As I progressed through my PhD and started writing papers, I found the collegiality and support of the WAIER community were invaluable in developing my ideas and skills in educational research. I would like to be able to offer those same opportunities to others.”
Dr Paul Gardner (Vice President)
Jette Oksis (Secretary)
Catholic Education of WA
Dr Gregory Hine (Treasurer)
University of Notre Dame Australia
Greg’s teaching career spans 22 years, and he commenced his tertiary teaching role in 2011. As a Senior Lecturer, Greg teaches classes in general pedagogy, education research methods, and secondary mathematics content and pedagogy. He is currently the Program Coordinator for the Bachelor of Secondary Education.
My main research area and teaching interests lie within secondary mathematics education. The purpose of one recent study was to examine and monitor changes over time in pre-service, secondary mathematics teachers’ (PSMTs) views about their approaches to teaching mathematics in secondary schools, before and after undertaking mathematics teaching methods courses (including practicum teaching). These views included their perceived readiness to teach secondary mathematics, as well as an indication of their likelihood to use particular teaching approaches for mathematics. PSMTs at two Australian universities were surveyed before and after they undertook their respective teaching methods courses, and interviewed upon course completion. Overall, survey data did not indicate a significant change in PSMTs’ views of readiness to teach mathematics from either university (N = 61 pre-survey, N = 34 post-survey). An analysis of interview data revealed that PSMTs were not ready to teach secondary mathematics, with their emphasis focused on their mathematical content knowledge and mathematical pedagogical knowledge as areas of requiring improvement. Nearly half of the interviewees reported feeling confident to teach mathematics to lower secondary classes (Years 7-10). Despite these concessions, all interviewed PSMTs outlined at least one area where they had experienced professional growth since commencing a teacher education degree.
“My reason and motivation in joining the WAIER committee is to work with highly committed people to promote high quality educational research in Western Australia.”
Dr Clare McBeath
WAIER Life Member
PhD (Curtin), MA(Ed) (Southampton UK), BA (Adelaide), Diploma in Teaching (Adelaide CAE), Diploma in Training & Assessment Systems (Curtin), Diploma in Applied Language (Central TAFE, WA), Advanced Cert in Media Production (Kilkenny Tech, SA).
WAIER Life Member; WAIER Fellow; PCTWA Outstanding Professional service Award.
“As a trained secondary school teacher I taught in Sarawak and Brunei for 15 years before undertaking a Master of Arts in Education in the UK. On return to Australia I worked with Adult Aboriginal Education in SA, Deakin University and the Gordon Technical College in Victoria, and the TAFE National Centre for R&D in Adelaide. I was appointed to Curtin University where I coordinated the Training and Development Program, offering degree and graduate diploma courses in further education. I believe it was the most diverse and interesting program in the School of Education!”
For list of publications see http://www.clare-mcbeath.id.au/
“Since retirement in 2003 I have continued my involvement with WAIER, undertaking programming and publishing for the annual Forum, and editorial and publishing responsibility for Issues in Educational Research.”
Dr Saul Karnovsky
“I am an experienced pre-service teacher educator and early career researcher, specialising in the fields of teacher emotions, pedagogy, professional ethics, and classroom management. My recently completed thesis explored pre-service teacher emotions in learning to teach. In my research I draw upon post-structural theory to examine how emotions emerge within the modern neo-liberal contexts of schooling from the historical, social, and political processes in which they are enacted. I embrace an alternative ontological space, seeking to deeply engage with new ideas and different theoretical perspectives of education. My current research interests are in supporting schools and pre-service teachers to provide open and understanding spaces for educators to address emotional labour in a professional and ethical manner.”
“I am currently working on a Curtin University funded teaching & learning project: “Developing an authentic teaching video resource for pre-service teacher professional development in managing the secondary learning environment.” The projects aim is to provide pre-service teachers with an authentic and engaging rich-media resource that simulates real-world scenarios of classroom management. The project is partnering with the West Australian Youth Theatre Company (https://waytco.com/) to hire young actors to play the part of school students in an authentic scenario-based video resource. Once produced for implementation in course design, the project will research teacher educators and pre-service teachers as to their confidence and understanding of key positive classroom management skills. My research interests include in-service and pre-service teacher wellbeing, emotional labour, teacher education, organisational self-care.”
“I joined WAIER as I was supported in a substantial way by the organisation when I was a doctoral student and wish to give back to other emerging education researchers in WA.”
Dr Patricia (Trish) Collins
Edith Cowan University
Dr Trish Collins is a lecturer in Early Childhood Studies in the School of Education at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia. Trish worked in Pre-K to Yr2 early childhood classrooms for 20+ years before becoming an early childhood consultant for CEWA in the Kimberley region and then across the state. She has also worked as a consultant for Early Life Foundation (Walker Learning). Her research focuses on personal values (i.e., motivational goals) in childhood and how these impact children’s well-being and behaviour.
“My research interests include personal values, wellbeing, behaviour, social support and motivational goals. I am currently examining early childhood pre-service teacher’s knowledge of their own personal values (i.e., motivational goals) to give them an insight into how they will impact the children they teach and how children’s values may be similar or opposing to their own.”
“I joined WAIER as I believe that it is important that research being conducted in WA is promoted and disseminated to the community. WAIER also provides the opportunity for me to network and collaborate across institutions.”
Dr Sian Chapman
Dr Sian Chapman is a Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Education at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia. With a background in dance, Sian teaches arts education across the undergraduate and graduate initial teacher education programs at Murdoch. Published research to date examines arts curriculum implementation practices in primary schools, teacher wellbeing, and inclusive education perspectives of pre-service health and physical education teachers. Current research projects include A/R/Tography and multimodal frameworks as methodologies.
“My research interests lie in arts and movement, inclusive education, curriculum theory, and education policy practices with a focus on improving educational outcomes for all students. I have a particular interest in complexity theory and how the nature of complex systems interact across school contexts”.
“I joined WAIER as a way to connect to other educational researchers across Western Australia. I joined the WAIER committee as a way to support and promote educational research more broadly.”
Department of Education WA
Michelle Murphy is a passionate educator of many years with extensive experience in English Literature, Media and Communication Studies. She is currently an educator–trainer and actively involved in many professional communities. She is the current Vice President of the Level Three Classroom Teacher Association. She is has been a member of WAIER since 2010 and enjoys the opportunity to examine how contemporary research impacts her daily work practice.
Associate Professor Wendy Cumming-Potvin
Wendy Cumming-Potvin (PhD) is an Associate Professor and the Research Director in the School of Education at Murdoch University, Western Australia. For over two decades, Wendy’s research has highlighted diversity, equity, and inclusion, with a focus on culture, language, gender, and sexuality. Wendy has a background in second language teaching, multiliteracies and language immersion education. Her qualitative and participatory research highlights translational knowledge, generated through community collaboration and supportive relationships.
Dr Sally Lamping
I have spent over twenty years as a teacher, teacher educator, and researcher in primary, secondary, and adult education contexts across the world. A large portion of my research is on the secondary English classroom and youth identities, with a specific focus on migrant youth and how schools can become enabling spaces for students and teachers. I was a 2015 U.S. Fulbright Core Senior Research Scholar in Adelaide, South Australia, where I worked and conducted research alongside newly arrived students in Australia’s only stand-alone New Arrival Program for adolescents. I am currently the project lead on three multifaceted Critical Participatory Action Research projects with migrant communities in Local Government Areas of Perth; the projects focus on how learning happens in situational community-driven contexts that can inform sustainable local government initiatives.
WAIER Life Member
Department of Education / HDR Curtin University
Cleo Jenkins is a highly motivated educator who leads with strong moral purpose. She is a vibrant educational leader who focuses on exemplary teaching practice, collaboration, and building mutual trust between students and educators. Cleo strives to provide an engaging and supportive environment with high expectations that enables each student to achieve their potential. She maximises educational outcomes for students by developing a positive school culture with strong performance and development, and where trust and staff wellbeing are paramount.
Cleo actively models a lifelong commitment to learning and is highly professional. She is a Level Three Classroom Teacher, obtained a Masters of Education through Curtin University, and is currently undertaking a Doctorate Research Degree focusing on supporting the wellbeing of school leaders in primary schools. In her current role as Deputy Principal for the Department of Education, she has worked significantly in the last 10 years to advise and support staff in leadership development, school improvement planning, data analysis and curriculum delivery.
‘I look forward to working with WAIER to connect with educational researchers across Western Australia, support others by promoting educational research, and benefit from the collegial support as a Doctor of Education candidate.’
HDR Murdoch University
Richard Gordon BA (Curtin University), Graduate Diploma of Education (Tertiary and Workplace) (Murdoch University), Master of Educational Technology (Murdoch University).
I returned to Higher Education after a long career in broadcast television, mainly as a network director with the BBC. As a lifelong learner and early career researcher, my interests include educational philosophy, critical media literacy, and how higher education and technology interact. My recent Master’s was a tremendously rewarding introduction to education research at this level. The study employed a sociocultural perspective on secondary English teachers’ experiences with technology-enhanced learning and it inspired additional respect for practitioners in this time of great change. I am currently in my first year of a PhD at Murdoch University, and my research will explore undergraduate critical media literacy skills in higher education. Alongside my doctoral studies, I am assisting on a research project conducted by Murdoch University and the WA Maritime Museum that explores First Nations’ representation in museum spaces.
In 2021 and 2022, I attended the WAIER Forum and discovered how stimulating and supportive this network for education research is, especially for early career researchers. The yearly forum is one example of the valuable role WAIER plays in promoting education research in Western Australia. This year, I was invited to join the WAIER General Committee. I now sit on the WAIER Strategic Planning Committee and the WAIER Research Grant Panel and look forward to contributing to a successful 2023 for the education research community.
Dr Xuyen Lee
Since 2013, Xuyen has been a lecturer at the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics (the Academy) in Hanoi, Vietnam. The Academy is the national centre for training mid-level and high-ranking leaders of the political system in Vietnam. Xuyen’s job engages in researching and teaching on making and implementing development policies in culture and education fields for Vietnam. I hold a master’s degree from Beijing Normal University in China and wrote my thesis in the Chinese language.
I have been working in education fields for the last 15 years which involves many fields: Education for Sustainable Development, Education for International Understanding, Education Reforms Policy, and Early Childhood Education and Care. My current key research interests are mental health and emotional well-being in education. I want to apply mindfulness, meditation, and ‘emotion education’ in schools at all levels, teacher education and child-rearing at home to enhance mindfulness meditation skills, mental health, and emotional well-being in both children and adults surrounding the child (school leaders, teachers, parents and other caregivers.)
In my PhD research in Early childhood education in UWA, I interviewed expert teachers from different early years approaches Montessori, Steiner, Shichida, STEM, Multiple Intelligence, international schools, happiness-based schools, Happy School project-based settings, and public schools. 9 out of the 12 teachers that I interviewed have been practising mindfulness for many years with different practising approaches to mindfulness and 8 of them come from mindful schools, where school leaders are also the practitioners of mindfulness, experience the benefits of mindfulness, and apply the mindfulness-based social-emotional learning as a whole school approach and they engaged parents as a critical partner. Drew from ‘collective wisdom’ from teachers on how to bring mindfulness to themselves, parents and children and bring mindfulness to a class level and school level, I built a happy school model which emphasised the importance of ‘an awakened learning environment’ in nurturing emotional and social well-being and moving towards inner happiness for all stakeholders.
I have been supported so much when I presented my research at WAIER Forum 2022, I enjoyed the beautiful collegiality of the WAIER Committee members. Thus, I am motivated to join the team, learn from seniors, and resonate my work with other WAIER Committee members who are real experts in their educational expertise to contribute to the common mission of WAIER.