PhD Students


Deb Agnew

Working Title

Life after football: the construction of masculinity following a career in elite Australian Rules football.

Overview

This research focuses on the construction of masculinity following a career as an elite Australian Rules footballer. It is a descriptive and inductive study which utilises social construction and life history methodology. Twenty retired AFL footballers took part in a semi-structured interview through which the key topics of masculinity, life as a footballer, life after football, pain and injury, the media, the fans, retirement and the male body were explored. The interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. The data was then analysed using the Braun and Clarke (2006) inductive thematic model. Seven themes emerged from the research: hegemonic masculinity, the media, pain and injury, football, identity, the male body and retirement.

Supervisor(s)

Status

  Graduated (2011)

Contact

deb.agnew@flinders.edu.au


Carolyn Gregoric

Working Title

School-community interactions in two secondary schools in Adelaide, South Australia.

Overview

This study focused on the impact of community and business organisations on schools. School-community involvement is based on the premise that the whole community, not just schools, has an important role in students' learning and education. In recent years, through policies and programs, the Australian government has been encouraging more community and business involvement in schooling.Yet, despite the importance attached to school-community relationships, insufficient attention has been given to understanding this growing phenomenon.

This predominantly qualitative study of school-community interactions extends current studies of the interface between schools and the community by examining the dynamics and complexities of many organisations operating concurrently with a school. The overall purpose was to investigate the school-community interactions and their effect on students, school staff and the community. Factors leading to successful school-community interactions were also considered.

Supervisor(s)

Status

  Graduated (2012)

Contact

carolyn.gregoric@flinders.edu.au


Lesley Henderson

Working Title

Leadership in Gifted Education: The role of the Gifted Education coordinator in South Australian schools.

Overview

This qualitative research draws on the literature and research from the fields of Gifted Education, Leadership and School Reform to better understand the nature of the role of the Gifted Education Coordinator, its leadership context and significance for raising student achievement in schools.  Data will be collected from focus group discussions and individual interviews with a purposeful sample of Gifted Education Coordinators.

My hypothesis is that the role of the Coordinator is critical in providing leadership for Gifted Education in schools. Whilst there is some literature that describes the role of the Gifted Education leader, there is no research that investigates the nature of that role in SA schools. This research will ask questions to establish whether these coordinators perceive their role predominantly as a teacher of gifted students or as a leader in Gifted Education and will explore their ideas about leadership in Gifted Education and leadership for Gifted Education in their schools.

Supervisor(s)

Status

  Continuing  

Contact

lesley.henderson@flinders.edu.au


Carol Le Lant

Working Title

What impact do Interactive Whiteboards, used as a teaching tool, have on engagement and performance on reading tasks of students with intellectual disability?

Overview

This research is a comparative study on the use of Interactive Whiteboards versus traditional teaching delivery with respect to teaching an aspect of grapho-phonic knowledge to students with an Intellectual Disability. The Alternating Treatments Design allows the evaluation of each student’s behaviour to be individually analysed so that any changes or differences in behaviour between the two different teaching formats can be identified. Student engagement behaviours, across the three domains of task, affect and cognition, are rated to help identify whether one teaching methodology is more engaging than the other, and whether any differences in student engagement behaviours are associated with improved reading outcomes.

Supervisor(s)

Status

  Continuing

Contact

carol.lelant@flinders.edu.au


Shaileigh Page

Working Title

Investigating teachers' promotion of powerful positive affect in the primary mathematics classroom.

Overview

This study investigates teachers' promotion of powerful positive affect in primary mathematics classrooms in one school. Powerful positive affect is defined as "patterns of affect [attitudes, beliefs, values, and feelings] and behaviour that foster children's intimate engagement, interest, concentration, persistence, and mathematical success" (Alston, Goldin, Jones, McCulloch, Rossman, & Schmeelk, 2007, p. 327). Affect is an essential aspect of mathematics education, as it can assist or impede learning and predict future success or failure (Evans, 2006; Hannula, Evans, Philipou, & Zan, 2004; Leder, 2006; McLeod, 1992; Schuck & Grootenboer, 2004. This thesis focuses on teachers, the process of their professional learning along with the concerns and tensions they experience as they promote powerful positive affect in their mathematics classrooms.

An ethnographic approach (Bogdan, 2007; Eisenhardt, 2001; Quantz & O'Connor, 1988; Tedlock, 2001) is adopted in this study to investigate how teachers promote powerful positive affect in their mathematics classroom. The Year 3-5 teachers in one school were invited to participate and five research participants volunteered. Data was gathered from these participants through individual interviews, group interviews in the form of professional learning groups, classroom observations, and the teachers' reflective journals. Cultural-historical activity theory (Engestrom, 1987, 1999a) and the Stages of Concern (Hall & Hor, 2006) were used to analyse and understand teachers' adoption and development of tools that promote powerful positive affect. This thesis makes an original contribution to knowledge by developing theory and offers a conceptual model that describes the process of how teachers promote powerful positive affect. This model comprises four layers, highlighting the characteristics of individual teachers, unique school contexts, tools used to promote powerful positive affect, and professional learning environments.

Supervisor(s)

Status

  Graduated (2012)

Contact

shaileigh.page@flinders.edu.au


Wilma Reyes

Working Title

Developing a multi-cultural teacher education curriculum using a collaborative-participatory approach.

Overview

The purpose of this study is to introduce an innovative approach to how curriculum is developed in teacher education programs in the Philippines. Using the collaborative participatory approach, the aim of the curriculum development process that was undertaken was to reverse the top-down model of curriculum making to a bottom up approach that directly involved teachers and students in development of the curriculum and decision-making. The curriculum process led to the successful creation of a multicultural curriculum in a teacher education program that is responsive to its local context.

Supervisor(s)

Status

  Continuing  

Contact

reye0007@flinders.edu.au


Sam Schulz

Working Title

Governing the Good Teacher: A white governmentality lens on the ‘white’ teacher in South Australia’s APY Lands.

Overview

This study is a critical examination of the ‘white’ teacher’s disposition to his/her place and role in a remote Indigenous context. The field of Anangu Education in South Australia’s Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands provides the specific frame of research. In relation to this field the study poses the figurative and intentionally subversive question, what does it mean to be a good white teacher in today’s APY? The study begins with awareness of the historical constitution of ‘raced’ subjectivities in the context of colonisation. It recognises that the Western subject of colonial heritage comes to know and understand itself through the generation of knowledge of the East – the ‘Other’. In Australia, the Aboriginal is the most enduring Other in the making and remaking of the ‘white’ Australian. In asking what it means to be a good ‘white’ teacher, the research explores what it means to do good as a white person for those historically positioned as Other. It asks how ‘race’ shapes the teacher’s worldview and how acts of racialised domination tend to be reproduced owing to their invisibility to white subjects, despite the teacher’s best intentions. To explore these relations the research adopts a white governmentality framework and deconstructs the life history interviews of fifteen white teachers.

Supervisor(s)

Status

  Continuing  

Contact

samantha.schulz@flinders.edu.au


Pawel Skuza

Working Title

Local item independence in large scale international assessments

Overview

This research project is designed to gain an understanding of the veracity of the mathematical models used to scale the data from large scale international assessments such as PISA. It is expected that this project will give insight into some of the technical aspects of obtaining students' proficiency scores by addressing a number of research issues related to the assumption of local item independence in large scale international testing programs. It will assess the impact of LII violations on validity and reliability of reported students' ability scores as well as countries' average performances.

Supervisor(s)

Status

  Continuing  

Contact

pawel.skuza@flinders.edu.au


Grace Skrzypiec

Working Title

Adolescent offending behaviour: An analysis to inform a school based intervention using the “Theory of Planned Behavior”

Overview

Fishbein's (2008) Integrative Model of behavioural prediction is a theory based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour (Ajzen, 1991) which suggests that underlying all behaviour is a small set of variables which directly relate to the intention to undertake that behaviour. While some success has been found in making changes to behaviours that relate to good health, the Integrative Model theory is yet to be fully tested in the offending domain. In the first phase of the research, interviews with male and female adolescent offenders and non-offenders, as well as a review of criminological theories, suggested an expansion of the Integrative Model for the offending context. The newly derived model will be tested in this research. It will measure the variables of Attitudes, Subjective Norms, Self-Efficacy, Moral Norms, Freedom, Negative Affect, and Reputation Enhancement. The research will determine if these variables are valid antecedents of adolescent offending behaviour. The findings will provide an evidence-base which will inform the development of a school-based crime prevention intervention, so that the most important antecedents can be addressed. Alternatively, if the results suggest that the antecedents are not good predictors of offending behaviour then a conclusion that another approach would be needed will be reached.

Supervisor(s)

Status

  Graduated (2012)

Contact

grace.skrzypiec@flinders.edu.au


Nanang Bagus Subekti

Working Title

The quality of Indonesian teachers' knowledge bases for teaching English as a foreign language

Overview

This PhD research project begins from the underlying assumption that the quality of teachers' knowledge bases for teaching influences the quality of teaching actions, which in turn influences the quality of student learning actions.

This study includes four major issues:

  1. background knowledge
  2. knowledge quality
  3. teaching quality
  4. quality of student learning actions

Reading comprehension is selected as a vehicle to access the quality of Indonesian teachers' knowledge bases for teaching. This study involves an in-depth investigation of five Indonesian teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL) and ten students, and applies multiple data collection methods, for example: observations, interviews, focus group, videotapes, and written narrative stories of teachers' teaching experience.

The quality of teachers' and students' knowledge elaboration will be analysed by applying a method of Quality Knowledge Framework (QKF) developed by Askell-Williams (2004) which includes five categories:

  1. Well-Foundedness
  2. Structure
  3. Complexity
  4. Situational Affordances and Constraints
  5. Cognitive Representations of Types of Knowledge.

Furthermore, the quality of teachers' and students' knowledge will be identified by the degree of the complexity of their knowledge elaboration.

Supervisor(s)

Status

  Continuing  

Contact

nanang.subekti@flinders.edu.au


Machdelena Vianty

Working Title

Indonesian Female Scholars Studying Abroad


Mirella Wyra

Working Title

The role of the bi-directional retrieval training, the ability to form mental images, and strategy and meta-strategy knowledge in foreign language vocabulary recall success.

Overview

The mnemonic keyword method is an effective technique for vocabulary acquisition. This experimental research examines the effects on recall of word-meaning pairs of: (a) training in use of the keyword procedure at the time of retrieval; (b) the influence of the self-rated ability to image, and (c) students’ strategy and meta-strategy knowledge. The performance of students trained in bidirectional retrieval using the keyword method to learn new Spanish words and their English definitions was compared to that of control group students who used the standard keyword procedure. Data on recall performance was gathered on five occasions and analysed using multilevel analysis procedures (HLM). The retrieval training was a significant predictor of both backward and forward recall performance as was the ability to make images as measured by Ability to Make Images questionnaire designed for this research. Students’ knowledge about the keyword method elements and how to use them was examined (PLS Path) indicating the relationship between strategy knowledge and backward recall.

Supervisor(s)

Status

  Continuing  

Contact

mirella.wyra@flinders.edu.au


Svetlana King

Working Title

Transitions from School to Work, Further Education and Training: Perspectives and Experiences of Students who Migrated to Australia as Refugees

Overview

Discussions with service providers, researchers and educators, and a review of the literature reveals that there has been limited research examining the transition of refugee students from school to work and/or further education. Using a case study methodology, this study attempts to address this issue by examining perspectives and experiences of the transition from secondary school to work, further education and training of students from refugee backgrounds. This research will follow a group of students as they make the post-school transition, and involves collaboration with community mentors and various stakeholders.

Supervisors

Status

  Continuing  

Contact

svetlana.king@flinders.edu.au


Debra Bradley

Working Title

Education towards ecological sustainability.

Overview

The objective of this study is to identify how one urban primary school, in an environment characterised by the demands of the current political agenda, negotiates the inclusion of ecological sustainability in its curriculum. The participating school is part of the Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative (AuSSI) which advocates for a whole-school approach to sustainability. This ethnographic study involves an analysis of the documents the school uses or produces that are connected to sustainability, interviews with school staff and any relevant community members, plus focus groups with some students.  

Supervisors

Status

  Continuing

Contact

debra.bradley@flinders.edu.au


Sam Elliott

Working Title

Parental influence in the junior sport experience: A collective case-study into junior Australian football in South Australia.

Overview

According to the contemporary Australian media, there are growing concerns that parental behaviour in children’s sport may be problematic. Although junior Australian football continues to be a popular sporting preference for boys and girls across the national landscape, it also comprises the chief site for reports surrounding the ‘ugly parent syndrome’. However, there remains a limited understanding of parental influence in the junior Australian football experience, presenting an understudied, yet culturally significant lacuna in the parent-sport literature.

Guided by a collective-case study design, this socio-cultural inquiry broadly generates insight into the role of the contemporary sport parent. Drawing on rich, descriptive interview data obtained from interviews with over 100 parents, children and coaches from remote, regional and metropolitan South Australia, the preliminary findings suggest that there are a multitude of ways through which parents can positively and/or negatively influnece the junior sport experience.

Supervisors

Status

  Continuing  

Contact

sam.elliott@flinders.edu.au


Stefania Velardo

Working Title

Understanding preadolescent nutrition literacy in low socioeconomic communities.

Overview 

The role of nutrition in healthy development is well established, yet the incidence of diet-related non-communicable diseases amongst Australian children has increased over time. Poor decision making around healthy food selection suggests that many children lack nutrition literacy, which encompasses an individual’s ability to access and interpret basic nutrition information and make nutrition related decisions in everyday life. This concept extends beyond individual knowledge to consider the role of deeply-rooted socio-cultural norms around health and eating. Most research to date has focused on the important role of parents with regards to children’s health outcomes; however children’s own nutrition literacy may also influence their diets given that children are often responsible for unsupervised decision-making around food as they progress into preadolescence.

 

This research project explores the concept of nutrition literacy amongst preadolescent children aged 10-12 living in a disadvantaged region of Adelaide, using a socio-ecological model of health. Data has been collected from a series of focus group and individual interviews with 38 student participants. Listening to the voices of children and considering the broader social context is important in order to facilitate the development of future health education interventions that are based upon their specific needs.

Supervisors

Status

  Continuing

Contact

stefania.velardo@flinders.edu.au


Kate Berniz

Working Title

Does a critical pedagogical approach to Spanish language/culture teaching and learning impact on aspects of Spanish students’ motivations and proficiency?

Overview

This thesis provides a critical narrative analysis of contemporary Spanish language teaching/learning practices in an institution of formal learning in SA. In broad terms, the thesis examines the complex and hostile historical and socio-political context of languages education (policy and programs) in Australia and SA. More specifically, it critically and reflexively examines personal, social and institutional positionings of Spanish (language (s) / culture (s)), as a marginal discourse and site of struggle in the schooling experience of some. Using a contested participant and institutionally negotiated Freireian framework, a Year 10 Spanish classroom community’s participants and I ‘negotiated’ and ‘co-constructed’ a critical pedagogy in Spanish lessons with a focus on the students’ voices, motivations and verbal proficiency. I describe the complex ways in which ‘we’ produced hegemonic, technical, compliant, subordinate, marginal and transformative positionings. I examine ‘banking methods’ regulating ‘our’ collaborations and ask whose interests these serve.

 

Supervisors

Status

  Continuing  

Contact

kate.berniz@flinders.edu.au


Deanna Gannaway

Working Title

Disentangling the process of curriculum making in Australian Bachelor of Arts programs.

Overview

This study focuses onhow the curriculum is conceived and constructed in Bachelor of Arts programs - the most prevalent and longest standing of higher education programs in Australian universities. This study contends that the Australian Bachelor of Arts curricula are not simply accidental constructs. Instead it posits that the Australian Bachelor of Arts programs develop as a result of a series of negotiated processes in response to a complex series of forces and drivers. This research aims to identify and give voice to the multiple stakeholders of Australian generalist Arts programs who negotiate the complexities of the forces and drivers that prompt the processes of curriculum making. The work aims to give rise to a theoretical model of curriculum making that can be applied to other higher education award programs.

Supervisors

Status

  Continuing

Contact

d.gannaway@uq.edu.au


Muhammad Nur Akbar RAYSID

Working Title

The assessment of learning and teaching quality in higher education in Indonesia.

Overview

Quality has become an important issue in higher education in Indonesia since the issuance of the third Higher Education Long Term Strategy (HELTS 1996-2005) with the introduction of a new paradigm og higher education management. Several strategic efforts have been put in place such as the establishment of Nationa Accreditation Board for Higher Education in 1994, and the introduction of decentralisation and autonomy systems for higher education institutions. this research project will be about the assessment of learning and teaching quality in higher education in Indonesia. This study aims to develop an evidence-based framework by which the quality of teaching and learning in Indonesian higher education institutions can be systematically assessed and enhanced. this research is expected  to make an original contribution to the literature regarding frameworks for assessing and enhancing the quality of learning and teaching in Indonesian higher education. It is expected that the results of this study could be used to inform strategic planning, decision making, and resource allocation in regard to the assessment and the enhancement of learning and teaching quality in higher education institutions.

Supervisors

Status

  Continuing

Contact

akbar.rasyid@flinders.edu.au


Sutan Syarif Berkadia

Working Title

Successful schools in Indonesia: The impact of school categorisation through the national standardised testing on leadership, teaching, and learning.

Overview

The annual increase of the passing grade standard of Ujian Nasional (National Examination) beginning the elementary up to the senior secondary levels in the Indonesian education system within the past seven years has significantly affected not only students, but also parents, teachers and principals. This policy regarding the passing grade standard has made schools become much more accountable for improving student learning outcomes that are measured uniformly all over the country using the same test. The increasing accountability for student achievement has automatically made schools pay much more attention on how to prepare students to pass the standardised test as their success will tend to be judged by the result of this test.

This study explores school stakeholders' and government officials; perception of what constitutes a successful school within the context of the Indonesian education system. The result of this study is expected to be useful for educators, school administratos, and government officials in developing criteria to determine whether or not a school is successful that go beyond just student academic achievement.

Supervisors

Status

  Continuing

Contact

sutan.berkadia@flinders.edu.au


Brent Atherton

Working Title

Senior secondary school-based assessment: quality management processes and teachers' professional learning.

Overview

From 2011, all SACE Year 12 subjects have included a 70% school-based assessment component worth 70% of the final grade. A number of processes have been investigated to provide quality management of the assessment processes, with social moderation of the school-based assessment being one of the processes in all subjects. While much of the literature claims that social moderation provides effective professional development, there is little evidence that relates to high-stakes (e.g., end-of-secondary) assessment.  The research investigates the potential for teacher learning that might arise from involvement in the SACE Board quality management processes.  The research focuses on Physics teachers because, unlike many SACE subjects, assessment in Physics has never involved social moderation.  The longitudinal study follows fourteen teachers through the 2011 assessment cycle.  The mixed-method research involves document analysis, teacher questionnaires and interviews, and focus groups of SACE Board officers.

Supervisors

Status

  Continuing

Contact

brent.atherton@flinders.edu.au


Rozi Binte Rahmat

Working Title

Assessment for learning: An intervention study in Singapore using feedback to enhance teaching and learning.

Overview

The Singapore education system at present has an accent on examination results together with an approach to assessment that emphasises summative assessment (also known as assessment of learning). In contrast, in recent decades there has been an increasing emphasis in the international literature on formative assessment (also known as assessment for learning) as a means of increasing achievement through the enhancement of teaching and learning. The focus of my PhD is on the possibility of increasing the role of assessment for learning (self-directed learning, peer and written feedback and how teachers' professional learning can contribute to the implementation of assessment for learning) in one school context in Singapore. The research and its results could reveal some of the possible barriers to a greater use of assessment for learning in Singapore as well as the potential to increase assessment for learning in a sustainable way.

Supervisors

Status

  Continuing

Contact

bint009@flinders.edu.au


Huwaida Huwaida

Working Title

The developing of dayah curriculum in Aceh.

Overview

This research is a case study about the teachers or the organisers in a particular dayah salafi and their reaction to government decrees on how the teaching might have to change. The dayah salafi, which is located in Aceh province, Indonesia, is one of the Islamic boarding schools which does not implement the government's curriculum and focuses on the learning of Islamic religious knowledge which is based on Islamic classic textbooks. My research is about curriculum development in the dayah which is an Islamic Acehnese indigenous educational institution known to history. My thesis certainly should project the identity of the dayah, what the dayah does, and why the dayah does it.

Supervisors

Status

  Continuing

Contact

huwa0001@flinders.edu.au


Peter Nielsen

Working Title

Investigating the potential of a collaborative pathway for languages and literacy education in primary schools: a multilingual approach. 

Overview

From experience of Primary School classroom Spanish teaching, a curriculum-based approach to languages education has been developed: a multilingual literacy approach. It exemplifies certain principles and tasks, essentially seeking to integrate languages and general literacy teaching and learning based on the notions of universality, transference and contrastive analysis. For its further and more explicit development it has been disseminated in a professional learning program involving Primary Languages and Junior Primary classroom teachers through a two-year longitudinal study.

Contingency theory has provided a framework for this integrative research: employing a pragmatic method and system of philosophy where the logic of inquiry includes induction (discovery of patterns); deduction Testing of theories and hypotheses); and abduction (uncovering the best set of explanations for understanding and applying the results).

This study has engaged twenty-four classroom teachers and twelve teachers of six languages in collaborative action-based research that has yielded data for the creation of ten distinct case studies.

Supervisors

Status

  Continuing

Contact

peter.nielsen@flinders.edu.au


Habiburrahim

Working Title

Curriculum development in line with UUPA, local context, and concerns for graduate employability. 

Overview

This study is specifically designed to analyse the existing curriculum of the English Education Department of the State Institute for Islamic Studies of Ar-Raniry, Banda Aceh – Indonesia. The study will further assess if the current curriculum is in line with UUPA (Aceh self-governed regulation), local context, and labour market orientation.  At the end of the research, it is expected that this study will be able to develop a rich and comprehensive curriculum framework that the department can use to higher education design curricular that can empower local values, increase educational quality in Aceh in particular and throughout the nation in general, and enhance students’ life skills.

Supervisors

Status

  Continuing

Contact

habiburrahim@flinders.edu.au


Fadliadi

Working Title

In the shadow of the tsunami: Challenges for teachers working at a tsunami affected school in Aceh.

 

Overview

This study is qualitative, aiming at investigating challenges faced by teachers who work at schools within communities affected by the tsunami in Aceh. Case study is adopted as a method of investigation and data were collected using semi structured interviews with teachers, students, and community members supported by observations, photos and drawings.

 

Supervisor(s)

Status

  Continuing

Contact

fadl0001@flinders.edu.au


Ivan Raymond

Working Title

Adolescent life buoyancy: Can an intensive wilderness-adventure program foster the insight, skills and change mindset translatable to meaningful educational and wellbeing outcomes for young people at risk of educational disengagement. 

Overview

The author has operationalised a model of resilience (titled “life buoyancy”) that has been informed by the positive psychology, child development, motivation to change and program logic literature. The current PhD will systematically explore and validate the model through a process and outcome evaluation (pre-test post-test comparison group design) of the Operation Flinders wilderness-adventure program for youth-at-risk. This evaluation includes the application of evaluation measures tapping insight (e.g., values identification, problem awareness), skill expression (e.g., managing emotions, social capacity) and mindset (e.g., thinking style characteristic of a willingness to change). Longer-term behavioural (e.g., school attendance and behaviour) and wellbeing (e.g., satisfaction with life) outcomes will also be tapped, and the mediating role of shorter-term outcomes (insight, skills and mindset) explored.

Further information on this PhD research can be found at www.lifebuoyancy.org

Supervisor(s)

Status

  Continuing

Contact

ivan.raymond@flinders.edu.au

Doctoral Pathways

Information on Doctoral pathways can be found on the Research Higher Degrees section of the Flinders University website.

inspiring achievement