The RIPPLE Effect FROM THE DIRECTOR
The importance of research collaboration “Australia’s best resource is its people and we all need to work together to transform our future,” emphasises Federal Minister Christopher Pyne in a video on the Australian Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) website. One of NISA‘s four key pillars is collaboration. RIPPLE welcomes policy changes under NISA designed to further facilitate the development and strengthening of partnerships and collaborations. Particularly beneficial is the shift to continuous submission of applications for the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Projects scheme. Indeed, we are currently celebrating the commencement of a new RIPPLE-led ARC Linkage Project involving a collaboration with eight Partner Organisations (see p. 3). We are also working closely with a further four organisations towards the submission of a new Linkage application in late 2016. ARC Linkage Project collaborations are just one of many types of partnership in which we are engaged. Collaborations and partnerships are central to our mission and to our day-to-day work.
We are actively seeking new forms of collaborations and jointly exploring innovative possibilities. For this reason, we have recently appointed Associate Professor Dianne Jackson, formerly CEO of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY), as Deputy Director of RIPPLE. Dianne’s role focuses specifically on fostering new and innovative partnerships and collaborations (see p. 2).
“Collaborations and partnerships are central to our mission and to our day-to-day work. We are actively seeking new forms of collaborations and jointly exploring innovative possibilities.”
“It is a great honour to have the opportunity to work with so many organisations towards transformative change.”
In this issue of The RIPPLE Effect, we showcase some of our many collaborations with a wide range of partners. It is a great honour to have the opportunity to work with so many organisations towards transformative change. The National Innovation and Science Agenda Report states that Australia has the lowest rate of universitybusiness collaborations of all OECD countries surveyed. Although the data cited might understate the amount of collaboration that is actually taking place, it is a timely reminder of the importance of doing all we can as a nation, and as a Research Institute, to build and strengthen collaborations. We are proud of our strong and committed partnerships, which are built on the shared recognition that by working together, and by harnessing our collective and complementary expertise, we can make a real world difference and contribute to the public good. Professor Jennifer Sumsion
CONTENTS From the Director
Researcher Profile Dianne Jackson
New ARC Funding
Researcher Profile Kate Crowe
PhD Profile Anna Cronin
New appointment to boost research collaboration
research, policy and professional practice. This combination will help us grow RIPPLE.”
Associate Professor Dianne Jackson
In her new role, Dianne will work with RIPPLE leaders and researchers to advance the work and visibility of RIPPLE, develop and support collaboration with a diverse range of stakeholders, build a regional engagement plan and secure further research funding. As well as providing strategic advice to RIPPLE leaders, she will also act as a mentor and coach to members.
In early July, RIPPLE welcomed Dianne Jackson to the role of Associate Professor and Deputy Director (Collaborations, Regional Engagement, Impact), an appointment which will further build RIPPLE’s already strong national profile in addressing education-related problems from an interdisciplinary perspective. As the outgoing CEO of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY), Dianne has a notable track record in bringing together research, policy and practice across different fields related to children and families. “This is a very exciting appointment for the University and we are very fortunate to have Associate Professor Jackson join us,” said RIPPLE Director, Professor Jennifer Sumsion. "Dianne is very highly regarded by senior figures around the nation and across the fields of health, human services, education and policy for her very successful leadership of ARACY and advocacy for children, families and young people.” “She has exceptional skills, experience and networks, and she also brings a respected insider/outsider perspective having created significant linkages between The RIPPLE Effect: Winter 2016
“This new role will provide me with many opportunities to bring all the former aspects of my career together,” Dianne said. “In particular, I am looking forward to working with RIPPLE researchers and my networks of key stakeholders across research, practice, government, business and philanthropy to align agendas and to build our capacity to work together to answer critical questions, develop solutions and to articulate the impact of our engagement on the communities we serve.” Dianne’s research interests arose from her time as a teacher in early childhood and primary school settings. “As a teacher I became very interested in the social determinants of education which then underpinned my postgraduate study and honed my career focus on linking research and professional practice,” she explained. After completing a degree in early childhood and a first class honours degree in social science, Dianne combined the topics in her doctoral studies, where she explored what parents of young children experience as supportive in dual-generational groups, and the links between social environments for learning, parent peer-to-peer support, and child development outcomes. For this research, Dianne was awarded the 2010 Best Practitioner Research Award by the European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA), an organisation for which she is now the Australia Country Coordinator. Her current research focuses on bringing together the public and private sectors to collaborate in order to influence policy and effect
change. “Over the past few years I have been involved in substantial, successful collaborations involving public and private sector stakeholders,” Dianne said. “I am interested in building the evidence base about these types of collaborations and providing exemplars of how interdisciplinary partnerships can be used to drive systemic change.”
“I am interested in building the evidence base about these types of collaborations [public and private sectors] and providing exemplars of how interdisciplinary partnerships can be used to drive systemic change.” Her recent thinking is greatly informed by Michel Vandenbroeck, Professor in Family Pedagogy at Ghent University in Belgium. “I have drawn extensively on his work to develop organisational systems that provide evidence-based professional development and support in interdisciplinary practice settings across education, health and human services,” she said. “I have also used this thinking to influence decision making in policy settings.” Dianne is regularly invited to present her work both nationally and internationally. In 2013, she was a finalist in the Telstra Business Woman’s Awards NSW (Community and Government), emphasising the recognition she has received for her collaborative and multidisciplinary work. She is also a Director on the boards of two community organisations: Wentworth Community Housing (a major provider of social and affordable housing across Western Sydney) and Connect Child and Family Services (an interdisciplinary, early childhood education focused organisation that operates across the Lithgow, Blue Mountains and Western Sydney regions). Dianne will be based at the CSU Bathurst campus, and she will work closely with RIPPLE Collaborations Facilitator (Early Childhood), Dr Gerry Mulhearn. 2
agencies which will help to address skill shortages in the industry. The other university investigators on the project are Dr Megan Gibson from the Queensland University of Technology and Associate Professor Sharon Ryan from Rutgers University's Graduate School of Education based in New Jersey in the United States. Industry partners include Community Care Cooperative NSW, Marrickville Council, the Creche and Kindergarten Association in Queensland, KU Children's Services, the Independent Education Union, United Voice, and Child Australia.
New Australian Research Council funding for early childhood teaching research A new study led by Charles Sturt University will define what it means to be an excellent early childhood educator. The Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project was announced on Friday 6 May 2016 by the Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham MP. It will receive ARC funding of $355,000. The workforce study, Exemplary early childhood educators at work: A multi-level investigation, will be led by CSU's Associate Professor Frances Press, Professor Linda Harrison and Dr Sandie Wong from the School of Teacher Education at Bathurst and CSU's Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education. The study is designed to help ease the shortage of early childhood educators and ensure those entering the profession are better prepared for the complexity of the work. It will document the work, skills and knowledge of exemplary educators to inform teacher preparation and professional development. Associate Professor Press said, “Highly skilled educators are critical to attaining the social, educational and economic objectives sought by government investment in early childhood education—both improved The RIPPLE Effect: Winter 2016
developmental and educational outcomes for the children who attend these services and increased parent participation in the labour market.” “Despite this investment there are widespread concerns in the early childhood education industry that preparation is inadequate for the rigours and reality of the work. In addition the long-standing problem of educator shortages has not been solved.” “By investigating the complexity of early childhood educators' work, we are aiming to inform better strategies for attracting, preparing, recognising, supporting and retaining a high quality workforce.” “Popular images of work with young children as easy and instinctual, or of teaching as only school based, mislead potential workforce entrants and erode the status of educators, leading to relatively high rates of attrition.”
“Highly skilled educators are critical to attaining the social, educational and economic objectives sought by government investment in early childhood education...” The partners on this CSU-led project are a unique national alliance of university researchers, employers of early childhood educators, unions and professional development
“The partners … are a unique national alliance of university researchers, employers of early childhood educators, unions and professional development agencies which will help to address skill shortages in the industry.” CSU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry), Professor Mary Kelly congratulated Associate Professor Press on securing the ARC funding. “This research project has the potential to affect real change for the early childhood education industry, which is of great importance for the future economic development of Australia,” she said. “It demonstrates Charles Sturt University is strongly positioned to engage in research vital to not only our regions but Australia more broadly. The new knowledge produced by this project will ensure better preparedness and create sustainability in the early childhood education profession.”
First published on CSU News 06/05/16
regional conference for educators sharing international perspectives and practices of transition to school; a visit to Questacon to explore issues related to STEM education and approaches to educational transition; and an Australian-themed barbeque to conclude the visit, complete with an Australia-New Zealand cricket match (though perhaps the less said about that the better). While the funding for the alliance concludes in 2016, the relationships that have been established bode well for future international collaborations.
RESEARCH NEWS International collaboration on educational transitions In February, researchers from the Pedagogies of Educational Transitions (POET) international research alliance travelled to Albury. Twenty-one researchers from Scotland, Iceland, New Zealand and Sweden joined nine Australian researchers to share developments in their research projects and approaches, explore possibilities for new and continuing research partnerships, and build on the research relationships developed over the four years of the alliance. Each research team has been involved in programs of research around educational transitions in their own countries. The Australian team, for example, has continued its extensive exploration of issues around the transition to school. POET has provided opportunities for researchers to extend their skills and expertise beyond these country projects and to pose, and address, questions at the international, comparative level. A highlight of the POET gathering was a trip to Canberra for an invitational conference with the dual aims of sharing the research projects of the international visitors and disseminating preliminary results from an ongoing Australian Research Council Discovery project led by Professors Bob Perry and Sue Dockett.
The RIPPLE Effect: Winter 2016
The conference, held on CSUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Canberra campus at St Markâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s National Theological Centre, brought together over 120 policy-makers from around Australia and, despite the hottest recorded February day in Canberra, there was much discussion of research, policy and practice related to transition to school. The majority of the international POET members spent between two and four weeks working with the Australian POETs. As this was the seventh major international meeting of the group, there were many opportunities to consolidate the working relationships that have evolved during this time. Of particular note is the strong group of current (and immediately past) PhD scholars. With seven PhD completions occurring during POET, and at least three pending, the collaboration and networking among higher degree by research students has been a highlight of the alliance. This was evident in a full day of presentations by PhD scholars, which not only addressed their projects, but also offered insightful reflection and analysis on the alliance itself and their participation within it. Other highlights of the program were the POETry for POET competition, in which poets contributed multiple perspectives on experiences of starting school; a mayoral reception hosted by the Mayor of Albury City, Councillor Henk van de Ven, at the Murray Art Museum Albury; a
Further information about the POET alliance, as well as presentations from the Canberra conference, are available on the POET website. The POET alliance is funded by a grant from the European Union Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme and the New Zealand-EU International Research Staff Exchange Scheme Counterpart Fund.
Photo (top left): Some of the international POET group attending the conference
Members of the Australian POET team (l to r): Jessamy Davies, Wendy Goff, Lysa Dealtry, Paige Lee, Amy MacDonald, Sue Dockett & Bob Perry [Not in the photo are Susanne Rogers, Elspeth Harley & Kathryn Hopps]
Some of the PhD scholars involved in the POET research alliance
The research team have called for greater community valuing of educators’ work and for collective action to improve wages in recognition of the professional work undertaken by early childhood educators.
PEP Australia Meeting Charles Sturt University members of the Pedagogy, Education and Praxis research network led by Dr Christine Edwards-Groves hosted the annual PEP Australia network meeting on the Wagga Wagga campus in June. Twenty scholars, including researchers and PhD candidates interested in practice theory and professional practice development met for two-and-a-half days. Participants travelled from CSU, Monash University, the University of Queensland, Griffith University and Southern Cross University. Highlights included an engaging seminar given by Professor Robin McTaggart on the origins and history of action research, a workshop presented by Professor Emeritus Stephen Kemmis on the complexities and challenges of practice theory, doctoral presentations, and authorial research circles focused on writing research using practice theory. Members were privileged to have the company of Robin and Stephen, authors of the original Action Research Planner (originally published in 1988 and most recently updated in 2014), who shared their wisdom and insight about the history and development of action research as professional practice development in Australia. A key outcome of the meeting was the development of a proposal to write an international book (led by PEP Australia members) focused on addressing key questions underpinning the PEP International research agenda. The RIPPLE Effect: Winter 2016
PEP Australia members attend the network meeting in Wagga Wagga
Australia-New Zealand collaboration on longitudinal datasets Researchers from Australia and New Zealand are working on joining two national longitudinal datasets: Growing up in Australia and Growing up in New Zealand. Professor Linda Harrison and RIPPLE Research Fellow Dr Audrey Wang have recently visited the University of Waikato in New Zealand, where they met with a group of researchers led by Associate Professors Linda Mitchell and Jayne White. The researchers are undertaking comparative analyses on the two national longitudinal datasets in order to investigate the relationships among mothers’ wellbeing, family characteristics, family support and babies’ (aged 0-1) cognitive and relational competencies.
One in five early childhood educators plan to leave within a year The startling statistic that one in five early childhood educators plan to leave the profession over the next 12 months due to challenging conditions has drawn media attention as findings are released from an Australian Research Council Linkage early childhood workforce study. Findings have been publicised in The Conversation (23 June 2016) and Co-Investigator Professor Jennifer Sumsion has also been interviewed on ABC Radio.
“The research team have called for greater community valuing of educators’ work and … action to improve wages in recognition of the professional work undertaken by early childhood educators.” The workforce study is led by the Queensland University of Technology along with partner organisations: Charles Sturt University; the Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment; Goodstart Early Learning; and C&K Queensland. The project is an outcome and continuation of the Excellence in Research in Early Years Education Collaborative Research Network, and is one of a suite of research projects that RIPPLE members are undertaking about the early childhood workforce.
Migrants need support to learn English Doctoral candidate Helen Blake and Professor Sharynne McLeod have conducted research showing how important English proficiency is in facilitating humanitarian migrants’ settlement in Australia. The study also identified a range of predictors of self-sufficiency in humanitarian migrants including oral English proficiency, which can improve programs designed to support them and aid in policy development. Data was drawn from Building a New Life in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Humanitarian Migrants, provided by the Department of Social Services and the Australian Institute of Family Studies. Helen presented a paper (co-authored with Professor McLeod and Laura Bennetts Kneebone from DSS) at the 2016 Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference. (Read more at CSU Media.) 5
RESEARCHER PROFILE Dr Kate Crowe
Kate explained how her interest in communication developed and how she has focused her career in speech pathology on making communication accessible to everyone—including across cultures and languages and to those who are Deaf or hard of hearing. “I’ve always had a passion for diversity and multilingualism despite growing up in a city that was very linguistically and culturally homogenous,” Kate said. “Communication is key and whether it’s achieved through spoken, signed or written language, everyone should have equitable access to communication and information to be able to make informed choices about their life. That’s my passion and that’s why I do what I do.”
Speech pathologist Dr Kate Crowe is about to embark on a ninemonth research trip to New York as a result of winning a prestigious 2016 Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholarship. Obtaining the scholarship is an exciting milestone in Kate’s career and will allow her to further pursue her postdoctoral research in improving Deaf and hard-of-hearing learners’ experiences both at home and in the classroom. Kate will spend most of her time in the United States working with Professor Marc Marschark at the Center for Education Research Partnerships at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, one of the colleges at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York State. “I am very excited about my Fulbright,” Kate said. “I will be looking at semantic knowledge in college students who are Deaf, hardof-hearing or hearing, and who are either monolingual users of English or bilingual users of English and American Sign Language.” “I’ll be living on campus and working in an environment where you are required to use American Sign Language at all times when you are in shared spaces. I’m not a user of American Sign Language at the moment but I will be learning it as quickly as I can!”
The RIPPLE Effect: Winter 2016
“Communication is key and whether it’s achieved through spoken, signed or written language, everyone should have equitable access to communication and information to be able to make informed choices about their life.” Kate began her communication studies by tackling undergraduate degrees in speech pathology and arts (specialising in linguistics) at the University of Newcastle. After graduating in 2001, she worked as a speech pathologist at the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children in Sydney, mostly in the bilingualbicultural school program, and completed a diploma of interpreting (Auslan/English). A research role followed at the National Acoustics Laboratories, working on the Longitudinal Outcomes of Children with Hearing Impairment (LOCHI) study. Kate also completed her PhD (through Charles Sturt University), based within the LOCHI study: she examined multilingualism and multimodalism in children with hearing loss. Recently, she also completed her Masters in Special Education (Sensory Disability) from the University of Newcastle in collaboration with the Renwick Centre at the Royal Institute for Deaf
and Blind Children. “It was fun, but I’m glad it’s finished!” Kate said of her exhausting study schedule. Along the way, Kate has shared her knowledge and experience with others, teaching at the University of Newcastle (in speech pathology, audiology and Auslan), TAFE NSW (linguistics of sign language), Australian Catholic University (speech pathology), and now at CSU (in inclusive education). For the past three years, Kate has been employed at CSU as Project Officer on the Australian Research Council-funded Sound Start Study, led by Professor Sharynne McLeod. The study investigated the speech skills of 4- to 5-year-old children attending preschool, as well as determining the effectiveness of an innovative computer program used as an intervention for preschool children with speech difficulties. It was the opportunity of working with Professor McLeod that initially drew Kate to undertake her PhD with CSU. “I met Sharynne at a conference and she completely won me over,” Kate said. “I love CSU. It is such a caring organisation that is passionate about supporting students and researchers.” There is also a family link to the institution: “My Dad’s from Canowindra originally and he studied at Bathurst Teachers College, so CSU has a special place in our family’s past.” Kate balances her busy career with time on the ice as a passionate ice skater. She was Australian Team Manager for the Fire on Ice Senior Synchronized Skating Team that competed at the 2015 French Cup. “Getting skating in will be easy while I’m on my Fulbright because there is a beautiful new rink on campus,” Kate said. “It’s just a few minutes’ walk from my apartment. I’m hoping to be able to do some coaching while I’m there as well to develop my skills in teaching and choreography.” At the time of interview, Kate was finalising ethics applications to her Fulbright host institution so she is well placed to start on her research soon after arrival in the US in August. We look forward to reporting on Kate’s Fulbright research in an upcoming issue. 6
PhD PROFILE Anna Cronin
As she writes up the research findings from her year as a 2015 Churchill Fellow, Anna Cronin also prepares to begin her doctoral study investigating assessment and intervention for young children with cleft palate. Anna’s fellowship was awarded by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, which allows researchers to pursue opportunities internationally, and in return, to bring knowledge and experience back to Australia. The focus of Anna’s fellowship was the optimal management of speech problems in toddlers with cleft palate. Cleft lip and/or palate is one of the most common congenital conditions in the world. The World Health Organization (2004) has estimated that it affects around 1 in every 500700 live births, although the rate varies by geography and ethnicity. “Children with cleft palate are at risk of developing intractable speech disorders which impact their participation at school and in the community,” Anna explained. “The majority of these children will require speech therapy at preschool age. If left untreated, cleft speech characteristics can persist into adolescence and adulthood, affecting literacy, employment and self-esteem.” The fellowship allowed Anna to collaborate with expert researchers as she explored how the treatment of cleft palate could be better managed in Australia. “I am very grateful for the wonderful opportunities I have had during my Churchill Fellowship,” Anna said. “To investigate my topic I have travelled to several universities and hospitals around the world.”
The RIPPLE Effect: Winter 2016
Anna met with expert speech pathologists and other professionals in New Zealand, Brazil, the United States and Denmark, where she learned about their approaches to patient care. “In New Zealand I was able to observe multidisciplinary clinics and learn about how their speech pathologists use a phonological approach in therapy,” Anna explained. “In Brazil I sat in on intensive therapy and learnt about their use of speech prostheses to treat velopharyngeal insufficiency.” “I spent a month in the US where I attended the American Cleft PalateCraniofacial Association’s Annual Meeting and then had time at St Louis Children’s Hospital, the University of Wyoming and the University of Utah. My final stop was the University of Copenhagen and the expert cleft speech pathologists in Hellerup.” Anna can now draw upon her international research connections and the examples of innovative practice she witnessed as she embarks on her PhD. “It has given me ideas on where to head next in my clinical work,” she said. “It has also helped inform my plans for my research. It has been a life-changing experience.” Despite the limited number of cleft palate specialists employed in speech pathology teams around Australia, Anna has long been focused on this goal. “I first knew I wanted to work with children with cleft palate when I was 15,” she said. “I had the opportunity to observe a craniofacial clinic and some speech therapy sessions with young children with cleft palate during work experience. These experiences made a profound impression on me.” After high school, Anna completed a Bachelor of Speech Pathology at the University of Queensland while also volunteering at the Mater Children’s Hospital. “This experience confirmed that speech pathology was what I wanted to do,” she said. “In the final year of my degree I had the opportunity to participate in the honours program and this exposure to research was also very influential. I thoroughly enjoyed the process, and it was from this point that I realised I wanted do my PhD.”
After graduation, Anna began her first speech therapy role at Therapy ACT in Canberra. She then moved to specialise in the treatment of cleft palate when she joined the Cleft Palate Clinic at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in 2012, where she filled a position created to focus on early intervention for infants and toddlers with cleft palate. “Joining the team at Westmead was a privilege,” Anna said. “They have been very supportive and generous with their knowledge. The team has a focus on research and quality improvement; all with the view to improving care for the children and young adults in the service.” “This meant that I was really examining my own assumptions and understanding of the best way to work with toddlers with cleft palate. Since this was a new direction for the team, there were not wellestablished procedures for the timing and type of intervention for the younger children with cleft palate.” With the support of the Westmead team, Anna applied for her Churchill Fellowship to help fill these research gaps. She will now continue the momentum from her project by undertaking a PhD with CSU, supervised by RIPPLE researchers Professor Sharynne McLeod and Dr Sarah Verdon. “It is thought that one of the main reasons cleft speech characteristics develop is that palatal surgery takes place at 9-15 months of age, after the onset of speech,” Anna explained. “There is ongoing debate as to when to provide intervention for children with cleft palate present and what type of intervention is most effective.” Anna’s mixed methods research will look at intervention tools and techniques for infants and toddlers with cleft palate. “I hope to contribute to the evidence for intervention targeting cleft speech characteristics, with the goal of maximising the outcomes of children with cleft palate in educational settings,” she said. “I am looking forward to starting my PhD and I feel so fortunate to have Sharynne and Sarah as my supervisors. I am grateful for the opportunities that have led me to this point and everyone’s kindness and support.” 7
PhD UPDATES James Purkis
sometimes daunting as you assume that you only have a little bit of research and not much to say but the practice of working to deadlines and insanely small word limits has many benefits. Unfortunately, the low has been the challenge of finding a research site. Although this has delayed the research a little, it has been a wonderful learning experience about the need to be forthright and involved at the classroom level from early on in the research cycle. Natalie Thompson
Thesis: A study of the interrelationship between school and out-of-school uses of digital technology for collaboration by Australian secondary school students using activity theory
interested in my research to volunteer as research participants. Highs and lows so far? I still consider myself very lucky to be given this opportunity to complete my doctorate full time. It is an absolute high to be able to spend time reading, thinking and writing about my project as a valued activity rather than something I need to squeeze in after ‘real’ work. It is a high to have a fantastic supervisory team who support and encourage me tirelessly. One of the biggest challenges has been juggling a meaningful study/life balance. The intensity of studying full time makes it difficult to do the switching off required to be fully present when spending time with my family, including four young children. There is a constant pull away from them by the lure of more reading and writing; my fingers often itching to open my laptop. George Variyan
Supervisors: Professor Barney Dalgarno and Dr Christina Davidson How is your doctoral project progressing? My project is currently in the data collection stage. After confirming my candidature and receiving ethics approval last year, I have spent the first half of the year trying to secure a research site. While that has been going on I have also been using the results from a pilot project to start presenting at conferences. Highs and lows so far? There have been many highlights and a few low lights of my doctoral experience so far. In terms of the highlights, it has been great working with other RIPPLE and Faculty of Education higher degree by research candidates. Not only are their topics of research fascinating and intriguing, but the skills they are able to share with the group has been wonderful. In particular, I have really enjoyed being part of Faculty and School boards so that I have been able to develop my understanding of what it takes to be an academic. Another highlight has been the experience of submitting abstracts for various conferences. It is The RIPPLE Effect: Winter 2016
Thesis: Children’s perspectives of literacy in and out of classrooms in the 21st century Supervisors: Dr Noella Mackenzie and Dr Laura McFarland How is your doctoral project progressing? It is exciting to move into the next stage of my project. After going through the process of ethics approval from the University and also from the Departments of Education in two states, I am now spending time in schools. I am currently in the process of recruiting participants. I have two teachers who have enthusiastically volunteered their classrooms as research sites and I am now spending lots of time in these classrooms becoming a familiar and trusted person, assisting in the classroom, spending time with children in the playground, talking about my research with the children and answering questions they have. Soon I will ask for children that are
Thesis: Re-imagining practices in leading private schools through teachers’ voices Supervisors: Dr Christine EdwardsGroves and Dr Kiprono Langat How is your doctoral project progressing? My research explores the transformative potential of teachers in high-fee paying private schools in Australia to re-imagine practices. The aim of this study is to examine and understand the practices of teachers in leading private schools from the inside-out. 8
Initially I had planned a two-phase project for a single site, with phase one data collection being interviews and observations, and narrativefiction writing as the method of inquiry in phase two. However, the lack of take-up at the various sites I approached led me to believe this was far too ambitious, and forced the field work to be limited to a single phase with the more traditional qualitative methods that had been proposed for phase one. Theoretically there have also been a number of radical overhauls. What began at the dizzy edge of postmodern thinking, to the point of post-qualitative ambitions, has midproject became re-orientated to Practice Theory and more recently put in dialogue with Game Theory.
ACHIEVEMENTS 2016 Fulbright Scholar
Now that the data collection is complete, the next phase of analysis and theorising will hopefully be full of surprises. My text is my laboratory so it’s bit like a treasure hunt!
Dr Kate Crowe has been awarded a prestigious and highly competitive Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholarship for 2016. She will study in the United States for six months with Professor Marc Marschark at the Center for Education Research Partnerships at the National Institute for the Deaf, one of the colleges at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in New York State.
I am hoping to be completed on schedule, however the difficulties with gaining access, and the unforeseen shift to multiple sites and then flying back and forth across the country to do my fieldwork, has unavoidably put a lot of pressure on my project timeline. Nevertheless I have my fingers crossed for a timely finish.
Kate will apply her postdoctoral research to improving Deaf and hard-of-hearing learners’ experiences both at home and in the classroom. “I am very honoured to be amongst the six recipients of postdoctoral scholarships in 2016 and very much looking forward to working with Professor Marschark in just a few months’ time,” she said.
“My text is my laboratory so it’s bit like a treasure hunt!” Highs and lows so far? It is difficult to select a high point out of the overall PhD experience, as there have been many notable events. I really enjoyed the endorsement process, but mostly have loved the space and opportunity to create new things in text, sometimes edgy, sometimes obscure and hopefully sometimes making sense. The low points would have been every moment I felt the isolation of being a distance student. At the same time there have been moments of grace and support from the University, the wonderful library staff, and again my supervisory team—many thanks.
The RIPPLE Effect: Winter 2016
“I look forward to a world where being Deaf is a difference in ability, not a disability for Deaf and hard-ofhearing learners and I believe that this Fulbright Scholarship will be a leap, rather than a step, towards making that world a reality.” Kate’s project will investigate Deaf and hard-of-hearing learners’ semantic networks in order to improve the effectiveness of teaching language and literacy learning in early intervention, at home and in the classroom. She will conduct three studies involving RIT students who use American Sign Language and spoken and/or written English. Kate was presented with her award at a Fulbright Presentation Dinner in Melbourne held on 25 February. Charles Sturt University was a Silver Sponsor of the event. For more information see p. 6.
Goodstart Research Fellowship
A partnership between Charles Sturt University and Goodstart Early Learning will help deliver evidenceinformed practice to Goodstart’s network of 644 early learning centres across Australia. Dr Sandie Wong commenced a three-year Research Fellowship with Goodstart Early Learning in June 2016. Goodstart is Australia’s largest (not-for profit) provider of early learning, operating in every state and territory. As Goodstart Research Fellow (National Lead Practice Research), Sandie will be an integral part of the organisation’s leadership team, assisting them to translate multidisciplinary national and international evidence into best practice in early learning and care across their network of centres. She will help build the capacity of Goodstart educators to use evidence-informed practice as well as supporting them to work as coresearchers in their centres. Sandie will also focus on developing external national and international relationships with academics and researchers in early childhood education, government agencies and industry organisations. These responsibilities will contribute to high quality early learning practice in Goodstart centres, and also improve the quality of experience for children and families. 9
Community-University partnership funding for child-safe program in Bathurst
Agencies. The event was featured in the Western Advocate newspaper: Developing child-safe communities, and Dr Sandie Wong was also interviewed by Prime7 News.
Charles Sturt University has funded a new project in Bathurst which will evaluate the impact of a community initiative being conducted by the Bathurst Child and Family Network (BCFN) designed to promote childsafe and child-friendly work practices.
The conference will be followed up by a report which will be released online and a showcase planned for October.
RIPPLE researchers Associate Professor Frances Press, Dr Sandie Wong and Dr Tamara Cumming, who along with Annette Myers (from BCFN), have been awarded funding in the 2016 CSU CommunityUniversity Partnerships Rural and Regional Community Initiated Research Grants Program. The Program provides registered community organisations in CSU's regions with funding to initiate a research project of relevance to their community (more information here). The research team will support BCFN to develop and implement an evaluation process to be embedded into a BCFN community initiative. The initiative, funded by Families NSW, aims to improve child-safe and child-friendly work practices across all sectors working with children and families in Bathurst. The findings will ultimately be transferable to improve children’s wellbeing and participation in other rural and regional communities.
“The findings will ultimately be transferable to improve children’s wellbeing and participation in other rural and regional communities.” A conference, held on the CSU Bathurst campus on Tuesday 28 June, highlighted the importance of building communities that are safe and friendly for children. The event was attended by representatives from schools, early childhood centres and non-government organisations from Bathurst, as well as from a national level, including the CEOs of Families Australia and the Association of Children’s Welfare The RIPPLE Effect: Winter 2016
NEW PUBLICATIONS Looking for Information
New Becoming a Writer resources The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA), in partnership with Dr Noella Mackenzie, has developed a literacy-based resource to support partnerships with families around children’s learning, and planned and spontaneous opportunities for diverse drawing and writing experiences. The resources include an online video (or DVD version) as well as a brochure for distribution to families. The resources will support ongoing engagement with the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF) for birth to 8 years.
The fourth edition of Looking for Information: A Survey of Research on Information Seeking, Needs, and Behavior, co-authored by Donald O. Case and Lisa M. Given, has been released by Emerald. The latest edition of this popular and well-cited text presents a comprehensive review of more than a century of research on information behavior (IB) and related topics with over 1,500 citations to relevant works. In addition to now being coauthored, this new text includes significant structural and content changes from earlier editions.
The book is intended for students and scholars in information studies, education, communication, health and other disciplines interested in research on people's information activities. The book is used regularly in doctoral and masters-level courses examining IB, information practices, reference services and information retrieval.
Professional Practice Discourse Marginalia
Joy Higgs and Franziska Trede are the editors of Professional Practice Discourse Marginalia, a new book in the Practice, Education, Work and Society series from Sense Publishers. The book is designed for practitioners, university educators, workplace learning educators, researchers and the professions. It draws together two key elements of the lives of these people: professional practice—what people do; and practice discourse—what they write and say about what they do. And, it focuses these discussions around two spaces—the core and the margins—of practice and discourse. People have always left part of themselves—their ideas, personality and reflections—in the margins of texts. The book takes up the idea of such written marginalia and expands it into writing into the texts of practice discourse as well as speaking and acting in the margins of professional practice. Such deliberate practice changes in marginal practice spaces and in written practice discourse provides ways of shaping and critically appraising current and future professional practice. Uniquely, this book incorporates marginalia around the text and invites readers to add their own.
The RIPPLE Effect: Winter 2016
Children’s Speech: An Evidence-Based Approach to Assessment and Intervention
A new book by Sharynne McLeod and Elise Baker, Children’s Speech: An Evidence-Based Approach to Assessment and Intervention, has been published by Pearson USA. In the book, scientific evidence combines with practical knowledge to prepare professionals to work effectively with children with speech sound disorders and their families.
This resource distills scientific evidence from around the world across the areas of speech acquisition, assessment, analysis, diagnosis and intervention to prepare speech-language pathologists to work with children and their families. The book is guided by two contemporary frameworks: evidence-based practice (EBP) and the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health— Children and Youth (ICF-CY). Throughout, readers are directed to complete clinical application tasks, drawing on the case-based information in the final chapter.
Educating the Deliberate Professional
Springer have published a new book which takes a fresh look at professional practice and professional education. Franziska Trede and Celina McEwen are the editors of Educating the Deliberate Professional: Preparing for Future Practices. In times of increased managerialism of academic teaching and a focus on graduate learning outcomes, it discusses possibilities to teach and learn otherwise.
A deliberate professional is someone who consciously, thoughtfully and courageously makes choices about how to act and be in the practice world. Educating the deliberate professional is a comprehensive volume that carves out and explores a framework for a pedagogy of deliberateness that goes beyond educating reflective and deliberative practitioners. The book argues for the importance of educating deliberate professionals, because, in the current higher education climate, there is a need to reconcile critique (thinking), participation (doing), and moral responsibility (relating to others) in professional practice and professional education.
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The RIPPLE Effect: Winter 2016