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Staff Profile


Career Summary


Daniella is the Coordinator of Teach Outreach, the School of Education community engagement and volunteer program. She sits on the Engagement Australia Scholarship Committee. She is a member of the Philosophy of Education Australasia Society and an academic editorial intern on the Educational Philosophy and Theory (EPAT) Editorial Development Group. She is collaborating with the NSW Volunteering Strategy Evaluation team for the NSW Office of Communities. Daniella completed first class Honours in the School of Philosophy and Bioethics in 2002 at Monash University and a Diploma of Education at the University of Melbourne the following year. She was awarded her PhD in 2011.


  • PhD (Teacher Education), Monash University, 14/04/2011
  • Graduate Diploma in Education, University of Melbourne, 31/12/2002
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Monash University, 21/03/2002
  • Bachelor of Arts, Monash University, 20/03/2001


Research keywords

  • Philosophy of education
  • Professional ethics
  • Teacher education
  • Values education

Research expertise

My research interests include professional/applied ethics, educational philosophy and community of inquiry pedagogy for teacher education. My research dialogues with theories of virtue and authenticity by exploring the implications of alternative understandings of professional ethics. I generate and analyse empirical data around pre-service teachers' experiences of ethical tensions.

My current work crosses into comparative research of codes of ethics in Australian education. I am particularly interested in the intersection of policy around teacher ethics, models of teacher professionalism and moral agency, the ways these are discursively constructed and their implications for teacher education in ethics and the autonomy of the profession.

Fields of Research

220299History And Philosophy Of Specific Fields Not Elsewhere Classified50
130399Specialist Studies In Education Not Elsewhere Classified50


Evaluation of the NSW Volunteering Strategy 2012-13. The evaluation of a Timebanking trial operating in the Hunter, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Central Coast during 2012 and 2013 for the Office of Communities and its partner organisations on. Project team members: Professors Max Smith and Allyson Holbrook; A/Prof Kevin Lyons; Drs Johanna Macneil, Daniella Forster and Neville Clement; and Ms. Elizabeth McDonald, from the University of Newcastle; and Dr Mark Freeman from the University of Wollongong in consultation with the NSW Office of Communities.


Administrative expertise

I coordinated the Centre of Public Philosophy in the School of Philosophy and Bioethics (2004-2008) at Monash University, Clayton campus. My brief at The Centre for Public Philosophy was to connect the community, particularly school and professional communities, with dimensions of philosophy and philosophical thinking. In this role I provided community and media liaison with academic philosophers; lead and developed school programs for students and teachers in ethics and critical thinking. This work was based on the premiss that philosophy and philosophical thinking can help teachers and young people engage with the complexity of ethical, meaning-centred education and promote critical dialogue in society.

I am currently the coordinator of Teach Outreach in the School of Education at the University of Newcastle, since 2012. This role promotes community-university connectivity by providing opportunities for a wide range of community partners to engage volunteering pre-service teachers in supportive, structured and supervised learning and teaching activities. Activities include, for example, volunteering experiences in special needs, disadvantaged groups, refugee groups, reading, writing and maths tutoring, Indigenous literacy initiatives, sports carnivals, music tutoring, excursions and school celebrations.


Teaching keywords

  • Educational philosophy
  • Foundations
  • Professional ethics
  • Professional practice
  • Values education

Teaching expertise

As a secondary school teacher at Lauriston Girls’ School in Armadale, Victoria (2005-2008) I taught into the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) through Unit 1 Philosophy and the International Baccalaureate (I.B.) through the Theory of Knowledge. I gained interdisciplinary tertiary teaching experience in the School of Philosophy and Bioethics and the Faculty of Education across undergraduate programs at Monash University between 2002 and 2008, including courses in Professional Ethics, Critical Thinking, Adolescent Psychology and Curriculum Studies.

I took up a lecturing position at the School of Education at the University of Newcastle in 2009 and teach into foundations, professional practice and ethics courses in secondary and early childhood education programs. I coordinated the development of a suite of courses for a specialisation in Philosophy of Education in the Master of Educational Studies program. I coordinate, lecture and tutor in various final year professional practice and ethics courses which have included courses in various programs such as Early Childhood, Secondary undergraduate internship and Masters of Teaching (Secondary).



For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Click on a category title below to expand the list of citations for that specific category.

Journal article (3 outputs)

2013Chapman A, Forster D, Buchanan R, 'The Moral Imagination in Pre-service Teachers' Ethical Reasoning', Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 38 (2013) [C1]
2012Forster DJ, 'Codes of ethics in Australian education: Towards a national perspective', Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 37 Article 1 (2012) [C1]
2009Butchart S, Forster DJ, Gold I, Bigelow J, Korb K, Oppy G, Serrenti A, 'Improving critical thinking using web based argument mapping exercises with automated feedback', Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 25 268-291 (2009) [C1]

Conference (3 outputs)

2013Forster DJ, 'Reading the im/possibility of ethics in pre-service teacher professional experiences', Edited Proceedings 43rd PESA Conference 2013: Measuring Up in Education, Melbourne (2013) [E1]
2012Chapman A, Buchanan RA, Forster DJ, 'The moral imagination in pre-service teachers ethical reasoning', AARE 2012 Conference Proceedings & Program, Sydney, NSW (2012) [E3]


2009Forster DJ, 'Why teachers ought to be uncertain, if not ignorant', Philosophy of Education Society of Australia 2008 Conference, Brisbane, QLD (2009) [E1]

Report (1 outputs)

2014Smith M, Holbrook A, Lyons K, Macneil J, Forster D, Clement N, et al., 'Evaluation of the NSW Volunteering Strategy 2012-13. Final Report: Timebanking Trial', The NSW Office of Communities (2014)

Grants and Funding


Number of grants3
Total funding$75,000

- Indicates that the researcher may be seeking students for this project.

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

2014 (1 grants)

The Changing World of Volunteerism: Challenges and Opportunities$10,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Professor Max Smith, Professor Allyson Holbrook, Associate Professor Kevin Lyons, Doctor Daniella Forster
Linkage Pilot Research GrantInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

2012 (1 grants)

Evaluation of the Flagship Projects for the NSW volunteering Strategy$60,000
Funding Body: NSW Department of Education and Communities

Project Team
Professor Max Smith, Professor Allyson Holbrook, Associate Professor Kevin Lyons, Doctor Johanna Macneil, Doctor Daniella Forster
Research GrantInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

2009 (1 grants)

Conceptualizing teacher beliefs as emergent properties$5,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Daniella Forster
New Staff GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

Research Supervision

Number of current supervisions1
Total current UoN PhD EFTSL0.2

For supervisions undertaken at an institution other that the University of Newcastle, the institution name is listed below the program name.

Current Supervision

ProgramSupervisor TypeResearch Title
20132018PhD (Education)Co-SupervisorWho is the Good Teacher as a Person?

Dr Daniella Forster

Work Phone(02) 4921 8653
Fax(02) 4921 7887
School of Education
Faculty of Education and Arts
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Focus AreaPhilosophy, Religion and Theology
University Drive
Callaghan NSW 2308