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Dr Daniella Forster


School of Education (Philosophy, Religion and Theology)

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.


  • PhD (Teacher Education), Monash University
  • Bachelor of Arts, Monash University
  • Graduate Diploma in Education, University of Melbourne
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Monash University


  • Educational philosophy
  • Foundations
  • Philosophy of education
  • Professional ethics
  • Professional practice
  • Teacher education
  • Values education

Fields of Research

220299History and Philosophy of Specific Fields not elsewhere classified50
130399Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified50

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
22/01/2014 - LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
School of Education

Academic appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/01/2009 - LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
School of Education

Professional appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/01/2004 - 1/12/2008Coordinator
Part time contract
Monash University
Centre for Public Philosophy

Teaching appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/01/2005 - 1/12/2007Teacher- SecondaryLauriston Girls' School, Armadale, VIC
Philosophy, Theory of Knowledge (I.B.) and English Teacher


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

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]
Co-authorsRachel Buchanan
2012Forster DJ, 'Codes of ethics in Australian education: Towards a national perspective', Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 37 Article 1 (2012) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 3
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]
CitationsScopus - 9Web of Science - 6

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]
Author URL
2012Chapman A, Buchanan RA, Forster DJ, 'The moral imagination in pre-service teachers ethical reasoning', AARE 2012 Conference Proceedings & Program, Sydney, NSW (2012) [E3]
Co-authorsRachel Buchanan
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) [R1]
Co-authorsKevin Lyons, Allyson Holbrook, Johanna Macneil, Maxwell Smith

Grants and Funding


Number of grants3
Total funding$75,000

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

20141 grants / $10,000

The Changing World of Volunteerism: Challenges and Opportunities$10,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamProfessor Max Smith, Professor Allyson Holbrook, Associate Professor Kevin Lyons, Doctor Daniella Forster
SchemeLinkage Pilot Research Grant
Funding Start2014
Funding Finish2014
Type Of FundingInternal

20121 grants / $60,000

Evaluation of the Flagship Projects for the NSW volunteering Strategy$60,000

Funding body: NSW Department of Education and Communities

Funding bodyNSW Department of Education and Communities
Project TeamProfessor Max Smith, Professor Allyson Holbrook, Associate Professor Kevin Lyons, Doctor Johanna Macneil, Doctor Daniella Forster
SchemeResearch Grant
Funding Start2012
Funding Finish2012
Type Of FundingOther Public Sector - State

20091 grants / $5,000

Conceptualizing teacher beliefs as emergent properties$5,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamDoctor Daniella Forster
SchemeNew Staff Grant
Funding Start2009
Funding Finish2009
Type Of FundingInternal

Research Supervision

Current Supervision

CommencedResearch Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2013Who is the Good Teacher as a Person?
Curriculum & Education Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts

Dr Daniella Forster


School of Education
Faculty of Education and Arts

Focus area

Philosophy, Religion and Theology

Contact Details
Phone(02) 4921 8653
Fax(02) 4921 7887


University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308