Graduate research

Why a PhD or Research Masters with Teachers and Teaching at Newcastle?

Teachers and Teaching Research Centre core membersThe Teachers and Teaching Research Centre at the University of Newcastle's (UON) School of Education investigates teacher professional learning and teaching practice, with particular emphases on quality, equity and technology. Our aim is to conduct high quality research and knowledge translation to enhance teaching practice and teacher development across a broad range of contexts.

Teachers and Teaching consistently secures major research grants. It also contributes significantly to UON's education subject ranking of 127 in the world (QS world university rankings by subject) and Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) rating of 'World Standard'.

Exciting opportunities exist for interdisciplinary research with health, sociology, mathematics and science. Our key collaborators include the Wollotuka Institute, NSW and ACT Departments of Education and various Catholic Education Offices.

What you can research

We invite research proposals addressing any of the following areas:

  • Quality of teaching
  • Teacher development
  • Teacher education
  • School leadership
  • School reform
  • Equity and social justice
  • Student aspirations and post-school futures

Research methodologies

The disciplinary and methodological expertise of our educational researchers places Teachers and Teaching in a unique position to make a significant impact on the practice of teaching – particularly in relation to teaching quality, pedagogical reform, teacher development, student learning, and equity outcomes. Projects undertaken by core and associate members of Teachers and Teaching employ a wide variety of qualitative and quantitative methods, with research designs ranging from cross-sectional and descriptive studies to longitudinal, intervention projects, and randomised controlled trials.

Find a supervisor

Before you apply, contact a supervisor for discussion on possible research projects. This will allow you to frame your proposal to align with established disciplines and areas of supervisor capacity.

  • Prof Jenny Gore: equity, pedagogical reform, social theory and education, teacher development, teacher education reform, teacher socialisation
  • Prof Max Smith: assessment and evaluation in education, child development, pedagogy in the 21st Century, policy innovation and reform, professional learning and leadership in education
  • Dr Jess Harris: conversation analysis, educational leadership, ethnomethodology, qualitative research methods, school change
  • Dr Drew Miller: elementary physical education, fundamental movement skills, game centred approach, physical activity, physical education, primary physical education, professional development, quality teaching, National Exceptional Teachers for Disadvantaged Schools (NETDS), Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU)
  • Dr Elena Prieto-Rodriguez: computational thinking, engineering education, mathematics education
  • Dr Leanne Fray: qualitative research methods, student aspirations, thematic analysis

Scholarship opportunities

The Teachers and Teaching Research Centre (TTRC), led by Professor Jenny Gore, has recently embarked on a major program of research investigating teacher change and student outcomes associated with teacher professional development. With several PhD scholarships available, this is a great opportunity to be part of a dynamic and collegial research team, contribute to an exciting program of research, and work with large qualitative and quantitative datasets.

The research involves a range of methodologies and theoretical perspectives, providing ample scope for specialising across such areas as:

  • Impact on student achievement
  • Scaling education innovation
  • Implementation science
  • Digital technologies
  • School culture and leadership, and many more.

TTRC provides candidates with substantial research training.

For more information contact

Current graduate studies with the Teachers and Teaching Research Centre

There are a number of research projects being undertaken by graduate students in the area of Teachers and Teaching at Newcastle. Take a look at some of the current topics:

  • Telling Tales: Reconceptualising Teacher Induction and Mentoring
  • The Critical Work of Teaching: Changing Minds, Changing Practice
  • Innovative Public Policy in Education – An Understanding of the Issues Through Exploring Approaches to Increased School Anatomy in the Australian Context
  • Educational and Career Aspirations in the Middle Years of Schooling
  • The Impact of School-Based Management Reform on Principal Leadership in New South Wales Public Secondary Schools
  • A Longitudinal Examination of Elements Associated with Educational Outcomes: Testing an Integrated Whole-Child Whole-School Model of Learning in Disadvantaged High School Communities
How to apply for graduate research

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.