2004-06 Enhancing Relationships in School Communities (ERIS): A Program to Promote Creative and Constructive Conflict Resolution Skills through Sustained Professional Development
Collaborative Research Team: Elizabeth Freeman, Professor Eleanor Wertheim (La Trobe University), Professor Ann Sanson; Australian Psychological Society - Psychologists for Peace Interest Group)
Project Manager: Margot Trinder
Funding: The Scanlon Foundation, Morawetz Social Justice Fund
The aim of this collaborative project was to enhance the capacity of primary schools to develop productive conflict handling and relationship-building processes in the schools (including in the area of cultural diversity) and to teach children how to handle conflict constructively. ERIS Phase 2: Enhancing Relationships in School Communities (ERIS) commenced mid 2007.
Visit the ERIS website
2000-2002 Australian Research Council Strategic Partnerships with Industry Grant
The Effectiveness of Student Welfare Professional Development as a Strategy for Whole School Student Welfare, Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention
Chief Investigator: Professor Johanna Wyn
Collaborating Partner: Catholic Education Office Melbourne
Elizabeth Freeman and Desma Strong from the Melbourne Graduate School of Education's Student Wellbeing team collaborated with staff Youth Research Centre and the Catholic Education Office in a three-year longitudinal research study to investigate the impact of systemic credentialed professional development in student welfare on teacher participants and their schools at the whole school level.
Cahill, H. Shaw, G. Wyn, J., & Smith, G with Freeman, E. Strong, D. Huggins, D. Mary Tobin, M., & Montgomery, J. (August 2004). Translating caring into action: An evaluation of the Victorian Catholic Education student welfare professional development initiative.
Action Research Projects in Student Wellbeing
As part of the Master of Education (Student Wellbeing), and its forerunner, the Postgraduate Diploma in Education Studies (Student Welfare), at the University of Melbourne, participating teachers have been undertaking action research projects in their schools in areas such as student wellbeing policy, anti-bullying policy and programs, behaviour management, social and emotional learning; drug education, home-school partnerships, transition, peer connectedness, student leadership and staff wellbeing. Action Research – Example projects are available for reading (below).
Student Wellbeing staff have supervised research in the areas of the role of the school in promoting wellbeing, student wellbeing policy, programs and practice, organisation of welfare in schools, the teacher's role in wellbeing, the teacher-student relationship, school-community partnerships, conflict management in education, bullying, disability and cross-cultural issues.
From theory to practice
The intention of studies in student wellbeing at the University of Melbourne is to prepare graduates to successfully facilitate projects to promote wellbeing in their schools. In the fourth semester of the course teachers undertake action research projects in their schools applying the knowledge and skills that they have learned in their studies. These projects are tailored to the specific needs of each teacher's school. The teachers engage in a collaborative process using action research to develop, implement and evaluate student wellbeing related improvement. To support each other, teachers pair with fellow students from other schools to provide mutual peer consultancy. The projects provide the opportunity for teachers to reflect on outcomes and to test knowledge and skills about the change and improvement process in the complex world of schools. They enable teachers to enhance their capacity to act as a resource persons in their schools. Importantly the projects have direct and tangible outcomes for schools as the examples on the SWAP website will demonstrate. What begins as a project for study may become the vehicle for a sustained improvement process in schools.
These papers have been prepared for partial fulfillment of the Master of Education (Student Wellbeing) or Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Studies (Student Welfare) courses at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne. The papers have been written in accordance with the ethical standards of confidentiality and anonymity of the persons and organisations involved and has been further modified for online use. The purpose of this paper is to provide educators with general information and examples of implementing change in issues related to student wellbeing and does not necessarily represent the views of CEOM or the University of Melbourne. CEOM and the University of Melbourne do not accept liability for inaccuracies, misrepresentations, omissions or errors in information referenced in the paper or the citations. CEOM and the University of Melbourne gratefully acknowledge the authors for making the research available for public use.