MGSE Discovery success

11 November 2013

New research into Australia’s historical response to child abuse and the current Royal Commission into child sexual abuse has been funded in the most recent round of ARC Discovery grants, announced on Friday.

Graduate School early career researchers were particularly successful in this round, with two of the five proposals submitted in the Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) receiving funding. This is well above the national average of 14 per cent.

The Graduate School is also the lead partner in a successful study to examine classroom practices from non-English speaking cultures, led by Professor David Clarke.

The successful projects were:

Discovery Scheme

Professor David Clarke, $300,000: The Lexicon Project: Analysing pedagogical naming systems from different cultures to reconceptualise classroom practice and advance educational theory.

Classrooms remain the principal site of institutionalised learning. Their cultural specificity poses challenges for international comparative research. New approaches are needed. Internationally, our educational theories, research and descriptions of practice are framed in English, which names some aspects of the classroom, but ignores key aspects named in other languages. This limits our capacity to access, connect and adapt the wisdom of other cultures. The Lexicon Project will initiate cross-cultural dialogue to identify pedagogical terms from selected Asian and European educational communities and use these as analytical tools to categorise, interrogate and enrich our classroom practice, classroom research, and educational theorising.

Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

Dr Katie Wright, $394,245: Childhood maltreatment and late modernity: public inquiries, social justice and education

This project is an historical sociological study, which examines the unfolding Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse alongside past Inquiries into child maltreatment. It explores how changing understandings of children's development, vulnerability and rights have shaped social policy, educational responses and public attitudes towards safeguarding children and promoting their wellbeing. In particular, it investigates how concepts of childhood and policy approaches are changing as a result of social imperatives for openness and disclosure about matters once considered taboo. This project will advance conceptual policy insights on this major social issue and sociological knowledge of childhood and the forms and effects of late modernity.

Dr Jon Quach, $379,506.00: How health shapes young children’s academic outcomes, and opportunities to intervene

Every year, about 280,000 Australian children make the crucial transition from preschool to formal education. Within this population, there is a wide range of learning capabilities and levels of preparedness. Children who have difficulties during the early years have greater risk of poorer academic and social outcomes. This project aims to determine how children's academic outcomes are shaped by common physical health problems during the early years of school and how best to address these problems within the traditional school setting. This will inform future research as to the opportunities to help all children have the best opportunity to learn so they can reach their academic potential.