Research in the School of Education broadly focuses on learners and educators and the ways in which they are enabled and supported to realise their potential. This occurs across a range of contexts, curricular and phases of development.

Our staff are actively engaged in research that benefits the community and teaching profession through five key research teams:

  • Service-learning in Education (SLIE)

    Shane Lavery, Dianne Chambers, Glenda Cain, Patrick Hampton, Anne Coffey and Sandro Sandri

    The SLIE team explore the impact of service learning in teacher education and ways in which it promotes personal growth, formation of teacher identity, development of leadership and attitudinal change. The team is responsible for teaching a suite of service-learning courses to primary and secondary preservice teachers, along with conducting service-learning immersions in a remote Aboriginal community in Western Australia and in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. In addition to many other publications, their recent edited book - Service-Learning: Enhancing Inclusive Education (Lavery, Chambers & Cain, 2018) brings together national and international service learning research in a range of educational settings. Current and future projects focus on enhancing teacher preparation for diverse contexts and exploring the longitudinal impact of service learning for teachers.

    For further information, please contact Shane Lavery on 9433 0173 or at

  • Global Researchers Advancing Catholic Education (GRACE)

    Christine RobinsonLinda Cranley, Dee O’ConnorChris HackettShane Lavery

    The University of Notre Dame Australia (Fremantle) is the leader of GRACE, a unique long-term international partnership project between The University of Notre Dame Australia, Mary Immaculate College Limerick in Ireland and Boston College in the United States. The aim of GRACE is to bring together researchers and practitioners in Catholic education to become an interdisciplinary community of practice. GRACE facilitates international forums to generate research collaboration and promotes extended conversations among scholars from multiple institutions, at various career stages, developing research to advance Catholic education together. Focusing on the themes of head (Catholicity), heart (spirituality) and hands (social justice) the GRACE community of practice will further international research within Catholic education.

    For further information, please contact Christine Robinson on 9433 0178 or at

  • Primary Research in Mathematics Education (PRiME)

    Lorraine Day and Derek Hurrell

    The PRiME Team conducts research broadly focused on enhancing the quality of mathematics teaching and learning in primary school classrooms. Their research aims to support teachers in creating mathematical teaching and learning environments that are informed by contemporary research findings, and which draw on the collected wisdom and practices of the teaching profession. The Primary Research in Mathematics Education Team, as active members of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA), has authored over 40 refereed articles and two book chapters and has delivered Professional Learning opportunities nationally and internationally. Such scholarship has eventual impact through the sphere of research, and more immediate impact though speaking directly to teachers across Australia and the world, and their classroom practice. The team has also participated in major national research projects in collaboration with other university partners, the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT) and the Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia (AISWA). Working closely with schools and the profession, PRiME has also written curriculum materials for the Department of Education (WA) and published books for practising teachers. Currently the team is involved in the national Principals as STEM Leaders project.

    For further information, please contact Lorraine Day on 9433 0163 or at

  • Researching Early Learning and Teacher Education (RELATE)

    Dee O’Connor, Christine Robinson, Tracy Treasure, Linda Cranley, Serena Davie

    The RELATE team was founded on the belief that the relationship between inspirational teaching and engaged learning lies within both the act of scholarship and its integration into teaching. The RELATE team at Fremantle’s School of Education seeks to inspire their early childhood students through passionate and motivated acts of scholarship which intersect with contemporary educational themes. RELATE aims to connect students to scholarship through discussion and debate on issues that resonate with pre-service early childhood teachers. Currently, the RELATE team is engaged in research in five focus areas:  play pedagogy; teachers in childcare; early childhood education and care policy; teachers’ status; and love and care in early childhood. The Relate Team has published twenty-two collaboratively authored, peer-reviewed papers since 2014. They have also co-authored a book on Play Pedagogy- “Learning through play” (2018, Oxford University Press) which is widely used by both students and practicing teachers.

    For further information, please contact Dee O'Connor on 9433 0151 or at

  • Research in Middle Years (RiMY)

    Anne Coffey, Dianne Chambers, Shane Lavery, Jean MacNish

    The Research in Middle Years (RiMY) team comprises researchers with a strong interest in issues pertaining to early adolescence. The RiMY team specifically conducts research that focuses on students aged between 10 – 15 years. Areas of research interest include student leadership in the middle years; transition from primary to secondary school; the role of service-learning in the middle years; mental and emotional health and well-being of early adolescents; and pedagogy for middle years students. The team has published a range of articles in both national and international journals as well as presenting their research findings at academic conferences. Members of the team have presented a number of professional development programs for school staff. The team is always looking to collaborate with other like-minded researchers and teachers who have an interest in the middle years.

    For further information please contact Anne Coffey on 9433 0153 or