Professor David Geelan FACE SFHEA

PhD, MEd, BEd(Chem), CGertSci (Phys), GCertHE

Phone: 02 8204 4400

  • Biography

    David is Sue's husband and Cassie and Alexandra's Dad. He was a secondary school physics and chemistry teacher in Victoria, NSW and WA, and has worked as a teacher educator in Papua New Guinea, Canada and Australia. He has also offered teacher professional learning workshops in South Africa and Philippines, and has been involved in developing and teaching online courses since 1995.

  • Teaching areas

    • Chemistry and Physics Education
    • Primary and Secondary School Science Education
    • Qualitative Research Methodology
  • Research expertise and supervision

    While David's expertise and research interests are largely focused on physical sciences (physics and chemistry) education, he has supervised higher degree by research (HDR) students studying across a wide range of topics and methods. He has published and taught in the area of qualitative and mixed research methodologies, but has also co-supervised with colleagues who have stronger quantitative research backgrounds for projects that require that methodological approach.

    Past topics include educational technology, including the implementation of mobile learning in Saudi Arabia and Indonesia and the ways in which teachers learn it integrate technology in Ghana. Other students have researched the ways in which teachers explain concepts to students, or developed and tested (successfully!) pedagogical approaches for teaching science with interactive web-based laboratories. One student's research focused on the ways in which gay Christian men seek to reconcile their sexuality with their faith.

    David is particularly interested to talk to prospective HDR students who would be interested in studying more deeply issues related to teacher explanations and the ways in which teachers explain concepts to science students.

  • Books

    • Geelan, D., Nichols, K. & McDonald, C. (2021). Complexity and Simplicity in Science Education. Switzerland: Springer Nature.
    • Garrick, B., Pendergast, D., & Geelan, D. (2017). Theorising Personalised Education. Singapore: Springer Nature.
    • Ferrett, T.A, Geelan, D.R., Schlegel, W.M. & Stewart, J.L. (Eds.) (2013). Connected Science: Strategies for Integrative Learning in Science. Bloomington, IA: Indiana University Press.
    • Geelan, D.R. et. al. (2009). Science Focus (2ed) 1, 2 & 4. Melbourne: Pearson Education Australia.
    • Rickard, G. & Geelan, D. (2008). Science Ways 1, 2 & 3. Melbourne: Pearson Education Australia.
    • Geelan, D.R. (2006). Undead Theories: Constructivism, Eclecticism and Research in Education. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
    • Geelan, D.R. (2004). Weaving Narrative Nets to Capture Classrooms: Multimethod Qualitative Approaches for Research in Education. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  • Books Chapters

    • Kulgemeyer, C. & Geelan, D. (in press). Instructional Explanations in Physics Teaching. In: H. E. Fischer (Ed.) Physics Education. Switzerland: Springer Nature.
    • Geelan, D. (2018) Science Education: Educating the Citizens of the Future. In: I. Davies, et al. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Global Citizenship and Education. Palgrave Macmillan, London.
    • Geelan, D.R. & Fan, X. (2014). Teachers using interactive simulations to scaffold inquiry instruction in physical science education. In J. Gilbert and B. Eilam (Eds.) Science Teachers' Use of Visual Representations. Dordrecht: Springer.
    • Geelan, D.R. (2013). Linking Integrated Middle-School Science with Literacy in Australian Teacher Education. In T.A. Ferrett, D.R. Geelan, W.M. Schlegel & J.L. Stewart (Eds.) (in press). Connected Science: Strategies for Integrative Learning in Science. Bloomington, IA: Indiana University Press.
    • Geelan, D.R. (2012). Teacher Explanations. In B. Fraser, K. Tobin & C. McRobbie (Eds.), Second International Handbook of Science Education. Dordrecht: Springer.
      Geelan, D.R. (2011). Matter, Energy and Earth Systems. Custom Chapter for Pearson Science Book 10. Carlton: Pearson.
    • Geelan, D.R. (2010). Science, Technology and Understanding: Teaching the Teachers of Citizens of The Future. In R. Nowacek, M. Smith & J. Bernstein (Eds.), Citizenship Across the Curriculum. Indiana University Press.
    • Geelan, D.R. (2007). Songs of innocence and of experience: impressionist tales and secret stories of life in classrooms. In P. Taylor and J. Wallace, (Eds.), Contemporary Qualitative Research: Exemplars For Science And Mathematics Educators. Dordrecht: Springer.
    • Geelan, D.R. (2005). Using webs of narrative to explore negotiation of meaning and practice. In WM. Roth (Ed.), Auto/Biography and Auto/Ethnography: Praxis of Research Method. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
    • Geelan, D.R., Larochelle, M. & Lemke, J.L. (2002). The laws of science. In J. Wallace & W. Louden (Eds.), Dilemmas of Science Teaching: Perspectives on Problems of Practice. (pp. 22-35) London and New York: RoutledgeFalmer.
  • Journal articles

    • Haghighi Siahgorabi, S. & Geelan, D.R. (in press). Influence of the Organisation of Instructional Activities on Students’ Development of Reasoning Abilities: A Case Study from Iran. International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education.
    • Maulina, Geelan, D.R., Basri, M. & Nurdin, N. (2021). Constructing WhatsApp-based Speaking Instructional Material (WABSIM) for EFL Teaching and Learning: A Need Analysis. The Asian EFL Journal.
      Loughlin, W.A., Whitford, C.M., Geelan, D.R. & Brown, R.A.J. (2020). Barriers and levers driving change in a STEM science subject in the Australian higher education sector: a focused study. Research in Science and Technological Education, DOI: 10.1080/02635143.2020.1830271
    • Geelan, D. (2020). Physical Science Teacher Skills in a Conceptual Explanation. Education Sciences, 10(1), 23.
      Rachuru, S., Geelan, D., & Vandanapu, J. (2020). Is interfacial tension of a liquid-air interface thermodynamically a cyclic process? Journal of Molecular Liquids, 298, 112138.
    • Loughlin, W. A., Whiteford, C. M., Geelan, D. R., & Brown, R. A. (2020). Barriers and levers driving change in a STEM science subject in the Australian higher education sector: a focused study. Research in Science & Technological Education, 1-21.
    • Bartels, H., Geelan, D., & Kulgemeyer, C. (2019). Developing an approach to the performance-oriented testing of science teachers’ action-related competencies. International Journal of Science Education, 1-25.
    • Cabello, V. M., Barrios, I. S., & Geelan, D. (2019). Practitioner Learning in the Intersections Between Science and Language. Research in Science Education, 1-9.
    • Fan X., Geelan D., Gillies R.M. (2018). Evaluating a Novel Instructional Sequence for Conceptual Change in Physics Using Interactive Simulations. Education Sciences 8(1):1-19.
    • Geelan, D. R. (2016). Teaching with Interactive Simulations: One Small Contribution Toward Science Education for all. TEACH Journal of Christian Education, 10(1), 41-46.
    • Geelan, D. (2015). While Heisenberg is not looking: the strength of ‘weak measurements’ in educational research. Australian Educational Researcher, 42(3): 395-404.
    • Geelan, D. (2015). Open forums for teaching in an open online world. International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life Long Learning, 25(1): 28-38.
    • Gowlett, C., Keddie, A., Mills, M., Renshaw, P., Christie, P., Geelan, D. & Monk, S. (2015). Using Butler to understand the multiplicity and variability of policy reception. Journal of Education Policy, 30(2): 149-164.
    • Mills, M., Monk, S., Keddie, A., Renshaw, P., Christie, P., Geelan, D. & Gowlett, C. (2014). Differentiated learning: From policy to classroom. Oxford Review of Education, 40(3): 331-348.
    • Geelan, D., Mahaffy, P. & Mukherjee, M. (2014). Scientific visualisations for developing students’ understanding of concepts in Chemistry: some findings and some lessons learned. Teaching Science, 60(1): 30-38.
    • Fan, X. & Geelan, D.R. (2013). Enhancing Students’ Scientific Literacy In Science Education Using Interactive Simulations: A Critical Literature Review. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 32(2), 125-171.
    • Fogarty, I., Geelan, D. & Mukherjee, M. (2013). Multiple teaching approaches, teaching sequence and concept retention in high school physics education. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 32(3), 285-301.
    • Geelan, D., Louden, W. & Wildy, H. (2013). Cohort size, sex and socio-economic status as predictors of success in Year 12 physics in Perth, 1987-1997. Teaching Science, 59(4), 22-26.
    • Monk, S., Millis, M., Renshaw, P., Geelan, D., Keddie, A. & Gowlett, C. (2013). Investigating ‘moments’ for student agency through a differentiated music curriculum. International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning, 8(3), online.
    • Zhu, Z. & Geelan, D. (2013). Chinese secondary physics teachers’ beliefs and instructional decisions in relation to inquiry-based teaching. Electronic Journal of Science Education, 17(2), 1-24.
    • Fogarty, I., Geelan, D. & Mukherjee, M. (2012). Does teaching sequence matter when teaching high school chemistry with scientific visualizations? Teaching Science, 58(3), 19-23.
    • Geelan, D.R. (2012). Teacher explanation of physics concepts: a video study. Research In Science Education, 42(6): 1-14.
    • Subhi, N. & Geelan, D. (2012). When Christianity and Homosexuality Collide: Understanding the Potential Intrapersonal Conflict. Journal of Homosexuality, 59(10), 1384-1404.
    • Geelan, D., Mukherjee, M. & Martin, B. (2012). Developing key concepts in physics: is it more effective to teach using scientific visualisations? Teaching Science, 58(2), 33-36.
  • Conference papers

    • Abedi, E., Prestridge, S. & Geelan, D. (2021). The Affordances of Informal Learning for Supporting Teachers’ ICT Professional Development. Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) International Conference, 26-28 October 2021, online. pp. 447-456.
    • Geelan, D. & Fan, X. (2014). A Novel Instructional Sequence for Interactive Simulations (ISIS): Developing Conceptual Understanding in Physics Education in China within a Context of Curricular Reform. Proceedings of the Third International Conference of Educational Innovation through Technology, Conference Publishing Services.
    • Geelan, D. (2012). Effectiveness of Scientific Visualizations in Year 11 Chemistry and Physics Education. In J. Pagram & P. Newhouse (Eds.) Proceedings of the 2012 Australian Computers In Education Conference.
    • Fan, X. & Geelan, D. (2012). Integrating Information Technology and Science Education for the Future: A Theoretical Review on the Educational Use of Interactive Simulations. In J. Pagram & P. Newhouse (Eds.) Proceedings of the 2012 Australian Computers In Education Conference.
    • Mukherjee, M., Fogarty, I. and Geelan, D. (2011). Order of instruction effects – do they make a difference when teaching senior chemistry with computer based visualizations?. In: T. Bastiaens and M. Ebner, Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2011. (pp. 3123-3129). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.
    • Geelan, D. & Mukherjee, M. (2011). But does it work? Effectiveness of scientific visualisations in high school chemistry and physics instruction. In T. Bastiaens & M. Ebner (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2011 (pp. 2706- 2715). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.
    • Geelan, D.R. & Mukherjee, M. M. (2010). Measuring the effectiveness of computer-based scientific visualisations for conceptual development in Australian chemistry classrooms. Global Learn Asia Pacific 2010, Penang, Malaysia, May 17-20, 2010.
  • In the media

  • Professional Affiliations

    • Board Member and Past President - Australasian Science Education Research Association (ASERA)
    • Editorial Board Member – Journal of Research in Science Teaching (JRST), Research in Science Education (RISE), Education Sciences, International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (IJSoTL), Alberta Journal of Education Research (AJER)
  • Awards

    • 2017 Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy
    • 2016 Fellowship of the Australian College of Education
    • 2009 Australian Educational Publishing Award for ‘Science Ways’ textbook series
    • 2009 University of Queensland SBS and ISSR Innovation award
    • 2005 Carnegie Scholarship – the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
    • 1995 Curtin University Postgraduate Scholarship
  • Research Grants

    Granting Agency: Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment
    Title of Project: Professional Development Modules for Teachers
    Total Amount Received: $1,300,000
    Period Covered by Grant: 2016-2017
    Principal Investigator: Katherine Main Co-Principal Investigators: Donna Pendergast, David Noonan, David Geelan, Jason Zagami, Peter Grootenboor, Alison Sammel, Christine McDonald, Glenn Finger, Richard John

    Granting Agency: Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment
    Title of Project: Learning Change in Junior Secondary
    Total Amount Received: $550,000
    Period Covered by Grant: 2014
    Principal Investigator: Donna Pendergast Co-Principal Investigators: Katherine Main, David Geelan, Harry Kanasa, Georgina Barton, Susan Hearfield, Tony Dowden

    Granting Agency: Australian Research Council - Discovery
    Title of Project: Engaging students: Issues of difference, distribution and recognition in schools
    Total Amount Received: $444,000
    Period Covered by Grant: 2010-2012
    Principal Investigator: Martin Mills Co-Principal Investigators: David Geelan, Peter Renshaw, Pam Christie and Amanda Keddie

    Granting Agency: Australian Research Council - Discovery
    Title of Project: Evaluating the effectiveness of scientific visualisations in physics and chemistry education
    Total Amount Received: $190,000
    Period Covered by Grant: 2008-2010
    Principal Investigator: David Geelan Co-Principal Investigators: Brian Martin and Peter Mahaffy, King’s University College, Canada

    Granting Agency: National Science Foundation (USA)
    Title of Project: Creating Cognitive Dissonance in a Computer Game Environment to Promote Student Conceptual Change in Relation to Force Concepts
    Total Amount Received: US$5,000
    Period Covered by Grant: 2007, 2008
    Principal Investigator: Mike Stieff (University of California, Davis) Co-Principal Investigators: David Geelan (University of Alberta), Brian Martin (King's University College), Peter Mahaffy (King's University College), Karl Harrison (Oxford University)

    Current higher degree by research students:

    • Emmanuel Abedi (PhD, Griffith) – The Complexities of Teacher Professional Development for Information and Communication Technologies Integration in Ghanaian Schools
    • Gayle Brent (PhD, Griffith) – Curriculum design principles to embed employability-based learning in undergraduate STEM degrees
    • Michael O’Connor (EdD, Griffith) – What are the highly effective strategies that improve student attendance in Queensland state secondary schools?
    • Rose ter Borg (MEPS-R, Griffith) – Exploration of how individual teachers adapt their explanations of science concepts to their context