Secondary navigation


In the School of Education and the Arts, we research and investigate the ways people learn and create; the places and locations, the histories and stories, the alternative pathways and experiences, the ways knowledge can be translated - to make a difference and see lives transformed.

Our research is conducted broadly in the areas of:

  • Arts and Creative Industries
  • Education and Learning
  • Humanities and Critical Social Enquiry.

The School of Education and the Arts is also the host school for the LEAP Research Centre (Centre for Regional Advancement of Learning, Equity, Access and Participation) supporting Centre activities and joint venture work in Field of Research Code 1303 - Specialist Studies in Education.

Creative and Professional Writing
Research in creative and professional writing spans:
  • Creative nonfiction, food writing, memoir and biographical writing
  • Critical science fiction, historical fiction, dramatic scripts and screenplays, gothic fiction, the short story
  • Institutional talk, communication methodology media practice and content, regional media and radio studies
  • Journalism and professional writing studies
Active researchers in creative and professional writing include:
Current RHD students include:

Recent RHD Graduates include:
Name/QualificationThesis TitleSupervisors
Dr Anita Milroy - Doctor of Philosophy 2017Episteme, Techne & Poiesis: Visualisations of Extinction and Evolution in Queensland FloraDr Ashley Holmes (Principal), Professor Donna Brien, Dr Andrew Rozefelds (Associates)
Mrs Irene Waters - Master of Arts 2017More Me: How can a Memoirist create a Vibrant Sequel Memoir?Professor Donna Brien (Principal), Associate Professor Steven Pace (Associate)
External Grants/Funding
  • Title: Sunshine Coast Arts Plan - Targeted Stakeholder Engagement Plan and Research
    Investigators: Associate Professor Susan Davis, Dr Liz Ellison
Internal Grants
  • Title: Recovering the forgotten Australian women food writers of the 1950s and 1960s
    Investigator: Professor Donna Brien
  • Title: Research (training) Textbook: Empowering candidates to think, work and produce independently
    Investigator: Professor Donna Brien
CQUni Experts Partner with Sunshine Coast Council - A Regional Creative Hotspot Rolling Out its First Ever Arts Plan

Across Australia many regional centres are seeing a rise in the profile of the arts and creativity, with many artists moving to regions for the lifestyle, community connection and affordable living. One region that has identified as an emerging creative hotspot is Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. The region has embraced this creative turn through its plans for the future with Sunshine Coast Council (SCC) beginning a consultation strategy to develop its first ever Arts Plan. SCC, in partnership with CQUniversity, has rolled out a community engagement program designed to understand the needs of the region’s arts sector.

Performing Arts
Research in performing arts spans:
  • Collaborative music performance, jazz performance, improvisation, composition and arranging
  • Musical theatre, children's theatre, theatre in-education and performing arts pedagogy
Active researchers in performing arts include:
Current RHD students include:

Recent RHD Graduates include:
Name/QualificationThesis TitleSupervisor
Dr Philip Bohun - Doctor of Professional Studies 2017

Voices In Unison: The Role of Music Education in Victorian Independent Secondary Schools

Associate Professor David Cashman (Principal)
CQUni's Schoolies Safety Program a Winner in AFR Higher Education Awards

CQUniversity's 'Choices' schoolies safety program has won this week's Australian Financial Review Higher Education Awards, in the Community Engagement Category. Choices reaches over 3000 year-12 students from Townsville to Rockhampton with safety messages around alcohol, drugs and sexual activity before they go to Schoolies Week.

Digital Media
Research in digital media spans:
  • Digital media, including web design, human-computer interaction, social media, 3D animation, mobile applications, film/media studies
Active researchers in digital media include:
Current RHD students include:

Recent RHD Graduates include:
Name/QualificationsThesis TitleSupervisors
Ms Tamanna Rahman - Master of Communications 2017Influential factors in the flow experiences of mobile game playersAssociate Professor Steven Pace (Principal), Professor Judith Brown (Associate)
Humanities and Critical Social Enquiry
Research in humanities and critical social enquiry spans:
  • Transnational, maritime and environmental history
  • Australian South Sea Islander and Torres Strait Islander social contexts
  • Environmental politics and climate change adaptation
  • Regionalism in China and Australia
  • Urbanisation and ethnicity in China
  • Policing and penology
  • English literature, popular genres and women writers
Active researchers in humanities and critical social enquiry include:
External Grants/Funding
  • Title: Pearls, People, and Power: The transformation of the Indian Ocean World (ARC Discovery Project grant administered by Murdoch University)
    Investigator: Associate Professor Stephen Mullins
  • Title: Koala habitat health - remote sensing based, landscape-scale habitat management toolkit, initial climate change scenario assessment and local habitat health checks
    Investigators: Dr Michael Hewson, Dr Alistair Melzer
Internal Grants
  • Title: Cyclone Debbie or not? Comparing information accuracy between weather-based sources
    Investigators: Dr Michael Hewson, Associate Professor Kate Ames
  • Title: GPS Cows – Improving digital literacy and engagement in rural students though an applied Agri-tech learning resource
    Investigators: Associate Professor Mark Trotter, Dr Michael Hewson, Professor Bobby Harreveld et al.
Innovations in Teacher/Education Research
Innovations in teacher/education research spans:
  • Initial teacher education
  • Professional learning for educators
  • Comparative and cross-cultural education
  • Early childhood education
  • Primary and secondary school education
  • Further education and work transitions
Active researchers in teacher/education include:
Current RHD students include:

Recent RHD Graduates include:
Name/QualificationsThesis TitleSupervisors
Dr Kathryn Murray - Doctor of Education 2017A Decision Making Pathway: Selecting an Early Childhood Education and Care CentreProfessor John Dekkers (Principal), Dr Joanne Dargusch (Associate)
Dr Kerry Aprile – Doctor of Education 2017A frontline job from a ‘behind the scenes’ position: A case of teacher aides’ learning support work with middle school readers in QueenslandProfessor Bobby Harreveld (Principal), Professor Helen Huntly (Associate)
Dr Maureen (Maude) Chapman - Doctor of Education 2017An Exploration of Leadership of Registered Nurses in Clinical Settings Professor John Dekkers (Principal), Professor Bruce Knight, Associate Professor Anthony Welch, Dr Wendy Fasso (Associates)
Dr Michael Stewart - Doctor of Education 2017Cultivating a Positive School Culture in a Secondary School Setting: The Principal’s Role Professor John Dekkers (Principal), Professor Bruce Knight (Associate)
Dr Nadia Mead - Doctor of Philosophy 2017Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys: Using Bakhtin’s Carnival to Explore Teacher Identity and Experience Dr Teresa Moore (Principal), Dr Nicole Anae (Associate)
External Grants/Funding
  • Title: Supporting rural and remote early childhood educators in their first two years of teaching
    Investigator: Professor Alison Elliott
CQU Linkage Pilot
  • Title: Dare to Dream – Dramatic learning to enhance engagement and life choices for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
    Investigators: Associate Professor Susan Davis, Professor Denise Wood, Associate Professor Henrietta Marrie, JUTE Theatre
    Funded by: JUTE and CQUniversity
Internal Grants
  • Title: Recontextualising Australian Cookery Education for a Nepalese Context
    Investigator: Dr Jay Deagon
  • Title: To assess or not to assess? Enhancing professional practice through dialogue and feedback during Work Integrated Learning
    Investigator: Dr Angelina Ambrosetti
  • Title: Student Mobility Programs: Building work/classroom readiness
    Investigators: Dr Gillian Busch, Professor Bill Blayney
  • Title: Australia’s Universities Centres: Equity for and access to Initial Teacher Education
    Investigators: Dr Angelina Ambrosetti, Professor BobbyHarreveld, Dr Gillian Busch, Professor Bill Blayney
The Stage is Set for Indigenous Youth to be Inspired by Theatre

There’s great potential in Australia for creative projects able to demonstrate innovative work and life options for young Indigenous people. One of these creative projects, the ‘Dare to Dream’ theatre production, is the focus of fresh research exploring how creative futures can be built from the powerful stories and voices of First Nations peoples.

The Universal Language of Food Empowers Women in Nepal

A trio of CQUniversity academics has visited Nepal to help introduce a new cookery school venture which will help to empower marginalised women. The cookery school is an expansion project for the Seven Women organisation, which helps disabled women, single mothers and women living in extreme poverty by providing skills training, employment opportunities and education.

Learning, Engagement and Assessment/Scholarship of Learning and Teaching
Research in Learning, Engagement and Assessment/Scholarship of Learning and Teaching spans:
  • Education assessment and evaluation
  • Education technologies for teaching and learning
  • Curriculum development
  • Education administration, management and leadership
Active researchers in Learning, Engagement and Assessment/Scholarship of Learning and Teaching include:
Current RHD students include:
STEM/STEAM Education
Research in STEM/STEAM education spans:

  • Inquiry-based learning and creative pedagogies
  • Professional development models and impacts
  • Robotics and STEAM learning
  • Makerspace pedagogy
Active researchers in STEM/STEAM education include:
External Grants/Funding
  • Title: A maker approach using craft and wearables to engage girls in digital technologies and coding
    Investigator: Dr Wendy Fasso
  • Title: Girls, self-concept and social identity in STEM: The role of makerspace pedagogy
    Investigators: Dr Wendy Fasso, Dr Robert Vanderburg, Dr Michelle Vanderburg, Professor Bruce Knight
Dressing Up Tech to Switch Girls onto STEM

Attracting young people to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects is an ongoing challenge for educators and schools across the nation. The need to do so has never been more critical, with new data revealing that a majority of the jobs of tomorrow will be reliant on STEM skills. In particular, there is an even greater challenge to attract and retain women within this field.

Tween Girls Should Warm to Science Before Being 'Too Cool for School'

Girls should be nurtured much earlier and possibly isolated from boys for ‘safe space’ science classes in the critical ‘tween’ ages, between 10 and 14.

Dressing Up Tech So Wearable Art Can Switch Girls on to Science

Bundaberg schools have been pioneering a project giving girls the chance to explore design and technology through wearable art. By showing that gadgets such as programmable lighting circuits can be incorporated into fashion and art, organisers hope girls will switch on to the potential of careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

Resilience and Special Education
Research in resilience and special education spans:
  • Reading and Literacy
  • Inclusive education
Active researchers in resilience and special education include:
External Grants/Funding
  • Title: Bridging the gap for at-risk readers: Reading theory into classroom practice (ARC Linkage Project grant)
    Investigator: Professor Bruce Knight
  • Title: Building Resilience in Regional Schools
    Investigators: Professor Margaret McAllister, Professor Bruce Knight
Empowering Young People to Access 'Resources for Resilience'

CQUniversity researchers have been granted just over $200,000 to help build resilience in regional schools. Their project recognises that a focus on young people's mental health and resilience can help reduce the economic and social impacts of adult mental health disorders.

Loading the player ...
Video Transcript


Well really the Dare to Dream research project is all about trying to understand what the touring and residency program is leaving in the community, so we want to try and understand the impact on those young people in schools and in in the community and what that means for them across a longer term. Through Dare to Dream we're trying to solve the whole idea that young people, young indigenous people, in remote communities don't have access to creative artists. They have a lot of access to football and sporting heroes, but they don't have access to creative shows that are actually about them, for them and by them.


Being able to depend and rely on a partner and stakeholder like CQU and have those ongoing regular conversations about how do we continue to improve this, what else can we do, what can we do together, it's a really rich relationship.  If we keep moving forward with our partners and stakeholders, CQU being a massive, enormous, integral part to that, to help us be able to look at what a tourable package to other communities outside of Queensland looks like, that's incredibly exciting.


Reaching out to young people out there is certainly needed, it's really needed and I think theatre is a very great way of that, of reaching out and it's really great to see a university that I work with being involved at this community level and highlighting a story of, particular of me as Bukal in my journey from being born on a reserve and going to the heights of the UN.  I think that inclusiveness which CQU is all about and including indigenous people particularly, but as well as the community, it's really helped to lift the profile of who we are as a University working in North Queensland.  My story, particularly Bukal, are highlights and inspire young people to want to do something with their life and do something similar, then that's great.

So that story is an inspirational story and what we want to do is provide opportunities for indigenous artists to get out into those communities and to work with those young people in that community, so that they're inspired about the potential for their own future.  We want to know what impact in the long term that's going to have on them, so we want them, those young people, to be able to express themselves positively and we want the community and their peers to hear from them about what they think a successful future would look like.

We're really wanting to capture much more of the student voice and hearing from them what it's meant for them, what they've learnt and where they want to go.  Where they think some of this, these ways of working, might take them and so it's building that capacity with indigenous young people and artists in how to tell their stories, create performing arts work, building that audience though as well and so this project will be helping to generate the next generation of young indigenous arts workers and particularly in Far North Queensland and I think that's a really exciting thing to be part of.  It'll be longer term looking at tracking some of these kids, where do they go, that some of them might go on to have careers in the arts, performing arts, but also you know that they have been able to dare to dream, but also realise their dreams.