Contemporary Approaches to Research in Mathematics, Science, Health and Environmental Education Symposium

The program will include two keynote speakers and the themed sessions. The program starts at 9.00 am and concludes at 5.00 pm each of the two days.

Each year the ‘Contemporary approaches to research (CAR) in mathematics, science, health and environmental education’ symposium focuses on practical and theoretical aspects of a range of research methodologies – such as cross-cultural perspectives, activity theory, capturing complexity, classroom video analysis, quantitative methods, and interviewing – which are discussed in a lively, informal setting.

Presentations at the symposium will be grouped into sessions of two to four with similar methodological foci, designed to promote substantive discussion of a methodological issue. Presentations might focus on a) details and settings of the application of a methodology in ways that unpack how the methodology can operate in different contexts, or b) a particular methodological issue, problem, or strategic decision that explores or extends a methodology. The methodological issues should be broadly related to mathematics, science, health, or environmental education. The presentations should provide a grounded practitioner’s perspective.

Following each group of presentations, there will be the opportunity for extended discussion of the focus methodological issue, which may explore different approaches within the methodology (in research design, instruments, theoretical framing, or approaches to analysis), or different methodological approaches to a problem (for instance making sense of teacher practice, or tracking change in learners).

Presentations will be 10-12 minutes in duration and should briefly outline the research question being addressed and may include the findings or likely outcomes of the research, but should focus mainly on the research methodology. Reports on work in progress are welcome but the focus is on the methodology.

Keynote speakers

Andrea Nolan

Andrea Nolan is Professor of Early Childhood Education at Deakin University. Andrea is the founder and Chair of the Victorian Early Childhood Research Consortium (VECRC), a group of 83 cross-disciplinary researchers from a number of Victorian universities who come together to support research capacity in early childhood.

Andrea has worked on a number of State, National and international projects concerning literacy development, program evaluation, and the professional learning of teachers/educators. Since 2007, Andrea has produced a significant body of research focusing on the capabilities of the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) workforce with a specific interest in the professional learning of educators and their practice. She has researched the impact of the current Australian reform agenda on professional identities and educator practice, mentoring, inter-professional work, and reflective practice.

Currently she is using the capability approach and Bourdieusian theory to draw out implications for the professional learning of the ECEC workforce. This work has been reviewed as making a valuable contribution to the discourse of ECEC professionalism and professional learning internationally. A significant concentration of her most recent research and publications (since 2011) explores the concept of mentoring and how this can be harnessed to enhance professional learning for the ECEC sector. This work received international recognition when she was invited by the New Zealand Teacher Council (2012-2014) to contribute to the development of their own models for teacher induction and mentoring, and to present two public lectures, in successive years, at SEGI University in Malaysia (2013, 2014).

Educator practice has been a complementary theme to her research where she has focused on young children’s language and literacy development, transition to school practices, and practice that improves outcomes for children and families experiencing disadvantage. Andrea have acted as Chief Investigator on a number of projects that have influenced early childhood practice. The reputation of her work relating to teacher practice is demonstrated by an invitation to contribute a chapter to an international handbook on the philosophies and theories of Early Childhood Education and Care (2016) – one of two Australian researchers invited, and an entry into the Springer Encyclopaedia of Teacher Education (2019). Coupled with this was her commissioned contribution to the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority’s (ACECQA) Educational Leader resource (2019) to be used by all children’s services leaders throughout Australia. Of particular note is that Andrea is a recipient of three ARC grants, and has been successful in attracting over $6,000,000 in research funding since 2003.

Alberto Bellocchi

Alberto Bellocchi is Associate Professor of Education at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Alberto investigates the complexities of science teaching and learning in high school and pre-service teacher education settings through the analysis of classroom interactions. Alberto is a past recipient of a research fellowship funded within the Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (2016-2018) scheme provided by the Australian Research Council. During this time, his research focussed on uncovering the interplay between social bonds (relationships), emotional experiences, and constructing science knowledge. A second major line of research focuses on science inquiry in school and university settings. His work has made contributions to understandings of the roles of social bonds and emotions as enacted classroom practices for learning and teaching science. He has also advanced theories of interaction to explain science teaching and learning encounters and made contributions to the theorisation of emotions. Through his substantive academic position, Alberto has taught in the area of logics of inquiry (research methods and design) and science curriculum studies for secondary preservice teachers. He was the leader of the STEM Education Research Group (2018-2019) based within the Faculty of Education. Before working at QUT he taught senior chemistry and junior science in an Education Queensland school for 8 years. He is lead co-editor of the Springer volume Exploring Emotions, Aesthetics and Wellbeing in Science Education Research. A/Prof. Bellocchi serves as a Lead Editor for the Q1 journal Cultural Studies of Science Education, and as a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching (Q1. #1 journal in science education based on Scimago).

Submit an abstract

If you are interested in presenting at this symposium please register your expression of interest before Friday 6 October 2023 on the Re-Imagining Futures in STEME website ( which provides online submission.

Presentations should be no longer than 12 minutes in duration (further details will be provided upon acceptance of your proposal). Presentations should briefly outline the research question being addressed, and may include the findings or likely outcomes of the research but should focus mainly on the research methodology. Reports on work in progress are welcome.


Deakin University staff – $150 (both days) or $75 per day
Deakin University students – $110 (both days) or $55 per day
Non-Deakin University students – $150 (both days) or $75 per day
General admission (including non-Deakin University academics) $190 (both days) or $95 per day.

Date: 20 November 2023
Venue: Deakin Downtown, Level 12, Tower 2 Collins Square, 727 Collins Street, Docklands
Keywords: environmental educationhealth educationmathematicssciencescience educationSTEME symposium