Curriculum and pedagogy


Our research in curriculum and pedagogy encompasses mathematics, science, and literacy education as well as assessment and learning.

In the areas of mathematics and the sciences in education, our researchers are currently investigating such diverse topics as children's statistical reasoning, the effective preparation of middle years' children for the study of engineering, and the impact of advanced teacher subject knowledge on teacher practices in science and mathematics classrooms.

Notable outcomes of our research in mathematics and science education include:

  • the Graphical Languages in Mathematics Test - a tool for measuring graphical competence
  • a UNESCO science education report which defines scientific literacy.

Our literacy researchers investigate many aspects of literacy education including print literacy, multiliteracies, and the role of digital learning. Employing a variety of approaches, they examine:

  • literacy assessment and teachers' work
  • the reform of low socio-economic, culturally diverse schools
  • literacy demands in the middle years.

Our researchers are recognised leaders who collaborate with national and international partners.


Evidence of research quality

ERA (Excellence in Research for Australia) 2015 score:

  • 5 (well above world standard) -
    • Curriculum and Pedagogy (FOR 1302).

ERA (Excellence in Research for Australia) evaluates the quality of research undertaken in Australian universities against national and international benchmarks.


International linkages

North America:

  • York University, Canada
  • Indiana University, USA

United Kingdom:

  • Queen's University, Ireland
  • National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, Ireland


  • Beijing Normal University

Significant corporate partnerships

  • Queensland Teachers' Union
  • Department of Education and Training (Queensland)
  • Department of Main Roads (Queensland)
  • Construction Skills Queensland
  • Energy Skills Queensland
  • Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy
  • Engineers Australia

Cross-disciplinary engagement

  • Engineering
  • Policy and Administration
  • Sociology
  • History and Philosophy


Evidence of impact

  • Principles of assessment co-developed by Queensland Studies Authority now used by the Australasian Curriculum, Assessment and Certification Authority.

Our research:

  • including the 4 Resources Model and Critical literacy, has had a direct impact on literacy education curriculum and policy in Canada and several US states, is used in other parts of the world (e.g., Latin America), and has been applied to other curriculum areas (e.g., science)
  • reports on how, and against what odds in the contemporary socio-political climate, teacher-researchers involved in an ARC Linkage project in secondary schools in a low SES region redesigned their pedagogy to incorporate young people's funds of knowledge in order to improve literacy outcomes and support students' aspirations for the future
  • provides alternatives ways of thinking about the education of low literate refugees. It looks at possibilities for critical and intellectually substantive teaching and highlights linguistic politics that work against the students' participation in the Australian classroom
  • challenges the validity of conventional literacy pedagogies, and demonstrates how to engage students from varied cultural and linguistic backgrounds into new forms of communication with digital technologies
  • drives effective teacher preparation for standards-driven reform beyond provision of standards and exemplars
  • informs national and international (US and Europe) use of mathematical modelling in the primary school mathematics curriculum - a new and powerful approach to future-oriented problem solving. Model-eliciting problems take students beyond computation towards conceptualisation, description, and explanation, where students generate their own mathematical ideas
  • provides implications of policy and practice for enhancing scientific literacy internationally and led to a new program of research in hybridised writing that provides compelling evidence for practices to engage students in science and the achievement of scientific literacy.

Research degree enquiries

Education research office

Commercial research enquiries

Faculty of Education - consultancies

  • Level 3, B Block
    Victoria Park Road
    Kelvin Grove 4059

  • Postal address:
    Faculty of Education - Development Office
    GPO Box 2434
    Brisbane QLD 4001