Research into education involving Charles Sturt University (CSU) academics has emerged as a big winner in the release of prestigious Australian Research Council (ARC) grants.
The heads of schools of education at the Bathurst and Wagga Wagga Campuses, Associate Professors Tom Lowrie and Jo-Anne Reid are both members of research teams that have secured two of the only eight ARC Discovery grants offered in education across Australia.
In the largest education grant in Australia, Professor Lowrie, working with the Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) research team, will receive $233 000 over four years to examine how primary school students decode mathematic information presented in graphics.
Associate Professor Reid is working with colleagues from two other universities to investigate educational career paths of Indigenous students who have graduated from teacher education programs throughout Australia.
The education grants are in addition to the more than $1 million in ARC grants allocated specifically to CSU to administer over the next three years.
Five CSU projects will receive funding through the highly competitive Discovery Projects and Linkage Projects administered by the ARC.
“CSU is consolidating its research profile, developing research directions that reflect the strengths of the University, particularly in ecological management and sustainable development, viticulture, professional education and applied ethics and philosophy,” said CSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Goulter.
“The ARC research grants awarded this year are in addition to nearly $6 million dollars that CSU earned through its research activities in 2002, which included over $1 million for consultancy services to regional Australia.
“These projects illustrate two important pillars for the University: research and regional engagement.”
The CSU-administered Discovery Projects, which aim to investigate new areas of knowledge, will look at:
- Managing the restoration of ecosystems over large areas (Researchers: Drs I. Lunt, A. Bennett and I. Oliver – $50 000 over one year);
- Understanding the dispersal and distribution of parasitic plants such as mistletoe and sandalwood (Researchers: Drs D. Watson and D Roshier – $255 000 over three years);
- A philosophical account of the normative value of agency (Researchers: Drs S. Matthews and J. Kennett - $62 000 over two years).
- Modelling consumer decision states as products/categories mature and investigate how choice experiments can be developed to predict new product choices (Monash University administered grant. Researchers CSU's Dr M Morrison, Prof H Oppewal, Dr DS Waller and Dr PZ Wang - $155 000 over three years).
- How primary school students become code-breakers of information graphics in mathematics (QUT administered grant. Researchers: CSU’s Dr T. Lowrie and QUT’s Dr C. Diezmann - $233 000 over four years).
- Understanding the professional pathways and career experiences of Indigenous teachers in Australian schools (Deakin University administered grant. Researchers: CSU’s Associate Professor J. Reid, University of New England’s Dr C. McConaghy and Deakin University’s Dr N. Santoro – $195 000 over four years).
- Using complexity theory to develop computer models that identify plausible business futures and inherent risks (Researchers: Professors D. Jarratt, T. Bossomaier and R. Fayed and Dr H. Abbass – $514 000 over three years);
- Promoting high ethical standards among various professional occupations in Australia (Researchers: Professor T. Campbell, Drs D. Cocking and K. White, Mr A. Alexandra and Ms M. Coady – $120 000 over two years).