Research Supervisors

The School of Education is led by the Dean and Head of School Professor Shane Dawson, who is supported by the Associate Heads of School - Associate Professor Sue Nichols  (Research), Associate Professor Victoria Whitingston (Teaching and Learning - Policy and International Engagement) and Associate Professor Deborah Price (Teaching and Learning - Professional Experience and Enterprise).  

School of Education academic staff who supervise in our research degree programs are active researchers in the education field. Most are attached to one of the School Research Centres, 1) Research in Education for Social Inclusion (RESI)  with 3 nodes, Inclusive Communities for Justice and Well being, de Lissa Early Childhood Education and Families and Languages and Literacies 2) Centre for Islamic Education ( CITE) and 3) and an emerging Centre for STEM.  The researchers are  involved in a wide range of national and international research projects. These include large projects funded through bodies such as the Australian Research Council. Candidates benefit from this up-to-date industry knowledge and expertise which informs and enhances the supervision of their research.

Listed below (in alphabetical order) are our highly qualified academics available for Supervision in the School of Education with their contact details and areas of expertise. To view all of UniSA's Research Experts and the Directory of Expertise click here

Academic Leadership

Shane Dawson

Professor Shane Dawson

Dean and Head of School of Education

> contact

  • Learning analytics
  • Social learning and network analysis
  • Education technologies
  • Self-regulated learning
  • Online learning
  • Blended and hybrid teaching models
  • Learning at scale

Victoria Whitington

Associate Professor Victoria Whitington
Associate Head of School (Policy and International Engagement

> contact

  • Early childhood education/care
  • Children's social and cognitive development
  • Quality in childcare
  • Learning in the early years
  • TAFE-University transitions
  • Distance education students
  • Early brain development

Dr Sue Nichols

Associate Professor Sue Nichols

Associate Head of School (Research)

> contact


  • Literacies in the digital age                 
  • Resourcing of educators' work
  • Family and community contexts for learning
  • Literacy in teacher education
  • Circulation of knowledge and practice through networks  
 Deb Price
Associate Professor Deborah Price
Associate Head of School (Professional  Engagement and Enterprise)

> contact

  • Learner Wellbeing
  • Educator/Teacher Wellbeing
  • Inclusive and Special Education
  • Social sustainability and citizenship for young people
  • Relationships, identity and education influence


 Roger Harris


Emeritus Professor Roger Harris

> contact


  • Vocational education and training
  • Adult learning
  • Australian training reform
  • Workplace learning
  • Inter-sectoral movement of students
  • Professional development, workforce development




Professor Pauline Harris

> contact



  • Early childhood education
  • Children’s voice
  • Language and literacy acquisition
  • Play in the curriculum
  • Children's literature
  • Classroom research methodologies
  • Social justice

Professor Irabinna Rigney


Professor Lester-Irabinna Rigney

> contact


  • Education, Teacher Education
  • School Reform
  • Digital literacies, Numeracy and Literacy
  • Aboriginal Education (Aboriginal language literacies and schooling)
  • Aboriginal Research Epistemologies
  • Qualitative Research
  • Methodologies and Ethics
  • Schooling Pedagogy and Curriculum
  • Aboriginal Higher Education
  • Teacher Education and Learning
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education
  • Indigenous Education
  • Inclusive Education and schooling

 Mohamad Abdalla

Professor Mohamad Abdalla

 > contact



  • Islamic civilisation with a focus on the scientific enterprise
  • Islamic law
  • Islamic ethics
  • Islam in Australia
  • Islam and society
  • Islamic education
  • Islamic schools in Australia
  • Islam and gender

Mohan Chinnappan

Professor Mohan Chinnappan

> contact

  • K-12 numeracy
  • Mathematics teacher knowledge/practice
  • Mathematical knowledge representation
  • Quantitative methods in mathematics research
  • ICT/mathematics teaching
  • Leadership in maths education



Adjunct Professor Margaret Hicks

> contact

  • University learning and teaching
  • Student experience (higher education)
  • Assessment in higher education
  • Evaluation of learning
  • Academic development for university teachers

 Rob Hattam

Professor Robert Hattam

> contact
  • Critical sociology of teachers’ work
  • School reform
  • Policy ethnography
  • Social justice and schooling
  • Technologies of self
  • Critical pedagogy
  • Cross-cultural dialogue

Academic Researchers

Marnie Best

Dr Marnie Best

> contact


  • Alternative education and educational marginalisation
  • Educational psychology and theories of learning
  • Social justice and student engagement
  • Design and Technologies education
  • Online and blended models of learning
  • Pre-service teacher education


Assoc. Professor
Tracey Bretag

> contact

  • Higher education policy
  • Internationalisation of higher education
  • Student mobility
  • Intercultural learning
  • Academic and research integrity
  • Plagiarism, cheating and academic fraud
  • Assessment practices
  • Publication ethics

David Caldwell

Dr David Caldwell

> contact

  • Systemic Functional Linguistics
  • Social Semiotics
  • Genre Pedagogy in Australian Schools
  • Hip-Hop Culture and Hip-Hop Pedagogy
  • Sports Discourse

Jenni Carter

Dr Jenni Carter

> contact

  • Literacy
  • English curriculum
  • Education policy
  • Social justice
  • Equity
  • Teacher’s work


Lesley-Anne Ey



Dr Lesley-Anne Ey

> contact

  • The influence of media on children’s learning and development
  • Sexualisation of children
  • Child Protection – impact on children living in adverse circumstances
  • Cyberbullying
  • Children’s engagement with the internet – risks and management strategies.

Nezar Faris



Dr Nezar Faris

> contact


  • Leadership processes and governance in the Australian Islamic organisations
  • Ethical  leadership
  • Responsible leadership
  • Sense-making and leading
  • Cultural complexity and leadership
  • Management and leadership as a practice and theory; the interplay between contemporary and Islamic

Robyne Garrett

Dr Robyne Garrett

> contact

  • Physical education teacher training
  • Physical activity for children
  • Gender construction and physical activity
  • Dance
  • Mobility and the older person
  • Alternative movement therapies
  • Sport and parental behaviour      

 Marty Mills-Bayne

 Dr Martyn Mills-Bayne

> contact
  • Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Dialogic Pedagogies
  • Philosophy with young children
  • Social Emotional Learning
  • Men in Early Childhood Education

 Deb Green


Dr Deborah Green

> contact



  • Bullying
  • Cyberbullying
  • Workplace bullying
  • Disability and inclusion
  • Social Justice
  • Resilience
  • Peer relationships
  • Global Education
  • Educational Psychology
 Sue Hill
Adjunct Assoc. Professor
Susan Hill

> contact

  • Early literacy pedagogy – reading and writing
  • Multiliteracies
  • Early childhood education
  • Case study methodology
  • Family and community literacies


 Nada Ibrahim
Dr Nada Ibrahim

> contact     
  • Domestic and family violence
  • Intimate partner violence with Muslim communities in Australia
  • Victims and the criminal justice system
  • Sociological theories in criminology
  • Prevention and recovery strategies for domestic and family violence
  • Community empowerment & engagement
  • Family relationships
  • Islamic psychology
  • Culturally and religiously appropriate crime prevention
  • Quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Islamic family law issues
  • Broader Islamic issues




Dr Nahid Afrose Kabir

> contact


  • Migration studies
  • Youth studies
  • Gender studies
  • Media studies
  • Islam and politics
  • Qualitative research

Dr Zheng Lin

> contact

  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • Assessment in TESOL
  • Language, culture and language socialisation
  • ICT and TESOL                  

Dr Belinda MacGill

Dr Belinda MacGill

> contact


  • Sociology in education
  • Critical pedagogy
  • Place-Based pedagogy
  • Media Arts education
  • Visual Arts education
  • Indigenous education
  • Standpoint theory
  • Critical Whiteness Theory




Ms Denise MacGregor

> contact

  • Design and technology education
  • Curriculum and pedagogy
  • Middle schooling
  • In-service professional development                                           




Dr Elspeth McInnes

> contact

  • Family and society
  • Sociology of interpersonal violence
  • Child abuse and child protection
  • Single parent families
  • Social policy
  • Social welfare




Mr Jeff Meiners

> contact

  • Dance, drama, music and visual arts theory and practice
  • Practice-based learning
  • Play based learning
  • Movement and physical education
  • Curriculum leadership
  • Young children and the arts




Dr. Sasikala (Shashi) Nallaya

> contact

  • Second language acquisition
  • Academic literacies
  • Multiliteracies
  • Teaching English as a Second language
  • Multimodal texts and language acquisition






Dr Mahmood Nathie

> contact  


  • Islamic law of contracts
  • Islamic Bond markets and Structuring of Sukuks 
  • Applied Islamic financial practices
  • Islamic accounting practices
  • Reporting and disclosure requirements in relation to Islamic financial institutions
  • Financial modelling – Islamic and conventional
  • Survey data collection – quantitative and qualitative
  • Statistical analysis

 Lisa O keeffe



Dr Lisa O'Keeffe

> contact

  • Mathematics Textbook Analysis
  • Pre-Service Teachers of Mathematics
  • Language and Mathematics
  • Primary Middle and Secondary
  • Mathematics
  • Knowledge for mathematics



Dr Kathy Paige

> contact

  • Educating adolescents
  • Educating for Sustainabilty (EfS)
  • Social and eco justice




Adjunct Dr Judy Peters

> contact

  • Student teacher education/ practicum
  • Early career teaching
  • Teacher professional development
  • Authentic assessment
  • School change
  • School/university partnerships

 Andrew Peterson




Dr Andrew Peterson

> contact

  • Civics and Citizenship education;
  • Moral and Values education;
  • History education;
  • Philosophy of Education;
  • Schools and Communities;
  • Global education.

 Greg Restall



Dr Greg Restall

> contact

  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • Languages Other Than English (LOTE)
  • Strategies for Effective Online Teaching and Learning
  • Computers in Education




Dr Jamie Sisson

> contact

  • Early childhood education
  • Children’s voice and participation in communities
  • Play curriculum
  • Teacher professional identities
  • Narrative inquiry
  • Social justice


Dr Hannah Soong

> contact

  • Transnationalism
  • Mobility
  • Globalisation
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Multiculturalism
  • Identity Formation Process
  • Education-migration nexus
  • Student-migrants
  • Migration studies
  • Internationalisation of Education
  • Interculturality




Dr Barbara Spears

> contact

  • Cyber bullying
  • Bullying
  • Girls’ peer relationships
  • Wellbeing
  • Belonging
  • Friendships
  • Negotiation
  • Conflict




Adjunct Dr Tom Stehlik

> contact

  • Adult learning
  • Organisational learning
  • Alternative schools/education
  • Sociology of education
  • History and philosophy of education
  • Vocational education and training

Anna Sullivan

Associate Professor Anna Sullivan

> contact

  • Early career teachers
  • Classroom management
  • School discipline
  • Pedagogy
  • Teaching strategies
  • Peer relations
  • Student empowerment
  • Student perceptions
  • Social dynamics


Dr Paul Unsworth

> contact

  • Maths and Science Education
  • Indigenous Education
  • Culturally responsive pedagogy and assessment
  • Project-based learning – connecting Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics to real world projects
  • Applying tools of Complexity Theory, Standpoint Theory and Critical Policy Analysis in the study of teacher’s work
Dr Jane Webb-Williams   

> contact 

  • Children’s Self-Perceptions
  • Self-Efficacy and Social Comparison
  • Early Childhood and Primary Teaching
  • Play, Playful Pedagogy and Curriculum
  • Well-being and Identity
  • Classroom Practice
  • Peer Relationships
  • Research Methods





Dr Alison Wrench

> contact

  • Health related fitness for children and adolescents
  • Health and physical education curriculum and pedagogy
  • Socially critical pedagogies for health and physical education
  • Identity formation/gender issues around participation in sport
  • Girls and activity      
 Yvonne Zeegers
Dr Yvonne Zeegers

> contact

  • Science education
  • Pedagogy and curriuculum
  • Teacher professional learning
  • Teachers’ and students’ questioning skills