About the research

The research team

Professor Jill Blackmore

Professor Jill Blackmore is Director of the Centre for Research in Educational Futures and Innovation. Her research interests are globalisation and education policy, administrative and organisational theory, educational leadership and reform, organisational change and innovation, teachers' and academics' work, and all their policy implications from a feminist perspective.

Her interest in flexible learning spaces derives from being on the planning committee for Fitzroy High School and an interest in the affective and built conditions as well as school cultures and leadership that are conducive to professional and student learning.

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Assoc Professor Mary Dixon

Mary's research interests are pedagogy, curriculum theorizing and research methodology. She has led large research projects in Australia and Singapore. She has made significant contributions, through projects and publications, to the place of image in education research.

The vibrant sites of research in this ILE project have provoked a generative range of image based methods. Our research team have been challenged to develop context-responsive methods linked to these diverse sites. This has been a unique opportunity for qualitative researchers.

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Dr Anne Cloonan

Anne Cloonan is a Senior Lecturer and Disciplinary Group Leader in Language and Literacy Education at Deakin University, Australia. She currently leads research projects in new technologies and literacy pedagogy for the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Victoria and the Catholic Educations Office Melbourne.

Anne Cloonan's research interests focus on the impact of contemporary changes on education, specifically technological change and its potential for teacher and student transformation. Of particular interest are:

  • digital culture, multimodality and their impact language and literacy curriculum, pedagogy and assessment;
  • technological change and its impact on teacher and student learning and identities;
  • participatory, multimodal methodologies (including filmography) and their impact on student and teacher learning.

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Dr Jo O'Mara

Dr. Joanne O'Mara is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at Deakin University. Her research portfolio focuses on innovative pedagogical approaches and includes work on process drama, English, literacy and new technologies. Methodologically she works across a range of genres and is particularly interested in how new technological tools can be used in research.

Working on the Innovative Learning Environments Project was a gift- the team was terrific to collaborate with, we uncovered new ground and exciting new approaches to this field. It was inspiring to see the creative, rigorous and diligent work of the teachers and school leaders in the projects I worked with. Every time I visited these schools I felt uplifted with the work that they were doing, and struck by the sense of invigoration and renewal that these schools and communities were achieving. Yuille Park Community College in particular enlivened my imagination to what is really possible for our state schools when the staff are well supported and share common goals. My daughter has just started Prep this week at our local government school--another creative and inspiring learning environment. If our state can keep this work up, I feel very hopeful for the future.

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Dr Debra Bateman

Dr Debra Bateman is a Senior Lecturer in Education at Deakin University. She is extraordinarily interested in futures studies, and how school practices are shaped and involved in shaping the ways that learners perceive their futures. Debra is particularly interested notions of innovation - whether in space, time or practice. In 2010, she was awarded an ALTC Citation for Outstanding Innovation in Teaching and Learning.

The schools involved in this project have challenged my own thinking, and much of the literature around effective learning spaces. Insofar as the design of physical spaces is important, the innovations are undoubtedly linked to the craftsmanship and skill of school leadership teams, teachers in classrooms, communities and the students. For me, the concept of innovation continues to be quite subjective as what appears to one person as an innovation doesn't seem as fitting for another. At the very least, innovations in education are always creative and responsive in considering complex aspects of learning.

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Dr Kim Senior

Kim's research interests are pedagogy, curriculum theorizing and research methodology. She is particularly interested in the generative space of visual and arts-based methods in educational research.

Working in the ILE project has brought together Kim's interests in student learning, classroom-based collaborative research and innovative practice.

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Dr Jill Loughlin

Dr Jill Loughlin is a Lecturer in Curriculum and Pedagogy. She has 15 years experience as a primary and junior secondary teacher in both general and specialist classrooms. Her research to date has explored the impact of policy and practices of (re)design in education on the work and professional learning of teachers.

Jill has an interest in exploring how transformational learning cultures emerge in formal and informal education settings and the relational aspects of teaching and learning. With expertise in narrative and arts-based research methodologies, Jill has been exploring the use of visual technologies in research with students and teachers. The OECD/CERI study is her third project in the Innovative Learning Environments portfolio for DEECD having been part of the Literature Review team and an evaluator of a professional development immersion pilot project in ILE schools.

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Dr George Aranda

A Research Fellow at Deakin, he was formerly from an Applied Science and Psychology background. He has been keenly interested in how learning spaces affect students within.

Learning Spaces: Innovative Learning Environments (ILEs) are about more than the physical structures where children and teachers interact. An ILE is about changing an environment where learning previously was not working. This ILE can manifest as changes in technology, physical structures, pedagogy or autonomy of students. But in the end these changes need to influence student-teacher and student-student interactions themselves and through the course of this project that seemed to be true time and time again.