Notre Dame hosts prestigious education research conference

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Spring 6-11-2012

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia

Publication Place



The University of Notre Dame Australia has welcomed over 100 visitors to its Sydney Campus for the 2012 Postgraduate Research Conference, sponsored by the NSW Institute for Educational Research (IER).

Academic staff and students representing ten New South Wales universities congregated at the University to listen to the work of twenty-eight students undertaking research in the field of education, including seven students from Notre Dame. The annual event provides a forum for candidates to present, and receive feedback on, their research-in-progress to a gathering of education professionals. The Conference also gives educational researchers a professional space in which to associate with other researchers and to learn about other research initiatives across various tertiary education settings.

Six of the Notre Dame students are completing a Master of Philosophy degree while the seventh is completing a PhD. Their research topics ranged from 'The laicisation of leadership in Australian Jesuit schools' through to 'Play – Lost in Transition? Teachers' beliefs about the value of play-based pedagogy to promote pedagogic continuity in children's transition to formal schooling'. As one member of the audience said, "It is not often that you can attend a conference and learn about things that happened so long ago and then listen to research that is likely to influence the future".

Dr Kevin Watson, Associate Professor in Science Education at Notre Dame, presented the prestigious Beth Southwell award to four higher research students who had recently completed their dissertations with distinction.

Dr Anne Forbes, NSW IER president, praised the quality of the presentations and students' commitment to their research work. She said the impressive diversity of the students' presentations was matched by the confidence and professionalism of the presenters themselves.

The Dean of the School of Education Sydney, Professor Marguerite Maher said the presenters awed even the most experienced researchers in the room.

"The calibre of the presentations was exceptional across the board," Professor Maher said.

"The presenters answered questions thoughtfully, displaying great insight and they received feedback and suggestions eagerly and professionally. It was a stimulating and enjoyable conference for all."

For further information please contact: Communications Officer, Elizabeth Fenech The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney Campus

T: 02 8204 4407

E: elizabeth.fenech@nd.edu.au

W: www.nd.edu.au/