Members of the Student Engagement, Learning and Behaviour Research Group (SELB) are engaged in quality research that aims to improve the educational experiences and outcomes of all children and young people, but particularly those who experience difficulty in schools and with learning.

Our research strategy

Grand challenges

Rapid social, economic and technological change is fundamentally affecting educational expectations across the world. As a result, young people today are expected to:

  • remain at school for longer than at any other time in history
  • engage with more complex material at younger ages
  • achieve highly enough to enable them to compete on a global stage
  • navigate a precarious future in which up to 40% of current jobs will be replaced by automation.

Not only do these expectations have significant implications for students with diverse abilities and interests but they present an enormous challenge to educators. The aim of this research group is to understand and help negotiate the effects of these challenges on students and their teachers.

 

Real-world context

Increasing student diversity means that the typical classroom now spans a wide array of student abilities, interests and backgrounds. In such an environment, teaching and learning becomes an intensely complex process – one that is complicated by many variables, including:

  • child development and cognition, learning differences and dis/ability
  • curriculum design and flexibility, achievement standards and assessment practices
  • teacher beliefs, attitudes, knowledge and backgrounds
  • student-teacher relationships, emotional support and emotional engagement
  • learning environments, classroom climates, school culture and education markets
  • behaviour management practices, school discipline policy and support allocation processes.

 

Impacts

Our research is designed to drive changes in the real world, including:

  • improved engagement, support and opportunities for students with diverse abilities, interests and backgrounds
  • increased understanding of and attention to the relational and emotional aspects of teaching and learning
  • greater representation of children and young people in educational decision-making.

 

Research areas of focus

We are investigating how to:

  • capture and use student voice as a catalyst for teacher professional learning and the development of more inclusive schools
  • enable classroom teachers to meet student needs through differentiation of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment
  • identify and support children experiencing difficulty with learning, language and/or behaviour in the early years of school
  • enhance the wellbeing of students with challenging behaviour and the wellbeing of their teachers.