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Research Thesis Topic

Global Childhoods: Lifeworlds and Educational Success in Australia and Asia

Topic ID:

Thesis Topic/Title:
Global Childhoods: Lifeworlds and Educational Success in Australia and Asia


This thesis topic will be undertaken as part of an ARC Discovery project that investigates how everyday lifeworlds of Year 4 (9-10 year of age) students in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore shape children’s orientations to educational success. Situated in the global cities of Melbourne, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore, the ARC Discovery project explores connections between policy contexts, school experiences and everyday activities of children growing up in the Asian Century.

This exciting ARC Discovery project is a partnership between Flinders University, The University of Southern Queensland, The University of Newcastle, the National Institute of Education in Singapore and the Education University of Hong Kong.

The ARC project has two funded PhD scholarships, one of which will be based at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) with Prof Sue Saltmarsh as the Principal Supervisor. Associate supervision will be provided by the other members of the research team located within Australia (Professor Nicola Yelland, Flinders; and Dr I-Fang Lee, University of Newcastle), with Dr Sayan Chakrabarty as the USQ-based Associate Supervisor.

The USQ PhD scholarship candidate will focus on the intersection of policy and culture, with suggested topics including:
- The ways in which policy discourse shapes and is shaped by everyday practices of teachers, families and students
- How the articulation of testing and student outcomes within policy discourse is implicated in producing context-specific educational and cultural practices
- How local responses and resistances to policy discourse, policy effects and policy cultures compare to responses and resistances in the broader global context

In addition to the ARC scholarship, this program of research can accommodate additional postgraduate students interested in exploring aspects of the above topics, or other related topics in consultation with Professor Saltmarsh. The research team has expertise in social, cultural, educational and economic theory, and draws on qualitative research methodologies including ethnography, visual ethnography, discourse analysis, social semiotics and policy studies, and quantitative methods including surveys, questionnaires and statistical analysis.

Principal Supervisor

Associate Supervisors

Research Affiliations
  • School of education

Field of Research
  • Specialist Studies in Education

Available Academic Programs
  • Doctor of Philosophy (DPHD)

Application Open Date

Application Close Date

USQ Scholarship Applications

Other Scholarship Funding Details

Pre-approved for Ethics
Not Applicable

Admission Requirements

Please review the admission requirements for the academic program associated with this Thesis Topic

Prospective applicants should contact Professor Saltmarsh at to discuss their research interests and proposed topic for their study prior to submitting their application. Candidates with relevant interdisciplinary research backgrounds in policy studies, cultural studies, childhood studies, Asian studies, comparative education or educational studies are encouraged to apply. Applications for the USQ-based scholarship should clearly indicate that they wish to be considered for the Global Childhoods ARC Discovery project led by Professor Saltmarsh.

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