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Research Thesis Topic

Addressing early childhood teacher attributes for working in rural settings

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Thesis Topic/Title:
Addressing early childhood teacher attributes for working in rural settings


The research program is led by Nicole Green, Michelle Turner, Michele Wright and Vicki Christopher, and is underpinned by the finding that, while a plethora of research exists about the nature of quality early childhood services, there is sparse research about the specific experiences of early childhood teachers in remote locations. The research program will also address the gap in relation to teaching in rural Australia which up until now focuses on primary and secondary education.

New frameworks that move away from a deficit model and negative perceptions of rural and remote communities, challenge teacher education to consider a more contemporary view of remote teaching and learning, and assist in rethinking implications for education and training. In addition, universities around the world are increasingly concerned with ensuring that their students develop attributes which will better equip them for the world of work, and as members of society. Graduate attributes have been defined in the higher education sector as generic skill components, attitudes, values and dispositions, yet research has reported that generic attributes continue to lack a clear theoretical or conceptual base. Research has also indicated that, while universities internationally have sought to articulate the nature of the education they offer to students through a description of the generic qualities and skills their graduates possess, efforts to foster the development of generic attributes has been unsuccessful.

Research in Australia and internationally highlights further research is needed to:

- build an understanding of the attributes required to be an effective early childhood teacher in remote settings in Australia by exploring the perspectives of those working, training and recruiting in these areas.
- examine university courses offering initial and graduate early childhood teacher education – map these attributes across early childhood programs and courses across Australia to develop a national picture of how these attributes are addressed by collating examples of how these are enacted
- develop a model that will be used as a tool for identifying exemplary university curricula which comprehensively and effectively prepares graduate ECEC teachers with the relevant skill components, attitudes, values and dispositions for living and working in rural settings.

Principal Supervisor

Associate Supervisors

Research Affiliations
  • School of education

Field of Research
  • Education Systems

Available Academic Programs
  • Doctor of Philosophy (DPHD)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (DPHD)

Application Open Date

Application Close Date

USQ Scholarship Applications

Pre-approved for Ethics

Admission Requirements

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

The supervisory team invites postgraduate students interested in teacher education, course development and improvement and/or preparing teachers for living and working in rural contexts in Australia. Research projects will benefit from utilising diverse research methodologies and conceptual frameworks. International collaborations are welcomed.

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