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Academic Staff

The School of Education has 24 full time academic staff members, 13 part time lecturers and 11 affiliated academic staff members, many of whom are national or international leaders in their fields and and are recipients of a wide range of teaching awards. The School is supported by an administration team of 8 professional staff members.

Dr Sivakumar Alagumalai

Associate Professor

Siva is a senior academic staff member from the School of Education. His undergraduate training was in physics and mathematics. His masters’ and PhD research studies examined problem-solving in mathematical sciences, with the application of measurement principles. He has taught physics and mathematics in high schools in four countries, and had provided senior leadership directions in schools, Department/Ministry of Education, tertiary sectors and two listed companies. He has developed a number of software (standalone and online) applications to gauge, track and diagnose learning. Siva has close involvement with large-scale international studies such as TALIS, TIMSS, TIMSS-Advanced and PISA. He has been consulted on projects sponsored by UNESCO and the World Bank, and innovations in curriculum, assessment and evaluation in Singapore, Malaysia, Canada (Manitoba), USA (Boston), New Zealand, Japan, Thailand and the Philippines.

Siva is part of Research Enabling A Contemporary Higher Education, keep up-to-date with his research seminars.

  • Read more about Siva's research interests and latest publications

    Siva’s Research interests also include:

    • Science and Mathematics Education
    • Measurement and Evaluation in Education (large-scale studies)
    • Applications of Rasch Models, SEM and HLM in Education
    • Computer Adaptive Testing and Learning Diagnostic Systems
    • Implications of Neuroscience and Neural Network for Education
    • Intelligent Teaching-Learning-Assessment Systems

    Siva’s Masters’ and PhD research studies examined problem-solving in mathematical sciences, with the application of measurement principles. He has taught physics and mathematics in high schools in four countries, and had provided senior leadership directions in schools, Department/Ministry of Education, tertiary sectors and two listed companies. He has developed a number of software (standalone and online) applications to gauge, track and diagnose learning. Siv has recently published a new book through Sense Publishers.

Michael Colbung


Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) masters of Education (current-2016)

Michael is a Wongatha, Ngaanyatjara, Nyoongah man from the goldfields, western desert and southwest region of Western Australia. He has very close family and cultural links with the Wirangu, Kookatha and Mirning nations of the Far West coast of South Australia.

Michael was a classroom teacher for 12 years but has been privileged to work in all aspect of education from the very very young to the very young at heart.

Areas of educational interest include;

  •    Aboriginal Education
  •    Indigenous perspectives
  •    Aboriginal studies
  •    Indigenising the curriculum; school and higher education sectors
  •    Classroom practices and management

Areas of research include;

  •    Aboriginal architecture and the early years.
  •    Creating an environment conducive to learning
  •    Reciprocal research practices when working in Aboriginal and Islander communities.
  •    Justice reinvestment in Aboriginal communities.
  •    Aboriginal literacies

Michael is a current member of Gender, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (Science) committee, Indigenous Knowledge and Society Board (Wirltu Yarlu), National Association of Australian Indigenous Lecturers in Initial Teacher Education(AILiTEs)  Indigenous Advisory Group for Indigenous Enrichment of Curricula Project (Geography), Indigenous advisory Board- Catholic Education of South Australia

For more on research Articles

Dr Igusti Darmawan

Senior Lecturer

Igusti is a senior lecturer in the School of Education. His current research interests include:

  • ICT, Science and Mathematics Education;
  • Assessment and the measurement of student achievement, progress, and attitude; Secondary data analysis;
  • Advanced quantitative methods and their applications (e.g. SEM and multilevel modelling);
  • Cross national and comparative studies.

Igusti is part of Research Enabling A Contemporary Higher Education.

Tammy Edwardson

Graduate Diploma Social Science (Counselling), Bachelor of Education, Secondary Family and Community Studies

Tammy Edwardson is a Kokatha (Gugada)/Greek woman employed as a secondary teacher, school leader and policy/strategy writer for more than two decades in South Australia.  Whilst she trained as a Home Economics and Geography teacher, her repertoire of teaching subjects expanded over 16 years to include History (Australian), Aboriginal Studies, Tourism, English as a Second Language, Enterprise Education and Community Studies.

Tammy lectures and tutors within the Bachelor of Teaching and Graduate Diploma of Teaching degrees and is keen to see more Graduate teachers employed within, and beyond South Australia.

Tammy is an advocate for authentic voice in policy, strategy and curriculum development. Her policy and strategy development within the Department for Education and Child Development and the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) Board of South Australia has focused on Aboriginal students in the SACE, training and employment pathways for Aboriginal students and staff, as well as innovative pedagogy and curriculum for a diverse range of learners.

Tammy is a member of Research Enabling A Contemporary Higher Education. Her research interests include:

  • Innovative Pedagogy within the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • South Australian Strategy, Policy Development and Planning
  • Read more about Tammy's research interests and latest publications

    Tammy has been a member of many cross sectoral and government senior committees to advocate for improved education and employment outcomes for Aboriginal people.  As SACE coordinator, history was created at Warriappendi School in 2006, when two students graduated with their SACE for the first time in the school’s 30 year establishment.

    As a SACE Board employee, Tammy was the initiator of the SACE Board’s cross sectoral Aboriginal Students Pathways Conference in 2009, which is held annually on a South Australian university campus. The conference promotes SACE completion and multiple pathways for Aboriginal students in Years 10, 11 and 12.

    Tammy’s qualifications are in secondary education and the social sciences (counselling and psychology) and her post graduate studies will focus on innovative pedagogy within the humanities and social sciences.

    Current Studies

    Bachelor of Psychological Science (third year)

    Teaching Interests

    • Innovative Pedagogy in the Australian Curriculum and SACE
    • Differentiated Teaching
    • Adolescent Psychology and Wellbeing
    • Positive Student Behaviour Management
    • Graduate Teacher Employment
    • Early Career Teacher Resilience


    2013, Pedagogy Research Group, School of Education, University of Adelaide

    Recent Conference Presentations

    2012, Early Career Teachers: Teaching, Driving and other Adventures and DECD Aboriginal
    Teacher Workforce: Key Directions and Opening Doors, National MATSITI Conference, Adelaide, national HR staff and early career Aboriginal teachers
    2012, Diversity: An Aboriginal Perspective, Leadership Development Program, for School Service
    Officers, DECD, Hindmarsh
    2012, Teaching Pathways for Aboriginal Employees, State AEU Members’ Conference, 
    Aboriginal staff, including ACEOs and regional officers, DECD, Parkside
    2010, SACE Aboriginal Education Strategy and the new SACE, Aboriginal Community Education Officers’ Conference, DECD, Hindmarsh, Adelaide


    Policy and Strategy Development

    2010, Conducting Research with and about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Ethical Conduct of Research, SACE Board of South Australia (Key Strategy Officer)
    2009, SACE Aboriginal Strategy 2009 – 2011, SACE Board of South Australia (Key Strategy Officer)
    2005, Aboriginal Strategy 2005-2010, DECS (with others)


    2010, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content statement in subject outlines, SACE Board of South Australia (Key Strategy Officer)
    2001, National Wadu CD ROM Teacher Kit: Croydon High School, DECS
    2001, Aboriginal Cultural Learning and Tutorial Centre, Enterprise and Vocational Education, DECS

    Confidential Reports

    2012, Draft Aboriginal Cultural Instructors Discussion Paper 2013 - 2016, DECD, South Australia
    2002 Aboriginal Employment Report and Strategy, Equal Employment Opportunity Unit, Human Resources, DECS, South Australia (Key Researcher)

    Unpublished Paper

    1996, unpublished paper, Urban Aboriginal Young People and Identity, Adelaide, Howard Groome and Tammy Edwardson

    Community Engagement

    March, 2013, School of Education representative, Research colloquium, Prospecting the future – a science of the imagination, The Science Exchange, Adelaide

Dr Chad Habel

Senior Lecturer
BA (Hons) (Flinders), PhD (Flinders), Grad Cert Ed (Higher Ed) (Adelaide)

Chad completed his PhD in English Literature at Flinders University in 2006. His research focussed on ancestral narratives and identity in the work of Irish-Australian authors Thomas Keneally and Christopher Koch, which has now been published as a book entitled Ancestral Narratives. He started casual lecturing and tutoring in English and related disciplines in 2001, and has also worked as and Academic Advisor at Flinders' Student Learning Centre. His current role involves coordinating and teaching in the University Preparatory Program at the University of Adelaide, and lecturing in the School of Education.

Chad is a member of the Education Technology and Culture Research Group, his research interests include:

  • Game-based learning and assessment
  • Educational technologies and digital pedagogy
  • Constructive alignment and approaches to learning in tertiary education
  • Academic self-efficacy and student motivation
  • Social media in education
  • Academic integrity and plagiarism

Dr Nina Maadad

Senior Lecturer

The focus of Nina's thesis was on the topic 'The Adaptation of Arab Immigrant to Australia: Psychological, Social, Cultural and Educational Aspects'. Her research interest is in culture, education and languages and has taught these at a tertiary and secondary school levels. She delivers a number of courses in culture education and society.

Nina is a member of Research Enabling A Contemporary Higher Education. Her research interests include:

  • Languages Education
  • Ethnic minorities in Education
  • Read more about Nina's research and latest publications

    Nina is currently involved in a study Australia wide focusing on "The Transition and Workplace Experiences of International Academics from Non-English Background in Australian Universities". She coordinates the Bachelor of Teaching and lectures a variety of courses in the School of Education which entail Primary and Secondary Schools interaction, contemporary knowledge of the curriculum and Multicultural Education.

Dr Julie Matthews

Associate Professor

PhD, (University of South Australia), PGCE (Leicester University UK), BA (Hons) (Brookes University (formerly Oxford Polytechnic) UK)

Associate Professor Julie Matthews is currently Associate Head, Research in the School of Education. She is a sociologist of education with a background in education, sociology, anthropology and cultural studies and has undertaken research in the fields of minority education, refugee education, antiracist education, international education and education for sustainablity and is interested in postcolonial, Foucauldian and feminist theory, and innovative research methods. She has published over 100 refereed journal articles, book chapters and conference papers and delivered public lectures in Japan, China, Canada, UK, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Africa. She has supervised 10 PhD students, 3 MA students and 6 honours students.
Before joining the University of Adelaide in 2013 Dr Matthews was Associate Professor Social Sciences,  Director of Research, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and Associate Director of the Sustainability Research Centre: Transforming Regions at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Julie is part of Research Enabling A Contemporary Higher Education, her research interests include:

  • Postcolonial perspectives and education
  • Refugees and education
  • Education for sustainability
  • Antiracism, cultural diversity, reconciliation
  • Critical pedagogy
  • International education, cosmopolitanism and internationalisation
  • Japanese diaspora, globalisation and transnationalism

Dr Robert Matthews

Senior Lecturer
PhD Theoretical Physics (Flinders), B.Sc. Hons (Adelaide University), Graduate Diploma Education (Adelaide University), Diploma Counselling and Communications (Kranz)

Robert’s research focus is Educational Psychology: the application of psychology to the development and education of young people. He examines ways of educating that liberate and protect the child from the de-humanising effects
of modern society and insulates from the so-called ‘toxic-child’ syndrome of the consumerist, materialist life. A further focus is on Creativity, Learning and Education, with creativity seen as a phenomenon of increasing classroom relevance, taking its place alongside learning in the modern classroom. This research seeks to understand creativity and learning as deep dynamics. His work applies psychology to life-long learning, viewing life-long learning as not just knowledge or skills acquisition, but the growth of personality.

Robert's research interests include:

  • Creativity education
  • Teacher wellbeing and rejuvenation
  • Teacher development and individuation

Dr Julia Miller

Senior Lecturer
PhD (Flinders University), MA (Flinders), BA (Hons) (Cambridge), RSA Certificate in TEFL (Cambridge), RSA Diploma for Bilingual Secretaries

Julia holds a PhD in applied linguistics, in which she examined the use of idioms in English learners' dictionaries for students in Australia. Her background is in Romance languages and TESOL, and she has taught English in France and Portugal. She is also a member of the international Grammar Gang blog team, with colleagues from the University of South Australia, Massey University in New Zealand and Purdue University in the United States.

Julia is a member of the Education Technology and Culture Research Group, keep up-to-date with her research seminars. Julia's research interests include:

  • The use of idioms by different age groups in the UK and Australia
  • Pedagogical lexicography
  • The use of proverbs in teaching and learning research skills
  • Academic advising in relation to students with dyslexia
  • The IELTS academic writing test as a predictor of academic success
  • Read more about Julia's research, recent awards and latest publications

    Awarded June 2012 - Office of Learning Teaching Innovation and Development Program Seed Project: "Ms Parrot the detective solves grammar problems in an online resource for students and lecturers".

    Miller, J 2012, Thanks a million! Saving English grammar with Ms Parrot. DVD and online resource produced with the aid of an OLT seed grant.

    Duff, A, Miller, J, Johnston, H & Bergmann, L 2012, 'Somewhere over the border: grammar in a class of its own', Journal of Learning Design, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 50-57.

    Miller, J, Lloyd, M & Duff, A 2012, 'Classrooms without walls/Borderless classrooms', Journal of Learning Design, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. i-iii.

    Miller, J 2012, 'Dictionaries without borders', Journal of Learning Design, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 43-51.

Dr Edward Palmer

Senior Lecturer
BE (Hons), BSc, GCert Higher Education, PhD Medicine

Edward has 15 years experience in developing, implementing and analysing the impact of educational initiatives on tertiary students. He seeks to understand the effect of educational technologies on teaching methodologies and student learning and on devising new and innovative methods to improve the student learning experience. He is author of 25 refereed publications, 12 educational CDs and 2 educational web sites and is an active researcher in the area of educational technologies. Edward is the convener of the Higher Educational Research Group of Adelaide (HERGA), the recipient of the Stephen Cole the Elder Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2007, an ALTC citation for teaching excellence in 2008 and a Faculty Teaching Excellence prize in 2009 for his work with online formative assessment.

Edward is Research Group leader of the Education Technology and Culture Research Group, keep up-to-date with his research seminars.

Edward's research interests include:

  • Technology aided assessment
  • Game based learning
  • Staff development by mentoring
  • Mobile technologies
  • Read more about Edward's research projects, awards and recent publications

    Edward has managed educational projects with budgets in excess of $200,000 on many occasions, and all have been completed successfully. Edward was leader of the OLT project “The Medici project: developing a multi-disciplinary, sustainable resource for blended learning initiatives in tertiary medical education” (completed 2012) and team member on past OLT including ‘A Collaborative Multi-faceted Approach to Address the Gaps Between Student Expectation and Experience at University’ (completed 2012). He also acts as external evaluator for the OLT project "Quality, learning spaces, social networking, connectedness and mobile learning: exploring the student voice in online education”.

    Palmer E, Picard M, Green I, Guerin C, Miller J, Velliaris D and Smith S. HERDSA Review of Australian Learning and Teaching Scholarship and Research. Higher Education Research and Development Association. $50,000 research grant, awarded in 2012.

Dr Anthony Potts

Senior Lecturer
BA, Dip Ed, MEd, Dip Tert Ed (UNE), PhD (UTS), Dr Sc Ped (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), MACE

Anthony came to the School of Education from Wolfson College, Cambridge University, UK and Newman University College Birmingham, UK. During his time at Wolfson College he worked on a number of projects including a long standing one on British politicians and their perspectives on universities.He has been Foundation Professor of Policy Studies in Education and Head of the Department of International Educational Studies at Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, UK and remains a consultant to staff there. He is also Adjunct Professor in Education at La Trobe University in Bendigo.

Anthony is a member of Research Enabling A Contemporary Higher Education. His research interests include:

  • The academic career
  • Life in new universities
  • University student cultures
  • Politician's perspectives on universities
  • Read more about Anthony's research interests and recent publications

    Lack of Men, Flame Throwers and Rabbit Drives: Student Life in Australia's First Rural Teachers College 1945-1955, Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 37, 7, Article 4, available at

    Selling University Reform: the University of Melbourne and the Press, Studies in Higher Education, 37, 2, 2012, 157-171.

    College Voices: What Have We Lost? History of Education Review, 40, 2, 2011, 142-156

    Potts, Anthony , Edwards, Debra and Smith, David Disciplinary cultures in an Australian college of advanced education, Journal of Educational Administration and History, 2010 42: 4, 383-403

    [with P. Sikes (Eds.)], Researching Education From The Inside: Investigations from within, London, Routledge, 2008, hardback i-vii, 187 pages, ISBN 978-0-415-43593-2. Paperback i-vii, 187 pages, ISBN 9 780415 435949.

Richard Warner

M.Sc in Applied Linguistics (University of Edinburgh), Diploma in Applied Linguistics (University of Edinburgh), Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (University of Adelaide), B.A.(Hons) in Social Sciences (University of the West of England), RSA Cert. (TEFL) Cambridge

Richard has a background in Applied Linguistics and has taught Academic English at both the University of Edinburgh and the University of Adelaide. His role in the Discipline of Higher Education is to assist student academic development through intensive courses, in-faculty workshops and lecturing in the Integrated Bridging Program. Richard is also involved in a consulting capacity, co-chairing the committee (PAC) which oversees the Pre-Enrolment English Program (PEP) offered by Professional and Continuing Education at the University.

Richard is part of Research Enabling A Contemporary Higher Education. His research interests include:

  • Cultural dimensions of academic writing, particularly in relation to plagiarism and feedback
  • Development of lifelong learning through reflective practice

Dr Linda Westphalen

Senior Lecturer
BA (Adelaide) Hons (Flinders) Grad Cert Online (Adelaide) Grad Diploma in Ed (Secondary) (Adelaide) PhD (Flinders)

Linda completed her teaching qualification in 1985, her Honours in English in 1993 and her PhD in 2002 in Indigenous Women's Life-histories. She has just completed a Graduate Certificate in Online Learning. She has taught in Women's Studies and Australian Studies at Flinders University, as well as worked as a teacher in secondary schools. Her current teaching and research focusses on Cultural Studies issues to do with education, ICTs and reflective practice, and student care.

Linda is a member of the Education Technology and Culture Research Group, her research interests include:

  • Gender
  • Cultural Studies and Educational ICT's
  • Reflective Practice
  • Qualitiative Research Processes
  • Teaching in Higher Education

Dr Nombasa Williams

Adjunct Lecturer

Dr Nombasa Williams - Biography

Dr John Willison

Senior Lecturer
B.Sc. Dip. Ed., M.Ed.(Sc.Ed.), Ph.D.(Sc.Ed.)

John is a senior lecturer in the Discipline of Higher Education. He coordinates the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (GCHE) for academics from all faculties at the University of Adelaide. This work has lead to rich and varied collaborations on various aspects of curriculum design and assessment, within the university, at the national level and internationally. He is currently using and evaluating interactive learning modules in advance of face to face sessions to flip the classroom for educators enrolled in the GCHE.

John is the Research Group leader of Research Enabling A Contemporary Higher Education. His principle research interests include:

  • The ways that academics conceptualise and implement the explicit development of their students’ research skills in content-rich courses
  • How a community of practitioners share resources on the website.
  • Read more about John and his current research

    John leads an initiative considering Research Skill Development (RSD) and Assessment in the Curricula of disciplines in all faculties across whole undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. This project focuses on degree-program outcomes of RSD use, and is the second RSD project funded by the OLT.

    The RSD conceptual framework is currently being utilised internationally in Canada, Fiji, Iran, Ireland and the United States of America. The close conceptual connection between the skills associated with research in a discipline, and the skills required and developed in problem solving, critical thinking, clinical reasoning and Work Integrated Learning is a stream of current interest. Year after graduation interviews with graduates from various disciplinary contexts are pointing to the value graduates place on research skills once they are employed.

    The use of the RSD across formal education is also being explored, with a framework for Early Childhood Educators adapted from the RSD currently in development.

School of Education

Faculty of Arts


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Staff Directory: School of Education