Discover the education research priorities at Australian Catholic University. Learn about our rankings and grants, and explore our projects and facilities further.

Our research areas

Across all stages of learning our researchers are generating evidence-based knowledge to improve teaching techniques, assessment models, and learning outcomes.

Our research has been applied in policy and in classroom practice. Our researchers ensure that teachers and students, whether children or young adults, are given a voice in curriculum development.

Research excellence

In the latest ERA assessment, ACU ranked equal first in Australia in the research field of specialist studies in education. (Four-digit FoRs, Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2018)

Globally, ACU is ranked 75 in Education in the ARWU Subject Rankings 2018.

Explore our rankings

Graduate Teacher Performance Assessment: Standards and Moderation Project

Led by Professor Claire Wyatt-Smith in the Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education (ILSTE), the Graduate Teacher Performance Assessment: Standards and Moderation Project won the ACU Vice-Chancellor’s Medal in 2018.

Read about the project

The project is the impetus behind the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership endorsing ILSTE as one of just two institutes for Graduate Teacher Performance Assessment (GTPA).

Understand the GTPA

Our current projects

Across the institutes our researchers are working on a number of vital projects with a range of collaborators. Find out more about these projects.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

Developing educational leaders to guide improvement in the quality of early education.

Explore the project

An authentic, research-led graduate teacher performance assessment.

Explore the project

Piloting new approaches to provide STEM leadership in 200 schools.

Explore the project

Building best practice frameworks to identify and ensure the benefits of playgroups-in-schools.

Explore the project

Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

Engaging students from low socio-economic communities in the early years of secondary school.

Explore the project

Identifying school characteristics and related factors that help Indigenous students achieve their potential.

Explore the project

Finding the best ways to ensure students at risk of dropping out re-engage with school.

Explore the project

Research grants

Caregiver learning about play in community playgroups and social media led by Dr Karen McLean.

Coding animated narratives as contemporary mutimodal authorship in schools led by Professor Len Unsworth.

Learning-rich leadership for quality improvement in early education led by Professor Jocelyn Nuttall.

Raising the literacy bar for economically-disadvantaged students led by Associate Professor Clarence Ng.

Sensory orchestration for multimodal literacy learning in primary education led by Professor Kathy Mills.

Improving teacher assessment using exemplars and online moderation led by Associate Professor Lenore Adie.

Research engagement and impact

Our education researchers have built strong relationships with schools, dioceses and education policy makers across the country. Through these relationships, our researchers are able to direct their efforts into projects that are directly improving outcomes for students.

Visit the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education (IPPE)

Visit the Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education (ILSTE)

Visit the Faculty of Education and Arts

Visit the Mathematics Teaching and Learning Centre

News and events

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Ethics, integrity and compliance

Understand the steps we take to maintain the highest levels of research ethics, integrity and compliance.

Discover our processes

Why research with ACU

Collaborate with global experts to deliver practical solutions across education, health, and theology and philosophy.

Why choose ACU

Contact us

Know who to contact if you have an enquiry related to any aspect of your research, from grants and contracts to assessment and ethics.

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