Future Pedagogies Project


Project Leaders

Cathie Howe
Michael Stevenson

Chief investigator

Dr Kerry-Anne O’Sullivan

Research Team

Michael Stevenson
Khyiah Angel


Cessnock High School
Epping North Public School
Ermington West Public School
Evans River Community School
Jindabyne Central School
Manly Village Public School
Nemingah Public School
Sarah Redfern High School



The Future Pedagogies project explores how educators develop, employ and evaluate pedagogies to meet the evolving needs of their school communities. The project examines the relationship between pedagogical change and evidence-based practice. Participants apply issues in current research to identify pedagogy-related problems in their school context and develop a strong evidential base to work through solutions and effect meaningful change. The project considers the nature of pedagogical change in the context of the realities contemporary schools face, including the implementation of national teaching standards and Australian Curriculum, the impact of technology and the pressures of high stakes testing.


Research Questions

This project explores the following research questions:

  1. What are the skills that enable teachers to employ pedagogies suited to the specific learners and learning context?
  2. How can schools develop and draw on a common language for pedagogy to establish successful learning outcomes?
  3. What are the necessary elements of pedagogical fluency and how can these be developed?
  4. What role can contemporary technologies play in employing pedagogies for current and future learning needs?

Project Papers

Download the Project Report and other related papers.

Future Pedagogies – Project Report (2015-16)

MacICT Project: Future Pedagogies

Authors: Dr Kerry-Ann O’Sullivan, Dr Michael Stevenson, Cathie Howe, Khyiah Angel

Download the paper (PDF 8mb)

There is no one single effective teaching method or strategy. Teachers need to be proficient in many teaching practices and, more importantly, be able to assess their impact on students and adapt their teaching practices to assist students if they are not responding or engaged.



Future Pedagogies is a collective case study of pedagogies in NSW government schools. Employing both qualitative and quantitative research methods, a team from Macquarie ICT Innovations Centre will work with the principal and a small team of leaders from each school involved. Your participation in this project includes:

  • completion by the principal of the Expression of Interest Questionnaire and involvement in ONE Adobe Connect focus group session;
  • the six successful primary and high schools will receive a grant of $5000 to support participation in the project;
  • attendance by the principal and team at THREE face-to-face workshop days, where professional learning and opportunities to network and share best practice are provided;
  • development and implementation of school pedagogy plans to formalise an approach in terms of strategic goals and use of allocated funds; and
  • ONE school visit and focus group interview with participants.


Future Pedagogies aims to assist principals and school leaders in developing the pedagogical fluency of their teachers. By encouraging school communities to identify contextual constraints and professional learning needs, explore current pedagogy-related research and share best practice within and between school communities, the project seeks to realise a wide range of benefits:

  • Teachers and school leaders – benefit from the identification of factors that lead to pedagogical change, with targeted professional learning based on research findings that relevant to each school’s context.
  • Students – benefit from the “flow on” effect of pedagogical fluency, with teachers better able to employ a wider range of pedagogical approaches to more effectively meet individual student needs.
  • Schools and communities – participants’ school communities benefit from PL that is developed specifically for their school context, while other school communities learn from this process and have findings and resources to support their own development.

The push factor is that school is increasingly boring for students and alienating for teachers.

The pull factor is that the exploding and alluring digital world is irresistible, but not necessarily productive in its raw form.

The push-pull dynamic makes it inevitable that disruptive changes will occur… with more radical change in the next five years than has occurred in the past fifty years.


Schools were invited to apply through an expression of interest process, and successful schools received received funding to support teachers’ professional learning. The planned implementation time-frame for this project was the first two terms of 2015.

Project Team

Cathie Howe

Cathie Howe

Centre Manager

Cathie is a Professional Learning & Leadership Coordinator for the NSW Department of Education and manager of MacICT. As well as developing and delivering Professional Learning, Cathie is the creative and strategic leader of an expanding, collaborative team responsible for the design and quality of MacICT’s services. She oversees all course development and mentors many of the team members to ensure that MacICT continues to provide a consistently high level of service to schools, teachers and students.

Cathie manages, and is involved in the development of MacICT’s case studies and academic research projects. She is passionate about inspiring and empowering teachers to transform their practice by understanding what they have to teach (curriculum), how they are going to teach it (pedagogy), integrating digital tools in creative ways to enable meaningful learning to occur.

During her 20+ years both as a teacher and an executive in Primary Schools, Cathie has been recognised for her innovative practice, digital learning design and leadership.

Dr Kerry-Ann O'Sullivan

Dr Kerry-Ann O'Sullivan

Senior Lecturer, Undergraduate Education Major Coordinator

Kerry-Ann is a former Head of English and joined Macquarie in 1999. She has been Chief Examiner of HSC English and a member of the National Curriculum English Advisory Panel. She is the recipient of National and State awards for her research and her teaching. Her research focuses on English curriculum, evolving multiliteracies, and the enhancement of learning and pedagogy within a changing  ducational landscape. Kerry-Ann is chief investigator on the Future Pedagogies Project.

Michael Stevenson

Michael Stevenson

Researcher, Developer & Facilitator

Dr Michael Stevenson is a lecturer in the School of Education at Macquarie University. Since commencing his teaching career in 2001, he has taught English, ESL, Music and Technology in secondary schools across northern and western Sydney. In addition to teaching, he worked as Leader of Learning Technologies in the secondary Catholic system Diocese of Parramatta, facilitating the implementation of learning management systems, technology mentoring, 1-1 programs and ICT-curriculum alignment. He has also been chiefly involved in developing and implementing an integrated curriculum program that incorporates Project-Based Learning and cross-curricla team teaching in open plan environments.

In 2013, he joined the School of Education as Convenor of the English Methodologies program, working with preservice teachers in areas that include Secondary English, ICT and pedagogy. As a researcher, Michael has worked on a range of technology-related research projects with Education Services Australia, the Australian Independent Schools Network (AIS) and Department of Education (DoE). His doctoral study explores the role of technology-enabled Personal Learning Networks in teacher professional learning.

Khyiah Angel

Khyiah Angel

Researcher, Developer and Facilitator

Khyiah is both a PhD candidate in the Department of Media and a sessional academic in the School of Education at Macquarie University. As an Educator, Khyiah has 15 years experience across primary and high school settings. She has a Master’s degree in Creative Writing, and another in Gender Studies. Khyiah is also a published author of young adult fiction. Khyiah’s PhD work combines her two life passions: writing and technology, to explore the Phenomenology of Reading in a Multimodal Context.