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Redesigning schools: an Australian comparative case study


Educational research tells us what good schools look like, and the key contributing role of teachers in improving students’ outcomes from schooling is widely acknowledged, but there is a real need to better understand how to improve pedagogical and leadership practices, particularly in challenging contexts. A/Prof Hayes conducts research in these contexts and works with local leaders, teachers and system-based personnel to describe the conditions of their work, and the processes that support improvement in their practices.


Professor Deb Hayes.

Research location

School of Education and Social Work

Program type



In collaboration with Professor Jill Blackmore (Deakin University), we are investigating how schools sustain improvements in student learning and teacher professional learning, better relations with their communities and more rewarding work for school leaders and teachers. Our prior research in schools and our reading of the research literature suggests that this requires the creation of new practices that are designed to achieve locally determined and valued goals. We call this process: redesign. It generally requires planned shifts in practice that are matched to clearly articulated purposes, and the close monitoring of the effects of these shifts over time. In this research project, we are attempting to describe how leaders and teachers work with students and their communities to undertake school redesign in challenging circumstances.

Additional information

This project is funded through the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Program.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 490