Dr Renata Phelps BEd(CSU) MDisEd(Deakin) DipEd(SCU) PhD(SCU) 

Renata is a Senior Lecturer with the School of Education and is a Research Associate with
the Centre for Children and Young People at Southern Cross University

Renata’s main areas of research and teaching include: 

• Educational information technology, in particular: computer education; computer
capability; information literacy; teacher professional development in ICT; integration of
ICT in learning and teaching; management of ICT in primary, secondary, and tertiary
education; and online and flexible learning and instructional design. 

• Learner-centred pedagogy 

• Metacognition and metacognitive approaches to learning; self-directed and
self-regulated learning; 

• Research with children and young people 

• Action learning and action research 

• Complexity theory in education; 

• Organising and managing research. 

Renata has been involved in a number of research projects through her work with the
Centre for Children and Young People, including: 

• Vietnamese children's perspectives on learning and the provision of quality
primary school education within the rural Na Ri district in Vietnam - Through a
partnership with ChildFund Australia 

• A major ARC funded research project conducted in partnership with Catholic Education
Office, Lismore Diocese (2004-7) investigated the metacognitive influences on
teachers' use of information and communication technology (ICT) and the implications
for teacher professional development. This project led to the development of a
metacognitive approach to whole-school ICT professional development known as Technology
Together. See the Technology Together website.(http://technologytogether.scu.edu.au/)
This research is the focus of a publication for teachers and schools: 

Technology Together: Whole-School Professional Development for Capability and Confidence
is published by the International Society for Technology in Education(ISTE)(2013). 

More information about these and other projects can be found on the Centre for Children
and Young People projects page http://ccyp.scu.edu.au/index.php/2/ 

• Renata co-authored a text for researchers on Organising and Managing Your Research
(2007, Sage). See the Organising and Managing your Research website
(http://www.scu.edu.au/omyr/) for more details. 

Journal articles


Researching with children in Vietnam: cultural, methodological and ethical considerations (with Anne P. Graham, Nhung Ha Thi Tuyet, and Richard Geeves), Qualitative Research (2014)

The involvement of children in research has gathered significant momentum following the almost universal ratification...



But how do we learn? talking to Vietnamese children about how they learn in and out of school (with Ha Thi Tuyet Nhung, Anne Graham, and Richard Geeves), International Journal of Educational Research (2012)

Vietnam is currently striving to introduce more child-centred approaches to pedagogy. From a Western perspective,...



iPadiCan: Trialling iPads to support primary and secondary students with disabilities (with Liz Watts and Sharon Brennan), Australian Educational Computing (2012)

iPads have only been on the market since April 2010 but have rapidly gained great...



iPads: instant access and engagement for students with disabilities (with Sharon Brennan and Liz Watts), The Australian Educational Leader (2012)


Primary school teachers' use of digital resources with interactive whiteboards: the Australian context (with Damian Maher, Nikkita Urane, and Mal Lee), Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (2012)

As interactive whiteboards appear in increasing numbers in primary classrooms, questions will continue to be...




Feeling glad and proud: children in rural Vietnam have a say about learning (with Nhung Ha Thi Tuyet), (2010)

This book is the result of a collaborative research project between ChildFund Australia and the...



Organizing and managing your research: a practical guide for postgraduates (with Kath Fisher and Allan Ellis) (2007)

Organizational, management and technological skills are critical aspects of research and are often overlooked and...


Book chapters


Exploring teacher professional development through the lens of Complexity Theory: the technology together story (with Anne Graham), The international cultures of professional development for teachers: collaboration, reflection, management and policy (2012)

Facilitating teacher professional development in complex and dynamic school environments continues to be a challenge...


Managing staff development for web-based teaching: a four stage model and its application (with Allan Ellis), Perspectives in web course management (2000)

The development and delivery of Web-based courses involves more than the development of technical skills....


Information technology and the NESB research student (with Allan Ellis), Supervising postgraduates from non-English speaking backgrounds (1999)

"Many universities in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have come to rely...



Co-contributor to editorials for Complicity: an International Journal of Complexity and Education, vol. 4, no. 1, August 2007; vol. 3, no. 1, September 2006; vol. 2, no. 1, December 2005; vol. 1, no. 1, December 2004. (2007)



Mapping the complexity of computer learning: journeying beyond teaching for computer competency to facilitating computer, PhD thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW (2002)

For future generations to maximise their capability to operate within technologically driven economies, it is...


Conference publications

Action research within the complexity paradigm, Complexity and Research in Teacher Education: Scottish Teachers for a New Era (2009)


Exploring new metaphors for teacher professional development: the technology together story through the lense of complexity, New Metaphors for Leadership in Schools Reflections: Australian Council for Educational Leaders Conference (2008)

Developing technology together together: what has it meant for our schools (with Elizabeth Watts, Carolyn Carrigan, and Sharon Brennan), QSITE State Conference (2007)

Developing technology together together: what has it meant for our schools? (with Damian O'Bryan), NSW CEG State Conference (2007)


I can u can: six strategies for building teachers’ ICT confidence and capability through metacognitive discussion and reflection: experiences from Technology Together (with Anne Graham, Sharon Brennan, and Carolyn Carrigan), Australian Council for Computers in Education Conference (ACEC), 2-4 October (2006)

When people are prompted to think about their values, beliefs and their past experiences they...




Quan điểm của trẻ em Việt Nam về việc học và giáo dục tiểu học ở huyện miền núi Na Rì, Việt Nam: Báo cáo tóm tắt của một dự án thí điểm (with Anne Graham), ChildFund Australia, Lismore, NSW & the Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW. (2010)

Giới thiệu về dự án nghiên cứu

Nghiên cứu này được ChildFund Australia khởi xướng...



Vietnamese children’s perspectives on learning and the provision of primary school education within the rural Na Ri district in Vietnam: consolidated report on a pilot project (with Anne Graham), ChildFund Australia and the Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University (2010)

Background to the research

This research was initiated by ChildFund Australia as part of its...



Vietnamese children’s perspectives on learning and the provision of primary school education within the rural Na Ri district in Vietnam: pilot project report (with Anne Graham), ChildFund Australia and the Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University (2010)

Developing countries face an urgent imperative to improve the equity, quality, relevance and authenticity of...


Enhancing innovation in ICT integration and flexible delivery options in the School of Education through a focus on collegial staff development and co-teaching, Report on a project funded from Vice-Chancellor's Innovation and Development Grant for Teaching and Learning (2008)