I currently have three ongoing research projects:  Gratitude in the context of indigenous education; Gratitude in the content of PhD supervisors and students; and Gratitude in the context of a book club for academics.

Gratitude in the context of indigenous education

Research has been conducted in two major contexts. The first is in the indigenous Australian context where non-indigenous teachers who have had experience teaching indigenous students. They were interviewed about the different ways in which gratitude is conceptualised and expressed within this context.

The second area is in indigenous Africa. Working with a Zulu scholar, Dr Vussy Nkonyane, we have conducted a comparative analysis of gratitude from the perspective of our own experiences of its role in education. The methodology for this research has been outlined in a Sage Case Study and will be published early next year.


Gratitude in the context of PhD supervisors and students

Working with Professor Michael Breadmore and Dr Roseanne Guijt from the School of Physical Sciences at the University of Tasmania, we introduced the role of gratitude to eight PhD students and their supervisors. Using focus group and interview methods, we investigated the impact after an eight-week practice of gratitude in the supervisor-student and laboratory context.

The outcomes of this project were presented in seminars during UTAS Research Week in 2014 and 2016 and are published in a paper (under review).


Gratitude in the context of a book club for academics

As part of a TILT fellowship in 2014, I had the privilege of facilitating three book clubs at the University of Tasmania for academic and general staff from a range of different faculties. At the centre of these book clubs was my book, Gratitude in Education: A Radical View. One of the outcomes of research into the impact of this initiatives was that a book club was an effective means of creating a community of practice.

I am now investigating the effectiveness of book club as a pedagogy in the context of my on-line unit, ESM704 Gratitude in Education.


See all Research Projects.

Caring hands at the Hetti Perkins Home for the Aged in Alice Springs. The Hetti Perkins Home is an aged care facility for indigenous Australians. Almost 90% of the patients are sufferers of dementia.
Image: Rob Walls