Research Projects - Let's Share

AISWA provides opportunities for member schools to engage with expert mentors and accept project-based challenges, grow their knowledge and capacity, build 'communities of practice', and then share their journeys. AISWA publications (that document the journey or share the outcomes) support our members to make tangible positive contributions to the wider education community. 

AISWA promotes sectorial engagement in action research projects through partnerships with organisations and local universities. These aim to improve educational practice, student engagement and school leadership. Action research projects provide professional learning opportunities for educators to engage with evidence-based research to improve teaching and promote collaborative change.

Collaboration and Sharing
What is a 'Community of Practice'?


A community of practice is a group of educators with a shared passion, concern, or belief/domain who engage in a process of collective learning to develop new practices that engage students in powerful learning. 

Collaboratively, they learn with and from one another to generate new insights, practices and evidence. In this community, the design of new practices becomes richer through the diversity of those involved. Each member brings a wealth of different perspectives, professional knowledge, context and experience to the collective wisdom, challenging participants to test assumptions, immerse themselves in new knowledge and consider ideas and strategies they might not normally have the opportunity to explore. A community of practice values and builds the shared repertoire, resources, knowledge and experiences of all participants to overcome the barriers and take advantage of opportunities they may encounter along the journey towards designing new practice. There are many great reasons for schools to engage in this work together.

Communities of practice create opportunities for collaboration and partnership across different contexts. They enable schools to:

  • share activities and resources (intellectual and physical) 

  • help to accurately calculate and manage risk

  • expand opportunities to be creative about common challenges 

  • develop a more robust evidence base for their work

How can I engage with these opportunities?


Opportunities to join various project-based events can be found on the AISWA PL Event Calendar.

What are the copyrights + disclaimers?


Publications: AISWA Copyright and Disclaimer (applies to all works below)

Copyright: Copyright in these publications belongs to the Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia (AISWA). 

Use: AISWA member schools are welcome to use, reproduce, copy, broadcast, exhibit and/or distribute photographs and audio and/or video recordings within most publications. Acknowledgement of AISWA is expected. All other rights are reserved.

All other persons may not reproduce, copy, broadcast, exhibit and/or distribute photographs and audio and/or video recordings from this publication.

Disclaimer: The information contained in AISWA publication is to the best of our knowledge and belief correct at time of publication. However, no warranty or guarantee is or can be provided by AISWA or any member of its staff, and no liability is or can be accepted for any loss or damage resulting from any person relying on or using the information contained in this publication.

AISWA values education and equality of all students within Western Australia.  However, the views expressed in this publication by the individual schools who participated in the project are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AISWA.

Explore Reports and Interactive Resources

AISWA is committed to sharing evidence from action research findings to help to inform practice within the Independent School sector. 

Members can read more about ASWA's host of successful initiatives in the Member Portal, under the Curriculum + Pedagogy menu. For guests, brief outlines and resources available to be shared in the public domain are found below.

Included in the set of resources are dynamic interactive resources, such as the well-subscribed AISWA Languages Website that has continued to offer cross-jurisdictional access to offer Teacher's Stories and News for over 10 years.

AISWA Languages Teacher's Stories


This website - AISWA Languages Teachers' Stories and News - was created in 2012 through the Australian Government's National Asian Languages and Studies in Schools Program (NALSSP), and remains an open and public website for educators to access general resources. The website offers content related to:

  • Teacher professional development

  • Building sustainable language programs

  • Differentiated learning

  • Promoting Languages

  • Ideas for teaching

  • P-10 Languages Curriculum

  • WACE Languages Curriculum

For more information about the AISWA Languages Teachers' Stories and News website, please contact AISWA Languages and EALD Consultants.


In addition, we'd like to share the outcomes of action research projects led by AISWA consultants and research projects in collaborations with universities, below. This includes practical classroom teaching ideas and models of pedagogical approaches.

2023 BrightPath Booklets - TBA

Sorry - we are still in the process of finalising this content. Please drop by again later.

2023 The Poetry Project - Literacy


This poetry project, which was a collaborative effort between AISWA and Bev Derewianka, Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wollongong, will be featured as the keynote at the ALEA/AATE Conference, Adelaide, in 2024.

The inspiration for The Poetry Project was to engender in our students an enthusiasm for poetry. With so many competing curriculum demands, poetry is sometimes neglected in school. And students often associate poems with being hard to understand and to compose. We wanted to change that perception by dispelling the mystique surrounding poetry and explicitly teaching them techniques that made poetry accessible.

So in 2023, teachers from 17 AISWA primary and secondary schools came together to be part of the poetry project. In May, the teachers participated in a full day workshop to develop ideas and plan how they would introduce poetry to their students. A month later, they got together again for another workshop and to share their ideas and the experiences of their students.

The teachers weren’t interested so much in producing a collection of poems by students who happened to have ‘a flair’ for poetry. Rather they wanted to support all students to appreciate different types of poetry and to compose poems that they could feel proud of – even if they weren’t always ‘exemplary’.

Read The Poetry Project report here.

2023 Raising Trailblazers - Literacy


The Raising Trailblazers: Reimagining the Middle Years project - in collaboration with Associate Professor Katherine Main, Griffith University and Associate Professor Anne Coffey, University of Notre Dame - provided Member schools with an opportunity to access a bespoke in-depth professional development program for participants. At the commencement of the project, each school nominated a team who identified an area for development, improvement, or focus that targeted middle years students’ or teachers’ wellbeing and engagement. Throughout the project, these teams of three or four were guided through action research as a process, developed an action research plan to improve aspects of their own school community, and implemented and assessed the outcomes of their plan.

The overall aim of the project was to build the capacity and skills of each team member as teacher-researchers and to support them as they planned and implemented their own improvement plans in areas of specific need that would benefit the teachers and students in their school. In all, three schools completed the project: Wesley College, Bunbury Baptist College, and Fairbridge College. Each school had a very different context and focus, but all had the same passion and vision – to improve the wellbeing in their schools. Each school developed a bespoke well-being program to address an area of need within their school. 

All schools achieved significant progress within their respective projects, yet all reported that they still had a way to go. This has been a two-year project but for the teachers and students who were the focus of these projects there have been immediate and measurable benefits which will continue to be felt into the future. 

Read the Raising Trailblazers: Reimagining the Middle Years report here.

2023 Global Competencies - TBA

Sorry - we are still in the process of finalising this content. Please drop by again later.

2023 Transforming Transitions - Early Years


This resource outlines why transitions are important, considers transitions through a funds of knowledge and identity lens, and describes each school’s journey as they re-imagined transitions in this project.

This project saw ten Western Australian Independent Schools embrace a way of viewing children and their family’s transition to school. The entry point to school in the participating schools included pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten.
Participating teachers came together as a community of practice and engaged in different ways of thinking and investigating accepted practice. Transition practices were affirmed or challenged as teachers were mentored through design-based thinking.
Transition ideas were explored focussing on children’s funds of knowledge and identity. Importantly, each school’s story describes their journey. Finally, the ideas and strategies that supported the adoption of new practices, in relation to affirming a child-centred approach to transition are described.

Access the Transforming Transitions report here.


Copyright of this publication, Transforming Transitions, belongs to the AISWA and ECU. Apart from the use as explicitly granted, all other rights are reserved. All other persons may not reproduce, copy, broadcast, exhibit and/or distribute photographs and audio and/or video recordings from this publication. Schools that are members of AISWA are welcome to use, reproduce, copy, broadcast, exhibit and/or distribute photographs and audio and/or video recordings from this publication. Acknowledgment of AISWA and ECU would be appreciated.

© AISWA 2023 - not for resale.

This material may be used, reproduced and communicated free of charge for non-commercial education purposes, provided all acknowledgments are retained. This material is exempt from collection by copyright agencies.

2022 Purposeful Pedagogies - HASS


Six AISWA schools were involved in this exciting interdisciplinary Professional Learning experience to design and undertake a socially purposeful project, exploring a real world environmental issue based on Sustainable Development Goals #14 and #15. 

Teachers demonstrated professional growth by documenting their teaching and learning journeys, and students produced an art exhibition and digital product to connect with others and share their actions. In doing so, both teachers and students demonstrated Global Competencies such as Creative and Critical thinking, Ethical Understanding, and ICT capabilities.

This teaching and learning resource is suitable for teachers of all levels of experience from a range of subject areas. It provides a series of case studies showcasing a Project Based Learning (PBL) inquiry approach by students from Year 2 to Year 6, as told by the teachers and students involved. 

Click here to access the free Global Competencies in Action Resource 2022

@AISWA Educational Publication teacher resource 2022 – not for resale

This material may be used, reproduced and communicated free of charge for non-commercial educational purposes, provided all acknowledgements are retained. This material is exempt from collection by copyright agencies.

2021 Global Competencies in Action - HASS


Within this resource you will find socially purposeful teaching and learning, exploring real-world issues derived from content embedded in the Australian Curriculum and linked to at least one Cross-curriculum Priority.

This publication originated as an interdisciplinary Professional Learning experience for teachers of the Humanities, English, Languages, Science, The Arts, and Technologies.

AISWA would like to acknowledge and thank all the contributors to this publication, particularly the classroom teachers from AISWA member schools who willingly shared their stories, teaching and learning programs, resources, and student work samples for this Action Learning project.

Click here to access the free Global Competencies in Action Resource 2021

@AISWA Educational Publication teacher resource 2021 – not for resale

This material may be used, reproduced and communicated free of charge for non-commercial educational purposes, provided all acknowledgements are retained. This material is exempt from collection by copyright agencies.

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2019 General Capabilities Project - Bill Lucas


Professor Bill Lucas is the Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning and Professor of Learning at the University of Winchester in the UK. He is an authority on creativity, pedagogy, parental engagement, and leadership. Bill also has a profile here in Australia as an international adviser to the Mitchell Foundation in Melbourne. His expertise is widely valued; this is evident with his appointment as the co-chair of the new PISA 2021 test of Creative thinking. Bill’s extensive knowledge is also evident in his wide variety of publications which address pedagogy, and also ask challenging questions about the future of education.

AISWA has been fortunate to utilise Bill’s expertise through some professional development on meaningful engagement with the capabilities in schools. In 2018, his masterclass on Capabilities (why they matter, how to embed them, and how to assess them) was well attended and whet the appetite of schools to do meaningful work to build their capacity in this area. This served as a springboard for a larger scale project in 2019, supporting schools with teaching the General Capabilities.

AISWA Schools' General Capabilities Professional Development Program

During 2019, 19 member schools participated in an AISWA General Capability program of professional development.

This project focused on improving knowledge and understanding of the General Capabilities and how to explicitly implement them in a school context. Small teams across schools were provided with opportunities to:

  • learn more about each of the Capabilities, and the learning continua for each capability; and
  • develop action plans and strategies to guide students' development of selected Capabilities in school and classroom learning programs. 

Over a series of three workshops, the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) took a deep dive into each Capability, and showcased a variety of resource materials to support teaching. Schools determined what they wanted to achieve, and created individual action plans geared towards achieving these outcomes. A final showcase, illuminated a range of unique and innovative approaches. Resources from this project can be found in the Teaching and Learning section of the members portal.

Members please log in and go to Curriculum and Pedagogies area to see the page with videos where Bill shares his thoughts on why the capabilities are important, as well as highlighting key considerations for schools. These videos are designed to be a resource for schools looking to foreground the capabilities in their day to day teaching practice.

Click on each Member school name below to see a Case Study Report that describes their journey during this project.

Capability case study image 1

Cornerstone Christian College, Busselton, Southwest Region

Methodist Ladies' College, Claremont, Metropolitan


Capabilities case study image 2

Esperance Anglican Community School, Esperance, Goldfields Esperance Region

John XXIII College, Mt Claremont. Metropolitan


Capabilities case study image 3

Lance Holt School, Fremantle, Metropolitan

Australian Islamic College, Kewdale, Metropolitan


Capabilities case study image 4

Geraldton Grammar School, Geraldton, Mid West Region


2017 History in the Making - Historical Inquiry


A collection of Teaching and Learning Programs based on the Australian Curriculum for primary students to wonder about the past by actively engaging in the historical inquiry process.​

​This project was a Professional Learning experience for primary teachers of History, providing a framework to write teaching and learning programs based on their implementation of the Australian History Curriculum. The outcome is a range of AC History units published as an online teacher resource to be shared with the wider Education community. The Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia (AISWA) developed and managed the project, led by Maree Whiteley, AISWA Humanities Consultant and Primary Years Consultant for the History Teachers Association Australia (HTAA). AISWA acknowledge the collaboration of the History Teachers Association of Victoria (HTAV) during the writing phase of this project.

Click here to access the free History in the Making resource

© AISWA Educational Publication teacher resource – not for resale

2016 Taking Action – Global Citizenship


A Resource to teach Human Rights and Social Justice

The Taking Action Project was a Professional Learning experience for teachers of Humanities, English and Technologies that combined aspects of human rights and social justice, outlined in topics sourced from Years 5 - 10 Australian Curriculum Geography and Civics and Citizenship. Students had the opportunity to produce a digital resource to argue their evidence-based perspective on a global issue and in doing so, demonstrate their Critical thinking, Ethical Understanding and Intercultural Understanding.

This Teaching and Learning resource provides a series of case studies showcasing a Project Based Learning (PBL) inquiry approach by students from Years 6 to Year 9. It is suitable for teachers of subject areas such as History, Geography, English, Technologies and Civics and Citizenship. 

Taking Action: Students as Global Citizens publication provides a valuable illustration of quality teaching that demonstrates how several aspects of the Australian Curriculum can be implemented by creating an authentic, student-driven task. 

Click here to access the free Taking Action - Global Competencies resource. 

© AISWA Educational Publication teacher resource 2016 - not for resale

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2015 Creating Texts With C21 Early Learners


2013 Report:  A professional learning experience for pre-primary teachers in Independent Schools in Perth metropolitan and regional areas. Download a copy of Creating Texts with 21st Century Early Learners here.

Download a copy of Reflective Practice with Teachers of Early Writers  here.

2015 publication: This publication is an outcome of a collaborative project between AISWA and Edith Cowan University. The publication supports teachers’ understanding and knowledge in relation to young children’s writing development, and how to positively influence the learning of children.

Click here to purchase a copy of the I Wonder How Stories Get Around publication.

samples of shared resources