Doctor of Philosophy (Education). Supervisor: A/Prof James G. Ladwig
Master of Leadership and Management in Education
GradCert in the Practice of Tertiary Teaching
Bachelor of Teaching / Bachelor of Social Science
Scott Eacott, PhD is Deputy Director of the Gonski Institute for Education and Professor in the School of Education at UNSW Sydney and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Saskatchewan. He has previously worked at the University of Newcastle and Australian Catholic University and prior to academia, the New South Wales Department of Education as a teacher and school leader in primary schools.
Building on his experience working in schools and studies across the social sciences, Professor Eacott's work is primarily concerned with the organisation of education. To this end, his research has been dedicated to developing the necessary explanatory tools and resources to respond effectively to the empirical question of how best to organise education. Working with a consortium of education researchers, geospatial analysts, data visualisation experts, sociologists, economists, and data scientists, he has been conducting groundbreaking work on systemic design principles for equitable excellence and the impact of housing affordability on the teacher shortage. This work has demonstrated that schools behave as their systems are designed and that without large-scale inter-departmental co-operation, many schools will be unable to find staff as housing and transportation costs make cities unaffordable for the school education workforce.
Professor Eacott's distinctive approach has led to invitations to run workshops and give talks in Norway, Canada, the USA, Indonesia, South Africa, Mexico, Costa Rica and throughout Australia. He has authored more than 100 publications, led major research projects and contributed to teams winning over $4.45M in external funding and successfully translated his research into policy and practice. Typical projects involve working collaboratively with governments, systems, and professional associations to co-design plans to best meet the needs of all involved.
A representative sample of externally funded grants since 2015 includes:
An enduring issue for governments and systems has been how best to organise education to ensure equitable and inclusive education for all. Professor Eacott's research program has been dedicated to developing the necessary explanatory tools and resources to respond effectively to the empirical question of how best to organise education. This research program has the following aims:
Our researchers seek to develop tools for government, systems, schools, and educators to better understand the provision of education in context and increase the likelihood of equitable excellence within- and across-schools.
We bring broad interdisciplinary and methodological expertise to enrich the methodological toolkit for research and generate unparalleled data to enhance the validity of sensitive and controversial policy decisions regarding systemic design, and the support and resourcing of schools.
We aim to increase the quality of systemic decision-making through the provision of high-quality research accessible to multiple audiences. Through attention to fundamental concerns for policy makers at a national and international level our research will facilitate targeted and tailored intervention design.
Working at the intersection of education, geospatial analysis, economics of education, urban planning, sociology, demography, among others, and therefore leveraging cutting-edge analytical methods from multiple disciplines, Professor Eacott's ambitious research program aims to move beyond individual disciplinary based ways of understanding education and its impact to not just inform policy decisions but explicitly contribute to re-designing the provision of education to deliver equitable and inclusive education at scale.
FACILITIES, EQUIPMENT, AND RESOURCES
In addition to standard office facilities and computing equipment, Professor Eacott has a Mobile Interactive Touchscreen Workstation (65" Commbox Pulse touch display and Motorised tilt stand / trolley) and in 2024 will be adding a 75" wall mounted Commbox display screen. This equipment enables interactive team meetings working with data and showcasing research data and evidence to visiting collaborators, partners, and university guests.
Existing resources include the Steiner and Montessori Schools Dashboard (built on collaboration with colleagues from the City Futures Research Centre), and in 2024 we will be launching the Building a Unique Integrated Dataset of Education and social Reporting [BUILDER] project which is a cloud-based interactive portal utilising education, social, and housing data.
Doctoral, masters by research, and honours candidates
Please see the 'My Research Supervision' section below.
Visiting scholars, post-doctoral fellows, research interns, and collaborators
Professor Eacott welcomes proposals from highly motivated and talented researchers who believe they have the potential to contribute and make a significant contribution to advancing his research through post-docs, research internships, visiting scholars, and collaborations. If you are interested in working as part of the program, please send an email to discuss possibilities to Professor Eacott.
If you work in government or a school system and wish to partner with the team to undertake research, please contact Professor Eacott to discuss options. These can range from including your system as a site for the projects through to a targeted and tailored project.
Individual or groups of schools
If you work in a school and want to undertake a sub-set of the projects in your school or across a group of schools, please contact Professor Eacott to discuss options. These can range from including your school(s) as site within the larger project or a targeted and tailored project.
Based on his research expertise, Professor Eacott has been engaged by a number of government and industry organizations including:
MEMBERSHIP OF EDITORIAL BOARDS
My Research Supervision
Current supervised topics include:
- Designing systems to address identify and support vulnerable students
- Re-organising schools to improve equity and excellence
- Improving school conditions for teacher well-being
- Systemic incentives for middle leader recruitment.
Using a variety of approaches in his teaching, Professor Eacott's classes are distinctive for their privileging of rigorous and robust discussion and debate of key issues. Unlike traditional lecture or tutorial models, Professor Eacott explicitly engages with participants by challenging their ways of thinking and seeking to develop a commitment to public intellectualism. Current courses taught include:
EDST5142 Education in Context [post-graduate, Term 3 2023]
The claim that context matters is ubiquitous in education. What that means and how it plays out in the provision of education across the lifespan and within and beyond traditional education sites is far less known. This course is designed to deepen your understanding of the intimate relations between education and context. Whether you work in early childhood, schools, tertiary environments or non-traditional spaces (e.g., health, military, non-for-profit, corporates), understanding contexts is imperative to achieving the best possible outcomes. This requires you to think beyond the boundaries of any individual educational site and consider the interplay of demography, geolocation, socio-economic status, access to services, among others, and the provision of education. To do this, you will systematically engage with large-scale education and social data to bring to life the theoretical and conceptual tools necessary to analyse, evaluate, problematise and reconstruct the provision of education.
EDST5433 Organizational Theory in Education [post-graduate, Term 3 2023]
In this course, you will engage in the application of organisation theory to education, and consider scientific management theory, bureaucracy and professional educators, human relations, open systems theory and contemporary critiques of conventional theories of educational organisations. In addition, you will consider important aspects of organisation, including educational goals, organisational culture, educational technology, the educational environment, inter-organisational linkages, organisational effectiveness, and alternative theories of educational organisation.
EDST5608 Instructional Leadership [post-graduate, Term 2 2023]
Judgements regarding effective schools, leaders and teachers have long been grounded in ideas of instructional leadership. In this course, you will examine the research literature relevant to instructional leadership as well as providing practical strategies for building school capacity. Criteria used to evaluate instruction will be considered as well as the relationship between leadership, culture and student outcomes. Contributions made by the principal, team leaders, teachers, community, systems, peers and individual students will be examined. Leadership processes which contribute to improved student outcomes will be analysed. Case studies, both nationally and internationally, of effective and ineffective schools and systems will provide the basis of a strategic framework for future planning. You should be able to relate the knowledge you gain from this course to your own personal and professional contexts.
SHORT COURSE: Instructional leadership [June 2023]
One of the greatest challenges for educators is articulating the purpose(s) of their school and providing a clear framework to meet that purpose and achieve desired outcomes. When it comes to education, how do we make sure everything we do is with purpose? How do we improve the quality of teaching and the quality of outcomes to translate our purpose into action? What does it look like in the classroom - in teaching, in learning, and in assessment? What's our point of distinction as a school? This course will assist school leaders / teams in developing clarity on the purpose of their school; building coherence in their activities to optimise teaching and learning; and crafting a narrative around the impact of the school for staff, students, families and the community.