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Staff Profile

Dr Karen Murcia

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Position
Senior Lecturer
Faculty
Faculty of Humanities
School
School of Education
Campus
Bentley Campus

Brief Summary

Dr Murcia is a senior member of the Curtin University teacher education team with a focus on producing high-impact educational research and engagement with interactive and innovative teaching. Her teaching interests and research work span the intersection between learning theory, learning design, and professional development. She is a specalist in STEM education. Specifically, her research has provided a unique and valuable depth of understanding about teachers’ conceptions of the nature of science and the interaction of science with society. Her research in pedagogical interactivity and technology enhanced learning environments investigated the impact of ICT integration and gamification on digitally aware students motivation and interest in learning. In particular, the quality of her research in the field of numeracy across the curriculum and the influence of learning and teaching on an individual’s subject specific self –efficacy was recognised by the Western Australian Institute for Educational Research (WAIER) through her 2006 Early Career Researcher Award.

Dr Murcia has conducted stakeholder consultations, needs analysis, program design and evaluation research. She is experienced in the development and facilitation of a range of adult education and professional development programs. These have included evaluation methods, ethics, values based leadership and action planning. She has worked in partnerships with government, industry and community groups both nationally and internationally.

In addition, Dr Murcia is an active volunteer in the WA community through her roles as a Board Member for Child Australia and Scitech. She is also on the advisory committee for the Low Carbon Schools Program.

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Memberships, Awards and Training

Qualifications

  • PhD, Murdoch University, 2007.
  • Master of Education, Murdoch University, 1998.
  • Grad.Dip.in Education(Sec.), Western Australian Institute of Technology, 1986.
  • Bachelor of Applied Sciences, Western Australian Institute of Technology, 1985.

Awards

Early Career Award (2006): Western Australian Institute of Educational Research 

Professional Associations

  • Science Teachers Association of Western Australia (STAWA)
  • Australasian Science Education Research Association (ASERA) 

 

 

 

 

 

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Teachings

Unit Co-ordinator

  • Foundations of Research
  • Engaging Children with Science
  • Leadership in Early Childhood 

Research Student Supervision

  • Co-principal Supervisor: Doctor of Philosophy,  Enhancing Teachers' Knowledge For Using Multiple Representatives In Teaching Chemistry In Nigerian Senior Secondary Schools
  • Associate Supervisor: Master of Education,  The Impact Of Student Created Slowmation On The Teaching And Learning Of Primary Science

 

 

 

 

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Research Interests

STEM Education, Scientific Literacy, Numeracy Across the Curriculum, Technology Enhanced Learning Environments. 

Research Grants 

  • STEM in Early Childhood Education: Mathematics as Inquiry, Scitech 2016, $35,000
  • Professional Learning Program Evaluation, Scitech 2015 
  • LeadAbility, (Leadership WA), Leadership development for people with a disability. Disability Commission,  2014/2015, $290,000
  • Education Program Evaluation, Harry Perkins Medical Research Institute Education, 2014
  • Early Years Numeracy, Scitech, 2014
  • Trailblazer: A Framework for Context Aware Multimodal Learning, Edith Cowan University, ECU Industry Collaboration Grant, 2013 - 2014,  $109,392.
  • Assessing the Public Health Implications of Higher Risk Online Behaviours in Young People,  Department of Health WA,  Telethon - New Children's Hospital Research Fund,  2013 - 2015,  $227,273.
  • Students leading change to reduce sexting-related harm to young people,  Healthway (WA Health Promotion Foundation),  Healthway - Health Promotion Research Project Grant,  2013 - 2015,  $221,207.
  • Exploring Quality Primary Education in Different Cultures: A Cross National Study of Teaching and Learning in Primary Science Classrooms ,  Australian Research Council,  Grant - Discovery,  2011,  $148,435.
  • Optimisation of STEM Education Support in Western Australian Schools,  Department of Commerce,  Department of Commerce - Tender,  2013,  $89,153.
  • NanoCity : Stage Two Nanotechnology Game Development,  The Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education ,  DIISRTE - Grant,  2013,  $93,425.
  • Nanotechnology Online game,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Industry Collaboration Grant - 2012 (Round 1),  2012,  $102,761.
  • How do Children Learn Science with An Interactive Whiteboard?,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Early Career Researcher - Grant,  2009 - 2010,  $24,802.
  • Teachers' Implementation of AccessNano: A Case Study in Lower Secondary Science Classrooms,  The Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education ,  CRC - Grant,  2010,  $9,078.
  • Enhancing Classroom Discourse in Primary Science,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Industry Collaboration - Grant,  2009 - 2010,  $126,201.
  • ASISTM Critical Friend Project, Department of Education Science and Training (DEST) Australian National University, 2006-2008, $15,000.
  • Whiteboard Technology: engaging children with literacy and numeracy rich contexts. Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST)  National Innovative Literacy and Numeracy Projects Initiative, ROUND 3, 2006, $44,000
  • Innovative Numeracy project. Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) National Innovative Literacy and Numeracy Projects Initiative, ROUND 2, 2003, $44,000

 

Selected Publications

Book

Murcia, K. (2008). Scientific literacy for sustainability: Educating citizens for the 21st century. VDM Verlag. Germany.

Book Chapter

Tytler, R., Murcia, K., Hsiung, C, Ramseger, J. (2016). Reasoning through representation. In Hackling, M. (Ed) Quality teaching in primary science education: Cross -cultural perspectives. Springer publications. 

Murcia, K. (2013). Tools for supporting the teaching and learning of science. In Learning and Teaching Primary Science. Cambridge University Press

Murcia, K. (2012). Integrating digital technologies into the contemporary science classroom. In Tan, D., Kim, M. & Hwang, S.W., (Eds) Moving Forward: Issues and challenges in science education research. Springer publications. 

Lee, C. B., & Murcia, K. (2012). Problem solving for conceptual change. Learning, Problem Solving, and Mind Tools: Essays in Honor of David H. Jonassen. In Spector, M., Lockee, B., Smaldino, S., & Herring, M. (Eds.). Routledge.

Refereed Journals

Murcia, K., (2014), Interactive and multimodal pedagogy: A case study of how teachers and students use interactive whiteboard technology in primary science. Australian Journal of Education, 58(1), 74-88

Haigh, Y., Murcia, K., Norris, L., (2014), Citizenship, civic education and politics: The education policy context for young Australian citizens. Journal of Education Policy, 29(5), 598-616

Lowe, G., Prout, P., Murcia, K., (2013), I See, I Think I Wonder: An Evaluation of Journaling as a Critical Reflective Tool for Aiding Teachers in Challenging or Confronting Contexts. The Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 38(6), 1-16 

Hackling, M., Murcia, K., Ibrahim-Didi, K., (2013), Teacher orchestration of multimodal resources to support the construction of an explanation in a Year 4 Astronomy topic.  Teaching Science, 59(1), 7-15

Brown, J., Murcia, K., Hackling, M., (2013), Slowmation: A multimodal strategy for engaging children with primary science. Teaching Science, 59(4), 14-20

Murcia, K. (2013). Secondary school students’ attitudes to nanotechnology. Teaching Science, 59(3), 15-21

Haigh, Y., Murcia, K., Norris, L. (2013).  Getting outside your head: community service, citizenship education and youth participation. International Journal of Educational Development

Masek, M., Murcia, K. Morrison, J. (2012).  Getting serious with iPads: The intersection of game design with teaching principles.  Australian Educational Computing Journal, 27(2),  34-38

Hackling, M., Smith, P., Murcia, K., (2011).  Enhancing classroom discourse in primary science: The puppets project. Teaching Science, 57(2), 18-25,

Murcia, K., Haigh, Y., Norris, L. (2010). Learning From Community Service: Australia Tanzania Young Ambassadors Talk About Sustainability. Issues in Educational Research. V20(3), 293-313

Murcia, K. & Sheffield, R. (2010). Talking about science in interactive whiteboard classrooms. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology. V26 (4).

Murcia, K. (2010). Multi-modal representations in primary science: What’s offered by interactive whiteboard technology? Teaching Science. V56 (1), 23-29

Hackling, M., Smith, P. & Murcia, K. (2010). Talking science: developing a discourse of inquiry. Teaching Science, 56(1), 17-22

Murcia, K. (2010). Nanotechnology: Science Fiction or Reality. Journal of the Science Teachers’ Association of Western Australia. V46(1), 5-7

Murcia, K. (2009). Science in the News: An evaluation of students’ scientific literacy. Teaching Science. V55(3), 40-46.

Murcia, K. & S. McKenzie (2009). Finding the way: Signposts in teachers’ development of effective interactive whiteboard pedagogies. Australian Educational Computing. V24(1), 23-29.

Murcia, K. (2009). Re-thinking the development of scientific literacy through a rope metaphor. Research in Science Education. V39(2), 215-229.

Murcia, K. (2008).  Teaching for scientific literacy with an interactive whiteboard. Teaching Science. V54(4), 17-21.

Murcia, K. (2008). Teaching science creatively: Engaging primary teacher education students with interactive whiteboard technology. The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences. V3(3), 45-52.

Murcia, K. (2007). Science for the 21st century: Teaching for scientific literacy in the primary classroom. Teaching Science. V53(2), 16-19.

Murcia, K. (2005). Science in the newspaper: a strategy for developing scientific literacy. Teaching Science. V51(1), 40-42.

Murcia, K. (2005). Using action research principles for professional development: the Waikiki school experience. ALAR Journal. V10(1), 3-17

Schibeci, R. & Murcia, K. (2000).  Science is about facts, or is it? Journal of College Science Teaching. V29(3), 205-208.

Murcia, K. & Schibeci, R. (1999).  Primary student teachers’ conceptions of the nature of science.  International Journal of Science Education. V21(11), 1123-1140.

Conference Papers Published in Proceedings

Hackling, M., Murcia, K., Ibrahim-Didi, K., Hill, S., (2014), Methods for multimodal analysis and representation of teaching-learning interactions in primary science lessons captured on video. Proceedings of the ESERA 2013 Conference: Science Education Research For Evidence-based Teaching and Coherence in Learning, 1-8, Nicosia, Cyprus.

Murcia, K., Marsek, M., Morrison, J., Newhouse, P. Hackling, M. (2012). Learning in transformational computer games: Exploring design principles for a nanotechnology game. AARE-APERA Conference. Sydney. Australia (Dec 2-6).

Murcia, K. (2010). ICT across the curriculum: Developing pre-service teachers’ integration literacy. Proceedings of the TARC International Conference on Learning and Teaching. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

Murcia, K. (2009). Multi-modal representations of science: What affordances are offered by interactive whiteboard technology? Proceedings of the International Science Education Conference. 24th to 26th November. Singapore

Sheffield, R. & Murcia, K. (2009). Interactive whiteboard technology in primary science: What are teachers’ beliefs and concerns about discourse in their classrooms? Proceedings of the International Science Education Conference. 24th to 26th November. Singapore

Murcia, K. (2009) Interactive Whiteboard Pedagogies in the Primary Science Classroom. Paper presented at RAISe Conference (CEO). 10 & 11 August. Perth, Western Australia.

Murcia, K. & S. McKenzie ( October, 2008). Finding the way: Signposts in teachers’ development of effective interactive whiteboard pedagogies. The Australian Computers in Education Conference. Canberra. At  http://www.acec2008.info/confpapers/results.asp

Murcia, K. (2006) An evidenced based framework for developing scientific literacy. The Early Career Award address given at the Western Australian Institute for Educational Research 21st Annual Research Forum.  Perth. 5th August. At http://www.waier.org.au/forums/2006/murcia.html

Technical Reports

Hackling, M, Murcia, K., West, J. (2013). Optimisation of STEM education initiatives in WA. Report to the WA Department of Commerce.

Murcia, K. (2010). Teachers’ Implementation of AccessNano: A Case Study in Lower Secondary Science Classrooms. Report to the Australian Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

Murcia, K. (2009). Integrating ICT with Primary Science and Mathematics. Literature review for the South Australian Department of Education.

Murcia, K. & McKenzie, S. (2008). Whiteboard Technology: engaging children with literacy and numeracy rich contexts. Report to DEEWR Australia. At, http://www.education.murdoch.edu.au/clcd/docs/Whiteboard%20Technology%20Report.pdf

Hogan, J., Murcia, K. and Van Wyke, J. (2004) Western Australian Strategic Primary School Numeracy Research Project. Report to the Department of Education, Science and Training. Australia. At,  http:www.dest.gov.au/schools/publications

Murcia, K, Powell, B. and Van Wyke, J. (2004) Innovative Numeracy Research Project. Report to the Department of Education, Science and Training. Australia. At, http:www.dest.gov.au/schools/publications 

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Publications


2017

Book Chapters (Research)

  • Tytler, R., K. Murcia, C. T. Hsiung, and J. Ramseger. 2017. "Reasoning Through Representations." In Quality Teaching in Primary Science Education : Cross-cultural Perspectives Mark W. Hackling, Hsiao-Lan Sharon Chen, and Jorg Ramseger., 149-179 Switzerland: Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

2014

Journal Articles (Research)

  • Murcia, K. 2014. "Interactive and multimodal pedagogy: A case study of how teachers and students use interactive whiteboard technology in primary science." Australian Journal of Education 58 (1): 74-88.
  • Haigh, Y., K. Murcia, and L. Norris. 2014. "Citizenship, civic education and politics: The education policy context for young Australian citizens." Journal of Education Policy 29 (5): 598-616.

2013

Journal Articles (Research)

  • Masek, M., K. Murcia, and J. Morrison. 2013. "Getting serious with ipads: The intersection of game design and teaching principals." Australian Educational Computing 27 (2): 34-38.
  • Lowe, G. M., P. Prout, and K. Murcia. 2013. "I see, i think i wonder: An evaluation of journaling as a critical reflective practice tool for aiding teachers in challenging or confronting contexts." Australian Journal of Teacher Education 38 (6): 1-16.

2012

Book Chapters (Research)

  • Murcia, K. 2012. "Integrating digital technologies into the contemporary science classroom." In Issues and Challenges in Science Education Research: Moving Forward, 225-243

2010

Journal Articles (Research)

  • Murcia, K., Y. Haigh, and L. Norris. 2010. "Learning from community service: Engaging Australia Tanzania Young Ambassadors with sustainability." Issues in Educational Research 20 (3): 276-293.
  • Murcia, K., and R. Sheffield. 2010. "Talking about science in interactive whiteboard classrooms." Australasian Journal of Educational Technology 26 (4): 417-431.

2009

Journal Articles (Research)

  • Murcia, K. 2009. "Re-thinking the development of scientific literacy through a rope metaphor." Research in Science Education 39 (2): 215-229.
  • Murcia, K., and S. McKenzie. 2009. "Finding the way: Signposts in teachers' development of effective interactive whiteboard pedagogies [This award winning ACEC2008 conference paper has been republished with permission]." Australian Educational Computing 24 (1): 23-29.

2008

Journal Articles (Research)

  • Murcia, K. 2008. "Teaching science creatively: Engaging primary teacher education students with interactive whiteboard technology." International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences 3 (3): 45-52.

1999

Journal Articles (Research)

  • Murcia, K., and R. Schibeci. 1999. "Primary student teachers’ conceptions of the nature of science." International Journal of Science Education 21 (11): 1123-1140.
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