Social Science of Education

What we do

ISSR works to support the conditions for children, young people and mature learners to achieve their educational and life potential. We aim to provide social-scientific foundations and evidence in education that will lead to the building and sustaining of positive life trajectories.

Our researchers seek to understand and improve quality, practice and access in the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) sector. Using social science, cognitive and developmental science, ISSR research influences policy, workforce and funding models. We are advancing new knowledge about how ECEC contexts and the practice of educators to impact on early life experiences, with consequent effects on relationships, behaviours, learning and health. 

ISSR researchers are developing new knowledge about aspirations, participation, achievement and attainment in primary and secondary schools, and higher education. Parental engagement in education settings and child and student learning is important for positive educational outcomes, and our researchers are looking at new ways to engage and support parents to take active roles in their children’s education. 

Our research on education has a strong focus on educational equity, identifying the enablers and barriers to effective engagement and educational success for people from diverse social, cultural and economic backgrounds. Our work leverages cutting-edge innovative statistical and data analytic methodologies, and has a strong focus on practice, through evaluating major educational initiatives and trialling new interventions.


  • Achieving equity in opportunities and improving outcomes

  • Informing effective education policy and practice

  • Understanding education in the social context