Dr Melissa Cain - Nat Sch of Education (Faculty of Education and Arts)

Fully accredited supervisor - Can supervise as principal supervisor


Melissa is a lecturer in the School of Education in Brisbane, teaching units on Inclusive Education and Arts education. She has been a school teacher and HOD for 22 years in Australia, and in Asia through the International School system. Melissa's PhD centred on implementing culturally diverse Arts education in Australia and Singapore. Her research covers Inclusive Education, Creative Pedagogies, and supporting students with disability. Melissa's current projects examine the voices of students with vision impairment at mainstream schools, and the impact of COVID-19 on teaching and learning. She has managed four large-scale national Learning and Teaching projects and has produced an international MOOC - 'Deep Learning for Transformative Pedagogies' through EdX and Microsoft. Melissa has received several higher education teaching awards and is the recipient of the Callaway Doctoral Award.


Phone :+61736237221 (Brisbane)
Email :melissa.cain@acu.edu.au
URIs : Staff Directory Profile

Research Interests

Inclusive Education ; Culturally diverse Arts education ; Assessment ; Creative Pedagogies ;

Methods Expertise

qualitative methods ; autoethnography ; Grounded Theory ; Non traditional outputs ; Narrative Inquiry ;

Research Projects

No research project is currently recorded.

Selected Publications


Expectations for success: Auditing opportunities for students with print disabilities to fully engage in online learning environments in higher education, in Australasian Journal of Educational Technology

Creating greater awareness and demonstration of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in Initial Teacher Education, in Australian Journal of Teacher Education

From emotional crisis to empowerment: The journey of two mothers, in Infants and Young Children

Surveying and resonating teacher concerns during COVID-19 pandemic. , in Teachers and Teaching

Found poems and imagery of physical and social dis/connections in inclusive education during a pandemic. , in The kaleidoscope of lived curricula: Learning through a confluence of crises. 13th Annual Curriculum and Pedagogy Group

More than tolerance. A call shiFt the ableist Academy, in Women creating personal and professional alchemy in the academy. Palgrave Macmillan.


Catering for the specialized needs of students with vision impairment in mainstream classes: Listening to student voices for academic, physical, and social inclusion, in Inclusive Theory and Practice in Special Education

Please Explain! Public perception of students with diversity in mainstream education as voiced in Australian online news media. , in International Journal of Educational Research (Open).

Talk to Me!: Empowering students with a vision impairment through audio e-assessment Feedback, in Technology-Enhanced Formative Assessment Practices in Higher Education


Sharing stories and building resilience: Student preferences and processes of post practicum interventions, in Augmenting health and social care students clinical learning experiences: Processes and outcomes

But it wouldn't be me. Exploring empathy and compassion for self and others through creative processes, in Compassion and Empathy in Educational Contexts

Participatory music-making and well-being within immigrant cultural practice: Exploratory case studies in South East Queensland, Australia. , in Leisure Studies

Opening eyes to vision impairment: Diversity is just another way of seeing, in Opening eyes onto diversity and inclusion

Talk to me! Empowering students with a vision impairment through technology-enhanced feedback. , in Technology Enhanced Formative Assessment Practices in Higher Education.


Playing in the corridors of academia, in Lived Experiences of Women in Academia Metaphors, Manifestos and Memoir

A tale through two lenses. Community band music in Singapore., in Many Voices, One Horizon: Community music in Oceana.

Many Voices, One Horizon: Community music in Oceana.


Work placements for international students programs: a model of effective practice. , in Professional learning in the work place for international students: Exploring theory and practice


The role of music participation in positive health and wellbeing outcomes for migrant populations: A systematic review. , in Psychology of Music

Augmenting higher education students' work experiences: Preferred purposes and processes, in Studies in Higher Education


Short and long term outcomes for CALD and at risk communities in participatory music programs, in Arts and Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice

International students' experience of practicum in teacher education: An exploration through internationalization and professional socialization, in Australian Journal of Teacher Education

Musics of The Other. Overcoming cultural boundaries in music education, in British Journal of Music Education

Celebrating diversity: Music education in multiracial Singapore , in International Journal of Music Education


Participants' perceptions of fair and valid assessment practices in higher music education, in Assessment in music: Principles and Practices.


Initiate, create, activate. Practical solutions for making culturally diverse music education a reality, in Australian Journal of Music Education


Singapore International Schools: Best practice in culturally diverse music education., in British Journal of Music Education

A tale of three cities. Dreams and realities of cultural diversity in music educatio, in Navigating music and sound education


Dabbling or deepening - where to begin? Global music in International school elementary education, in Cultural diversity in music education. Directions and challenges for the 21st century

Other information

Current research projects

1. "Experiences of students with a vision impairment or blindness, their teachers, and parents in mainstream schooling."

The aim of this research is to hear the voices of students with vision impairment, their parents, and their teachers, so to better equip teachers and teacher educators to provide a more informed, efficient, agentic, and respectful education for students with a vision impairment or blindness.

2. Telling tales: An auto ethnographic case study of why teachers stay in the classroom.

The aim of this research seeks to capture the voices of five teachers in diverse educational contexts over one year of teaching through narrative methodology, specifically, auto-ethnography, through storytelling and reflection. The pivotal goal is to ascertain why teachers stay in the classroom, how they overcome adversity and challenging conditions and how they see themselves as enablers of learning. The main theme, why teachers stay, invites teachers to look at the positive and joyful aspects of teaching, explore the animating drivers of their own teacher identities and the way their students nourish their desire to continue in the profession. Using the voices of teachers to find joy in their teaching whilst exploring their teacher identities is a refreshing new perspective on why teachers stay in the classroom.