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Dr John O’Rourke

Senior Lecturer

Contact Information Telephone: +61 8 6304 6935, Email:, Campus: Mount Lawley, Room: ML17229
Staff Member Details
Telephone: +61 8 6304 6935
Campus: Mount Lawley  
Room: ML17229  


John is Senior Lecturer for the School of Education.

Professional Associations

  • 2013 - National Association of Enabling Educators of Australia
  • 2012 - Belridge Senior High School, Beldon ESC and Joondalup ESC Independent Cluster
  • 2008 - Foundation for Social Inclusion

Research Interests

  • Inclusive pedagogy
  • Happiness and well-being
  • Digital technology in curriculum
  • Enabling pedagogy


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Western Australia, 2005.
  • Bachelor of Education with second class Honours, The University of Western Australia, 1993.
  • Diploma in Education, The University of Western Australia, 1992.
  • Bachelor of Business, Western Australian Institute of Technology, 1985.


Recent Research Grants

  • Arts-based pedagogy: Engaging children with additional needs through multi-sensory storytelling,  Sensorium Theatre Inc,  Sensorium Theatre Inc - Grant,  2017 - 2018,  $10,000.
  • Improving the 'beaten track': investigating alternative pathways to increase higher education participation for mature-aged low socio-economic status students in regional and remote Australia,  Department of Education, Skills and Employment,  Higher Education Participation & Partnerships Programme HEPPP) - 2016 National Priorities Pool,  2017 - 2018,  $63,221.
  • Lighting the path(way): Articulating curriculum design principles for open-­access enabling programs,  Office for Learning and Teaching,  OLT - Seed Projects,  2016 - 2017,  $33,669.
  • Enabling retention: processes and strategies for improving student retention in university based enabling programs,  Office for Learning and Teaching,  OLT - Competitive Grants,  2010 - 2013,  $17,493.
  • At the end of the day I just want my kids to be happy at school! Personality, physical appearance and young children's happiness,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Early Career Researcher - Grant,  2007 - 2009,  $4,946.

Recent Publications (within the last five years)

Journal Articles

  • O'Rourke, J., Relf, B., Crawford, N., Sharp, S., (2019), Are we all on course? A curriculum mapping comparison of three Australian university open-access enabling programs. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 59(1), 7-26.
  • O'Rourke, J., Harms, C., Cohen, L., (2019), They’re always there for me! Friendship and meaning in young people’s lives?. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 60(6), 596-608, DOI: 10.1111/sjop.12570.
  • Barwood, D., Sanbrook, C., O'Rourke, J., Jones, A., Thomas, J., (2018), Blowing a whistle, how hard can it be? An exploration of practicum experiences for a pre-service health and physical education teacher with a hearing impairment. Curriculum Studies in Health and Physical Education, 9(3), 270-285, Online, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/25742981.2018.1490627.
  • O'Rourke, J., Main, S., Hill, S., (2017), Commercially available digital game technology in the classroom: Improving automaticity in mental-maths in primary-aged students. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 42(10), 50-70, Katoomba, NSW, Social Science Press, DOI: 10.14221/ajte.2017v42n10.4.
  • Main, S., O'Rourke, J., Morris, J., Dunjey, H., (2016), Focus on the journey, not the destination: Digital games and students with disability. Issues in Educational Research, 26(2), 315-331.
  • O'Rourke, J., West, J., (2015), Education assistant support in inclusive Western Australian classrooms: Trialling a screening tool in an Australian context. International Journal of Disability Development and Education, 62(5), 531-546, United Kingdom, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/1034912X.2015.1052376.
  • O'Rourke, J., (2015), Inclusive schooling: If it's so good – why is it so hard to sell?. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 19(5), 530-546, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/13603116.2014.954641.

Conference Publications

  • Desierto, A., De Maio, C., O'Rourke, J., Sharp, S., (2018), Deep or Surface? The learning approaches of enabling students in an Australian public university. Proceedings, 10, Auckland, New Zealand, STARS Conference.

Research Student Supervision

Co-principal Supervisor

  • Doctor of Philosophy,  The prevalence of twice exceptional students in the gat academic programs: The near miss phenomena
  • Doctor of Philosophy,  Investigating communicative dissonance within relationships of adults with asperger's syndrome (asd level 1)
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