Dr. Michelle Somerton is an Assistant Professor at NUGSE and academic program director for the specialisation Leadership in Inclusive Education. She holds a PhD from University of Tasmania, Graduate Certificate in Research, and a Bachelor of Education with Honours. Her teaching concerns Inclusive Education in leadership, policy, and teaching practice for Master’s students. Current research interests are investigating educational inequity and barriers to education, educational technologies, and cognitive diversity.
PhD, 2016 University of Tasmania, Australia, Emeritus Professor Ian Hay.
Reading Between the Lines: An intervention concerning Reading Comprehension, Students with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, and the design of educational software for Mobile Technologies.
Graduate Certificate Research 2014 – University of Tasmania, Australia
Bed (Honours), 2011, University of Tasmania, Australia, Associate Professor Ruth Fielding-Barnsley.
It's not what you say but how you say it: An investigation into the relationship between phonological and visual-spacial processing in children diagnosed with Autism.
Courses taught at GSE
EDIE651 Perspectives on Inclusive Education
EDUC600 Research Methods I and II
EDIE651 Policy and Inclusive Education
EDIE609 Leadership and Inclusive Education
Thesis Supervision Masters of Science and Doctor of Philosophy
2020. 73,190.00USD ADiBE-NUGSE: Co-PI – “Attention to Diversity in Multilingual Education in Kazakhstan.” Awarded February 2020.
2019. 42,784.00USD “Diagnosing children and young adults with intellectual impairment and autism.” Nazarbayev University Small Grants Project in conjunction Nazarbayev University School of Medicine and Astana Medical University Co-PI
2018. 10,000.00USD Creating conditions for inclusive education in Kazakhstan: Resource centers in Astana Researcher
Thematic areas of research specialization: (Underline all that apply)
Multilingual Education and language policy
Hernández-Torrano, D., Somerton, M, & Helmer, J. (2020). Mapping research on inclusive education since Salamanca Statement: A bibliometric review of the literature over 25 years. International Journal of Inclusive Education. DOI:10.1080/13603116.2020.1747555
Somerton, M., Helmer, J., Kasa, R., Hernández-Torrano, D., & Makoelle, T. M. (2020). Defining spaces: Resource centres, collaboration, and inclusive education in Kazakhstan. Journal of Educational Change. DOI:10.1007/s10833-020-09384-1
Vleck, S., & Somerton, M. Rayner, C., (2020). Collaboration: teachers, parents, and allied health professionals supporting students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Australasian Journal of Special Education. 44(2), 102-115. DOI: 10.1017/jsi.2020.11
Helmer, J., Kasa, R., Somerton, M., Makoelle, T.M. and Hernandez-Torrano, D. (2020). Planting the seeds for inclusive education: One resource centre at a time. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 1-17. DOI:10.1080/13603116.2020.1864791
Rollan, K., & Somerton, M. (2019). Inclusive education reform in Kazakhstan: Civil society activism from the bottom-up. International Journal of Inclusive Education, DOI: 10.1080/13603116.2019.1599451
Somerton, M. (2015). Who is Billy possum? The Journal of Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria, 2(2), 45-47. ISSN:2205-3611
Makoelle, T.M. & Somerton, M. (Eds). (2021). Inclusive education in a post-Soviet context: The case of Kazakhstan. Netherlands: Springer Nature. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-65543-3
Makoelle, T. M., & Somerton, M. (2018). Facilitating inclusive teaching and learning spaces through digital education technology: Teaching and learning through digital education technology. In Educational and Social Dimensions of Digital Transformation in Organizations (pp. 43-64). IGI Global. DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6261-0.ch003
Somerton, M. (2014). Billy possum’s interactive comprehension (v1.1.2) [mobile application software]. Retrieved from the iTunes store.
Somerton, M., Bowen, E., Chacha, M., & Khanin, S. (2019). Being, becoming belonging: Developing Inclusion and Inclusive Education in Higher Education. Paper presented 2019 IAFOR Education Conference, Tokyo, Japan.
Somerton, M. (2018). Facilitating inclusion through the provision of resource centres in Kazakhstan: A pilot project. Paper presented at the 2018 Inclusive Education Summit, Deakin University Melbourne, Australia
Somerton, M. (2018). Inclusive Education and the impact of school leaders’ attitudes and experiences. Paper presented at the 2018 International Scientific Practical Conference “Inclusive Education: Theory, practice, experience” National Academy of Education, Astana, Republic of Kazakhstan
Somerton, M. (2017). Re-conceptualising Inclusive Education: school principals' perspectives in post-soviet Kazakhstan. Paper presented at the 2017 Inclusive Education Summit, Adelaide, Australia.
Somerton, M., Fielding-Barnsley, R., Rayner, C., & Hay, I. (2015). Embedding Teaching Strategies into iPad Technology to improve Reading Comprehension in students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Paper presented at the 2014 International Society of Technology and Education Conference. Atlanta, US.
Somerton, M. (2015). Educational Software Design for Mobile Technologies – Research and Development of a Literacy App. Paper presented at Conversations on Knowledge for Teaching, Launceston, Australia.
Awards and Achievements
May 2019 Teaching Award – Inclusive Teaching, Nazarbayev University
May 2018 Teaching Award – Inclusive Teaching, Nazarbayev University
May 2017 Teaching Merit Certificate Inclusive Education Teaching Team
March 2017 Teaching Award – Inclusive Teaching, Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education
July 2014 iAward Postgraduate Tertiary Student and National finalist
October 2012 UniQuest Trailblazer University of Tasmania – Student Highly Commended
March 2012 Awarded Elite Scholarship University of Tasmania
December 2011 T.E. Doe Prize in Education – Overall Best Performing Student in the Bachelor of Education.
Awarded to a full-time first degree undergraduate student in the Faculty of Education.
December 2011 Awarded Dean’s Roll of Excellence
December 2009 Awarded Dean’s Roll of Excellence