Education experts

Murdoch University’s education experts are involved with the internationalism of higher education, multi-literacies, communication technologies, enhancing school retention and educational experiences, online learning, assessments, whiteboard technology, measuring teacher effectiveness and student performance data.

Murdoch’s expertise covers education from early learning age groups, primary and secondary, through to tertiary education.

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Deborah Pino Pasternak

Dr Deborah Pino Pasternak

Early Childhood, Children’s cognition and self-regulation, Parenting, Classroom Interaction

Deborah’s research interests concern young children’s development of self-regulatory skills and how those are fostered or hindered by home and school environments, with an emphasis on the quality of parent-child and teacher-student interactions. From a methodological perspective she has conducted quantitative and qualitative studies and have developed significant expertise in the analysis of interactive video data.

She is currently involved in two Australian Research Council Funded Projects. She is an ARC DECRA Fellow investigating the development of self-regulated learning in pre-primary children and she is a Chief Investigator in a Discovery Project exploring productive engagement in Primary Science by First Year pre-service teachers.
Margaret Merga

Dr Margaret Kristin Merga

Reading and English research, health promotion in schools, health workforce education

Margaret’s research in adolescent reading is interested in how to best support and encourage recreational reading beyond the early years.

She is currently involved in the International Study of Avid Book Readers and the Western Australian Study in Children’s Book Reading.

Margaret is also research active in health promotion, most recently examining the potential health effects of increased device use in schools. In 2014 Margaret had a key role in undertaking the Graduate Work Readiness Project at the Department of Health, Western Australia.
Anne Price

Dr Anne Price

Curriculum Development for Practitioners, Professional Issues for Teachers

Dr Anne Price focuses her research on the ways in which state and national educational policies and practices impact on initial teacher education and teachers’ work.

She is currently researching the possible impact of federal government policies such as Performance Pay schemes for teachers, the Australian Curriculum and the National Professional Standards on teacher professionalism and teachers’ work.

Her research has included work on the roles of Aboriginal Education Workers in schools, early career teacher attrition, teacher resilience and also the impact of ‘Teaching Out of Field’ and ‘Fast Track’ teacher education programmes.

Sue Ledger

Dr Susan Ledger

International, rural/ remote education, literacy and policy studies

Dr Susan Ledger is a Lecturer in International Education and Primary Literacy, and Director of the Murdoch Professional Experience team (pre-service teacher school placements). Her teaching and research interests include International education, rural/ remote education, literacy, and policy studies.

Susan has co-authored nine books for the Asian Education Foundation and designed curriculum for Languages Other Than English (LOTE) and Literacy. In partnership with the International Baccalaureate Organisation, Susan has recently enabled Master of Education (Coursework) students to gain certification in IB. She was recently awarded the 2015 Western Australian Institute of Education and Research Early Career Award for her outstanding contribution to research, community service and education.

Jan Herrington

Professor Jan Herrington

Authentic learning and technology

Dr Jan Herrington is a Professor in the School of Education, specialising in research on authentic learning in realistic and complex contexts, similar to the way professionals learn and work in the real world.

This research includes consideration of technology-based learning, such as e-learning and mobile learning, using mobile phones and other personal communication devices.

Dr Herrington works with international colleagues including USA, Finland, Singapore and Korea, and serves on several international journal and conference committees. She has published several books on e-learning and other technology-related subjects, including ‘A Guide to Authentic e-Learning’.

Laura Perry

Associate Professor Laura Perry

Sociology of education, education policy, comparative/international education

Associate Professor Laura Perry is best known for her work about educational equity and student outcomes. She has been conducting secondary analyses of the international student assessment test, PISA, to examine the relationship between school socio-economic composition and student academic outcomes in Australia.

In 2010 Associate Professor Perry was awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery grant to examine the relationships of school socio-economic composition and academic outcomes in a cross-national perspective. By analysing how the importance of school socio-economic composition varies for different students and in different countries, she aims to show how the Australian educational system can be made more equitable.

At the foundation of all her work is an interest in the ways in which education systems and school structures, contexts and practices influence student outcomes, and a commitment to improving educational opportunities and outcomes for all students.

Lisa Cary

Dr Lisa Cary

Curriculum studies and educational research in societal contexts and with the aim for social justice

Dr Lisa Cary is investigating issues in curriculum by deconstructing central notions of schooling and revealing the way social constructions of worthwhile knowledge and good teaching (for example) are inextricably linked to issues of social justice and equitable access to learning opportunities.

Her research brings together recent moves in educational research and curriculum as an ethical move towards more equitable educational opportunities for all students.

Dr Cary has worked in educational contexts in Australia, Canada and the United States for over 20 years. Her experience and qualifications have led to the analysis of local, national and international curriculum issues and she has a strong international reputation as a scholar and researcher.

Peter Wright

Associate Professor Peter Wright

Creativity and arts in educational learning and development

Associate Professor Peter Wright researches artistically-based approaches to educational research, creativity and community cultural development.

He studies drama education, applied theatre, transformational learning and teacher development in the arts, and playback theatre.

Associate Professor Wright is currently involved in projects with Big hART, a social impact of the arts company.

Libby Lee Hammond

Associate Professor Libby Lee-Hammond

Early Childhood Curriculum and Pedagogy, Aboriginal Early Years, Outdoor Learning

A passionate advocate for the early learning years, Associate Professor Lee-Hammond has developed Murdoch’s Early Childhood Education Programs for a decade.

Associate Professor Lee-Hammond researches parent/school partnerships and learning outcomes for young Aboriginal children.

She is presently running projects in outdoor learning with young children following the Forest/Bush School model. She is conducting an evaluation of the Statewide Best Start Playgroups on behalf of the State Department for Communities. She has a long-standing relationship with the Mungullah Aboriginal Community and continues to work with elders and community members to enable children to gain the full benefits of their school education.

Barry Down

Professor Barry Down

Student (dis)engagement, youth policy, vocational education and training and teacher education

Professor Barry Down is an expert in issues around student (dis)engagement, school design, transition to work, and teacher education
in communities at disadvantage.

He has been involved as a Chief Investigator on a number of large Australian Research Council grants investigating the issues of student retention and participation, youth (un)employment, and re-engagement through the performance arts.

His most recent research examined the problem of early career teacher resilience. Barry's other research interest focuses on the impact of personalised learning on student learning using the Big Picture Education design for schooling. He has co-authored numerous books on these topics.

Judy MacCallum

Dr Judy MacCallum

Enhanced learning strategies in child education, youth mentoring and teacher professional learning

Dr Judy MacCallum is an Associate Professor in educational psychology. She is a respected researcher in strategies to enhance children’s participation in learning. Her collaborative research with a primary teacher colleague is building theory on instructional practice, motivational change and teacher professional learning.

She was part of a team pioneering Australian research on mentoring and strategies such as intergenerational exchange, which has since been used as the basis for policy development and implementation at national, state and community levels. Dr MacCallum is working with the Australian Youth Mentoring Network and the WA Department for Communities to develop a mentoring research strategy to build our understanding of mentoring and improve practice.

To reach these experts for media enquiries, contact:

Luke McManus
Media & Communications Advisor
Phone: 08 9360 2491
Mobile: 0400 297 221

For all other enquiries, please ring reception on 08 9360 6000.