My current research program centers around three main projects:
Each of these projects extends and develops areas of my previous research and scholarship. The first extends my doctoral studies and is sustained by a continuing interest in the role that reading and writing plays in teaching and learning in the disciplines in higher education settings. I am currently preparing a monograph which draws together my work on literacy practices in the disciplines at the undergraduate level (Economics, Sociology and Biology) and the literature on teaching and learning and epistemology in higher education.
The second has grown out of my work as coordinator of a program providing teacher education to mature-aged graduates. I was initially specifically interested in these students’ decision to make the career change into teaching. This focus has broadened to an examination of motivations (affective, cognitive and social-cognitive) for pursuing teaching as a career, for school-leavers and graduate pre-service teacher education candidates. This study complements and extends previous research in the field of teacher education, by incorporating identified themes from those studies into an integrated motivational framework to guide future investigations into teaching as a career choice. As part of this project with Dr Helen Watt we have developed the FIT-Choice research program. This is a longitudinal study planned in three phases: motivations on entry to teacher education, self-efficacy and preparedness for professional practice on exit from teacher education and finally, persistence in the teaching profession. Our work has attracted significant media attention in Australia.
Broadly, I am interested in the following areas of theory and research activities as they influence and inform literacy studies:
I was a visiting research fellow at the University of Michigan working with Associate Professor Elizabeth Moje on the Social and Cultural Influences on Adolescent Literacy Motivation and Development project..