Category Archives: Education Research Reading Room Podcast

Each episode we contact a prominent figure in the education landscape and ask them ‘If every teacher and educator in the world could spend an hour reading your work, what would you want them to read?’

Interested teachers and educators then read this piece in preparation for a live event with the author to discuss and explore the topic in more depth. The subsequent conversation becomes the Education Research Reading Room Podcast (ERRR Podcast).

ERRR #013. Russell Bishop and the Centrality of Relationships

Listen to all past episodes of the ERRR podcast here.

This episode we’re talking to Professor Russell Bishop. Russell is based in New Zealand and has a long history of teaching and working with the first people of New Zealand, the Maori people.

Russell is currently foundation Professor for Māori Education in the School of Education at the University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. He is also a qualified and experienced secondary school teacher. Prior to his present appointment he was a senior lecturer in Māori Education in the Education Department at the University of Otago and Interim Director for Otago University’s Teacher Education programme. His research experience in the area of collaborative storying as Kaupapa Māori, has given rise to national and international publishing. Some of his books include, “Collaborative Research Stories: Whakawhanaungatanga”, “Culture Counts: Changing Power Relationships in Classrooms”, “Pathologising Practices“, “Culture Speaks” and in 2010 “Scaling Up Education Reform”. Russell’s has worked with literally thousands of teachers across New Zealand and across the world and, on a more personal note, I’m very grateful for how Russell’s work has helped me to see the students from minority groups at my school, and my relationships with them, in a whole new light.

The first article that Russell nominated for this ERRR is entitled ‘Relationships are Fundamental to Learning’. This very readable editorial discusses the ubiquity of teachers’ (often subconscious) deficit thinking (aka: deficit theorising) regarding students from minority groups, and the impacts of such deficit thinking on relationships with, and the educational outcomes of, these students. For those who would like to take a deeper dive into this topic, Russell also recommended an additional paper entitled ‘The Centrality of Relationships for Pedagogy: The Whanaungatanga Thesis’. This second paper was an eye opening synthesis of qualitative and quantitative research methods that really brought to life some of Russell’s theories in more of a quantitative manner.

Links mentioned during the interview

ERRR #012. Linda Graham and the Purpose of School

Listen to all past episodes of the ERRR podcast here.

For this ERRR episode we discussed Linda’s paper entitled “To educate you to be smart”: Disaffected students and the purpose of school in the (not so clever) “lucky country” (download here). Linda has also nominated the following article, Social mobility: ‘We must end this obsession with working class gentrification’ (download here) as an optional additional reading to enrich the conversation.

Linda Graham is a Professor in the School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education. Her research interests concern the role of education policy and schooling practices in the development of disruptive student behaviour and the improvement of responses to children who are difficult to teach.

Professor Graham completed her doctoral study, titled “Schooling Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders: educational systems of formation and the ‘disorderly’ school child” at Queensland University of Technology in 2007. Of particular interest was how schooling practices and discourses may be contributing to the increased diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Linda has received the award of Macquarie University’s Early Career Researcher of the Year, and received both the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA) Paul Bourke Award and the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Early Career Research Award.

She is currently leading a 6-year longitudinal study tracking the school liking, learning, language and behaviour of QLD prep children through to end grade 5, with Prof Sue Walker and Dr Sonia White (School of Early Childhood, QUT), Dr Kathy Cologon(Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University), Prof Pamela Snow (LaTrobe Rural Health School), and Prof Robert Pianta (Curry School of Education, University of Virginia).

In 2016, she began leading an Education Horizon project funded by the Queensland Government, “Empowering learners: using student voice, videorecorded classroom interactions and teacher feedback to develop positive learning environments in high-need Queensland secondary schools”, with Dr Amanda Mergler and Dr Jenna Gillett-Swan.

Linda has appeared in numerous print, radio and television media and is a strong advocate that inclusive education is a foundation platform for broader social inclusion and the development of an inclusive democracy.

Links mentioned during the interview

ERRR #011. Sharon Chen on International Comparisons of Inquiry Teaching

Listen to all past episodes of the ERRR podcast here.

Professor Sharon Chen received her Ph.D. from the Ohio State University and is now Professor of Education at the National Taiwan Normal University. She also currently serves as the Convener oin the Discipline of Education for the Department of Humanity and Social Science at the Ministry of Science and Technology (1/2015-12/2017).
Professor Chen actively participates in many academic activities and serves at the editorial board of TSSCI journal/s. She receives research funding from the Ministry of Science and Technology every year and has received numerous NSC Annual Research Awards. In recent years she has also been in charge of policy related projects funded by the Ministry of Education in Taiwan. Sharon has studied, taught, and written widely in three principal areas of: curriculum reform issues, qualitative research methodology, and teacher professional development. In 2009 she received the NTNU Outstanding Teacher Award and in 2012 the NTNU Distinguished Professorship Award.

We discussed two of Sharon’s papers in this episode of the ERRR. The first, entitled Implications for Cross-Cultural Comparative Studies of Teaching and Learning, discusses the usual forms that cross-cultural studies take, and how some of Sharon’s research has differed. We spent the majority of the interview discussion the second of Sharon’s papers which was entitled Inquiry Teaching and Learning: Forms, Approaches, and Embedded Views Within and Across Cultures. In this second paper Sharon compared the approach of three primary classrooms to teaching science by inquiry, contrasting classrooms from Germany, Taiwan, and Australia.

Reading these papers, as well as doing some classroom visits in Taiwan really challenged some of my pre-conceived ideas about what the word ‘inquiry’ can mean in science education, and to complement this podcast I’m currently also working on a blog post about my changing understanding of of this term, so watch out at for that one.

In other recent and exciting news, Cameron Malcher from the Teachers’ Education Review podcast has just set up AEON, the Australian Educator’s Online Network as one step shop for Aussie educators to find a whole host of Australian based education podcasts all in on place. Check out for more info.

Links mentioned during the interview

ERRR #010. Catherine Scott on Meta-memory and More

Listen to all past episodes of the ERRR podcast here.

Catherine taught art and technics in high schools and primary school before training as a school psychologist. She went on to complete a phd in psychology at Macquarie University and has taught psychology and research methods to a variety of students at the under graduate and graduate levels, including those studying teaching, clinical psychology, nursing, school counselling, physiotherapy, speech and occupational therapy. She has taught in several Australian universities and overseas. Catherine was state president of the Victorian branch of the Australian College of Educators and served as chair of the ACE national council and member of the ACE Board. She is a registered psychologist.

Catherine nominated two articles to form the basis for this ERRR discussion. The first is entitled Meta-memory and Successful Learning, and the second is the chapter on memory from Catherine’s excellent book, Learn to Teach, Teach to Learn. Catherine is a generalist and, as such, the discussion in this podcast is very wide ranging touching on numerous topics from memory, to mindfulness, to such questions as what is meant by ‘questioning for understanding’ as well as ‘what exactly is ‘Depth’ in learning?’

Links mentioned during the interview

ERRR #009. Andrew Martin, Load Reduction Instruction, Motivation and Engagement

Listen to all past episodes of the ERRR podcast here.

Our guest this month is Professor Andrew Martin. Andrew, is Scientia Professor, Professor of Educational Psychology, and Co-Chair of the Educational Psychology Research Group in the School of Education at the University of New South Wales. Andrew specialises in motivation, engagement, achievement, and quantitative research methods. He is also Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Education at the University of Oxford, Honorary Professor in the School of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney, Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and the list goes on.

Although the bulk of his research focuses on motivation, engagement, and achievement, Andrew is also published in important cognate areas such as Aboriginal/Indigenous education, gifted and talented, academic resilience and academic buoyancy, adaptability, personal bests, pedagogy, parenting, and teacher-student relationships.

Andrew’s research also bridges other disciplines through assessing motivation and engagement in sport, music, and work. Based on sole and first authorships, Andrew placed 1st in the most recent International Rankings of the Most Published Educational Psychologists. He has written over 250 peer reviewed journal articles, chapters, and papers in published conference proceedings, 3 books for parents and teachers (published in 5 languages), and more!

Andrew has been listed in The Bulletin magazine’s ‘SMART 100 Australians’ and was one of only three academics judged to be in the Top 10 in the field of Education in Australia. His PhD was judged the Most Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in Educational Psychology by Division 15 of the APA and also judged the Most Outstanding PhD in Education in Australia by the Australian Association for Research in Education.

Andrew really knows how to make an impact and it’s an inspiring story that we hear, in this episode, about how he went from a less-than academically focussed teenage boy, to the current heights of his academic career.

The paper that Andrew nominated for this episode of the ERRR was entitled ‘Using Load Reduction Instruction (LRI) to boost motivation and engagement’. The central concept of this paper, Load Reduction Instruction, based upon Cognitive Load Theory, offers a basis for critiquing different instructional approaches and helps us to move beyond simplistic comparisons of ‘traditional’ vs. ‘progressive’, or ’didactic’ vs. ‘diologic’ teaching techniques. The LRI approach enables both direct and guided discovery approaches to be considered effective, and provides a structured framework for determining ‘under what conditions each approach is most suitable. It’s a cracker of an episode and covers some of the topics that have most powerfully shaped my own teaching journey to date.

Links mentioned during the interview

  • Exciting as yet unpublished report linking LRI with Motivation and Engagement. It’s… as yet unpublished! But I believe the title (once out) will be: The Load Reduction Instruction Scale (LRIS): Examining Psychometric Properties among High School Students
  • Robert Slavin and the What Works Clearing House (See also ‘Evidence for ESSA‘)

ERRR #008. Tom Brunzell, Trauma Informed Positive Education and U.S/Aus Education

Listen to all past episodes of the ERRR podcast here.

This month our guest is Tom Brunzell. Tom began his career in education as a Teach for America (TFA) corps member at NYC P.S. #28 in the Bronx. Tom co-founded KIPP Infinity Charter School as Dean of Students and literacy teacher. He worked with students and their families; supervised teachers through classroom observation and curriculum feedback; supervised KIPP’s guidance staff of social workers and counselors–eventually serving as chair for all KIPP NYC’s social worker development group. Additionally, he was team leader in the University of Pennsylvania/KIPP/Riverdale Country School three-year partnership to develop character education and the Character Report Card with Dr Martin Seligman and Dr Angela Duckworth.

He now serves as Senior Advisor, Teaching and Learning, for Berry Street Childhood Institute, working with school leaders, teachers, and their regions in the areas of school culture and curriculum development.

He received his bachelor degree (B.A.) from Yale University, then a teaching masters degree (M.S.T.) from Pace University and a school leadership masters degree (Ed.M.) from the Bank Street School of Education. Tom presents internationally on topics of transforming school cultures, high expectations for differentiated instruction, trauma-informed practice, wellbeing and the application of positive psychology, and effective school leadership. He is also a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne Graduate School of Education, Centre for Positive Psychology and Youth Research Centre, studying trauma-informed pedagogy, positive psychology, and their impacts on workplace meaning.

This month our article is: Trauma-Informed Positive Education: Using Positive Psychology to Strengthen Vulnerable Students . This paper explores the role of a positive education paradigm in mainstream and specialist classrooms for students who have experienced complex trauma resulting from abuse, neglect, violence, or being witness to violence. Applying a strengths-based trauma-informed positive education (TIPE) approach, Tom and colleagues propose three domains of learning needed for trauma- affected students: repairing regulatory abilities, repairing disrupted attachment, and increasing psychological resources. Readers will be fascinated to hear how the TIPE model fundamentally expands the possibilities of trauma- informed teaching and learning by maintaining rigorous attention toward the healing of developmental deficits, while simultaneously providing pathways toward psychological growth.

Links mentioned during the interview

ERRR Podcast #007. James Mannion and Learning to Learn

Listen to all past episodes of the ERRR podcast here.

In this episode we spoke to James Mannion.

James qualified as a Teacher of Science in 2006. He holds an MA in Person-Centred Education from the University of Sussex, and is currently a final year PhD student at the University of Cambridge. James’s doctoral study is a 5-year evaluation of Learning Skills, a new approach to Learning to Learn which led to significant gains in subject learning, especially among young people from disadvantaged backgrounds (see Mannion & Mercer, 2016). Learning Skills is a complex intervention, whereby several strands of effective practice are used in combination. This idea also forms the basis of the Rethinking Education approach to school improvement. James is an Associate of the UCL Institute of Education, and currently works with schools throughout London and the South-East to help develop evidence-informed practices such as practitioner enquiry and lesson study. James is a passionate advocate of practitioner enquiry as a basis for professional development, and he regularly presents at educational conferences on this subject. He is a founding member of Oracy Cambridge, a think tank dedicated to promoting effective speaking and listening skills in schools and the wider society. You can contact James at, or via @rethinking_ed.

James’ nominated paper was Learning to learn: improving attainment, closing the gap at Key Stage 3. This article details how James lead a whole-school ‘Learning to Learn’ approach in his school in the South of England. Operating over three years with one cohort of students as they moved from years 7-9. Despite reducing the amount of time spent by the participating students on their usual subjects, these students actually performed better in comparison to a matched control group in core subjects such as mathematics and English. This is a fascinating intervention, using approaches such as teaching Philosophy to help students to learn to better think, and learn, with reported benefits across a broad range of subjects.

Attendees may also like to read James’ recent blog post which briefly outlines the project from a more personal perspective.

Links mentioned in the podcast:

Links mentioned during the interview


ERRR Podcast #006. Jennifer Stephenson and Instructional Decision Making of Teacher Education Students

Listen to all past episodes of the ERRR podcast here.

In this episode we spoke to Jennifer Stephenson.

Jennifer is an honorary research fellow and associate professor at Macquarie University. She has a background in teaching students with severe disabilities and over 20 years experience in preparing special educators. Her research interests include the use of effective and ineffective practices in special education, augmentative and alterative communication for students with severe disabilities, students with autism spectrum disorder, challenging behaviour, and the use of iPads with children with disability. She has published over 80 refereed journal articles and book chapters.

Jennifer’s paper that we read was entitled ‘Factors in Instructional Decision-Making, Ratings of Evidence and Intended Instructional Practices of Australian Final Year Teacher Education Students’. This article details Jennifer’s survey with 290 pre-service teachers in their final year of teacher training. The survey aimed to discover how well these PSTs were able to distinguish between evidence based and non-evidence based instructional practices, and to determine which sources of information, and which experiences most influenced the practices that these PSTs planned to adopt in the classroom. This paper prompted a really interesting discussion, and even a little instructional practices quiz that was held for the attendees of the ERRR.

Jennifer’s nominated article was:  Factors in Instructional Decision-Making, Ratings of Evidence and Intended Instructional Practices of Australian Final Year Teacher Education Students. This article details Jennifer’s survey with 290 pre-service teachers in their final year of teacher training. The survey had two broad goals: 1. To discover how well these PSTs were able to distinguish between evidence based and non-evidence based instructional practices (From learning styles instruction to direct instruction), 2. To determine which sources of information, and which experiences most influenced the practices that these PSTs planned to adopt in the classroom (from experiences during placement to journal articles). This article will no doubt lead prompt a lively discussion on the role of evidence-based practices in the classroom, as well as various strengths and weaknesses of current teacher training programs throughout Australia.

Links mentioned in the podcast:

Links mentioned during the interview

Links Mentioned in the Intro (Thanks to Max Lenoy for providing links)

ERRR Podcast #005. Pamela Snow, Phonics + How can we get the real story from students?

Listen to all past episodes of the ERRR podcast here.

In this episode of the Education Research Reading Room we were lucky enough to have as our guest Professor Pamela Snow.

Pamela is a registered psychologist, having qualified originally in speech pathology. Her research has been funded by nationally competitive schemes such as the ARC Discovery Program, ARC Linkage Program, and the Criminology Research Council, and spans various aspects of risk in childhood and adolescence, in particular:

-the oral language skills of high-risk young people (youth offenders and those in the state care system), and the role of oral language competence as an academic and mental health protective factor in childhood and adolescence;
-applying evidence in the language-to-literacy transition in the early years of school;
-linguistic aspects of investigative interviewing with children / adolescents as witnesses, suspects, victims in criminal investigations;

Pamela has taught a wide range of undergraduate health professionals, and also has experience in postgraduate teacher education. She has research links with the education, welfare and justice sectors, and her research has been published in a wide range of international journals. She is frequently called upon to address education, health, welfare, and forensic audiences.

Pamela’s Twitter handle is @PamelaSnow2 and her blog The Snow Report can be found at

This month we have two articles from Pamela. Guidelines for teachers to elicit detailed and accurate narrative accounts from children and The way we teach most children to read sets them up to fail. The first article is a truly gripping piece on how to talk to students in a way that makes them feel comfortable and willing to share what’s happening at home (when appropriate) or what happened following an incident at school. The second article is a concise and valuable overview of the current landscape of effective literacy instruction.

Links mentioned in the podcast:

Links from the intro/outro.

Links from the body of the interview.

ERRR Podcast #004. Paul Weldon, Teacher Supply and Demand, and Out of Field Teaching

Listen to all past episodes of the ERRR podcast here.

Paul Weldon  is a Senior Research Fellow with the Australian Council for Educational Research. He works on multiple different educational research programs and is commonly involved in program evaluation and the design, delivery and analysis of surveys. Through his work on the Staff in Australia’s Schools (SiAS) surveys in 2010 and 2013, Paul developed a particular interest in the teacher workforce. He was the lead writer of the most recent Victorian Teacher Supply and Demand Report, and led the recent AEU Victoria workload survey.

In this episode we talk to Paul about his two papers, The Teacher workforce in Australia: Supply, demand and data issues and Out-of-field teaching in Australian secondary schools. This episode’s discussion includes an in-depth examination of the ’30% of teachers leave with in the first 3 years and 50% within the first 5’ that’s often quoted in relation to retention of early career teachers, the landscape of teacher supply and demand out to 2020, as well as what the distribution of out of field teaching in Australia says about how we value our out of field teachers.

Links mentioned in the podcast:


Australian Policy Online. ‘a research database and alert service providing free access to full text research reports and papers, statistics and other resources essential for public policy development and implementation in Australia, New Zealand and beyond.’.