Our experienced staff are dedicated to providing a high quality learning experience

Many staff in the School of Education and Professional Studies are recognised nationally and internationally as leaders in their fields with a range of teaching awards and research grants reflecting their strengths.

The academic staff bring a rich range of experiences from diverse locations and contexts in schools, industry, business and community organisations, providing a kaleidoscope of experiences for students to engage with. Many have worked in universities outside of Australia and the school has active links with leading universities nationally and internationally, helping to provide students a genuine sense of global connectedness.

Executive Staff

Professor Donna Pendergast

Head and Dean of School

Professor Donna Pendergast is Dean and Head, School of Education and Professional Studies. Donna has an international profile in the field of teacher education, particularly in the Junior Secondary years of schooling, which focuses on the unique challenges of teaching and learning in the early adolescent years.

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Associate Professor David Geelan

Deputy Head of School (Academic)

Associate Professor David Geelan research interests include teacher explanations in science education, interactive simulations in science education, narrative and mixed research methodologies, physics education and chemistry education.

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Professor Leonie Rowan

Deputy Head of School (Research)

Professor Leonie Rowan has made an extensive practice and scholarly contribution to developing our “teachers of the future”. She has been particularly influential in developing transformative strategies to facilitate quality educational outcomes for diverse learners. In 2014, Professor Leonie Rowan, was a recipient of a Teaching Excellence Award.

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Beryl Exley

Professor Beryl Exley

Deputy Head of School (Learning and Teaching)

"For me, literacy teaching and learning is a social justice issue. Students’ access to literacy implicates their life choices and thus their life chances. Teachers need to be well resourced with content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge so that they are well placed to bring out the best in their students."

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Jeanne Allen

Associate Professor Jeanne Allen

Coordinator, Higher Degree Research

Jeanne Allen is an Associate Professor of Teacher Education at Griffith University. She has worked in tertiary education since 2005 after an extensive career in secondary teaching and school leadership. Her research expertise is in teacher education, standardised educational contexts, teacher identity, and student engagement and retention.

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Associate Professor Judith Kearney

Coordinator, Community Partnerships

Judith’s research interests focus on literacy pedagogy and the effects of cultural and linguistic diversity on teaching practice. She is particularly interested in social inclusion issues and community development and is working with community organisations such a Voice of Samoan People (VOSP) to enhance educational opportunities for its members.

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Dr Kay Hartwig

Coordinator, Internationalisation

Dr Kay Hartwig is a Senior Lecturer in music and music education. She has had experience in teaching music from preschool through to year 12 students in the school sector, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate in the tertiary section. Kay is currently responsible for the development and implementation of school-wide strategies and processes in the area of internationalisation.

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Dr Mia O'Brien

Coordinator, Teacher Education and Professional Practice

Dr Mia O'Brien is a senior lecturer in the School of Education and Professional studies and is currently the Coordinator of Initial Teacher Education and Professional Experience. Her areas of specialisation are pedagogy, professional learning and the application of positive psychologies to school and classroom contexts.

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