Dr Linda Willis

Lecturer

School of Education
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
l.willis@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 56868

Overview

Linda-Dianne (Linda) Willis is a Lecturer in Curriculum Studies in the School of Education at The University of Queensland (UQ). She currently teaches English Curriculum and Literacy courses in the Bachelor of Education (Primary) and Master of Teaching (Primary) programs. Her research interests include: parent and community engagement, inquiry curriculum, innovative pedagogies, preservice teacher education, and principal leadership. Linda uses design-based research together with innovative research methods such as cogenerative dialogues. She calls on sociological concepts to conceptualise how individuals develop and learn particularly in the context of learning communities. Using these concepts she considers how usually marginalised individuals such as parents in schools may or may not be enabled to play more participatory roles as co-educators in their child’s learning.

Linda’s current research (2016-2019), Principal leadership for parent-school-community engagement, is supported by the Queensland Department of Education’s Education Horizon Grant scheme in partnership with Parents and Citizens’ Associations Queensland. Other research projects (2018-2019) include, Parent engagement in inquiry curriculum, which is supported by UQ and partners, Griffith University and Brisbane and Townsville Catholic Education. From 2014 to 2017, Linda served as Director of UQ’s Master of Teaching (Primary) program. During this time she was also Co-Editor in Chief of the national journal, Practical Literacy: the early and primary years. In 2017, she received the Special Services Award from the Australian Literacy Educators’ Association (ALEA). Her current service roles include Chair, Education Sub-committee, 2021 ALEA National Conference.

Research Interests

  • Educational Partnerships
    Linda is particularly interested in ways to cultivate and sustain productive educational relationships such as among parents, teachers, school leaders, communities and universities. Her PhD research investigated coteaching and cogenerative dialoguing as an innovative educational approach to engage parents in formal schooling processes namely curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. Linda is currently using cogenerative dialogues to research how teachers can engage parents using an inquiry curriculum approach that includes social media. She is also using the principles of cogenerative dialoguing to investigate dialogic pedagogies with preservice teachers in university classrooms to probe whether and how these may contribute to their teacher development and potentially future teaching practice.

Research Impacts

Linda's PhD thesis was entitled, Parent-Teacher Engagement: A Coteaching and Cogenerative Dialoguing Approach (http://eprints.qut.edu.au/63306/). Using sociological concepts such as Bourdieu's notions of field, habitus and capital, Linda's research broke new ground in conceptualising parent-teacher connections, demonstrating the effectiveness of a coteaching approach for facilitating educational relationships. Her year-long case study showed how quality contact and relationships, mutually beneficial decision-making, and reconfigured traditional roles and responsibilities may be achieved. Linda's research highlighted multiple benefits of coteaching including increased student learning outcomes, heightened parental contribution to formal educational processes (curriculum, pedagogy and assessment), and enhanced teacher professionalism.

The research findings contribute to knowledge, theory, practice and methodology in education. The findings not only illuminate ways to address the challenges of implementing the Australian Curriculum but also provide direction for how educational stakeholders (e.g., students, parents, teachers, teacher-educators, researchers, public policy makers) may better connect to facilitate the goals of the Melbourne Declaration. Heightened effective participation among educational players is significant in contributing to improved educational outcomes for schools and the community, ultimately enhancing Australia's productivity, innovation and national wellbeing.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Queensland University of Technology
  • Diploma of Teaching, Mount Gravatt College of Advanced Education
  • Bachelor of Education, Brisbane College of Advanced Education

Publications

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Supervision

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Publications

Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Master Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision