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Talking Teachers

Animation: Jake Duczynski from Studio Gilay / Original artwork ‘Blood On His Hands, Cleansed By Salt Water’ by Aunty Loretta Ethel Parsley, commissioned by Impact Studios

Talking Teachers

The series

Don & Jane are members of the Life-wide Learning and Education Research Group in the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences at the University of Technology Sydney. They have spent decades involved with education in schools as classroom teachers, head teachers, policy advisors, curriculum experts, course developers, partners in school-based research studies and the advancement of undergraduate and postgraduate teachers including inservice teacher professional learning.

Hosts: Dr Don Carter & Associate Professor Jane Hunter

Producer: William Verity

Podcast playlist


The State of Play in Schools and Union Solutions with Correna Haythorpe

March 22 · 21 MIN

Correna became Federal President of the Australian Education Union in February 2015. She has spent 17 years teaching in public primary schools. As President of the AEU, she led the union through a long-running industrial dispute with the SA Government as well as organising the “I Give a Gonski” and “Stop TAFE Cuts” campaigns. She has extensive experience and understanding of social justice issues, with a particular interest in students and their families from disadvantaged areas.


Show Notes

AEU Submission No 112 Upper House inquiry into teacher shortages in NSW.

Carter, D. (2020). Three reasons why year 12 should go back to school immediately. Sydney Morning Herald.

NSWTF. (2021). Valuing the Teaching Profession.

NSWTF. (2019). Impact of Enrolment Growth on Demand for Teachers.


Indigenous teachers in schools

September 05 · 22 MIN

Randall Mumbulla is a final year teacher education student in the Bachelor of Education (Primary) Program at the University of Technology Sydney. Randall was also one of the winners of the recent ‘If I was Prime Minister’ essay competition, run by the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF) with the award being presented to him by the Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese.


In this second episode of Talking Teachers, we speak with Randall about this award and his experiences as an Indigenous teacher education student.


Show notes

Lorenza, L., Carter, D., Baguley, M., de Bruin, L., Levido, A., Meiners, J., Zouwer, N.,Booth, E., & Stanton, L. (2023). Stage 1 Initial Findings Report for the Emerging Priorities Program. An examination of primary teacher, student and parent experiences of arts learning online during COVID-19 lockdown. CQUniversity.


Lowe, K., & Galstaun, V. (2020). Ethical challenges: the possibility of authentic teaching encounters with indigenous cross-curriculum content?. Curriculum Perspectives40, 93–98.


Moodie, N. (2019). Learning about knowledge: threshold concepts for Indigenous studies in education. The Australian Educational Researcher. 46, 735–749.


Thomson, A. (12 December 2022). Indigenous voices: why we urgently need windows and mirrors, EduResearch Matters blog,


Schools and the Australian Media with Jacqueline Maley

March 22 · 23 MIN

Jacqueline is a senior writer and regular columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers. In this fifth episode we ask about her own unique writing processes which are not necessarily ‘scientific’ but driven from the news cycle and topics that she might be discussing with friends, family and current events.


Show Notes

Gore, J. & Mockler, N. (23 June 2022). Teachers the fall guys for a failing system. SMH

Hayes, D. (25 July 2022). Here’s what a brave education minister could do right away to fix the horrific teacher shortage. EduResearch Matters

Mockler, N. (2022). Constructing teacher identities: How the print media define and represent teachers and their work. London: Bloomsbury.


A former Director General looks back to look forward

September 05 · 33 MIN

Dr Ken Boston began his professional career as a university lecturer, after being awarded his PhD in Earth Sciences. He then went into the education bureaucracy to go on to a distinguished career in Australian and international education. Dr Boston is a former Director-General of Education in South Australia and New South Wales, a former Director-General, Education and Training and Managing Director, TAFE NSW and former CEO of Britain’s Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. He was also a Gonski school funding reforms panellist.


Show notes


ABC Radio National interview with Dr Boston on 6th June 2023


Boston, K. (September, 2016). What Gonski really meant, and how that’s been forgotten almost everywhere. Inside Story. What Gonski really meant, and how that’s been forgotten almost everywhere 


Boston, K. (February, 2017). Gonksi at five. Vision or hallucination. Inside Story. Gonski at five: vision or hallucination? 


Hare, J. (May 2022) Gonski has been politicised, bastardised and cherry-picked: Ken Boston



School Funding and the Teacher Shortage with Chris Bonnor

March 22 · 25 MIN

Chris is an education commentator and former school principal. He is a longtime campaigner for public education and his recent publications both in books and online opinion pieces in national publications focus on equity and funding. He is not hopeful about where education in Australia is at, he says: “It’s in the too hard basket. We have left so many things undone, for example, we haven’t solved the problem of equity – private providers undermine equity – it’s a system at war with itself. Deep structural reform is needed.”


Show Notes

Bonnor, C. (13 August 2022). Solve school crisis by funding most in need. SMH

Bonnor, C. (21 September 2022). We couldn’t have built a less fair system if we tried. SMH

Eacott, S. (22 September 2022). What we must do now to rescue Australian schools. AARE EduResearch Matters

Greenwell, T. & Bonnor, C. (2022). Waiting for Gonski: How Australia failed its schools. Sydney: UNSW Press.


Exceptional teachers for disadvantaged schools

September 05 · 27 MIN

Jo Lampert is a Professor of Social Inclusion and Teacher Education and Director of the Commonwealth and State supported NEXUS alternative pathway into teaching. NEXUS is a community-engaged teacher education program designed to prepare culturally diverse, high-quality teachers for metropolitan, regional, and rural secondary schools in Victoria, many of which are hard-to-staff. Jo was founder and co-director of the National Exceptional Teacher for Disadvantaged Schools (NETDS) program for ten years prior to moving to La Trobe University in 2017 – where over the past 5 years she developed NEXUS. In 2022 she took up a professorial role in teacher education for social transformation at Monash University.


Over the past twenty-five years, Professor Lampert’s internationally recognised research has included Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education, teacher education for high poverty schools and community-engagement in teacher education. She has been CI on many Australian Research Council grants including a current Indigenous Discovery on co-design and educational policy. She has research collaborations in Canada, the US, the UK, Hong Kong, Spain, and Brazil and is Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Teacher Education. With a background in literary studies Professor Lampert is known for her research in children’s books about September 11, 2001. She tweets @jolampert


Show notes

Kettle, M., Burnett B., & Lampert, J (2022).  Conceptualising Early Career Teachers’ Agency and Accounts of Social Action in Disadvantaged Schools, Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 47(8):1-17.


Lampert, J. (11 August 2022). Why that one tweet went viral (and what we must do now to fix “teacher shortages”) EduResearch Matters blog,


Lampert, J., Mcpherson, A., & Burnett, B. (1 May 2023). Teacher shortages: Is teaching family-friendly now? EduResearch Matters blog,


Shay, M., Sarra., & Lampert, J. (2023). Indigenous education policy, practice and research: unravelling the tangled web, Australian Educational Researcher, 50(1):73-88


Teacher Education and the Teacher Shortage with Emeritus Professor Alan Reid

March 22 · 26 MIN

Alan is one of Australia’s leading education research scholars. In this third episode we talk to him about the damaging effects of neo-liberalism on education and why policy in Australian education is taking us backwards.


Show Notes

Hunter, J. (16 August 2022). Teacher shortages and the ‘crisis’ in rural and remote schools, incentives and what needs to change. Interview on ABC radio

MCERA webinar (26 August 2022): The underlying and overlooked aspects of the teacher crisis. Webinar link

Reid, A. (2019). Changing Australian education: How policy is taking us backwards and what can be done about it. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin.

Varadharajan, M., Carter, D. & Buchanan, J. (2021). Career change student teachers: lessons learnt from their in-school experiences. The Australian Educational Researcher, 48:107–124.


New teacher perspective

September 05 · 34 MIN

Gabrielle Zolezzi is a classroom teacher with experience working in both the public and private sectors of education. In her first six years of teaching, she has moved between full-time classroom teacher roles to positions on her school executive, shaping her holistic view and understanding of our education systems. Gabrielle has led, designed, and implemented whole-school programs focused on encouraging agile thinking and 21st century skill development and is the current recipient of a grant to research further into this area.

Show notes

Beames, J. R., Christensen, H., & Werner-Seidler, A. (2021). School teachers: the forgotten frontline workers of Covid-19. Australasian Psychiatry29(4), 420-422.

Dabrowski, A. (2020). Teacher wellbeing during a pandemic: Surviving or thriving? Social Education Research, 2, 35-40, 10.37256/ser.212021588


Heffernan, A., Longmuir, F., Bright, D., & Kim, M. (2019). Perceptions of teachers and teaching in Australia. Monash University. Monash University.


Hunter, J. (2021). High Possibility Classrooms: Integrated STEM learning in research and practice. New York: Routledge.


Keller-Schneider, M., Zhong, H. F., & Yeung, A. S. (2020). Competence and challenge in professional development: teacher perceptions at different stages of career. Journal of Education for Teaching46(1), 36-54.


Morrison, A., Rigney, L. I., Hattam, R., & Diplock, A. (2019). Toward an Australian culturally responsive pedagogy: A narrative review of the literature. University of South Australia.


Voice from the classroom with Julie Moon

March 22 · 28 MIN

Julie is a recently retired classroom teacher, union member, and advocate for public education. We speak about her many decades of classroom experience and what she believes early career teachers require to be the best they can possibly be.

Show Notes

Burke, P., & Buchanan, J. (2022). What attracts teachers to rural and remote schools? Incentivizing teachers’ employment choices in NSW. Australian Journal of Education, 62(2), 115-139.

Carter, D., & Buchanan, J. (2022). Implementing the general capabilities in New South Wales government primary schools. Curriculum Perspectives. 42(1).

Erkert, G. (2022). PhD thesis. UTS The roles and positioning of non-English speaking background overseas-trained teachers in the Australian public school system.

Heggart, K., & Flowers, R. (2019). Justice-Oriented, “Thick” Approaches to Civics and Citizenship Education in Australia: Examples of Practice. In: Peterson, A., Stahl, G., Soong, H. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Citizenship and Education. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Lorenza, L. & Carter, D. (2021). Emergency online teaching during COVID-19: A case study of Australian tertiary students in teacher education and creative arts. International Journal of Educational Research.



Power and education with Professor Adrian Piccoli

March 22 · 29 MIN

Adrian is a former NSW Minister of Education, and previous director of the Gonski Institute at UNSW. In this episode, Adrian responds to our questions on who holds power in education, how does it relate to the current teacher shortage and what are the major ‘roadblocks’ to progressing different agendas forward in schools, the broader community and in teacher education in universities.


Show Notes

Carter, D. (2017). ‘I’m scared of NAPLAN’: The consequence of a reductive view of education. Sydney Morning Herald.

Carter, D. & Piccoli, A. (forthcoming). Who Holds the Power in Australian Education? An Insiders’ Account of How Decisions Are Made, Who Makes Them and Where Students Fit. Taylor & Francis.

Hunter, J., Yasukawa, K., Kearney, M., Eckert, G., Heggart, K., Carter, D., Bates, K., Maher, D., & Patterson, C. (29 July 2022). Submission No 123 Upper House Inquiry into teacher shortages in NSW, UTS: FASS, pp 1-12.

Palmer, T-A. (21 September 2022). I’d just like to get on with my job. The barriers facing Science teachers in Australia. The Conversation.

Wilson, R. (9 July 2022). New research shows NSW teachers working long hours to cope with the administrative load. The Conversation.

Wilson, R. & Piccoli, A. (2021). Putting students first: Moving on from NAPLAN to a new assessment system. UNSW.


Teacher expertise

September 05 · 31 MIN

Associate Professor Jessica Gerard works at the Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne where she researches the changing formations, and lived experience, of social inequalities in relation to education, activism, work, and unemployment.


Jessica holds two ARC Discovery projects on an investigation of the shifting practices of public schooling, school governance and parental citizenship in disadvantaged contexts and in the second project is on community activism and education policy reforms across Australia in the 1970s and 1980s (with colleagues Proctor and Goodwin). She is the co-author of several books including Learning Whiteness, Class in Australia Migrations, Borders, and Education: International Sociological Inquiries. She is a member of the Social Transformations and Education Research hub. She tweets at @Jess_Gerrard


Dr. Jessica Holloway is Senior Research Fellow and Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow within the Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education at Australian Catholic University, Brisbane Campus. Her first academic position was as an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at Kansas State University (USA). In 2016, she relocated to Melbourne to pursue a research-intensive postdoctoral fellowship within the Research for Educational Impact (REDI) Centre at Deakin University, where she conducted work on the relationship between accountability and educational leadership. 


Her current project (funded 2019-2022), ‘The Role of Teacher Expertise, Authority and Professionalism in Education’ investigates the role of education in modern democratic societies, with a particular focus on teachers and teacher expertise. She tweets @JessLHolloway


Gerard, J. & Holloway, J. (2023). Expertise. Bloomsbury.


In their new co-authored book Expertise published by Bloomsbury (2023), Gerard & Holloway explore how expertise is socially constructed in relation to governance, uses of data and evidence, understandings of ignorance and the unknown, and – ultimately – power. Using contemporary and historical examples from international contexts, the authors address the political positioning of expertise and how this creates boundaries between who is an expert and who is not, and what is (and is not) expertise. Gerard & Holloway argue that ongoing policy debates about teacher expertise cannot be resolved by neutral definitions of ‘good teaching’. Rather, expertise is unavoidably political in its expression.


Gerrard, J. & Watson, J. (2023). The Productivity of Unemployment and the Temporality of Employment-to-Come: Older Disadvantaged Job Seekers. SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH ONLINE, 28(1), pp. 21-36. doi:10.1177/13607804211009534


Hogan, A., Gerrard, J. & Di Gregorio, E. (2023). Philanthropy, marketing disadvantage and the enterprising public school. The Australian Educational Researcher. 50, 763–780.


Holloway, J. (2021). Metrics, Standards and Alignment in Teacher Policy Critiquing Fundamentalism and Imagining Pluralism. Springer Nature. 


Holloway, J. & Louise Larsen Hedegaard, M. (2023). Democracy and teachers: the im/possibilities for pluralisation in evidence-based practice, Journal of Education Policy, 38(3), 432-451, DOI: 10.1080/02680939.2021.2014571


Marom, L. (2019). Under the cloak of professionalism: covert racism in teacher education. Race Ethnicity and Education, 22(3), 319-337, DOI: 10.1080/13613324.2018.1468748


Smith, W.C., Holloway, J. (2020). School testing culture and teacher satisfaction. Educational Assessment Evaluation and Accountability, 32, 461–479.


Sripraakash, A., Rudolph, S. & Gerard, J. (2022). Learning Whiteness: Education and the Settler Colonial State. Pluto Press.

Creative Team