Inclusive education innovator awarded

Flinders University Education graduate, Associate Professor Kerry Bissaker’s award-winning research in education leadership is having an international impact.

Associate Professor Kerry Bissaker (BSpecEd ’89, PhD(EHLT) ’10) worked as a classroom teacher and special education consultant for over ten years, before joining Flinders University’s College of Education, Psychology and Social Work in 1997.

Promoting the educational rights, social justice and inclusivity for all children and young people, her research highlights the importance of leadership in generating inclusive schools and informing current practices and education policy.

“The focus of my research is on effective learning processes for both students and teachers, in particular the role of teachers’ professional learning to develop schools as dynamic learning organisations,” says Associate Professor Bissaker.

This interest in teachers’ professional learning has resulted in extensive work with the Australian Government Quality Teacher Project in both South Australia and the Northern Territory. Her doctoral research with the staff of the innovative Australian Science and Mathematics School generated a model of professional learning – which has since been used as a tool in other schools.

Associate Professor Bissaker has held a range of international leadership positions, with a particular focus on inclusive education in developing countries. Her work in Asia has resulted in two Australia Award Fellowships and partnerships with universities, institutes and non-government agencies in Singapore, China, Indonesia and Nepal.

In 2006 she won a Carrick Institute for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning. At the 2021 Australian Council of Educational Leaders (SA Branch) Awards at Government House, Associate Professor Bissaker’s work in inclusive education was recognised with an award for her Distinguished Contribution to Research in Education Leadership. 

The impact of her research continues around the world – recently winning an Australian Government tender with colleagues, Dr Amy Hamilton and Dr Michael Bell, to support 25 Indonesian educational leaders to develop an innovative Indonesian school curriculum, with a specific focus on embedding 21st century learning skills.

Learn more about studying education at Flinders

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College of Education, Psychology and Social Work Education Higher Degree Research (PhD)

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