My research focuses on early adolescent teaching and learning, school reform and teacher professional learning
Professor Donna Pendergast is Dean and Head, School of Education and Professional Studies at Griffith University. 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. She has successfully completed competitive research tenders commissioned by state and federal authorities totalling more than $2.5 million over the last decade. In 2014 Donna led the Development and Delivery of Junior Secondary Professional Development Modules which was delivered to 600 primary teachers and 400 secondary teachers. In addition, she led a team that undertook the development and delivery of The Leading Change Development Project – Year 7 to Secondary, which involved developing capabilities in all school leadership teams in all public schools in Queensland responsible for delivering year 7 in 2015.
Donna has delivered more than 80 in-school professional learning sessions over the last decade, ranging in length from 1 hour to 2 days per session. She has delivered over 60 invited keynote addresses and more than 40 conference workshops.
A recent highlight includes:
Donna has worked in P-10, secondary and secondary colleges as a classroom teacher and administrator. Her academic career more recently included her appointment to lead and develop the first dedicated middle years teacher education program in Australia at the University of Queensland more than a decade ago. Since this time she has been a prominent player in the state and national agendas related to junior secondary reform in Australia. She developed a reform model for the middle years which was adapted and is currently employed by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority to transform practice in the early years.
Donna has conducted a number of national research projects of significance including “Beyond the Middle”, which investigated literacy and numeracy in middle schooling; and “Lifelong Learning and Middle Schooling”. She has completed an evaluation of the Education Queensland Virtual Schooling Service and is often employed as a consultant to review school reform initiatives. Donna has several books published of relevance to contemporary teacher work which include:
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