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When people ask me what I do, I tell them I advocate for young adolescents and try to help others catch the vision of middle schooling

Dr Katherine Main's current teaching areas are aligned to learning and teaching in junior secondary and the middle years of schooling (Years 6-9). Katherine has a strong passion for initial teacher education and helping to demystify young adolescents for preservice teachers. She was an integral member of the Griffith University team that delivered the "Leading Change" development program to all 258 state high school leadership teams in preparation for Year 7s moving into high school in 2015 and the formation of Junior Secondary programs. She also delivered the Junior Secondary Modules to almost 1000 teachers which were designed to upskill and prepare teachers to teach in junior secondary.

Dr Katherine Main

School of Education and Professional Studies

Lecturer in Middle Years and Junior Secondary Education

Fields of Expertise

  • Adolescent Development
  • Collaborative Teaching
  • Junior Secondary/Middle Schooling
  • School Reform and Culture
  • Teacher Efficacy

Speeches, Seminars and Presentations

Katherine has provided numerous presentations relating to her work and places a strong emphasis on targeted professional development. A highlight includes:

  • Adolescent Brain Development: Implications for quality teaching. 2014, Logan Queensland. This presentation/workshop explored two questions. 1. What is happening to the adolescent brain during this stage of development? and 2. How can teachers promote effort and motivation?

Industry Experience

  • Professional Memberships: Adolescent Success (formerly Middle Years of Schooling Association), Queensland College of Teachers, Australian Association for Research in Education, Australian Teacher Educators Association, Association for Middle Level Education (USA), American Educational Research Association (USA)
  • Advisory Roles:The Australian National Curriculum Stages of Schooling Panel (Middle Years), Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority's (QCAA) 7-10 Australian Curriculum Working Group
  • Board Memberships: Editor- Australian Jounral of Middle Schooling (refereed section), Co-convenor for the Middle Years Special Interest Group, Australian Association for Research in Education

Research Expertise

Katherine's research interests include organisational culture, middle school reform and the necessity of targeted professional development, how schools develop their culture through reform, and teacher efficacy including the collective efficacy of teacher teams. Current research focus is around young adolescents who are showing signs of disengagement from school and understanding how to best meet their needs within a mainstream classroom. Key publications include:

  • Reflecting on the effectiveness of continuing professional development to improve student learning: A middle years application

Year: 2015                                   Journal: Research in Middle Level Online

  • Teacher Self-efficacy and middle years teaching: An insight into a unique cohort of middle years educators

Year: 2013                                   Journal: Australian Journal of Middle Schooling

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