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Staff Profile

Dr Paul Gardner

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Senior Lecturer
Office of the Provost
Faculty of Humanities
Bentley Campus
08 9266 3933

Brief Summary

I currently hold a teaching and research post in the School of Education at Curtin University, where I teach literacy education. I have previously worked at De Montfort University, University of Northampton and the University of Bedfordshire. Before moving into the university sector I taught across the age range from lower primary to upper secondary/high school. I have also worked in a Reggio Emilia inspired early learning centre. In addtion, I coordinated a multicultural education service serving over 70 schools in the city of Milton Keynes (UK).

My specialist areas of scholarly work are in the field of literacy and identity, especillay writer identity and compositional processes. I also have expertise in process drama, children's literature and multicultural education.

I studied dramatic art and education at Bulmershe College, Reading University; Teaching English in Mutlicultural Schools, at Ealing College of Higher Education; undertook an MA (Ed) with the Open University (UK) specialising in langauge and literacy, gender and equality and educational management; and did a PhD in writer identity and the compositional process at the University of Bedfordshire, under the supervision of Professor Janice Wearmouth, which was examined by, Professor Teresa Cremin (OU) and Dr. Eve Bearne (Camb).             

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Memberships, Awards and Training

Member of the Western Australian Council of the Austrlian Literacy Educators Association (ALEA).

Member of the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA).

UKLA International Ambassador to Australia

Teaching Fellow: University of Bedfordshire 2012 -2014.

  • Tom Collins Poetry Award  2014 – shortlisted  
  • Curriculum Innovation and Development Award (2006) - developing the writing curriculum with undergraduate students – De Montfort University, England.
  • Curriculum Innovation and Development Award (2005) - developing literacy of the moving image in primary education – De Montfort University, England.

PhD Scribing the Writer: implications for the social construction of writer identity for paradigms of written composition - University of Bedfordshire, UK

MA (Ed). Open University, UK

Dip. RSA Teaching English in Mutlicultural Schools, Ealing College of Higher Education, UK.

Cert. Ed. Education and Dramatic Art, Bulmershe College of Education, Reading University, UK.      

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Employment History

Senior Lecturer: Teaching and Research - Literacy Education, Curtin University, Perth WA April 2016 -    

Educational Leader West Leederville School of Early Learning, WA August 2014 - March 2016

Senior Lecturer: Education Studies: , University of Bedordshire, UK (2012-2014)

Senior Lecturer: Primary English Strand Coordinator, University of Bedfordshire, UK (2006-2012). 

Senior Lecturer: Course Leader B.A. (Hons) Teaching and Learning, University of Northampton, UK (2002 - 2004).

Senior Lecturer: Professional Studies Strand Leader, De Montfort  University, UK (1997- 2002).

Year Team Leader Y5 - Bushfield Middle School, Milton Keynes, UK (1995 – 1997).

Area Co-ordinator for Multicultural Education.  Milton Keynes, UK (1987 – 1995)

Teacher of English -Mandeville County Secondary School, Aylesbury, UK (1981 - 1987).

Class Teacher Y7 - Broughton Middle School, Aylesbury, UK (1980 – 1981).

Community Arts Teacher. Moonshine Community Arts Workshop, Brent , UK (1979 – 1980).

Teacher of Drama, Broadoak Comprehensive School, Weston-Super-Mare, UK (1976 – 1979).







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Subject Expertise:

English, Literacy, Language and Literature, Drama English as an Additional Language, Multicultural Education.

Current courses: B.A. (Primary Education)

Previous courses: M.A. (Education)

                              B.Ed (Hons)(Primary Education)

                              B.A. (Hons)(Childhood Studies)

                              B.A. (Hons) (Teaching and Learning)


Gardner, P. (2011). The impact of mind – mapping and other strategies on reluctant writers. The Bedford Charity (Harpur Trust) Online at

Gardner, P. (2010). Creative English creative curriculum. Abingdon: Routledge.

Gardner, P. (2002). Strategies and resources for teaching and learning in inclusive classrooms. London: David Fulton.

Gardner, P. (2001). Teaching and learning in multicultural classrooms. London: David Fulton.

Grugeon, E. & Gardner, P. (2000). The art of story telling for teachers and pupils: Using storytelling to develop literacy. London: David Fulton.

Book Chapters

Gardner, P. (2007) Living and learning in multicultural communities. In  Zwozdiak-Myers, P. (Ed) Childhood and Youth Studies. Exeter: Learningmatters.

Refereed Journal Articles

Gardner, P. (2014) Who Am I? Compositions of the self: an autoethnographic, rhizotextual analysis of two poetic texts. English in Education. Vol 48(3) 230-249

Gardner, P. (2014) Becoming a Teacher of Writing: Primary student teachers reviewing their relationship with writing. English in Education. Vol 48 (2) 128-148

Gardner, P. (2013). In their own words: Reluctant writers and their writing at home and at school. English in Australia. Vol 48, (1). 2013

Watts, Z. & Gardner, P. (2013) Is systematic synthetic phonics enough?: Examining the benefit of intensive teaching of high frequency words (HFW) in a year one class. Education 3–13: International Journal of Primary, Elementary and Early Years Education, Vol. 41 No. 1 February 2013.

Gardner, P. (2012). Paradigms and pedagogy: Revisiting D’Arcy’s critique of the teaching and assessment of writing. English in Education, Vol 46 (2), pp135-153

Gardner, P. & Rix, C. (2012). Learning Trajectories of Primary Student Teachers: A Cross-cultural Comparison. Journal of Social Sciences. Vol 8 (2), pp135-142.

Gardner, P. (1998). Education and choice: Life histories of Asian women. Research in Education, No. 60 November.

Professional Journals

Gardner, P. (2001). Story across the curriculum: Using a timeless teaching tool. The Primary English Magazine. Vol 7 (1), October.

Gardner, P. (2000). Literacy, TV and video: New millennium, new texts. The Primary English Magazine, Vol 5 (4), April.

Gardner, P. (1998). Writing: Creative observation. The Primary English Magazine, Vol 4(2). Nov/Dec.

Gardner, P. (1998) Practical Aid to Recruitment. Times Educational Supplement. October 1998.

Gardner, P. Section 11: A Double Edged Sword. Times Educational Supplement. March, 1995.

Research Reports

  • The Recruitment of Minority Ethnic Students into Initial Teacher Education (ITE).( 2005 -2006 - An internal 31,000 word report for the School of Education at De Montfort University).
  • Life Histories of Five Asian Women (1995).
  • Education Management in a Period of Change (1994).
  • The Process of Writing in the Primary School (1993).
  • A Cross-Generational Study of Bilingualism (1988).

Conference Presentations:

Looking for the Bigger Things in Small Moments: International Conference of the United Kingdom Literacy Association: Bristol (July 2016).

Rhizotextual Approaches to Literacy: International Conference of the United Kingdom Literacy Association: Liverpool Hope University (July 2013). 

In Their Own Words: Reluctant Writers at Home and at School: International Conference of the

United Kingdom Literacy Association: Leicester University (July 2012).

Green Writing: Nature Deficit Disorder and Children’s Connectivity with the Natural Environment Through Literacy. 4th International Conference on Education, Economy and Society. Paris, France (July 2012)

The Teaching and Assessment of Writing: Revisiting D’Arcy’s Contrasting Paradigms. – Conference proceedings: International Conference of the United Kingdom Literacy Association: University of Chester (July 2011).

Comparative Life and Educational Trajectories of English and Malawian Primary Student Teachers – Conference proceedings: International Conference on Education: Samos, Greece (July 2011).

The Impact of Mind – mapping and Other Strategies on Reluctant Writers. Key-note Address. The Bedford Charity (Harpur Trust), Shuttleworth College, Bedfordshire. (February 2011).  

Student Teachers as Writers. International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Conference Arena, Liverpool (October 2010).

Teaching Writing. National Primary Strategies: Initial Teacher Education Literacy Co-ordinators Conference. Leeds (March 2010). 

Reluctant Writers in the Primary School. International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning [ISOTL]. Indiana State University, Bloomington, Indiana (October 2009).   

Identifying Reluctant Writers. British Education Research Association Conference [BERA]. Herroit-Watt University, Edinburgh (September 2008)

The Recruitment of Minority Ethnic Students in Teacher Education: British Education Research Association Conference [BERA]. Herroit-Watt University, Edinburgh (September 2008).

Other Publications:

Gardner, P. (2016) Creating a poem from nothing, in Tadpoles in the Torrens: Mile End, SA: Wakefield Press.

Gardner, P. (2014) Tiger Thoughts and Wild Words. Sharnbrook: Storymeadowbooks.*

Gardner, P. (2013) Echidna (poem). English in Australia, Vol 47 (3) 2013

Gardner, P. (2013) The Sapphires (poem). English in Australia, Vol 47 (3) 2013

Gardner, P. Mother’s Tales, Upstart**. Milton Keynes.

Gardner, P. My Father’s Hands. Forward Press.


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Research Interests

Current Research Projects:

Symbolic Stories - A Vygotskian Approach to Early Literacy Acquisition. This is a case investigation of of a class of 3 year old children and their edcuator as theyer literacy through stories and symbols. To date the research suggests young children are natural semioicians who easil develop an adept recognition of  letter symbols. Early evidence suggest this approach has an advantage over explicit teaching of atomised literacy skills becasue it allows children to develop language and literacy holistically.

The changing identiities of student teacher writers and the impact on the teaching of writing.


This study involves 15 Primary Education student teahcers as they develop their identites as writers. The students work alongside established writers and share their thinking about the writing process as part of a writing circle. Before embarking on classroom teaching each student writer will formulate a pedagogical statement about how they intend to teach writing. Subsequent self-evaluations will be used to analyse the opportunities and challenges to their plnas, as well as the impact on children's writing.

Writers on Writing.

Donald Graves famously said, ' only writers should teach writing.' However, research suggests that most teachers do not see themselves as writers. Furthermore, the writing component of national curricular are increasingly writen by non-experts. This research surveys established writers to identify what the writing curriculum might look like if they were involved in its formulation.

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Journal Articles (Research)

  • Gardner, P. D. 2017. "Worlds Apart: a comparative analysis of discourses of English in the curricula of England and Australia." English In Education 51 (2): 170-187.


Journal Articles (Research)

  • Gardner, P. D. 2014. "Becoming a teacher of writing: Primary student teachers reviewing their relationship with writing." English in Education 48 (2): 128-148.
  • Gardner, P. D. 2014. "Who Am I? Compositions of the self: an autoethnographic, rhizotextual analysis of two poetic texts." English in Education 48 (3): 230-249.


Journal Articles (Research)

  • Watts, Z., and P. D. Gardner. 2013. "Is systematic synthetic phonics enough?Examining the benefit of intensive teaching of high frequency words (HFW) in a year one class." Education 3-13 41 (1): 100-109.
  • Gardner, P. D. 2013. "Writing in Context: Reluctant Writers and Their Writing at Home and at School." English in Australia 48 (1): 71-81.


Journal Articles (Research)

  • Gardner, P. D., and C. Rix. 2012. "Learning Trajectories of Primary Student Teachers; a Cross-Cultural Comparison." Journal of Social Sciences 8 (2): 135-142.
  • Gardner, P. D. 2012. "Paradigms and Pedagogy: revisiting D’Arcy’s critique of the teaching and the assessment of writing." English in Education 46 (2): 135-153.
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Additional Information

Other Information

In addition to being an academic, I also write poetry and have had several pieces published in journals. I have been a guest poet at a number of venues and have been short-listed for the Tom Collins Poetry Award.


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