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About me

I am a primary school assistant principal and sessional  lecturer in the Department of Education, Faculty of Health, Arts and Design at Swinburne University of Technology.  My research interests are diverse and include the fields of Australian children’s literature and literacies in primary years education, STEM education and inclusive and differentiated curriculum. I have taught children at all levels, pre-school to secondary, as well as the specialist areas of physical education, art and information technology in various educational settings. I am currently teaching 'Ready to Teach' for 4th year pre-service teachers and mentoring graduate teachers in my current school.

 My PhD research examined the establishment of distinctive Australian environs in the fairy tales, philosophical essays and children’s songs of Olga Ernst (1888–1972). Applying a new historicist methodology to deconstruct the sociological and historical orientation of Ernst’s texts the interplay between social, political and cultural forces and her construct of national identity through landscape in her stories was demonstrated. The close analysis of Ernst’s works allowed a focus on the fashioning of her stories to reflect the cultural context of her early life, and a later shaping through education to create an Australian identity grounded in the environment. 

I have presented aspects of my doctoral research findings at the AFTS Conferences in 2015, 2016 and 2018 and pre-completion findings at Kassel University, Germany in 2010.  In November 2018 I will be presenting my research at the Sussex Folklore Society Centre
at the University of Chichester, UK.


Popular posts from this blog

Australian Fairy Tale Conference 2018: Gardens of Good and Evil

A garden always has a point. ―  Elizabeth Hoyt (The Raven Prince)  The garden influences the type of fairy tales, folk tales, myths that are seeded in it.

What is the point of the garden, the bush, the landscape in folktales? With my colleagues, and friends, Christine, Phillippa we took our audience down a wonderland ‘rabbit hole’ as we explored the impact of transplanting traditional tales into new natural environments: the garden, the bush, the island. With the aid of illustrations we presented a dialogue (trialogue?) that challenged and questioned if, how and why, various natural settings have impacted on the mannerisms, behaviours and appearance of characters in retold/ adapted fairy tales and mythologies.  ·What is an ‘authentic' fairy garden? ·Does the oral tradition of fairy tale gardens and forests preclude all other variations? ·How do socio-cultural factors impact on the portrayal of the natural setting?
Reilly McCarron's definition of fairy tales is a worthy starting poin…

Special Fairy Tale issue of TEXT, an open-access online journal

Congratulations to editors Rebecca-Anne Do Rozario, Nike Sulway and Belinda Calderone. 
I appreciate their editorial expertise.
Into the Bush: Australasian Fairy Tales is an intriguing and enchanting read for those researchers and lovers of fairy tales. Robyn Floyd: Fairies in the bush: The emergence of a national identity in Australian fairy tales

Interpretation of text by the illustrator: contradictory positioning

Illustrations of Ernst’s assertive female characters by Dorothy Ashley do not offer the same perspective. Fang (1996) suggested that “whether intended or not, illustrations sometimes tell a slightly different or even contradictory story than the text” (p. 134). Many of the illustrations in Fairy tales from the land of the wattle by Ashley exemplify female figures in maternal, spiritual, or nurturing roles.Suggesting that illustrations are also cultural symbols that transmit meaning as effectively as written symbols, Meganck (2010) researched the portrayal of female images in children’s literature between 2000 and 2010 and applied the categories devised by Goffman (1978) in his analysis of non-verbal images of women in advertising to her study of picture book illustrations. These categories included relative size (in relation to the male), the feminine touch (caressing, nurturing), ranking and subordination.  This suggests that the illustration may communicate more about the artist and …