Staff Profile

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Career Summary

Biography

Dr Sharon Cooper is a lecturer in Academic Development for the Centre for Teaching and Learning. She started work at The University of Newcastle as a research assistant in 1998, became a casual academic in 2003, and was appointed as a permanent academic staff member in 2005. Between 1996 and 2004, Sharon worked as a casual and temporary secondary mathematics teacher. Until 2011, she worked as a lecturer for the School of Education, where she developed expertise in coordination of large foundation courses, and the first year experience. Sharon became the Director of Student Experience for the School. Since 2011, for the Centre for Teaching and Learning, she has been working with academics in various ways to improve teaching and learning across the University.

Sharon’s primary research interest is in sociology of education, particularly the politics of Australian education. Her primary method of research is discourse analysis.

Qualifications

  • PhD, University of Newcastle, 31/10/2003
  • Master of Educational Studies, University of Newcastle, 16/09/1998
  • Bachelor of Education (Mathematics)(Hons), University of Newcastle, 17/04/1996

Research

Research keywords

  • First year in higher educaton
  • Politics of education
  • Sociology of education
  • Teaching in higher education

Research expertise

Teaching and Learning Project Grant ‘Establishing effective and sustainable links between enabling and undergraduate programs by examining the transition of ELFS students’ with Erica Southgate, Anna Bennett, Keryl Kavanagh, Rosalie Bunn & Cheryl Williams (2011)

Member of the Educational Research Institute Newcastle’s (ERIN) Research Program Teacher Change: Problems and Possibilities (2010)

Chief Investigator of ‘The Howard years and reform in Australian education: An analysis of political rhetoric and its relationships to change’ (Funded by a University of Newcastle Early Career Researcher Grant of $8533) (2009-2010)

Teaching and Learning Project Grant ‘Planet university: An academic and emotional survival guide for first-year students’ with Jill Scevak, Robert Cantwell, Greg Preston, Dianne Kirby & Teresa Dluzewska (2009)

Chief investigator along with Robert Parkes and Rachel Burke for ‘Media and Education Policy’ (MAPS) (Funded by the University Internal Grants Scheme) (2007 - 2008)

Chief investigator for ‘An investigation into mathematics teachers' choice of teaching strategy and the factors that influence them’ (Working title; Funded by a University of Newcastle Early Career Researcher Grant of $10000) (2006 - 2007)

Research assistant for ‘Systemic Implications of Pedagogy and Achievement in NSW Public Schools’ (SIPA) (2004 - 2006) with Jennifer Gore, James Ladwig, Thomas Griffiths and Wendy Amosa

Research assistant for ‘The Impact of Productive Pedagogy on the Socialisation of Beginning Teachers’ (2004 - 2005) with Jennifer Gore and Cheryl Williams

Research assistant for ‘Educational Governance and Social Inclusion and Exclusion’ (EGSIE) (1998 – 2000) with James Ladwig, Jennifer Gore (University of Newcastle) and Bob Lingard (University of Queensland)

Languages

  • English

Fields of Research

CodeDescriptionPercentage
130000Education100

Memberships

Committee/Associations (relevant to research).

  • Member - Australian Curriculum Studies Association

Awards

Honours.

1996Honours Class I awarded with degree of Bachelor of Education
University of Newcastle (Australia)

Recognition.

2009Lecture of the Year Awards: Winner, the University of Newcastle and Top 10 National Nominee
Unijobs (Australia)
Created in 2007, the award was initially designed as a way to award and commend the efforts of university teaching staff that have gone above and beyond in their efforts to better the lives of their students, and to better their campus community.
2008Lecture of the Year Awards: Top 10 nominee from the University of Newcastle
Unijobs (Australia)
Created in 2007, the award was initially designed as a way to award and commend the efforts of university teaching staff that have gone above and beyond in their efforts to better the lives of their students, and to better their campus community.
2007Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence and Learning Support (Early Career Academic)
University of Newcastle (Australia)
Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Teaching Excellence and Learning Support honour our outstanding teachers and recognise individuals and teams who have made a substantial contribution to enhancing the quality of learning and teaching at the University of Newcastle.
2007Faculty of Education and Arts Teaching & Learning Award
University of Newcastle (Australia) (Australia)
The Faculty of Education & Arts Award for Teaching & Learning formally recognises and rewards outstanding and exceptional service by academic staff. The award provides an opportunity for colleagues and supervisors to acknowledge the special efforts of academic staff in the areas of Teaching & Learning.
1996Colin C. Doyle Memorial Prize for Mathematics
University of Newcastle (Australia)

Administrative

Administrative expertise

Small and large course coordination

Director, Student Experience (includes the First Year Experience) (School of Education) (2010)

First Year Experience Coordinator (School of Education) (2008 – 2010)

Chair of the Student Experience Team (School of Education) (2008 – 2010)

Consultant for the Girls’ Summer School (Equity and Diversity Unit) (2007, 2008)

Conference organising committee, Pedagogy in Practice (2004 – 2006)

Policy development working party memberships

Teaching

Teaching keywords

  • Assessment practice
  • Curriculum design and development
  • Foundations of education
  • Higher education
  • Primary and secondary education
  • Reflective practice
  • Teaching and learning

Teaching expertise

From 2003-2010 my teaching areas have been in sociology, politics and foundations of education, and pedagogy, curriculum and assessment design as they relate to teacher education both generally, and mathematics teacher development. During this time I taught across 16 university courses, both undergraduate and postgraduate, and was responsible for the design and coordination of many of these. I have been sole or co-coordinator of large first-year courses typically with over 700 enrolments, giving me particular expertise in the ‘first-year experience’ and in effectively leading a team of teaching staff of up to fourteen.

Although continuing interest and research in sociology of education and educational politics, from 2011 my teaching focus is in higher education, particularly in course design, assessment, effective management of large courses, teaching strategies and reflective practice. I am responsible for the development of teaching and learning focused workshops and events for academic staff (full-time and sessional), as well as providing tailored support for the improvement of teaching and learning across all disciplines of the University.

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Highlighted Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2001Cooper SA, 'Youth, work and education: the persistence of meritocracy', AARE 2000 - Conference papers, Sydney (2001) [E2]

Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Click on a category title below to expand the list of citations for that specific category.

Journal article (1 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2005Griffiths TG, Cooper SA, 'Social and emotional wellbeing in schools: A review of systems' policies', Education Connect: Occasional Papers about Social and Emotional Wellbeing in Schools, 5-11 (2005) [C3]

Co-authors: Tom Griffiths

Conference (18 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2013Cooper SA, Lindsay KA, McComb VR, 'Supporting good first year course design: The FY PATI', The International Journal of the First Year in Higher Education, Wellington, New Zealand (2013) [E3]

Co-authors: Kate Lindsay

2012Bunn RJ, Bennett AK, Southgate E, Cooper SA, Kavanagh KO, ''Wow, I didn't know that!' The benefits of taking a collaborative approach to transition experiences of enabling students into Undergraduate Education Programs', Conference Handbook. Foundation & Bridging Educators New Zealand Inaugural Conference 2012, Auckland, New Zealand (2012) [E3]
2009Cooper SA, 'Selling a national curriculum: Some revelations of rhetoric', ACSA's 2009 Biennial Conference Program, Canberra, ACT (2009) [E3]
2008Holmes KA, Cooper SA, Parkes VJ, 'So what does THAT mean? The difficulty of defining scientific and mathematical literacy in the Australian context', Teacher Educators at Work: What Works and Where is the Evidence? Proceedings of the 2008 Australian Teacher Education Association National Conference, Sunshine Coast, QLD (2008) [E3]
2008Grimes SB, Cooper SA, 'Beginning the cognitive apprenticeship: First year student teachers', Teacher Educators at Work: What Works and Where is the Evidence? Proceedings of the 2008 Australian Teacher Education Association National Conference, Sunshine Coast, QLD (2008) [E3]
2007Miller WA, Cooper SA, 'Connections among school contexts, teaching contexts and the quality of teaching', Proceedings of the Australian Association for Research in Education 2006 Annual Conference, Adelaide (2007) [E1]
2007Amosa WA, Cooper SA, 'Connections among school contexts, teaching contexts and the quality of teaching', AARE 2006 - Abstracts, Adelaide (2007) [E3]
2006Griffiths TG, Cooper SA, 'Teacher beliefs, pedagogy and student learning', AARE 2005 International Education Research Conference. Abstracts, Parramatta, NSW (2006) [E3]

Co-authors: Tom Griffiths

2006Cooper SA, Miller WA, 'Schools matter, teachers matter: Exploring the link between school context and quality teaching', AARE 2005 International Education Research Conference. Abstracts, Parramatta, NSW (2006) [E3]
2006Griffiths TG, Cooper SA, 'Studnet wellbeing: A review of system's policies', AARE 2005 International Education Research Conference. Abstracts, Parramatta, NSW (2006) [E3]

Co-authors: Tom Griffiths

2005Williams CA, Gore JM, Cooper SA, 'Imagine if ... The impact of quality teaching on the socialisation of early career teachers', AARE 2004 - Abstracts, Melbourne (2005) [E3]
2004Williams CA, Gore JM, Cooper SA, 'The Brave and the Bold: Researching the professional lives of early career teachers. Imagine if ...The impact of quality teaching on the socialisation of early career teachers', AARE Conference Paper Abstracts - 2004, Melbourne (2004) [E3]
2001Ladwig JG, Gore JM, Lingard B, Griffiths TG, Morrison KA, Cooper SA, 'Educational governance, social inclusion and social exclusion in Australia', AARE - Conference Papers, Sydney (2001) [E2]
2001Cooper SA, 'Mutual Obligation: The construction of the desired citizen', AARE 2000 - Conference papers, Sydney (2001) [E2]
2001Cooper SA, 'Youth, work and education: the persistence of meritocracy', AARE 2000 - Conference papers, Sydney (2001) [E2]
2000Cooper SA, 'Mutual Obligation: The construction of the desired citizen', AARE-NZARE Sydney 2000 - Education Research: Towards an Optimistic Future- Abstracts, Sydney 4-7 December (2000) [E3]
2000Ladwig JG, Cooper SA, 'Mimicry, alchemy and fabricated optimism: on the production of the 'new' educational governance', AARE-NZARE Sydney 2000 - Education Research: Towards an Optimistic Future- Abstracts, Sydney 4-7 December (2000) [E3]

Co-authors: James Ladwig

2000Cooper SA, 'Youth, work and education: the persistence of meritocracy', AARE-NZARE Sydney 2000 - Education Research: Towards an Optimistic Future- Abstracts, Sydney 4-7 December (2000) [E3]
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants4
Total funding$20,029

- Indicates that the researcher may be seeking students for this project.

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

2009 (1 grants)

2009 Australian Curriculum Studies Association (ACSA) Biennial Conference, Canberra, 2-4 October 2009$1,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts

Project Team
Doctor Sharon Cooper
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$1,00020092009
GNo:G0190439

2008 (1 grants)

The Howard years and reform in Australian education: An analysis of political rhetoric and its relationships to change$8,533
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Sharon Cooper
SchemeRole
Early Career Researcher GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$8,53320082008
GNo:G0189688

2006 (1 grants)

An investigation into secondary mathematics teachers' choices of teaching strategy and factors which influence them$10,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Sharon Cooper
SchemeRole
Early Career Researcher GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$10,00020062006
GNo:G0186112

2005 (1 grants)

Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Annual Conference 2005, 27 November - 1 December 2005$496
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Sharon Cooper
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$49620052005
GNo:G0185664
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Research Supervision

Number of current supervisions2
Total current UoN PhD EFTSL0.5

For supervisions undertaken at an institution other that the University of Newcastle, the institution name is listed below the program name.

Current Supervision

CommencedProposed
Completion
ProgramSupervisor TypeResearch Title
20142018PhD (Aboriginal Studies)Co-SupervisorTurn the Switch On: The Potential Class and the Search for the Cultural Thread!
20102015PhD (Education)Co-SupervisorA History of Scientific Literacy as a Goal of Primary School Science in Australia
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Dr Sharon Cooper

Work Phone(02) 4921 7747
Fax(02) 492 16827
Email
PositionLecturer in Academic Development
Academic Development
Centre for Teaching and Learning
Academic Division
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Focus AreaEducation
Office
L258,
Auchmuty,
Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan NSW 2308
Australia
URL:www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/sharon-cooper