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Ms Vicki Parkes

Associate Lecturer in Education

School of Education

Career Summary


Vicki Parkes joined the University of Newcastle as an Associate Lecturer in Primary and Early Childhood Education in January 2007. After a long time working in the trustee industry, Vicki began her exploration of early childhood literacy through an introductory Child Care Course in 1994. Igniting a passion for teaching, Vicki then successfully completed a Certificate Level III (Literacy Enhancement Officer) course through Logan Institute of TAFE. As part of this innovative program Vicki was assigned to Regents Park State School (Qld) as a Literacy Enhancement Officer throughout 1995. After returning to her home state of New South Wales, she commenced study at Macquarie University, graduating in 2000 with a major in English and Cultural Studies, and a specialisation in Special Education. Vicki then worked in both contract and permanent capacities at a number of Primary schools in Western Sydney, on grades across the K-6 spectrum, but receiving specialised literacy training for the K-2 setting as part of a district initiative. In 2004, after moving with family to Bathurst, Vicki continued to work in schools, while embarking on an academic career as a sessional staff member at Charles Sturt University, that culminated in the award of a Carrick Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning with her colleagues in Science Education, Associate Professor David McKinnon and Dr Lena Dania in late 2006. During her time at Charles Sturt University, Vicki also took on the academic role of Professional Experience Liaison for the Master of Teaching (Primary) program, and completed further studies necessary to qualify as a Secondary English Teacher. Vicki is currently enrolled in a PhD in the area of Primary Science curriculum studies, and teaches across the Primary and Early Childhood Bachelor of Teaching programs.

Research Expertise
I am currently completing a doctoral project investigating the changing conceptions of scientific literacy in the Primary Science curriculum in Australia, from 1950s to the present. I am also interested in the alternative conceptions of scientific phenomena that arise from the unrecognized overlap between everyday and scientific terminology.

Teaching Expertise
I have expertise in the following areas: Literacy Education (0-5 and K-12); Primary and Early Childhood Science Education; Professional Experience Preparation and Supervision.


Administrative Expertise
I have coordinated both small and large courses at the University of Newcastle, some of which have included supervision of a significant number of sessional staff. I have also coordinated a scheme to provide opportunities for teacher education students to work as tutors in disadvantaged schools, as the university liaison for a priority schools project program. Most recently, I was on the organising committee for the annual conference of the Australasian Science Education Research Association (ASERA), held at Shoal Bay Resort, New South Wales.

I am interested in research collaborations focusing on literacy education, scientific literacy, and science curriculum studies.


  • Bachelor of Arts/Diploma of Education, Macquarie University
  • Graduate Certificate Practice of Tertiary Teaching, University of Newcastle


  • Critical Discourse Analysis
  • Curriculum Studies
  • Language Development
  • Literacy Education
  • Science Education
  • Science Literacy
  • Scientific Literacy

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
109999 Technology not elsewhere classified 50
130199 Education Systems not elsewhere classified 50

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Associate Lecturer in Education University of Newcastle
School of Education

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/06/2003 - 1/12/2006 Sessional Tutor Charles Sturt University
School of Education



Year Award
2006 Carrick Teaching Award
Australian Learning and Teaching Council


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

Journal article (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2009 Parkes VJ, 'Book review: Write ways: Modelling writing forms', Issues in Educational Research, 19 190-191 (2009) [C3]

Conference (4 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2011 Parkes VJ, 'Competing conceptions of scientific literacy in Australian science education', 3rd Paris International Conference on Education, Economy and Society (2011) [E3]
2008 Holmes 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 (2008) [E3]
Co-authors Sharon Cooper
2007 McKinnon DH, Danaia L, Parkes VJ, 'Innovative primary science classroom practice through pre-service teacher immersion in a problem-based, collaborative learning experience: Approaches to teaching that influence, motivate and inspire students to learn', Australian Teacher Education Association 35th Annual Conference. Quality in Teacher Education: Considering Different Perspectives and Agendas. Conference Proceedings Archive (2007) [E1]
2007 McKinnon DH, Danaia L, Parkes VJ, 'Teaching primary teacher education students how to teach science', Proceedings of CONASTA 56 and ICASE 2007 World Conference on Science and Technology Education (2007) [E1]
Show 1 more conference

Report (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2009 Southgate EL, Parkes V, 'The Lifeskills Consumer and Financial Literacy Program: Enabling factors and barriers to implementation, and benefits', NSW Department of Education and TRaining (2009)
Co-authors Erica Southgate


iANZAC Project

Capturing young people’s visions of ANZAC

November 6, 2014

The University of Newcastle's (UON) Historical Experience, Representation, Media, Education and Society Research Network (HERMES) has been awarded an ANZAC Centenary Grant to capture and disseminate what ANZAC means to young Australians and their communities.

Ms Vicki Parkes


Associate Lecturer in Education
Primary and Early Childhood Education
School of Education
Faculty of Education and Arts

Contact Details

Phone (02) 4921 5461
Fax (02) 4921 7887


Room HA109
Building Hunter Building
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308