Researcher biography

Linda-Dianne (Linda) Willis is a Lecturer in Curriculum Studies in the School of Education at The University of Queensland (UQ). She taught in early years, primary and middle years classrooms in Government and Independent schools in a career spanning more than three decades. Her PhD research focused on parent-teacher engagement. Since 2010 Linda has taught and designed Humanities and Social Sciences and English and literacy curriculum courses in the Bachelor of Education (Primary, Middle Years of Schooling, Secondary and Dual Degree) and Master of Teaching (Primary) courses and programs. She currently teaches English curriculum and literacy courses in the Bachelor of Education (Primary) and Master of Teaching (Primary) programs. Her research interests include: parent and community engagement, inquiry curriculum, innovative pedagogies, preservice teacher education, and principal leadership. Linda uses design-based research together with innovative research methods such as cogenerative dialogues. She calls on sociological concepts to conceptualise how individuals develop and learn particularly in the context of learning communities. Using these concepts she considers how usually marginalised individuals such as parents in schools may or may not be enabled to play more participatory roles as co-educators in student learning.

Linda’s current research (2016-2019), Principal leadership for parent-school-community engagement, is supported by the Queensland Department of Education’s Education Horizon Grant scheme in partnership with Parents and Citizens’ Associations Queensland. Other research projects (2018-2019) include, Parent engagement in inquiry curriculum, which is supported by a UQ Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Partnership Funding Scheme grant and partners, Griffith University and Brisbane and Townsville Catholic Education. From 2013 (December) to 2018 (March), Linda served as Director of UQ’s Master of Teaching (Primary) program. Between 2014 and 2017 she was Co-Editor in Chief of the national journal, Practical Literacy: the early and primary years. She received the Special Services Award from the Australian Literacy Educators’ Association (ALEA) in 2017 and has been appointed ALEA Publications Director (Acting) from July 2019. Linda's current external service roles also include Chair, Education Sub-Committee, 2021 AATE/ALEA National Conference, and Bulimba State School Council Appointed Member 2014 to 2020.

Featured projects Duration
Principal Leadership for Parent-School-Community Engagement in Disadvantaged Schools Project
Education Horizon (QLD Government)
20162017