Dr Lesley Scanlon

Honorary Senior Lecturer


Phone: +61 2 9351 6380

Fax: +61 2 9351 4580

Building.Room: A35.431

Research interests

Educational history, sociology and philosophy

  • Sociology of education

Research on teaching and learning

  • Teacher education and professional learning

Professional biography

Lesley has extensive experience as a teacher and researcher in NSW high schools, TAFE and universities. Her preservice teacher preparation interests include developing a professional identity, authetnic learning and teaching, mentoring and innovative pedagogy

Lesley has a particvular interest in the lifelong learning of professionals. She coordinates the Doctor of Education program where her current role focuses on providing students with innovative learning experiences at the University and in motivating and engaging students in the professional world of teaching.

In 2006 Lesley received a Carrick Citation for Outstanding Contribution to the Student Experience, a nationally recognised award. She supervises PhD students engaged in researching identity, student persistence and curriculum.


  • Carrick Australian Awards for University Teaching, Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning 2006

Current projects

  • My recent publication of the edited work - 'Becoming' a Professional - has given rise to an important project on the role of doctoral education in the development of professional identity. I am currently working on a book proposal which will draw on research data from doctoral students across a broad range of disciplines. The data reveals the way professionals identify with their working life and the importance of research to this life. The book will highlight different research methodologies employed by students and how these reflect on their definitions of themselves as professionals and on their profession as a whole.
  • I am currently chief investigator and critical friend on a major three year longitudinal study of student engagement in a low SES High School. This National Partnership research project will provide students, parents, teachers, school administrators and policy makers with major insights into the workings of - the federal government school laptop policy, the integration of literacy and numeracy across the curriculum, the transition to high school and to the senior school. Over 300 interviews will be conducted each year of the project with students, teachers and parents. These interviews will provide unique insights, over time, into current school and government educational initiatives. The project will capture the unique culture and sub-cultures of the school and the multiple voices within the school and how they construct day-to-day learning and teaching. As a critical friend in 2011 I have made three presentations to a whole staff meeting on - learning and teaching with laptops, student experiences of the transition to high school and the transition to Years 11 & 12. Findings of transition to an innovative Year 11 and 12 were presented at BERA in 2011. The results of the project will be progressively reported in academic journals. The culmination of the project will be a book which will capture learning and teaching in a low SES school from the perspective of the lived experience of students and teachers and these will be foregrounded against policy intentions and global educational trends.

Current research students

Project title Degree Research student
Sharing the wisdom: mentoring for women of experience. PhD Shirley Koch

Selected publications


  • Scanlon, L. (in press). The role of research in teachers' work: Narratives of classroom action research. London: Routledge.
  • Scanlon, L. (Ed.) . (2011). ‘Becoming’ a professional: an interdisciplinary study of professional learning. . Dordrecht, Netherlands:: Springer ..

Book chapters

  • Scanlon, L. . (2011). Introduction. . In Lesley Scanlon (Ed.), ‘Becoming’ a professional: an interdisciplinary study of professional learning. (pp. 1–12), Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer..
  • Scanlon, L. . (2011). ‘Becoming’ a professional. . In Lesley Scanlon (Ed.), ‘Becoming’ a professional: an interdisciplinary study of professional learning. (pp. 13–32), Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.
  • Scanlon, L. . (2011). White coats, handmaidens and warriors: the role of filmic representations in becoming a professional. . In Lesley Scanlon (Ed.), Becoming’ a professional: an interdisciplinary study of professional learning. (pp. 109–128), Dordrecht, Netherlands.: Springer.
  • Scanlon, L. . (2010). Preparing graduate teachers: a case study of undergraduate pre-service education and teaching standards. . In Huaying Bao (Ed.), The policy making and theoretical construction of qualification systems for teachers (pp. 279–291), Beijing: Beijing Normal University Press.
  • Scanlon, L. (2008). ‘The theories make you pay more attention to how things happen’: The impact of theory on the practice of pre-service teachers in their role as student mentors. In Bottrell D and Meagher G (Eds.), Communities and change: selected papers (pp. 195–209), Sydney: Sydney University Press.
  • Scanlon, L. (2006). Graduate attributes and the transition to higher education. In Paul Hager and Susan Holland (Eds.), Graduate Attributes, Learning and Employability (Vol. 1, pp. 125–148), Netherlands: Springer.

Journal articles

  • Scanlon, L. (in press). "Why didn't they ask me?": Student perspectives on a school improvement initiative.. Improving Schools, 15(3).
  • Scanlon, L. (2009). Identifying supporters and distracters in the segmented world of the adult learner. Studies in Continuing Education , 31(1), 29–43.
  • Scanlon, L. (2009). Metaphors and mentoring: constructing a mentor typology from the perspective of student mentors. International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring, 71(81), 7–2.
  • Scanlon, L. (2008). Adults' motives for returning to study: the role of self-authoring. Studies in Continuing Education, 30(1), 17–32.
  • Scanlon, L. (2008). The impact of experience on student mentors’ conceptualisations of mentoring. International Journal of Evidence-based Coaching and Mentoring, 6(2), 57–66.
  • Scanlon, L, Rowling, L, Weber, Z. (2007). 'You don't have like an identity... you are just lost in a crowd': Forming a Student Identity in the First-year Transition to University. Journal of Youth Studies, 10(2), 223–241.
  • Weber, Z, Rowling, L, Scanlon, L. (2007). "It's like...a confronting issue": Life changing narratives of young people. Qualitative Health Research, 17(7), 945–953.
  • Sutherland, L, Scanlon, L, Sperring, A. (2005). New directions in preparing professionals: examining issues in engaging students in communities of practice through a school-university partnership. Teaching and Teacher Education, 21, 79–92.
  • Rowling, L, Weber, Z, Scanlon, L. (2005). Transitions and Loss: Illuminating Parameters of Young Adults' Mental Health. Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 15(2), 168–181.
  • Scanlon, L. (2004). She Just Blends And Just Comes Down To Our Level And Communicates With Us Like We'Re People': Students' Perceptions Of Quality Teaching And Teacher Standards. Change: Transformations in Education, 7(1), 93–108.
  • Scanlon, L. (2004). I've Learnt To Think. Not Being Taught Something But Thinking For Myself: Engaging Students In Authentic University Learning Experiences In Senior High School. Teaching and Learning Literature with Children and Young Adults , 25(1), 79–88.

Conference papers

  • Scanlon, L. (2009). ‘Education is so meant to be about doing’: authenticity and professional learning in teacher education. . In Proceedings of the International Association for Scientific Knowledge Conference (pp. 201–208). Porto Portugal,, December 7-9, 2009.