Dr Rachel Wilson

BSc(ANU), GradDip(Audiology)(Melbourne), PGCE(Oxf), MSc(Research Methods)(Oxf), DPhil(Oxf), GradCertEdStud(Higher)(Sydney)

Senior Lecturer - Research Methodology / Educational Assessment & Evaluation

Research Methodology Coordinator

Faculty Advisor in Research Methodology


Phone: +61 2 9351 6390

Fax: +61 2 9351 2606

Building.Room: A35.526

Research interests

Educational systems: administration, management and leadership

  • Higher education

Learning sciences; psychology of education

  • Assessment and evaluation
  • Developmental psychology

Professional biography

Rachel coordinates and teaches research methodology and progamme evaluation courses in the faculty, mostly to postgraduate masters and PhD students. She also teaches educational measurement and assessment in various units of study and has taught on educational psychology, human development, curriculum and evaluation, early childhood education and special education units.

Rachel has degrees in psychology, audiology, teaching, research methods and higher education and compelted her doctoral study in 2002 in education and child development as a scholarship holder at Oxford University.

Rachel is passionate about research and enjoys teaching students who are keen make discoveries through research. With expertise in both qualitative and quantitative research methods she is particularly interested in encouraging students to pursue mixed-methods research (using both qualitative and quantitative approaches). Her research methods classes are informal and interactive, with a strong focus on examing and critiquing published research articles. Her statistics classes are friendly to 'math-phobics'.

Rachel's own research spans across educational sectors - from early childhood to higher education. The common element is a focus on student experiences and outcomes. She has worked on large longitudinal studies of children (including for her PhD). Her current interests include: the use of assessment to promote learning; and the application of research evidence and theory across educational sectors. Rachel is particularly motivated to research issues which impact upon equity and social justice.

Her interest in research methods is matched by her enthusiasm to see research produce meaningful and positive change in educational and social policy. She has experience in developing and providing in-service, professional learning, programs to effect school improvement. She also sits on various educational advisory committees.


  • 2004 Familes and Early Learning Research Fellow. Department of Educational Studies, University of Oxford

  • ESRC Postgraduate Scholarship 1998-2002

  • Eunice Dehoit Turner Scholar, St. Hughs College, Oxford 1998-2001

Professional and community roles

  • Member of the NSW Board of Studies HSC Technical Advisory Committee

  • Reveiwer for Health Education Research

  • Member of the NSW Board of Studies Advisory Panel on Special Consideration

  • Member of the NSW DET Advisory Panel on the Teaching and Learning Exchange (TaLE)

  • Academic Partner, NSW DET Priority Schools Program

  • Expert Researcher DEST National Numeracy Review 2007/2008

  • Reveiwer for Oxford University Press

  • Member of the NSW Board of Studies Consultative Committee

  • Reviewer for Studies in Higher Education



Current projects

  • Teacher quality and professional standards- an analysis of educational backgrounds of students entering NSW intial teacher education degrees
  • Assessment FOR Learning: this project involves the development of Professional Learning programs to promote formative assessment, effective feedback and effective use of assessemnt data in primary schools.
  • Higher Education Journeys: Includes two studies: A longitudinal quantitative study of student progress in attainment through university and a qualitative survey of university experiences of international students.
  • Teachers' use of data: two pilot projects are being undertaken in preparation for a national study of primary school teachers' use of NAPLAN data.
  • Emotional development in childhood and adolescence: This project includes an interdisciplinary review of research in emotional development and the co-authoring of a book

Current research students

Project title Degree Research student
Special education: teaching reading to all children. An examination of how teachers' measurement of their own knowledge required for teaching reading impacts on willingness and attitudes towards attending professional learning and students learning to read. (Associate supervisor) PhD Criss Moore
A survey of international volunteer teaching programmes with focus on practices in teacher preparation and support. MPhil Sung Wook Yoon
The nexus between mathematics and science: analysis and implications for university education PhD Yoshitaka Nakakoji

Selected publications


  • Wilson, L. Wilson, R. (in press). Understanding Emotional Development. London: Routledge.
  • Gunawardena, H. & Wilson, R. (2012). International students at university: understanding the student experience. New York: Peter Lang.
  • Jang, H., Jung, K., Dalton, B. & Wilson, R. (2010). Sex trafficking or shadow tourism? The lives of foreign sex workers in Australia . Cologne, Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing.
  • Wilson, R. (2009). The impact of glue ear on child development: Examining the developmental consequences of recurrent Otitis Media. Saarbrucken, Germany: VDM Verlag.

Book chapters

  • Wearring, A., Le, H., Wilson, R. & Arambewela, R. (in press). Vietnamese international students. In Khosrow-Pour, M (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology (3rd ed.,), IGI Global.
  • Georgakis, S., Wilson, R. (in press). Physical Education in sport obsessed Australia.. In Chin, M (Ed.), Physical Education and Health: Global Perspectives and Best Practice Sagamore Publishing.
  • Wilson, R. (2011). Research Methodolology for Youth Sport. In Georgakis, S. & Russell, K. (Ed.), Youth sport in Australia Sydney: Sydney University Press.
  • Dalton, B. & Wilson, R. . (2009). Improving quality in Australian childcare. In King D. & Meagher G. (Ed.), Paid Care in Australia: politics, profits, practices. (pp. 203–230), Sydney, Australia: Sydney University Press.
  • Wilson, R, Loble, L. (2006). From evidence to policy-the policy maker's perspective. In Blackmore, J., Wright, J. and Harwood, V. (Eds.), Review of Australian Research in Education (Vol. 6, pp. 159–173), AARE.

Journal articles

  • Wilson, R. Dalton, B. Evans, J. (in press). Australian Indigenous youths’ participation in sport and associated health outcomes: an empirical analysis with policy and management implications. .
  • Crook, S., Sharma, M. & Wilson, R. (in press). The Impact of 1:1 Laptops on Student Performance Within Different Science Subjects in Senior High School. Science.
  • Wilson, R. & Georgakis, S. (in press). Authentic Assessment in Physical Education: a Case Study of Game Sense Pedagogy. European Journal of Physical Education.
  • Wilson, R. (in press). Analysing inputs to teacher quality: admissions standards and literacy and numeracy attainments in NSW initial teacher education. Sage Open.
  • Sharma, M. Stewart, R. Wilson, R. Prosser, M. Gokalp, M. (2013). Can a syllabus change impact on students' perceptions of Science? Fragmented and cohesive conceptions of physics. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technolgoy Education., 9(1), 33–44.
  • Sharma, M.D Stewart, C Wilson, R Gökalp, M. S. (2013). Student Approaches to Learning in Physics – Validity and Exploration Using Adapted SPQ . International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 8(2), 241–253.
  • Sugahara, S. Wilson, R. (2013). Discourse surrounding the International Education Standards for Professional Accountants (IES): A Content Analysis Approach. Accounting Education: An International Journal.
  • Martin, A.J., Wilson, R., Liem, G., Ginns, P. (2013). Academic Momentum at University/College: Exploring the Roles of Prior Learning, Life Experience, and Ongoing Performance in Academic Achievement across Time. The Journal of Higher Education, 84(5), 640–672.
  • Crook, S., Sharma, M., Wilson, R.& Muller, D. (2013). Seeing Eye-to-Eye on ICT: Science Student and Teacher Perceptions of Laptop Use across 14 Australian schools. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology , 29(1), 82–95.
  • Dalton, B; Bisen, A & Wilson, R. . (2012). The Social Construction of the Microfinance Industry:A comparison of donor and recipient perspectives. Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Journal, 4(2), 62–83.
  • Wilson, R. Georgakis, S. Sharma, M. (2012). Approaches to Learning in First Year University Physics. Journal of Social Sciences, 8(2), 216–222.
  • Georgakis, S. & Wilson, R. (2012). Australian Physial education and school sport: An exploration into contemporary assessment . Asian Journal of Exercise and Sports Science, 9(1), 37–52.
  • Georgakis, S., Wilson, R. & Hu, X. (2011). Meeting the challenges of electrical engineering 'service courses'. Australasian Journal of Engineering Education, 17(2), 91–100.
  • Wilson, R., Georgakis, S. & Hu, X. (2011). Adressing the teaching and learning challenges of 'service cources': A case study of pedagogical reform and innovation. International Journal of Learning, 18(1), 233–244.
  • Georgakis, S. & Wilson, R. (2011). Teacher Shortage and Newly Qualified Teachers in Australia: A Physical and Health Education case study. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 11(4), 393–400.
  • Georgakis, S. & Wilson, R. (2010). A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body? Australian University Sport in the 21st Century.. Journal of the World Universities Forum, 3(4), 45–56.
  • Ishimine, K. & Wilson, R. . (2010). Quality of Australian Childcare and Children’s Social Skills. International Journal of Early Years Education, 18(2), 159–175.
  • Gunawardena, H., Wilson, R., Georgakis, S. & Bagnall, N. . (2010). Homogeneity, Permanent Residency and Racism: Experiences of Indian Students at an Australian Sandstone University. International Journal of Intercultural Information Management, , 173–197.
  • Dalton, B., Wilson, R. & Harvison,J. . (2009). Job satisfaction and HR issues for nurses in non-profit, non-hospital settings. Employment Relations Record, 9(1), 1–19.
  • Ishimine, K. & Wilson, R. . (2009). Centre-based childcare quality in urban Australia. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood. , 34(3), 19–28.
  • Bornholt, L, Wilson, R. (2007). A general mediated model of aspects of self-knowledge (M-ASK): children's participation in learning activities across social contexts. Applied Psychology-an International Review-Psychologie Appliquee-Revue Internationale , 56(2), 302–318.
  • Wilson, R. . (2007). Systematic Reviews- not just another literature review. Research Today, April 20, 2–3.
  • O'Dea, J, Wilson, R. (2006). Socio-cognitive and nutritional factors associated with body mass index in children and adolescents:possibilities for childhood obesity prevention. Health Education Research, 21(6), 796–805.

Conference papers

  • Wilson, R Mack, J Walsh, B. (in press). Stagnation, decline and gender disparity in participation in NSW HSC mathematics and science combinations. In Proceedings of the Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education
  • Nakakoji, Y. Wilson, R. Poladian, L. (in press). Participation and Transfer of Learning in Tertiary Maths, Science and Engineering Education. In Proceedings of the Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education
  • Georgakis, S. & Wilson, R . (2011). The Greek Youth Sport System: Policy and Culture. In International Conference on Education. Samos, Greece, 5-9 July 2011.
  • Dalton, B., Wilson, R. & Bisen, A. . (2011). The Contemporary Social Construction of the Microfinance Industry: A Comparison of Donor and Recipient Perspectives.. In Proceddings of the 7TH International Society for Third Sector Research conference. Bali, Indonesia, 24-26 November 2011.
  • Wilson, R., Sharma, M. & Georgakis, S. (2011). The relationships between school curriculum and university students' conceptions of their subject. . In International Conference on Education. Samos, Greece, 5-9 July 2011.
  • Wilson, R. & Georgakis, S. (2011). Revitalising Comparative Education through Mixed Method Methodology Research. In Popov, N., Wolhuter, C., Leutwyler, B., Mihova, M., Ogunleye, J. Comparative Education, Teacher Training, Education Policy, Social Inclusion, History of Education (9pp. 13–19).
  • Wilson, R., Sutton, B. & Georgakis, S. (2010). Student entry mode and first year attainment at an Australian university. In IASK Teaching and Learning 2010 International Conference (pp. 343–353). Seville, Spain, 29 November - 1 December 2010.
  • Georgakis, S. & Wilson, R. . (2010). Teacher shortage and employment opportunities for newly qualified Australian physical and health education teachers. In Chia, M., Wang, M., Balasekaran, G. & Chatzisarantis, N. Proceddings of the III International Conference of Physical Education & Sports Science (pp. 269–274). Singapore, 25-28 May 2010.
  • Gunawardena, H., Georgakis, S., Wilson, R & Bagnall, N. . (2009). The educational and sociocultural experience of Indian students at an Australian metropolitan university: Why urgent review is needed.. In Proceedings of the International Association for the Scientific Knowledge - Teaching and Learning. (pp. 78–93). Porto, Portugal, December, 2009.


  • Wilson, R. (2012). Make Maths mandatory and we'll improve our education rankings, The Conversation.
  • Wilson, R, Anditomo, N. & Hughes J. (2009). The University of Sydney Foundation Program Tracer Study: Final Report, Taylors College & University of Sydney.
  • Wilson, R, Anditomo, N. & Hughes J. (2008). The University of Sydney Foundation Program Tracer Study. Interim Report. , Taylors College & University of Sydney. .
  • COAG (R. Wilson is named expert researcher + co- author). (2008). National Numeracy Review Report. , Commissioned by the Human capital Working Group, council of Australian Governments. Chaired by Gordon Stanley. .
  • Wilson, R. . (2006). International Perspectives on Early Years Literacy Strategies – research, national reviews and policy., Research paper for the NSW Department of Education..