School of Education Executive

The School of Education is led by an executive team who are specialists in evidence-based teaching and research that transforms how people learn.

“To lead innovation and change in education we must navigate a terrain that is steeped in history and tradition, and find opportunities to disrupt practice and transform learning,” says Professor Joanna Barbousas, Dean of the School of Education. “I aspire to collaboratively lead education transformation that has national and international reach.”

Professor Joanna Barbousas

Professor Joanna Barbousas is Dean of the School of Education and Professor of Teacher Education. She leads a dynamic school that is changing the face of education in Australia and abroad. Her research and teaching expertise is in education policy, teacher practice and the teaching profession. With over 25 years’ experience as a teacher and academic, Professor Barbousas’s research focuses on new visions in teacher education, and the role of partnerships and sector collaborations to drive the status of the teaching profession. She helped secure over $7M funding for the High Achieving Teachers Program known as Nexus, which is delivered with the support of the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment. La Trobe also acknowledges the support of the Victorian Department of Education. Nexus is designed to deliver an innovative, employment-based education program that builds quality teachers for regional, rural and high needs schools in Victoria. Professor Barbousas is a change leader committed to pushing the boundaries to ensure that quality education is accessible to all.

Associate Professor Craig Deed

Associate Professor Craig Deed is Deputy Dean and Associate Dean, Academic in the School of Education. He also leads the School’s Impactful Pedagogies disciplinary study area. Associate Professor Deed’s research focuses on the interaction between learning environments, and teaching and learning, at all levels of education. He has investigated educator adaptation to and effective use of flexible, open and virtual space, and design methodology for contemporary learning environments in Australian and international contexts. Associate Professor Deed is currently leading an international research team exploring the use of cardboard architecture to improve student wellbeing in post-pandemic classrooms. He has authored or contributed to more than seventy academic papers, book chapters and conference presentations.

Professor Jo Lampert

Professor Jo Lampert is Associate Dean, Partnerships in the School of Education and Professor of Social Inclusion and Teacher Education. She also leads the School’s Social Justice and Diversity disciplinary study area. Professor Lampert is Director of the Commonwealth and State funded Nexus program, which prepares teachers for high needs schools. Her internationally recognised research includes Indigenous education, poverty and disadvantage, and community engagement. She has been Chief Investigator on two Australian Research Council grants, including a current project on co-design and educational policy. She has led large government and industry funded research including a study on the impact of initiatives to support teachers in high needs schools. Professor Lampert has over 85 publications, research collaborations in Canada, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Spain, and is Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education. She also has a background in literary studies and children’s literature.

Dr Kate O'Connor

Dr Kate O’Connor is Director of Graduate Research in the School of Education. She is also Senior Lecturer in Policy and Leadership and was previously the School’s Coordinator of Graduate Research in 2020-2021. Dr O'Connor's research is focused on educational policy and governance in schooling and higher education, with particular interests in curriculum, knowledge, inequalities and digital transformations. Dr O'Connor has previously contributed to nationally funded research projects examining changes in the Australian school curriculum over time and between states, history and physics teaching in schools and universities, the implications of new public management forms of governance, the nationalisation of schooling reform and young people’s aspirations in urban and rural areas. Her co-authored book publications include Australia’s Curriculum Dilemmas (Melbourne University Publishing, 2011) and Knowledge at the Crossroads (Springer, 2017).

Professor Pamela Snow

Professor Pamela Snow is Associate Dean, Research and Industry Engagement in the School of Education. She is a speech-language pathologist and registered psychologist, and leads the Learning Sciences discipline study area. Her research has been funded by nationally competitive schemes including the Australian Research Council Discovery and Linkage grants, and the Criminology Research Council. She is an expert in the oral language skills of high-risk young people (youth offenders and those in the state care system); the role of oral language competence as an academic and mental health protective factor; and applying evidence in the language-to-literacy transition at school. In 2020, Professor Snow established, with Associate Professor Tanya Serry, the Science of Language and Reading (SOLAR) Lab in the School of Education. This is a platform for research, teaching, advocacy and postgraduate supervision on reading, writing and spelling across the school years.

Professor Bernadette Walker-Gibbs

Professor Bernadette Walker-Gibbs is Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching in the School of Education. She has led education initiatives in higher education, schools and with communities in Victoria and Queensland. Professor Walker-Gibbs is recognised as an outstanding educator with commendations for teaching and research excellence. She has an international reputation in research for her leadership of large scale, longitudinal studies in teacher education, and for international comparative studies in rural education. Professor Walker-Gibbs’s career has focused on ensuring quality education and opportunities for all students. Her research and teaching is shaped by working with and in communities to understand how and why context matters, to better support pre-service teachers to develop partnerships built through mutual trust, respect and negotiation.

Read our Statement of Strategic Intent.