Professor Linda Graham

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PhD (Queensland University of Technology), Master of Education (Macquarie University), Bachelor of Arts (Eng. Lit & Mod. Hist) (Macquarie University)

Linda J. Graham is Director of The Centre for Inclusive Education (C4IE) and a Professor in the Faculty of Education at QUT. Her research investigates the role of education policy and schooling practices in the development of disruptive student behaviour and the improvement of responses to children who are difficult to teach.

Professor Graham completed her doctoral study, titled “Schooling Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders: educational systems of formation and the ‘disorderly’ school child” at QUT in 2007. Of particular interest was how schooling practices and discourses may be contributing to the increased diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Since graduating with the 2007 Faculty of Education Outstanding Thesis Award and the 2008 Australian Association of Research (AARE) Excellence in Doctoral Research Award, Linda has been awarded 4 successive research fellowships. These highly competitive awards have included a postdoctoral fellowship at The University of Sydney (2007-2008), a Macquarie University Research Fellowship (The political economy of special educational needs: international trends and policy developments, 2009-2011), an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Research Fellowship (A critical analysis of the increase in diagnosis of special educational needs in NSW government schools, 2010-2012), and most recently, a QUT Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellowship (Destination elsewhere: a longitudinal study of pathways into separate special educational settings for students with disruptive behaviour, 2013-2015).

In 2011, she was awarded a second ARC Discovery project grant (Tracking the experiences of students enrolled in special schools for challenging behaviour and their reintegration to mainstream) with Dr Penny Van Bergen & Dr Naomi Sweller (Macquarie University).

She has also partnered with international collaborators on a comparative project funded by the Social Sciences & Humanities Council of Canada with Professor Markku Jahnukainen, University of Alberta & University of Helsinki (Analysing the current state and change of special education in New South Wales, Finland and Alberta) and is partner investigator on a 2012-2013 Leverhulme International Network grant with Professor Sheila Riddell from the University of Edinburgh (Special Education & Policy Change: A study of six jurisdictions).

In the same year, Linda was named Macquarie University Early Career Researcher of the Year, and received both the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA) Paul Bourke Award and the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Early Career Research Award.

From 2013 to 2019, she led a 6-year longitudinal study tracking the school liking, learning, language and behaviour of QLD prep children through to end grade 5, with Dr Sonia White (School of Early Childhood, QUT), Dr Kathy Cologon (Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University), Prof Pamela Snow (LaTrobe Rural Health School), and Prof Robert Pianta (Curry School of Education, University of Virginia). The study was funded by the Financial Markets Foundation for Children (2013-2015) and the Australian Research Council Discovery Projects scheme (2016-2019).

In 2016, she began leading an Education Horizon project funded by the Queensland Government, “Empowering learners: using student voice, videorecorded classroom interactions and teacher feedback to develop positive learning environments in high-need Queensland secondary schools”, with Dr Jenna Gillett-Swan.

In 2017, she again partnered with Dr Jenna Gillett-Swan (Lead CI) on “Wellbeing Matters: a collaborative approach to harnessing student voice to develop a Wellbeing Framework for Action in the middle years“, also funded by the Queensland government.

Currently, Linda is co-leading the Accessible Assessment ARC Linkage project with A/Prof Jill Willis “Improving Outcomes through Accessible Assessment and Inclusive Practices”, partnering with the QCAA, three large state secondary schools, QLD Secondary Schools Association and Speech Pathology Australia. The research team includes A/Prof Naomi Sweller (MQ), A/Prof Sonia White, Dr Andrew Gibson (QUT), A/Prof Chris DeLuca (Kingston University), Ms Gaenor Dixon (SPA), Ms Callula Killingly (QUT) and two PhD students: Ms Julie Arnold and Ms Haley Tancredi.

This ARC Linkage built on a project led by A/Prof Jill Willis, Strengthening Senior Assessment, funded by the Queensland government Education Horizons scheme.

Linda is also Chair of the Inquiry into suspension, exclusion and expulsion processes in South Australian government schools, and co-convenes the AARE Inclusive Education Special Interest Group (with Dr Kate de Bruin and Ms Haley Tancredi).

She has appeared in numerous print, radio and television media and is a strong advocate that inclusive education is a foundation platform for broader social inclusion and the development of an inclusive democracy.

Projects (Chief investigator)

Projects