Ph.D., Psychological Studies in Education (2015), Department of Educational Psychology, University of Alberta (Canada)
Graduate Certificate, Community-Based Research and Evaluation (2015), Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta (Canada)
M.A., Learning and Development in Educational Psychology (2010), Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership Studies, University of Victoria (Canada)
Teaching Certificate, Professional Development Program in University Teaching (2010), Learning and Teaching Centre, University of Victoria (Canada)
B.Ed. (Post Baccalaureate), K-12 Teacher Education Degree (2002), Faculty of Education, Vancouver Island University (Canada)
B.A. (Honours with Distinction), Psychology, (1997), Department of Psychology, University of Victoria (Canada)
Tracy Durksen, B.A. (Hons), B.Ed., M.A., Ph.D.
I am a Scientia Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer of Educational Psychology interested in the learning and development of students and teachers. I investigate the broad area of teacher education with the aim to transform attraction and recruitment, selection, development, retention, and promotion of teachers and school leaders by focusing on the importance of interpersonal interactions and psychological characteristics like motivation and adaptability. I am a mixed methods researcher grounded in social cognitive and self-determination theories. My previous experience in community-based research and evaluation through a randomised control trial project with cultural experts in Canada initiated my multi-method, relational, and contextual approach.
In order to influence policies that foster conditions for effective schooling, I prioritise research partnerships and community engagement. Locally, I am a longitudinal research partner with the NSW Department of Education investigating teacher recruitment and selection practices with the aim to increase equitable student access to quality teachers. I am also a research team member of the UNSW-led Ambassador Schools Research Centre - established in 2021 and funded by the NSW Department of Education. Since 2015 I have been an international research collaborator with the Teacher Selection Project team (University of York, UK) by assisting with the development and testing of online scenario-based tools. As an invited consultant for an OECD Questionnaire Expert Group, I am helping develop, test, and report on the Teaching and Learning International Survey which will be administered in over 48 countries and economies in 2024.
I was trained as a K-12 teacher and previously worked as a primary school teacher in Canada. Through my role as Program Director (2018-2021) for the School of Education’s Master of Teaching Primary program at UNSW, I helped support and develop the next generation of teachers. As a non-Indigenous Canadian with Australian citizenship, I am committed to supporting the professional development of preservice and practicing teachers as an avenue for systemic and sustainable change in Aboriginal education. In 2022 I joined the Culturally Nourishing Schooling project as a lead researcher to help support teachers and school leaders change their practice through building relationships with local Aboriginal people, listening to and learning from Aboriginal people, and letting their practice be informed – and their curriculum transformed – by this learning.
Chief Investigator (2017-2020/extended to 2021). Model of teacher success. NSW Department of Education. Amount: AUD $149,900.
Co-investigator (2019). High-impact leaders in regional, rural, and remote education. Australian Department of Education. Chief Investigator: A/Prof Scott Eacott. Co-investigators: Dr Richard Niesche (UNSW) and Dr Tony Loughland (UNSW) with collaborators Dr Amanda Heffernan (Monash University) and Dr Brad Gobby (Curtin University). Successful Government Tender: AUD $88,000
Chief Investigator (2017). The development of a teacher suitability framework. New South Wales Council of Deans of Education (Australia). Amount: AUD $5,000
Chief Investigator (2021). School of Education Rapid-Fire Research Grant Scheme. Scenario-based learning for preservice teachers. Co-investigators: A/Prof Tony Loughland and Dr Hoa Nguyen. Amount: AUD: $7,689
Chief Investigator (2016-2019). PL-TIME: Professional learning and teachers’ interpersonal skills, motivation, and engagement. Vice Chancellor Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Funding (UNSW). Amount: AUD $30,000
Chief Investigator (2018). Developing teachers' ability to optimise female students' STEM-related academic achievement and career aspirations: A museum-based study of professional learning. Faculty Collaborative Research Grant (UNSW Sydney). Co-investigator: Scientia Professor Andrew Martin (School of Education, UNSW). Collaborator: Derek Williamson (Museum of Human Disease, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW). Amount: AUD $14,693
Chief /Co-Investigator (2017-2019). School of Education Grants. Amount: AUD $22,500
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Doctoral Fellowship (2013-2015). Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Amount: CAD $40,000
President’s Doctoral Prize of Distinction (2013-2014). Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, University of Alberta (Canada). Amount: CAD $15,429
Graduate/travel awards (2012-2015). Amount: CAD $11,500
Learning and Teaching Award (2020). Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Dean’s Learning and Teaching Award for Excellence for Design and Development (Master of Teaching Primary Program, UNSW). Amount: AUD $500
Shortlisted Nominee for Research Award (2019). Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Dean’s Research Award for Achievements by an Early Career Researcher (UNSW).
AERA 2017 Learning Environments SIG/Springer Award for best journal article. Andre, L., Durksen, T. L., & Volman, M. (2017). Museums as avenues of learning for children: A decade of research. Learning Environments Research, 20, 47-76. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10984-016-9222-9