Staff Directory

Dr Amy McPherson Name: Dr Amy McPherson
Senior Lecturer
+612 9739 2195
Organisational Area
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Education NSW/ACT - North Sydney
Building 613 - Saint Edmund Building(25A Barker Road, Strathfield NSW 2135)-Level 1-Room613.1.18
Biographical Information

I am currently a Senior Lecturer in the Education Studies program, Faculty of Education and Arts, Australian Catholic University.  I embrace, and excel at, the full breadth of academic activities including teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students and have an outstanding higher degree research supervision record of overseeing seven students to completion with another four in progress.  I am highly skilled at explaining complex concepts and theories for ease of understanding and currently lead units with more than two thousand students and support more than thirty teaching staff with a commitment to developing students&rsquo understanding of the theoretical foundations of education. Over the past ten years, my internationally recognized research has focused on the application of philosophical principles and approaches to address questions of practical relevance to education, young people and their contemporary contexts, including work on the rights and wellbeing of young people in contemporary contexts, parent engagement with schooling, professional ethics and equity focused teacher education. I currenrtly teach across the areas of philopshy of education, sociology of education, education policy studes, parent engagement and applied professioanl ethics. I have been the Program Director of the National Exceptional Teaching in Disadvantaged Schools Program (NETDS) for the past five years establishing an equity focused teacher education program designed to prepare culturally diverse, high quality teachers for hard-to-staff metropolitan schools across south west Sydney.  


Refereed Journal Articles (C1)

McPherson, A., & Saltmarsh, S. &Tomkins, S. (2020). Reconsidering Assent: Implications for Randomised Control Trials in Education.  British Journal of Educational Research, 46, 4, 728-746.

Saltmarsh, S., McPherson, A., Chakrabarty, S., Winn, S. & Saltmarsh, D. (2020). Anecdotes, Anecdotes, Experience, Experience, and &lsquoLearning and &lsquoLearning By Osmosis&rsquo: The Role of Professional Cultures in Preparing Teachers for Parent &ndash School Engagement. Australian Journal of Teacher Education. 44, 12, Article 2.

Saltmarsh, S. & McPherson, A. (2019). Un/satisfactory encounters: communication, conflict and parent- school engagement. Critical Studies in Education.

Buchanan, R. & McPherson A. (2019). Teachers and learners in a time of big data. Journal of Philosophy in Schools, 6, 1.

McPherson, A., Forster, D. & Buchanan, R. (2019). Situated cases of ethical tensions when working with children and young people in educational contexts Global Studies of Childhood, 9, 2.

Forster, D., McPherson, A. & Douglas, S. (2019). Interview with Professor Meira Levinson: Democracy, dilemmas and educational ethics. Global Studies of Childhood, 9, 2.

Ladwig, J. & McPherson, A. (2017). The Anatomy of Ability. Curriculum Inquiry. 47, 4, 344-362.

McPherson A. & Saltmarsh, S. (2017). Bodies and affect in non-traditional learning spaces. Educational Philosophy and Theory.49, 8, 832-841.

McPherson, A., Roberts, P. & Downes, N. (2017). Community perspectives and the politics of water in rural Australia: Rural-regional sustainability education in the Murray Darling Basin. Australian and International Journal of Rural Education, 27, 2, 1-15.

Chapman, A., Mangion, A. & Buchanan, R. (2015). Institutional Statements of Commitment and Widening Participation in Higher Education. Policy Futures in Education, 13, 8, 995-1009.

Saltmarsh, S., Barr, J. & Chapman, A. (2015). Preparing for parents. How Australian teacher education is addressing the question of parent engagement. Asia Pacific Journal of Education. 35, 1, 69-84.

Saltmarsh, S., Chapman, A. Campbell, M & Drew, C. (2015). Putting &lsquostructure within the space&rsquo: Spatially un/response pedagogic practices in open-plan learning environments. Educational Review.1-13.

Buchanan, R. & Chapman, A. (2014). The political ontology of cyborgs: Considering implications of posthumanism for education. Creative Approaches to Research, 7, 1, 7-20.

Chapman, A, Saltmarsh, S., Randall-Moon, H, Campbell, M & Drew, C (2014). Students in Space: Student Practices in Non-Traditional Classrooms. Global Studies of Childhoods, 4, 1, 39-47.

Chapman, A. (2013). Imagining the Posthuman: Hybrid Bodies for Education. The Australian Educational Researcher. 40, 271-280.

Campbell, M., Saltmarsh, S., Drew, Chapman, A. & Drew, C. (2013). Issues of teacher professional learning within &lsquonon-traditional&rsquo classroom environments. Improving Schools. 16, 3, 209-222.

Chapman, A. & S. Saltmarsh. (2013). The Politics of Normative Childhoods and Nonnormative Parenting: a response to Cristyn Davies and Kerry Robinson. Contemporary Issues in early Childhood, 14, 1, 60-65

Chapman, A., Forster, D. Buchanan, R. (2013). The Moral Imagination in Pre-service Teachers&rsquo Ethical Reasoning. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 38, 5, Article 9.


Refereed Book Chapters (B1)

McPherson, A. & Tomkins, S. (2020). Solastalgia and Belonging for Rural Youth: Philosophical Considerations for Environmental and Climatic Change. In P. Roberts. (Ed.) Putting the Rural First. Singapore: Springer

McPherson, A. & Saltmarsh, S. (2020). Bodies and affect in non-traditional learning spaces. In L. Bade & (Eds) Design, Education and Pedagogy. London: Routledge, 2020.

McPherson, A. (2019). Directions in empirical studies of educational ethics. In M. Peters (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Teacher Education, Singapore: Springer.

Chapman, A. (2015). Wellbeing in Schools: Exploring the Normative Dimensions. In Rethinking Youth Wellbeing: Critical Perspectives. K. Wright and J. McLeod (Eds). London: Springer

Chapman, A., & Buchanan, R. (2012). FYI&hellipVirtual Space Has a Context: Towards an Alternative Frame for Understanding Cyberbullying. In S. Saltmarsh (Ed), Rethinking School Violence: Theory, Gender, Context (pp 56-70). Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.


Commissioned Reports, Selected Conference Papers, Professional Publications

Lampert, J., McPherson, A., Burnett, B. , Armour, D., Brown S. & Tomkins, S. (2021). Research into initiatives to prepare and supply a workforce for hard-to-staff schools. Canberra: Department of Education, Skills & Employment.

Buchanan, R. & McPherson, A. (2019). Education shaped by Silicon Valley. Is this what we want? AARE Blog

Brennan, M., Zipin, L. McPherson, A., Kenway, J., Rudolph, S., & Barron. R. (2019). The growing urgency of   attending to the state of education research in Australian higher education. Report prepared for Australia Association for Education Research.

McPherson, A., Forster, D., Buchanan, R., Mangion, A. & Gurr, S. (2018). A literature Review of Empirical Research in Philosophy for Children. Report prepared for Primary Ethics Pty Ltd. Sydney: Australia.

McPherson, A. (2017). Pathways and Admissions Programs for Initial Teacher Education at ACU. Report prepared for Provost, Australian Catholic University.

McPherson, A. (2017). Exploring Aspirations through SUIT: An evaluation of the Step Up Into Teaching Program. Report prepared for the Catholic Education Diocese Parramatta.

Brennan, M., Zipin, L. McPherson, A., Kenway, J., Rudolph, S., & Barron. (2017). Toward and Intergenerational Politics for Teacher Education. Australia Association for Education Research. 3rd &ndash 6th December.

Labone, E., Chapman, A. & Harris, J. (2014). The Janus Project: Retention and Success of LSES Students at ACU. Report prepared for Deputy Vice Chancellor, Students, Learning and Teaching, Australian Catholic University.

Chapman, A. & Buchanan, R. (2013). Educational purposes and the Melbourne declaration. Professional Educator, 12, 5, 25-27.

Chapman, A. & Ladwig, J. (2013). &lsquoAbility&rsquo and the (Mis)measure of Students. Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia. Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne. 6th December &ndash 9th December

Saltmarsh, S. &Chapman, A. (2012). Haunted (school) houses: spectres of education in the age of accountability. 2nd Education Policy and Politics Workshop: Psychoanalytic theories, politics and education policy analysis. 22nd-23rd November, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Saltmarsh, S., Campbell, M., Chapman, A., & Drew, C. (2012). Learning and  Teaching in Agile Spaces: A  Pilot Study of CEO Parramatta Primary Schools

Saltmarsh, S., & Chapman, A. (2011). Invited symposium with Dr Jonathon Silin. Invited address. Macquarie University and Semann & Slattery, 2nd December 2011.



High Degree Research projects I have supervised include:


Natasha Wardman


Rules, rights and responsibilities: Becoming 'responsible' students in upper-primary school contexts




Christopher Drew


Soak up the goodness: Discourses of Australian childhoods on television advertisements, 2006-2012




Nada Ghamra-Oui


Educational Leadership Practices in Australian Islamic schools

Primary Supervisor



Connie Koch


Love Spoken Here: Exploring the Experience of One Primary School with a School/Community Partnerships Program

Primary Supervisor



Jane Wenlock


An investigation of Chaldean parents&rsquo perspectives on their involvement in their children&rsquos Catholic secondary school education

Primary Supervisor



Bruna Lopas Duares


A Journey to the &ldquoSouth&rdquo: Becoming Third World Women Educators





Anne-Marie Black


Exploring teachers&rsquo phenomenological experiences of a principal&rsquos change initiative




Lynette Sandford


Factors That Influence Learning Using Transformative ICT Practices





Sarah Nailer


School-University Partnerships: A Foucauldian Analysis




Semra Mese


Multiculturalism and school curriculum policies in Iraqi Kurdistan




Antoine Mangion


Exploring the Post-School Aspirations of Migrant Background Students

Primary Supervisor






Teaching and learning expertise

My primary goal as a lecturer and tutor is to convey to students a deep understanding and appreciation of the theoretical foundations of education, schooling, teaching and learning.  I enjoy teaching a wealth of subjects in the area of education foundations covering both applications and theoretical foundations. Since moving into tertiary education in 2008 I have taught several courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in the areas of the sociology of education, the philosophy of education, professional practice, and pedagogy. These courses include:
These courses include:

  • Foundations of Education
  • Educational Sociology
  • Teacher Research Project
  • Curriculum Theory
  • Ethics and Professional Practice
  • Quality Teaching in Secondary Education
  • Development and Learning


Professional Memberships

Association Membership

Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA)

Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE)

British Educational Research Association (BERA)

Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA)



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