Penny Van Bergen

Associate Professor

  • 355 Citations
  • 8 h-Index

Research output per year

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Personal profile


Penny Van Bergen is an Associate Professor in Educational Psychology in the Department of Educational Studies. She is also Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching in the Faculty of Human Sciences, and Director of the Centre for Children’s Learning in a Social World.


Research Interests

Penny’s primary area of research focuses on how children and adolescents develop memory and emotion skills in conversations with others. Her current research focuses on how parents, families, and educators reminisce with children and adolescents about the past, how children and adolescents use emotion and perspective-taking skills in their own remembering, and how group-work in schools and universities may facilitate learning.


Penny's secondary area of research considers child and adolescent relationships with teachers, parents, and peers, and she is particularly interested in mapping the kinds of social interactions that best facilitate learning and development. Her work has been featured in several media outlets (e.g. The Conversation, The Sun Herald, The Sydney Morning Herald, Sunrise, and the US-based “Parents” magazine).


Penny supervises Higher Degree Research students whose projects lie within her areas of research specialisation. Please email to discuss potential topics and opportunities.   


Teaching and scholarship

Penny teaches in the undergraduate primary and secondary teaching degree programs at Macquarie. Underpinning her teaching is a strong commitment to creating undergraduate research opportunities for education students.


Penny has been awarded several teaching awards including:

  • Vice Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence (2018)
  • Faculty of Human Sciences Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence (2017)
  • Australian Psychological Society Early Career Teaching Award (2013)
  • Vice Chancellor’s Citation for Programs that Enhance Student Learning (2013)
  • Faculty of Human Sciences Dean’s Award for Programs that Enhance Student Learning (2013)
  • Australian Government Office of Learning and Teaching Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning (2012)
  • Vice Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning (2011)
  • Faculty of Human Sciences Dean’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning (2011)
  • UniJobs Lecturer of the Year – Top 20 Australia-wide (2010)

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Research Outputs

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    Third-graders’ predictive reasoning strategies

    Oslington, G., Mulligan, J. & Van Bergen, P., May 2020, In : Educational Studies in Mathematics. 104, 1, p. 5–24 20 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)