Penny Van Bergen

Associate Professor

  • 254 Citations
  • 8 h-Index
If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


Penny Van Bergen is a Senior Lecturer in Educational Psychology. She is Director of the Faculty of Human Sciences' Centre for Children’s Learning in a Social World, and Deputy Director of Research in the Department of Educational Studies.


Research Interests

Penny’s research focuses on children’s development of memory and emotion skills in social contexts. She studies how parents and families reminisce with children about the past, how children use emotion and perspective-taking skills when working with others, and how group-work in schools and universities may facilitate learning.


Penny is particularly interested in children’s relationships with teachers, parents, and peers, and 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, convening the educational psychology unit “EDUC262: The Learner”. Underpinning her teaching is a strong commitment to creating undergraduate research opportunities for education students.


Penny has been awarded several teaching awards including:

  • 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)

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

  • 29 Similar Profiles
student Social Sciences
teacher Social Sciences
Emotions Medicine & Life Sciences
school Social Sciences
Mothers Medicine & Life Sciences
Students Medicine & Life Sciences
news Social Sciences
New South Wales Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2011 2020

Research Output 2006 2019

Attributions and emotional competence: why some teachers experience close relationships with disruptive students (and others don’t)

McGrath, K. F. & Van Bergen, P., 2019, In : Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice. 25, 3, p. 334-357 24 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

student teacher

The role of social media in developing young people’s health literacy

Dudley, D. A., Van Bergen, P., McMaugh, A. & Mackenzie, E., 2019, Young people, social media and health. Goodyear, V. A. & Armour, K. M. (eds.). Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, p. 147-161 15 p. (Routledge studies in physical education and youth sport).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

Open Access
social media
health care

Caught between a rock and a hard place: disruptive boys’ views on mainstream and special schools in New South Wales, Australia

Graham, L. J., Van Bergen, P. & Sweller, N., 2018, Alternative educational programmes, schools and social justice. McGregor, G., Thomson, P., Pennacchia, J. & Mills, M. (eds.). London ; New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, p. 35-54 20 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearch

Randomized Controlled Trials