Susan Caldis
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My doctoral research focuses on the transformation of pedagogical practice in the secondary Geography classroom. Teacher education students are tracked over two years as they transition from professional experience in to their early-career years. The study is qualitative and framed around the Theory of Reflexivity (Archer, 2010, 2017) to determine the enabling and constraining factors of using signature pedagogies in the secondary Geography classroom. The Teaching and Assessing for Reflective Learning (TARL) model (Ryan & Ryan, 2013, 2015) and the Professional Standards for the Accomplished Teaching of Geography (Hutchinson & Kriewaldt, 2010) provide conceptual frames for assessing the depth of reflection about pedagogical practice over time, and for identifying the signature pedagogies of Geography. Outside of the HDR program, I am working with a small team to investigate how fieldwork can be used to promote conceptual change amongst students and teachers engaged in the Preliminary and HSC Geography course.

At the end of 2019 I achieved the Faculty of Human Sciences Award for Excellence in Higher Degree Research.

In addition to my doctoral research, I also teach the Geography methodology courses across the primary and secondary programs at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I also teach across the broader Curriculum and Pedagogy courses.

Outside of Macquarie University, I continue to hold several leadership roles in the professional associations for Geography: President, Geography Teachers Associaton of NSW and ACT (GTANSW&ACT); Director, Australian Geography Teachers Association (AGTA); Honorary Secretary, Geographical Society of NSW; and AGTA Representative for the Institute of Australian Geographers (IAG). 

In 2019 I was appointed by the Academy of Singapore Teachers and Ministry of Education, Singapore, as the 2019 Outstanding Educator In Residence for geographical education. The appointment focused on pedagogical practice in Geography, particularly around the incorporation of inquiry-based learning and fieldwork activities in to teaching, learning and assessment programs. Responsibilities associated with this in-country appointment included collaborating closely with the Academy of Singapore Teachers to develop and deliver a series of Masterclasses for in-service teachers of Geography; designing and teaching demonstration lessons in local schools with local students; and participating in a national curriculum dialogue with policy-makers.

Education/Academic qualification

Education, Master of Research (Year 2), Macquarie University

Jul 201725 Apr 2018

Award Date: 30 Jun 2018

Leadership and Intercultural Understanding, Asialink Leadership Course, The University of Melbourne

Jan 2016Dec 2016

Award Date: 16 Dec 2016

Education, Master of Education (Research Specialisation), Macquarie University


Award Date: 16 Dec 2016

Education, Bachelor of Education, University of Sydney


Award Date: 15 Dec 1995

Education, Doctor of Philosophy, Macquarie University

30 Jul 2018 → …

External positions

President (2nd time), Geography Teachers' Association of NSW

Nov 2019 → …

Honorary Secretary, Geographical Society of NSW

Mar 2017 → …

Sessional Academic (Geography, Canberra Campus), Australian Catholic University

Jan 2017Jun 2017

Sessional Academic (HSIE in the primary years), University of Sydney

Jan 2017Jun 2017

Vice President, Geography Teachers' Association of NSW

Oct 2016Nov 2019

Board member, Professional Teachers Council of NSW


Director/Nominated Director, Australian Geography Teachers' Association

Oct 2013 → …

President, Geography Teachers' Association of NSW

Oct 2013Oct 2016

Senior Project Officer: Australian Curriculum Geography, Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)

Oct 2010Oct 2013

Head Teacher HSIE, Department of Education, Skills and Employment


Teaching and Learning Coordinator, Department of Education, Skills and Employment


Geography Teacher, Department of Education, Skills and Employment



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