Lisa Cary  from Murdoch University in Perth Australia.

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    Dr Lisa Cary

    Senior Lecturer

    About me

    It has been quite a journey to my current position as the Head of Professional Learning at Murdoch University.  As part of the Pro-Vice Chancellor’s Portfolio, I now lead the professional learning programs which includes The Learning and Teaching Certificate.  The Certificate was accredited by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) in 2016 and Murdoch was the second university in Australia to offer HEA accredited professional development programmes. The Certificate runs in Perth and Singapore at this time.  However, I started my career as a secondary teacher here in Western Australia in the 1980’s. Since then, I have taught, studied and conducted research in educational contexts in Australia, Canada and the United States of America.  I completed my Master of Education degree at the University of Regina in Canada in 1995 and my Doctor of Philosophy degree at The Ohio State University in the United States of America in 1999. Since completing my doctoral degree I have held a number of academic positions in the U.S.A., including Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University and Associate Professor at The University of Texas in Austin, Texas.  I began my time here at Murdoch in 2010 as a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education.  My academic identity in the fields of Curriculum Studies, Social Education and Educational Research emerged in those years overseas.  Now I hope to bring all of these life experiences as both teacher and researcher to bear on my work here in Australia.   My research focuses on knowledge production through curriculum (writ large) and educational research.  It centres issues of epistemology (how we know what we know) and looks at the social construction of subject positions, including the ‘good teacher’ , the ‘good citizen’ and the ‘good girl’.  As a result of this work I have developed a strong international reputation as a curriculum scholar and educational researcher committed to social justice and the teaching of ‘difficult knowledge’.  This move provides a significant contribution to the field of Curriculum Studies by deconstructing central notions of schooling that works to reveal the way social constructions of worthwhile knowledge and good teaching (for example) are exclusionary and self-regulating.    I am committed to bringing together theory and practice in educational research by making the ethical move toward the study of discourses that frame our knowing and the way we know Others as an ethical move toward social justice.  (Others is capitalized in this summary to emphasize the way power excludes certain individuals in social institutions, such as education).  I have published in a number of journals, including The International Journal of Qualitative Research Studies in Education, Theory and Research in Social Education, The International Journal of Leadership in Education, and The International Journal of Qualitative Inquiry.  My research monograph, Curriculum Spaces: Discourse, Postmodern Theory and Educational Research was published in 2006.  I have worked in a number of different editorial positions on research journals in the fields of Curriculum Theory and Social Education.


    Teaching area

    Teaching areas include; the philosophical and sociological foundations of schooling, curriculum theory and educational research.

    EDN 331/3311 Schooling and Society

    This unit introduces students to the larger social context of education. Students will examine the relationship between education and the larger society; the aims of education and the ways these aims are expressed through policy and practice; and issues related to social division. Sociological, philosophical and political perspectives are used to explore how social justice relates to curriculum and classroom practices. The unit culminates in the development of a literature review which analyses a sociological or political aspect of education.


    EDN 620 Curriculum Leadership

    The purpose of this course is to allow students to explore the practical and theoretical complexities of notions of curriculum and curriculum theory.  This course serves an essential need for educators and other human service professionals to understand and apply social science research methods to the study of Curriculum.  Students taking this course are the present and future leaders in education and related human service fields.  This vital work is challenging already and will continue to be so in the future, in light of social, political, and economic changes in our cultures at large and in our school cultures in particular.  In order to work with these challenges, it is crucial that human service professionals be life-long learners committed to ongoing professional development.  As part of that process, it is essential that professionals be able to integrate research into their practice. 


    EDN 600 Master of Education Project (offshore – Kaplan and Dubai).

    This unit is designed to provide a place for you to bring together your studies in the Master of Education (coursework) degree.  You will produce a project that will be a capstone to your studies.  The project will generally be a thorough literature review on a topic of your choice. Other options are available with the consent of your unit coordinator.  The project will give you the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to synthesise and integrate the knowledge and skills accumulated during your postgraduate studies.

    Research areas

    My work focuses on four research areas (with significant blurring of the boundaries between each area) :

    1)  The Study of Curriculum - the production of valid knowledge and the study of power in curriculum. The central question is “Whose knowledge counts?”.  This question provides a window into the social construction of knowledge and the exclusionary practices of schooling for those considered deviant of different.

    2)  Educational Research Theory – The Philosophical Foundations of Understanding (epistemology – how we know what we know), and Issues of  Representation in research.

    3) The Social Construction of the Subject – from a sociological and anthropological perspective, I am interested in issies of race, class, gender and sexuality.  By historicising the present, I consider how we know difference and how this knowing excludes those considered the Other.

    4) Social Education – this area brings together all of the specific areas of interest outlined above.  I have been researching in this area for some years and now have returned to Australia to research the histocial social construction of the ‘good citizen’, the ‘good girl’ and the ‘good teacher’.  I examine the way ‘how we know what we know’ is a historical product reflected in contemporary discourses.


    Current projects

    1) Ongoing: Australian Women, Gender Identity and Feminism: A Case Study

    This is a case study of the persepectives of female preservice teachers on issues of identity and femimisn in Australia today. The case study will use as a starting point the current issues in the media with the Prime Minister and Parliament concerning claims of misogyny and then move on to the broader concerns of identity and citizenship for young women. 

    2) Forthcoming: Civics and Citizenship Education through the Australian Curriculum: Following the Path During Implementation

    For some time, teachers worldwide have been subject to increasing rates of curricular change, and the staged introduction of the Australian Curriculum has further exacerbated this situation in the local context. The proposed study is intended to yield significant understandings of the ways in which schools go about responding to this type of challenge, whilst maintaining curricular and pedagogic integrity, and engaging in pedagogic innovation in the pursuit of appropriate learning outcomes for their students.

    Awards and grants


    Curriculum Spaces: Discourse, Postmodern Theory and Educational Research nominated for the American Educational Research Association Division B Outstanding Book Award, April  2007.


    Curriculum Spaces: Discourse, Postmodern Theory and Educational Research nominated for the Hamilton Book Author Awards,University ofTexas Co-op Bookstore, March 2007.


    Invited Membership in the ‘Professors of Curriculum’ Group, Affiliated with the American Educational Research Association (2006)


    Awarded the University of Texas at Austin Nomination for the New Scholars Award for the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools, U.S.A.  (2006)


    Early Career Award’ in the Critical Issues in Curriculum and Cultural Studies SIG, American Educational Research Association, San Diego, April 12-16, 2004.


    Flesher Fellowship Outstanding Graduate Student Award. College of Education, The Ohio State University, (1999).


    Events and speaking engagements


    International Seminar,“Strengthening Social Studies for the 21st Century.”  November 14, 2013. The Indonesian University of Education, Bandung, Indonesia.

    Seminar Series. “Global Citizenship and the Future of Social Studies.”  November 11-15., 2013. The Indonesian University of Education, Bandung, Indonesia.

    The Curriculum Moment. Invited Keynote Presentation, Cockburn Fremantle Public Schools Network (CFPSN). April 24, 2012.

    Social Education: Dancing with the Discourses. Invited Keynote Presentation, The Social Educators Association of Australia Biennial Conference, Melbourne, Australia, January 19, 2012.

    Curriculum Spaces: Reclaiming Research in Education. Distinguished Curriculum Studies Speaker, Oklahoma State Research Symposium, February 12, 2007.

    Curriculum Issues and Educational Research. Invited Presentation. Bowling Green University, Ohio, U.S.A., March 14, 2007.


    Professional and community service

    Cockburn Fremantle Public Schools Network – Profesional Development Day Keynote Address.




    Doctoral and masters supervisions

    Dr. Lisa J. Cary – Supervision of Higher Degree Research Students (pre-2010 at The University of Texas, Austin, Texas, U.S.A., and Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, U.S.A.)


    Doctoral Dissertations

    I-Huei Lee

    Subjectivities, discourses and negotiations: a feminist poststructural analysis of women teachers in Taiwan. (2010)

    Holly Hungerford-Kresser. 

    Identity (re)constructions and early college literacies [electronic resource] : urban-schooled Latin (2008)

     Jenefred Davies       

    Emerging pride of place: Mexican American teacher candidates’ perceptions and experiences within a historically Black university in Texas.(2007)

     Timothy Kinard  

    Intimate interloper [electronic resource] : the contextualized life histories of four early childhood (2006)

    James C. Jupp

    Life histories of white male teachers of diverse students [electronic resource] : intersections with whiteness, masculinity, and difference / by James Cropsey Jupp. (2006)

     Robin Kapavik

     Interrupting traditional social studies classrooms: perspectives on U.S. history teachers. (2006)

    Fernando Vasquez

    Negotiating Chicano Masculinities at institutions of higher education: Voices of Texas Chicano Men. (2006)


    Masters Theses

    Sibongile Mtshali-Dlamini

    The Silenced minority: a literature review of the treatment of gay and lesbian students in school. (2001)



    • Cary, L., (2006),Curriculum Spaces Discourse, Postmodern Theory and Educational Research,Peter Lang Publishing.


    • Cary, L., (2012),Strategic Confrontation: Within and Against Conservative Refusals,In: Critical Voices in Teacher Education: Teaching for Social Justice in Conservative Times, Springer, pages 139 to 150.


    • Cary, L., Pruyn, M., Austin, J., (2015), Australian citizenship in interesting times Curriculum, culture and immigrants as contested terrain, Qualitative Research Journal, 15, 2, pages 228 - 240.
    • Cary, L., (2013), Privileged citizenship: Dancing with discourses in Australia, The Social Educator, 30, 3, pages 4 - 10.
    • Cary, L., Mutua, K., (2010), Postcolonial Narratives: Discourse and Epistemological Spaces, Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 26, 2, pages 62 - 77.
    • Cary, L., (2010), Making Charter School Promises: What's Wrong with Home and Hope?, Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, 7, 1, pages 81 - 99.

    Below please see a selection of other publications, arranged by Research Interest Areas:

    Past Publications (pre-2010) by focus area are as follows:

    1) The Study of Curriculum 

    Cary, L. J. (2006). From Currere to Curriculum Spaces: Bringing together Curriculum Theory and Educational Research. The Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy. Volume 3, Number 2, pp. 148-167.

    Kafala, T. and Cary, L. J. (2006). The “Next Generation” Paradox: Postmodern Moments in Curriculum Theory and the Possibilities of Dissensus. The Journal of Curriculum Theorizing. Volume 22, Number 1, Spring 2006, pp. 25-43.

    Cary, L. J. (2004). Creating Other Oppositional Spaces in Curriculum Studies. The Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy. Volume 1, Number 1, pp. 35-37.

    Mosley, M., Cary, L.J. and Zoch, M. (2010). Culturally Responsive: A Review of Learning in Field Experiences for Prospective Literacy Educators. The International Handbook of English, Language and Literacy Teaching. Wyse, D., Andrews, R., and Hoffman, J. (eds.). Routledge, New York, New York. pp. 282-293.

    Cary, L.J. (2010). Critical Issues in Curriculum and Cultural Studies, AERA Special Interest Group. Kridel, C. (ed.)., The Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies. SAGE publications. P. 33.

    Cary, L. J. (2000). Redemption, Desire and Discourse: The UnApparent Teacher in Education. Conference Proceedings, The Internationalization of Curriculum Studies Conference, April 27- 30, 2000, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (

    2) Educational Research Theory – Philosophical Foundations of Understanding and Issues of Representation

    Cary, L. J. (1999). Unexpected Stories: Life History and the Limits of Representation. Qualitative Inquiry, Volume 5, Number 3, 1999, pp. 411-427.

    Cary, L.J. (2006). Unexpected Stories. In Paul Atkinson and Sara Delamont (Eds.), Narrative Methods. London; Sage Publications. Originally published in Qualitative Inquiry, Volume 5, Number 3, 1999, pp. 411-427.

    Cary, L. J. (2004). Always Already Colonizer/Colonized: White Australian Wanderings. In K. Mutua and B. Swadener (Eds.), Decolonizing Research: Critical Personal Narratives. StateUniversity ofNew York Press, pp. 69-83.

    3) The Social Construction of the Subject

    Cary, L. J. and Reifel, S. (2005). Cinematic Teacher Landscapes. Action and Teacher Education. Volume 27, Number 3, pp. 95-109.

    Cary, L. J. (2004). The Professional Development School Model: Unpacking Knowledge. The Journal of Leadership in Education. Volume 7, Number 4, pp. 319-337.

    Cary, L. J. (2003). Unhomely Spaces And Deviant Subjectivity: The Socio-Historical Homelessness of Juvenile Female Offenders. The International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 579-594.

    Cary, L.J. (2009). An Ode to Hillary: Strong Women and Leadership. In P.C.S. Burke(ed.) Women And Pedagogy: Education through Autobiographical Narrative. EIP Press. Troy, New York. PP 145-154.

    Cary, L. J. (2006). More Interruptions Within and Against Citizenship: Bad Girls in Deviant subject positions. In Cleo Cherryholmes, Elizabeth Heilman, and Avner Segal (Eds.), The Next Generation in Social Studies. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing, pp. 47-60.

    4) Social Education

    Cary, L. J. (2003). In-Between Curriculum Spaces: The Effects of Power in a Post 9/11 World. The Journal of Curriculum Theorizing. Volume 19, Number 3, Fall, 2003, pp. 85-95.

    Cary, L. J. (2002). Complicating the Case for Teacher Education: Asking Different Questions. Action and Teacher Education. Volume 24, Number 3, Fall, 2002. pp. 92-99.

    Cary, L. J. (2001). The Refusals of Citizenship: Normalizing Practices in Social Educational Discourses. Theory and Research in Social Education. Volume 29, Number 3, Summer 2001, pp. 405-430.

    Cary, L.J. (2012). Strategic Confrontation: Within and Against Conservative Refusals. In Down, B and Smyth, J. (Eds.). Critical Voices in Teacher Education: Teaching for Social Justice in Conservative Times.