Kimberley is a Senior Lecturer in the Teacher Education program. She designs, coordinates and teaches subjects across both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in primary and secondary initial teacher education, with a focus on primary Science and Technology, educational psychology, and research methods. Kimberley is the Coordinator for Engagement, including School Partnerships, within the School of Education.
Kimberley received her PhD in 2010 from the University of Sydney. Her thesis, Towards a sociocultural theory of interest development (PDF, 4MB), focused on a research project that investigated processes involved in students’ development of interest in learning Science and Technology in an authentic classroom context. She received the Beth Southwell Award for an Outstanding Educational Thesis from the NSW Institute for Education Research (2011).
Kimberley's research continues to focus on Science and Technology education and investigations into supporting students' interest in learning. Her projects seek to contribute to innovative teaching in schools and other contexts for learning, and her approach to education research is characterised by collaborations with practitioners. Kimberley has a growing number of publications in these areas and she has delivered related conference presentations within Australia and internationally.
Kimberley began her career as a primary teacher and she has pre-school to year 7 teaching experience in the independent school system. She has worked as a classroom teacher and coordinator of gifted education. In 1997, Kimberley was awarded the Teachers' Guild of NSW Award for Excellence in the Early Years of Teaching. She has been actively involved in the delivery of professional development courses for inservice teachers for more than 20 years. She has been employed as an academic in a continuing position at UTS since 2004, after working as a casual academic and research assistant at both UTS and the University of Sydney.
Kimberley is a supervisor for Higher Degree Research students. She currently is supervising students whose theses are focused on science education and student motivation and emotions, as well as professional teaching standards.
Member of the following organisations:
- The Australasian Science Education Research Association (ASERA)
- The European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction (EARLI)
- The European Science Education Research Association (ESERA)
Kimberley is involved in education programs at Youth Off The Streets (opens an external site) and received a UTS Human Rights Award in 2018 for her volunteer work. Youth Off The Streets is a youth-specific charity assisting young people dealing with issues of substance and other abuse, alienation from family and community and homelessness. Kimberley is currently a volunteer teacher at Key College in Redfern and a member of the national scholarship program selection committee. She formerly coordinated the YOTS' national alcohol and drug education program, GetReel.
Kimberley works with a range of schools to provide professional development support for teachers. For example, in 2016 she worked with Shellharbour Anglican College P-12 staff to tailor a 2-day, school-based Professional Learning Conference focusing on curriculum differentiation. The interactive keynote and workshop sessions that she designed and delivered were NSW BOSTES-accredited.
Other professional learning collaborations include:
- Cecil Hills HS Beginning Teachers' Conference (2017), on designing for learner engagement
- Youth Off The Streets schools' staff (2016), on designing and conducting classroom-based action research.
- International Grammar School Preschool to Year 12 languages staff (2014), focusing on pedagogical design and strategies for promoting student interest and engagement in learning.
- Burwood Public School (2012) using an action learning model, focusing on differentiation of classroom teaching and learning in mathematics.
- Preschool to Year 12 staff at Abbotsleigh (2011) with a focus on developing classroom-based learning communities.
- North Newtown Public School (2011) focusing on programming in primary Science and Technology.
- In 2003-2004, Kimberley was the academic partner in an action learning project at Villawood North Public School. The project focused on professional development activities to support teachers' practices in fostering students' engagement in science and technology. This project was part of the Australian Government Quality Teaching Programme.
From 2009-2018, Kimberley was a volunteer organiser of the Community Learning Program at the International Grammar School in Sydney (opens an external site). This program incorporates free public lectures for parents, teachers and the wider community on contemporary education and parenting issues.
In 2016-17, Kimberley was co-chair of the organising committee for the annual conference of the Australasian Science Education Research Association (ASERA), held at UTS from 27-30 June 2017.
Can supervise: YES
- Motivation for learning, especially the development of interest
- Science and technology education
- Sociocultural theories and pedagogies
- Learning and student engagement in contexts outside the classroom and alternative education programs
- Classroom-based research in partnership with teachers
In 2018-2020, Kimberley is the academic collaborator in a Roseville College school-based research project, 'Valuing, measuring and tracking the development of learning dispositions in a K-12 School', funded by the Association of Independent Schools, NSW.
In 2017-2019, Kimberley is working with UTS colleagues and teachers and teacher educators in Bhutan and Nepal, to collaboratively design projects that positively impact on the quality of science and mathematics education. The collaboration is funded through DFAT's Australia Awards Fellowship program.
In 2018, Kimberley was a key member of a large research team conducting the Evaluation of Stage 2 of the K-2 Literacy and Numeracy Action Plan (NSW Department of Education funding in excess of $800, 000 2018-2020).
In 2016-2018, Kimberley was a chief investigator in two UTS teams which conducted research evaluations of two Australian Academy of Science education programs, Primary Connections and Science by Doing (approx. $200,000).
In 2015-2016, Kimberley was a member of a UTS team awarded more than $200,000 in funding from the AISNSW to conduct a research project focused on Quality and Effectiveness in Primary Science and Technology. Kimberley was responsible for coordinating the six case studies of effective primary teachers' approaches to supporting students' science and technology learning. Reports related to this study can be found on the website of the AISNSW.
Kimberley previously has received internal UTS research funding as the lead investigator for projects focused on:
- developing guiding principles for teachers to support the development of children's interest in learning primary Science and Technology (2014). This project incorporated a design-based research approach in the classrooms of 3 primary teachers, and involved interviews, focus groups, classroom observations and document analysis.
- young people's motivations for (re-)engaging with school (2013). This was an interview-based project in the context of alternative, or 'second chance' schools. Data gathered were analysed and interpreted by drawing on key concepts from sociocultural theories of motivation.
Kimberley's involvement as a team member in other externally funded research has included:
- IMC Sky High!: Lifting up Aussie Kids (2012-2013) - a project of the UTS International Research Centre for Youth Futures (http://www.uts.edu.au/research-and-teaching/our-research/international-…). Kimberley's specific focus in the project was on volunteer teacher education students' roles in a program of events that takes middle-school students to out-of-school contexts for learning, to promote educational aspiration, engagement and well-being.
- Museums Actively Researching Visitor Experiences of Learning (MARVEL) research program - most recently, the focus was on adolescents' experiences of learning in museums (2008).
Kimberley previously led the evaluation of the Kids' Design Challenge, a Science and Technology program for primary school students in NSW (2005-8), funded by the NSW Department of Education.
Kimberley is a reviewer of manuscripts for academic journals, including the Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, Teaching and Teacher Education and Australian Educational Researcher. She has examined both Masters and Doctoral theses.
- Primary Science and Technology Education
- Educational Psychology
- Learning in Out-of-School contexts, such as museums
- Education research and teachers-as-researchers
- Professional Practice in Primary Schools (including project-based approaches to teaching across the curriculum and gifted education)
Kimberley has a particular interest in designing preservice teacher education subjects that blur the traditional distinction between campus-based learning and professional experience placements. For example, she regularly involves her students in targeted, subject-specific professional learning experiences at nearby schools or other education sites, as embedded activities during a semester. Kimberley also engages school- and community-based practitioners as guest speakers on-campus in subjects that she coordinates.
In 2016, Kimberley worked with UTS colleagues Dr Don Carter and Dr Tracey-Ann Palmer to develop a rich transdisciplinary, project-based task that was piloted across two elective subjects in teacher education. The task culminated in a student exhibition that engaged the public in exploring ideas related to the concept of Change. Kimberley and her colleagues received a UTS FASS Teaching and Learning Award (2016) in recognition of this teaching innovation.
In another teaching and learning project, Kimberley initiated a collaboration with North Newtown Public School (2012-14) in the subject Learning in Science and Technology 2 in the Primary Education program. UTS students worked with staff and children at North Newtown PS to implement a 'Design and Make' day at the school. Videoconferences between UTS students and school-based teachers and children contributed to UTS students creating workshops for children that related to the science and technology topics that they were learning about at school that term. UTS student teachers undertook research to develop their own conceptual understandings, then taught the workshops, and subsequently evaluated the success of their teaching.
Buchanan, J, Pressick-Kilborn, K & Maher, D 2019, 'Promoting environmental education for primary school-aged students using digital technologies', Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, vol. 15, no. 2.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Pressick-Kilborn, KJ & Prescott, A 2017, 'Engaging primary children and pre-service teachers in a whole school 'Design and Make Day': The evaluation of a creative science and technology collaboration', Teaching Science, vol. 63, no. 1, pp. 18-26.
A pedagogical innovation was collaboratively designed, implemented and evaluated in the context of a school-university partnership. The innovation had a dual purpose: 1) to provide an opportunity for primary pre-service teachers to develop their understanding and experience of teaching 'design and produce' processes (working technologically), and 2) to involve primary students in a highly engaging, meaningful learning experience with high visibility in the school's community. We decided that this could best take the form of an annual whole school 'Design and Make Day' (DM Day). In this paper, we describe the context of the DM Day, spotlight three tasks, and share the key findings from the project evaluation.
Prescott, AE & Pressick-Kilborn, KJ 2015, 'It's great to be doing maths! Engaging primary students in a lunchtime club', Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, vol. 23, pp. 34-49.
Pressick-Kilborn, KJ & Te Riele, K 2008, 'Learning from Reciprocal Peer Observation: A Collaborative Self-study', Studying Teacher Education, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 61-75.
Engaging in a self-study is a multi-faceted activity that involves not only autobiography and theory, but also students and colleagues. Learning from and with colleagues can take many forms. This article discusses the authors' experience with reciprocal classroom observation in a teacher education context. Peer observation supported our learning about our own teaching by providing suggestions for change and mutual reassurance. In this study we make connections between learning from each other, ourselves, our students and theories of teaching and learning. Specifically, we address what we learned about pedagogy in relation to missed opportunities, teacher-directedness and articulating purpose; about curriculum, in relation to balance and standards; about our students, in relation to their backgrounds as well as social tensions; and about ourselves as teachers and learners in relation to rapport, role modeling and collegiality. We demonstrate how peer observation can be a valuable component of ongoing professional development for tertiary teachers.
Pressick-Kilborn, KJ, Sainsbury, E & Walker, R 2005, 'Making sense of theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches: Exploring conceptual change and interest in learning from a sociocultural perspective', Australian Educational Researcher, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 25-47.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Walker, R, Pressick-Kilborn, KJ, Arnold, L & Sainsbury, E 2004, 'Investigating motivation in context: developing sociocultural perspectives', European Psychologist, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 245-256.
Pressick-Kilborn, K & Prescott, A 2020, 'School-university partnerships as rich STEM learning contexts for preservice teachers working with primary students' in Fitzgerald, A, Haeusler, C & Pfeiffer, L (eds), STEM education in primary classrooms: Unravelling contemporary approaches in Australia and New Zealand, Routledge, London, pp. 100-114.View/Download from: Publisher's site
In this chapter, the authors discuss two science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education initiatives – a Design and Make Day and a lunchtime Maths Club – that were designed and implemented in the context of school–university partnerships. They draw on evaluative data gathered from primary students, pre- and in-service teachers and teacher educators who were involved in each of the projects. The authors focus on the nature of the learning for primary students and pre-service teachers (PSTs). The PSTs used their tutorial/workshop time on-campus at university to develop their own understandings of the particular science topic and familiarising themselves with the specific primary connections unit through engaging in some of the activities themselves. The tasks that the PSTs designed for the primary students promoted the relevance of STEM learning and created possibilities for collaboration and emotional engagement through activities with multiple pathways to arrive at a variety of successful solutions.
Kearney, M, Pressick-Kilborn, KJ & Aubusson, PJ 2016, 'Students' use of digital video in contemporary science teacher education' in Hoban, G, Nielsen, W & Shepherd, A (eds), Student-generated Digital Media in Science Education: Learning, explaining and communicating content, Routledge, UK, pp. 136-147.
Pressick-Kilborn, KJ 2015, 'Canalization and connectedness in the development of science interest' in Renninger, KA, Hidi, S & Nieswandt, M (eds), Interest in Mathematics and Science Learning, American Educational Research Association (AERA), Washington, pp. 353-367.
Mccallum, J & Pressick-Kilborn, KJ 2011, 'Examining Change in Motivation: The Potential of SocioCultural Theory' in McInerney, D, Walker, R & Liem, G (eds), Sociocultural Theories of Learning and Motivation: Looking Back, Looking Foward, Information Age Publishing, USA, pp. 163-187.
Walker, RA, Pressick-Kilborn, KJ, Sainsbury, E & MacCallum, J 2010, 'A sociocultural approach to motivation: A long time coming but here at last' in Urdan, TC & Karabenick, SA (eds), Advances in Motivation and Achievement: The Decade Ahead: Applications and contexts of motivation and achievement (Vol 16B), Emerald, Bingley, U.K., pp. 1-42.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Until recently, motivation has been considered to be an individual phenomenon. Motivational theorists have accordingly conceptualised key constructs in individualistic terms and emphasised the individual origins and nature of motivation, although they have also long recognised that contextual or social factors have a significant influence on these individual processes. Recently this conceptualisation has been questioned as theorists have suggested, after Vygotsky, that motivation, like learning and thinking, Illight be social in nature. This idea was first suggested by Sivan (1986) more than twenty years ago but it received a major impetus with the pnblication of an article by Hickey (1997) eleven years later. Since that time interest in the social nature of motivation has grown as a small number of book chapters and journal articles have been published and conference papers have been presented on the topic.
Pressick-Kilborn, KJ, Griffin, JM & Weiss, L 2006, 'Exploring unanticipated pathways: teachers & researchers learning about their practices through classroom-based research' in Aubusson, P & Schuck, S (eds), Teacher Learning and Development: The Mirror Maze, Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, pp. 33-51.
Perry, R, Pressick-Kilborn, K & Kearney, M 2013, 'Exploring connected learning spaces in teacher education', 30th Annual conference on Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education, ASCILITE 2013, Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education, ASCILITE, Sydney, NSW, Australia, pp. 694-705.
This paper reports on outcomes from a study that explored how connected learning spaces, mediated by videoconference technology, enabled real-world engagement in pre-service teacher education. Student teachers in drama and science education participated in the study, which involved varied connections with school children and their classroom teachers. Key themes that emerged were underpinned by a consideration of authentic learning: student teachers' observations of teacher practices; enactment of multiple roles; and exposure to diverse and timely feedback. Implications for the design of discipline specific on-campus activities are considered in relation to how they inform effective integration of videoconference technology for real-world, professional engagement in teacher education.
Pressick-Kilborn, K, Gresalfi, M, Renninger, KA, Bachrach, JE, Shechtman, N, Cheng, B, Lundh, P, Trinidad, G & Walker, R 2012, 'Engaging middle school-aged students in classroom science and mathematics: Implications for design and research', 10th International Conference of the Learning Sciences: The Future of Learning, ICLS 2012 - Proceedings, pp. 49-56.
A critical educational challenge and core issue for the ICLS 2012 theme of "the Future of Learning," is how to keep students, particularly those who attend the most under-resourced schools, engaged in science and math as they progress through secondary school. The four papers in this symposium discuss key issues, challenges, and progress around interest and engagement in science and math for students in grades 5 to 7. From a range of theoretical and methodological perspectives, the panelists discuss what interest and engagement are as research constructs; some of the design principles, key features of instructional materials, and contextual factors that trigger and shape interest and engagement; how learner characteristics influence the ways students select or respond to opportunities to engage; the roles that interest and engagement play in learning; and issues of measurement. This 90-minute session will include both formal presentations and moderated discussion among the panelists and audience. © ISLS.
Kearney, MD, Pressick-Kilborn, KJ & Maher, D 2012, 'Driving Pre-Service Science Teachers' TPACK Development Through Their Generative Use Of Digital Video', Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2012, Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference, AACE., Austin, Texas, US, pp. 1381-1388.
An emerging body of literature explores the benefits of prospective science teachers creating and sharing digital video in their professional learning activities. A common theme is the facilitation of reflection on experience and a range of other potential professional teaming benefits. This paper takes a snapshot of current developments with teacher-generated digital video tasks in teacher education with a focus on pre-service science teachers' technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) development. The paper draws on preliminary analysis of data from one of the 39 teacher preparation institutions participating in The Teaching Teachers for the Future (TTF) project, funded by the Australian Government.
Aubusson, P, Skamp, K, Burke, PF, Pressick-Kilborn, K, Ng, W, Palmer, T-A, Goodall, A & Ferguson, J Primary Connections 2019, Primary Connections: Linking science with literacy Stage 6 research evaluation final report, pp. 1-151, Sydney.
This report presents findings from the External Independent Evaluation and Research for Primary Connections Stage 6 (2014–2018) conducted by a research team from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).
Burke, P, Schuck, SR, Aubusson, P, Ng, W, Pressick-Kilborn, K & Palmer, T-A 2017, Supporting the Effective Teaching of Primary Science and Technology: A discrete choice experiment approach, Australia.
Aubusson, P, Schuck, SR, Ng, W, Burke, P, Pressick-Kilborn, K & Palmer, T-A Association of Independent Schools New South Wales 2015, Quality Learning and Teaching in Primary Science and Technology Literature Review, no. 2nd Edition, Australia.
In its 2nd edition, the aim of this literature review is to address the broad research question: What characterises quality teaching and learning in primary science and technology? Effective teaching that engages students to learn successfully indicates quality.
Presentation at the Australasian Science Education (ASERA) Conference 2019.
Presentation at Australasian Science Education (ASERA) Conference 2018. Abstract: Primary teachers play a vital role in the early school science learning experiences of young people. Previous research has established that primary teachers benefit from targeted professional learning (PL) opportunities to develop their own competence and confidence in delivering engaging science lessons and effectively implementing the Australian Curriculum: Science. Through the Primary Connections (PC) program, the Australian Academy of Science provides extensive teaching and learning resources as well as professional learning support for preservice and inservice teachers. In the most recent stage of implementation, PC has focused on PL delivery in regional and rural communities. In this paper, data gathered in the Stage 6 evaluation of PC are drawn on, to highlight and discuss the perceived PL needs of prospective and current primary teachers.
Data were gathered through focus groups and on-line surveys, which included a Best-Worst Scaling (BWS) methodology. First, six focus groups were conducted – three with preservice teachers, three with inservice teachers – following participation in PC Ready PL workshops. Surveys were completed prior to workshop participation as well as post, with the latter including BWS items (171 preservice teachers, 126 inservice teachers). The results highlight perceptions of school and teacher capabilities in science teaching, as well as indicating features of the PC PL workshops that enhanced perceived confidence in teaching primary science. The evaluation also gauged teacher preferences for PL format, features and content, which have implications for the design of primary teacher PL in science more broadly than PC. In this presentation, the top 10 areas nominated by teachers as being most important for their professional learning will be reported for consideration and discussion.
Presentation at Australasian Science Education (ASERA) conference 2017.
Quality teaching and learning in primary science and technology is more likely to be effective when applied by a teacher
with sound pedagogical and content knowledge in this subject. Research highlights inquiry-based learning as an effective
pedagogical framework that underpins a number of useful teaching models and approaches explored here. Other
strategies and characteristics associated with quality science and technology teaching and learning are also discussed.
Personally in her work, Kimberley has established and developed external partnerships to conduct research and initiate teaching and learning projects with organisations and academics, including:
* The Australian Academy of Science
* The Association of Independent Schools, NSW (AISNSW)
* Youth Off The Streets
* The Australian Museum
* Shellharbour Anglican College
* International Grammar School, Sydney
* The Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture, Samoa
* Associate Professor Niels Bonderup Dohn, Aarhus University, Denmark
* Associate Professor Judith Macallum, Murdoch University, WA
* Professor Kitty te Riele, University of Tasmania - Peter Underwood Centre