Personal details

Associate Professor Karen Dooley
Associate Professor
Faculty of Education,
School of Teacher Education and Leadership
Discipline *
Curriculum and Pedagogy, Specialist Studies in Education, Education Systems
+61 7 3138 3430
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PhD (Griffith University), Graduate Certificate in Arts (Chinese) (University of New England), Graduate Certificate in Applied Linguistics (Griffith University), BEdStud(Hons) (University of Queensland), DipT (Brisbane College of Adv. Ed.)

Professional memberships
and associations
  • National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE)
  • Australian Literacy Educators’ Association (ALEA)
  • International Reading Association (IRA)
  • Primary English Teaching Association (PETA)
  • Queensland Association of Teachers of English as a Second Language (QATESOL)

English as a second language, primary literacy education, refugee education

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


Karen is the HDR Coordinator in the Faculty of Education and is an English Curriculum lecturer.

Teaching Karen teaches research methods and has taught undergraduate units in the primary literacy strand in the School of Curriculum and a second language literacy unit in the Master of Education program. She supervises in the areas of second language and literacy education.

Research Karen’s interests include second language learning, English teaching and learning, literacy, classroom talk, multiliteracies, pedagogy, and linguistic, cultural and racial identities in education. Karen is interested in sociological perspectives on language and literacy education, and her research is informed by the theoretical frameworks of Pierre Bourdieu and Basil Bernstein.

Karen has held three Australian Research Council (ARC) grants. She is currently working on a Discovery grant looking at private literacy tutoring. Previous externally-funded research includes (1) an ARC Linkage project investigating digital and print literacies in a linguistically and culturally diverse school in an area with high levels of poverty (2009-13); and an ARC Linkage project (2006-08) study of pedagogy for new arrival African refugee students of English as a Second Language in Australian middle schools. Karen has also held an Ian Potter grant for a study of the incorporation of iPads into kindergarten curriculum (20133).

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Karen Dooley.


Karen teaches research methods in the EdD (Doctor of Education). She is course coordinator for the EdD and the PhD. Karen has taught and coordinated undergraduate and graduate literacy units, and has taught research methods at undergraduate and masters level.  Karen has been the Academic Coordinator for several lecturer training programs funded by the China Scholarship Council. Karen is the QUT coordinator for the Beijing Normal University — Queensland University of Technology — University of Calgary Doctoral Program.

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Karen Dooley.


Karen initially taught for Education Queensland. During that time she worked as a preschool teacher and teacher-in-charge, a Year 1/2 teacher, and a preschool/primary distance education teacher. She also taught for a year as a guest teacher of English in a secondary school in Shanghai , PRC. Karen has worked as a volunteer tutor in a community homework club for refugee students


Karen undertakes consultancy work in the areas of literacy and English as an Additional Language. She is particularly interested in working with teachers to explore new developments in the field and to translate theory into classroom practice.

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Karen Dooley.


For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.


Awards and recognition

Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2013 QUT Higher Education Research Best Publication Award in the Best Overall category: Doherty, C.; Dooley, K. & Woods, A. (2013). Teaching sociology within teacher education: Revisiting, realigning and re-embedding. Journal of Sociology, 49, (4), 515-30.

Research projects

Grants and projects (Category 1: Australian Competitive Grants only)

Private Literacy Tutoring: A Sociology of Shadow Education
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year
Digital Learning and Print Literacy: A Design Experiment for the Reform of Low Socio-economic, Culturally Diverse Schools.
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year
Literacy; Digital Literacies; Pedagogy; Media Arts; Primary Education;
Improving engagement in learning and transition to mainstream schooling for newly-arrived Sudanese youth in the middle years of schooling
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year
English as a Second Language Sudanese Multicultural Social Capital Secondary Education Middle Schooling