Examining how psychology informs educational practice

Join Professor Tom Billington, Associate Professor Lise Bird Claiborne and Dr Tim Corcoran for a one-day workshop, critically examining how psychology informs educational practice.

In March 2015, three one-day workshops, titled Righting the Ship: Psychology’s Passage Through Education, will be held in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, supported by the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE).

Psychology plays an integral role informing teaching and learning. From the more obvious examples such as psychometric testing to more nuanced educational policy insights, psychology directly effects educational practice.

However, the impact of psychology in education warrants ongoing evaluation. The presenters will introduce, detail and examine a range of educational activities to discuss whether and how psychology can best instruct contemporary policy and practice.

This workshop will benefit a range of school-based practitioners (e.g. classroom teachers, psychologists, school counsellors, guidance officers and student support personnel) and education researchers interested in examining and responding to psychology’s influence in policy and practice.

Professor Tom Billington and Associate Professor Lise Bird Claiborne both contributed to Dr Tim Corcoran's book, 'Psychology in Education: Critical Theory-Practice', published in 2014. It is the first comprehensive collection on critical psychology in education. The book can be purchased online or at the seminar for $50 (cash only).

Seminar details

Melbourne Seminar - Register now for Melbourne

Brisbane Seminar - Register now for Brisbane

Perth Seminar - Register now for Perth


  • The normalisation of children and young people
  • The Scientist-Practitioner model of practice
  • A reliance on psychometrics and positivist approaches to research
  • The 'dangerous rise in therapeutic education'
  • Education policy driven by a wellbeing agenda.

Participant outcomes

Workshop participants will:

  • Develop critical awareness of historical and contemporary themes in psychological research as applied in educational practice.
  • Explore connections between the various supports psychology provides to schools.
  • Be able to acknowledge and examine the presence of psychological theory on educational policy and practice.
  • Be encouraged to articulate preferred ways of applying psychology in their own work.


This workshop brings together three internationally recognised educational psychologists, each with many years experience as practitioners and researchers. 

Prof. Tom Billington's research focuses on the professional practices of Educational and Child Psychologists, in particular, the nature of work conducted with children and young people and the theoretical bases upon which practice is justified. He has published extensively in this area and has for many years sought to inform the development of practitioner assessments and interventions which are both ethical and effective through expanding the base of research evidence beyond reductionist psychopathologies. Professor Billington holds the inaugural Chair in Educational Psychology at the University of Sheffield, UK. 

Associate Professor Lise Bird Claiborne convenes the Difference, Disability & Inclusion research group in the Faculty of Education at the University of Waikato. She has long been a teacher and researcher in educational psychology, and has worked extensively with educational professionals, particularly regarding questions around difference, social justice and possibilities of collaborative transformation. She is co-author (with Wendy Drewery) of the widely used Human Development: Family, Place, Culture texts. 

Dr Tim Corcoran is a Senior Research Fellow at The Victoria Institute, Victoria University, Melbourne.  Tim has extensive experience in Educational Psychology across both applied and academic fields.  His career began in regional Queensland where, for almost a decade, he worked as a school psychologist with some of the most vulnerable students and young people in the state.  His current research examines the use of psychological theory in practices including school-based mental health promotion and the production of educational identities.

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