Mary-Rose is a senior lecturer in Education with specific interests in creativity and arts education, as well as pedagogy and curriculum.

Her research includes:

  • Shakespeare’s sources and effective ways to teach Shakespeare
  • pre-service teachers’ experiences of, and effective uses of, the arts in teaching
  • integrated learning, particularly in secondary schools
  • arts-based research methodologies.

She is also a theatre practitioner and playwright.

Recent publications


McLaren, Mary-Rose, London Chronicles in the fifteenth century. A Revolution in English Writing, Cambridge, 2002


McLaren, Mary-Rose (2014). “Searching and Searching Again. Finding Meaning through Arts-based Education” to be published in Qualitative Research Journal, November 2014.

McLaren, Mary-Rose (2013). “‘We know what we are, but not what we might be’ (Hamlet IV, 5). Teaching Shakespeare to pre service teachers” in Teaching Shakespeare beyond the centre : Australasian perspectives. Edited by Kate Flaherty, Penny Gay and L.E. Semler, Palgrave Macmillan.

McLaren, Mary-Rose (2013). “Owning History: Building Historical Understanding through Creative Engagement”, in Curriculum Perspectives vol 33, no. 1

McLaren, Mary-Rose (2012). “The Conscientious Scholar: Balancing the roles of researcher, Playwright and Daughter” in  Vicar, M, McKenna, T and J White (eds.) Discourse Power and Resistance Down Under, Sense Publishers.

McLaren, Mary-Rose (2012). “Arts Education: Just Like a Day at the Beach”, in Creative Approaches to Research vol 6, no. 1

Creative Outputs

2013: Writer, Director, One Boy’s War, Ballarat National Theatre

2013: Writer, Director, An Act of Kindness, Ballarat National Theatre

2013: Director, Just Macbeth, Ballarat Centre of Music and the Arts junior and intermediate Drama groups

2010: Culture Shack planning and organization for implementation in 2011

2010: Director, Seussical, BLOC Musical Theatre juniors production (Ballarat)

Teaching responsibilities


Course coordinator: Bachelor of Education, Year three

Unit coordinator: AEB2251 Imagination, Creativity and Design (with Ligia Pelosi)

Research grants

Victoria University Teaching and Learning Grant (2011) $80,000 (Culture Shack)

Professional Memberships

  • Australian and New Zealand Shakespeare Association

Industry experience

  • Chair, Speech and Drama discipline committee, Royal South Street Competitions
  • Adjudicator, Warrnambool eisteddfod (2008, 2009)
  • Adjudicator, Burnie eisteddfod (2014)
  • Adjudicator, Plain English Speaking Award (VCAA), 2009 – 2014)
  • Director, actor with Ballarat National Theatre
  • Teacher community classes, Ballarat
  • Member, Mary Ward Committee (distributes grants to women theologians)

Appearances in the media

Review: One Boy's War, The Ballarat Courier, April 2013

Areas of expertise

  • Arts education
  • Arts-based methodologies
  • Fifteenth century literature and earliest literacy in English
  • Integrated learning
  • Playwrighting and theatre practice
  • Pre-service teacher experiences of the arts
  • Shakespeare’s sources
  • Teaching Shakespeare

Contact details