Dr Mary Weaven began her academic career at Victoria University teaching in the Bachelor of Education program. Prior to this she had nearly twenty years as a secondary English teacher in Victorian government schools and in the TAFE sector.

More recently she has moved into teaching in the postgraduate program after a period of coordinating the Master of Education (MEd), and as Research Coordinator in the MEd coursework program.

Mary’s current teaching focusses on the teaching of English in the MTeach program, and ‘Innovation’ in the TESOL program in Vietnam.

Mary’s research centres on literacy as a social practice, and in particular on the teaching of poetry. Social justice is a driving force behind Mary’s work, informing both her teaching and her research.

Mary has been a long-standing and active member of various university Ethics committees. A committed unionist throughout her career, she is a firm believer in co-operative action.

Recent publications

Refereed journal articles

Weaven, M. (2014) Poetry Matters: A review of Making Poetry Matter and Heat Beats. Primarily English 3 (2), 21-23

Weaven, M. (2014) A pedagogy for poetry: practical preparation. Idiom 50 (2)

Weaven, M. (2014) Poetic potential: Teaching poetry to promote excellence. Teacher Learning Network 21 (2), 23-25

Weaven, M., & Clark, T. (2014). ‘An Undeclared Schism: Higher and Secondary Learning about Poetry’. Journal of Language, Literature and Culture, 61(2), 142-149.

Weaven, M. & Clark, T. 2013, '‘I guess it scares us’ – Teachers discuss the teaching of poetry in senior secondary English', English in Education, vol. 47, no. 3, pp. 197-212.

Vale, C., Weaven, M., Davies, A., Hooley, N., Davidson, K. & Loton, D. 2013, 'Growth in literacy and numeracy achievement: evidence and explanations of a summer slowdown in low socio-economic schools', The Australian Educational Researcher, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 1-25.

Vale, C., Davies, A., Weaven, M., Hooley, N., Davidson, K. & Loton, D. 2012, 'Leadership to improve mathematics outcomes in low SES schools and school networks', Mathematics teacher education and development, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 47-71.

Vale, C., Weaven, M., Davies, A. & Hooley, N. 2012, 'Student centred approaches: teachers' learning and practice', in L. Sparrow, B. Kissane, and C. Hurst (eds) Shaping the Future of Mathematics Education (Proceedings of 33rd annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia) pp. 571-8. Freemantle, W.A. MERGA

Weaven, M. & Clark, T. 2011, 'Evolution and Contingency: Poetry, Curriculum and Culture in Victoria, Australia', Changing English, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 75-84.


Weaven, M. (ed) (2011) Dilemmas of Practice,Pearson, Frenchs Forest

Conference presentations

'A Road Less Travelled': Practical approaches for Proceeding with Poetry: 7 - 12. Presentation for VATE conference, December 2014

'Odes in October' - Poetry Teaching In the Victorian Secondary Curriculum. Presentation for Kilbreda College, October 2014

'Curriculum Conversations: 'Leadership' in times of turmoil'. Workshop presented at TLN/AEU Conference, 25 September 2014

'Creating a Place for Poetry - Poetry Teaching In the Victorian Secondary Curriculum.' Paper presented at the United Kingdom Literacy Association 50th International Conference at the University of Sussex, July 2014

'Teaching Poetry in Victoria, Australia' presentation at International Symposium on the Teaching of Poetry, University of Leicester, July 2014

'What is Education For?' Panel Presentation, ‘Diamond Series’ College of Education, Victoria University, in partnership with Association for Qualitative Research Conference, Melbourne, November 2013

'An Undeclared Schism: Higher and Secondary Learning about Poetry' Panel Presentation, Aust Universities Language & Literature Assoc Conference, Brisbane, July 2013

'Curriculum Challenges and Possibilities' Keynote Speaker IEA/AEU Conference Melbourne, 2012

'Guiding the Novice Researcher', Panel Presentation, Ethics Network Conference, Brisbane, 2012

View more of Mary's publications.

Teaching responsibilities

Mary currently teaches:

Postgraduate research students



  • Elvira Sammit, PhD co-supervision with Tarquam McKenna
  • Soth Sok (PhD) co-supervision with Mark Vicars
  • Jayson Cooper (PhD) co-supervision with Maureen Ryan

Masters Research

  • Rohan Clifford, Principal supervisor.

Minor Thesis students

  • 11 minor thesis completions (sole supervision).

Current supervision

  • Principal supervision of 1 PhD student, and Co-supervision of 2 PhD students

Minor Thesis students

3 minor thesis students.

Research grants

  • 2015: Victoria University’s College of Education Seeding Grant for project ‘The Teaching of Poetry in Secondary Schools: Perspectives from Pre-Service Teachers and Mentors.’ $2,998
  • 2009 - 2010: Evaluation of Literacy and Numeracy in Low SES Schools (Project co-ordinator: Assoc. Prof Colleen Vale) funding body: Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) $310,000.
  • 2008 - 2009: “Editing partners in a Prep Classroom” in collaboration with Wembley Primary School, funded by the Australian Literacy Educators Association $2,500
  • 2006: Editing Partners – A Collaborative Approach to Better Writing. Internal funding grant (VUTLS) from Victoria University $10,860

Professional memberships

Industry experience

20 years of classroom experience as a secondary English teacher, including a two year period as a curriculum consultant.

Areas of expertise

  • Literacy as a social practice
  • Teaching poetry
  • Teaching secondary English

Contact details

(03) 9919 9510