Professor Wayne Sawyer
Wayne Sawyer is the Director of Research in the School of Education. His research interests include:
- secondary English education
- curriculum history in English
- effective teaching, especially in low SES contexts
- literacy policy.
Professor Sawyer is an experienced case study researcher. As part of larger teams, he has carried out case study-based projects on effective teaching in the NSW HSC, effective teaching in Years 7-10, effective teaching in relation to boys’ education and the engagement of students from low SES backgrounds. He is a former President of the NSW English Teachers’ Association, a former editor of the journal, English in Australia and a former Chair of the NSW Board of Studies English Curriculum Committee. He has produced research reports for the NSW Board of Studies and the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (co-authored) on major reviews of English curriculum in those states. He has edited or authored 30 books, mostly on English teaching for audiences of school teachers and academics.
Professor Sawyer’s current funded research projects are:
- Evaluation of the Impact of Selected Reforms of the ‘Improving Teacher Quality’ National Partnership (with partners from UNE and ACU and funded by the NSW Department of Education and Communities and the Smarter Schools National Partnerships Evaluation Committee)
- Implementing, Documenting and Evaluating an Action Research Model of Engagement in Schools in Greater Western Sydney (with Assoc Prof Geoff Munns and Dr Catherine Attard)
BA Hons 1 (Sydney), DipEd (Sydney), MA Hons (Sydney), MEd (Sydney), PhD (UWS)
Australian Professional Teacher Associations Award for Meritorious Contribution to the Profession
Australian Learning and Teaching Council Award for Teaching Excellence in the Social Sciences
Honorary Life Member, NSW English Teachers’ Association.
Honorary Life Member, Australian Association for the Teaching of English
NSW Professional Teachers’ Council Award for Outstanding Service to Professional Associations.
NSW Institute of Educational Research Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis.
NSW Minister for Education and Training and Australian College of Education Quality Teaching Award for University Teaching.
Munns, G., Sawyer, W. & Cole, B. and Fair Go Team (forthcoming, 2013) Exemplary Teachers of Students in Poverty. London: Routledge.
Doecke, B., Parr, G. & Sawyer, W. (eds.) (2011) Creating an Australian Curriculum for English: National Agendas, Local Contexts. Putney: Phoenix Education
Manuel, J., Brock, P., Carter, D. & Sawyer, W. (eds) (2009), Imagination, Innovation, Creativity: Re-visioning English in Education. Putney: Phoenix Education.
Gannon, S., Howie, M. & Sawyer, W. (eds) (2009). Charged with Meaning. Putney: Phoenix Education.
Doecke, B., Howe, M. & Sawyer, W. (eds) (2006) Only Connect: English Teaching, Schooling and Community, Kent Town, SA: AATE/Wakefield Press.
Sawyer, W. & Gold, E. (eds) (2004) Reviewing English in the 21st Century, Melbourne: Phoenix Education.
Ayres, P., Dinham, S. & Sawyer W. (2000). Successful senior secondary teaching. Quality Teaching series, #1, Deakin, ACT : Australian College of Education
Sawyer, W. (forthcoming, 2013) “English teachers, low SES students and intellectual challenge: Cases from Australia”, in C.Durrant, A. Goodwyn & L. Reid (eds) English in a Globalised World: International Perspectives on the Teaching of English. London: Routledge.
Munns, G., Arthur, L., Hertzberg, M., Sawyer, W. & Zammit, K. (2012) ‘A fair go for students in poverty’, in T. Wrigley, P. Thomson & B. Lingard (eds) Changing Schools: Alternative Ways to Make a World of Difference London : Routledge, pp. 167-180.
Sawyer, W. & Howie, M. (2011) ‘Literature teaching in the Australian curriculum: Retaining key practices’, in B. Doecke, G. Parr & W.Sawyer (eds.) Creating an Australian Curriculum for English: National Agendas, Local Contexts. Putney: Phoenix Education, pp. 113-128.
Sawyer, W. (2011) ‘Grammar, Standard Australian English and the Australian Curriculum: English : What could principled implementation look like in Years 7-10?’ in B. Doecke, G. Parr & W.Sawyer (eds.) Creating an Australian Curriculum for English: National Agendas, Local Contexts. Putney: Phoenix Education, pp. 215-234.
Sawyer, W. (2010) ‘English in Australia and New Zealand’, in D. Wyse, R. Andrews & J. Hoffman (eds), The International Handbook of English, Language and Literacy Teaching. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 508-517.
Sawyer, W. (2009). ‘The Growth Model of English’, in S. Gannon, M. Howie & W. Sawyer (eds) Charged with Meaning. Putney: Phoenix Education, pp. 19-30.
Sawyer, W. & Watson, K. (2009) ‘Teaching Shakespeare today: An introduction’, in S. Gannon, M. Howie & W. Sawyer (eds) Charged with Meaning. Putney: Phoenix Education, pp. 213-218.
Sawyer, Wayne (2009). ‘“Knowledge about language” and grammar’, in S. Gannon, M. Howie & W. Sawyer (eds) Charged with Meaning. Putney: Phoenix Education, pp. 337-346.
Sawyer, W. (2009), ‘Language and literature: Revisiting some defining moments in the history of English’, in J. Manuel, P. Brock, D. Carter & W. Sawyer (eds) Imagination, innovation, Creativity: Re-visioning English in Education. Putney: Phoenix Education, pp. 71-86.
Sawyer, W. (2006). ‘Just add “progressivism” and stir: How we cook up literacy crises in Australia’, in B. Doecke, M. Howie & W. Sawyer (eds) Only Connect: English Teaching, Schooling and Community. Kent Town, SA: Wakefield Press
Sawyer, W. (2005) ‘Becoming a New New Critic’, in B. Doecke, & G. Parr (eds) Writing=learning, Kent Town, SA: Wakefield Press.
Selected Refereed Journal Articles
Sawyer, W. (2010), ‘Writing (in) the nation’, English in Australia, 45:2, pp. 7-20.
Sawyer, W. (2010), ‘English in the National Curriculum: What knowledge?’, Curriculum perspectives, 30:3, September, pp. 50-52.
Sawyer, W. (2010), ‘Structuring the New English in Australia: James Moffett and English teaching in New South Wales’, Changing English, 17:3, pp.285-296.
Sawyer, W., Singh, M. & Zhao, D. (2009) ‘Boys’ literacy: Negotiating the territory’, English in Australia, 44:3, pp. 19-28.
Arthur, L. & Sawyer, W. (2009) ‘Robust hope, democracy and early childhood education’, Early years: An International Journal of Research and Development, 29:2, July, pp. 163-175. Sawyer, W. (2008) ‘The National Curriculum and enabling creativity’ English in Australia, 43:3, pp. 57-67.
Sawyer, W. (2008) ‘English teaching in New South Wales since 1971: Versions of Growth?’, Changing English, 15:3, September, pp. 323-337.
Singh, M. & Sawyer, W. (2008) ‘Democracy and robust hope: Queensland’s Education and training reforms for the future’, Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, 3:3, November, pp. 223-237
Doecke, B., Green, B. Kostogriz, A., Reid, J. & Sawyer, W. (2007) ‘Knowing practice in English teaching? Research challenges in representing the professional practice of English teachers’ English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 6:3, December, pp. 4-21.
Sawyer, W., Woodrow, C., Singh, M., Downes, T., Johnston, C. & Whitton, D. (2007). ‘Robust hope and teacher education policy’, Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education. 35:3, August, pp. 227-42.
Gannon, S. & Sawyer, W. (2007) “‘Whole language’ and moral panic in Australia’. International Journal of Progressive Education, 3:2, June.
Sawyer, W. & van de Ven, P-H. (2007). “Starting points: Paradigms in mother-tongue education”. L1: Educational studies in language and literature. 7: 1, pp. 5-20.
Sawyer, W. (2006). ‘The condition of music: The aesthetic turn in English’, English in Australia, 41:2, pp. 27-34.
Baxter, D. & Sawyer, W. (2006). ‘Whole school literacy success against the odds’ Literacy Learning:The Middle Years. 14:2, June, pp 9-17.
Selected Published Research Reports
Sawyer, W. & Singh, M. (2011) ‘Learning to play the “classroom tennis” well: IELTS and international students in teacher education’, IELTS Research Reports, Vol. 11, British Council, IDP, Cambridge University.
Cole, B., Mooney, M., Munns, G., Power, A., Sawyer, W. & Zammit, K. (2010). Engaging Middle Years Boys in Rural Educational Settings. NSW Department of Education and Training - Equity Programs and Distance Education Directorate.
Johnston, C. & Sawyer, W. (2009) Evaluation Study of the Impact of Professional Learning on Teacher Capacity in Implementing Curriculum Planning and Assessment Frameworks, incorporating Connected Outcomes Groups (COGS). Ryde: NSW Department of Education and Training.
Munns, G., Arthur, L., Downes, T., Gregson, R., Power, A., Sawyer, W., Singh, M., Thistleton-Martin, J. & Steele, F. (2006) Motivation and Engagement of Boys: Evidence-based Teaching Practices : A report submitted to the Australian Government Department of Education, Science and Training.