Dr Rachel Perry

Dr Rachel Perry

Research Fellow; Research Director of NECSTEP

Rachel Perry is a Research Fellow and Research Director for the National Embedded Cross Sector Teacher Education Program (NECSTEP). She began her career in education as a primary school teacher and leader before her passion for supporting others with their teaching saw her transition into the tertiary space, and into roles at both the University of Technology Sydney and Griffith University. She has experience working with a range of sectors and systems, including designing and running professional learning and drama-based programs with the Departments of Education in NSW, Qld, WA and the NT. Rachel has taught at a tertiary level in areas including research methodology, drama in education, English education, approaches to the use of data and evidence in schools, effective programming, reporting and assessment, and designing support for those engaging in professional experience placements. It is in this latter area that Rachel is particularly passionate and where her current research focus lies. Her research builds on a body of work that emerged from her PhD, which focused on situated models of professional learning to support the integration of the arts across the curriculum.

Rachel's career also took her out of education and into state and federal government in the arts and culture sector, where she held the role of Research Fellow and Manager of Research Partnerships at the Australia Council for the Arts (now Creative Australia). Before coming to AC, she was Senior Research Specialist, Learning Designer and Lead of the Teaching School Hubs program at the Association of Independent Schools NSW (AISNSW). This role included a focus on creativity, interactive technologies, teacher professional learning, and alternative, embedded models and approaches in initial teacher education. 


PhD (University of Technology Sydney)
Dissertation Title Enhancing the teaching of drama: School-based, needs-driven professional learning 2006

B.Ed Hons (University of Technology Sydney) 1999

Research Interests

Initial Teacher Education (including alternative pathways), Teacher Professional Learning, Arts Education, Technology in Education.

Field of Research

Specialist Studies in Education

Book Chapters

  • 2017
    • Perry, R., & McGarry, T. (2017). Through a lens of reinterpretation: Roles in facilitated action research. In , Palgrave International Handbook of Action Research. (pp. ). Palgrave MacMillan, USA.
  • 2016
    • Schuck, S., Maher, D., & Perry, R. (2016). Moving Classrooms to Third Space Learning: What happens when a Surface is put into a teacher’s hands? In , Microsoft White Paper (pp. ). Microsoft, Sydney, Australia.
  • 2013
    • Perry, R.M., Pressick-Kilborn, K.J. & Kearney, M. (2013). Exploring connected learning spaces in teacher education. In H. Carter, M. Gosper and J. Hedberg (Eds.), Proceedings of Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education In , (pp. ). Sydney: Macquarie University.
  • 2012
    • Perry, R. & Kearney, M. (2012). Alternative Spaces for Engagement: Performance and conversation in the Connected Classroom In , (pp. (pp. 453-454)). .

Journal Articles

  • 2023
    • Kearney, M., Schuck, S., & Perry, R. (2023). Teacher perceptions of student learning experiences and insights into digital teaching approaches during the pandemic. Technology. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, .
  • 2022
    • Kearney, M., Schuck, S., Fergusson, J., & Perry, R. (2022). Effective practices during emergency school lockdowns: shared experiences of four Australian schools.. Australian Educational Researcher., .
  • 2017
    • Maher, D., Schuck, S., & Perry, R. (2017). Investigating Knowledge Exchange amongst School Teachers, University Teacher Educators and Industry Partners.. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 42(3).
  • 2014
    • Perry, R., Currie, J., Maher, D., & Johnston, R. (2014). Perceptions of the Hospital School Experience. The International Journal of Learning: Annual Review, Vol 20, pp9-21.
  • 2012
    • Perry, R. (2012). Facilitated action research: enhancing the teaching of classroom drama.. Action Learning Action Research Journal., 18(1) pp 5-34.


Academic Conference

  • 2023
    • Unpacking the Box: Opportunities and Alternatives for Teacher Education (2023), Christian Schools National Policy Forum 2023 – Symposium Day, Australia, 01 May 2023
    • Immersion as a Pathway to Success (2023), AISNSW Teaching School Learning Forum: Explore, Connect and Grow, Australia, 01 Apr 2023
  • 2022
    • Thinking about Conducting a School-Based Research Project (2022), Reading Matters: Reimagining Approaches to Reading in Schools, Australia, 01 Sep 2022
    • (with Sandra Schuck) Using Data Together: Growing Evidence Informed Practice (2022), Australian Heads of Independent Schools Australia: Director of Studies Conference, Australia, 01 May 2022
  • 2021
    • (with Assoc Prof Matthew Kearney and Ms Tiffany Roos) Digital Learning Practices: A Case Study of Five Diverse Independent Schools during Remote Learning and Beyond (2021), Australian Association of Research in Education Virtual Conference, Virtual, 01 Dec 2021
    • Thinking Inquiry: An Evidence Approach (2021), ISTAA Inquiry Path workshops, Australia, 01 Nov 2021
    • (with Ms Billie Trkulja) Global Connections: Leading our Way into the Future Type of Presentation: Invited Featured Track (2021), National Association of Independent Schools, United States, 01 Mar 2021
  • 2020
    • Valuing the Arts: Our Skills in Other Sectors (2020), Sydney Arts Management Advisory Group (SAMAG), Australia, 01 Oct 2020
  • 2018
    • Future Directions: Arts and Education (2018), YConnect Research Symposium, Australia, 01 Nov 2018
    • Making Art Work: Artists and the Future (2018), International Conference for Cultural Economics, Australia, 01 Jun 2018
  • 2017
    • Creative Practice and Technology: Connections to Research (2017), Ausdance National Conference, Australia, 01 Sep 2017
  • 2015
    • (with Tim McGarry, Monkey Baa Theatre Company) Active 21st Century Learning: Live Interactive Technologies and Drama (2015), Game Changer: Innovating Education through Creativity and Drama Practice Conference, Australia, 01 Jul 2015
  • 2014
    • (with Ms Bridgette van Leuven) Possibilities of Expanding Spaces for Arts and Culture Education through Digital Engagement (2014), Korea Arts & Culture Education Service – KACES, Sydney, Australia, 01 Oct 2014
  • 2013
    • (with Dr Kimberley Pressick-Kilborn and Assoc Prof Matthew Kearney) Exploring Connected Learning Spaces in Teacher Education (2013), ASCILITE Conference, Australia, 01 Dec 2013
    • Re-imagining the Journey: High School Then and Now (2013), Sir Joseph Banks High School Speech Night, Australia, 01 Dec 2013
    • Extending Spaces for Engagement – Video Conferencing in Drama and Science Education (2013), Interactive Technology in Education Conference, Australia, 01 Jul 2013
    • What’s my iPad Doing on Stage? Technology and Drama for and in Performance (2013), Bridges to Higher Education – Macquarie University, Australia, 01 Jun 2013
  • 2012
    • Collaboration with Children and Teachers Through Videoconferencing: Possibilities for Teacher Education (2012), Joint Australian Association for Research in Education and the Asia Pacific Educational Research Association Conference, Australia, 01 Dec 2012

Engagement Publications

Journal Articles

  • 2023
    • Perry, R. (2023). Making Art Work: A summary and response by the Australia Council for the Arts. Australia Council for the Arts, Sydney., .
    • Perry, R. (2023). Submission 89: Future of Work and Workers Senate Inquiry. Australia Council for the Arts, Sydney., .
    • Perry, R. (2023). AISNSW Remote learning survey. Association of Independent Schools NSW., .
    • an Leuven, B., Smith, T., Perry, R., & Johnston, R. (2023). Sydney Opera House Broadband Enabled Education & Skills Services Project. From Bennelong to the Nation, 2012-2014.
  • 2021
    • Perry, R. (2021). Digital Learning Practices Summaries: Meriden School, Al Noori Muslim School, Nature School and St Philip’s Christian College DALE and DALE Young Parents.. Association of Independent Schools NSW in partnership with the University of Technology Sydney., .
  • 2019
    • Perry, R. (2019). Born Global: A summary by the Australia Council for the Arts.. Australia Council for the Arts, Sydney., .
  • 2017
    • Perry, R. (2017). The Digital Economy: Opening up the conversation. Australia Council for the Arts Response. Australia Council for the Arts, Sydney., .

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