Associate Professor Alyson Simpson

BA(UNSW), MEd(Sydney), GradDipLibSc(UTS), GradDipEd(Sydney), PhD(UWS), GradDipChilLit(UTS), MEd(HigherEducation)(Sydney)
Associate Professor, English and Literacy Education, Undergraduate and Graduate-entry programs
Associate Dean Undergraduate / Preservice (Student Welfare and Progress)

A35 - Education Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 93516344
Fax +61 2 93512606

Website Contact details

Biographical details

Alyson has a passion for children’s literature. With a background as a teacher librarian she now works with graduate-entry trainee teachers at the University of Sydney as an Associate Professor in English literacy education.

In all areas of her teaching, Alyson links educational theory with practice. She has developed partnerships with schools to examine the connection between English, language development and the authentic use of information and communication technology in the classroom.

Alyson's classroom-based research employs discourse analysis to investigate the issues involved in the nature and development of language, critical literacy, working with children’s literature in online environments, and pedagogic change.

Research interests

Learning sciences; psychology of education

  • Learning technologies and new media

Research on teaching and learning

  • Teacher education and professional learning
  • English and literacy

Keywords: children's literature, elearning, visual literacy, blended learning, discourse analysis, pedagogy

Current research students

Project title Degree Research student
Motivating and engaging the reader: Maurice Saxby's contribution to the pedagogy of teaching reading with children's literature. MEd (Research) Jacqueline HICKS
Graphic novels in the NSW secondary English classroom: teachers' perceptions and practice. EdD Dianne LAYCOCK
The immigrants' child amid the literacy practices of the home and school: four case studies. PhD Susan MARKOSE
Teachers' literacy knowledge: a case study of provision EdD Gerald MCRAE
Blended learning in teaching Arabic language reading PhD Yahya QENAEY

Current projects

  • TARDIS: Teaching about Reading Dialogic Interactions. This international comparative project examining the role of children's literature in pre-service teacher education is being run in four countries, the UK, US, Canada and Australia. Commenced in 2012 data collection involving survey, interview, digital story and document analysis will run till the end of 2014.
  • Reading by Design - an International Study on 21st Century Reading Processes. This study is a collaboration with Canada, US and Australia funded by the SSHRC. The project examines the reading practices exhibited when students work with digital technology. It will run from 2012 to 2013.

Awards and honours

  • Faculty of Education and Social Work Teaching Excellence Award 2011

  • Faculty of Education and Social Work Teaching Excellence Award 2005

Selected grants

2011

  • Reading by design: An international study on 21st century reading processes; Rowsell J, Walsh M, Gallagher T, McQuirter Scott R, Fisher D, Lapp D, Simpson A; National Research Council Canada/Research Support.

2007

  • Integrating literacy and science/technology through the dynamic use of ICT to enliven student engagement; Simpson A; University of Sydney/TIES Small Grant Scheme.

2006

  • AGQTP Project with Belmore South Primary School; Simpson A; Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST)/Australian Government Quality Teacher Program (AGQTP).

2005

  • AGQTP Project with West Pymble Pubic School; Simpson A; Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST)/Australian Government Quality Teacher Program (AGQTP).
  • Shaping childrens engagement with literary texts through email: examining old tasks in new contexts; Simpson A; University of Sydney/Research & Development.

2004

  • AGQTP Project with North Sydney Demonstration School; Simpson A; Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST)/Australian Government Quality Teacher Program (AGQTP).

2003

  • An investigation of the potential of online book discussion to develop childrens e-literacy; Simpson A; DVC Research/Research and Development Scheme: Newly Appointed Staff (NAS).
  • Multimedia Authoring & Editing Equipment; Anderson M, Gibson R, Dufficy P, Georgakis S, Harbon L, Pickup M, O'Connor D, Simpson A, Unsworth L, Thomas A; University of Sydney/Major Equipment.

Selected publications

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Books

  • Simpson, A., White, S., Freebody, P., Comber, B. (2013). Language, Literacy and Literature. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
  • Simpson, A. (2008). Reading Under the Covers. Helping Children to Choose Books. Sydney: Primary English Teachers Association Australia (PETAA).
  • Unsworth, L., Thomas, A., Simpson, A., Asha, J. (2005). Children's Literature and Computer-Based Teaching. Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press.

Edited Books

  • Christie, F., Simpson, A. (2010). Literacy and Social Responsibility: Multiple Perspectives. London: Equinox Publishing.
  • Simpson, A. (2007). Future directions in literacy: International conversations conference 2007. Sydney: Sydney University Press.

Book Chapters

  • Simpson, A., Walsh, M. (2014). 'Personal works in progress': Teaching reading in a digital age: towards an understanding of pedagogic practice. In Andrew Goodwyn, Louann Reid & Cal Durrant (Eds.), International Perspectives on Teaching English in a Globalised World, (pp. 102-114). London: Routledge.
  • Honan, E., Exley, B., Kervin, L., Simpson, A., Wells, M. (2014). Reframing conceptions of contemporary literacy capabilities in pre-service primary teacher education. In J. Keengwe, G. Onchwari, & D. Hucks (Eds.), Literacy enrichment and technology integration in pre-service teacher education, (pp. 17-36). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.
  • Christie, F., Simpson, A. (2010). Envoi. In Frances Christie and Alyson Simpson (Eds.), Literacy and Social Responsibility: Multiple Perspectives, (pp. 130-136). London: Equinox Publishing.
  • Christie, F., Simpson, A. (2010). Literacy and Social Responsibility. In Frances Christie and Alyson Simpson (Eds.), Literacy and Social Responsibility: Multiple Perspectives, (pp. 1-8). London: Equinox Publishing.
  • Simpson, A., Walsh, M. (2010). Multiple literacies: implications for changed pedagogy. In Frances Christie and Alyson Simpson (Eds.), Literacy and Social Responsibility: Multiple Perspectives, (pp. 24-39). London: Equinox Publishing.
  • Simpson, A. (2006). Teaching primary school children how to 'read' images. In R Ewing (Eds.), Beyond the Reading Wars. Towards a balanced approach to helping children learn to read, (pp. 125-139). Sydney: Primary English Teachers Association Australia (PETAA).
  • Torr, J., Simpson, A. (2003). The emergence of grammatical metaphor: Literacy-oriented expressions in the everyday speech of young children. In Anne-Marie Simon-Vandenbergen, Miriam Taverniers, Louise Ravelli (Eds.), Grammatical metaphor : views from systemic functional linguistics, (pp. 169-184). Amsterdam: Benjamins Pub. Co.

Journals

  • Honan, E., Exley, B., Kervin, L., Simpson, A., Wells, M. (2013). Rethinking the Literacy Capabilities of Pre-Service Primary Teachers in Testing Times. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 38(10), 48-63. [More Information]
  • Simpson, A. (2013). Standardized tests and the threat to creativity. Book 2.0, 2(1 & 2), 17-22.
  • Simpson, A., Walsh, M., Rowsell, J. (2013). The digital reading path: researching modes and multidirectionality with iPads. Literacy, 47(3), 123-130. [More Information]
  • Walsh, M., Simpson, A. (2013). Touching, tapping .. thinking?: Examining the dynamic materiality of touch pad devices for literacy learning. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 36(3), 148-157.
  • Simpson, A. (2012). Language and children’s literature: Sorting through the puzzle pieces. Practically Primary, 17(1), 9-13.
  • Simpson, A. (2012). Literacy in practice: Introducing four key learning processes. Practically Primary, 17(3), 12-15.
  • Simpson, A., Walsh, M. (2012). The impact of technology on reading practices for 21C learners. Scan (Ryde), 31(February 2012), 34-39.
  • Simpson, A. (2010). Dialogic teaching in an online environment: Book raps. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 9(2), 32-46.
  • Simpson, A. (2010). Integrating technology with literacy: using teacher-guided collaborative online learning to encourage critical thinking. Research in Learning Technology, 18(2), 119-131. [More Information]
  • Simpson, A., Moore, (. (2008). Uncomfortable learning: connecting to country. Synergy, 28, 4-9.
  • Love, K., Simpson, A. (2005). Online discussion in schools: Towards a pedagogical framework. International Journal of Educational Research, 43, 446-463. [More Information]
  • Simpson, A. (2004). Book Raps As Online Multimodal Communication. Towards A Model Of Interactive Pedagogy. International Journal of Learning, 10, 2705-2714.
  • Simpson, A. (2004). Online discussions as a tool for learning: A case study of the benefits of ICT use in a first year teacher education context. Malaysian Online Journal of Instructional Technology, 1(2), 1-13.
  • Simpson, A., Harbon, L. (2004). The emerging role of the e-moderator: a research report. Synergy, (19), 5-8.
  • Simpson, A. (2004). What Happens When A Book Gets Judged By Its Cover? The Importance Of A Critical Understanding Of Images In Children'S Picture Books. Bookbird: a journal of international children's literature, 42(3), 28-36.
  • Simpson, A. (2003). Language as popular deictic: Reading "Not Happy Jan" as the evidence of shifting cultural contexts. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 2(2), 57-65.

Conferences

  • Simpson, A. (2009). A passion for reading: how research can inform teaching strategies (Keynote address). Association of Independent Schools (AIS) NSW Conference.
  • Simpson, A. (2009). Framing up a multimodal future: Engaging students through visible thinking (Keynote presentation). Australian Literacy Educators' Association (ALEA) state conference 2009.
  • Simpson, A. (2009). Future directions in learning: Integrating science and literacy through multimodal texts. The International Conference on Primary Education 2009, Online.
  • Simpson, A. (2009). Productive blended learning groups: Identification of traits in two pre-service teacher education courses (Paper in symposium). AARE International Education Research Conference 2009, Australia: Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE).
  • Simpson, A. (2009). Reading and the national curriculum: The three wishes approach to children’s literature. National Conference for Teachers of English and Literacy 2009 - Australian Literacy Education Association (ALEA). Bridging Divides: ensuring access, equity and quality in literacy and English education, Online: Australian Literacy Education Association.
  • Simpson, A., Ewing, R. (2009). Taking action to build professional learning communities in primary schools. First ever National Primary Years Conference.
  • Simpson, A., Preston, C. (2008). Developing scientific literacies for the primary school classroom: Disciplined by Knowledge. Disciplinarity, Knowledge and Language Symposium, Sydney: University of Sydney.
  • Emmitt, M., McDonald, L., Simpson, A., Walsh, M. (2008). Digital Diversity:Reading and Learning in New Communication Environments in Australian Schools (Symposia/Seminar). 22nd World Congress on Reading.
  • Simpson, A. (2008). Reframing Visual Literacy: Viewing between the spaces. National Conference for Teachers of English Literacy 2008 - Stories, places, spaces: Literacy and identity. Joint Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE) and Australian Literacy Educators' Association (ALEA) National Conference, Online: Australian Literacy Educator's Association and Australian Association for the Teaching of English.
  • Simpson, A. (2007). Integrating science and literacy: Collaborative learning as a preparation for professional behaviour. AARE 2007 International Educational Research Conference, Au: Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE).
  • Simpson, A. (2006). Discourses of War vs. Discourses of Childhood: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Meaning, Structure and Identity in Multimodal Narrative Texts. International Conference on Critical Discourse Analysis: Theory into Research (2005), Launceston, Tasmania, Australia: University of Tasmania.
  • Simpson, A. (2006). Student Voices, Teachers' Vibes and a Researcher's View: Book Raps as a model of e-Literacy. Voices, Vibes, Visions: Hearing the Voices.Feeling the Vibes.Capturing the Visions: AATE/ALEA National Conference 2006. Australian Literacy Educator's Association and Australian Association for the Teaching of English.
  • Simpson, A. (2005). 4 Roles of the Viewer: Developing an Understanding of Visual Literacy. 2005 AATE/ALEA National Conference. Pleasure, Passion, Provocation, Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia: AATE, ALEA.
  • Ollila, M., Simpson, A. (2004). Dimensions of Design: a Comparison of Professional Development in Two On-Line Learning Communities. The 4th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, Los Alamitos, CA: (IEEE) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Report

  • Ewing, R., Groundwater-Smith, S., Mockler, N., Loughland, A., Simpson, A., Smith, D., Way, J., Armstrong, A., Brooks, D. (2010). Meta Analysis of Quality Teaching Action Learning Project 2003-2009. [More Information]

Other

  • Simpson, A. (2012), Focus on reading: Building comprehension for years 3-6 through reading strategies (Keynote at workshop series).

2014

  • Simpson, A., Walsh, M. (2014). 'Personal works in progress': Teaching reading in a digital age: towards an understanding of pedagogic practice. In Andrew Goodwyn, Louann Reid & Cal Durrant (Eds.), International Perspectives on Teaching English in a Globalised World, (pp. 102-114). London: Routledge.
  • Honan, E., Exley, B., Kervin, L., Simpson, A., Wells, M. (2014). Reframing conceptions of contemporary literacy capabilities in pre-service primary teacher education. In J. Keengwe, G. Onchwari, & D. Hucks (Eds.), Literacy enrichment and technology integration in pre-service teacher education, (pp. 17-36). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

2013

  • Simpson, A., White, S., Freebody, P., Comber, B. (2013). Language, Literacy and Literature. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
  • Honan, E., Exley, B., Kervin, L., Simpson, A., Wells, M. (2013). Rethinking the Literacy Capabilities of Pre-Service Primary Teachers in Testing Times. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 38(10), 48-63. [More Information]
  • Simpson, A. (2013). Standardized tests and the threat to creativity. Book 2.0, 2(1 & 2), 17-22.
  • Simpson, A., Walsh, M., Rowsell, J. (2013). The digital reading path: researching modes and multidirectionality with iPads. Literacy, 47(3), 123-130. [More Information]
  • Walsh, M., Simpson, A. (2013). Touching, tapping .. thinking?: Examining the dynamic materiality of touch pad devices for literacy learning. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 36(3), 148-157.

2012

  • Simpson, A. (2012), Focus on reading: Building comprehension for years 3-6 through reading strategies (Keynote at workshop series).
  • Simpson, A. (2012). Language and children’s literature: Sorting through the puzzle pieces. Practically Primary, 17(1), 9-13.
  • Simpson, A. (2012). Literacy in practice: Introducing four key learning processes. Practically Primary, 17(3), 12-15.
  • Simpson, A., Walsh, M. (2012). The impact of technology on reading practices for 21C learners. Scan (Ryde), 31(February 2012), 34-39.

2010

  • Simpson, A. (2010). Dialogic teaching in an online environment: Book raps. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 9(2), 32-46.
  • Christie, F., Simpson, A. (2010). Envoi. In Frances Christie and Alyson Simpson (Eds.), Literacy and Social Responsibility: Multiple Perspectives, (pp. 130-136). London: Equinox Publishing.
  • Simpson, A. (2010). Integrating technology with literacy: using teacher-guided collaborative online learning to encourage critical thinking. Research in Learning Technology, 18(2), 119-131. [More Information]
  • Christie, F., Simpson, A. (2010). Literacy and Social Responsibility. In Frances Christie and Alyson Simpson (Eds.), Literacy and Social Responsibility: Multiple Perspectives, (pp. 1-8). London: Equinox Publishing.
  • Christie, F., Simpson, A. (2010). Literacy and Social Responsibility: Multiple Perspectives. London: Equinox Publishing.
  • Ewing, R., Groundwater-Smith, S., Mockler, N., Loughland, A., Simpson, A., Smith, D., Way, J., Armstrong, A., Brooks, D. (2010). Meta Analysis of Quality Teaching Action Learning Project 2003-2009. [More Information]
  • Simpson, A., Walsh, M. (2010). Multiple literacies: implications for changed pedagogy. In Frances Christie and Alyson Simpson (Eds.), Literacy and Social Responsibility: Multiple Perspectives, (pp. 24-39). London: Equinox Publishing.

2009

  • Simpson, A. (2009). A passion for reading: how research can inform teaching strategies (Keynote address). Association of Independent Schools (AIS) NSW Conference.
  • Simpson, A. (2009). Framing up a multimodal future: Engaging students through visible thinking (Keynote presentation). Australian Literacy Educators' Association (ALEA) state conference 2009.
  • Simpson, A. (2009). Future directions in learning: Integrating science and literacy through multimodal texts. The International Conference on Primary Education 2009, Online.
  • Simpson, A. (2009). Productive blended learning groups: Identification of traits in two pre-service teacher education courses (Paper in symposium). AARE International Education Research Conference 2009, Australia: Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE).
  • Simpson, A. (2009). Reading and the national curriculum: The three wishes approach to children’s literature. National Conference for Teachers of English and Literacy 2009 - Australian Literacy Education Association (ALEA). Bridging Divides: ensuring access, equity and quality in literacy and English education, Online: Australian Literacy Education Association.
  • Simpson, A., Ewing, R. (2009). Taking action to build professional learning communities in primary schools. First ever National Primary Years Conference.

2008

  • Simpson, A., Preston, C. (2008). Developing scientific literacies for the primary school classroom: Disciplined by Knowledge. Disciplinarity, Knowledge and Language Symposium, Sydney: University of Sydney.
  • Emmitt, M., McDonald, L., Simpson, A., Walsh, M. (2008). Digital Diversity:Reading and Learning in New Communication Environments in Australian Schools (Symposia/Seminar). 22nd World Congress on Reading.
  • Simpson, A. (2008). Reading Under the Covers. Helping Children to Choose Books. Sydney: Primary English Teachers Association Australia (PETAA).
  • Simpson, A. (2008). Reframing Visual Literacy: Viewing between the spaces. National Conference for Teachers of English Literacy 2008 - Stories, places, spaces: Literacy and identity. Joint Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE) and Australian Literacy Educators' Association (ALEA) National Conference, Online: Australian Literacy Educator's Association and Australian Association for the Teaching of English.
  • Simpson, A., Moore, (. (2008). Uncomfortable learning: connecting to country. Synergy, 28, 4-9.

2007

  • Simpson, A. (2007). Future directions in literacy: International conversations conference 2007. Sydney: Sydney University Press.
  • Simpson, A. (2007). Integrating science and literacy: Collaborative learning as a preparation for professional behaviour. AARE 2007 International Educational Research Conference, Au: Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE).

2006

  • Simpson, A. (2006). Discourses of War vs. Discourses of Childhood: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Meaning, Structure and Identity in Multimodal Narrative Texts. International Conference on Critical Discourse Analysis: Theory into Research (2005), Launceston, Tasmania, Australia: University of Tasmania.
  • Simpson, A. (2006). Student Voices, Teachers' Vibes and a Researcher's View: Book Raps as a model of e-Literacy. Voices, Vibes, Visions: Hearing the Voices.Feeling the Vibes.Capturing the Visions: AATE/ALEA National Conference 2006. Australian Literacy Educator's Association and Australian Association for the Teaching of English.
  • Simpson, A. (2006). Teaching primary school children how to 'read' images. In R Ewing (Eds.), Beyond the Reading Wars. Towards a balanced approach to helping children learn to read, (pp. 125-139). Sydney: Primary English Teachers Association Australia (PETAA).

2005

  • Simpson, A. (2005). 4 Roles of the Viewer: Developing an Understanding of Visual Literacy. 2005 AATE/ALEA National Conference. Pleasure, Passion, Provocation, Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia: AATE, ALEA.
  • Unsworth, L., Thomas, A., Simpson, A., Asha, J. (2005). Children's Literature and Computer-Based Teaching. Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press.
  • Love, K., Simpson, A. (2005). Online discussion in schools: Towards a pedagogical framework. International Journal of Educational Research, 43, 446-463. [More Information]

2004

  • Simpson, A. (2004). Book Raps As Online Multimodal Communication. Towards A Model Of Interactive Pedagogy. International Journal of Learning, 10, 2705-2714.
  • Ollila, M., Simpson, A. (2004). Dimensions of Design: a Comparison of Professional Development in Two On-Line Learning Communities. The 4th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, Los Alamitos, CA: (IEEE) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
  • Simpson, A. (2004). Online discussions as a tool for learning: A case study of the benefits of ICT use in a first year teacher education context. Malaysian Online Journal of Instructional Technology, 1(2), 1-13.
  • Simpson, A., Harbon, L. (2004). The emerging role of the e-moderator: a research report. Synergy, (19), 5-8.
  • Simpson, A. (2004). What Happens When A Book Gets Judged By Its Cover? The Importance Of A Critical Understanding Of Images In Children'S Picture Books. Bookbird: a journal of international children's literature, 42(3), 28-36.

2003

  • Simpson, A. (2003). Language as popular deictic: Reading "Not Happy Jan" as the evidence of shifting cultural contexts. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 2(2), 57-65.
  • Torr, J., Simpson, A. (2003). The emergence of grammatical metaphor: Literacy-oriented expressions in the everyday speech of young children. In Anne-Marie Simon-Vandenbergen, Miriam Taverniers, Louise Ravelli (Eds.), Grammatical metaphor : views from systemic functional linguistics, (pp. 169-184). Amsterdam: Benjamins Pub. Co.

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