Higher-degree research being undertaken by Meghan Stacey




Dr Helen Proctor

Thesis title:

Early-career teachers' experiences in NSW secondary schools



Project description

The place and experience of teachers within the highly differentiated schooling system in New South Wales is the central concern of this research project. The collective case study which forms the heart of the project looks to describe and explain the experience of working as an early-career teacher in NSW today, both in the schools of the ‘elite’ and those of the ‘disadvantaged’, as well as the vast range of spaces in between. To achieve this, twelve ‘Target Teachers’ are being interviewed, as well as relevant figures surrounding them: a colleague, a friend, partner or family member, and a group of students. Such a project is significant within the current neoliberal political climate, as concepts of and rhetoric surrounding quality teaching suffuse both popular and academic educational discourse, and the focus on early-career teachers – who are more vulnerable to burnout, and are also the future of our education system – gives it additional relevance. This research, it is hoped, will make the mechanisms of our schooling system more clearly apparent and more thoroughly understood.

Meghan Stacey graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education (Hons 1) in 2010 before leaving Sydney to take a permanent position as a secondary English and Drama teacher with the Department of Education in rural NSW. Returning to the University in 2014, Meghan is now completing her PhD as well as working as a casual tutor, lecturer and research assistant. Her doctorate is inspired both by her earlier Honours research, also completed under the supervision of Dr Helen Proctor, and by her experiences as an early-career teacher within the NSW schooling system.


  • AIRAANZ Postgraduate Scholarship, 2015
  • Australian Postgraduate Award (APA), 2014-2017
  • G. S. Caird Scholarship for Bachelor of Education Year 2, 2007
  • DET Teacher Education Scholarship, 2005-2010

Journal articles

  • Stacey, M. (2015). Middle-class parents' educational work in an academically selective public high school. Critical Studies in Education. DOI:10.1080/17508487.2015.1043312

Conference papers

  • Stacey, M. (2015). Teachers' responses to parental engagement in schooling in an academically-selective public high school. In AIRAANZ 2015: Pacific employment relations. Auckland, New Zealand, 1-6 February 2015.
  • Stacey, M. & Proctor, H. (2014). Middle class parents' educational work in an academically-selective public high school. In AARE-NZARE 2014: Speaking back through research. Brisbane, Australia, 1-4 December 2014.