islPAL - International Society for Leadership in Pedagogy and Learning

Pedagogies and Learning

Dr Jennifer Fisher

Dr Jennifer Fisher is the Co-President of the International Society for Leadership in Pedagogies and Learning. 

Dr Jennifer Fisher has taught in the Catholic, State and Independent sectors. During her career she has held the positions of Secondary teacher of English and SOSE, a Special Needs teacher, a Head of Special Needs Department - Prep to Year twelve. She has also worked with a variety of schools in designing, implementing and evaluating educational innovations. Her interests lay in quality pedagogy, action research and action learning, data collection and analysis of trends, and curriculum development.

Dr Jennifer Fisher has comprehensive knowledge and practical experience in the field of Special Education. She has developed and implemented school-wide processes to cater for students with special needs. In order to identify student learning needs Jennifer has employed commercially available test instruments and designed instruments herself. Collaborating with teachers she has analysed student data and used the evidence to inform and support teacher pedagogy. Based upon her teaching experience and her research, Jennifer has developed a conceptual model of a differentiated learning environment to cater for diversity.

Dr Jennifer Fisher has participated in a successful implementation of a school wide innovation. As part of the Innovation and Best Practice Project, this school innovation experience was authoritatively researched and reported (Cuttance, 2001). Jennifer was identified as a teacher leader and in the School Innovation report was reported to have significantly contributed to the successful school change. The research work progressed to the second stage of the project and contributed directly to the final document funded by DETYA -  School Innovation: Pathway to the Knowledge Society. The initiative involved the use of data from a regime of testing instruments to measure improvements in student outcomes after teachers had been engaged in an innovation over an extended period of time.

Jennifer completed her Doctorate in Education in 2007. The title of her dissertation was Teacher Leadership and Organisational Change: A teacher leader’s experience in a P-12 school. As a Case Study, her research built upon the findings reported by Cuttance (2001). The study used a qualitative inquiry approach to study a Participatory Action Research (PAR) project. Conducted in a P-12 school context, the qualitative study investigated how a teacher leader, occupying a formal role in an organisation, can contribute to the organisation’s capacity to change.

Jennifer believes that teachers have an ethical, moral and social responsibility to cater for the diversity of student needs in their classrooms. She believes that teachers collaborate with others and adjust their pedagogy to improve student outcomes when they are informed by meaningful data and supported by a safe learning environment. Jennifer believes that participating in change generates meaning and shapes realities. When teachers are invited to participate and share ideas and relate to each other with mutual respect, value diverse perspectives, and build reciprocal trust then, as a collective, they can and do make a difference.

Jennifer has collaborated with others to create this space. The website hopes to build a community of learners, to provide beginning and establishing teachers with useful hints about "what works" (from other teachers) and to offer practitioners a safe space to reflect on their assumptive frameworks and engage with others in a critical analysis of their pedagogy.