• Professor Barbara Comber AM
  • Advisory Committee
  • University of South Australia

Professor Barbara Comber AM has been involved in literacy education for most of her life as a high school teacher, reading teacher, teacher educator and as a literacy researcher. Barbara’s research has always focussed on teachers’ work, literacy education, poverty and social justice. Her passion is to discover what pedagogies make a positive and durable difference to young people’s long-term learner identities and literate repertoires.

Barbara has collaborated on and conducted a number of competitively funded research projects concerned with literacy development, teaching and socioeconomic disadvantage. She has developed or contributed to language and literacy teacher education materials in a number of Australian states, the US and Canada. Barbara has published books, numerous articles and chapters for teachers and teacher educators on critical literacy, teachers’ work and social justice. Her recent research focussed on how young children are learning to write now and how early career teachers understand and attempt to enact quality teaching in schools located in low socio-economic status areas. Currently she is exploring how to support school leaders and teachers to work with student literacy data in positive and productive ways. Barbara is a Research Professor in Education Futures at the University of South Australia and an Adjunct Professor at QUT. In 2022, Barbara was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for her services to education.

Earliest digital memory
My husband John putting together a BBC computer for home use. The monitor was huge and like an old TV screen.