Liz McKenna

Dip.Tech, BEd, MEd
Senior Lecturer; Coordinator - International Baccalaureate undergraduate; Coordinator - Graduate Certificate in IB Education;  Primary advisor 3rd years

Phone: (02) 8204 4208

  • Biography

    Liz McKenna is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education and co-ordinates the International Baccalaureate programs for the undergraduate IB pathway and the Graduate Certificate in IB Education.  Liz is the 3rd Year Bachelor of Primary Education advisor.

    She has spent the last 26 years teaching in Primary and Early Childhood Education and has vast teaching and administrative experience around the world. She has taught in State, Private and International schools in varying capacities. Liz spent the first 10 years of her teaching career in inner city Sydney. During this time, she taught from Kindergarten to Grade 6, in a variety of roles. These included music teacher for K-6, Support Teacher Learning Difficulties and general classroom teacher.

    The next 10 years saw Liz teaching in International Schools in Germany and the UK. She held several roles of responsibility including positions of Grade Level Coordinator, Early Childhood Coordinator and IBPYP (International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program) Coordinator. In 2004, Liz was accepted into the IBPYP training program in Evian, France and became an IBPYP Trainer for the European region.

    In her year in London she became known for her skill in making presentations and was called upon by other schools to help develop their own International Baccalaureate programmes. She ran courses and workshops instructing teachers in the IBPYP. On moving back to Sydney in 2005 Liz continued to run workshops and schools accreditations for the Australasian Region, travelling to Jakarta, Indonesia and Yokohama, Japan..

    Liz has special interests in International Mindedness, Inquiry learning and Conceptual Instruction and Curriculum and is currently researching in the area of inquiry in the IB primary classroom.

  • Teaching Areas

    Liz’s teaching areas are in Primary, Early Childhood.  Teaching in the areas of Music, Dance and Drama and Learning and Development in the Primary program. In the Early Childhood specialization, the teaching areas include Leadership and Management and Creative Arts. In the postgraduate space Liz’s teaches Ethical Leadership and Management in the Early Years in the Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood and in the Graduate Certificate in International Baccalaureate Education program.

    Undergraduate courses taught

    • EDUC1006 Learning and Development
    • EDUC1012 Creative Arts in the Early Years
    • EDUC2003 Music, Dance, Drama
    • EDUC4008 Leadership and Management in the Early Year

    Postgraduate courses taught (if applicable)

    • EDUC6046 Introduction to International Baccalaureate Education
    • EDUC6007 Ethical Leadership and Management in the Early Years
  • Research Expertise and Supervision

    Liz’s research focus is on teachers’ fidelity of implementation of Inquiry learning in the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program using a Case Study methodology.

    She is currently investigating professional learning and the supervision of initial teacher education students in the early years using a using a phenomenographic approach.

    Current research projects

    • 2020, Professional learning and the supervision of initial teacher education students in the early years, Linda Bellen, Liz McKenna, Lauren Stephenson.

    Research grants

    • Bellen, L., McKenna, L., Stephenson, L. (2018). Professional learning and the supervision of initial teacher education students in the early years ($3,000) Seed Grant. Office of Learning and Teaching, NDA

    Completed higher degree by research students

    • Janine Brown (MPhil, 2018). “The role of values education in primary school bullying prevention and mediation”
  • Journal articles and proceedings

    • Brown, J., Handal, B., McKenna, L., Lynch, S. (2020). "Bullying prevention and mediation: the role of Values Education" – eJournal of Catholic Education in Australasia. In print
  • Book review

    • Dinham, J. (2017). Delivering Authentic Arts Education, 3e, Cengage AU
  • In the Media

  • Professional affiliations

    • Catholic Early Childhood project committee (CECPC) Sydney Archdiocese and Parramatta Diocese 2018 – present - Member
    • Early Childhood Teacher Education Council
    • Australian Association for Research in Education – Special Interest Groups: Global perspectives
    • Diocese of Broken Bay Catholic Schools Early Years Advisory Team
  • Community engagement

    • Reader, 2RPH – Radio for the Print Handicapped – 2019 to present
  • Awards

    • 2018 Recipient of the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Initiatives that enhance student learning
    • 2013 shortlisted for Vice Chancellor Award for Pastoral Care.
  • Conference presentations

    • 2018 - IB Global Conference, Singapore - “Exploring International Mindedness Through ‘Playing in the In-Between’ (Early Childhood)
    • 2016 - IB Conference, Kent State University, Ohio, USA - “Sharing Research to Inform Best Practice”(Australian Curriculum - Science)