BARBARA COMBER – February 1, 2015- “Literacy, Place and Pedagogies of Possibility”




“Literacy, Place and Pedagogies of Possibility”

February 1, 2015  – 5:00 pm

Eastern time zone/New York/USA



Dr. Barbara Comber, Queensland University of Technology, Queensland, Australia


Dr. Barbara Comber is a Research Professor in the Faculty of Education at Queensland University of Technology. She has been active in teaching and researching for many years and is especially interested in supporting teacher research. She has contributed valuable knowledge to the world of education through teaching, researching, and publishing . She is particularly interested in literacy education and social justice in contexts of high poverty. Her current research explores ethical educational leadership and the affordances of place-conscious pedagogies for developing critical and creative literacies.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Comber B, Kamler B, (2004). Getting out of deficit: Pedagogies of reconnection, Teaching Education, 293-310.

Comber B, (2005). Making use of theories about literacy and justice: teachers re-searching practice, Educational Action Research,13(1), 43-56.

Comber B, Nixon H, (2008). Spatial literacies, design texts, and emergent pedagogies in purposeful literacy curriculum, Pedagogies: An International Journal, 3(4), 221-240.

Comber B, Kamler B, (2009). Sustaining the next generation of teacher-researchers to work for social justice, The SAGE Handbook of Educational Action Research, 226-237.

Comber B, Nixon H, (2009). Teachers’ work and pedagogy in an era of accountability, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 30(3), 333-345.

Comber B, (2007). The work of women teachers in primary literacy education: knowing and doing, English in Education, 41(2), 7-26.

Comber B, Kamler B, (2005). Turn-around pedagogies: Literacy interventions for at-risk students, Improving Schools, 8(121), 121-131.

Comber B, Nixon H, Ashmore L, Loo S, Cook J, (2006). Urban renewal from the inside out: Spatial and critical literacies in a low socioeconomic school community, Mind, Culture, and Activity: an international Journal, (13)3, 228-246.

Nixon H, Comber B, (2009). Literacy, landscapes and learning in a primary classroom, Landscapes and learning: Place studies for a global world, 19-138.

 Chapter in a Book




Comber B, (2009). Critical literacies in place: Teachers who work for just and sustainable communities. In J. Lavia, M. Moore (Eds.) Cross-cultural perspectives on policy and practice: Decolonizing community contexts (pp. 43-57). New York, NY: Routledge.












Barbara Comber has co-edited a number of books including the following:

Comber, B., & Anne, S. (2001). Negotiating critical literacies in classrooms. Mahwah, N.J.: L. Erlbaum Associates.

Hall, K., Cremin, T., Comber, B., & Moll L.C. (2013). International handbook of research on children’s literacy, learning, and culture. West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

Comber, B., Nixon, H., & Reid, J. (2007). Literacies in place: Teaching environmental communications. Newtown, N.S.W.: Primary English Teaching Association, Australia.

Recognitions and Activities

  • Australian Association for Educational Research Doctoral Thesis Award-1997
  • Australian Literacy Eduators Association, Inaugural Research Award-1999
  • Member of PETAA (Primary English Teaching Association Australia)
  • On the editorial boards for the Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, Literacy, Reading Research Quarterly, Research in the Teaching of English, the Australian Educational Researcher (from 2001), English teaching practice & Critique, and the Journal of Early Childhood Literacy.
  • From 2008-2010 she was a member of the Australian Research Council’s College of Experts.

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