Researcher biography

Melinda Pratt is currently pursuing a PhD in the School of Education. Her research interests are in the areas of educational and relational leadership, work-related learning, early years education, and education design and innovation. Melinda’s PHD research aims to bring the voices and relations of Australian and UK school leaders to the fore to reveal how work-related learning occurs through ongoing relational processes. She draws upon school leaders’ work-related learning in complex times to transition into new and unanticipated roles that are situated in both the local and global field of education.

She has worked across Australian, UK International schools including 16 years of leadership in London independent schools. Within these roles she led extensive curriculum development, teacher professional learning, and designed innovative programs in response to key government policies such as “Every Child Matters Policy” and the “Early Years Foundation Stage”. She collaborated with other school leaders in the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools (IAPS), UK to build a community of professionals working on navigating policy implementation in innovative but educational ways, drawing on external stakeholders for effective education programs, and Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) inspection training. She also partnered with Durham University to develop and implement assessment for evaluation and monitoring of student outcomes leading to transforming school assessments, individualised learning, and establishing professional learning communities. Earlier on in her career within Queensland schools, Melinda participated in the research team directed by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority that focused on consistency of teacher judgement and moderation in assessment practices. Across her work in education, she has contributed to Early Years and Primary Education through teaching in public, independent and International Baccalaureate contexts. At UQ, she co-ordinates the Early Years Education course and teaches in a range of education programs as a casual academic. She invites her students to join in the conversation of the world through purposeful curiosity, collaboration, critical thinking, and academic excellence. In 2021 she worked as a research assistant on the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority review of the Australian National Curriculum. As a casual senior research assistant on the UQ edX MOOC – The Future World of Work: An Immersive Digital Experience, she works with the academic team developing 21st Century Thinking Skills content that can be applied to work environments. Melinda is passionate about interdisciplinary approaches to the complexities and opportunities of leadership, in particular, when leaders develop purposeful cultures of learning in workplaces in contemporary times where ambiguity is the norm rather than the exception.