LSIA appoints award-winning international learning expert

Monday, 12 December 2016

Learning Sciences Institute Australia appoints world leading expert

Australian Catholic University’s (ACU’s) Learning Sciences Institute Australia (LSIA) has appointed Kathy Mills to the position of Professor of Digital Culture and Multimodal Pedagogy.

Professor Mills will take up the position from Tuesday 13 December and be based at the ACU’s Brisbane CBD campus.

LSIA Director Professor Claire Wyatt-Smith said Professor Mills would undertake research that examined changing communication practices, including in youth cultures.

“Kathy will be working in the LSIA Sydney-based Research Concentration Area, Educational Semiotics in English and Literacy Pedagogy, led by Professor Len Unsworth,” Professor Wyatt-Smith said.

“She will also supervise PhD students, including those working on funded Australian Research Council projects.”

The Literacy Research Association in the United States awarded Professor Mills the Edward Fry Book Award last week for her work Literacy Theories for the Digital Age: Social, Critical, Multimodal, Spatial, Material and Sensory Lenses. An international award, it recognises literacy research and practice that advances new knowledge, shows significant inquiry into the discipline, and demonstrates responsible intellectual risk-taking.

Professor Mills said the most significant aspect of her work was the development of her theory of sensory literacies, which signalled a shift in the way we think about children’s literacy.

“I am extending ideas that were forged in the history and anthropology of the senses to better understand children’s ways of gaining knowledge,” she said.

“I’m very much looking forward to joining ACU, as I will have a wonderful opportunity to contribute to ACU’s research vision. I’m joining a team of LSIA’s leading international scholars in the field of literacy research and pedagogical practice at an exciting time for educational researchers of digital communications nationally and globally.”

Professor Mills most recently held the position of Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, School of Curriculum at Queensland University of Technology.  She has conducted multiple category 1 grants on multimodal pedagogy with disadvantaged groups, and has published 70 works, including five books, 35 scholarly journal articles, and chapters in reputable academic volumes.

She is a Principal Research Fellow of the Australian Research Council, an Associate Editor of the Australian Educational Researcher and serves on the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Literacy Research (Arizona), the Review Board of The Reading Teacher (New Jersey), English Teaching Practice and Critique (New Zealand), and the Australian Journal of Language and Literacy.

Learn more about the Learning Sciences Institute Australia.