Associate Professor Laura Scholes

Associate Professor, ACU & Principal Research Fellow
Australian Research Council - Educational Semiotics in English and Literacy Pedagogy

Laura Scholes

Areas of expertise: boys, masculinity, and reading; girls, femininity, and reading; reading in the digital age; masculinities and schooling; reading and social disadvantage; reading in science classrooms; epistemic cognition and reading; development of children’s epistemic cognition; expertise in qualitative, quantitative and mixed research design methodologies; Survey design and analysis; interview research design and analysis; large scale longitudinal mixed method design; stimulated recall interview methods; scenario based interview methods; ethnography – early childhood and primary school settings

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-8849-2825

Phone: +61 07 3861 6177


Location: ACU Brisbane Campus

Laura Scholes is an Associate Professor of Gender and Literacy at the Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education, ACU, Brisbane. A/Professor Scholes is a Fellow of the Australian Research Council researching how to challenge masculinities associated with boys’ failure in reading. She was awarded a prestigious 3-year Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) in 2017 (DE 170100990). As part of this program of research she is implementing mixed methods to identify the multiplicity of influences on boys' masculine reading identities and pedagogies to improve disadvantaged boys' reading outcomes.

In addition to her DECRA research she also recently worked on a research project examining boys’ and girls’ experiences of reading in middle school science classrooms, student science epistemic beliefs for knowing in science, and the influence of teaching pedagogies on science literate identities. A/Professor Scholes has produced over 80 scholarly works including her sole-authored 2018 monograph by Routledge, Boys, masculinities and reading: Gender identity and literacy as social practice. She has published research in journals that include the Journal of Reading Research, Teaching and Teacher Education, British Journal of Sociology of Education, Critical Studies in Education, and Gender and Education.

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Select publications

  • Scholes, L. (2018). Boys, masculinities and reading: Gender identity and literacy as social practice. Critical studies in gender and sexuality in education series. New York, NY: Routledge.
Journal articles
  • Scholes, L, (2019). Differences in attitudes towards reading and other school-related activities among boys and girls. Journal of Reading Research. 42 (3-4), pp 485–503. doi:10.1111/1467-9817.12279
  • Scholes, L. (2019). Popular Girls Aren’t into Reading: Reading as a Site for Working-Class Girls’ Gender and Class Identity Work. Critical Studies in Education. doi:10.1080/17508487.2019.1601633
  • Scholes, L. (2018). Working-class boys’ relationships with reading: Contextual systems that support working-class boys’ engagement with, and enjoyment of, reading. Gender and Education. 31(3), 344-361,
  • Scholes, L. (2017). Books are boring! Books are fun! Boys’ polarized perspectives on reading. Boyhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, (11), 77-98.
  • Scholes, L. (2015). Clandestine readers: Boys’ and girls’ descriptions of going ‘undercover’. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 36(3), 359-374. doi:10.1080/01425692.2013.826899.


  • 2017 - 2020. Australian Research Council, Discovery Early Career Research Award. Scholes, L. Investigating how to challenge masculinities associated with boys’ failure in reading. DE170100990. $377,000
  • 2018 - 2019. Brisbane Catholic Education. Scholes, L., Lunn, J., Walker, S., Johansson, E., Lawson, V. Helping children to reason about moral values for social inclusion: A longitudinal study. $8,000
  • 2018 - 2019. URIPA Seed Funding, University of Adelaide. Stahl, G., Scholes, L., Comber, L, & Lunn, J. The nexus of literacy and science epistemic beliefs: Understanding students’ gendered science participation. $10,000
  • 2018. QUT Faculty Research Seed Funding. Walker, S., Lunn, J. & Scholes, L. Executive function and epistemic cognition in early childhood. $8,350
  • 2014. QUT Faculty Project. Lunn, J., Davis, J., Farrell, A. & Scholes, L. Understanding teaching, learning and leadership in elementary teacher education in Papua New Guinea.
  • 2013. Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre. Johnson, D., Jones, C., & Scholes, L. Gaming in the lives of boys. $53,850
  • 2012 - 2013. Telstra Foundation: CIs Jones, C., Scholes, L. et al. Orbit: The feeling safe sexual abuse prevention project. $538,000

Accolades and awards

  • 2018 QUT Outstanding Publication Achievement Award. Faculty of Education. Scholes, L. Routledge Publication.
  • 2018 QUT Publication First Award. Faculty of Education. Scholes, L. Sole authored monograph.
  • 2017 Discovery Early Career Research Award (2017-2019) ($377,000). Australian Research Council.
  • 2014 QUT Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in the category of “Mixed team” (academic and professional staff) for “Partnerships and Engagement” for the JIFEE (Jiangsu International Foundation for Education Excellence) program at Hongwen College, Suzhou, China.
  • 2011 The University of Queensland Dean’s Award for Research Higher Degree Excellence, Thesis. Fewer than ten per cent of PhD graduates are recognized.
  • 2011 Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Postgraduate Student Research Award ($1,000). Award for paper based on originality, contemporary significance and /or scholarly relevance, conceptual, methodological and theoretical innovation.
  • 2011 The University of Queensland Carolyn D Baker Research Scholarship ($2,500).
  • 2010 The University of Queensland, School of Education, Postgraduate Publication Award, PhD publishing – recognition of quality publications.

Public engagement

  • Twitter: @ScholesLaura1

Appointments and affiliations

  • Associate Professor and Principal Research Fellow - ILSTE, ACU and the Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow, 2019-present
  • Senior Research Fellow Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow, 2017-2018
  • Research Fellow, Faculty of Education, QUT, 2013-2016
  • Senior Research Assistant, Faculty of Education, QUT, 2010-2012

Editorial roles

  • Australian Journal of Language and Literacy

International journal review panel

  • Journal of Reading Research
  • Australian Journal of Language and Literacy
  • International Journal of Inclusive Education
  • Pedagogies: An International Journal
  • Masculinities and Social Change
  • Critical Studies in Education
  • Teaching and Teacher Education

Grant agency review panel

  • Australian Research Council


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