Encouraging new teachers to think critically about what and how they teach is a key focus for Professor Keith Crawford, who has joined the University of Newcastle's Ourimbah campus.
Professor Crawford said one aspect of his research would explore the ways in which new teachers could critically assess their classroom performance and improve learning.
"I'm interested in the way in which teachers develop as reflective practitioners and in the concept of the teacher as a researcher," he said.
"I'm looking forward to helping educators understand that teaching is not just about the uncritical delivery of a curriculum - it's about analysing what they teach, what resources they employ, how they teach, and how they can develop their professional skills."
Professor Crawford will take a leadership role in the development of teacher research projects and presenting courses on the context of teaching, social and environmental studies, and foundations for teaching.
He comes to the University of Newcastle having spent 16 years as a teacher in the UK before moving into higher education as Professor of Education at Edge Hill University in Ormskirk, UK.
Professor Crawford may be new to the Central Coast but he is already getting into the local spirit, with season tickets to the Mariners' home games on the top of his 'to-do' list. He said he wasted no time in gaining an appreciation for life on the Central Coast.
"My wife Jenny and I are keen sports fans so we are very excited about having a new local football club to support," Professor Crawford said.
"We've visited Australia several times and when we came the Central Coast to visit, it didn't take us long to figure out this was where we wanted to live. I also knew of the University of Newcastle's reputation, so when the post came up it represented a great opportunity, both professionally and for the lifestyle this part of Australia affords."
Pro Vice-Chancellor at the Ourimbah campus, Professor Stephen Crump, said Professor Crawford would be a valuable addition to the teaching staff.
"Keith's extensive practical experience as a teacher and his work at an academic level will provide our students with valuable insight into the teaching profession and I am very pleased to welcome him to the Ourimbah campus," Professor Crump said.
Photo opportunity: Professor Keith Crawford is available for photographs on request. Please contact Blythe Hamilton to arrange a suitable time.