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Associate Professor Damien Lyons

Deputy Chair of Education


Damien Lyons (he/him) is Deputy Chair and an Associate Professor in Literacy Education within the Department of Education at Swinburne University of Technology. 

Damien's work explores three interrelated themes, including:

Theme 1: Literacy teaching and learning. Damien explores critical factors that influence primary school teachers’ literacy pedagogical decision-making and enactments. His aim is to better understand dominant socio-cultural narratives that influence literacy teaching within primary schools, and opportunities to better embed contemporary literacy practices within learning environments. 

Theme 2: Leadership of learning and teaching.  Within this theme Damien focuses on the lived experiences of educational leaders within various leadership roles, exploring perceptions of leadership, socio-cultural factors that influence leadership, and how leadership influences learning and teaching within various contexts.  

Theme 3: Education design and innovation. Damien’s research juxtaposes lived experiences of people within education contexts against national and international best practice research evidence, partly drawn from his own research, to promote education innovation in both design and practice within a range of education settings.

Damien is committed to and passionate about contemporary literacy practices and the leadership of learning in various contexts. Damien's research and teaching engages with some of the most pressing issues and dilemmas confronting education in time and place, including the phonics debates, technologies in literacy spaces, the changing nature of texts and their socio-cultural influences, and contemporary leadership practices for contemporary learning environments.


Current research
Damien is currently involved in the following research projects.

  • Advancing girls engagement in STEM through a mixed methodological teacher professional learning framework.
  • A longitudinal narrative inquiry of literacy learning and teaching - the lived experiences from pre-service to in-service practice.
  • Doing Doctorates Differently - supervision practices for contemporary researchers in contemporary times.
  • Phonics in Context.

Methodological expertise and experience

Damien has used the following methodologies as part of his research and teaching.

  • Narrative Inquiry
  • Phenomenology
  • Case Study
  • Autoethnography
  • Collaborative Autoethnography
  • Post Qualitative Inquiry.


Doctoral supervision
Below is a sample of doctoral research projects Damien has / or is supervising. 

  • Student 1: Children's early writing practices.
  • Student 2: Agentic literacy practices of Middle Years students in Australian classrooms.
  • Student 3: Challenging agentic teacher identities in Early Years contexts.
  • Student 4: Teacher perceptions and practices of indigenous perspectives in Australian classrooms.
  • Student 5: Post Qualitative insights into knowledge production in research contexts (completed). 


Teaching background and experience
Damien has taught into both undergraduate and postgraduate programs, focusing on Early Years literacy, Middle Years literacy and the leadership of literacy in primary school settings. His pedagogical practices are influenced by a deep respect for the profession of teaching, his own experiences as a primary school teacher and leader, and research evidence - including his own research. Damien adopts the view that learning is socially constructed, and therefore he contextualises his teaching within authentic contexts encouraging connections between theory, evidence, and practice.  

Service to the profession and community

Damien is the co-editor (pedagogy and practice) of the journal, Literacy Learning: the Middle Years; a journal that affords teachers and academics in the literacy field an opportunity to share their insights and practices around some of the contemporary issues in literacy education. Damien has co-led Languages and Literacies Research Groups and was a founding member of the Phenomenology in Education Faculty Research Group at Monash University.

Damien holds the following qualifications.

  • Doctor of Philosophy - Deakin University - Australia. 

Thesis title: Literacy in and for the 21st century. Understanding the lived experiences of teachers in Victorian government schools as they plan and enact literacy for Year Six students.

  • Master of Arts (Leadership) - Institute of Education, University of London - United Kingdom. 

Thesis title: Australian educational leaders' perceptions of literacy learning for Year Six students in and for the 21st century.

  • Master of Education - Deakin University - Australia. 

Thesis title: 'So Mr... What did you do at school today?' An exploration of the lived experiences of male primary school teachers in rural and regional Victoria. 

  • Bachelor of Arts - Australian Catholic University - Australia

  • Bachelor of Teaching - Australian Catholic University - Australia

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.


  • 2022, Other, MSA Lecturer of the Year, Monash University
  • 2022, Other, MSA Excellence in Teaching , Monash University

Professional memberships

  • 2022 (current): Editor, Literacy Learning: The Middle Years (Practical Strategies), Australia


Also published as: Lyons, Damien; Lyons, D.
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2019: Acorns to Oak Trees: Creative approaches to teaching STEM to advance female students *; Invergowrie Foundation

* Chief Investigator

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