Current position: Lecturer (Educational Psychology), School of Education, UNSW
2016-2019: Vice Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow, UNSW 

Current Research Projects

Model of Teacher Success (2017-2021)
NSW Department of Education (NSW, Australia) is funded this partnership project on teacher quality. 

Museum-based Professional Development for Teachers (2018)
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UNSW (Sydney, Australia) funded this partnership project through the Collaborative Research Scheme. This collaboration includes Professor Martin of the School of Education and Derek Williamson from the Museum of Human Disease within the Faculty of Medicine. 

PL-TIME: Professional Learning and Teachers’ Interpersonal skills, Motivation, and Engagement
Since 2016, my postdoctoral research has focused on the key personal characteristics of preservice teachers in teacher education programs at two universities in Australia. 

Since 2014, I have been a member of an international teacher selection project team, led by Professor Robert Klassen (University of York, UK).

  • Through this project, I have learned about developing situational judgement tests that can help assess the non-academic attributes (e.g., empathy and adaptability) of prospective teachers entering into initial teacher education programs 
  • Locally, we conducted research (2014-2016) with the NSW Department of Education on exploring characteristics of effective teachers specific to rural and remote settings. This research has focused on applying the situational judgment test methodology to the assessment of non-academic attributes of teachers entering the profession.

In 2015 I completed my PhD in Educational Psychology at the University of Alberta (Canada) with a three-study dissertation on teacher motivation and professional learning:

Durksen, T. L. (2015). Promoting professional growth: A developmental and motivational approach to teachers’ professional learning (Doctoral dissertation). Available at

  • Publications from my PhD include: 

Durksen, T. L., Klassen, R. M., & Daniels, L. M. (2017). Motivation and collaboration: The keys to a developmental framework for teachers’ professional learning. Teaching and Teacher Education, 67. 53-66. doi:

Durksen, T. L. & Klassen, R. M. (2012). Pre-service teachers’ weekly commitment and engagement during a final training placement: A longitudinal mixed methods study. Educational and Child Psychology 29, 32-46. Retrieved from

Leading up to my PhD program:

  • I completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honours with Distinction) in Psychology, a post-degree Bachelor of Education, and a Master of Arts in Educational Psychology.
  • Prior to my Master of Arts program, I worked as a primary school teacher.