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Associate Professor Simon Leonard


Associate Professor

Contact details

Tel: +61 2 6201 5892


Simon Leonard is an Associate Professor of the Learning Sciences. His research and teaching seek to further the scientific understanding of learning through an engagement with the design and implementation of learning innovations in designed learning environments including universities, schools, online, workplaces, and science centres. He has a particular interest in the how expansive or 'mind-body-world' theories of learning may be effectively applied in different settings; how they might be used to improve learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); and the impacts of public policy on expansive approaches to learning. To conduct this work he draws on design-research methodologies and on ecological theories of mind and society. Through this work, Simon's ambition is to contribute to a new kind of cognitive scientific collaboration involving neuroscience, physiology, and social, cultural, and technological studies in about equal measure.

Simon teaches postgraduate courses and supervises doctoral research in science education, the evaluation of teaching and learning, and in education policy. Maintaining a strong engagement with the professional education community, he is currently 'Educator in Residence' at Questacon, the Australian National Science and Technology Centre. Simon also has extensive experience in educational leadership and management including a three year term as Head of the Teacher Education program at the University of Canberra where his work in curriculum redevelopment was recognized by the Vice Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence.

He has held previous roles as a science teacher in NSW country high schools, and as a policy coordination officer with the ACT Government.

Research Interests

  • Innovation in STEM Education
  • Design-research methods as applied to human services and policy enactment
  • Enacted and embodied approaches to learning