B. Arts in English, Master of Arts in English Education, PhD Education Policy, Planning and Leadership, with Emphasis in Curriculum Leadership
Dr. Kirby is passionate about improving students' life chances through effective education leadership and high quality, optimistic learning environments around the globe. As a rural student in Mississippi, she always wanted to be a teacher but socio-economics and an unsupportive family were but some of the barriers faced. Nevertheless, she persisted and completed her Bachelor's degree and began teaching Year 8 and 9 English to boys who were incarcerated in upstate New York. As an urban teacher and urban teacher trainer, she has had the opportunity to work with students and colleagues from public schools in New York and Virginia. Whilst in Virginia studying for her PhD, she worked as a Literacy Coach across three high schools, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, to improve literacy instruction in English Year 9.
In 2010, she moved to Canberra, Australia, and began another phase of work in public education at the University of Canberra as an Assistant Professor of Education, working with undergraduate Teacher Education majors and Masters and Doctoral students in Educational Leadership. Now Dr. Kirby works as an educational leader in Teaching and Learning at Charles Sturt University to better support teaching academics and to nurture the improvement of the student experience.
As a result of being marginalised and witnessing students and staff being marginalised over the last 20 years in public education, her passion in research is grounded in the desire to improve the life chances of students through effective education leadership and high quality, optimistic learning environments around the globe. In higher education, this means having effective leadership and support of globally aware, rigorous academic scholarship (teaching, research and service), so that students have rich, more engaging and authentic educational experiences. In PreK-12, this means having effective leadership and support of optimistic, globally competent classroom teachers to engage their students in teaching and learning so that students can better understand, do and think in ways necessary to thrive in our modern world.
Currently, she is the Principal Investigator for Exploring the Functions of Assessment Driven ePortfolio Use in the Context of Vulnerable Communities, a national study across seven Australian universities where the aims of the research are to 1. Understand current practice across institutions and these confidentiality challenges. 2. Identify some of the unintended outcomes when using an e-portfolio. 3.Develop guidelines to be used by staff and students to address the unintended outcomes of using an e-portfolio. She also collaborates with Dr. Elizabeth Crawford at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, USA, on research around global competence in Teacher Education.
The Asia Pacific Centre for Leadership and Change, Hong Kong Institute of Education
Visiting Scholar, Feb-Apr 2015
Research Fellow, 2015-2017
Invited Participant, Asia Leadership Roundtable 2015, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand March 2015
Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia
Associate Fellow, 2014-2016
Multicultural Education Review
Associate Editor, 2015-Present
University of Canberra
Management Committee Member, Parent Representative, Wiradjuri Preschool and Childcare Centre. Advocated for parents as their representative on the Management Committee at Wiradjuri, which earned the Excellent rating from ACECQA in November 2014, 2013-2016
Academic Board Member, Elected Representative from the Education, Science, Technology and Mathematics Faculty, 2013-2016
University Education Committee and the University Research Committee, Academic Board Representative, 2014-2016
Academic Board Review Working Party, 2015-2016
Mahara ePortfolios/Catalyst IT NZ
Project Smart Evidence. Collaborated with academics across UC faculty and (open source) Catalyst NZ programmers to improve Mahara functionality for users to display evidence maps electronically. Released in Mahara 15.04 on 17 April 2015. Further work with other organisations is ongoing, 2013-2016
American Secondary Education Journal
Editorial Board Member, 2010-present
NAFSA: Association of International Educators
Invited Reviewer for Annual Conference, 2014
American Educational Research Association (AERA)
Invited Panel Reviewer for Annual Meeting, 2010-present
University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA)
Reviewer for Annual Convention, 2008- 2010; 2015
Project Advisory Group for the NSW School Partnerships Evaluation, 2012
ACT Department of Education and Training Academic Mentor, Kingsford Smith School, 2010
Personal Liasion to Jonathan Kozol during campus visit for Project HOPE's Annual Conference, Flinging Our Arms Wide: Providing School Stability for Students in Need, February 2006
Invited Manuscript Referee for the Following Journals:
Journal of Educational Administration
Asia Pacific Education Review
Asia Pacific Journal of Education
Global Partners in Education Journal
International Journal of Organizational Analysis
Sage in Global Education, 2014
Cengage Publishing, 2014
Pearson (Anita Woolfolk Hoy's Educational Psychology), 2013
Isbel, S., Kirby, M. M. Nuessler, S., & Bevitt, T. (2017). Occupational therapy students' acceptance of using an e-portfolio to support practice education. JSM Health Education & Primary Health Care, 2(1), 1024-1030.
Kirby, M. M. & Crawford, E. O. (2012). The preparation of globally competent teachers: A comparison of American and Australian education policies and perspectives. Global Partners in Education Journal, 2(1), 12-24.
Kirby, M. M. & DiPaola, M. F. (2011). Academic optimism and community engagement in urban schools. Journal of Educational Administration, 49(5), 542-562.
Crawford, E. O. & Kirby, M. M. (2008). Fostering students' global awareness: Technology applications in social studies teaching and learning, Journal of Curriculum and Instruction, 2(1), 56-73.
Kirby, M. M. (in press). Futures-Oriented Thinkers. In A. T. Kemp (Ed.), Dignity of the Calling: Educators Share the Beginnings of Their Journeys. Information Age Publishing: Greenwich, CT.
Lee, M. & Kirby, M. M. (2016). The promises and perils of school leadership for accountability: Four lessons from China, Hong Kong and India. In P. Tulowitzki & J. Easley (Eds.). Educational Accountability: International Perspectives on Challenges and Possibilities for School Leadership. Routledge: London, UK.
Kirby, M. M. & DiPaola, M. F. (2009). Academic optimism and student achievement: A path model. In W. K. Hoy & M. F. DiPaola (Eds.). Studies in School Improvement: Volume 8 in the Series— Research and Theory in Educational Administration. Information Age Publishing: Greenwich, CT.
Crawford, E. O. & Kirby, M. M. (2017, under revision with Asia Pacific Journal of Teacher Education). Conceptualizing teachers' global competencies: What it means for preparing tomorrow's global educators.