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Professor Joy Cumming is the Research Director of the Assessment, Evaluation and Student Learning Research in LSIA at ACU. Joy has been involved in educational research for 40 years, including state and federally funded research projects and contributing to national and state policies. Her core research priority is educational assessment, with projects in adult and child literacy and numeracy. Her research also focuses on equity and social justice in assessment, including work in education law that examines the impact of educational policy and legislation in assessment and accountability on students. Prior to commencing at ACU in 2013, Joy was employed in a number of roles including Professor in the Faculty of Education and Dean of Griffith Graduate Research School during her 25 years with Griffith University.

Research interests

  • Assessment
  • Evaluation
  • Education accountability
  • Accountability and equity in education
  • Education and law

Competitive grants and projects

2015-2018 Australian Research Council, Discovery Grant: Cumming, J., Wyatt Smith, C., Dickson, E., Webster, A., Harris, K., & Graham, S., Effective teacher-based assessment adjustments for students with disability.
2011-2013 Australian Research Council, Discovery Grant: Cumming, J., & Wyatt-Smith, C., An investigation of school and teacher use of National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) for student learning improvement.
2006 Victoria Department of Education and Training: Wyatt-Smith, C., & Cumming, J., Literacy teaching and learning in Victorian schools.
2006 Victoria Department of Education and Training: Czislowski-McKenna, A. T., Cumming, J., Wyatt-Smith, C., & Elkins, J., Literacy teaching and learning in Victorian schools.
2005 Office of Higher Education, Queensland: Zimitat, C., Broughton, S., Ramsay, S., & Buckridge, M., School-to-higher education transitions in Queensland.
2004-2006 Queensland Studies Authority: Cumming, J., Wyatt-Smith, C., & Elkins, J. Teacher judgment: Building an evidentiary base for quality literacy and numeracy education.

Research consultancy projects

2016 Craigslea State High School. Cumming, J., Adie, L. & van der Kleij, F., Teachers’ Professional Agency.
2014 Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority: Cumming, J., & van der Kleij, F., Evaluation of the Guideline for Individual Learning & Assessment: Guideline for Individual Learning.
2014 Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority: Cumming, J., & van der Kleij, F., Evaluation of the Trial on the Guideline for Individual Learning and Preliminary Consideration of Assessment Issues for Year 11 and 12 students eligible for the Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement.
2014 National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (Ireland): Cumming, J., Looney, A., & van der Kleij, F., Teacher Assessment Identity Instrument.
2005 Emeritus Professor P. Meade and Tertiary Education Commission (NZ): Commissioned literature review on tertiary teaching and learning indicator research, Literature review to support the design of the New Zealand Learner Opinion Survey.
2005-2006 DETYA: Consultant, National Child Literacy Research Project Coordinator (outsourced DETYA personnel supervised through Griffith University).

Publications

Valuing students with impairments: International comparisons of practice in educational accountability Education Assessment in the 21st Century Policy and research in Australia Adult literacy and numeracy: Assessing change  

Books

Webster, A., Cumming, J. & Rowlands, S. (ms under final review). Empowering parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Critical decision-making for quality outcomes across the lifespan. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

Cumming, J.J. (2012). Valuing students with impairments: International comparisons of practice in educational accountability. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

Wyatt-Smith, C. & Cumming, J. (Eds.). (2009). Educational assessment in the 21st century. Connecting theory and practice. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

Cumming, J.J., & Wyatt-Smith, C.E. (Eds.). (2001). Literacy-curriculum connections: Implications for theory and practice. Melbourne: ACER.

Cumming, J.J. (1996). Adult numeracy: Policy and research in Australia. Melbourne: Language Australia.
Cumming, J.J., & Van Kraaynoord, C.E. (Eds.). (1996). Adult literacy and numeracy: Assessing change. Melbourne: Language Australia.

Book chapters (since 2009)

Cumming, J. J., & Van der Kleij, F. M. (in press). Effective enactment of Assessment for Learning with students with diverse backgrounds in Australia. In D. Leveault, & L. Allal (Eds.), Assessment for Learning: Meeting the challenge of implementation. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Springer
Cumming, J., Wyatt-Smith, C., & Colbert, P. (2016). Students ‘at risk’ and the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN): The ‘collateral damage’. In R. Lingard, G. Thompson & S. Sellar (Eds.), National testing and its effects: Evidence from Australia (pp. 126–138). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
Cumming, J.J., Maxwell, G.S., & Wyatt-Smith, C.M. (2016). School leadership in assessment in an environment of external accountability: Developing an assessment for learning culture. In G. Johnson, & N. Dempster (Eds.), Leadership for learning and effective change. Dordrecht: Springer.
Cumming, J., & Mawdsley, R. (2015). Diversity, affirmative action and higher education: An Australian legal perspective. In P. Kamvounis, S. Varnham, & J. Squelch (Eds.), Higher education and the law (pp. 137–162). Sydney: The Federation Press.
Cumming, J.J., Maxwell, G.S., & Wyatt-Smith, C.M. (forthcoming/2015). School leadership in assessment in an environment of external accountability: Developing an assessment for learning culture. In G. Johnson, & N. Dempster (Eds.), Leadership for learning and effective change. Dordrecht: Springer.
Colbert, P., & Cumming, J.J. (2014). Enabling all students to learn through assessment: A case study of equitable outcomes through the use of criteria and standards. In C. Wyatt-Smith, & V. Klenowski (Eds.), Designing assessment for quality learning (pp. 207–227). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.
Cumming, J.J., & Maxwell, G.S. (2014). Expanding approaches to summative assessment for students with impairment. In L. Florian (Ed.), SAGE Handbook of Special Education (2nd ed., pp. 573-596). London: SAGE.
Shaban, R., Wyatt-Smith, C., & Cumming, J. (2013). The mental health patient in the pre-hospital emergency care setting. In R. Townsend, M. Ebum, & M. Luck (Eds.), Applied paramedic law and ethics(pp. 225-249). Chatswood, NSW: Elsevier Australia.
Maxwell, G.S., & Cumming, J.J. (2011). Managing without public examinations: Successful and sustained curriculum and assessment reform in Queensland. In L. Yates, C. Collins, & K. O’Connor (Eds.), Australia’s curriculum dilemmas: State perspectives and changing times (pp. 202-222). Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.
Cumming, J. (2010). Classroom assessment in policy context (Australia). In B. McGaw, P. Peterson, & E. Baker (Eds.), The International Encyclopedia of Education (Vol 3, pp. 417-424). Oxford: Elsevier.
Wyatt-Smith, C.M., Cumming, J.J., Elkins, J., & Colbert, P. (2010). Redesigning assessment. In D. Pendergast, & N. Bahr (Eds.), Teaching middle years (2nd ed, pp. 44-58.) Sydney: Allen & Unwin.
Cumming, J.J. (2009). Assessment challenges, the law and the future. In C. Wyatt-Smith, & J. Cumming (Eds.), Educational assessment in the 21st century: Connecting theory and practice (pp. 157–182). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.
Cumming, J.J., & Wyatt-Smith, C. (2009). Framing assessment today for the future: Issues and challenges. In C. Wyatt-Smith, & J. Cumming (Eds.), Educational assessment in the 21st century: Connecting theory and practice (pp. 1-18). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

Articles

Looney, A., Cumming, J., van der Kleij, F. & Harris, K. Reconceptualising the role of teachers as assessors: Teacher assessment identity. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice (accepted minor revisions, 15 February 2016)
Elliot, S., Davies, M., & Cumming, J.J. (2016/in press). Documenting support needs and adjustment gaps for students with disabilities: Teacher practices in Australian classrooms and on national tests. International Journal of Inclusive Education. [on publication: doi: 10.1080/13603116.2016.1159256]
Cumming, J. & Goldstein, H. (2016). Handling attrition and non-response in longitudinal data with an application to a study of Australian youth. Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, 7(1), 53–63.
Elliot, S., Davies, M., & Cumming, J.J. (forthcoming). Documenting support needs and adjustment gaps for students with disabilities: Teacher practices in Australian classrooms and on national tests. International Journal of Inclusive Education (accepted 10 February 2016).
Mawdsley, R., & Cumming, J. (forthcoming/2015). Restraint of students in US schools. International Journal of Law and Education. (accepted 4 November 2014)
Cumming, J., & Mawdsley, R. (forthcoming/2015). Protecting children in Australian schools: Teacher use of force and restraint and legal challenges. International Journal of Law and Education. (accepted 17 November 2014)
Mawdsley, R., & Cumming, J. (2014). Legal issues regarding student mobile phones: Considerations of Australian context and case law from United States public schools. International Journal of Law and Education, 19(1), 37–54.
Cumming, J., & Mawdsley, R. (2013). Australia, quality education, and the ‘best interests’ of the child. Australian Journal of Education, 57(3), 292-309. doi:10.1177/0004944113497892
Fensham, P., & Cumming, J. (2013). Alternative modes of assessment and equity in science education. Education Sciences, 3(3), 326–343. doi:10.3390/educsci3030326
Cumming, J., & Mawdsley, R. (2013). The prevailing voice in choice of schooling: The balancing rights of parents, children and the courts. International Journal of Law and Education, 18(1), 39–55.
Mawdsley, R., & Cumming, J. (2013). Florida v. Harris: Is your search dog’s sniff up to snuff? 293 [West’s] Education Law Reporter No 1—Education Law Into Practice, [1]–[8].
Cumming, J., Dickson, E., & Webster, A. (2013). Reasonable adjustments in assessment: Putting law and policy into practice. International Journal of Disability, Development & Education, 60(4), 295–311. doi: 10.1080/1034912X.2013.846467
Cumming, J.J., & Mawdsley, R.D. (2013). Language and culture restrictions and discrimination in K-12 private schools: An Australian perspective. International Journal of Education Reform 22(2), 150–164.
Mawdsley, R.D., & Cumming, J.J. (2013). U.S. federal discrimination law and language and culture restrictions in US K-12 private schools. International Journal of Education Reform, 22(1), 24–36.
Cumming, J., & Dickson, E. (2013). Educational accountability tests, social and legal inclusion approaches to discrimination for students with disability: A national case study from Australia. Assessment in Education Principles, Policy & Practice, 20(2), 221–239. doi:10.1080/0969594X.2012.730499
Cumming, J.J., Kimber, K., & Wyatt-Smith, C.M. (2012). Enacting policy, curriculum and teacher conceptualisations of multimodal literacy and English in assessment and accountability. English in Australia, 47(1), 9-18.
Cumming, J.J., & Mawdsley, R. (2012) .The nationalisation of education in Australia and annexation of private schooling to public goals. International Journal of Law and Education, 17(2), 7–31.
Mawdsley, R., & Cumming, J.J. (2012). Government regulation of nonpublic schools in the United States. International Journal of Law and Education, 17(1), 39-55.
Cumming, J.J., Kimber, K., & Wyatt-Smith, C.M. (2011). Historic Australian conceptualisations of English, literacy and multimodality in policy and curriculum and conflicts with educational accountability. English in Australia, 46(3),42-55.
Cumming, J.J. & Mawdsley, R.D. (2011). Certification of teachers, pre-service teacher education, tests and legal issues: Implications for Queensland and Australia. International Journal of Law and Education, 16(1), 47-64.
Mawdsley, R.D. & Cumming, J.J. (2011). Certification of teachers, pre-service teacher education, tests and legal issues: The context and United States’ history. International Journal of Law and Education, 16(1), 65-86.
de Waal, E., Mawdsley, R.D. & Cumming, J.J. (2010). Furthering national values through religion in public school education: comparing the United States, Australia and South Africa Journal for Juridical Science, 35(Special Issue 1), 45-70.
Cumming, J.J., & Mawdsley, R.D. (2009). Establishment clauses, legislation and private school funding in the United States and Australia: Recent trends. International Journal of Law and Education, 14(2), 63-80.

Refereed conference proceedings

Mawdsley, R.D., Cumming, J.J., & Mawdsley, J. (2011). The use of ‘do not resuscitate’ orders for students in US and Australian schools: Legal and policy considerations. In Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Australia and New Zealand Education Law Association (pp.32-44), Darwin, 2–4 October 2011.
Cumming, J.J., & Mawdsley, R.D. (2010). Certification of teachers, pre-service teacher education tests and legal issues: United States’ (US) history and Australian trends. In Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Australia and New Zealand Education Law Association, Sydney, 29 September–1 October 2010.
Cumming, J.J. & Wyatt-Smith, C.E. (2004). Key assessment issues for the future. In B. Bartlett, F. Bryer & D. Roebuck, Educating: Weaving research into practice (Vol. 1). Brisbane: CLS, Griffith University.

Video Resources

Professor Joy Cumming Curriculum Vitae

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