This paper explores the author’s transition from university lecturing and course coordination to secondary teaching and curriculum leadership: a return and also a taboo. It draws on the personal experience of the author and also on her recent doctoral work around teacher development of a disposition for enquiry into professional practice (Reid & O’Donoghue, 2001) and ‘care-full research’ (Brown, 2006). Preparing beginning teachers to enquire into practice is one thing; introducing experienced teachers to the concept will pose different issues. While it is very early days of transition, the paper will be an autoethnography which makes use of narrative methods of enquiry to explore the terrain of returning to secondary school teaching and working with experienced teachers to build a culture of professional learning. The paper connects the concept of ‘care-full’ research (an analytical framework developed in the doctoral work) and ‘care-full’ teaching. It will be argued that the need for care in research of and with teachers, should be developed into a more sophisticated disposition of care for pedagogy, content knowledge and people within the teaching profession. In this way the myth that higher degree research has little impact on school classroom practice will be explored. The totems are my beliefs about teaching and learning and professional practice. The taboos are my actions (moving from tertiary to secondary teaching) and this fits with the concept of risk taking within teaching.
There has been much attention given to the needs of students with learning disabilities in Australian schools in recent years. The needs and experiences of university students with learning disabilities have received less attention. This article reports on the results of a small study of students who identified as having a range of difficulties with learning at one Australian university. Eight students across a range of discipline areas and year levels were asked about the nature of their difficulties, the kinds of adjustments they receive and their effectiveness, and for their suggestions about how these adjustments could be improved. The results pointed to the need for university lecturers to better understand the kinds of learning difficulties experienced by such students. Such an understanding can assist lecturers in knowing how to adjust their teaching and learning practices so these students can more fully participate and be successful in their university studies.