Belinda Hopwood

UTAS Home Dr Belinda Hopwood

Belinda Hopwood

Lecturer in Foundations of English

Room 446 , Hytten Hall

+61 3 6223 7679 (phone)

+61 3 6226 2569 (fax)

Belinda Hopwood is an early career researcher and lecturer at the University of Tasmania. Belinda teaches across both the Masters of Teaching (two year post-graduate degree) and Bachelor of Education (four year under-graduate degree) degrees in the areas of English, and Curriculum Methods and Pedagogy. Belinda is the recipient of Teaching Merit awards and is currently the Professional Experience Leader for the Masters of Teaching degree. In this leadership role she oversees the teacher training undertaken by primary and secondary specialist pre-service teachers. Belinda has a passion for education, particularly in the areas of English and Literacy.


Belinda began her career as a secondary school teacher in southern Tasmania, specialising in English/Literacy education. Belinda has also taught in the primary setting across a range of subject areas.

In 2009 Belinda returned to the University of Tasmania to complete a PhD in English/Literacy education, under the supervision of Professor Ian Hay and Dr Janet Dyment. Belinda's thesis was an exploration of the impact that the transition from primary to secondary school can have upon adolescent students' literacy attainment.Whilst completing her PhD, Belinda maintained a position as a classroom teacher and also taught across a number of subject areas at the tertiary level. In 2013, Belinda accepted a full time academic position at the University of Tasmania.

Career summary


  • PhD (2014), 'Transition to secondary school: Student achievement and teacher practice', University of Tasmania, Australia 
  • BTeach (Hons) (2007), 'Boys' talk: I'm a natural born leader and I'm never hesitant to express my view', University of Tasmania, Australia
  • BA (2005), university of Tasmania, Australia

Administrative expertise

Belinda is a Professional Experience Leader and is responsible for overseeing Masters of Teaching students undertake their professional experience placements.


English, Literacy, Primary, Curriculum, Pedagogy

Teaching expertise

Belinda has experience teaching at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education. She is a qualified secondary English/SOSE teacher, and has also taught Drama at secondary school. Belinda has taught across a range of subject areas at University, including Human Development in Educational Context; Teacher as Planner, Assessor and Reporter; English Pedagogy and Practice in the Primary Years; Foundations of Literacy; Secondary English Literacy, Society Environment and Integrated Curriculum; Curriculum and Pedagogy. Belinda's area of teaching expertise is English/Literacy education.

Teaching responsibility

Belinda is responsible for teaching students at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level. At present Belinda is unit coordinator for two units,EMT511 Foundations of English(a first year, first semester unit undertaken by students enrolled in the primary strand of the Masters of Teaching degree) and

ESH103 Curriculum and Pedagogy(a first year, second semester unit undertaken by students enrolled in the Bachelor of Education degree).  Belinda also has experience supervising honours, Masters and PhD students.

View more on Ms Belinda Hopwood in WARP


  • Adolescent literacy achievement
  • Middle years of schooling
  • English/Literacy education 
  • Adolescent reading achievement  and engagement

Research Themes

Belinda's research interests include literacy education in the middle years of schooling, with a particular interest in the impact that school transition can have on adolescent reading engagement and achievement. Belinda has worked extensively with primary and secondary teachers in order to identify reasons for student academic decline in the middle years of schooling in the specific area of reading achievement. Such work has led to increased understandings as to why student reading achievement can be disrupted during the transition years and how this can be addressed by teachers and schools.

Belinda also has an interest in the pedagogical content knowledge of pre-service and in-service English teachers. Currently, Belinda is investigating the reading engagement and achievement of adolescent students through the implementation of a volunteer reading programme facilitated by pre-service teachers.


Belinda is currently involved in two projects primarily designed to improve the reading achievement and engagement of primary and secondary students. These projects are currently being undertaken in southern Tasmania and involve partnerships between local primary and secondary schools and the University of Tasmania.

Current projects

Belinda is currently facilitating two research projects. She is the coordinator of the Books in Homes Programme for southern Tasmania, which involves supplying free books to students and families in disadvantaged communities in order to promote reading engagement in the home. Belinda is also facilitating a volunteer reading programme whereby pre-service teachers volunteer in secondary schools on a weekly basis to assist adolescents who experience reading difficulties.

Fields of Research

  • English and literacy curriculum and pedagogy (excl. LOTE, ESL and TESOL) (390104)
  • Teacher education and professional development of educators (390307)
  • Higher education (390303)

Research Objectives

  • Pedagogy (160302)
  • Learner and learning (160199)
  • Teacher and instructor development (160303)


After having completed her PhD less than a year ago, Belinda is working on building her publication record. She currently has two publications based on her work on student transition.

Total publications


Journal Article

(3 outputs)
2019Muir T, Milthorpe N, Stone C, Dyment J, Freeman E, et al., 'Chronicling engagement: students' experience of online learning over time', Distance Education, 40, (2) pp. 262-277. ISSN 0158-7919 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/01587919.2019.1600367 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 23Web of Science - 20

Co-authors: Muir T; Milthorpe N; Stone C; Dyment J; Freeman E


2017Hopwood B, Hay I, Dyment J, 'Students' reading achievement during the transition from primary to secondary school', Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 40, (1) pp. 46-58. ISSN 1038-1562 (2017) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Citations: Web of Science - 4

Co-authors: Hay I; Dyment J


2016Hopwood B, Hay I, Dyment J, 'The transition from primary to secondary school: Teachers' perspectives', Australian Educational Researcher, 43, (3) pp. 289-307. ISSN 0311-6999 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s13384-016-0200-0 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 21Web of Science - 20

Co-authors: Hay I; Dyment J


Chapter in Book

(1 outputs)
2014Hopwood Belinda, Hay I, Dyment JE, 'Literacy and students' transition into secondary school', The Future of Educational Research, Sense Publishers, N. Fitzallen, S. Fan & R. Reaburn (ed), Netherlands, pp. 291 - 300. ISBN 978-94-6209-512-0 (2014) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Hay I; Dyment JE


Conference Publication

(3 outputs)
2017To V, Thomas D, Hopwood B, 'Enhancing student reading engagement through the UTAS Books in Homes Program and Reading Mentor Program', Proceedings of the 2017 AATE/ ALEA National Conference, 6-9 July 2017, Hobart, Tasmania, pp. 1-22. (2017) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: To V; Thomas D

2015Hay I, Callingham RA, Chick HL, Beswick K, Nicholson T, et al., 'Can Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Subject English Really be Measured?', Contributed Papers, 11-13 February, University of Tasmania, pp. 1-3. (2015) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Hay I; Callingham RA; Chick HL; Beswick K; Shorter D; Jones JM

2012Hopwood B, Hay I, Dyment J, 'The impact of transition upon adolescent students' reading and spelling achievement', Proceedings of the 2012 Australian Association for Research in Education Conference, 2-6 December 2012, University of Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-16. ISSN 1324-9320 (2012) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Hay I; Dyment J


Grants & Funding

In 2014 Belinda was the recipient of the Faculty of Education Research and Scholarship of Learning and Teaching Grant Scheme (ReSoLTS).

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



Teaching reading and writing in the early years: enhancing professional knowledge and practice (2016)$6,700
This study aims to enhance teachers knowledge and skills for the teaching of reading and writing in the early years of school (Kindergarten to year 2). In Tasmania, students literacy achievement has sparked concerns, particularly in the areas of reading and writing. Currently, Tasmania ranks at the bottom among Australian states on virtually every dimension of economic, social, and cultural performance (West & Schwerdt, 2012, p. 50). Evidence shows that a majority (i.e., up to 70%) of Tasmanian school students have difficulties reading and writing (Rowe, 2005), which poses significant issues for students as they transition from school to life as adults in the Tasmanian community. Tasmanian students reading and writing performance and how this can be better addressed is the core focus of this research, and will be investigated through an exploration of literacy instruction in the early years of school.
Rotary Club of Hobart ($6,700)
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Swabey KJ; Hopwood Belinda

Research Supervision

So far in her career Belinda has supervised Honours, Masters and PhD students. She welcomes any opportunity to supervise HDR candidates who have an interest in English/Literacy and middle years education.






MastersExploring Notions of Presence An investigation into how teacher presence manifests in the secondary classroom as perceived by teachers2015
PhDIs a Multi-Sensory Synthetic Phonics Teaching Approach of any Benefit to Improving the Standard of Literacy Development in Children who are Significantly Behind in their Learning, and, who have Experienced Emotional Trauma in the First Five Years of Brain Development?2016
PhDManipulating the Media Mania: Adapting media tools as literary pathfinders among children2021


EdD'Let Them in on the Big Secret': An examination of explicit teaching in literacy in the contemporary classroom
Candidate: Anker Julian Fuglsang