About me

Deborah M. Netolicky

I am an Australian teacher, school leader, researcher, writer and university adjunct, committed to offering positive alternative education narratives to those that focus on performance and simple solutions to the complexities of education. I believe that education is a human endeavour, not a set of metrics or effect sizes.

In my current school role–Dean of Research and Pedagogy–I lead research, teaching, and staff development, overseeing the professional learning budget and strategy, the coaching team, performance review processes, and the school library. I previously led a strategic school project that reimagined school-based professional growth, and have been Head of English in three Australian schools. For 20 years I have taught English, Literature, Art, History of Art and Critical Thinking in schools in Australia and the UK.

I am author of the book Transformational professional learning: Making a difference in schools and co-Editor of the Routledge education book Flip the System Australia: What matters in education. My research interests include identity, professional learning, coaching, teacher growth, organisational change, leadership, and the power of metaphor. I completed my PhD in April 2016. My thesis, Down the rabbit hole: Professional identities, professional learning, and change in one Australian school, can be downloaded here. It used narrative inquiry to explore the interactions between teachers’ and school leaders’ professional identities, what they consider to be transformational learning, and school culture and reform. Other publications and presentations are listed here.

This blog explores my thinking around education, research, and identity. Blogging connects me with others while allowing me to write my way into understanding, and to be part of global conversations.

Unless otherwise cited, photos, scribbles, and musings are my own. You can find me tweeting as @debsnet and on Instagram as @theeduflaneuse.


2018, WA Research in Educational Leadership and Management, Australian Council of Educational Leaders.

2017, Emerald Publishing Award for Excellence: Emerald Literati Highly-Commended Paper Award for ‘Coaching for professional growth in one Australian school: “oil in water”‘, published in the International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education.

2016, Outstanding Research Award in Cognitive Coaching, for my PhD dissertation, Thinking Collaborative.

2016, ‘New Voice’ In Educational Leadership Research Scholarship, Australian Council of Educational Leaders.


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