Peter Freebody (Inducted 2015)

The University of Sydney


peterfreebody50 [at]

Mailing Address: 

144 Belinda Street, Gerrinong, NSW, 2534, Australia

Biographical Statement

Peter Freebody is an Honorary Professor at The University of Sydney, and an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Wollongong. Previous appointments include Professor of Education at The University of Queensland, and foundation Deputy Dean for Research at the Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice, National Institute of Education, Singapore.

He has contributed research publications in the areas of literacy education, educational disadvantage, classroom interaction, and research methodology. He has been on the editorial / review boards of many journals including Reading Research Quarterly, Reading Psychology, Pedagogies: An International Journal, and the Journal of Literacy Research.

He has served on Australian state and national advisory groups in the areas of literacy education and curriculum design. He has been awarded life membership of the Primary English Teachers’ Association of Australia, and he was the 2014 recipient of the International Literacy Association’s W.S. Gray Citation for lifelong contribution to literacy education internationally. He was 2015-16 Chair of the International Literacy Association’s Research Panel. He is an elected Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.


Selected Publications

Freebody, P. & Anderson, R. C. (1983). Effects of vocabulary difficulty, text cohesion, and schema availability on reading comprehension. Reading Research Quarterly 18, 277-294.

Freebody, P. & Baker, C.D. (1985). Children's first reading books: Introductions to the culture of literacy. Harvard Educational Review 55, 381-398.

Freebody, P. & Tirre, W.C. (1985). Achievement outcomes of two reading programs: An instance of aptitude-treatment interaction. British Journal of Educational Psychology 55, 53-60.

Freebody, P. & Byrne, B. (1988). Word-reading strategies in elementary school children: Relationships to comprehension, reading time, and phonemic awareness. Reading Research Quarterly 23, 441-453.

Freebody, P. & Luke, A. (1990). "Literacies" programmes: Debates and demands in cultural context. Prospect: A Journal of Australian TESOL 11, 7-16.

Freebody, P. & Welch, A.R. (Eds., 1993). Knowledge, culture, and power: International perspectives on literacy policies and practices. London: Falmer Press and Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press (pp 244 + vi).

Muspratt, S., Luke, A. &  Freebody, P. (Eds., 1997). Constructing critical literacies: Teaching and learning textual practice. New Jersey: Hampton Press (North America); Sydney: Allen & Unwin (Europe/Commonwealth), pp x + 460.

Freebody, P. (2001). Theorising new literacies in and out of school. Language and Education: An international journal 15, 105-117.

Freebody, P. (2003).  Qualitative research in Education: Interaction and practice. London: Sage Press. (pp xiv + 234).

Austin, H., Dwyer, B. & Freebody, P. (2003). Schooling the child: The making of students in classrooms. London: Routledge-Falmer. (pp viii+209).

Freebody, P. (2005). Critical literacy. In Beach, R., Green, J., Michael, M., & Shanahan, T. (Eds.). Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Literacy Research, 2nd ed. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, (pp 433-454)

Freebody, P. & Freiberg, J. (2006). Cultural Science and qualitative educational research: Work ‘in the first place’ on the morality of classroom life. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education 19, 709-722.

Freebody, P. (2007). Literacy education in schools: Research perspectives from the past, for the future. Camberwell, Vic.: Australian Council for Educational Research. (pp viii + 83), download available at

Freebody, P. (2008). Critical literacy education: On living with ‘innocent language’. In B.V. Street & N.H. Hornberger (Eds.) Encyclopedia of language and education, Volume 2: Literacy. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer Scientific, (pp. 107-119).

Freebody, P. & Freiberg, J. (2011). Teaching and learning critical literacy: Beyond the ‘show of wisdom’. In M. Kamil, P.D. Pearson, E.B. Moje, & P. Afflerbach (Eds.) International Handbook of Reading Research, International Reading Association, Mahwah, New York: Routledge, (pp. 432-453).

Freebody, P., Barton, G. & Chan, E. (2014). Literacy education: “About being in the world”. In C. Leung & B.V. Street (Eds.) The Routledge Companion to English Studies, London: Routledge, (pp. 419‒434). 

Allender, T. & Freebody, P. (2016). Disciplinary and idiomatic literacy: Re-living and re-working the past in senior school history. The Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 39, 7-19.

Freebody, P. (2017). Evidence and culture in the global literacy education competition - and other possibilities. In A. Lian, P. Kell, P. Black, & Lie, K-Y. (Eds.) Challenges in global learning: Dealing with education issues from an international perspective, (pp. 70-94). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.