Valerie Harwood

Valerie Harwood

Position: Professor
Phone: (02) 4221 5618


Valerie is an ARC Future Fellow and Social Inclusion Theme Leader, Early Start Research Institute. Her research focuses on education and social inclusion. This work includes investigating of the impacts of psychopathologisation and medicalisation (behaviour disorders, ADHD, depression, and health issues such as ‘obesity’) on young people, schools and their communities. She is currently involved in a research partnership with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME).

Valerie Harwood UOW Scholars Profile 

Current Projects

  • ARC Future Fellowship: ‘Getting an Early Start to aspirations: Understanding how to promote educational futures in early childhood’
  • ARC Discovery: University students mentoring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school students
  • AIME – UOW Research Partnership

Research Interests

  • Sociology of Education in relation to participation in education (social inclusion and education)
  • Using Foucault to critically analyse psychopathology as this is applied in education and education related contexts

Professional Activities

  • American Education Research Association (AERA)
  • Disability Studies in Education Special Interest Group, AERA
  • Critical Psychology International
  • International Society of Critical Health Psychology
  • Australasian Association for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science
  • International Society for the History and Philosophy of Science
  • Executive Member (2004 - 2007) Australian Association for Research in Education


National Association of Special Needs/Times Educational Supplement (NASEN/TES) Runner-up for the Academic Book Award, 2006

For Harwood, V. (2006) Diagnosing 'Disorderly' Children: A critique of behaviour disorder discourses. London: Routledge.

The Judges said:
"This made me jump up and down with excitement. A courageous book on all fronts. It brings intellectual rigour to bear on a situation that is getting out of hand, and makes the arguments brilliantly. Relevant, thoughtful and thoroughly satisfying."

Research Students

  • Kellee Evans (Master of Philosophy): To be discussed with supervisors
  • Ashleigh Johnstone (Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated)): Understanding the establishment of the AIME Vibe and mentoring model
  • Anthony McKnight (Doctor of Philosophy): How do non-Aboriginal academics respond to a "cultural awareness" program in preparation for incorporating Aboriginal Perspectives in their teaching in Early Childhood
  • Timothy Beaumont (Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated)): Academic language and learning advising: Complexities, challenges and opportunities
Last reviewed: 4 October, 2016