education, music education, teacher training, motivation, psychological needs, music conservatories
Fields of Research (FoR)Specialist studies in education, Educational psychology, Music education, Learning sciences, Learning, motivation and emotion
Paul Evans is an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology in the School of Education at UNSW Sydney. His areas of expertise include expertise, motivation, instruction, teaching strategies, learning, practice, and performance in educational settings. His research with schools, universities, and music programs is published in nationally and internationally leading journals and books. Paul supervises a team of research students and convenes...view more
Paul Evans is an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology in the School of Education at UNSW Sydney. His areas of expertise include expertise, motivation, instruction, teaching strategies, learning, practice, and performance in educational settings. His research with schools, universities, and music programs is published in nationally and internationally leading journals and books. Paul supervises a team of research students and convenes the Cognitive Load and Motivation Lab at UNSW. He teaches educational psychology in undergraduate, postgraduate, and research degree programs, and is an active member of the Educational Psychology Research Group.
My research studies people in educational contexts such as school classrooms, workplaces, universities, and music studios. Across these contexts, I examine sources of high-quality motivation and the kinds of behaviours and cognitions required for learning and improving expertise. I also study the effectiveness of various teaching approaches and strategies in relation to how the mind learns, including the following areas:
- Self-determination theory, a theory of motivation, development, and psychological needs.
- Cognitive load theory, a theory of instructional strategies based on human cognitive architecture
- Self-regulated learning, a framework of metacognitive and behavioural strategies that influence learning.
- Deliberate practice, an approach to studying the amount and quality of practice behaviours that lead to improvements in learning and performance.
I focus on quantitative, survey-based research using statistical procedures such as structural equation modelling and multilevel modelling to study complex datasets (e.g., latent variables, longitudinal measures, clustered data), with some complementary methods such as observational and mixed-methods approaches.
This research ranges from theoretical and fundamental research to applied research as part of partnerships with schools and other educational organisations. It is published in a range of internationally recognised, peer-reviewed academic journals, books, and international conferences. I have collaborated with over 20 academic researchers nationally and internationally, and supervise a team of around 10 research students who belong to the Cognitive Load and Motivation Research Lab at UNSW. I am an editorial board member of the Journal of Research in Music Education, a consulting editor for Educational Psychology, and a regular peer-reviewer for a range of journals in educational psychology, music psychology, and music education.
I convene the Cognitive Load and Motivation Research Lab, a group of researchers and research students working in and across cognitive load theory, motivation, and related areas in educational settings (including schools, classrooms across a range of subjects, or with a focus on music). I have limited places available for research degree students (MEd, EdD, and PhD) who wish to work in these areas.
Current Research Students
- Wei Sun (PhD)
- Yooie Choi (EdD)
- Sijing (Fiona) Zhou (PhD)
- Michael Murphy (EdD)
- Fiona Cooney (EdD)
- Jonathan Clipsham (EdD)
- Michael Kaissis (EdD)
- Stephen Lukins (Grad Cert Ed)
- Hayley Dean (EdD)
- Marie McGregor (co-supervisor, PhD)
- Bronwyn Bell (PhD)
Past Research Students
- Sijing (Fiona) Zhou (BEd Honours, 2021)
- Andrew Kingsford-Smith (MEd, 2019)
- Elisabeth Freer (PhD, 2018)
- Danny Carroll (MPhil, 2018)
- Tamica Grant (PhD co-supervisor, 2017)
- Siriwimon Na Chiangmai (PhD, 2016)
- Hamamah (PhD, 2015)
- Jennifer Fernandez (BEd Honours, 2013)
External Research Supervision
- Alicia Barksdale (DMA, Boston University, 2021)
- Byron Graves (DMA, Boston University, 2019)
- DuWayne Dale (DMA, Boston University, 2017)
- Mark Liu (DMA, Boston University, 2016)
I teach classes in educational psychology and motivation, across pre-service teacher education programs and postgraduate professional development programs. I have previously taught classes in music psychology, music education, and creativity. My teaching philosophy is informed by my research in the area, and focuses on understanding students, their prior knowledge, and their interests, while developing evidence-informed teaching programs and strategies that engage students, develop their expertise, and maximise their potential.
PhD (Music Education) (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Master of Music Education (University of Western Australia)
Bachelor of Music Bachelor of Education (Hons. 1) (UNSW)
My Research Supervision
Areas of supervision
EDST5112: Learning: Psychological and Social Perspectives
EDST5321: Motivation in Educational Settings
EDST2044: Motivation in Learning and Teaching
GENT0508: Music on my Mind: The Psychology of Music (equivalent to MUSC3102; EDST2092)
EDST1107: Introduction to Music Education
MUSC5121: Creativity in Music
MUSC3602: Creativity in Music Education
MUSC2502: Introduction to Secondary Music Education
MUSC4602: Music Teaching Experience
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