Barry Fraser

The first annual meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching that I attended was in Atlanta in 1979. Among the colleagues I met for the first time at that meeting was Barry Fraser, who was at the time a science educator at Macquarie University in Sydney. After the conference Barry traveled with us to the University of Georgia to meet Chad Ellett, who had been involved in research on learning environments. As it happened, I was collaborating with Chad on research on teacher assessment systems for beginning teachers.

Barry Fraser arrived at the West Australian Institute of Technology in 1982 and became director of the Science and Mathematics Education Centre (SMEC) in 1984. Soon after his appointment I was hired in the Center as a senior lecturer in science and mathematics education. At that time I began a program of collaborative research that extended for almost 30 years.

I recall that soon after I arrived at SMEC Barry asked me and my colleagues to submit a monthly productivity report. I was happy to do this and submitted my report with some satisfaction. I felt I was going to relish my position in a research institution. To my surprise I received back my report with most of what I had included being redlined. It did not count as research. From that moment forward I resolved never to have any more redlining of my productivity and to ensure that there always would be plenty of lines on that report.

After my departure from WAIT (to become Curtin the year I left) I had an ongoing adjunct appointment and supervised 6 PhD students to complete their degrees. Barry was a regular visitor at each of the US universities at which I was employed and our professional collaboration extended beyond publications to include innovations in doctoral education, faculty exchanges, and collaborative work in Taiwan.

Together, Barry and I published 4 co-edited books, 22 journal articles, 12 book chapters, and 7 monographs. Our work together has been acknowledged by peers, receiving two international awards and substantial citations.

Barry Fraser

Contact Professor Tobin