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An Interview with Mandie Shean. Ph.D.

by Gordon Nary

Gordon: What inspired you to be a psychologist?

Dr. Shean: I had been working as a teacher in primary schools for nine years and was concerned about the mental health problems I was seeing. I felt like we needed to address those before we could educate young people. After becoming a psychologist and working as a school psychologist I realise that learning and mental health work together, you can’t have one without the other.

Gordon: Where did you earn your doctorate and what was the most memorable course that your took, and why was it so memorable?

Dr. Shean: I earned my doctorate at Edith Cowan University in 2010. The most memorable course I took along the way was my masters in Community Psychology. It taught me to focus on the community around the child rather than the child. We spend so much time trying to fix the child when we really need to fix the toxic environment they are in and then I usually see them flourish.

Gordon: When did you work at Department of Education, Western Australia and what were your primary responsibilities?

Dr. Shean: I worked at the Department of Education from 1992 – 2009 as a teacher. In this role I was responsible for delivering the curriculum and worked in years 2 to 7.

I also worked for DoE from 2010 – 2012 as a school psychologist. In this role I was responsible for assessment (intelligence, learning difficulties, behavioural problems), behavioural and academic interventions, collaborating with parents and teachers, and implementing preventative measures.

Gordon: When did you work as Consultant Psychologist at Catholic Education Western Australia and what were your primary responsibilities?

Dr. Shean: I worked as a consultant for CEWA from the middle of 2019 until the end of 2020. This was a temporary secondment from ECU. In this role I developed and delivered a classroom management training package. I also created training packages for belonging and attendance and helped developed policies.

Gordon: When did you start working as a Lecturer at Edith Cowan University and on what topics do you lecture?

Dr. Shean: I started work at ECU in 2012 after doing sessional work in 2011. I have lectured across a wide range of units, including learning theory, research methods, development theory, and classroom management. My core topics are classroom management and wellbeing.

Gordon: Thank you for an insightful interview.

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