Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Dr Catherine Easton

Dr Catherine Easton

BA/BMus, M. Sp. Path., PhD

Catherine Easton brings a diverse range of experiences and skills to her position as a senior lecturer in speech pathology at CSU. Since completing her undergraduate degrees in Music and Arts (German and Linguistics) at Melbourne University in 1999, she has engaged in community-based work as a linguist in Papua New Guinea and a speech pathologist in Early Childhood Intervention in Australia. She gained her PhD for a thesis entitled 'Discourses of Orthography Development: community-based practice in Milne Bay (Papua New Guinea)' based on her experience of supporting remote communities in Papua New Guinea to develop writing systems for their oral languages. Her commitment to working alongside others to achieve their goals was further developed through her Speech Pathology clinical experience in Early Childhood Intervention where her role included family support as well as providing more traditional speech pathology services. Catherine is committed to critically reflecting on her own practice and that of the disciplines she works in, with the aim of facilitating cultural and socially responsive language and speech pathology practice, as is evidenced in her current research into collaborative practice between speech pathologists and early childhood educators, the impact of language attitudes on clinical reasoning of speech pathologists, and the development of skills in online teaching.  Catherine has recently taken on the position of Discipline Lead for Speech Pathology at CSU. She undertakes this role while teaching into both the undergraduate and masters programs.

Positions and Roles
  • Senior Lecturer - Speech Pathology

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Teaching

Catherine has diverse experience in university teaching. Her subject areas focus on linguistics, phonetics, sociolinguistics, language development and culture. She has taught this content into a range of courses including linguistics, communication studies, early childhood education and speech pathology at a number of Universities around Melbourne, and more recently at CSU. She is committed to facilitating learning that is appropriate to the context of the students and their goals. This is evidenced in her commitment to supporting first year students in their transition to university, as well as the training programs in language development that she has developed and facilitated for people from remote parts of Papua New Guinea.
Since beginning at CSU, Catherine has undertaken a Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. Through this, she has engaged with the use of educational technologies for blended and flexible learning, and renewed her interest in multisensory and interactional approaches to teaching and learning. Further, she has developed learning experiences and assessment procedures that reflect her commitment to supporting the transition of first year students to university and the inclusion of Indigenous curriculum for language professionals.
Catherine's reflection on her teaching , particularly her online experience has lead to her research into online teaching and learning.

Subjects Delivered
  • SPH101: Speech, Language, Learning and Culture (Subject Coordinator and Lecturer)
  • SPH510: Introduction to Communication and Swallowing(Subject Coordinator and Lecturer)
  • SPH511: Introduction to Communication and Swallowing Practice (Lecturer)
  • SPH106: Foundations of Therapeutic Communication B (Subject Coordinator and Lecturer)
  • SPH105: Introduction to Therapeutic Practice A (Subject Coordinator and Lecturer)
  • SPH202: Managing Audiological Impairments (Subject Coordinator)
  • SPH211: Language Impairments in Children and Adolescents (Subject Coordinator)
  • SPH214: Therapeutic Communication Practice 2 (Clinical Educator)
Innovations in Teaching

Team leader for 'Teachers as Learners' project which as awarded a CSU Innovations in Teaching grant in 2015.
Research into online pedagogy, and the training of academic staff for teaching into the online environment.
Curriculum mapping leading to course, assessment and subject development for the distance education Master of Speech Pathology course.
Member of School of Community Health working party on the inclusion of Cultural Competence Framework in all courses across the school
Implementation of blended and flexible learning technologies including flipped classrooms in teaching and learning
Development of subjects for the online Master of Speech Pathology course, using constructivist and connectivist pedagogies

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Research and Publications

Experience and Interests

Catherine's research interest have grown out of her engagement with individuals, families and communities while working as a linguist, social researcher, speech pathologist, and academic in Australia and Papua New Guinea. Catherine's PhD research critiqued discourses of professional practice and of individuals and communities in remote villages of Papua New Guinea  as they engaged in developing of their own language(s) and literacy practices.
Catherine's research is grounded on a core commitment to support others to find their own voice and tell their own stories. This has lead to an interest in the sociology and language and language development and critical analysis of professional, community and individual practice.

Recently, exploration of academics' experiences and training needs in online teaching and learning have become a focus of her research. This includes her role as project lead for 'Teachers as learners' which was awarded a CSU Innovations in Online Teaching grant in 2015.

Current research interests in speech pathology practice include: the exploration of barriers and facilitators in collaborative practice between speech pathologists and educators, community-based projects in language and early childhood development, and the role of language attitudes and beliefs in the delivery of equitable speech pathology services.

List of publications
  • Easton, C., & Stebbins, T. (2015). On becoming an object of study: Legitimisation in the discipline of linguistics. In De Busser, R. & R. J. LaPolla (Eds.). Language Structure and Environment: Social, Cultural, and Natural Factors. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • McCormack, J., Easton, C., Morkel-Kingsbury, L. (2015). Educating speech-language pathologists for the 21st century...in the 21st century:Course design considerations for a distance education Master of Speech Pathology program. Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica
  • Easton, C., & McCormack, J. (2015). Environments of speech, language and literacy. In McLeod, S. & J. McCormack (Eds.). Speech, Language, and Literacy. Oxford: OUP.
  • Hamilton, B., Bichara, E., Roper, C. & Easton, C. (2012). Gaining strength: Consumers' experiences of case management with the Strengths Model. Fitzroy, VIC: St Vincent's Mental Health.
  • Easton, C. (2004). Alphabet Design Workshops in Papua New Guinea: a community based approach to orthography development. Presented at the Conference on Language Development, Language Revitalization and Multilingual Education in minority communities in Asia, Bangkok, Thailand. Nov 2003. Published at: http://www.sil.org/asia/ldc/parallel_presentations.html

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Community Engagement

Community engagement is central to Catherine's research and professional, supporting professional collaborations as well as community development projects.
Catherine is a member of Speech Pathology Australia, and has served on the Executive Committee of the Victorian Branch, as well as being a member of the Multicultural special interest group.

Memberships and Affiliations
  • Speech Pathology Australia – Practicing member (2009 - present)

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