Paul began his career as a secondary school teacher. He taught English, History and Drama in outer western suburbs and in the inner city of Sydney. He worked in teacher education at the University of Sydney before moving to the Gippsland Institute of Advanced Education in rural Victoria. He completed his PhD at Monash University for which he was awarded the Mollie Holman university medal. At Monash University Paul has taught both undergraduate and postgraduate courses on English curriculum and literacy education as well as research methods, particularly in the interpretation of research literature. He was Associate Dean (Teaching) in the Faculty of Education at Monash University, then worked for a two-year period as a research fellow at the University of Michigan with Professor Jacquelynne Eccles and Dr Elizabeth Moje examining the social and cultural influences on adolescent literacy development in and out of school [weblink], before returning to Monash University where he is Professor and Associate Dean (Research).
Paul’s research interests focus on two areas, both of which have grown out of his professional work: the role of language and literacy in learning in academic contexts and the motivations of beginning teachers. He has a particular interest in the role that writing and other textual practices play in learning in the disciplines in higher education and is investigating the development of interest and the identification individuals have with the different disciplines.