Interview Series: Teacher and Blogger Trevor Cairney Interview Series: Teacher and Blogger Trevor Cairney


Politicians, stay-at-home dads, academics and businesswomen – they all know the value of family and the joys of keeping in touch. But what is on their family photos? How often do they call their mother, and what celebrity do they secretly admire? Get ready to find out through the MyHeritage interview series!

The Cairney Family
Trevor Cairney and Family

Father and grandfather, Master of Australia’s New College, former teacher, academic and educational blogger Trevor Cairney helps others learn about children and education. To that end he embraced new technology and started a blog in 2008 on which he shares his research and writing on education with parents, teachers and trainee teachers. There he discusses topics such as literacy, education and communication. Keen to learn himself, Trevor enjoys the interaction of a blog and so he was happy to interact with on this occasion.

Tell us a little about yourself?

I grew up in a working class home, the son of a Scottish coal miner who was one of 10 boys who were also coal miners. Both sides of my family are English or Scots with distant Irish relatives in the mix many generations back. I started working life training to become a Mechanical Engineer but left to become a teacher. Once I started teaching young children I became fascinated with how they learn and use language. This led me into academia. Now I’ve been researching and writing about children’s learning and literacy for almost 30 years. I’ve been married for 39 years and have two daughters and 5 wonderful grandchildren.

Are you interested in genealogy and if so why?

Yes I am. I don’t know a lot about my family beyond the last three generations. I would like to know more in particular about my Scottish and English ancestors. Maybe one day find the trail back to Ireland.

Do you see value in having children look into their family history?

Very much so. It is important that children know about history and family history is a great place to start.

How do you think technology impacts family?

I believe that technology is a wonderful thing. While it can be used for good and bad purposes (as I’ve written on my blog), technology is rarely bad, but we can often use it badly. Information technology offers us amazing opportunities to learn and to communicate with other people.

How does your family use the internet?

Extensively. My daughters are daily users of the Internet for many purposes. My eldest daughter is an avid blogger too. My grandchildren are already using the internet. Every member of my family uses it regularly.

What do you think about

I love the site and intend to use it much more in the future.

What famous person would you like to have in your family
and why

To be honest, I like my family just as it is. To insert a famous person would change everything. I’m not sure that I want to do this. Now if you’d asked who would you like to have a meal or a drink with there are many interesting people I would love to meet. For example, Martin Luther King, C.S. Lewis, Ruth Park, Ben Chifley, Charles Spurgeon, Don Bradman, and Michael Parkinson would be a good start.

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