Viv Ellis


Accepting PhD Students


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Personal profile


Viv Ellis is Dean of the Faculty of Education at Monash University, Australia’s leading faculty of Education (ARWU) and one of the most dynamic, research-intensive faculties of Education, Counselling and Psychology in the world. He is also a Professor in the Faculty and a global expert on teacher education, having worked with government agencies and NGOs across the UK, Europe, Asia and Australia, most recently on the Norwegian government’s reforms to upper primary/lower secondary initial teacher education. Prior to Monash, he was the founding Co-Director of the Centre for Innovation in Teacher Education and Development, a strategic partnership between King’s College London and Teachers College,
Columbia University, where he currently holds an honorary research professorship.

Professor Ellis’s research has been funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council; the Norwegian Research Council; the British Academy; the Higher Education Academy; the Mayor of London’s Schools Excellence Fund; the Rackham Foundation; and the Society for Educational Studies. He has worked with interdisciplinary teams of researchers across the arts, humanities and medical sciences, most recently with colleagues in psychiatry and neuroscience. He has served on the editorial boards of leading international journals and was a member of the Education panel for the 2014 Hong Kong Research Assessment Exercise.

From 2002 to 2013, Viv worked in the Department of Educational Studies at Oxford University, where he co-convened the Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research (OSAT). He remains active in Cultural-Historical Theory research networks and was most recently a keynote speaker (with Annalisa Sannino) for the 2019 Nordic ISCAR conference in Trondheim, Norway. He is the author of one of the most downloaded articles in one of this field’s key journals, Mind, Culture and Activity.

Before working in universities, Viv was a secondary school teacher. He has held senior leadership roles in schools and universities and led the re-opening of Education as a separate academic Department at Brunel University London in 2013 – at the time, the only ‘new’ department of Education to open in in a UK university in more than twenty years.

Professor Ellis is currently seeking doctoral students who are interested in researching the education and development of teachers - history, policy and practice - including comparative studies. He is particularly keen to work with students who are interested in exploring questions using Cultural-Historical theory (including Activity Theory), whether in intervention studies (e.g. Change Laboratories) or otherwise.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Social Research Methodology, PGCert, University of Brighton

Education, PGCE, University of Cambridge

Education, PhD, University of London

English and European Literature, BA Hons, University of Warwick

English and American Literature, MA, Washington State University Pullman

External positions

Visiting Professor, Central China Normal University


Honorary Research Professor, Columbia University


Research area keywords

  • Teacher education
  • Professional Learning
  • Cultural-historical theory
  • Policy Analysis
  • Curriculum theory
  • International and comparative education
  • Language education (incl. TESOL)


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