Viv Ellis


Accepting PhD Students


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Viv Ellis is Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Education at Monash University, Australia’s leading Faculty of Education and one of the most dynamic, research-intensive faculties of Education, Counselling and Psychology in the world. He is also a global expert on teacher education, having worked with government agencies and NGOs across the UK, Europe, Asia and Australia. Currently, he is an adviser to the Finnish Ministry of Education’s Teacher Education forum as well as personally leading a major research and development project (supporting reforms to initial teacher education) for the government of the United Arab Emirates. 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 in New York and also a member of the Advisory Panel for Teacher Education for the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education.

Professor Ellis’s research has been funded by the British Academy; the Arts and Humanities Research Council; the Norwegian Research Council; 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, social sciences, and health. 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. Since his commencement as Dean at Monash, he has raised over AUD$14 million in international contract revenue, including nearly AUD$7 million for research and R&D projects he is leading personally.

Recent books have included the anthology Teacher Education in Crisis; The State, the Market and the Universities in England which, since its publication as an e-book in September 2023, has been the fastest downloaded Open Access academic publication ever for Bloomsbury Academic. His new book (with Lauren Gatti and Warwick Mansell) The New Political Economy of Teacher Education: The Enterprise Narrative and the Shadow State has been described by Michael Apple as ‘a significant contribution [that] should be read by everyone who is deeply concerned about the present and future of teacher education’.

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 is the author of one of the most downloaded articles in one of this field’s key journals, Mind, Culture and Activity. With Dr Prabhat Rai, he led the development of Monash’s new Master of Cultural Historical Research for Social Transformation that will be offered in hybrid mode for southern and northern hemispheres.

He is a member of the Board of the Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership, a unique cross-sectoral public body offering professional development in school leadership and teaching to all schools in the state of Victoria, as well as a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Teaching and Teachers Research at the University College London Institute of Education. He continues to provide advice to policymakers as an independent expert.

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)

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or