Associate Professor Steven Lewis

Principal Research Fellow
Research Centre for Digital Data and Assessment in Education

Steven Lewis

Areas of expertise: politics and policy of education; educational governance; digital data, platforms and infrastructures; the OECD and PISA; non-State actors in education; comparative education; teacher expertise; teacher professional learning

HDR Supervisor accreditation status: Fully accredited

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-8796-3939

Phone: +61 07 3861 6080


Campus: ACU Melbourne Campus

Dr. Steven Lewis is a Senior Research Fellow in the Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education at Australian Catholic University, as well as an Australia Research Council (ARC) DECRA Fellow. As an education policy sociologist, his research interests are concerned with exploring new spaces and relations of educational governance. Specifically, these include emergent forms of digital governance via data infrastructures and software platforms; data-driven modes of educational accountability; the education policy work of the OECD and other 'non-state' actors; and how these developments collectively shape the understanding and practice of education and expertise, at the teacher-, school- and schooling system-levels. In 2019, Steven commenced an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) Fellowship, entitled 'Globalising School Reform Through Online Teacher Professional Learning' (2019-2022), funded to the value of A$340,383. Through this work, Steven has helped develop the use of topological- and mobility-informed thinking to generate novel approaches to the study of global educational policymaking and governance.

Steven has more than 17 years of experience as an educator, including 6 years as a high school mathematics and science teacher in Queensland, and 9 years as a university lecturer and researcher in Queensland, Kansas (USA) and Victoria. Since completing his Ph.D. in May 2016 at The University of Queensland, he has published more than 50 scholarly outputs, including books, journal articles, book chapters and reports. His most recent monograph, entitled 'PISA, Policy and the OECD: Respatialising Global Educational Governance Through PISA for Schools', was published with Springer in 2020. Steven also frequently participates in public debates around schooling policy and accountability, writing in outlets such as The Conversation, The Herald Sun and EduResearch Matters, as well as appearing live on Australian radio.

Curriculum vitae

Select publications


Lewis, S., & Spratt, R. (2024). Assembling comparison: Understanding education policy through mobilities and assemblage. Bristol University Press: Bristol.

Lewis, S. (2020). PISA, policy and the OECD: Respatialising global educational governance through PISA for Schools. Singapore: Springer Nature.

Book chapters

Lewis, S., & Decuypere, M. (in press, due 2024). Platformed professionalities: Reconfiguring teacher professionality and learning in/as/through digitally mediated projects and schooling platforms. In X. Dumay, L. Paine, & T. Sorensen (Eds.), World Yearbook of Education 2025: The Teaching Profession in a Globalizing World: Governance, Career, Learning (pp. xxx-xxx). Oxon: Routledge.

Lewis, S., Gulson, K.N., & McKenzie, M. (in press, due 204). Policy mobilities are more than global policy movement: Concepts and methodologies in education policy research. In D.B. Edwards Jr, A. Verger, K. Takayama, & M. McKenzie (Eds.), Researching global education policy: Diverse approaches to policy movement (pp. xxx-xxx). Bristol: Policy Press.

Lingard, B., Lewis, S., & Holloway, J. (in press, due 2024). Governing teachers through data, and data as policy: The case of the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS). In D. Wyse, V. Baumfield, N. Mocker, & M. Reardon (Eds.), The BERA Sage International Handbook of Research-Informed Education Practice and Policy (pp. xxx-xxx). London: Sage.

Spratt, R., Johansson-Fua, S., & Lewis, S. (in press, due 2024). A talatalanoa about Pacific education development regionalism: Insights from using a conjoined Policy Mobilities and Assemblage Theory (PMAT) lens. In I. Santos, E. Pekkola, & H. Posti-Ahokas (Eds.), Education development inside out: Organisational and professional realities of international organisation working for Global Educational Development (pp. xxx-xxx). Leiden: Brill

Lewis, S. (2024). Platforming PISA: The OECD as a mobile governance actor in global education. In B. Williamson, J. Komljenovic, & K.N. Gulson (Eds.), World Yearbook of Education 2024: Digitalization of education in the era of algorithms, automation and artificial intelligence (pp. 175-195). Oxon: Routledge.

Gulson, K.N., Lewis, S., Cohen, D., Rowe, E., Yoon, E.-S., & Lubienski, C. (2022). Spatial theories, methods and education policy. In R. Tierney, F. Rizvi, K. Ercikan (Eds.), International encyclopaedia of education, 4th edition (pp. 29-36). Oxford: Academic Press.

Lewis, S. (2022). Globalisation and education. In R. Tierney, F. Rizvi, K. Ercikan (Eds.), International encyclopaedia of education, 4th edition (pp. 1-10). Oxford: Academic Press.

Lewis, S., Holloway, J., & Lingard, B. (2022). Emergent developments in the datafication and digitalisation of education. In F. Rizvi, B. Lingard, & R. Rinne (Eds.), Reimagining globalisation and education (pp. 62-78). London: Routledge.

Lewis, S., & Lingard, B. (2022). PISA for Sale? Creating profitable policy spaces through the OECD’s PISA for Schools. In C. Lubienski, M. Yemini, & C. Maxwell (Eds.), Rising powers in education: Global trends and local implications (pp. 91-112). Bristol: Policy Press.

Lewis, S. (2021). Research encounters on the move: Reflecting on policy mobilities and researcher positionality in policy sociology in education. In C. Addey & N. Piattoeva (Eds.), The practice of method: Intimate accounts of researching education policy (pp. 153-168). Oxon: Routledge.

Holloway, J., & Lewis, S. (2021). Datafication and surveillance capitalism: The Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System. In C. Wyatt-Smith, B. Lingard, & E. Heck (Eds.), Digital disruption in teaching and testing: Assessments, big data, and the transformation of schooling (pp. 152-165). Oxon: Routledge.

Lewis, S. (2021). Data, diagnosis and prescription: Governing schooling through the OECD’s PISA for Schools. In S. Jornitz & A. Wilmers (Eds.), International perspectives in school settings, education policy and digital strategies: A transatlantic discourse on education research (pp. 253-265). Leverkusen: Verlag Barbara Budrich.

Gulson, K. N., Lewis, S., Lingard, B., Lubienski, C., Takayama, K., & Webb, P. T. (2020). Policy mobilities and methodology: A proposition for inventive methods in education policy studies. In B. Lingard (Ed.), Globalisation and education (pp. 266-283). Oxon: Routledge. Reprint from original Critical Studies in Education article, 2017, 58(2).

Lewis, S. (2019). Historicising new spaces and relations of the OECD’s global educational governance: PISA for Schools and PISA4U. In C. Ydesen (Ed.), The OECD’s historical rise in education: The formation of a global governing complex (pp. 269-289). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Lewis, S. (2019). PISA: The international ranking for national school systems. In G. Ritzer & C. Rojek (Eds.), Blackwell encyclopaedia of sociology (pp. 1-2). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Gulson, K. N., Lewis, S., Lingard, B., Lubienski, C., Takayama, K., & Webb, P. T. (2019). Policy mobilities and methodology: A proposition for inventive methods in education policy studies. In K. Gulson & C. Symes (Eds.), Education and the mobility turn (pp. 100-117). Oxon: Routledge. Reprint from original Critical Studies in Education article, 2017, 58(2).

Lewis, S. (2018). Understanding new spaces and relations of global governance in education: The OECD’s PISA for Schools. In D. Kember & M. Corbett (Eds.), Structuring the thesis: Matching method, paradigm, theories and findings (pp. 349-356). Singapore: Springer.

Lewis, S. (2017). Respatialising the global governance of education: The OECD’s PISA for Schools. In A. W. Wiseman & C. Taylor (Eds.), The OECD’s impact on education worldwide (pp. 181-206). New York: Emerald Group Publishing.

Lingard, B., Sellar, S., & Lewis, S. (2017). Accountabilities in schools and school systems. In G. Noblit (Ed.), Oxford research encyclopaedia of education (pp. 1-28). New York: Oxford University Press.

Lingard, B., & Lewis, S. (2016). Globalisation of the Anglo-American approach to top-down, test-based educational accountability. In G. T. L. Brown & L. R. Harris (Eds.), Handbook of human and social conditions in assessment (pp. 387-403). New York: Routledge.


Hartong, S., Decuypere, M., & Lewis, S. (in press). Disentangling the temporalities of digital education governance: Methodological potentials of rhythmanalysis. Time and Society.

Decuypere, M., & Lewis, S. (2023). Topological genealogy: A methodology to research transnational digital governance in/through/as change. Journal of Education Policy, 38(1), 23-45.

Holloway, J., Lewis, S., & Langman, S. (2023). Technical agonism: Embracing democratic dissensus in the datafication of education. Learning, Media and Technology, 48(2), 253-265.

Lewis, S. (2023). (Re)drawing lines in our research: Using policy mobilities and network ethnography to research global policy networks in education. ECNU Review of Education, 6(4), 646-653.

Lewis, S., & Decuypere, M. (2023). ‘Out of time’: Constructing teacher professionality as a perpetual project on the eTwinning digital platform. Tertium comparationis: Journal für International und Interkulturell Vergleichende Erziehungswissenschaft [Journal for International and Intercultural Comparative Education Science], 29(1), 22-47.

Lewis, S., & Lingard, B. (2023). Platforms, profits and PISA for Schools: New actors, by-passes and topological spaces in global educational governance. Comparative Education, 59(1), 99-117.

Sousa-Sá, E., Lander, N., Alqumsan, A.A., Mohamed, S., Alsanwy, S., Lewis, S., & Barnett, L.M. (2023). Physical Education teachers’ perceptions of a motor competence assessment digital app. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 1-16 [ahead of print].

Holloway, J., & Lewis, S. (2022). Governing teachers through datafication: Physical–virtual hybridity and language interoperability in teacher accountability. Big Data & Society, 9(2), 1-14.

Lander, N., Lewis, S., Nahavandi, D., Amsbury, K., & Barnett, L. (2022). Teacher perspectives of online continuing professional development in physical education. Sport, Education and Society, 27(4), 434-448.

Lewis, S. (2022). An Apple for teacher (education)? Reconstituting teacher professional learning and expertise via the Apple Teacher digital platform. International Journal of Educational Research, 1-14.

Lewis, S. (2022). New practices of comparison, quantification and expertise in education: Conducting empirically based research. Comparative Education, 58(4), 566-568.

Lewis, S., & Hartong, S. (2022). New shadow professionals and infrastructures around the datafied school: Topological thinking as an analytical device. European Educational Research Journal, 21(6), 946-960.

Lewis, S. (2021). The turn towards policy mobilities and the theoretical-methodological implications for policy sociology. Critical Studies in Education, 62(3), 322-337.

McKenzie, M., Lewis, S., & Gulson, K.N. (2021). Matters of (im)mobility: Beyond fast conceptual and methodological readings in policy sociology. Critical Studies in Education, 62(3), 394-410.

Lewis, S. (2020). Understanding PISA's attractiveness: Critical analyses in comparative policy studies. Comparative Education Review, 64(3), 551-553.

Lewis, S. (2020). Providing a platform for ‘what works’: Platform-based governance and the reshaping of teacher learning through the OECD’s PISA4U. Comparative Education, 56(4), 484-502.

Lewis, S. (2020). ‘Becoming European’? Respatialising the European Schools System through PISA for Schools. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 29(1-2), 85-106.

Lewis, S., Savage, G.C., & Holloway, J. (2020). Standards without standardisation? Assembling standards- based reforms in Australian and US schooling. Journal of Education Policy, 35(6), 737-764.

Lewis, S., & Hogan, A. (2019). Reform first and ask questions later? The implications of (fast) schooling policy and ‘silver bullet’ solutions. Critical Studies in Education, 60(1), 1-18.

Lewis, S., & Holloway, J. (2019). Datafying the teaching ‘profession’: Remaking the professional teacher in the image of data. Cambridge Journal of Education, 49(1), 35-51.

Hardy, I., & Lewis, S. (2018). Visibility, invisibility and visualisation: The danger of school performance data. Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 26(2), 233-248.

Lewis, S. (2018). PISA ‘Yet to Come’: Governing schooling through time, difference and potential. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 39(5), 683-697.

Savage, G. C., & Lewis, S. (2018). The phantom national? Assembling national teaching standards in Australia’s federal system. Journal of Education Policy, 33(1), 118-142.

Gulson, K. N., Lewis, S., Lingard, B., Lubienski, C., Takayama, K., & Webb, P. T. (2017). Policy mobilities and methodology: A proposition for inventive methods in education policy studies. Critical Studies in Education, 58(2), 224-241.

Hardy, I., & Lewis, S. (2017). The ‘doublethink’ of data: Educational performativity and the field of schooling practices. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 38(5), 671-685.

Lewis, S. (2017a). Communities of practice and PISA for Schools: Comparative learning or a mode of educational governance? Education Policy Analysis Archives, 25(92), 1-25.

Lewis, S. (2017b). ‘Follow the policy’: A topological account of Fast Policy and new relationalities. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 38(2), 298-304.

Lewis, S. (2017c). Governing schooling through ‘what works’: The OECD’s PISA for Schools. Journal of Education Policy, 32(3), 281-302.

Lewis, S. (2017d). Policy, philanthropy and profit: The OECD’s PISA for Schools and new modes of heterarchical educational governance. Comparative Education, 53(4), 518-537.

Lewis, S., & Hardy, I. (2017). Tracking the topological: The effects of standardised data upon teachers’ practice. British Journal of Educational Studies, 65(2), 219-238.

Lingard, B., & Lewis, S. (2017). Placing PISA and PISA for Schools in two federalisms, Australia and the USA. Critical Studies in Education, 58(3), 266-279.

Lewis, S., Sellar, S., & Lingard, B. (2016). 'PISA for Schools': Topological rationality and new spaces of the OECD's global educational governance. Comparative Education Review, 60(1), 27-57.

Lewis, S., & Hardy, I. (2015). Funding, reputation and targets: The discursive logics of high-stakes testing. Cambridge Journal of Education, 45(2), 245-264.

Lewis, S., & Lingard, B. (2015). The multiple effects of international large-scale assessment on education policy and research. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 36(5), 621-637.

Lewis, S. (2014). The OECD, PISA and educational governance: A call to critical engagement. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 35(2), 317-327.


Schurch, R., Lewis, S., Lingard, B., & Kidson, P. (2022). What makes a good (Catholic) school system? A literature review prepared for the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. Report commissioned and paid for by the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia. Melbourne: Australian Catholic University.

Sefton-Green, J., Lewis, S., & Holloway, J. (2018). Framing an agenda for educational change in Armenia 2018: Strategy, international context and ways forward. Report commissioned and paid for by TUMO Centre for Creative Technologies, Yerevan, Armenia. Burwood: Deakin University.


Lewis, S. (2016). Understanding New Spaces and Relations of Global Governance in Education: The OECD’s PISA for Schools. (Ph.D. Doctoral thesis, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia).


Studies with ARC funding

  • 2019-2022, Australian Research Council, Discovery Early Career Researcher Award: Lewis, S. (lead CI), Globalising School Reform Through Online Teacher Professional Learning. $340,383.
  • 2017-2019, Deakin University, Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellowship: Lewis, S. (lead CI), New data-driven modes of standardised assessment and the reshaping of local schooling reform. $182,204

Accolades and awards

  • Discovery Early Career Researcher Award, Australian Research Council, 2018
  • Outstanding Early-Career Paper Award, Comparative and International Education Society, 2018
  • N.V. Varghese Prize for Comparative Education, The University of Queensland, 2017
  • Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Deakin University, 2016
  • Research in Educational Leadership and Management Award, Australian Council for Educational Leaders, 2016
  • Carolyn D. Baker Memorial Scholarship, The University of Queensland, 2015
  • Australian Postgraduate Award, Commonwealth of Australia, 2012

Appointments and affiliations

  • Senior Research Fellow and ARC DECRA Fellow, Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education, Australian Catholic University, February 2021 -
  • Research Fellow and ARC DECRA Research Fellow, Research for Educational Impact Centre, Deakin University, January 2019 - February 2021
  • Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Research for Educational Impact Centre, Deakin University, February 2017 - January 2019
  • Research Fellow, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne, January 2016 - January 2017

Editorial roles

  • Associate Editor, The Australian Educational Researcher, 2020 -
  • Editorial Board Member, Globalisation, Societies and Education, 2021 -
  • Special Interest Group (SIG) Co-convenor, AARE Policy and Politics in Education SIG, 2019 -
  • Editorial Advisory Board Member, Journal of Global Education and Research, 2017 -
  • Special Issue Editor, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 36(5), 2015

International journal review panel

  • British Journal of Educational Studies
  • Cambridge Journal of Education
  • Comparative Education Review
  • Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education
  • Critical Studies in Education
  • Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education
  • European Educational Research Journal
  • Information, Communication and Societies
  • Journal of Education Policy
  • Learning, Media and Technology
  • Pedagogy, Culture and Society
  • Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research

Grant agency review panels

  • Australian Research Council, Detailed Assessor, 2020 -

Public engagement

Education HQ. (2024, January 19). The media’s obsession with ‘perfect’ ATAR students is wrong: expert. Education HQ.

ABC Radio North and West South Australia. (2023, December 18). Live to air radio interview with Tom Mann during Breakfast (7.20-7.30am).

ABC Radio Perth. (2023, December 18). Live to air radio interview with Damian Smith during Breakfast (10.40-10.55am).

Borg, R., O’Brien, S., & Delibasic, S. (2023, December 10). Students encouraged to take care of each other as countdown to results day ticks down. HeraldSun.

O’Brien, S., & Delibasic, S. (2023, December 6). Why Victorian teens aren’t as smart as they were 20 years ago. Herald Sun. 

Precel, N. (2023, October 2). It’s VCE exam time, but not all students are focused on the score. The Age.

7News Melbourne. (2023, August 9). Live TV interview segment between Blake Johnson and Dr. Steven Lewis on VCE special consideration rates (3.5 minutes). 7News.

O’Brien, S., & Delibasic, S. (2023, August 8). Stressed out private school students given VCE help. Herald Sun.

O’Brien, S., & Perillo, S. (2023, February 23). Private schools with most bang for your buck. Herald Sun.

Houlahan, A. (2023, February 23). Teachers union slams NAPLAN after results released. The Canberra Times. 

Carey, A. (2022, July 14). Apple for teachers is a recipe for corporate creep, expert warns. The Sunday Age.

Duggan, S. (2022, July 20). Tech giant Apple wielding ‘unprecedented’ influence on teacher expertise: study. Education HQ.

Lewis, S. (2022, May 12). Education and election 2022. Live MCERA media Q&A. MCERA.

Little, G. (2022, April 22). ‘What are the dangers?’ Tech companies’ influence growing in schools, expert warns. Education HQ. companies-influence-growing-in-schools-expert-warns-118621 /

Henebery, B. (2022, April 19). Big tech in schools: Striking the right balance. The Educator Australia.

Lewis, S. (2020, May 14). Where to for NAPLAN? Live MCERA media Q&A. MCERA.

Lewis, S. (2019, December 4). Radio interview: PISA 2018 results. 2SM Radio.

Saroukos, R. (2019, September 16). Teacher vs. student: What ratios look like in the Territory. The NT News.

Bennett, S., & Egan, G. (2019, September 16). Public vs. private: Which Queensland schools have the best teacher-student ratios. The Courier Mail.

Lewis, S. (2019, September 13). Should NAPLAN results be on your resume? 2SER 107.3 Radio.

Lewis, S. (2019, August 28). Radio interview: NAPLAN 2019 results. Australian Radio Network.

Holloway, J., & Lewis, S. (2019, August 27). NAPLAN results not so reliable this year, Deakin experts warn.

Deakin University Media Release.,-deakin-experts-warn.

EducationHQ News Team. (2019, May 10). NAPLAN results do not measure individual performance, experts argue. Education HQ Australia.

Smith, L. (2018, September 13). At an OECD glance, we’re an education mélange. Campus Review.

Lewis, S. (2018, August 8). Radio interview: NAPLAN 2018 results. 2GB Radio Sydney.

EducationHQ News Team. (2018, August 8). Experts weigh in on NAPLAN debacle. Education HQ Australia.

Lewis, S. (2018, May 10). What NAPLAN can and can’t tell us: NAPLAN and education policy media briefing. Media Centre for Education Research Australia (MCERA).


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