Dr Steven Lewis

Senior Research Fellow and ARC DECRA Fellow
Research Centre for Digital Data and Assessment in Education

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

Email: steven.lewis@acu.edu.au

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

Authored monographs

  • Lewis, S. (2020). PISA, policy and the OECD: Respatialising global educational governance through PISA for Schools. Singapore: Springer Nature. doi:10.1007/978-981-15-8285-1

Selected articles

  • 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. doi:10.1080/13573322.2020.1862785
  • 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. doi:10.1016/j.ijer.2022.102034
  • Decuypere, M., & Lewis, S. (2021). Topological genealogy: A methodology to research transnational digital governance in/through/as change. Journal of Education Policy, 1-24. doi:10.1080/02680939.2021.1995629
  • Lewis, S. (2021). New shadow professionals and infrastructures around the datafied school: Topological thinking as an analytical device. European Educational Research Journal, 1-15. doi:10.1177/14749041211007496
  • Lewis, S. (2021). The turn towards policy mobilities and the theoretical-methodological implications for policy sociology. Critical Studies in Education, 62(3), 322-337. doi:10.1080/17508487.2020.1808499
  • 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. doi:10.1080/17508487.2021.1942942
  • Lewis, S. (2020). Providing a platform for ‘what works’: Platform-based governance and the reshaping of teacher learning through the OECD’s PISA4U. Comparative Education56(4), 484-502. doi:10.1080/03050068.2020.1769926
  • Lewis, S. (2020). ‘Becoming European’? Respatialising the European Schools System through PISA for Schools. International Studies in Sociology of Education29(1-2), 85-106doi:10.1080/09620214.2019.1624593
  • Lewis, S., Savage, G.C., & Holloway, J. (2020). Standards without standardisation? Assembling standards-based reforms in Australian and US schooling. Journal of Education Policy35(6), 737-764. doi:10.1080/02680939.2019.1636140
  • Lewis, S., & Hogan, A. (2019). Reform first and ask questions later? The implications of (fast) schooling policy and ‘silver bullet’ solutions. Critical Studies in Education60(1), 1-18. doi:10.1080/17508487.2016.1219961
  • Lewis, S., & Holloway, J. (2019). Datafying the teaching ‘profession’: Remaking the professional teacher in the image of data. Cambridge Journal of Education49(1), 35-51. doi:10.1080/0305764X.2018.1441373


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



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