Dr Colette Alexander

Senior Lecturer
Teacher Education 

Dr Colette Alexander

Areas of expertise: policy, practice and reform and in teacher education; standards, quality, data and evidence in teacher education; performance assessment in the teaching profession; professionalism and professionalisation

Phone: +61 7 3623 7760

Email: colette.alexander@acu.edu.au

Location: ACU Brisbane Campus

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-6991-719X

As a researcher in the Teachers’ Work research area, Dr Colette Alexander‘s research focuses on the implications of policy and reform on the work of teachers and teacher educators within contemporary cultures of standardisation and accountability.

Dr Alexander’s work explores a range of methodological issues associated with critical studies with a focus on the use of discourse analysis. Her research uses texts generated through the reform, review, development and implementation of policy in initial and ongoing teacher education to explore the interface between symbolic and material policy contexts and landscapes and to articulate disjunctures and contestations. She incorporate historical analysis that acknowledges the situatedness of contemporary policy outworking in the stream of historical policies, purposes and practices. Her work looks critically at the influence of historical patterns in contemporary contexts to draw a line of continuity between historical and contemporary policy and practice in the reform and regulation of teacher education.

Philosophically, her work is grounded by a commitment to teaching as a profession. Her research focuses on the role of teacher education in supporting, developing and promoting the professionalism of teachers and teaching. Recent publications have theorised paradoxical conceptions of teacher professionalism and how this impacts on the political work of teacher educators in meeting local policy directives and reforms in an era of globalisation. This is brought to bear on issues in initial teacher education in the Australian context to investigate the critical juncture of entry into the profession and the application of standards, quality, data and evidence in the identification and assessment of graduate readiness.

Curriculum Vitae


Select publications

  • Alexander C., Fox, J., & Aspland, T. (2020). ‘Third wave’ politics in teacher education: Moving beyond binaries. In Fox, J., & Alexander, C., & Aspland, T. (eds), Teacher Education in Globalised Times: Local Responses in Action. Springer, Singapore.
  • Alexander C., Fox, J., & Gutierrez, A. (2019). Conceptualising Teacher Professionalism. In Gutierrez, A., Fox, J., & Alexander, C. (eds), Professionalism and Teacher Education: Voices from Policy and Practice. Springer, Singapore.
  • Alexander C. (2018). Conceptions of Readiness in Initial Teacher Education: Quality, Impact, Standards and Evidence in Policy Directives. In Wyatt-Smith C., Adie L. (eds), Innovation and Accountability in Teacher Education: Setting Directions for New Cultures in Teacher Education. Springer, Singapore.
  • Wyatt-Smith, C., Alexander, C., Fishburn, D. & McMahon, P. (2017). Standards of practice to standards of evidence: developing assessment capable teachers. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 24(2), 250-270. DOI: 10.1080/0969594X.2016.1228603

Accolades and awards

  • Dean’s Commendation for PhD Thesis, 2016, University of Adelaide

Appointments and affiliations

  • Member, Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA)
  • Member, Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE)

Editorial roles

  • Co-editor Australian Teacher Education Association Conference Book Series, 2019-2020

Public engagement

  • Alexander, C. (2017, September). Negotiating change in initial teacher education: A critical grounded theory of reform as a social process. Paper presented at the NSWCDE Public Research Seminar Series, University Technology Sydney.

ILSTE Final

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