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What do we actually do when we research education policy and governance? Why do we tame the messy hinterland of research into smooth accounts and what do we lose in the process?

In this seminar, distinguished scholars in education policy and governance research present and discuss their practice of methods shared and analysed recently in an edited collection by Camilla Addey and Nelli Piattoeva (2021) – Intimate Accounts of Education Policy Research: The Practice of Methods (Routledge). The presenters approach methodology as riddled with tensions, doubts, troubles, and mundane decisions. 「Methodology」 and 「the practice of method」 refer to the entire, distributed process of formulating and answering research questions by plugging in theory, data, methods, context, ethical concerns and actual affordances of the research setting, as well as the researcher’s wider professional, cultural and even personal milieu. Thus, methodology is composed of an intricate set of issues and decisions, including researchers’ embeddedness in particular institutional and disciplinary contexts.

In the seminar, presenters shift from recording the complex methodological hinterland of their studies to putting it to productive use as resources for thinking about the researched world and about research itself. They examine questions such as how research reproduces scholars’ metaphysics, how research is a deeply embodied process encompassing all senses, and how scholars’ concerns interfere in the worlds they study, but also how these equally interfere with researchers. By challenging smooth methodological accounts that conceal the complex and provisional nature of research, this seminar offers new ways of thinking about research methodologies in education policy and governance research.

The seminar welcomes students and researchers across all levels of their academic career in the fields of education research and education theory, as well as social scientists interested in research methodologies more broadly.


Intimate Accounts of Education Policy Research: Seminar and Book Launch

16 November 2021 4PM-5:30PM (QLD, Australia)

This event is hosted by the Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education, ACU

Opening & Welcome

Professor Claire Wyatt-Smith
Institute for Learning Sciences & Teacher Education
Australian Catholic University

Claire Wyatt-Smith is the Director of the Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education at ACU and Professor of Educational Assessment and Literacy. She is also the Director of the Research Centre for Digital Data and Assessment in Education at ACU. Her research addresses standards, professional judgement, and the implications of digital disruption for teacher professionalism.

Intimate Accounts

Dr. Camilla Addey

Camilla Addey is a Marie Curie Fellow at GEPS – the Globalisation, Education and Social Policies – research centre at the Department of Sociology of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain. Her research interests are in international large-scale assessments in lower and middle income contexts, global educational policy, and education privatisations. Her current research project ILAINC, on the privatisation of international education assessment, can be followed on Facebook at ‘ILSA Inc. The ILSA industry’.

Intimate Accounts

Dr. Nelli Piattoeva

Nelli Piattoeva is Associate Professor in the New Social Research Programme and the Faculty of Education and Culture at Tampere University, Finland. Her research looks at how forms of digitalisation, quantification and surveillance integrated into national large-scale assessments of education quality act as technologies of education governance at a distance. She is also a co-investigator on a research project that seeks to re-narrate socialist and post-socialist histories in general and childhood and schooling in particular through memories of cultural insiders.

Opening the Black Box of Peer Review

Associate Professor Radhika Gorur

Radhika Gorur is Associate Professor at Deakin University, and a Director of the Laboratory of International Assessment Studies. Engaging in the fields of sociology of quantification and critical data studies, she explores the social and political lives of data and metrics and the practices of accountability in education. Currently, with a grant from the Australian Research Council, she is researching the role of global policy networks and the new accountability practices in the Indo-Pacific.

Research Encounters on the Move

Dr Steven Lewis
Institute for Learning Sciences & Teacher Education
Australian Catholic University

Steven Lewis is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education (ILSTE) at Australian Catholic University. Interested in new spaces and relations of educational governance, Steven’s research explores emergent forms of data infrastructures and digital platforms; data-driven modes of educational accountability; and the education policy work of the OECD and other 「non-state」 actors. Steven is CI on an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship, entitled ‘Globalising School Reform Through Online Teacher Professional Learning『 (2019–2022).

Unboxing and Unravelling in the Archive of Gender Equity Policy

Professor Susanne Gannon

Susanne Gannon is Professor in the Centre for Educational Research at Western Sydney University, Australia. She researches diverse fields of education including gender equity, diversity and disadvantage; writing pedagogies; and educational policy, and is particularly interested in how theories of affect and materiality are reshaping feminist theories and research practices. She is CI on the ARC Discovery ‘Gender Matters: Changing Gender Equity Policies and Practices in Australian Secondary Schooling’ (2019–2021).

Unboxing and Unravelling in the Archive of Gender Equity Policy

Professor Kerry H. Robinson

Kerry H. Robinson is Professor at the School of Social Sciences and Director of the Diversity and Human Rights Research Centre, at Western Sydney University. Her research interests focus on childhood studies; diversity and difference in educational contexts; gender equity; gender and sexuality studies; gender and sexuality diversity in childhood and young people; sexual citizenship; sexuality education; feminist theory, queer theory and feminist poststructural theory. She is CI on the ARC Discovery ‘Gender Matters: Changing Gender Equity Policies and Practices in Australian Secondary Schooling’ (2019–2021).

Reflections on the practice of methods

Professor Marcia McKenzie

Marcia McKenzie is a Professor in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne and Director of the SSHRC-funded Monitoring and Evaluating Climate Communication and Education Project (, and the Sustainability and Education Policy Network ( Her research areas include comparative and international education, global education policy research, and climate and sustainability education, including in relation to place, mobilities, and affect. She is co-author of Place in Research: Theory, Methodology, and Methods (Routledge, 2015), co-editor of a recent journal special issue on the research-policy relationship, and author of a number of other articles and chapters focused on methodologies and methods of research.