About

Viv Ellis is Professor of Educational Leadership and Teacher Development at King’s College London and a Professor II at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences in Bergen. In 2014, he was a Sachs Lecturer at Teachers College, Columbia University and, during 2016 – 2017, is a Visiting Researcher in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching, working on the Educating the Teacher Educators project. From 2017 to 2019, he is a member of an international panel advising the Norwegian higher education quality assurance agency NOKUT and the ministry of education on the reforms to primary and lower secondary teacher education.

Previously, Viv was Professor and Head of the Department of Education at Brunel University, which he re-established and led to become the most improved Education unit of assessment in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, to Outstanding grades in 2015’s Ofsted inspection and through a 2016 Strategic Review to become a top 10 Education department in the UK according to both the Complete University Guide and the Guardian .

From 2002 to 2013, he was a Fellow of St Cross College and Co-Convenor of the Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research at Oxford University, where he was a tenured faculty member in the Department of Educational Studies.

Before working in universities, Viv taught English and Drama in comprehensive schools in the West Midlands and completed his PhD at the University of London Institute of Education with the support of an IoE Postgraduate Research Scholarship. He has also served as elected Vice Chair of the National Association for the Teaching of English and as a Director of the Heathrow Aviation University Technical College.

‘This website is my personal-professional blog and the views expressed are entirely my own. Posts are categorised under the following headings: Publications (new books or articles, including those of friends and colleagues); Events (in which I am participating or have organised); Research  (new projects or related information); Blog (occasional rambles, diatribes, paeans, tributes, laments, wtfs, etc.); Personal (sometimes but hopefully not always nonsense).

I am not a sociologist, psychologist, philosopher, historian, linguist, anthropologist or literary critic – although I sometimes use their tools. I am an educationist. My research addresses educational questions and is motivated by educational interests. I am particularly interested in teaching, teacher education and pedagogy, broadly conceived. I take the view that if you care about the education of young people in schools, you need to care about how their teachers are prepared and developed as a profession. But I don’t always take the teachers’ side….

Key interests represented in the posts on the site are: teacher education (institutional structures, history, programme design, policy, politics and teachers’ professional learning; cultural-historical and activity theory (ways of thinking about human development derived from Soviet psychology – Vygotsky & Co; western cultural psychology – Scribner, Cole & friends; and anthropology –  cognitive and otherwise); English: subject and language (across educational settings – with particular interests in writing, reading and talk); and comparative studies of education (and specifically education policies related to teaching, with a particular interest in the United States and the Nordic countries).’