Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Emeritus Professor Stephen Kemmis

Emeritus Professor Stephen Kemmis

BA, MEd, PhD, Ed D (honoris causa), PhD (honoris causa)

Stephen Kemmis is Research Leader (part-time) and Adjunct Professor at the Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga. He is also co-leader of the 'Pedagogy, Education and Praxis' (PEP) international collaboration involving researchers from universities in Colombia, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. Stephen has held academic positions at the University of Sydney, University of Illinois, University of East Anglia, Deakin University and the University of Ballarat and also worked for several years as an independent consultant. He has published extensively on professional practice, indigenous education, participatory action research and qualitative methods in educational research. His most well-known publication is the highly acclaimed book (with Wilfred Carr) Becoming Critical: Education, knowledge and action research. In 2001 Stephen was made an Honorary Life Member of the Australian Association for Educational Research (AARE), and in 2009 he was awarded two honorary doctorates for services to international educational research.

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Stephen is interested in how professional practices are formed and how they are transformed as they unfold in the professional practice of individuals and in the collective social practice of groups – for example, the practices of the education profession. His work focuses on educational practices in schools and universities. He has published extensively on critical participatory action research as an approach to educational research; this interest is now focused on researching practice traditions 'from within'. With colleagues in the "Pedagogy, Education & Praxis" (PEP) national and international research groups, he is also developing a theory about what practices are made of (the theory of practice architectures) and a theory about how different practices relate to one another (the theory of ecologies of practices).



ARC Discovery Grant, Leading and learning: Developing ecologies of educational practice, $130,000, Chief Investigator with Christine Edwards-Groves, Ian Hardy and Jane Wilkinson.


CSU Competitive Grant, Promoting praxis: Teacher learning and leadership for learning, $15 000, with Ian Hardy, Jane Wilkinson, Christine Edwards-Groves.

Joint project with Australian Research Institute for Education for Sustainability, Macquarie University, Mainstreaming education for sustainability in pre-service teacher education, $15 000, with John Rafferty, Penny Stephens, Andrew Wallace


ARC Discovery Grant, Sustaining practice: The theory and development of educational practice/praxis in the context of education for sustainability (EfS), $138,000, Chief Investigator

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Stephen teaches postgraduate students in the subject "Understanding  professional practice" in the Doctor of Education course. Stephen has also supervised numerous Masters and PhD students on topics including praxis in education, education for sustainability, rural education and Indigenous education.

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  • Co-leader, PEP international research group
  • Life member, Australian Association of Research in Education (AARE)
  • Member, Collaborative Action Research Network (CARN)
  • Participant, Wiradjuri Language and Cultural Heritage Program Committee (coordinating a program of language and cultural heritage projects in a liaison between Charles Sturt University and the Wiradjuri Council of Elders)
  • Member, ErinEarth Management Committee (Urban Sustainable Living demonstration site)

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Chapters in books

  • Kemmis, S.  (2012). Pedagogy, praxis and practice-based higher education. In J. Higgs, R.  Barnett & S. Billett (Eds.). Practice-based education. Rotterdam: Sense.
  • Kemmis, S.,  Edwards Groves, C., Wilkinson, J. & Hardy, I. (2012). Ecologies of  practices: Learning practices. In P. Hager, A. Lee & A. Reich (Eds.).  Practice, learning and change. London: Springer.
  • Kemmis, S.  & Heikkinen, H.L.T. (2012). Practice architectures and teacher induction.  In H.L.T. Heikkinen, H. Jokinen & P. Tynjälä (Eds.). Peer-group mentoring  (PGM): Peer group mentoring for teachers' professional development. London: Routledge.
  • Kemmis, S.  (2012). Phronēsis, experience and the primacy of praxis. Chapter 11  (pp.147-162) in A. Pitman & A. Kinsella (Eds.). Phronēsis as professional  knowledge: Practical wisdom in the professions. Rotterdam: Sense.
  • Kemmis, S.  (2011). Becoming critical at Deakin. Chapter 7 (pp.77-92) in R. Tinning &  K. Sirna (Eds.). Education, social justice and the legacy of Deakin University:  Reflections of the Deakin diaspora. Rotterdam: Sense.
  • Kemmis, S.  (2011). A self-reflective practitioner and a new definition of critical  participatory action research. Chapter 2 (pp.11-30) in N. Mockler & J.  Sachs (Eds.). Rethinking educational practice through reflexive research:  Essays in honour of Susan Groundwater-Smith. New York: Springer.
  • Kemmis, S.  (2010). What is professional practice? Chapter 8 (pp.139-166) in C. Kanes  (Ed.). Elaborating professionalism: Studies in practice and theory. New York:  Springer.
  • Kemmis, S.  & Trede, F. (2010). Practice and developing future practice. Chapter 3  (pp.29-40) in J. Higgs, D. Fish, I. Goulter, S. Loftus S. & F. Trede.  (Eds.). Education for future practice. Rotterdam: Sense.

Articles in refereed journals

  • Hemmings, B., Kemmis, S. & Reupert, A. (2013). Practice architectures of university inclusive education teaching in Australia. Professional Development in Education, 39(4), 470-487.
  • Kemmis, S. & Mutton, R. (2012). Education for sustainability (EfS): Practice and practice architectures. Environmental Education Research, 18(2), 187-207.
  • Kemmis, S. (2012). Researching educational praxis: Spectator and participant perspectives. British Educational Research Journal, 38(6), 885-905.
  • Kemmis, S. (2010). Research for praxis: Knowing doing. Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 18(1), 9-27.
  • Kemmis, S. (2010). What is to be done? The place of action research. Educational Action Research, 18(4), 417-427.

Recent evaluation and consultancy reports

  • Kemmis, S., Edwards Groves, C., Wilkinson, J., Hardy, I., Grootenboer, P. & Bristol, L. (2013). Revitalising education development through action research. Paper presented at the Collaborative Action Research Network (CARN) Conference. Tromsø, Norway, November 7-9.
  • Kemmis, S. (2013). Education, educational research and the good for humankind. Keynote address presented at the Finnish Educational Research Association (FERA) Conference. Jyväskylä, Finland, November 21-22.
  • Kemmis, S., Heikkinen, S., Fransson, G., Aspsfors, J. & Edwards Groves, C. (2013). Mentoring as a contested practice: Supervision, support and collaborative self-development. Paper presented (in absentia) at the European Conference of Educational Research (ECER). Istanbul, Turkey, September 10-13.
  • Kemmis, S., Edwards-Groves, C. & Wilkinson, J. (2012). Leading, learning and ecologies of practices: International perspectives. Paper presented at the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Conference. Sydney, December 2-6.
  • Kemmis, S. (2011). Education as praxis. Keynote address at the Nordic Network on Teacher Induction Conference. University of Jyväskylä, Finland, September 19-20.

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