Head of School

Prof Chris DavisonProfessor Chris Davison, a specialist in language education and school-based assessment, is Professor of Education and Head of the School of Education, University of New South Wales (UNSW). Before her appointment to UNSW, Chris was Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Education at University of Hong Kong, where she worked for nine years. She has worked in teacher education, including at Melbourne and La Trobe University, for over 30 years, and before that, as an English and ESL teacher and consultant in primary and secondary schools, English language centres and the adult and community education sector in Australia and overseas.

Chris has researched and published extensively on the interface between English as a mother tongue and ESL development, integrating language and content curriculum, and English language assessment, in leading international journals including TESOL Quarterly, Applied Linguistics, Language Assessment Quarterly, Language Testing and Linguistics and Education. Her books include a two volume handbook of teaching English internationally (Springer, with Jim Cummins) and a co-authored book on English language teaching innovation in China (HKU Press, with Xinmin Zheng). She is founding co-editor (with Andy Gao) of the Springer book series on English Language Education.

With colleagues at the University of Hong Kong, Chris has completed the research and development of a range of oral school-based assessment initiatives for the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority, and also worked over a number of years with the Ministries of Education in Singapore and in Brunei on integrating assessment for learning into their new curricula. She has just completed a multimillion dollar project researching and developing a teacher-based assessment resource framework for EAL learners in Victorian schools, funded by the Department of Education and Training (DET), Catholic Education and Independent Schools Victoria. She has conducted many in-service programs and consultancies with educational systems in the Asian region, including Singapore, Laos, Vietnam, Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand and China.

Chris has been actively involved in an extensive range professional associations and community organizations throughout her career, including undertaking stints as President of the Australian Council of TESOL Association, Chair of the Australian Literacy Federation, Chair of the TESOL International Research Committee and most recently, Chair of the NSW Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards Initial Teacher Education Committee and President of the NSW Council of Deans of Education. She is currently a member of the ALAA Executive and Editor in Chief of the Australian Review of Applied Linguistics.

Chris is recipient of a number of awards, most recently for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education and to TESOL, awarded by the Australian Council of Deans of Education, and a University Award for Community Engagement, both in 2016.