Professor Colin Evers

Professor of Educational Leadership
BA (Hons) USyd, Litt.B. UNE, PhD USyd
School of Education


+61 2 9385 1359
Room 102, Goodsell Building
Fields: Specialist Studies in Education, Educational Administration, Management and Leadership

Colin W. Evers is Professor of Educational Leadership in the School of Education at the University of New South Wales. Prior to this appointment he was Professor of Education at the University of Hong Kong. He has a disciplinary background in mathematics and philosophy and research and teaching interests in the areas of educational administration and leadership, philosophy of education, and research methodology. He is co-author and co-editor of seven books and nearly 100 scholarly papers. His current research projects include work on a view of leadership as critical learning, Principal decision-making, realist inquiry in social science, teacher leadership, and the influence of culture on research methodology.


Colin Evers is Professor of Educational Leadership in the School of Education (FASS) at UNSW. Prior to that appointment he was Professor of Education at The University of Hong Kong. His research interests include educational leadership, administration and policy, philosophy of education, and research methodology. His interest in research methodology flows from a perspective on epistemology that is naturalistic and coherentist, and he is currently co-editing a Special Issue of the journal Comparative Education devoted to an examination of the relationship between Confucian heritage cultures and methodology.



    • Chitpin S; Evers CW, 2015, Decision making in educational leadership: Principles, policies, and practices
    • Katyal KR; Evers CW, 2014, Teacher leadership: New conceptions for autonomous student learning in the age of the internet, 10.4324/9781315814063

    Book Chapters

    • Chitpin S; Evers CW, 2015, 'Preface', in Decision-making in educational leadership : principles, policies, and practices, Routledge/​Taylor &​ Francis Group, New York
    • Evers CW, 2015, 'Decision making as problem-solving trajectories', in Chitpin S; Colin WE (ed.), Decision Making in Educational Leadership: Principles, Policies, and Practices, London Routledge/​Taylor &​ Francis Group, New York, pp. 57 - 71,
    • Evers CW, 2012, 'Organisational contexts for lifelong learning: Individual and collective learning configurations', in Aspin DN; Chapman J; Evans K; Bagnall R (ed.), Second international Handbook of Lifelong Learning, edn. Original, Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 61 - 76
    • Lakomski G; Evers CW, 2011, 'Analytical philosophy and organizational theory', in Tsoukas H; Chia R (ed.), Philosophy and organization theory (Special issue of research in the sociology of organizations, 32, edn. Original, Emerald, Bingley, UK, pp. 23 - 54, 10.1108/S0733-558X(2011)0000032004
    • Evers CW, 2010, 'Educational leadership: Philosophical issues', in International Encyclopedia of Education, pp. 710 - 716, 10.1016/B978-0-08-044894-7.00413-9
    • Mason M; Evers CW, 2010, 'Comparative education: Philosophical issues and concepts', in International Encyclopedia of Education, pp. 257 - 265, 10.1016/B978-0-08-044894-7.01453-6
    • Katyal K; Evers CW, 2009, 'Ambiguities in assessing higher education research in Hong Kong: Critical reflections'', in Besley T (ed.), Assessing the quality of educational research in higher education, edn. Original, Sense Publishers, Boston, pp. 157 - 171
    • Fox R; Yuen A; Evers C; Lau HF; Deng L, 2006, 'Faculty perceptions of ICT benefits', in Enhancing Learning through Technology, pp. 1 - 10, 10.1142/9789812772725_0001

    Journal articles

    • Eacott S; Evers C, 2015, 'New Frontiers in Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Theory', Educational Philosophy and Theory, vol. 47, pp. 307 - 311, 10.1080/00131857.2014.977530
    • Evers CW; Lakomski G, 2014, 'Naturalism and Educational Administration: New directions', Educational Philosophy and Theory, 10.1080/00131857.2014.976932
    • Evers CW; Lakomski G, 2013, 'Methodological individualism, educational administration, and leadership', Journal of Educational Administration and History, vol. 45, pp. 159 - 173, 10.1080/00220620.2013.768969
    • Evers CW; Lakomski G, 2012, 'Science, systems, and theoretical alternatives in educational administration: The road less travelled', Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 50, pp. 57 - 75, 10.1108/09578231211196069
    • Lakomski G; Evers CW, 2012, 'Emotion and rationality in educational problem solving: From individuals to groups', Korean Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 30, pp. 653 - 677
    • Chitpin S; Evers CW, 2012, 'Using Popper's philosophy of science to build pre-service teachers' knowledge', International Journal of Education, vol. 4, pp. 144 - 156, 10.5296/ije.v4i4.2757
    • Evers CW; Mason M, 2011, 'Context based inferences in research methodology: The role of culture in justifying knowledge claims', Comparative Education, vol. 47, pp. 301 - 314, 10.1080/03050068.2011.586763
    • Evers CW; King M; Katyal KR, 2011, 'Conducting research in Confucian heritage cultures: An overview of methodological issues', Comparative Education, vol. 47, pp. 295 - 300, 10.1080/03050068.2011.586762
    • Lakomski G; Evers CW, 2010, 'Passionate rationalism: The role of emotion in decision making', Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 48, pp. 438 - 450, 10.1108/09578231011054707
    • Evers CW, 2009, 'Remembering PESA: An intellectual journey', Educational Philosophy and Theory, vol. 41, pp. 788 - 793, 10.1111/j.1469-5812.2009.00582.x
    • Evers CW; Katyal K, 2008, 'Educational leadership in Hong Kong schools, 1950-2000: Critical reflections on changing themes', Journal of Educational Administration and History, vol. 40, pp. 164 - 251, 10.1080/00220620802507268
    • Evers CW; Katyal KR, 2008, 'Assessing research quality in education: The Hong Kong research assessment exercise', Access: Critical Perspectives on Communication, Cultural and Policy Studies, vol. 27, pp. 87 - 96,;dn=736629606279048;res=IELHSS
    • Evers CW; Katyal K, 2007, 'Paradoxes of leadership: contingencies and critical learning', South African Journal of Education, vol. 27, pp. 377 - 390,
    • Evers CW, 2007, 'Culture, cognitive pluralism and rationality', Educational Philosophy and Theory, vol. 39, pp. 364 - 382, 10.1111/j.1469-5812.2007.00345x
    • Evers CW; Wu EH, 2006, 'On generalising from single case studies: Epistemological reflections', Journal of Philosophy of Education, vol. 40, pp. 511 - 526, 10.1111/j.1467-9752.2006.00519.x
    • Wu EH; Evers CW, 2006, 'Parental influence on talent development: Implications and strategies from western and Chinese literature', Gifted and Talented International, vol. 21, pp. 36 - 46,
    • Chitpin S; Evers CW, 2005, 'Teacher professional development as knowledge building: a Popperian analysis', Teachers and Teaching - Theory and Practice, vol. 11, pp. 419 - 433, 10.1080/13450600500137208


All of Prof. Evers teaching is in the Master of Educational Leadership program.

Postgraduate courses
Semester One
EDST5438 Leadership Theory, Research and Practice. (Co-Teaching with Dr. Kerry Barnett)
Develops students’ understanding of leadership theories, current research and practice. Considers the major approaches to leadership such as trait, behaviour, contingency and transformational leadership theory. Also considers current research and practice in the context of education.

EDST5459 School Based Management and Accountability.
Provides a systematic study of the theory and practice of school based management, its background, central features, and characteristic accountability mechanisms. Particular emphasis is placed on autonomy versus accountability, and prospects for such reforms leading to improved student learning outcomes.

Semester Two

EDST5433 Organisation Theory in Education (Co-Teaching with Dr. Kerry Barnett)
This course will focus on organisation theory for educators. It draws from the full range of literature on organisations, but it focuses that literature on the specific experiences of education.

EDST5462 Teacher Leadership.
Offers an account of the nature of teacher leadership, and how it can be developed and exercised, from the broad perspective of leadership as a form of influence as opposed to the narrower perspective of administrative role. Teacher leadership is construed as a form of distributed leadership, with the boundaries of influence extending beyond the immediate workplace.

Current Research Projects

Teacher Leadership: This project, led by Dr Kokila Katyal at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, looks at the role of teacher-leaders in the light of the rise of autonomous student learning as fostered by the internet. In addition to some papers published as work in progress, the results of the project are now being written up to be published as a book (Routledge, 2013).

Realist Inquiry in Social Science: This is the title of a book that offers a particular philosophical perspective on some key aspects of research in social science. The lead author is Brian Haig (Professor of Psychology, University of Canterbury) with myself and Professor Mark Constas (Cornell University) as co-authors. It will be published by SAGE, London, in 2014.

Canadian Principals Learning Network: Led by A/Prof Stephanie Chitpin at the University of Ottawa, this project explores principals’ decision-making and options for the creation of collaborative networks. Current funding: C$100,000. The project makes use of some theoretical ideas developed by Prof Chitpin and myself in some earlier joint and individual publications. We are currently developing a book proposal for an edited book on principals’ decision-making. Work in progress from the project will be presented at a two-day symposium at the University of Ottawa in October 2012. The project has a website:

Conducting Research in Confucian Heritage Cultures: The first version of this project was published as a Special Issue of the journal Comparative Education, 47(3), 2011. The various authors explored particular aspects of research methodology that were influenced by the Confucian heritage culture of particular east Asian countries. The Special Issue editors – myself, Dr Kokila Katyal, and Dr Mark King - are now developing an expanded version of this project to cover a larger range of research aspects and countries.

Emotion and Cognition in Educational Decision-Making: This is a project of particular interest to Professor Gabriele Lakomski (University of Melbourne) who is the lead investigator and first author of a number of our papers on this topic. Her focus is on the neuroscience of emotion.

Leadership as Critical Learning: This is my main ongoing research project, the aim of which is to develop a systematic perspective on educational leadership. It reflects the general theme of my papers on leadership published over the last dozen years. I aim to put it all together in a book of the same title.

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