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School of Education and Professional Studies

Professional Learning Hub



I believe that for every organisation in our community today, everyone needs to be a learner (to improve myself), a teacher (to help others learn) and a leader (to help others improve themselves). I have yet to find a workplace that wouldn't be improved if it focused on developing this set of human skills

Professor Tony Townsend has worked all over the world.  After more than 20 years at Monash University he became a Professor of Educational Leadership at Florida Atlantic University in the United States and then Professor of Public Service, Educational Leadership and Management at the University of Glasgow in the UK. He has been a visiting professor in Michigan in the USA; Pretoria and Durban in South Africa; Saskatoon in Canada; Macau; Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia; Brno in the Czech Republic; and Dublin in the Republic of Ireland. He has published 11 books and numerous articles, chapters, and papers, in the areas of leadership, school effectiveness, school improvement, teacher education, and community education and development, in Australia, Europe and North America. He has been President and a life member of both the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI), and President of the International Council on Education for Teaching (ICET). In 2009, he was the Australian Council for Educational Leaders’ Travelling Scholar, giving workshops in states and territories around the country.

Professor Tony Townsend

Griffith Institute for Educational Research (GIER)

Educational Leadership

Fields of Expertise

  • Educational Leadership
  • School Effectiveness and Improvement
  • School Policy Development
  • Community Education

Speeches, Seminars and Presentations

Tony has given lectures, workshops, conference papers and presentations to Education Departments, school communities and business organisations in the areas of school effectiveness and improvement, leadership, community education, policy development and school and community administration in more than 50 countries. A recent highlight includes:

  • Keynote paper presented to the 58th World Assembly of the International Council on Education for Teaching, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.2014, June ‘The Challenge to Change: Issues to consider when reforming teacher education’. 

Industry Experience

Tony has consultancy experience all over the world, recent highlights include:

  • 2013/2014 Consultant to the Commonwealth Education Trust on establishing an introductory online teacher education program for teachers with little or no training (London, UK)

  • 2013/2014 Consultant to Values Resources, a company charged with reviewing Capacity Gap Assessment, Capacity Development Plans and to provide research on Teacher Deployment and Supervision as part of the Implementation of the Balochistan Education Sector Plan, (Pakistan)

  • 2013 Consultant to the National Education Council of Chile, to review the development of leadership standards for Chile (Santiago, Chile)
  • 2012 Consultant to the Ministry of Education and the Pedagogical Institute of Cyprus on the development of an action plan to implement the New Curriculum (Nicosia, Cyprus)

  • Professional Memberships: Tony is the former President and Life Member of both the International Council on Education for Teaching and the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement and has managed international conferences for both organisations.

Research Expertise

Tony’s research interests include leadership (both in schools and other human service areas), educational effectiveness and improvement, student engagement and community involvement. In 2014 Tony led a case study analysis of nine schools in Victoria and Tasmania by GIER at Griffith University to establish the impact of a professional development program for leaders to improve their ability to support reading improvements. In 2012, at the University of Glasgow, he researched the leadership issues involved when introducing multidisciplinary research into a British university. He also reviewed the first three years' progress of the International Task Force for Teachers for Education for All for UNESCO in 2012. Currently he is developing a grant for a study that will look at Strategic Leadership in Queensland’s IPS schools.

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