Adjunct Professor Paul Brock AM FACE FACEL

BA(Hons)(Sydney), DipEd(UNE), PhD(UNE)

Adjunct Professor


Phone: +61 2 9561 8401

Fax: +61 2 9561  8800

Building.Room: .

Research interests

Educational history, sociology and philosophy

  • History of education

Research on teaching and learning

  • English and literacy

Social work and social policy

  • Social policy


English literature, language, literacy and curriculum; history of NSW education; teaching and learning; educational public policy development; educational equity; professional teaching standards; physical and intellectual disability

Professional biography


Dr Paul Brock AM  FACE  FACEL, is the Director of Learning and Development Research in the Office of the Director-General, NSW Department of Education and Communities and an Adjunct Professor in the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Education and Social Work, as well as an Honorary Associate in the Centre for Values Ethics and Law in Medicine within the University’s Faculty of Medicine.  He is also an Honorary Research Fellow within the University of New England. 

Dr Brock is a Vice Patron of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, NSW.  He is a Life Member of both the English Teachers Association NSW and the Primary English Teachers Association Australia, and he is the inaugural Honorary Life Member of the NSW Secondary Principals Council. He is a Fellow of both the Australian College of Educators and the Australian Council of Educational Leaders.  

Throughout his 47 year career in education he has been a school teacher, a deputy principal, an academic who has worked in Australian, British and North American universities, a policy advisor to Commonwealth governments, an author, editor, and public speaker.  He has researched and published extensively, particularly in the field of English literature, language and literacy, but also in the areas of professional teaching standards and in the history of educational policy and practice.  His more than 130 publications include single-authored, co-authored and co-edited books; monographs; chapters in books; refereed journal articles; and poetry.  He has also delivered nearly 200 academic and professional papers to international and Australian conferences. 


  • 2013 Australian Council of Educational Leaders 2013 Gold Medal Award

  • 2012 Australian Council for Educational Leaders Hedley Beare Award for Educational Writing

  • 2012 Australian Council of Educational Leaders Patrick Duignan Award for Leadership

  • 2010 Australian Professional Teachers Association Inaugural Dorothy Hoddinott Medal for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement

  • 2009 Selected by the Sydney Morning Herald as one of the five most influential people in NSW education within that newspaper’s list of Sydney’s 100 “most influential people” for that year.

  • 2006 General Member, Order of Australia (AM)

  • 2006 Meritorious Service Award and Medal for Service to Public Education in NSW

  • 2004 Honorary Doctorate in Educational Studies (James Cook University)

  • 2002 Australian College of Educators Sir Harold Wyndham Medal

Professional and community roles

  • Member, Young Tall Poppy Awards, NSW Selection Committee (2005~present)

  • Vice Patron, Motor Neurone Disease Association NSW (2007 - present)

  • Member of the Board of the Dictionary of Sydney (2010 - present)

  • Australia Day Ambassador (2011~present)

  • Member of the Review Board of the Australian Association of English Teachers in Australia (AATE) international scholarly journal English in Australia (rated 'A' in the ERA ranking) (2011 - present)

  • Ambassador, National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) (2011~2013)

  • Member of the History Committee of the NSW Centenary of Anzac Advisory Council established to commemorate the Centenary in particular of Australia’s ANZAC Gallipoli campaign and, in general, of Australia’s participation in the First World War 2014-2019 (2013~present)

Current projects

  • “A history of the development of the NSW senior secondary school English curriculum from 1911 to 2013”, in collaboration with Associate Professor Jacqueline Manuel, Faculty of Education and Social Work, The University of Sydney
  • Providing advice for the “NSW Child Development Study: Middle Childhood Survey Feasibility Study”, led by Professor Vaughan Carr, Chair of Schizophrenia, Epidemiology & Population Health, School of Psychiatry, UNSW

Selected publications


  • Brock, P. (2011). Towards Schooling in the 21st Century: 'Back to Basics' or 'Forward to Fundabentals'?. NSW: ACEL Monograph Series No. 49.
  • Manuel, J., Brock, P., Carter., D. Sawyer (Eds.). (2009). Imagination Innovation Creativity: Re-Visioning English in Education. Sydney: Phoenix Education.
  • Hughes, J. with Brock, P. . (2008). Reform and Resistance in NSW Public Education: Six Attempts at Major Reform, 1905 – 1995. Sydney: NSW DET (in collaboration with the University of Sydney Press),.
  • Sawyer, W., Brock, P., Baxter, D. . (2006). Exceptional Outcomes in English : The Aesop Series. Brisbane: Post Pressed.
  • Brock, P. . (2004). A Passion for Life. Sydney: ABC Books.

Book chapters

  • Brock, P. (2013). Flying upwards and outwards. In P. Hughes (Ed.), Achieving quality education for all: perspectives from the Asia-Pacific region and beyond (pp. 147–151), Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Brock, P. (2012). Reading and secondary school English: historical contexts for some contemporary English in education theory and practice. In Manuel, J. and Brindley, S (Eds.), Teenagers and Reading: Literary Heritages, Cultural Contexts and Contemporary Reading Practices (pp. 38–65), Norwood: Wakefield Press/AATE.

Journal articles

  • Brock, P. . (2013). In Memory of Garth Boomer: May he not ‘rust unburnished’ but ‘shine in use’. English in Australia, 48(3), 12–20.
  • Brock, P. (2011). Curriculum over 30 years: what have we achieved?. Curriculum Perspectives, 31(1), 83–87.
  • Brock, P., Manuel, J. (2003). *W(h)ither the Place of Literature? – Two Momentous Reforms in the NSW Senior Secondary English Curriculum. English in Australia, (136), 15–26.
  • Brock, P. (2002). Towards establishing and implementing a standards framework in the NSW Quality Teaching Awards process: a personal perspective. Unicorn, Journal of the Australian College of Educators, 28(1), 10–15.

Conference papers

  • Brock, P. (2012). 25 Years – Looking Back, Looking Forward, Opening Keynote Address. In NSW Council of Deans of Education 2012 Conference.
  • Brock, P. (2012). Reflecting over the challenges and opportunities of 21st century schooling: beyond the basics, towards the fundamentals, Keynote Address. In NSW Secondary Principals’ Council Conference.
  • Brock, P. (2011). 21st century school education: looking forward looking back. In Connections: Curriculum + Space/Learning + Place. Sydney Conference and Exhibition Centre, 15 June.
  • Brock, P. (2010). Towards schooling in the 21st century: ‘back to basics’ or ‘forward to fundamentals’? . In ACEL International Conference Hosting and Harvesting: Creating the change we wish to see in the world.
  • Brock, P. (2008). Where to from Now?, Joint Keynote Address with Professor John Hattie. In ACEL International Conference New Metaphors for Leadership in Schools.


  • Brock, P. (2011). Learning from the paths we have trodden to get to where we are now, The Australian Educational Leader, Volume 33, No.1, pp.9–13.
  • Brock, P. (2011). Macquarie University Faculty of Science Graduation Address, Macquarie University, Sydney.