Dr John P. Hughes

GradDip(Education)(SCAE), BA(Sydney), MA(Macquarie), PhD(Sydney)

Honorary Associate


Phone: +61 2  9351

Fax: +61 2  9351

Building.Room: A35.

Research interests

Educational history, sociology and philosophy

  • History of education
  • Sociology of education


citizenship education, history of secondary education, history of schooling, school choice

Professional biography

Formerly a senior researcher in the New South Wales Department of Education, he is an authority on the history of Australian schooling reform and reformers.

His reputation as a scholar in this area has been established with his biography of Sir Harold Wyndham, Director-General of the NSW Department of Education from 1952 to 1968. His publications include the book, Reform and resistance in NSW public education: six attempts at major reform, 1905-1995 (NSW Dept. Education and Training 2008) with Dr P. Brock. He is currently completing a case study of the Enmore Activity School, a school founded in the 1930s in NSW to embody the principles of progressive education.

Professional and community roles

  • Australian and New Zealand History of Education Society

  • Australian College of Educators

Selected publications


  • Hughes, J., Brock, P. (2008). Reform and resistance in NSW public education: six attempts at major reform, 1905-1995. Sydney: NSW Dept. of Education and Training.

Book chapters

  • Sherington, G. & Hughes, J. (2015). ‘Money made us’: A short history of government funds for Australian schools. In H. Proctor, P. Brownlee & P. Freebody (Ed.), Controversies in education: Orthodoxy and heresy in policy and practice (pp. 157–173), Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Sherington, G., Hughes, J. (2012). Education. In D.Clune and R.Smith (Eds.), From Carr to Keneally: Labor in office in NSW 1995-2011 (pp. 138–149), Sydney Australia: Allen and Unwin.
  • Print, M., Kennedy, K. & Hughes, J. (1999). Reconstructing Civic and Citizenship Education in Australia. In J. Torney-Purta, J. Schwille, J-A. Amadeo (Ed.), Civic Education across Countries: Twenty-four National Case Studies from the IEA Civic Education Project (pp. 37–59), The Netherlands: International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA).

Journal articles

  • Hughes, J. (2016). The Institute: A centennial history of the Institute of Senior Educational Administrators [book review]. History of Education Review, 45(2), 260–262. DOI:10.1108/HER-02-2016-0014
  • Hughes, J. (2015). Theory into practice in Australian progressive education: The Enmore Activity School. History of Education Review, 44(1), 115–127. DOI:10.1108/HER-03-2014-0027
  • Hughes, J., Liyanage, S., Stevens, R. (2013). Mapping educational research conducted in NSW government schools using the State Education Research Approval Process (SERAP) data base. The Australian Educational Researcher.
  • Hughes, J. (2002). Harold Wyndham and Educational Reform in Australia 1925 - 1968. Education, Research and Perspectives, 29(1).
  • Hughes, J. (2001). The Development of the Comprehensive School in New South Wales: The Influence of Harold Wyndham and the 1957 Wyndham Report. Education, Research and Perspectives, 28(1).
  • Walker, J., Hughes, J., Mitchell, J. and Traill, R. (1995). Teachers' knowledge base in Australian teacher education: development of a content analysis methodology. Australian Educational Researcher, 22(2), 13–25.
  • Hughes, J. (1994). Shared facilities: How have they worked in an Australian context?. Unicorn, 20(3).