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Marie Brennan

Marie Brennan has been an important – and persistent - proponent of critical, radical action research since she began her journey in the Australian Action Research Movement in the 1970s. Her work on reflective teaching and school-based action research promotes teachers – and students and community – as knowledge workers, as rigorous thinkers and doers, capable of understanding the political nature of schooling – and their labor within it.

She engages in and promotes collaborative, school and community-based action research that examines the interconnections of gender, race, class, culture, coloniality, globalization, and corporatization with schooling, teacher education, and higher education.

She has been particularly interested in being an ally with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other community groups around issues of sovereignty, environment, supporting young people, families and teachers in community-based research and activism.

Having earned her PhD. at the University of Wisconsin Madison, now retired, Dr. Brennan is Extraordinary Professor, Stellenbosch University in South Africa, Professor of Education at the University of South Australia and Victoria University; she has taught and researched in five Australian universities. She collaborated extensively with Susan Noffke regarding critical teacher action research. She’s worked as a humanities teacher, curriculum researcher and senior administrator in the Victoria Department of Education before moving to university education faculties in 1991.


Brennan, Marie, Eve Mayes and Lew Zipin (2022). The contemporary challenge of activism as curriculum work. Journal of Educational Administration and History 54, no. 3: 319-333.

Brennan, Marie (2017). Struggles for teacher education in the age of the Anthropocene. Journal of Education (University of KwaZulu-Natal) 69: 43-66.

Brennan, Marie and Lew Zipin (2016). The work of teacher- educators. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 44 (4). 302 - 305. ISSN 1359-866X

Brennan, Marie (2016) Complexities of Vietnamese femininities: a resource for rethinking women’s university leadership practices. In Globalised re/gendering of the academy and leadership. Routledge

Brennan, Marie, Lew Zipin, and Sam Sellar. (2015). Negotiating with the neighbours: Balancing different accountabilities across a cluster of regional schools. In Greg Thompson, Robert Lingard & Sam Sellar. National testing in schools, pp. 199-211. Routledge, 2015.

Brennan, Marie (2014). A necessary thought experiment: Changing the secondary school template. In Susanne Gannon and Wayne Sawyer (Eds). Contemporary Issues of Equity in Education. Cambridge Scholars Publishing: Newcastle Upon Tyne, pp. 231-244.

Brennan, Marie (2014). Sue Noffke: activist scholar-teacher. Educational Action Research 22, no. 4: 462-465.

Brennan, Marie (2013). Learning: in, through and as action research. Educational Action Research 21, no. 1: 1-3.

Brennan, Marie (2009). A school system takes on exhibitions through teacher action research. In Susan Noffke and Bridget Somekh (Eds.). International Handbook on Educational Action Research. London: SAGE, pp.158-166.

Brennan, Marie (2009). Steering teachers: Working to control the feminized profession of education. Journal of Sociology, 45, no. 4: 339-359.

Brennan, Marie & Susan Noffke (2009). Social-Political theory in working with teachers for social justice schooling. In Susan Noffke and Bridget Somekh (Eds.). International Handbook on Educational Action Research. London: SAGE pp. 432-441.

Brennan, Marie (1997). Researching in ACFE-Adult, community and further education-: a troubled task. Literacy and Numeracy Studies 7, no. 1 (1997): 25-45.

Blackmore, J.A., Marie Brennan, M. & Lewis Zipin (Eds). (2010). Re-positioning university governance and academic work. Rotterdam: Sense Publications.

Bunda, Tracey, Lew Zipin, and Marie Brennan (2012). Negotiating university ‘equity’ from Indigenous standpoints: a shaky bridge. International Journal of Inclusive Education 16, no. 9: 941-957.

Furlong, J., Marilyn Cochran-Smith, & Marie Brennan (Eds.). (2009). Politics and policy in teacher education: International perspectives. London & New York: Routledge.

Green, Bill, Jo-Anne Reid, and Marie Brennan. (2017). Challenging policy, rethinking practice; or, struggling for the soul of teacher education. The struggle for teacher education: International perspectives on teacher education governance and reforms: 39-55.

Hattam, Robert, Marie Brennan, Lew Zipin, and Barbara Comber (2009). Researching for social justice: Contextual, conceptual and methodological challenges." Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education 30, no. 3. 303-316.

Hodgetts, K. & Marie Brennan (2011). Senior secondary study as a part-time phenomenon? Implications for policy and practice. In T. Stehlik & J. Patterson, (Eds) Changing the paradigm – education as the key to a socially inclusive future. Adelaide: Wakefield Press. pp. 62-75.

Luk-Fong, Yuk Yee Pattie, and Marie Brennan (2010). Women teachers in Hong Kong: Stories of changing gendered identities. Asia pacific journal of education 30, no. 2: 213-229.

Noffke, Susan E. and Marie Brennan (2005). The dimensions of reflection: A conceptual and contextual Analysis. International Journal of Progressive Education 1, no. 3.

Noffke, Susan E., and Marie Brennan (2005). Reconstructing the politics of action in action research. In International action research, pp. 75-81. Routledge.

Noffke, Susan E. and Marie Brennan (2004). Doormats and feminists: Who is the “community” in action research? In Mary Brydon-Miller, Patricia Maguire, & Alice McIntyre (Eds.), Traveling companions: Feminisms and participatory action research (pp. 97-113). Westport, CN: Praeger.

Noffke, Susan E., and Marie Brennan (1988). The Dimensions of reflection: A conceptual and contextual Analysis. ERIC Number: ED296968

Noffke, Susan E., and Marie Brennan. (1988). Action research and reflective student teaching at UW-Madison: Issues and examples. ERIC Number: ED292793

Nuttall, J and Marie Brennan (2016). Teacher education as academic work: the affordances of a materialist analysis. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 44 (4). 364 - 378. ISSN 1359-866X

Popkewitz, Thomas S., and Marie T. Brennan. (2017). Foucault's challenge: Discourse, knowledge, and power in education. Teachers College Press.

Reid, J. & Marie Brennan (2013). The standards cage: Contradictory politics of control in Australia teacher education. In Lori Beckett (Ed.). Teacher education through active engagement: Raising the professional voice. London: Routledge.

Van Hanh Thi Do & Marie Brennan (2015) Complexities of Vietnamese femininities: a resource for rethinking women's university leadership practices, Gender and Education, 27:3, 273-287, DOI: 10.1080/09540253.2015.1024619

Zipin, Lew, Sam Sellar, Marie Brennan, and Trevor Gale. (2015). Educating for futures in marginalized regions: A sociological framework for rethinking and researching aspirations. Educational philosophy and theory 47, no. 3: 227-246.

Zipin, Lew, Aslam Fataar, and Marie Brennan. (2015). Can social realism do social justice? Debating the warrants for curriculum knowledge selection. Education as Change 19, no. 2 (2015): 9-36.

Zipin, Lew and Marie Brennan (2012). Re-imagining the university: governing the claims of global futures; in B. Adamson, J. Nixon & F. Su (Eds.) The Reorientation of Higher Education: Changing the East-West Dichotomy. New York and Hong Kong: Springer and The Comparative Education Research Centre of The University of Hong Kong Springer. pp. 247-268.

Episode 9 with Marie Brennan
March 31, 2023

Episode 9 with Marie Brennan

In this episode, we host activist, action researcher Marie Brennan. Dr. Brennan has been an important and persistent proponent of critical educational and teacher action research in the Australian action research movement. No...

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