Keita Takayama (1973 - )


Short Biography & Significant Contribution

Keita Takayama is an Associate Professor at the School of Education, the University of New England, Australia. Professor Takayama has published extensively in the areas of comparative education, sociology of education and curriculum studies. Professor Takayama has been instrumental in promoting a better understanding of the implications of globalisation to education practice, policy and theory both within and beyond Australia. In particular, his work on OECD’s PISA and its implication for national education policy making has been widely recognized.

Born and bred in Tokyo, Japan, he was educated at Sophia University in Japan, where he gained his BA degree and Middle School teaching certificate (English Language). He subsequently gained his MA degree from the University of British Columbia, Canada. After spending a year teaching in Southern India and a year and half in a high school and a college in Tokyo, Professor Takayama won the Fulbright graduate fellowship to undertake his doctoral study at the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. Upon completing his Ph.D. degree, Professor Takayama joined the Social Contexts of Teaching and Research group at the University of New England in 2008, where he teaches and coordinates a wide range of undergraduate- and graduate-level units in sociology of education, curriculum studies, multicultural/antiracist education and comparative and international education. He also provides doctoral supervision to students researching education policy issues within and outside of Australia.

Professor Takayama has extensive international teaching experience. He has taught primary, middle school and college students, adults and pre-service teachers in countries, including Vancouver (Canada), Bangalore (India), Tokyo (Japan), Madison (USA) and Armidale (Australia). Building on his international teaching experience and research, Professor Takayama currently has two research focuses with the first being the globalisation of educational policy and the second, the globalisation of educational knowledge and research. In the area of the globalisation of educational policy, he is particularly interested in understanding the changing nature of education policy that is simultaneously de-territorialised and re-territorialised and the emerging policy phenomena associated with this change. Under this context of change, he is also interested in the increasing prominence of transnational organisations such as OECD and the emergence of new actors in educational policy making and their implications for educational governance and equality.

His second research focus on the globalisation of educational knowledge and research is concerned with exploring the different ways of engaging with educational scholarship produced outside the English-using academic communities around the world. As a bi-lingual and bi-discoursal researcher, Professor Takayama draws upon his knowledge of Japanese and Asian education scholarship to denaturalize the common sense of educational scholarship in the English-using scholarly communities. He attempts to articulate a dialogic space in educational research where different research traditions and epistemologies are recognized as epistemic resources to push the existing boundaries of educational knowledge. For him, these two research focuses are closely intertwined as the focus on the globalisation of educational knowledge and research always forces him to be reflexive about the body of knowledge that he draws upon to participate in academic discourses in the English-using education scholarship. Professor Takayama’s significant contribution to his field is evident through his impressive list of publications in scholarly journals, both in English and Japanese, in the fields of comparative & international education, education policy, sociology of education and curriculum studies.

His contributions have been recognised by the Comparative and International Education Society (USA) through the award of the George Bereday Award in 2010. Professor Takayama currently sits on the international editorial advisory board for the Asia Pacific Journal of Education. He has delivered a number of invited keynote speeches to scholarly communities in Australia, South Korea, Japan and New Zealand.  

Educational Background


BA, Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan (1997)


Middle school teaching certificate (English Language), Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan (1997)


MA, University of British Columbia, Canada (2000)


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA (2007)




Affiliations (associations, organizations, institutions)

Comparative and International Education Society (CIES)


Oceania Comparative and International Education Society (OCIES)



Selected Publications

Takayama, K. (2016) Beyond ‘the West as method’: Repositioning the Japanese education research communities in/against the global structure of academic knowledge. Japanese Educational Research Association Educational Studies in Japan: International Yearbook 10: 19-31.


Takayama, K. (2016) Deploying the post-colonial predicaments of researching on/with 'Asia' in education: A standpoint from a rich peripheral country. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 37(1): 70-88.


Takayama, K. (2016) Provincializing and globalizing critical studies of school knowledge: Insights from the Japanese history textbook controversy over ‘comfort women.’ In L. Lim & M. Apple (eds) The Strong State and Curricular Reform: Assessing the Politics and Possibilities of Educational Change in Asia (pp. 161-179). New York: Routledge.


Takayama, K. (2016) Exploring the interweaving of contrary currents: transnational policy enactment and path-dependent policy implementation in Australia and Japan. In J. Schriewer (ed) World Culture Re-contextualized: Meaning Constellations and Path-Dependencies in Comparative and International Education Research (pp. 99-117). New York: Routledge.


Takayama, K. (2015) Provincializing and globalizing the World Culture theory debate: Critical insights from a margin. Globalisation, Societies and Education 13(1): 34-57.


Waldow, F. Takayama, K. & Sung, Y. (2014) Rethinking the pattern of external policy referencing: Media discourses over the ‘Asian Tigers’’ PISA success in Australia, Germany and South Korea. Comparative Education 50(3): 302-321.


Takayama, K. (2014) Global ‘diffusion,’ banal nationalism, and the politics of policy legitimation: a genealogical study of "zest for living" in Japanese education policy discourse. In P. Alassutari & A. Qadir (eds) Routledge Advances in Sociology, National Policy-Making: Domestication of Global Trends (pp. 129-146). New York: Routledge.


Takayama K, Waldow, F. & Sung, Y. (2013) Finland has it All? Examining the media accentuation of 'Finnish education' in Australia, Germany and South Korea. Research in Comparative and International Education 8(3): 307-325.


Takayama, K. (2013) OECD, 'key competencies' and the new challenges of educational inequality. Journal of Curriculum Studies 45(1): 67-80.


Takayama K (2013) Untangling the global-distant-local knot: The politics of national academic achievement testing in Japan. Journal of Education Policy 28(5): 657-675.


Takayama K (2012) Exploring the interweaving of contrary currents: Transnational policy enactment and path-dependent policy implementation in Australia and Japan. Comparative Education 48(4): 505–523.


Takayama, K. (2012) Bringing a political 'bite' to educational transfer studies: Cultural politics of PISA and the OECD in Japanese education reform. In G. Steiner-Khamsi & F. Waldow (eds) World Yearbook of Education 2012: Policy Borrowing and Lending in Education (pp. 148-166). New York: Routledge.


Takayama, K. (2011) Other Japanese educations and Japanese education otherwise.  Asia Pacific Journal of Education 31(3): 345-359.


Takayama, K. (2011) A comparativist's predicaments of writing about 'other' education: A self-reflective, critical review of studies of Japanese education. Comparative Education 47(4): 449-470.


Takayama, K. (2010) Politics of externalization in reflexive times: Reinventing Japanese education reform discourses through ‘Finnish success.’ Comparative Education Review 54(1):51-75.



Contributed by: Jia Ying Neoh, University of Sydney


Date Contributed: August 16, 2016