David Johnson is a Professorial Fellow of St Antony’s College and University Reader in Comparative and International Education in the University of Oxford. He is a Chartered Educational Psychologist.

He directs the Centre for Comparative and International Education and teaches a number of papers on the MSc in Comparative Education and International Education, including one on the History and Politics of Education in Africa. He has recently been appointed as the Programme Research Lead for the £20mil Raising Learning Outcomes in Educational Systems Research Programme funded by the Economic and Social Research Council UK (ESRC) and DFID. His remit is to maximise the scientific knowledge arising from 31 research projects under the umbrella of this programme.

He has published extensively on education in Africa and has undertaken numerous large-scale studies in developing countries focussed on student learning and on the professional knowledge and capabilities of teachers and school leaders. Beyond academia, his research has been influential in the areas of curriculum and assessment policy frameworks and teacher standards. Specific projects include the development of learning and assessment standards in Rwanda; establishing the framework for National Learning Assessments in Sudan; and designing national assessments of teacher competencies in Nigeria.

Other examples of his work include:

  • 2015-2018: Principal Investigator on a longitudinal study of learning, progression, and growth in Sierra Leone
  • 2017-2020: Director of a research programme on Education and Uncertainty, funded by Aga Khan Foundation.
  • 2012-2022: Member of a World Bank team that supports the Basic Education Recovery Programme in Sudan, a USD 77mil programme funded by the Global Partnership for Education. His role is to lead and support the Federal Ministry of General Education to design and carry out National Assessments of Learning. The first was conducted in 2014 and the most recent in 2017.