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Personal profile

Research Biography

Aidan is an educational sociologist. His research focusses on students’ positioning in higher education, in particular student activism, partnership and the relationship between students and pedagogy. Aidan’s PhD is titled ‘The Power and Potential of Student Activism in Higher Education’. This ethnographic project explores student activism, power, protest and partnership at Flinders University through a historical and contemporary context. Aidan’s research draws on a realist social science and recognises structure and agency as a central concept to understanding student power.

Aidan is experienced in researching primary, secondary and tertiary education. He has worked in roles that require substantial: research data use for policy development, application and visualisation; applying qualitative research methods to emergent education practices and primary & middle school teaching; application of (auto)ethnographic research methods and diverse qualitative methodological frameworks and tools. In addition, Aidan has extensively engaged the design of learning and teaching platforms (open source software design), the design of software platforms for research purposes and the development of analytic tools for student engagement in e-learning.

He is currently engaged in projects that: involve education students in STEM industry placements; design school-based teaching and learning in the context of industry; students’ self regulation of learning in STEM classrooms; the sociology of higher education and student partnership; and military veteran students in higher education.

Aidan has also worked for several years as an education consultant, working with teachers and leaders, implementing innovative practice from formative assessment strategies to project-based learning planning for integrated curriculum across schools in South Australia. Supporting the learning of teachers around Australia and the world through coordinated online learning opportunities. Development and delivery of research informed professional development to in-service teachers. Aidan has designed learning for in-service teachers and pre-service teachers in a range of contexts, including: formative assessment, STEM education, project and problem-based learning and curriculum integration.

Research Interests

Aidan's research interests include:

  • Sociology of Higher Education,
  • Students as Partners,
  • Democratic University Governance,
  • Academic Work,
  • Student Power,
  • Student Voice,
  • Student Activism,
  • Communities of practice,
  • Teacher professional development,
  • Social Justice in Education,
  • Structure and Agency,
  • Project Based Learning,
  • Critical Realism,
  • Formative Assessment,
  • Pedagogy,
  • Online Learning,
  • Educational Technology,
  • Digital Research &
  • Research Platforms

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor (Honours)

26 Jan 201726 Jan 2018

Award Date: 26 Jan 2018


27 Jan 201527 Jan 2017

Award Date: 27 Jan 2017

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Research Output

  • 4 Commissioned report
  • 2 Abstract
  • 1 Other contribution
  • Open Access
  • The Bridging the Gap Web Portal Research Software

    Cornelius-Bell, A., Aldous, C., Witts, A., Jeffries, D. & Tulsi, N., 2019, Bedford Park : Flinders University.

    Research output: Other contribution

    Open Access
  • 5 Downloads (Pure)
    1 Downloads (Pure)


    Chancellor's Letter of Commendation

    Cornelius-Bell, Aidan (Recipient), 2018

    Prize: Honorary award

    Flinders University Medal

    Cornelius-Bell, Aidan (Recipient), 2018

    Prize: Honorary award


    • 3 Oral presentation
    • 2 Invited talk

    Garth Boomer: An educator for our time?

    Aidan Cornelius-Bell (Speaker)


    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    Designing an Educational Ethnography

    Aidan Cornelius-Bell (Speaker)

    19 May 2020

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

    Designing an Ethnography

    Aidan Cornelius-Bell (Invited speaker)

    8 Aug 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

    Protest, critical education, student power & partnership

    Aidan Cornelius-Bell (Invited speaker)

    23 Sep 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    Strange Bedfellows: Critical Realism & Ethnography in Education

    Aidan Cornelius-Bell (Speaker)

    19 Jun 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation