Chris is a sociologist of education, specialising in curriculum. She is a leading scholar in research examining the ways that curriculum, policy and cultures construct individuals and identities, particularly among those marginalised by race, gender, health, or socio-economic status.
Her publications in this area have been highly acclaimed. A Terribly Wild Man: The life of the Rev Ernest Gribble (Allen & Unwin, 2002) examined how race relationship shape Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal identities during the 20th century and was nominated for the 'Westfield Waverly Award for Excellence in Research in the Creation of a Literary Work of Merit'. Inside Anorexia: The experiences of girls and their families (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2008) illustrated the diverse cultures of experience of eating disorders.
Chris' work on intercultural relations has been applied to international education, assessment, studies of Asia, and environmental studies. She has led numerous multi-method evaluations for national and international education agencies to bring research to bear on significant social and educational policy problems. Her work has also been at a grassroots level with Indigenous communities, teachers and schools to link research and practical action, particularly in curriculum and teacher professional development.
Chris has been a key figure in opening up questions about ethical research practice and policy and her writing on research ethics is prescribed in graduate courses across the USA, UK, Canada and Australia. The development of doctoral students and early career researchers has been a key focus of her research and professional practice. She is in high demand as a doctoral supervisor and mentor, and has received university and Carrick Institution (ALTC) awards for her leadership in these areas.
Chris has held continuous research grants from the ARC, government and not-for-profit agencies since beginning her academic career. She has held invited appointments at the University of Seattle (USA), University of British Columbia (Canada), Seton Hall University (USA), Nagoya University (Japan) and the Hong Kong Institute of Education (China). She frequently serves on Steering and Advisory Committees for major curriculum initiatives, and is in strong demand as a keynote conference speaker and media commentator.