Tracey Burns


Project Leader



Tracey Burns heads the Governing Complex Education Systems project in the OECD’s Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI). This project looks at the challenges that governments face in steering complex education systems and the role of knowledge in that process.    She is responsible for the publication of Trends Shaping Education 2013



Previously at the OECD Tracey also led the following CERI Projects:



Past Experience


Tracey holds a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University, Canada, and a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology from Northeastern University, USA. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honours, including The University of British Columbia Post-Doctoral Fellowship and the American Psychological Association Dissertation Research Award. Previous to her current work she worked on social determinants of health and on education and social inclusion issues at both the OECD and in Vancouver, Canada. As a Post-Doctoral Fellow at The University of British Columbia, Tracey led a research team investigating newborn infants' responses to language, and was an award-winning lecturer on infant and child development.

Recent Publications


  • Blanchenay, P., T. Burns and F. Köster (2014), "Shifting Responsibilities - 20 Years of Education Devolution in Sweden: A Governing Complex Education Systems Case Study", OECD Education Working Papers, No. 104, OECD Publishing, Paris. doi:
  • Hooge, E., T. Burns and H. Wilkoszewski (2012), "Looking beyond the numbers: stakeholders and multiple stakeholder accountability", OECD Education Working Papers, No. 85, OECD Publishing.
  • Jensen, B., A. Hunter, J. Sonnemann and T. Burns (2012), Catching Up: Learning from the Best School Systems in East Asia, Grattan Institute, Australia.
  • Fazekas, M., and T. C. Burns (2011), "Exploring the complex interaction between governance and knowledge in education", OECD Education Working Papers, No. 67, OECD Publishing.
  • OECD/The World Bank (2010),"Strategic issues", in Chili's International Scholarship Programme, doi: 10.1787/9789264086425-en.
  • Byers-Heinlein, K., T. Burns and J. Werker (2010), "The roots of bilingualism in newborns", Psychological Science, online January 29.
  • Burns, T., and T. Schuller (2008), "Evidence-informed policy in education: new opportunities and challenges", in Desjardins, R., and Rubensen, K. (eds.), Research of Policy and Research for Policy in an Era of Transnational Education Policy Making, Aarhaus University Press, Aarhaus
  • Burns, T. (2008), "Learning and teaching, schools and communities", Journal of Educational Change, 9 (3), 305-309.Ungerleider, C., T. Burns and F. Cartwright (2008), "The state and quality of Canadian public education", in D. Raphael, (ed.). Social Determinants of Health: Canadian Perspectives, Second Edition, Canadian Scholars Press, Toronto.
  • Burns, T., K.A. Yoshida, K. Hill and J.F. Werker (2007), "The development of phonetic representation in bilingual and monolingual infants", Applied Psycholinguistics, 28(3), 455-474.

Contact Details


OECD Directorate for Education and Skills
2, rue André Pascal
75775 Paris, Cedex 16
Telephone: 33-1 45 24 14 75




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