Professor Michael A Peters has held appointments at the University of Canterbury, the University of Auckland (Personal Chair), the University of Glasgow (Research Professor), and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Excellence hire professor) and the University of Waikato.
He is currently Distinguished Professor of Education at Beijing Normal University, (China's top education university), Emeritus Professor at the University of Illinois and Senior Research Fellow at Auckland University.
He is one of the world’s leading philosophers of education.
He has written over one hundred books and five hundred articles and chapters.
He is the Executive Editor of Educational Philosophy and Theory, the highest-ranking journal in the field, and Founding Editor of Policy Futures in Education, E-Learning and Digital Media, Knowledge Cultures and The Video Journal of Education and Pedagogy.
He is currently Editor-in-Chief (with Zhu Xudong) of The Beijing International Review of Education. Professor Peters's main research interests are philosophical and theoretical in nature, and he has made contributions to international educational theory focusing on modern continental philosophers and their significance for contemporary educational theory and policy. His work draws on a number of philosophical and cultural traditions including analytic philosophy focused on changing conceptions of knowledge, the formation of disciplines, and the political economy of academic publishing.
He completed his PhD thesis on Wittgenstein and 'the problem of rationality' and has worked to see Wittgenstein as more connected to an interpretation that emphasises a continental reading with conceptual connections to Foucault and Derrida, the philosophy of the subject and its transformation through education.
He has developed an interest in global and development studies and was the Director of Global Studies in Education at the University of Illinois and co-director of a similar centre at Waikato. In global and development studies he has a research interest in the intersections between knowledge economy, distributed knowledge systems, digital scholarship and elearning systems.
He completed two edited volumes on The Idea of the University (2018), with Ronald Barnett that explores the history and the future of the university. He has acted as an advisor to government on these and related matters in Scotland, NZ, South Africa and the EU. His work on this theme includes Building Knowledge Cultures: Educational and Development in the Age of Knowledge Capitalism (2006) with Tina Besley, and many books on knowledge economy, science and knowledge capitalism, and knowledge socialism.
He has written books recently on Knowledge Socialism, openness and the rise of peer production and has a developing interest in the epistemology of conspiracy. His latest books are The Chinese Dream: Educating the Future (2019), and Pandemic Education (2020) that focuses on a 'viral theory of post-truth'.
He is a past President of the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia, and he has received many international awards. He has been continually active in supporting young scholars and those beginning their academic careers.
He has taught at all levels in the university system, and supervised numerous doctoral theses to completion in a range of universities around the world.