Fulbright New Zealand Awards & Projects

2014 Fulbright-Cognition Scholar Award

The 2014 Fulbright-Cognition Scholar Award in Education Research was awarded to Michael Harcourt from Wellington High School. Michael is being hosted by The City University of New York for the first half of 2015 to explore how students’ ethnic identities shape their understanding of the contested history of race relations. Michael’s first goal is to collaborate with Terrie Epstein, a leading US academic on culturally responsive history education, to interpret data about the relationship between New Zealand students’ ethnic identities and their understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi. His second goal is to learn from US teachers about how they teach contested events in America’s complex history of racial conflict in multicultural classrooms.

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2013 Fulbright-Cognition Scholar Award

Sue Smith, Deputy Principal at Chelsea Primary School will research how teachers mediate and students perceive the results of formative assessments, at the University of Maryland, College Park.

In an environment of standardised testing, how do teachers mediate and students perceive formative assessment feedback, especially when from an external source?

A study of N.Z. primary students' perceptions of a formative e-assessment test’s feedback revealed an overemphasis on grades was evident, often accompanied by anxiety. This detracts from formative assessment's purpose of providing feedback to inform learners of what has been achieved and what needs to be learnt next. Students were also beginning to apply terminology and grades from the newly introduced National Standards, to classroom-based formative assessment activities. With its history of wide-scale standardised testing, gaining an understanding of teacher mediation and student reactions to assessment tools used in the US will help guide N.Z. educators' classroom practice.


2012 Fulbright-Cognition Scholar Award

Wanganui High School assistant principal Jenny Langrish is spending four months in the United States in 2013 studying Positive Behavior For Learning (PB4L), specifically with Dr Tim Lewis at the University of Missouri . As the team leader of PB4L at her school, she has developed a keen interest in promoting and developing the Identified behavior management strategies and philosophies. Her goal is to research the implementation of the programme in the USA and draw comparisons for the future development of the initiative in New Zealand.

PB4L provides programmes and initiatives for schools, teachers and parents across the country to promote positive behaviour in children and young people with the aim that improving learner behaviour and their home and school/early childhood centre environments leads to improved engagement and achievement.

PB4L is a joint initiative between a number of education sector organisations, led by the Ministry of Education. Programmes and initiatives are delivered by the Ministry of Education in partnership with non-governmental organisations, early childhood sector organisations and Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour.


2011 Fulbright-Cognition Scholar Award

Victoria University of Wellington academic Kate Thornton explored the role of mentoring in supporting new teachers and developing education leadership at an American non-profit organisation dedicated to the advancement of teacher and school leader effectiveness. As recipient of the 2012 Fulbright-Cognition Scholar Award in Education Research, Kate spent three months in August 2012 at the New Teacher Center in Santa Cruz, California, observing the Center’s teacher induction and school leadership development programmes.

The use of mentoring to support teacher leadership is well established and the subject of considerable research in the United States, and the New Teacher Center has served nearly 50,000 teachers and 5,000 mentors since its establishment in 1998. By observing the Center’s programmes and interviewing both mentor and teacher participants, Kate identified factors for the training and support of effective teacher mentors that could be applied in the New Zealand education sector, where an ability to show leadership that contributes to effective teaching and learning is required of all registered teachers.

As well as ultimately improving student learning, mentoring can help attrition rates for new teachers by improving self-reflection, problem-solving, confidence and professional growth. The New Teacher Center’s programmes have achieved long-term new teacher retention rates as high as 95%, compared to a nationwide dropout rate of nearly 50% in the United States. Mentoring relationships are shown to provide similar benefits professionally to mentors as their mentees.

The National President of the New Zealand Educational Administration and Leadership Society (NZEALS), Kate works at the forefront of educational leadership across all sectors from early childhood to tertiary education. She teaches courses on educational leadership and mentoring and coaching at Victoria University’s Faculty of Education, and has worked for many years on mentoring and leadership among early childhood education teachers.

2010 Fulbright-Cognition Scholar Award

Ngaire Addis from Havelock North High School and Dr Veronica O’Toole from the University of Canterbury were the two recipients of Fulbright-Cognition Scholar Awards in Education Research for 2011, and each spent several months in the US conducting research aimed at improving aspects of the schooling system in New Zealand.

Ngaire Addis, a senior teacher at Havelock North High School who was completing her doctorate through Massey University, researched how mathematics achievement data was used by leaders of American high schools to improve teaching and learning. New Zealand schools are faced with the new challenge of how to integrate National Standards for Mathematics and Literacy into daily practise with a view to improving student achievement. Ngaire tapped into the experiences of school leaders in America, where educational policy and school management are already focused around systems of standards, testing and public reporting of results.

Dr Veronica O’Toole is a lecturer at the University of Canterbury’s School of Educational Studies and Human Development. She visited two American universities – Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas and Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut – to work with experts there and developed a research-informed emotional literacy programme to improve social and emotional wellbeing across whole New Zealand school communities, from school leaders and teachers down to students. She trialed a programme in several Christchurch primary schools after returning to New Zealand.

2009 Fulbright-Cognition Scholar Award

Mount Albert Primary School principal Enosa Auva’a researched ethnic minority leadership in American schools at the University of Hawai‘i to identify ways to inspire more minority school leaders in New Zealand. Research has shown that the diversity of students in New Zealand schools is not reflected in leadership roles, where Mäori and Pacific people are under-represented in both senior management and principalship positions. A primary school principal since 1991, Mr Auva’a’s Educational Leadership and Management master’s thesis was entitled Aspiring towards principalship: A Pacific Island perspective. His research found only 1.1% of the 2,700 principals leading New Zealand schools to be of Pacific Island origin, compared to around 10% of students. Mr Auva’a’s Fulbright research studied the stories and experiences of minority school leaders in the US, to find out how aspiring minority teachers are encouraged towards leadership positions including principalship. Mr Auva’a believed that minority leadership in education is a serious concern in New Zealand recognising that ethnic minority leaders can make a significant contribution in efforts to raise student achievement, by role modeling success and achieving rapport with ethnic communities and families.


2008 Fulbright-Cognition Scholar Award

The first recipient of the award hoped her research would help improve levels of educational achievement amongst high ability, culturally diverse and/or economically disadvantaged New Zealand students. Jenny Horsley from Victoria University of Wellington spent three months at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth in Baltimore, where she investigated American models for increasing representation of ethnic minorities in programmes for gifted children. International research has shown that culturally diverse students and students from low socio-economic areas are under-represented in programmes for gifted children. NZQA statistics confirm that Mäori and Pasifika students achieve at lower levels than their Päkeha counterparts, and that students of Decile 1 schools achieve at lower levels than those of Decile 10 schools.

The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth was established in 1979 to focus on the needs of students with exceptionally high academic abilities, and is a leader in supplying programmes that address the skill and knowledge gaps in under-represented gifted students. The Center is one of several similar organisations involved in the Next Generation Venture Fund, a programme which identifies high potential students from diverse backgrounds and provides training, advice and support pathways from their middle school years through to college. Mrs Horsley, who herself has extensive teaching experience, will published results of her research and incorporated her findings into the teacher training at Victoria University. Her research and teaching have emphasised a need for cultural inclusiveness in the classroom.


About Fulbright New Zealand

Fulbright New Zealand was established in 1948 to promote mutual understanding through educational and cultural exchanges between New Zealand and the United States of America. The Fulbright programme offers a range of prestigious awards for New Zealand and American graduate students, academics, artists and professionals to study, research and teach in each other’s countries. Fulbright New Zealand offers over 70 exchange awards each year – half to students and half to scholars – and more than 1,400 New Zealanders and 1,100 Americans have benefited from a Fulbright award to date. The programme is mainly funded by the US and New Zealand governments with additional funding from award sponsors, private philanthropists and alumni donors. The Fulbright-Cognition Award partnership commenced in 2008.

NEiTA Awards & Projects

2014 Awardees

ASG National Excellence in Education Awards:
Christine Alford from Mairtown Kindergarten (Whangarei)
Glynis Knox from Frankton Primary School (Hamilton)
Ian Torrie from St Cuthbert’s College (Epsom, Auckland)
Elena Warnock from Russell St School (Palmerston North)
Tina Youngman from Paeroa College (Waikato).

Cognition Education Trust National Excellence in Leadership Awards:
Terry Consedine from Aquinas College (Tauranga)
Brent Griffin from Western Heights Primary School (Rotorua)
Kelly-Anne Lambert from Miracles Childcare and Learning Centre (Henderson, Auckland)
Martin O’Grady from Karamu High School (Hastings)
Elizabeth Weir from Springston Primary School (Canterbury)

Regional Award Recipients 2014

ASG Excellence in Teaching Awards Recipients

Early Childhood
Christine Alford - Mairtown kindergarten, Whangarei.
Jane Ratai - Cornerstone Preschool in Gisborne.
Lynda Hopkin - Miramar Community Creche in Wellington.

Primary and Intermediate
Christine Earnshaw is - Bruce McLaren Intermediate, Henderson, Auckland.
Mehar Nabi - Royal Oak Intermediate, Auckland.
Glynis Knox - Frankton Primary School in Hamilton.
Elly Warnock - Russell Street School, Palmerston North.
Fiona Cook - Parklands Primary School, Motueka, Nelson.

Rose Waerea – Bream Bay College Ruakaka, Northland.
Ian Torrie - St Cuthbert’s College in Epsom, Auckland.
Tina Youngman - Paeroa College.
Annie McCreary - Nayland College in Nelson.

Cognition Excellence in Leadership recipients

Early Childhood
Kelly-Anne Lambert - Apples Childcare Learning Centre in Henderson, Auckland.
Mary-Rose O’Loughlin - Westport Kindergarten.
Jane Craig - Tokomaru Early Childhood Centre.

Susan Whysall - Owairaka District Primary School in Mt Albert, Auckland.
Charlotte Castle - Redhill Primary School in Papakura, Auckland.
Glynis Knox - Frankton Primary School in Hamilton.
Brent Griffin - Western Heights Primary School, Rotorua.
Elizabeth (Liz) Weir - Springston Primary School in Springston.
Peter Hopwood - Donovan Primary School in Invercargill.

Petrina Thomas-Chisholm - Otumoetai College in Tauranga.
Terry Consedine - Aquinas Collage, Tauranga.
Martin O’Grady - Karamu High School in Hastings, Hawke’s Bay.
Melissa Bell - St Hilda’s Collegiate School, Dunedin.

Cognition Education Leadership National Award Recipients 2012

Early Childhood Recipients

Carol Hartley
Mangere Bridge Kindergarten, MANGERE, AUCKLAND
National Award - Grant $5,000

Aroaro Tamati
Te Kōpae Piripono Māori Immersion Early Childhood Centre, MOTUROA, NEW PLYMOUTH
National Award - Grant $2,500

Primary / Intermediate Recipients

Erin Cairns
Ruru Special School, INVERCARGILL
National Award - Grant $2,500

Chris Riley
Tawhiti Primary School, HAWERA, SOUTH TARANAKI
National Award - Grant $2,500

Secondary Recipients

Susan Hassall
Hamilton Boys’ High School, HAMILTON
National Award - Grant $5,000

Regional Award Recipients 2012

Pictured outside Parliament:

Front row (l to r): Carla van Beek, Erin Cairns, Chris Riley, Susan Hassall, Kelly Pye (Poppy Pye), Joanna Morris, Vicky Brown, Carol Hartley, Andrew Shortcliffe, Aroaro Tamati, Ray Kelly.

Back row (l to r): Maree Edwards, Glen Parr, Francis Pye, Patrick Boyle, Perenise Tapu, Cheryl Kingi, Gareth Bell, Mark Shanahan.

Absent: Kathleen Seaward.

Nominations for ASG Teaching Awards and Cognition Education Leadership Awards

About NEiTA

Established 18 years ago, the biennial NEiTA awards programme, co-sponsored by the Cognition Education Trust and by ASG Education Programs New Zealand encourages teaching excellence and gives communities a way to publicly recognise their inspirational teachers and leaders.

Nominated teachers and leaders receive a NEiTA Certificate of Nomination once verified, with the ASG Teaching Awards and Cognition Education Leadership Awards being bestowed to 20 area representatives selected to go forward to receive Regional Awards in Wellington in May 2014. From these, ten will receive National Awards and professional development grants of up to $5000 at their schools or centres later in the year.

Teacher Expectation Project

Teacher Expectation Project

Christine Rubie-Davies, University of Auckland

The Teacher Expectation Project (TEP) is the first ever large scale experimental study designed to raise teachers’ expectations for all students resulting in enhanced student engagement and achievement. The Cognition Education Trust funded a series of workshops in the first year of the project (2011) in which the teachers who had been randomly assigned to the intervention group were taught the practices of high expectation teachers (those who have high expectations for all students). The practices focused on three key areas: use of flexible grouping in core curriculum areas, enhancement of the class climate, and promoting student autonomy and goal-setting. In 2012, CET funded a further workshop for the control group teachers so that they, too, could be taught the successful practices. Preliminary results are very encouraging. Student achievement of the intervention group in mathematics improved significantly compared with the control group in 2011. Further, student self-concept improved among the intervention group, they became less focused on competition, and they came to believe that their teachers had high expectations for them more so than the control group. Paralleling the students, the self-efficacy of the intervention group teachers increased over the year and they came to value competition less than the control group.


Related articles by Christine Rubie-Davies

Journal articles:
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M., Peterson, E., Flint, A., Garrett, L., McDonald, L., Watson, P., & O’Neill, H. (2013). Investigating teacher expectations by ethnicity in New Zealand. The European Journal of Social and Behavioural Sciences, 2, 250-259.
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M., Peterson, E., Garrett, L., Watson, P., Flint, A., O’Neill, H., & McDonald, L. (2013). Do student beliefs differ by ethnicity? Exploring self-perceptions. The European Journal of Social and Behavioural Sciences, 4, 867-874.
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M., & Hattie, J. C. (2012). The dangers of extreme positive responses in Likert scales administered to young children. The International Journal of Educational and Psychological Assessment, 11, 75–89.
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M., (In press). Becoming a high expectation teacher: Raising the Bar. London: Routledge.
Book chapters:
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M. (in press). Teacher instructional beliefs and the classroom climate: Connections and conundrums. In H. Fives & M. Gill (Eds.). International Handbook on Teachers’ Beliefs. Routledge: London.
Technical reports and non-refereed publications:
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M., & Watson, P. (2012). Reading the signals. Learning Auckland, 1, (1) 20.
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M., Peterson, E., Watson, P., Flint, A., McDonald, L., Garrett, L., & O’Neill, H. (2012). Raising teacher expectations, changing beliefs and enhancing student achievement: An Intervention study. The Teacher Expectation Project: Report on Year 1, 2011 data. Auckland: University of Auckland.
Invited addresses and workshops – International:
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M. (2013, November). Exemplary teaching practices of high expectation teachers. Keynote address at The First International Conference on Teacher Education: Focusing on Teaching Materials and Methods, Taipei, Taiwan. Taipei: Ministry of Education and Normal University of Taiwan.
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M. (2013, September). Introducing teacher expectations: The teacher expectation project. Full day workshop at Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich for Psychology students, Munich, Germany.
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M. (2013, September). Decision-making in experimental research: Methods and madness. Full day workshop at Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich for Psychology students, Munich, Germany.
Invited addresses and workshops – Local and National:
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M. (2013, September). Raising teacher expectations: Enhancing student achievement and self-beliefs. Invited address at the Professorial Lecture Series, Manukau Institute of Technology, Auckland.
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M. (2013, September). The power of expectations to raise student achievement. Invited seminar to postgraduate students, Faculty of Education, University of Auckland.
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M. (2013, February). Expecting the best and getting more: Examining our implicit biases and enhancing positive emotions. Invited presentation at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (2 presentations).
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M. (2012, December). Expecting the best and getting more: Examining our implicit biases and enhancing positive emotions. Invited presentation to AKO Aotearoa Symposium, Wellington.
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M. (2012, November). Aiming higher: Challenging understandings and perceptions. Keynote address at the 5th Educational Psychology Forum, Auckland.
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M. (2012, July). Teacher expectations: Beliefs and ethnicity. Invited presenter at Capacity, community, culture, collaboration: Waitakere 2020 Learning Plan: Raising achievement across a region, Henderson, Auckland.
Conference Proceedings:
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M. (2013, November). Exemplary teaching practices of high expectation teachers. Keynote address at The First International Conference on Teacher Education: Focusing on Teaching Materials and Methods, (pp.55-70). Taipei, Taiwan: Ministry of Education and Normal University of Taiwan.
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M., Peterson, E. R., Garrett, L., Watson, P., Flint, A., O’Neill, H., & McDonald, L. (2012). Ethnicity as a factor in student beliefs. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 69, 262-270. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042812053943
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M., Peterson, E. R., Flint, A., Garrett, L., McDonald, L., Watson, P., & O’Neill, H. (2012). Ethnicity and teacher expectations in New Zealand. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 69, 256-261. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042812053931
Conference Papers and Workshops:
  • Alansari, M., & Rubie-Davies, C. M. (2013, December). Exploring patterns in student achievement, self-beliefs, motivational factors, and expectation beliefs. Paper presented at the 6th Educational Psychology Forum, Hamilton, New Zealand.
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M., & Rosenthal, R. (2013, December). A teacher expectation intervention: Examining effectiveness using a meta-analytic approach. Paper presented at the 6th Educational Psychology Forum, Hamilton, New Zealand.
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M. (2013, September). Accelerating achievement in mathematics: A teacher expectation intervention. Paper presented at the European Conference on Educational Research, Istanbul, Turkey.
  • McDonald, L., Flint, A., & Rubie-Davies, C. (2013, September). Teaching high expectation strategies to teachers through an intervention process. Paper presented at the European Conference on Educational Research, Istanbul, Turkey.
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M. (2013, September). Self-concept and self-expectations as predictors of class climate. Paper presented at the European Association of Research into Learning and Instruction, Munich, Germany.
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M. (2013, September). Stability of teacher expectations: Do views change over time? Paper presented at the European Association of Research into Learning and Instruction, Munich, Germany.
  • Garrett, L.J., & Rubie-Davies, C.M. (2013, August). Reading between the lines: Comparisons between teacher expectations for young gifted and non-gifted readers, and student self-perceptions. Paper presented at the 20th Biennial World Conference of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, Kentucky, USA.
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M. (2013, July). Intervening in teachers’ expectations: Can we make a difference to student learning. Paper presented at the Social Psychology of the Classroom International Conference, Auckland.
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M. (2013, July). Self-concept and expectation beliefs as predictors of class climate. Paper presented at the Social Psychology of the Classroom International Conference, Auckland.
  • Peterson, E. R., & Rubie-Davies, C. M. (2013, July). Exploring teachers’ expectations and students’ motivational and classroom beliefs: Do these beliefs contribute to the achievement gap between majority and minority group students in New Zealand. Paper presented at the Social Psychology of the Classroom International Conference, Auckland.
  • Watson, P., & Rubie-Davies, C. M. (2013, July). Stereotype threat and adolescent males in choirs: A gender cuckoo in the nest. Paper presented at the Social Psychology of the Classroom International Conference, Auckland.
  • Alansari, M., & Rubie-Davies, C. M. (2013, July). Girls in mathematics and Maori in reading: How are they doing?. Paper presented at the Social Psychology of the Classroom International Conference, Auckland.
  • McDonald, L., Flint, A., & Rubie-Davies, C. (2013, July). Teaching high expectation strategies to teachers through an intervention process. Paper presented at the Social Psychology of the Classroom International Conference, Auckland.
  • Watson, P. & Rubie-Davies, C. M. (2012, November). The persistent gender gaps: Do teacher expectations shape students’ futures? Paper presented at the 5th Educational Psychology Forum, Auckland.
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M. (2012, November). Do expectations change? Examining stability. Paper presented at the 5th Educational Psychology Forum, Auckland.
  • McDonald, L., Flint, A., & Rubie-Davies, C. (2012, November). Interventions with teachers: High expectation strategies. Paper presented at the 5th Educational Psychology Forum, Auckland.
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M. (2012, November). Putting together a large scale study” Methods and madness. Roundtable discussion at the 5th Educational Psychology Forum, Auckland.
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M., Peterson, E., Flint, A., Garrett, L., McDonald, L., Watson, P., & O’Neill, H. (2012, October). Ethnicity and teacher expectations in New Zealand. Paper presented at the International Conference for Education and Educational Psychology, Istanbul, Turkey.
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M., Peterson, E., Garrett, L., Watson, P., Flint, A., O’Neill, H., & McDonald, L., (2012, October). Ethnicity as a factor in student beliefs. Paper presented at the International Conference for Education and Educational Psychology, Istanbul, Turkey.
  • Rubie-Davies. C. M. (2011, August). Expecting the best: Student academic and social outcomes. Invited symposium paper: Causes and effects of biased teacher judgements. Paper presented at the European Association of Research into Learning and Instruction, Exeter, United Kingdom.
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M. (2011, August). Extending understandings: Teacher expectations across time. Paper presented at the European Association of Research into Learning and Instruction, Exeter, United Kingdom.

The Teacher Expectation Project (TEP)

Differences in student outcomes have been attributed to many factors, among which have been differential teacher expectations. Teacher expectations are ideas teachers hold about the potential achievement of students. They are important because they determine the level and types of instruction teachers plan for students and can have a substantial impact on student outcomes. Previous research (e.g., Brophy, 1985) has shown that teachers behave differently towards students for whom they hold high expectations, compared to students for whom they hold low expectations. Furthermore, these behaviours signal clearly to students what sort of expectations their teacher holds for them and can result in a self-fulfilling prophecy effect.


Festival of Education

Cognition Education Trust proudly supported its subsidiary, Cognition Education Ltd, to mount the inaugural Festival of Education in March 2014.

The Trust's investment was evident in the appearance of Dr Michael Fullan and Prof John Hattie.


Additional Grants

Additional Grants

With unbudgeted income received from excellent returns in its investments. Trust made three donations for projects that are consistent with its mission to invest in educational initiatives, interventions and projects that measurably improve the outcomes of New Zealand learners.

Manaiakalani Educational Trust –contribution towards their 2015 Professional Learning and Development programme

Storytime Foundation - contribution to support the establish and management of two pilot programs (Manukau and Far North) to extend their delivery of their Books for Babies (‘B4B’) programme for children beyond current 12-14 months to 24 months

NZ Geographic - contribution towards the wire frame and code development of NZ Geographic’s digital educational resource

Cognition Institute Research

Rubie-Davies. (2010). Beliefs and Expectations for Learning and Achievement (BELA) Project

The University of Auckland

The project was an investigation into the educational beliefs and expectations of New Zealand secondary school students, their parents and teachers over a three year period.


Enosa Auva'a. (2010). Aspiring towards principalship: A Pacific Island perspective

Mt Albert Primary School

This project studied ethnic minority leaders in schools especially those in principalship positions, with the objective of examining their stories and experiences to see how they may provide insight to the aspiration of Pacific Island Deputy and Assistant Principals. It studied their perspectives about encouraging aspiring minority groups towards leadership and especially principalship positions. The study added understanding to the limited body of knowledge on Pacific Island leadership to influence teaching and learning.


Fiona Ell. (2010). How can working together help children? Investigating the impact of cross-sector collaboration that uses achievement data to improve the progress of Kaikohe students in numeracy

University of Auckland

This project tackled a community concern in numeracy, through collaboration between seven schools, Team Solutions and the University of Auckland, with connection to the Ministry of Education. Using evidence of pupil learning, collected from across Years 3 to 9 as a collective, co-ordinated effort, the project examined how quality teaching and learning could be promoted through working together as a professional learning community. Data for the project came from the children’s results in two basic areas of numeracy that are of common concern to the participating schools, the action plans and reflections of the teachers in the schools, and interview and documentary data from the lead teachers whose collective action drove the school-level interventions. The complex, interwoven levels of leadership in schools, the practice of classroom teaching and working collaboratively across sectors were examined critically in the light of the impact the project had on children’s numeracy in the predominantly Maori community of Kaikohe.


Jannie van Hees. (2009). Expanding Meaning Potential Through Oral Expression and Vocabulary Growth

The University of Auckland

This project explored the expansion of students’ meaning potential through oral expression and vocabulary growth. In particular, it investigated:

  1. what oral expression and vocabulary resources five year old children in low decile schools brought into the new entrant classroom;
  2. what oral expression and vocabulary conditions the families and teachers of these children provided;
  3. what were the noticeable effects on a child’s oral expressive and vocabulary resources and progress when teacher and family explicitly attended to these over an extended period.


Jennifer Horsley. (2009). Out-of-level achievement: The case for acceleration in New Zealand secondary schools

Victoria University of Wellington

The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY) has earned an international reputation through the model it has developed for working with students of high mathematical and/or verbal ability (Touron, Touron & Silvero, 2005). Since 1979, the institute has increased the number of provisions it offers to meet the needs of students who demonstrate high academic ability on out-of-level standardised testing (Barnett, Albert & Brody, 2005). Through innovative practice, research and evaluation of the provisions offered, this center has identified a number of significant findings that can be argued to have implications both for New Zealand students of high ability, and for those who aim to engender high academic success in New Zealand’s most able students. This article considers just one of these provisions, acceleration, and its applicability for high ability students in the New Zealand context and school setting.



Sue Jury. (2009). Leadership capacity and instructional improvement within and across schools.

St Claudine Thévenet

The overall objective of the research was to consider the development of leadership capacity through Principals, Valley wide leadership team, Teacher leadership and ultimately the impact of these on student achievement (learning) within the valley. The WELL cluster was used as a case study for this work.

The WELL cluster EHSAS (2007-2010) initiative focus is to: ‘Develop, build and sustain effectively led professional learning communities within and across the cluster schools to, improve student achievement (particularly in Maori and Pasifika), improve teacher content knowledge and pedagogy and improve the transfer of this knowledge’.

This project was an evaluation research project which considered the potential of teacher leadership to impact on student learning.

It considered the implementation of a professional learning initiative aimed at facilitating a leadership model across schools and clusters of schools.


Juliet Twist and Rose Hipkins. (2009). Lifelong literacy: developing synergies between key competencies and literacy in primary school

New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER)

The project investigated how an integration of the key competencies with literacy teaching could enrich diverse learners’ participation and engagement in learning. Action research partnerships with teachers in four schools enabled the finding of how key competencies could be integrated into literacy learning within a primary school, explored impacts for learners when this happens, and developed understanding and resources for primary educators. Themes of meaning-making, participation, identity, authenticity, and diversity permeated the project.


Peter Verstappen and Alison Gilmore. (2009). 2020VISION - A Case Study of School-Based Curriculum Development in a New Zealand Primary School

Southbridge School/ University of Canterbury

This project was a longitudinal case study of school-based curriculum development. Its aim was to contribute to the understanding of how schools and communities conduct consultation that leads to transformative change. A further aim was to explore the effects of this change process upon student engagement and achievement.


Janinka Greenwood. (2009). Reading programmes in Year 7-8 primary classes that support effective literacy practices: What is happening and where to next?

University of Canterbury

Current research has identified reading programmes in Year 7-8 as an area of concern. Focusing first on Canterbury, this research provided a more concrete basis from which to describe current practice and suggest improvements. Research instruments were trialed in the Canterbury region, with the aim to replicate these nation-wide to provide a fuller picture of reading programmes at the Year 7-8 level nationally. Relevant professional learning experience recommendations were made for teachers and literacy educators at this level.


John Langley (Editor). (2009). Tomorrow's Schools 20 years on

Tomorrow’s Schools is a collection of essays from contributors who understand that education is about the lives and aspirations of individuals and communities, and how they view themselves and their places in our world. The events outlined and commented on in these essays marked a juncture in the history of education in New Zealand that will resonate for decades to come.



Mary Sinclair (Editor). (2009). A Journey of Discovery – Facilitating the Initiation and Application of Schooling Research

The first ever formal publication from Cognition Education Research Trust (CERT), tis was designed, and is intended, as a publication which will appeal to those working in homes, communities, schools, sector groups, universities, research organisations, government agencies and government to achieve better outcomes for learners, and particularly those learners in the schooling context. This first publication is not a research journal, nor is it a policy statement or a compilation of stories written by practitioners. The authors of each of the chapters are all committed educators, focused on using evidence to find out what does make a significant difference to learning outcomes; how those findings can best be published and disseminated; and finally, how they can be used effectively in the increasingly diverse context of New Zealand schooling.



Wendy Kofoed. (2008).The evaluation of parent and teacher perceptions of the effectiveness of school reporting practice and methods

Newmarket Primary School (2008)

This project sought to develop a greater understanding of parent and teacher perceptions of reporting practice through the evaluation of data gathered from parents and teachers in nine New Zealand primary schools. The provision of useful information from schools was a key factor in parental support of student progress and achievement and in building strong home and school partnerships. While parental involvement, communication and consultation is usually conceptualised as having a positive effect on a student’s learning, not enough is known in New Zealand about how information provided by schools is supportive of parents. The project further sought to investigate the role of Assessment for Learning in strengthening home and school partnerships.


Pamela Higgins. (2008). Transition to High School - What’s Happening and What Works

New Zealand Ministry of Education

The research explored the transition from Year 8 to Year 9 of children with learning support needs and/or are considered to be vulnerable for social, cultural or emotional reasons. The research was structured around “pyramids” of schools in south Auckland each comprising a secondary school and contributing primary schools. Teacher, student and parent/family perceptions of pedagogical and systemic practices that enhance successful transitions were explored.


About Cognition Institute

The Cognition Institute developed out of the Cogntiion Education Research Trust was a precursor to the current Cognition Education Trust.

The Cognition Institute’s vision was to be a Thought Leader in education. It fostered, encouraged and facilitated quality education research and policy dedicated to improving teaching and learning in New Zealand schooling.

The Institute’s mission was to inform and influence discussion, practice and policy in education, based on high quality research and evidence. It also strove to connect educational practice, policy and research to improve educational outcomes in New Zealand and internationally.