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Staff research interests

Te Kura Ākau Taitoka (College of Education, University of Otago) is a Te Tiriti-led research community.  We acknowledge the mana whenua of this takiwā.

The following presents staff research interests.  Please follow the links to individual staff profiles for more detail about their research.

Arts / Dance / Drama / Music / Visual arts / Aesthetic Education

  • Professor David Bell – Aesthetic education; Learning in cultural institutions; Japanese arts in New Zealand contexts; Substantive aesthetics in the Japanese visual field; Visual arts education.
  • Professor Jeff Smith – Psychology of aesthetics.
  • Trish Wells – Learning in and through drama education.

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Childhood and Youth Studies, Children/Youth Rights and Participation

Associate Professor Vivienne Anderson – Refugee-background young people and educational participation.

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Disability Studies in Education

  • Dr Gill Rutherford – Student teachers’ thinking and practice re: disability matters; Disabled students’ experiences of school; Teacher aides’ role in education.
  • Dr Michael Gaffney – Children’s experiences of early childhood education and schooling.
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Early Childhood Education

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Gender and Sexuality in Education

Health / Physical Education / Outdoor Education

History of Education

  • Associate Professor Hugh Morrison – New Zealand missionaries and global interaction; New Zealand and Australasian religious history; New Zealand’s historical interface with the wider world; Children and young people as historical subjects and agents.

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Inclusive Education and Social Justice Issues

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  • Dr Sylvia Robertson – Leadership identity; Leadership in high-needs settings; Leadership for social justice; Leadership preparation in educational settings.
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Learning Theory

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Literacy / Multiliteracies

Māori and Indigenous Education

Mathematics Education


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Online/Blended/Flexible Learning

  • Dr Keryn Pratt – Computer/technology supported learning; distance/online/blended/flexible learning; virtual schools.
  • Dr Sylvia Robertson – Online/blended/flexible learning; Tertiary first-year experience.
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Pasifika Education

Pedagogy and Initial Teacher Education

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Professional Learning and Development

Science Education

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Technology Education

  • Angela Miller – Teaching and learning in technology education.

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Theory and Practice of Teaching and Learning

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