Education research , Rangahau mātauranga

Our researchers are committed to achieving equitable opportunities and practical benefits for all New Zealanders.

Many of our staff have been teachers and passionate change-makers in education.

Explore our research expertise.

Our diverse projects

Our research involves all forms of education for all kinds of people. We aim to improve the lives of everyone we work with. Recent projects include:

Kairaranga - our open-source journal for the education sector in Aotearoa

Research strengths

Māori and Pacific research

We are attracting increasing numbers of Māori and Pacific researchers in education. Associate Professor Pania Te Maro (Ngāti Pōrou, Te Whānau a Pōkai) recently co-edited a book that offers teachers research-based ideas and resources to help them enact te Tiriti o Waitangi in their work – one of the most pressing challenges in education in Aotearoa.

Find out more about Ki te hoe! Education for Aotearoa

In response to the challenges of online learning in the Covid era, Dr Lesieli Tongati’o from our outreach arm Tātai Angitu led a professional development project for five schools in the Cook Islands.

Learn more about the Cook Islands project

Equity and community partnerships

As collaborative researchers, we are passionate about answering questions on behalf of diverse communities. Our community-based projects include:

  • Grants for good – Investigating what Covid-19 lockdowns and returning to school were like for New Zealand teachers and students to better support their wellbeing in future.
  • Poverty, rights and glasses – monitoring students' progress at a South Auckland primary school to track how glasses affect students' behaviour and learning outcomes.
  • Modernising education in Tokelau – working with the tiny island nation's teachers to help bring its technology and teaching materials into the 21st century.
  • Public libraries and digital inclusion – understanding how libraries in Aotearoa New Zealand are helping bridge the digital divide.
  • The Austin Assessment – a fun iPad app that empowers children with brain-based visual problems and their communities.

Practice-based research

We have a large number of staff involved in practice-oriented research, investigating and helping to improve the quality of teaching and learning in Aotearoa and overseas. Projects include:

Tātai Angitu — research-based support for teachers

Tātai Angitu is our professional outreach arm, helping to develop learning and support for teachers in Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific.

Recent on-the-ground research includes integrating Pacific cultural concepts and knowledge into classroom learning and a pilot to improve wellbeing support for Pacific high school students.

Tātai Angitu website

Our researchers

From early career researchers to internationally recognised thought-leaders, our staff make outstanding contributions across blue skies, mission-led and community-based projects.

University research medal recipients

Professor John O'Neill received the Supervisor Research Medal in 2012 and Professor Jodie Hunter received the Early Career Research Medal in 2016.

Professor John O'Neill

Professor John O'Neill


Before joining Massey in 1994, John worked at Leicester University in England and was a schoolteacher of children with special educational needs. His research interests are: the relationships between education policy and teachers' work and learning, educational privatisations, informal teaching and learning in everyday settings, children's rights and capabilities, and applied professional ethics.

Professor Jodie Hunter

Professor Jodie Hunter

Associate Professor

Jodie research interests are in Pasifika education and the teaching and learning of mathematics. Her growing interest is in the development of culturally responsive teaching for Pasifika students in the mathematics classroom. Central to this area is the need to consider the cultural, linguistic and social contexts of Pasifika students and to develop stronger home/community and school partnerships.

Researchers making a difference

Our researchers who are making a difference in their areas of expertise.

Professor Emerita Roberta (Bobbie) Hunter

Professor Emerita Roberta (Bobbie) Hunter

Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Education, Diploma in Education, Bachelor of Education, PhD, MEd, DipEd, BEd

Bobbie has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to mathematics education. Her research focuses on better meeting the needs of Pasifika learners.

Professor Roseanna Bourke

Professor Roseanna Bourke

PhD, MEd, PGDipEdPsych, BEd
Professor of Learning and Assessment

Roseanna's latest research explores how to better include young people in decisions around education practices and policies.

Sonja Macfarlane

Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Waewae
Associate Professor

Sonja is a Fellow of the Royal Society Te Apārangi (FRNZ). The focus of her research and writing is on culturally responsive evidence-based approaches in education, health, psychology, and counselling.

Associate Professor Lucila Carvalho

Associate Professor Lucila Carvalho

Associate Professor

Lucila's latest research explores the characteristics of productive networked learning situations and, through a series of case studies, identifies some of the key qualities of successful designs.

Dr Nicola McDowell

Dr Nicola McDowell

MSpTching, GradDipT, PGDipRehab, BA, PhD
Senior Lecturer

Nicola received an early career research award from Massey's College of Humanities and Social Sciences for her ongoing work supporting children with cerebral visual impairment.

Dr Jared Carpendale

Dr Jared Carpendale

PhD, MEd (Hons), PostGradDip(SciEd), BTchg, BSc, ASERA
Senior Lecturer – Teacher Education

Jared has been seconded part-time to the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, under the mentorship of Professor Stuart McNaughton, in the area of engagement for STEM in schools.

Significant research grants

Our researchers attract substantial contestable funding from government, philanthropic and community sources. Recent grants include:

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Iowa State University

Associate Professor Alison Sewell and Keri Cheetham, 2020-2022

Project: Evaluation of an online platform to meet veterinary education needs related to World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) day-one competencies

Royal Society Te Apārangi – Rutherford Discovery Fellowship

Associate Professor Jodie Hunter, 2020-2025

Project: Developing Mathematical Inquiry Communities: Using a strength-based approach to provide equitable opportunities to learn mathematics for diverse learners

Ministry of Education

Associate Professor Mandia Mentis, 2020-2022

Project: Development and Facilitation of a Network of Expertise for Learning Support Coordinators and Special Education Needs Coordinators

Massey University Research Fund

Dr Pania Te Maro, 2022

Project: Decolonising Advanced Mathematics for the Benefit of Māori Students

Massey University Strategic Research Excellence Fund

Dr Mershan Pillay, 2021

Project: Tackling Hunger through Research and Innovation in Vulnerable Environments in NZ

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