Our campuses are currently closed to the public. Visit www.massey.ac.nz/coronavirus for our COVID-19 updates

Associate Professor Alison Kearney staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (06) 356 9099  ext. 84416

Associate Professor Alison Kearney PhD, MEd, AdvDipTchg

Associate Professor

Institute of Education

I am an Associate Professor in the Institute of Education at Massey University where I also co-direct the Centre for Equity Through Education. I  have always been interested in equity and issues of social justice, and this stems from growing up with a brother with an intellectual disability who was institutionalised from an early age. I am particularly interested in the reasons why some students are excluded and marginalised from and within school.

Prior to taking up my position at Massey University, I was a primary school teacher, a Guidance and Learning Teacher and a Teacher of Special Needs. I currently teach in the areas of inclusive education and educational psychology and am the national co-coordinator of the Resource Teacher: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) Training Programme. I am also the coordinator of the following programmes:

  • Post Graduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching (Learning & Behaviour)
  • Post Graduate Diploma (Teaching & Learning)
  • M.Ed (Teaching & Learning)
  • M. Specialist Teaching
  • Diploma in Education Support Workers

I am involved in the provision of short online courses to Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour and Special Needs Coordinators. These courses focus on professional learning opportunities that allow participants to collaborate, create personal agency and embed their learning within their professional contexts.

I have supervised numerous Masters and PhD students finding this aspect of my position particularly satisfying. 

I am an Associate Professor in the Institute of Education at Massey University where I also co-direct the Centre for Equity Through Education.


I am the programme coordinator of  the M.Ed (Tchg & Lrng),  the Dip Specialist Teaching  (Lrng & Behvr) and the M. Spec Tchg programmes. My research focuses on issues associated with equity in education. I am the editor of Kairaranga a New Zealand Education Journal and am a member of the editorial panel of the International Journal of Inclusive Education. I have supervised both Masters and PhD students. 

More about me...View less...


Contact details

  • Ph: 063569099 ext 84416
    Location: 3.07, Education Village
    Campus: Turitea, Manawatu


  • Doctor of Philosophy - Massey University (2009)
  • Master of Education - Massey University (2000)
  • Advanced Diploma of Teaching - Palmerston North College of Education (1993)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

My major research interests are in the area of Inclusive education as a vehicle for equity. I am particularly interested in the factors that act to marginalise and exclude students from and within school and how this exclusion can be overcome. Chidrens' rights form an important part of this agenda.

A secondary research strand focuses on learners exercising personal agency and taking charge of their learning. 

Research Opportunities

  • Childrens Rights  (01/05/2016) As part of the new Equity Through Education Research Centre, a research strand focused childrens' rights is proposed.


21st Century Citizenship

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Education (130000)


inclusive, education, equity, social justice, human rights, learning, teaching, resource teaching

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 2 4
Team Member 0 1

Research Outputs

Teaching and Supervision

Courses Coordinated

  • 249.285 Understanding Learners with Diverse Needs
  • 249.753 Theory and Foundations of Learning and Behaviour Diversity
  • 249.754 Evidence-based Interprofessional Practice in Learning and Behaviour Diversity
  • 263.704 Advanced Studies in Motivation and Learning
  • 267.875 Specialist Teaching Professional Inquiry

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Supervisor 3 3
Co-supervisor 1 4

Current Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • Nicola McDowell - Doctor of Philosophy
    Effective strategies for supporting learners with cerebral visual impairment in their home and school environments
  • Kathryn Rowe - Doctor of Education
    The impact of pedagogical leadership on student achievement in New Zealand primary schools: A mixed methods study
  • Jennifer Roberts - Doctor of Education
    An investigation of New Zealand tertiary institutes’, schools’ and nurse educators’ preparedness and experiences in working with Maori nursing students

Co-supervisor of:

  • Vicky Lawson - Doctor of Philosophy
    Maori Catholic Education in Aotearoa New Zealand

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • 2019 - Yahya Alghamdi - Doctor of Philosophy
    High School Teacher Motivation to Engage in Continuing Professional Development (CPD): A Mixed Method Research Study
  • 2017 - Anil Kaushik - Doctor of Philosophy
    Computer-based Collaborative Concept Mapping: Motivating Indian Secondary Students to Learn Science
  • 2015 - Karen Khayat - Doctor of Education
    Inclusive Education Policy, Practice and Progress: A Transformative Analysis of Three Middle East Countries

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2015 - Lalida Sasai - Doctor of Philosophy
    The Relationship between Self-Regulated Learning and the Use of Online Portfolios in an Online Learning Environment
  • 2015 - Marie-Pierre Fortier - Doctor of Philosophy
    Inclusion and behavioural difficulties in secondary schools: representations and practices
  • 2014 - Julia Budd - Doctor of Philosophy
    A design-based research study to promote cross-disciplinary collaboration using a case study from the New Zealand disability field
  • 2014 - Adele Scott - Doctor of Philosophy
    Teachers of additional languages in New Zealand schools: A national survey and case studies

Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 contact@massey.ac.nz Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey