Our people

Meet the team behind the Knowledge and Education Research Unit.

Director and contact point

Professor Elizabeth Rata

Email: e.rata@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: +64 (0) 9 373 7599 ext 46315

Professor Elizabeth Rata was an English teacher and member of the Auckland Runanga which campaigned for Kura Kaupapa Māori education. Her research is in two main areas: the connection between knowledge and democracy, and how a knowledge-rich curriculum is aligned with the best teaching methods from New Zealand’s progressive tradition.

Rata, E. (2021). The Curriculum Design Coherence Model in the Knowledge-Rich School Project. Review of Education. DOI: 10.1002/rev3.3254

Rata, E. (2021) Context and Implications Document for The Curriculum Design Coherence Model in the Knowledge-Rich School Project. Review of Education. DOI: 10.1002/rev3.3253


Dr Megan Lourie

Dr Megan Lourie is a senior lecturer and Programme Leader for the Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching in the School of Education at AUT. She has a background in secondary school teaching where she worked in a number of different roles including Head of Department (Māori) and Head of Languages. Her research is informed by policy sociology approaches, and her areas of interest include education policy, and Māori language learning in mainstream school settings.

Dr Graham McPhail

Senior Lecturer
Email: g.mcphail@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: +64 (0) 9 373 7599 ext 48511

Dr Graham McPhail was a secondary school music teacher for 21 years and then he worked for the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) as the National Moderator for NCEA music. Currently he is Senior Lecturer in Music Education at the Faculty of Education and Social work. His current research is focused on knowledge in curriculum and pedagogy design.

McPhail, G. (2020). The search for deep learning: a curriculum coherence model. Journal of Curriculum Studies. doi:10.1080/00220272.2020.1748231

Professor John Morgan

Head of School
Email: john.morgan@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: +64 (0) 9 373 7599 ext 46398

Professor John Morgan is in the School of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Faculty of Education and Social Work. His academic career developed out of his 10-year experience of teaching Geography in London schools and colleges. He subsequently trained beginning geography teachers, and continues to explore his interest in the history and politics of school geography teaching political along with research into the economies of education and educational futures.

Dr Barbara Ormond

Director of Secondary Programmes
Email: b.ormond@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: +64 (0) 9 373 7599 ext 48476

Barbara Ormond is Senior Lecturer in the School of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Faculty of Education and Social Work. She taught for 18 years as a secondary teacher of history, art history, classical studies, social studies and dance and has held lead roles as a national moderator, examiner and writer of the achievement standards for the NCEA for art history. She has researched and written on curricula and assessment matters in relation to her subject areas with a particular interest in the place of knowledge in history education. Using an interdisciplinary approach which draws upon both art historical and historical methodologies, Barbara has also published on pedagogies for teaching students how to interpret visual evidence.

Dr Alexis Siteine

Senior Lecturer
Email: a.siteine@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: +64 (0) 9 373 7599 ext 48508

Alexis Siteine is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Critical Studies in Education, Faculty of Education and Social Work. Her current research focuses on the way in which economic and sociopolitical movements have influenced educational policy, curriculum knowledge and ethnic identity. Alexis’s research is informed by over 20 years of teaching in New Zealand primary schools.

Dr Tauwehe Sophie Tamati

Senior Lecturer
Email: t.tamati@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: +64 (0) 9 373 7599 ext 48705

Dr Tauwehe Sophie Tamati is the creator of TransAcquisition Pedagogy. This highly successful teaching approach uses pedagogical procedures for cross-linguistic transfer to bring the bilingual student’s two languages into productive contact with each other for improved reading comprehension in both languages. TransAcquisition contributes to bilingual education with the potential to radically realign pedagogical approaches currently in place for emergent bilinguals in migrant and minority groups around the world.