About the research centre

The Woolf Fisher Research Centre is an internationally recognised research centre for the development of educational success for diverse communities within New Zealand.

Woolf Fisher Research Centre staff
(From left to right) Dr Rebecca Jesson, Professor Stuart McNaughton, Dr Aaron Wilson, Dr Rachel Williamson and Naomi Rosedale.

Te Pūtahi Whakatairanga Hapori Ako Angitu

The Māori name for the Woolf Fisher Research Centre literally means 'The centre for the promotion of successful learning communities'. Our research and development work has always been about partnerships with the various communities that make up an educational system. This includes schools and groups of schools (students, leaders and teachers) and early childhood services as well as families and whānau and the communities of funders and policy makers. Different communities means also the diverse communities from which our students (and whānau) come. The qualifier of ‘success’ is because we are committed to educational success for our communities – in terms of valued student outcomes, teacher capability and resilient familiar and whānau. Our new Māori name also firmly establishes the centre and its identity.

E ngā iwi, e nga reo, e ngā karangatanga maha o ngā hau e whā, tēnei te mihi atu ki a koutou katoa. Mai i Te Rerenga Wairua, tae atu ra ki te Rakiura ki te Waipounamu … Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa!

All the people, all voices, all of those from the four winds. From Te Rerenga Wairua to Stewart Island in the south… greetings, greetings, greetings to you all!

Established in 1998 with funds from the Woolf Fisher Trust, the Woolf Fisher Research Centre is an internationally recognised research centre for the development of education and schooling success for diverse communities within New Zealand, with a particular focus on Māori and Pacific communities.

The centre has spent more than 15 years developing a model to raise and extend student achievement, working in approximately 400 schools and in 5 countries.

It has successfully raised literacy levels in urban decile 1 schools to within the national average, and has improved results in a range of other schools including rural and small town schools. It is recognised as one of New Zealand’s most successful projects to improve educational results for Māori, Pacific and children from low socio-economic communities.

In addition to promoting research-based educational interventions, the centre provides a vehicle for research expertise for local communities, contributes to developing teacher education programmes which are responsive to local needs and goals, promotes tertiary education pathways and contributes to research at the the University of Auckland.

Vision

An internationally recognised research centre for the development of education and schooling success for diverse communities, within New Zealand including a particular focus on Māori and Pacific communities.

Mission

We aim to continue building a world class research facility at the University of Auckland with recognised capability and achievements in research to positively affect schooling success for diverse communities.

The team

Professor Stuart McNaughton
Director

Dr Rebecca Jesson
Associate Director

Associate Professor Mei Kuin Lai
Associate Director

Dr Aaron Wilson
Associate Director

Hana Turner-Adams
Research Fellow

Dr Rachel Williamson
Research Fellow

Mr Tong Zhu
Research Fellow

Ms Selena Meiklejohn-Whiu
Facilitator

Ms Jacinta Oldehaver
Facilitator

Ms Cynthia Orr
Facilitator

Ms Naomi Rosedale
Research Analyst

Kenichi Furushima
Data Analyst

Dr Yu Liu
Data Analyst

Serene Shengnan Wang
Research Assistant

Kim Mackrell  
Research Assistant