Recognition for the University’s education researchers

Researchers from the Faculty of Education and Social Work received prestigious awards at the 2019 New Zealand Research in Education (NZARE) Conference held at the University of Canterbury.

Associate Professor Carol Mutch
Associate Professor Carol Mutch

The conference theme for this year is "Te Hā o te Takata Revisioning Education: sustaining change, wellbeing and innovation" and highlighted the challenges researchers, educators and stakeholders face to critically engage with questions about ‘what is working’  and ‘what is not’  in the many facets of education that impact children and adolescents in New Zealand and internationally.

McKenzie Award 2019  

Associate Professor Carol Mutch received the McKenzie Award 2019 for her significant contribution to educational research and to the NZARE over an extended period of time.

The award "recognises the outstanding contribution that [Carol] has made to educational research in New Zealand throughout her career, including her longstanding involvement in the NZARE and the New Zealand Journal of Educational Research."

It also recognises Carol's scholarship across diverse fields from social studies and citizenship education, through educational policy and curriculum development, to research and evaluation methodology, and most recently, her highly acclaimed research on the role of schools in disaster response and recovery across six Asia-Pacific countries.

"Despite her stellar career, she has never forgotten her roots. She has remained a humble and hardworking leader, colleague and mentor, especially to new and emerging researchers. She has been a strong advocate for the dissemination of New Zealand and Pacific-based research and is a regular contributor to regional and national conferences, seminars, journals, publishing houses and news media."

Sutton-Smith Award 2019  

Two faculty researchers won the Sutton-Smith Award 2019 for most outstanding doctoral thesis - Dr Hinekura Smith, a lecturer in the Centre for Learning and Research in Higher Education, and Dr Maria Cooper, a senior lecturer based in the School of Learning, Development and Professional Practice.

Hinekura’s PhD thesis, “Whatuora: Whatu kakahu and living as Māori women” is a kaupapa Māori qualitative study of Māori women ‘living as Māori’ and the cultural aspirations they pass on to their children and grandchildren through the embodied, storied Māori cloaks they weave.

Maria's thesis, "Shifting the Lens: Everyday Collective Leadership Activity in Education”, explored collective leadership activity of teaching teams in the context of infant-toddler education and care.

"Maria's focus on the idea of 'everyday teacher leadership (ETL)' in one high-quality early childhood setting, and her extensive scrutiny highlights the research gap on effective leadership in infant-toddler contexts in New Zealand."

Rae Munro Award 2019

Kim Mackrell, currently a doctoral candidate in the School of Curriculum and Pedagogy, received the Rae Munro Award 2019 for her outstanding master’s thesis, "Text(uring) the Fabric of Teachers’ Beliefs: The theoretical orientations, instructional practices, and influences of New Zealand year 7 and 8 teachers of writing”. Kim's thesis "contributes significantly to the field of writing research, particularly in relation to teachers' beliefs and their practice".

"Kim has skilfully managed complex theoretical orientations, discourses about writing and pedagogy to interpret her data. The development of Kim's research design and implementation demonstrates a sophistication beyond masters level research."

Past awards

In 2018, Associate Professor Carol Mutch was awarded the NZARE Life Membership Award for an exceptional and enduring career dedicated to fostering excellence in educational research in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Dr Maria Cooper was a recipient of the Ray Munro Award in 2013.