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Cathy Wylie is a Chief Researcher at NZCER. She holds a PhD from Victoria University of Wellington. Her main research expertise is education policy and how it impacts on learning, teaching, school leadership and more equal learning opportunities.
She led NZCER’s national school surveys from 1989 until recently, and takes a leading role in the new research-based tool for schools focused on effective teaching and school practices, and school leadership, the Teaching and School Practices survey tool.
Cathy’s 2012 book, Vital Connections, makes a cogent case for system change to strengthen all our schools and counter uneven educational opportunities.
Her longitudinal study ‘Competent Learners’ provides important understanding about different trajectories of engagement and achievement in learning from early childhood education into early adulthood, and provides strong evidence of the importance of developing the national curriculum’s key competencies.
Before joining NZCER in 1987, Cathy lectured in social anthropology at Victoria and Auckland universities. She undertook contract research with a range of government departments, and evaluated social welfare programmes and policy at the then Department of Social Welfare.
Cathy was made a Member of the Order of New Zealand for services to education in 2014.
Cathy's current work includes:
- completing the age-25 phase of the Competent Learners study
- completing a study of differences in schools’ National Standards performance and what we can learn from that for new measures of student progress
- completing a report of the national 2017 picture from schools using the Teaching and School Practices survey tool
- a bibliography of the research on Scaling Up in education
- working with two Kāhui Ako as an Expert Partner
She is on the Ministry of Education's Investing in Educational Success advisory group.