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Cathy Wylie

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Chief Researcher

PhD from Victoria University of Wellington.

Cathy joined NZCER is 1987. Her main research expertise is education policy and how it impacts learning, teaching, school leadership and more equal learning opportunities.

She led NZCER’s national school surveys from 1989 until recently. She has 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. 

In 2014 Cathy was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to education.

Cathy's current work includes:

She was a member of the Government’s Independent Taskforce to Review Tomorrow’s Schools, which published this report in December 2018. 

Research outputs

Year published Title Publication type Category
2020 Curriculum, assessment and reporting to parents and whānau - findings from the NZCER 2019 National survey of English-medium primary schools Research report School governance and management Curriculum and assessment
2020 Kāhui Ako - findings from the NZCER 2019 National survey of English-medium primary schools Research report Public understanding of education School governance and management
2020 Learning with digital technologies - findings from the NZCER 2019 National survey of English-medium primary schools Research report ICT School governance and management
2020 Meeting the needs of Pacific students - findings from the NZCER 2019 National survey of English-medium primary schools Research report Public understanding of education School governance and management
2020 Parent and whānau perspectives on their child’s learning and school - findings from the NZCER 2019 National survey of English-medium primary schools Research report Public understanding of education Families and communities
2020 Principal careers, wellbeing, and support - findings from the NZCER 2019 National survey of English-medium primary schools Research report Public understanding of education School governance and management
2020 Providing for English language learners - findings from the NZCER 2019 National survey of English-medium primary schools Research report Public understanding of education School governance and management
2020 Providing for students with disabilities or who need learning support - findings from the NZCER 2019 National survey of English-medium primary schools Research report Public understanding of education School governance and management
2020 School culture and teacher learning - findings from the NZCER 2019 National survey of English-medium primary schools Research report Public understanding of education School governance and management
2020 School resourcing, rolls, interactions with other schools, and system support - findings from the NZCER 2019 National survey of English-medium primary schools Research report Public understanding of education School governance and management
2020 Student wellbeing and positive behaviour - findings from the NZCER 2019 National survey of English-medium primary schools Research report Public understanding of education School governance and management Student health and wellbeing
2020 Te reo Māori and school provisions for ākonga Māori - findings from the NZCER 2019 National survey of English-medium primary schools Research report Public understanding of education School governance and management Māori and education
2020 Teachers' work, morale, and changes they would make - findings from the NZCER 2019 National survey of English-medium primary schools Research report Public understanding of education School governance and management
2020 Teaching, School, and Principal Leadership Practices Survey 2019 Research report School governance and management Education leadership practices
2020 Team teaching and innovative learning environments - findings from the NZCER 2019 National survey of English-medium primary schools Research report Public understanding of education School governance and management
2020 Trustees' perspectives and the work of school boards - findings from the NZCER 2019 National survey of English-medium primary schools Research report Public understanding of education School governance and management
2020 What’s happening in our English-medium primary schools: Findings from the NZCER national survey 2019 Full report Research report Public understanding of education School governance and management
2020 What’s happening in our English-medium primary schools: Findings from the NZCER national survey 2019. Summary Research summary Public understanding of education School governance and management
2019 Competent Learners @ 26: Summary of key findings Research report
2019 Pathways, labour market experiences, and learning at work and beyond at age 26 Research report
2019 Teaching, School, and Principal Leadership Practices Survey 2018 Report Research report School governance and management Education leadership practices Māori and education
2019 Teaching, School, and Principal Leadership Practices Survey 2018: Summary report Research summary Policy School governance and management Education leadership practices
2018 Teaching Practices, School Practices, and Principal Leadership: The first national picture 2017 Research report
2017 Ākonga Māori in English-medium primary and intermediate schools: Findings from the NZCER national survey of primary and intermediate schools 2016 Research report
2017 Principals and their work: Findings from the NZCER national survey of primary and intermediate schools 2016 Research report
2017 School resources, relations with other schools, and support: Findings from the NZCER national survey of primary and intermediate schools 2016 Research report
2017 Te Ahu o te Reo Overview Report Research report Te Wāhanga
2017 Teachers' work and professional learning: Findings from the NZCER national survey of primary and intermediate schools 2016 Research report
2017 The work of school boards – trustees’ perspectives: Findings from the NZCER national survey of primary and intermediate schools 2016 Research report
2016 Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako: The Emergent Stage Research report
2016 Incredible Years Teacher-NZCER Evaluation Research report Evaluation
2016 Secondary schools in 2015 Research report Policy School governance and management Student health and wellbeing NCEA Implementing New Zealand Curriculum Key Competencies
2016 WAPA 2020: Gains and insights from an enduring school network Paper School governance and management Education leadership practices
2015 New Zealand principals: Autonomy at a Cost Journal article
2015 Ngā whakaratonga mō ngā ākonga Māori i roto i ngā kura auraki Providing for Māori students in English-medium schools Research report Te Wāhanga
2015 Strengthening the strategic leadership of New Zealand principals Research report
2014 Achievement in Boys' Schools Research report NCEA
2014 Capital connections for education Book chapter
2014 Primary and intermediate schools in 2013 Research report Policy School governance and management National Standards Student health and wellbeing Moderation Implementing New Zealand Curriculum Key Competencies
2014 Progress and stalling on the path to learning-centred schools in New Zealand Conference paper
2013 Improving learning opportunities: Why schools can’t do it on their own Journal article Policy School governance and management
2013 National Standards: What difference are they making? Conference paper National Standards
2013 Schools and Inequality Book chapter
2013 Secondary schools in 2012 Research report ICT Policy School governance and management NCEA Curriculum and assessment
2012 Challenges around capability development in a system of self-managed schools in New Zealand. Research report
2012 Handbook of Research on Student Engagement Book Student engagement
2012 Trajectories and patterns of student engagement: Evidence from a longitudinal study Book chapter
2012 Vital connections: Why we need more than self-managing schools Book Policy School governance and management National Standards NCEA
2011 Competent Learners @ 20: summary of key findings Research summary Student health and wellbeing
2011 Forming Adulthood Past, Present and Future in the Experiences and Views of the Competent Learners @ 20 Research report Families and communities Longitudinal projects
2011 Opportunities for Teacher Collaborative Practices in a Self-Managed School System: the New Zealand Experience Research report Policy School governance and management Longitudinal projects
2011 The Development of Leadership Capability in a Self-Managing Schools System: the New Zealand Experience and Challenges Book chapter School governance and management Education leadership practices
2010 NZCER 2010 Primary & Intermediate Schools National Survey Research report Longitudinal projects
2010 Principal vacancies and appointments 2008-9 Research report Longitudinal projects
2009 Competent Learners on the Edge of Adulthood: A summary of key findings from the Competent Learners @ 16 project Research report Families and communities Longitudinal projects
2009 School resources, culture and connections: NZCER National Survey Thematic Report Research report School governance and management Families and communities Longitudinal projects
2009 Tomorrow’s Schools after 20 years: can a system of self-managing schools live up to its initial aims? Journal article
2008 Locality-based evaluation of Pathways to the Future—Ngā Huarahi Arataki: Stage 1 baseline report Research report
2008 Outcomes of early childhood education: Literature review Literature review
2007 Can we improve our school governance? Journal article School governance and management Longitudinal projects
2007 Competent Learners @ 16: Competency levels and development over time Research report Families and communities Longitudinal projects
2007 Continuing contribution of early childhood education to young people's competency levels Research report Families and communities Longitudinal projects
2007 Hawke's Bay primary and intermediate schools' incidence of severe behaviour: 2007 Research report
2007 School governance in New Zealand - How is it working? Research report
2007 School planning and reporting in action: The early years of the new framework Research report Implementing New Zealand Curriculum
2007 Snapshot of New Zealand primary schools in 2007 - some key findings from the NZCER national survey Research report
2007 What can New Zealand learn from Edmonton? Occasional paper
2006 Competencies at age 14 and competency development for the Competent Children, Competent Learners study sample Research report Families and communities Longitudinal projects
2006 Completely different or a bigger version? Experiences and effects of the transition to secondary school: Evidence from the Competent Children, Competent Learners project Research report Families and communities Longitudinal projects
2006 Contributions of early childhood education to age-14 performance: Evidence from the longitudinal Competent Children, Competent Learners study Research report Families and communities Longitudinal projects
2006 Evaluation of initial uses and impact of Equity Funding Research report Policy Māori and education
2006 Growing independence : A summary of key findings from the Competent Learners @14 project Research report
2006 Growing Independence: Competent Learners @ 14 Research report Student engagement
2006 Making the most of research in policy making Conference paper
2006 What is the reality of school competition? Research report
2006 What is the reality of school competition? Conference paper
2006 What matters in the transition to secondary level? Results from NZCER longitudinal research Journal article
2005 An increasing tightness - pressure points for schools’ financial management Research report Education leadership practices
2005 Gender and academic promotion: a case study of Massey University Research report School governance and management Education leadership practices
2005 Leisure activities and adolescent engagement in school learning Conference paper
2005 Stress and well-being among New Zealand principals: Report to the New Zealand Principals' Federation Research report School governance and management
2004 Competent children at 12 Research report Families and communities Longitudinal projects
2004 Evaluation of the introductory professional development programme for teacher aides/kaiāwhina: Supporting teachers of students with special education needs Research report
2004 How do effective schools manage their finances? Research report
2004 Te rerenga ā te pīrere: a longitudinal study of kōhanga reo and kura kaupapa Māori students - Phase I Report Research report
2004 Twelve Years Old and Competent Book Longitudinal projects
2004 Whaia te iti Kahurangi: NZCER evaluation: 2004 Research report
2003 Beating the odds: Factors which can make a difference for New Zealand children in low-income homes Conference paper Student engagement Longitudinal projects
2003 Long-term contribution of early childhood education to children's performance - evidence from New Zealand Journal article
2003 Longitudinal research - the Competent Children project Book chapter
2003 Status of educational research in New Zealand: New Zealand country report Conference paper
2003 Sustaining school development in a decentralised system: Lessons from New Zealand Conference paper
2003 Te Hiringa i Te Mahara: The power of the mind: Evaluation report Research report
2002 Local and systemic roles of school trustees Conference paper
2002 Meeting individual educational needs: Legal identification, or systemic support? Journal article Policy
2002 Meeting individual educational needs: Legal identification, or systemic support? Occasional paper
2002 NZPF 2001 transience survey: NZCER analysis check Research report
2002 Sustaining school improvement : Ten primary schools' journeys Research report
2002 Sustaining school improvement: ten primary schools' journeys: A summary Research report
2002 What's needed to support and sustain good teaching? Conference paper