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Latest research

Research publications from our research teams.

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Author(s): Cathy Wylie
Publication type: Research report

This longitudinal NZCER project has tracked the development of a group of learners from when they were in early childhood education, through school and into adulthood. Over the years, its findings have been well used in policy and practice. The final phase of the project returned to the cohort when they were 26. Three reports from this phase are now available.

Longitudinal study gives valuable insights into the lives of New Zealanders in their mid-20s

15 August 2019
Author(s): Rachel Bolstad and Sue McDowall
Publication type: Research report

This report discusses the potential of games to support learning, and what innovative game-based (or “gameful”) learning and teaching practices can look like in a range of New Zealand school settings. Over 2 years, we undertook fieldwork in 14 schools, interviewed 21 teachers and more than 100 students ranging from Year 3 to Year 13. We looked at learning and teaching practices involving all kinds of games (physical, role play, tabletop, and digital), and how games, game design, or gamification fitted in with teachers’ curriculum and pedagogical goals.

15 May 2019
Author(s): Linda Bonne and Jo MacDonald
Publication type: Research report

These are the key findings from NZCER’s latest survey of secondary schools, conducted in August and September 2018. NZCER has done these surveys every 3 years since 2003. They provide a comprehensive national picture of what is happening in our schools, how things have changed over time, and the impact of policy changes. They also provide insights into how teachers, principals, trustees, and parents and whānau experience our secondary education system.

You can either download the full report or by sections.


16 April 2019
Author(s): Jan Eyre and Eliza de Waal
Publication type: Research report

How can schools support students to make progress in reading and writing?

To explore this question, the project identified schools that have sustained positive achievement in literacy over five years, and asked what they did to achieve this. 

The goal was to uncover common themes which might help other schools work towards similar lifts in literacy achievement.

The report suggests there are three essential elements that combine to create a framework to support progress in literacy achievement:

21 March 2019
Author(s): Linda Bonne and Elliot Lawes
Publication type: Research report

This study is tracking the maths self-efficacy and achievement of Year 4–10 students in New Zealand schools over 3 years.

Maths self-efficacy is measured in relation to items that have been psychometrically located on a difficulty scale, enabling students’ self-efficacy responses to be interpreted in relation to the same scale.

This report covers initial findings.


5 February 2019
Author(s): J Drake, R Kupers, and R Hipkins
Publication type: Journal article

How can education help students grasp the complexity of the systems surrounding us? Jane Drake, Rolan Kupers and Rose Hipkins authored "Complexity—a big idea for education?" for the International School magazine.


21 December 2018
Author(s): Rosemary Hipkins, Jo MacDonald, and Jenny Whatman
Publication type: Book chapter

This chapter addresses a complex challenge that is yet to be widely debated in initial teacher education. How might teacher educators more effectively educate beginning teachers to respond to so-called 'twenty-first century' learning imperatives? 

The authors draw on six principles identified in a 2012 study of 'future focused' trends in education.

21 December 2018
Author(s): Rachel Bolstad
Publication type: Research report

In term 2, 2017, four teachers at Hutt Central School initiated an inquiry into games across their Year 5/6 syndicate. The inquiry spiralled into a variety of learning opportunities, taking slightly different directions across the four classrooms and continuing to 'run in the background' for the rest of the year.

12 December 2018
Author(s): Rosemary Hipkins and Marie Cameron
Publication type: Literature review

This report outlines findings from a literature review of trends in assessment policy and practice, which was commissioned by the Ministry of Education (the Ministry).

The primary purpose of this report is to inform the Ministry as it considers updating its position on assessment, last articulated in the position paper titled Assessment (Schooling Sector) 2011 (Ministry of Education, 2011).

26 November 2018
Author(s): Maraea Hunia, Basil Keane, Nicola Bright, Helen Potter, Kiwa Hammond, and Ropata Ainsley
Publication type: Research report

The report presents findings on the health and wellbeing of te reo Māori, and whānau aspirations for te reo in homes and communities, and in education. 

11 September 2018