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Research publications

Research publications from our research teams.

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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

Students’ maths self-efficacy is their belief that they can solve mathematics problems, and has been shown to have links with mathematics achievement. This research was conducted over three years, and investigated the extent to which Year 4 to 10 students viewed themselves as capable learners of mathematics, and how these views were associated with their achievement in mathematics.

5 February 2019
Author(s): Nicola Bright, Elliot Lawes, Basil Keane, Sheridan McKinley
Publication type: Research report

He pūrongo i whakaritea mā Te Mātāwai, e Te Wāhanga - Te Rangahau Mātauranga o Aotearoa, i te tau 2018.

I tonoa Te Wāhanga—Te Rangahau Mātauranga o Aotearoa e Te Mātāwai, ki te whakaemi i ngā mōhiohio, hei āta whakatakoto i te kohinga whakaaturanga o ngā huarahi e whāia ana i ngā kāinga me ngā hapori, mō te whakarauoratanga o te reo Māori.

20 May 2021
Author(s): Melanie Berg and Elliot Lawes
Publication type: Research report

An Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement (the Observation Survey) is used widely in NZ schools to assess progress in early literacy learning, and also to identify children who need additional help to make appropriate progress with reading and writing after one year at school.

NZCER was contracted by The Marie Clay Literacy Trust (MCLT) to update the New Zealand norms, and to produce achievement information for the Observation Survey.  Two reports were produced, see attachments below.

25 August 2020
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

Tautokona te reo: The wellbeing of te reo Māori in kura and schools

He wāhanga tēnei rangahau o ngā mahi whakahou, whakaora hoki i te reo Māori, ā, e rua ōna whāinga poto. Te whāinga poto tuatahi (me tana pātai matua) o te rangahau he tūhura i ngā āhuatanga e tautoko ana i te ora o te reo Māori i roto i ngā kura me ngā kura auraki. Te whāinga tuarua, he tiritiri i ngā mahi me ngā tikanga tautoko kua oti te tautohu e matou, ki te ao. 

11 September 2018