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Sue McDowall is a Senior Researcher at NZCER. She works in the areas of curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment.
Sue is currently leading the project Researching pedagogies for curriculum integration which explores the possibility of integrating two or more learning areas while maintaining the integrity of the knowledges, discourses, and practices of these different areas. She has been involved in numerous projects on implementing the New Zealand Curriculum, and on re-thinking curriculum for the future. These include projects on: the discipline specific competencies and capabilities that can be developed through different learning areas; games for learning; and collaboration between schools and the community. She is a co-author of the book Key competencies for the future; the resource Curriculum for the future: The game; and more recently, the article How the key competencies evolved over time: Insights from the research.
Sue is particularly interested in disciplinary literacy, critical literacy, and multimodal forms of meaning making in the English learning area and the arts and has led or contributed to research and resource development in these areas.
As an ex-primary school teacher, Sue is drawn to the interface between theory and practice. She has supported numerous Teaching Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) and Teacher-Led Innovation Fund (TLIF) projects, led a research project on implementing inquiry in the first round of the TLIF and carried out a synthesis of the TLRI literacy, critical literacy, and disciplinary literacy projects.
Sue has also been involved in developing survey and assessment tools, including: the Teaching and School Practices Survey tool; the National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement: English tool; the PACT Reading scale descriptors; the PAT:Reading tool; and items for the Assessment Resource Banks in the English learning area.