Education and Social Sciences
Academics from across the University contribute research that leads to advances in the fields of social sciences and education.
Our education researchers work on projects related to educational policy and practice, educational psychology and Māori education. Their expertise, from early childhood to higher education, is often called on by national and international government and non-governmental agencies. Our education and social science researchers work on interdisciplinary projects with education agencies to contribute new knowledge in the fields of cross-cultural issues and family studies.
Our social science researchers – including anthropologists, sociologists, geographers and criminologists – work to analyse how societies and cultures are formed, how they are governed, how they break down and how we might envisage new and viable future social and cultural systems. Research into social, economic and development issues cover a range of cultures in New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific. In environmental studies, researchers work on multidisciplinary projects that examine the interface between science and society.
Our psychology researchers work with science and humanities colleagues on a range of projects in social cognition, gender, memory, cognitive and social development, neuropsychology, abnormal and criminal behaviour, addiction and comparative cognition.
Find out more about specific education and social science projects:
Helping Autistic Children to Communicate
Autism is a developmental disability affecting approximately one in every 150 children. Most of these children have difficulty communicating and around 25 percent fail to develop speech.
Identifying the best communication tools for autistic children without speech is the focus of research by Professor Jeff Sigafoos from the School of Educational Psychology and Pedagogy and Dr Dean Sutherland from the University of Canterbury.
E-learning a Powerful Tool for Teaching the Arts
Dance and drama teaching has traditionally involved face-to-face tuition, but research by Victoria’s Faculty of Education shows students may learn just as effectively through the combined efforts of their regular classroom teacher and an online dance and drama specialist.
Sport Means “Family and Church“ – the Pasifika Experience
Increased participation in sport by New Zealand’s Pasifika communities is the goal of a research project led by Dr Barrie Gordon from the Faculty of Education.
The project, funded by Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC), was initiated after evidence – both anecdotal and from the results of a national survey – showed declining participation in sport among Pacific adults and young people.