Vicki Thorpe

Dr Vicki Thorpe profile picture

Senior Lecturer School of Education


Teaching in 2019

Research interests

Collaborative creativity and learning, assessment of group learning and creative processes, secondary school music education, informal and peer mediated learning in music ensembles


BA (Hons), M Mus, PhD, Dip Tchg, ATCL


Vicki is a lecturer in the Masters of Teaching and Learning, Graduate Diploma, and Bachelor of Teaching programmes, with a specialisation in music education. Previously she has acted as an in-service professional development schools adviser for music and provisionally registered teachers in secondary schools in the Wellington region. She has also acted as a NZQA moderator, and materials developer for NCEA Level 3 and Scholarship Music, and was the Wellington regional facilitator for NCEA Music implementation. A former secondary school teacher, Vicki taught Music and Drama in secondary schools in New Zealand, Australia and the UK.

Current research

Vicki's research is primarily focused on:

  • The assessment of group processes, creativity and informal learning in the NCEA
  • Teacher practice and professional learning
  • Cultural historical activity theory
  • Collaborative action research

This research builds upon her previous work which investigated group-composing and peer-mediated teaching/learning in teenage rock bands.

She is also interested in:

  • Curriculum design
  • The nature of disciplinary knowledge in secondary music education
  • Digital learning in Higher Education

Recently completed research projects

PhD: THORPE, V. E. (2015) Assessing Complexity: Group Composing and New Zealand’s National Certificates of Educational Achievement. (Unpublished doctoral thesis.) Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand.


Thorpe, V. E. (in press) Assessing complexity: Group composing for a secondary school qualification. British Journal of Music Education.

Thorpe, V. E. (in press) An activity theory analysis of the relationship between student identity and the assessment of group composing at school. British Journal of Music Education.

Thorpe, Gilmore & Walton-Roy (in press). Shared understanding: Using a conceptual model to support the assessment of NCEA group composing. Assessment Matters.

Thorpe, V. (2015). Assessing complexity: Group composing and New Zealand's National Certificates of Educational Achievement. (Unpublished doctoral thesis). Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand.

Thorpe, V. E. (2012). Assessment rocks? The assessment of group composing for qualification. Music Education Research, 14(4), 417-429.

Thorpe, V. E. (2009). Help from my friends: group composing and informal music learning. Paper presented at the XXX1st ANZARME/MERC Conference for Research in Music Education, Akaroa, New Zealand.

Thorpe, V. E. (2008). We made this song. The group song writing processes of three adolescent rock bands. Unpublished Masters thesis, New Zealand School of Music, Wellington.


Vicki is willing to supervise students in the following areas:

  • Action research
  • Case study
  • Activity theory
  • Design-based and lesson study research
  • Social realist and socio-culturalist research
  • Teacher education and professional learning
  • Music/Arts assessment
  • Creativity, collaboration & learning research


Teaching in 2019