Our new professors

10 February 2015

Two associate professors from the Faculty of Education have been promoted to professor this year. Professor Lawrence Zhang and Professor Christine Rubie-Davies received the promotion alongside 12 other University of Auckland academics.

“We are very pleased to have such a talented group join the ranks of our most senior academics," Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon says. "I look forward to their continued contributions to the mission of the University of Auckland."

View all of the academics promoted to professor here


Professor Lawrence Zhang

Professor Lawrence Zhang (Curriculum and Pedagogy) is Associate Dean International Partnerships at the Faculty of Education. An applied linguist, his teaching and research interests are in second language acquisition, bilingual/biliteracy intervention and language teacher education.

He has attracted a large number of PhD students working in these areas since joining the faculty in 2011. Professor Zhang was a tenured Associate Professor at the National Institute of Education, Singapore. His research spans psycholinguistics, metacognition, language learning strategies, reading-writing instructional design, and language teacher education.

He was Principal Investigator of a large-scale government-funded research project in Singapore that investigated primary school pupils’ self-regulated learning strategies and their effects on biliteracy achievement.

His most recent project takes an intercultural rhetorical approach to understanding Chinese scholars’ cross-cultural experiences in writing and publishing academic works in English. Professor Zhang is an editorial board member of internationally renowned journals, including Metacognition and Learning, TESOL Quarterly, and System. He has presented over 60 papers at conferences around the world and has published over 100 journal articles, book chapters, and reviews in Chinese and in English. His recently co-edited books include Asian Englishes: Changing Perspectives in a Globalised World (Pearson/2012) and Language Teachers and Teaching: Global Perspectives, Local Initiatives (Routledge/2014).

In 2011 he won the TESOL Award for Distinguished Research for his article about the role of metacognition in developing competent second language learners, published in TESOL Quarterly (Vol. 44). The USA-based TESOL International Association selects only one article each year. View full profile >



Professor Christine Rubie-Davies, (Learning, Development and Professional Practice) joined the School of Education in 1998 following a career as a primary school teacher and deputy principal in Auckland.

She has been awarded for her university work, receiving a University of Auckland Teaching Excellence Award (2006), a National Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award (2007), and an Early Career Research Award (2011). She was elected a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (US) in 2009.

Her expertise is in teacher expectations and relationships with student outcomes.  She is particularly interested in how high expectation teachers (those who have high expectations for students) promote learning for all students. She has written and edited several books and published many journal articles. Her recent book, Becoming a High Expectation Teacher: Raising the Bar, is based around her Marsden Fast Start Grant and demonstrates that the practices of high expectation teachers can be taught to all teachers with positive benefits for student learning and psycho-social outcomes.

Distinguished Scholar Professor Patricia Alexander of the University of Maryland described her book as an "absolute privilege" to read.

Professor Rubie-Davies is on study leave in the United States for 2015. She will work with Professor Robert Pianta at University of Virginia to learn more about MyTeachingPartner and CLASS, with Professor Robert Rosenthal at University of California at Riverside to analyse video data from her Teacher Expectation Project, and with Professors Frank Worrell and Rhona Weinstein at University of California at Berkeley. View full profile >