Faculty of Education and Social Work

Partnership Board

Christine Boocock


Dr Christine Boocock is a Reading Recovery Trainer and Project Director for National Reading Recovery, which sits within the School of Curriculum and Pedagogy at the Faculty of Education and Social Work. Christine is the elected New Zealand representative on the Executive Board of the International Reading Recovery Trainers Organization. She earned her doctorate from the University of Auckland in 2012. The title of her PhD thesis is: Comparing the Effects of Narrative and Expository Texts on Teacher Instruction and Child Processing in Junior Guided Reading.

Graham McEwan


Graham McEwan graduated from the University of Auckland in 1978 and was appointed to the position of Field Editor by the New Zealand branch of the British educational publishing company Heinemann Educational Books (HEB).  He was assigned to work with Marie Clay on the first edition of The Early Detection of Reading Difficulties: A Diagnostic Survey with Recovery Procedures and continued to work with Marie on each of her new books and new editions for the next 29 years. Over time his responsibility enlarged from an editorial to a broad publishing role which gave Marie continuity of control over her publications and enabled the establishment of The Marie Clay Literacy Trust in 1997. The Marie Clay Literacy Trust owns Marie Clay’s intellectual property and supports literacy research, aspects of Reading Recovery and teacher professional development. Before her death in 2007, Marie invited Graham to become chair of The Marie Clay Literacy Trust and widened the Trust’s responsibilities to include the management and revision of her publications. This work continues today.


Heather Bell


Heather Bell, retired principal of Rosebank school, a highly multicultural school in Avondale Auckland, is a former Education Review Officer, and an Inspector of Primary Schools. She is currently secretary of the Auckland Literacy Association and has twice been president of the New Zealand Literacy Association. She served a three-year term on the Board of Directors for the International Literacy Association and has convened many national and international literacy conferences. In June (2016) she was honoured with a Queens Birthday Award, being made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit. In July 2017, Heather was elected and inducted into the Reading Hall of Fame. She considers herself an extremely lucky person to have been supported by so many deeply committed and caring role models.


Helen Hedges


Associate Professor Helen Hedges is Head of School for Curriculum and Pedagogy at the Faculty of Education and Social Work.  Helen's research explores children’s and teachers’ interests, knowledge (both formal and intuitive) and learning in the contexts of early childhood education and teacher education. Driving this is curiosity about the nature of a co-constructed interests-based curriculum in early childhood education, particularly the decisions that teachers make about which children's interests are chosen to create curriculum with. Helen has contributed to theorising about children’s and teachers’ knowledge and interests through frameworks, such as funds of knowledge (González, Moll, & Amanti, 2005), and communities of inquiry (Wells, 1999). She is currently publishing with colleagues on conceptualising and exemplifying “working theories”, one of two major outcomes of the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki.

Rae Si‘ilata


Ko Tainui, ko Te Arawa nga waka. Ko Tararua te pae maunga. Ko te Ōhau, ko te Ōtaki nga awa. Ko Ngati Raukawa, ko Tūhourangi nga iwi. Ko Ngāti Kikopiri te hapū. Ko Otaki te turangawaewae. Ki te taha o toku matua, no Otaki ahau. Ki te taha o toku whaea, no Fiti, no Savusavu ahau. Tena koutou katoa. Ni sa bula vinaka.

Dr Rae Si‘ilata is a Lecturer in Biliteracy-Pasifika/TESSOL in the School of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Faculty of Education and Social Work. Rae's recent research interests centre on effective language and literacy practice for Pasifika bilingual learners in primary schooling, and on professional learning and development facilitation for linguistically and culturally responsive teaching and learning. In 2014, she completed her doctoral studies on Pasifika student success in English-medium education. Formerly a primary ESOL/classroom teacher and principal, Rae is interested in bilingual/biliterate academic outcomes, language teaching and learning, and is committed to teacher professional development in bilingualism/biliteracy and TESSOL.

Cath Rau


Specialises in indigenous language and culture regeneration and in particular, Maori medium language/literacy development in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Has developed or contributed to a wide range of significant Maori language/literacy development initiatives across all sectors of education from early childhood to tertiary. Providing professional development support to educators in Maori medium settings to ensure that the developing bilinguality (Maori/English) of students enrolled in these programmes is supported