Professor Elizabeth Mary Rata

PhD, MEd, BA


Elizabeth Rata is a professor in the School of Critical Studies in Education at the Faculty of Education, The University of Auckland and Director of the Knowledge and Education Research Unit (KERU).  She was a Senior Fulbright Scholar to Georgetown University, Washington, DC in 2003. Her major works are: A Political Economy of Neotribal Capitalism, 2000, and The Politics of Knowledge in Education, 2012. She is a sociologist of education with research interests into the effects of global economic change on ethnicity, socio-economic class, higher education, and curriculum knowledge.

Elizabeth Rata's speeches

Research | Current

  • Neotribal capitalism
  • Higher education
  • Curriculum knowledge
  • Ethnic politics
  • Social realism

Teaching | Current


  • British Educational Research Journal Paper of the Year Award, 2012
  • Fulbright Senior Scholarship, Georgetown University, 2003
  • Faculty of Education Excellence in Supervision Award, 2013
  • Excellence in Tertiary Teaching Award, Auckland College of Education, 2002
  • University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship


Areas of expertise

  • Sociology of Education
  • Ethnic politics
  • Knowledge and Education
  • Politics of knowledge
  • Curriculum theory
  • Higher Education
  • Culture and Identity
  • Educational Policy
  • Maori education
  • Social Realism
  • Neotribal capitalism

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Lourie, M., & Rata, E. (2017). Using a realist research methodology in policy analysis. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 49 (1), 17-30. 10.1080/00131857.2016.1167655
  • Rata, E. M. (2017). Ethnic revival. In F. M. Moghaddam (Ed.) The SAGE encyclopedia of political behavior (pp. 264-265). Thousand Oaks, California. USA.: Sage Publications. 10.4135/9781483391144.n125
  • McPhail, G. J., & Rata, E. (2016). Comparing Curriculum Types: ‘Powerful Knowledge’ and ‘21st Century Learning’. New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, 51 (1), 53-68. 10.1007/s40841-015-0025-9
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Graham McPhail
  • Rata, E. (2016). A pedagogy of conceptual progression and the case for academic knowledge. British Educational Research Journal, 42 (1), 168-184. 10.1002/berj.3195
  • Rata, E., & Zubaran, C. (2016). Ethnic classification in the New Zealand health care system. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 41 (2), 192-209. 10.1093/jmp/jhv065
  • Rata, E., & Taylor, A. (2015). Knowledge Equivalence Discourse in New Zealand Secondary School Science. New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, 50 (2), 223-238. 10.1007/s40841-015-0020-1
  • Lourie, M., & Rata, E. (2014). A critique of the role of culture in Maori education. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 35 (1), 19-36. 10.1080/01425692.2012.736184
  • Rata, E. M. (2014). Multiculturalism and Education. In F. Mansouri (Ed.) Cultural, Religious and Politicial Contestations: The Multicultural Challenge (pp. 107-118). Springer. 10.1007/978-3-319-16003-0_7

Contact details

Primary location

Level 3, Room 308
New Zealand