Associate Professor Helen Ramsey Dixon

EdD, MEdAdmin (Hons), BEd

Biography

I am an Associate Professor and Deputy Head of School in the School of Learning, Development and Professional Practice. I am also one of the two school postgraduate advisers and can provide advice regarding doctoral and masters study options and processes.

I started my teaching career in 1971 and spent 20 years teaching in primary and special education settings, mostly in low decile schools. Since 1991 I have worked in both Teacher Education and Postgraduate Studies. I have held a variety of roles including Head of Centre, Programme Leader and Associate Dean (Academic Programmes) and Deputy Dean.

Research | Current

My research interests are in the areas of assessment for learning, self regulation, self-efficacy and teachers' beliefs. Feedback and self and peer assessment are of particular interest to me. How assessment for learning may play out in practice both within the compulsory schooling sector and within Higher Education are questions of interest. My interest in Higher Education and self-efficacy has now informed a second platform of research related to academic self efficacy as it pertains to both undergraduate and postgraduate study.

Research Projects

Over the past decade I have been involved in a number of qualitative research projects. I have had a number of funded research projects including a two-year TLRI funded project that investigated teachers’ and students’ conceptions of assessment and feedback and their impact on learning and pedagogy. My doctoral study, which won the 2008 New Zealand Association for Research in Education Sutton Smith Award for the best doctoral thesis, focused on teachers’ conceptions and use of feedback to enhance learning.

Current research is focused on teacher professional learning as it pertains to assessment for learning and the development of self-regulatory strategies. I am also involved in an Ako Aoteroa funded research project focused on lecturers' use of exemplars to support student understanding of expected learning

Teaching | Current

My teaching interests are in assessment and learning. I have worked extensively with teachers at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels of study across a number of programmes including the BEd(Tchg)(Hons); PGDipEd and MEd.

Postgraduate supervision

I have supervised 18 masters theses or dissertations and 12 BEd(Tchg)(Hons) dissertations. Currently I am supervising 8 doctoral students.

I am interested in supervising masters and doctoral research projects, particularly in the areas of assessment, self-regulation, self-efficacy, and teachers' beliefs. I have a strong interest in qualitative research methodologies. Topics that I have supervised include: 

Student self-assessment: Teachers’ beliefs and the opportunities they provide for students.

Primary teachers’ understandings and use of feedback in written language

Secondary students’ evaluative feedback to their teachers

Teachers’ understandings and promotion of dialogue in secondary social studies classrooms      

Primary students’ understandings and use of feedback in the writing classroom          

Tertiary students’ perceptions of the value of exemplars for their learning   

Goal setting: A key factor in becoming a self-regulated learner

Self regulated learning in the writing classroom: Students' perspectives

National Standards Reporting: Parents’ perceptions

Parents’ perceptions regarding learning stories as a means for communicating information about children’s learning

Teachers’ understandings of the assessment of infants' and toddlers' learning dispositions

Students’ perceptions of their role in a student-led conference

Students’ understandings of mid-year reporting in relation to their learning

Developing assessment capable teachers and students

Students’ and supervisors’ experience and understanding of the role of feedback

Classroom assessment of young Chinese EFL learners

AfL in College English classes in China

 

 

 

Distinctions/Honours

In 2008 I was the winner of the New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE) Sutton-Smith award. The Sutton-Smith Doctoral Award is awarded annually to an NZARE member for an excellent doctoral thesis.

Committees/Professional groups/Services

University Committees served on

  • Faculty of Education nominee on The University of Auckland Human Participants Ethics Committee.
  • Postgraduate Programmes representative on the Faculty of Education Postgraduate committee.

Professional Roles and Affiliations:

  • Member of: NZARE: TEU; HERDSA
  • NZARE Executive Council member
  • Co-convenor of the 2010 NZARE Annual Conference
  • Reviewer for the following conferences: NZARE, HERDSA, ICET World Assembly Conference, APERA
  • Reviewer for the following journals: Assessment in Education, SET, NZ Research in Early Childhood Education, Asia Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, New Zealand Journal of Education Studies, Teaching Education, Journal of Further and Higher Education, Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, System

Committee Membership:

  • Chair: Faculty of Education Education Committee 2012-2014
  • Chair: Faculty of Education Admissions SubCommittee 2011-2014
  • Chair: Faculty of Education Teaching and Learning sub-committee 2011-2014
  • Chair of the Faculty of Education Academic Programmes and Regulations Committee 2008-2011
  • Faculty of Education representative on The University of Auckland’s Education Committee 2011-2014
  • Faculty of Education representative on The University of Auckland’s Teaching and Learning Quality Committee 2012-204
  • Faculty of Education representative on The University of Auckland, Academic Programmes Committee 2008-2011
  • Faculty of Education representative on The University of Auckland Human Participants Ethics Committee 2006-2007
  • Faculty of Education representative on Senate 2012-2013

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Dixon, H., & Hawe, E. M. (2017). Creating the climate and space for peer review within the writing classroom. Journal of Response to Writing, 3 (1), 6-30.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Eleanor Hawe
  • Dixon, H., & Hawe, E. (2016). Utilizing an Experiential Approach to Teacher Learning about AfL: A Consciousness Raising Opportunity. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 1-14. 10.14221/ajte.2016v41n11.1
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Eleanor Hawe
  • Hawe, E., & Dixon, H. (2016). Assessment for learning: a catalyst for student self-regulation. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 1-12. 10.1080/02602938.2016.1236360
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Eleanor Hawe
  • Bao, C., Zhang, L. J., & Dixon, H. R. (2016). Teacher narratives as theorisation of teaching: A Chinese teacher's perspectives on communicative language teaching (CLT). New Zealand Studies in Applied Linguistics, 22 (2), 37-52. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/32275
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Lawrence Zhang
  • Dixon, H., & Hawe, E. (2015). Building teacher knowledge and skill: Getting to the heart of AfL. Assessment Matters, 9, 80-101. 10.18296/am.0012
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Eleanor Hawe
  • Pearson, R., Dixon, H., & Hawe, E. (2015). Can written reporting against New Zealand’s National Standards fulfil the mandate of creating a robust learning-focused, home-school partnership?. Curriculum Matters, 11, 155-174. 10.18296/cm.0009
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Eleanor Hawe
  • Dixon, H., & Ward, G. (2015). The Value of Masters Study to Teachers’ Professional Practice: Contradictory Discourses within the Workplace. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 40 (40).10.14221/ajte.2015v40n2.4
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Gillian Ward
  • Ward, G, & Dixon, H. R. (2014). The research masters experience: The impact of efficacy and outcome expectations on enrolment and completion. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 38 (2), 163-181. 10.1080/0309877X.2012.706804
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Gillian Ward

Contact details

Primary location

H - BLOCK. EPSOM - Bldg 6EH
Level 1, Room 102
EPSOM CAMPUS, 74 EPSOM AVE
EPSOM
AUCKLAND 1023
New Zealand