Dr Janna Wardman

PhD, MEd (Melb.)


Having completed her doctorate under the supervision of Prof. John Hattie, Janna aims to make further contribution to the area of gifted education.

In particular, her focus is to eliminate chokepoints in students’ learning and progress through the curriculum. She draws from a hands-on understanding of teachers, students and their parents. A strong theoretical background, informed by research, supports her practical experience of 25 years in education.

Previous professional experience (prior to present position):

  • Over 20 years experience in secondary teaching and administration
  • Senior Dean, Academic Dean and Mentor
  • International consultant and presenter in gifted education

Research | Current

  • Gifted Education
  • Acceleration
  • Mentoring
  • School/Home partnerships
  • Academic counselling
  • Career pathways
  • Qualitative and quantitative methodologies to suit the research

Research Projects:

  • Quantitative and qualitative survey of New Zealand high school teachers and student teachers (N=455): Attitudes to full-year acceleration
  • Retrospective study of accelerated, moderately gifted high school students (quantitative and qualitative research). Comparison with non-accelerated similarly-able siblings
  • Retrospective study of attitudes of parents of accelerated and non-accelerated gifted high school students
  • Fostering gifted tertiary students: An intervention study
  • Early exit of high achieving students from undergraduate courses
  • The importance of like-minded friends to talented students

Teaching | Current

  • EDPRAC 751 lecturer - Practitioner Inquiry
  • EDUC 711 lecturer - Gifted Learners: Who are they?
  • EDUC 738 (proposed) - Gifted learners: Meeting their needs
  • M.Teach (Sec), University Liaison Teacher (ULT) and lecturer
  • Edprofst 612AB, lecturer
  • Edprofst 204, lecturer
  • Visiting Lecturer on Grad.Dip. in Teaching (Sec) Practicum

Postgraduate supervision

All are co-supervisions:

  1. PhD   Dis-CONNECTED? A 360-degree snapshot of the impact of social media on gifted and talented girls in New Zealand schools. [underway]  Eunice Gaerlan Price
  2. M.Ed Primary Teachers’ Understandings of Talented Young Writers: Challenges and Rewards.         [completed]  Vernitta Easton                                                                       
  3. MA (Ed) A cross cultural study: Talent development process in academically  talented undergraduates in New Zealand and Bahrain. [completed]  Tuqa Marhoon
  4. Master of Professional Studies in Education   The tension of attention: What does it mean to be a gifted and talented girl living in a social media saturated world?   [completed] Eunice Gaerlan Price
  5. BA Hons. Dissertation   Opening the window of opportunity: An investigation into identification of Maori students for gifted programmes in schools.  [completed]  Annie Summerfield
  6. BA Hons. Dissertation   An investigation of secondary teachers’ and pre-service teachers’ attitudes towards full-year acceleration.  [completed]  Tuqa Marhoon


Co-ordinator HAI group: High achieving undergraduate students across the faculty

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Professional Roles and Affiliations:

  • Fully Registered Teacher with the New Zealand Teachers’ Council
  • World Council for Gifted and Talented Children
  • GiftED NZ. Professional Association for Gifted Education

Community Service:

  • Founding member and Chair of Secondary Schools Debating, Auckland
  • Adjudicator for Auckland Alive Debating
  • Adjudicator for Russell McVeagh Debating Competition
  • Member of Town Planning Committee
  • Co-organiser Educational Psychology Forum, University of Auckland

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Millward, P., Wardman, J., & Rubie-Davies, C. (2016). Becoming and being a talented undergraduate student. Higher Education Research & Development, 35 (6), 1242-1255. 10.1080/07294360.2016.1144569
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/31875
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Pam Millward, Christine Rubie-Davies
  • Wardman, J. (2016). From a nation deceived to a nation empowered: Really? [Book review of A nation empowered: Evidence trumps the excuses holding back America's brightest students]. Australasian Journal of Gifted Education, 25 (1), 66-68. 10.21505/ajge.2016.0007
  • Wardman, J. (2015). Why aren’t more kids accelerated? From our point of view it’s worked!. Paper presented at Gifted Futures Forum For Talent Enhancement, University of New South Wales. Sydney, Australia.. 23 October - 24 October 2015. Related URL.
  • Wardman, J. (2015). Let’s talk: Opening up the way to interdisciplinary exploration of giftedness. International Journal for Talent Development and Creativity(IJTDC), 3 (2), 235-238.
  • Wardman, J. (2015). To act or not to act? Academic acceleration worked in the past, so what’s the current hold-up in NZ?. APEX: The New Zealand Journal of Gifted Education, 19 (1) Related URL.
  • Wardman, J. (2014). Full-Year Acceleration at High School: Parents Support the Social and Emotional Challenges of Their Children. Gifted and Talented International, 29 (1-2), 49-62. 10.1080/15332276.2014.11678429
  • Wardman, J. (2012). Acceleration as a strategy for differentiation for gifted students (Keynote presentation). Paper presented at Catholic Education Office Melbourne, Gifted Education Symposium, Melbourne, Australia. 13 August - 13 August 2012. Related URL.
  • Wardman, J., & Hattie, J. (2012). Administrators’ perceptions of full-year acceleration at high school. Australasian Journal of Gifted Education, 21 (1), 32-41. Related URL.

Contact details

Primary location

Level 3, Room 312
New Zealand