Dr Sue Jennifer Sutherland

PhD, MEd, BA, DipTchg


Sue is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Critical Studies in Education. She  is a fully registered teacher with extensive teaching experience in secondary education and tertiary settings, including research in primary schools. Her academic research is informed by overlapping interests which encompass the sociology of education, motivation and engagement of priority learners, initial teacher education, mentoring and the visual arts.

Sue has been a secondary teacher and worked in senior management mostly in low decile schools. Since working in tertiary she has been a lecturer, senior lecturer and Head of Programme for the BEd (Tchg). She has also  undertaken a variety of teacher education related roles through which she has had experience in the design, implementation and evaluation of ITE programmes. Sue has had a long term interest in  priority learners and ITE teacher professional learning and development.

Research | Current

My research interests have been focused on low decile schooling in the area of teacher beliefs and practices, and more recently in student voice around how students  plan and navigate their educational journey at secondary as it unfolds throughout their school career and into the future. I have worked extensively with new and experienced teachers in  undergraduate and post graduate programmes and am interested in the role of educative mentoring.

Currrent research projects

Engagements of social justice in the  professional identities of new post-graduate teachers.

Perspectives on  the role of the University Liaison teacher in an  MTchg programme in relation to adaptive expertise.

Processes of induction and mentoring when starting to teach.

Much of my research over the last decade has been qualitative. I have been involved in a project that focused on highly effective teachers in low decile primary schools. I also investigated common teacher attitudes in low decile NZ secondary school art contexts where achievement  was consistently higher in art than in other subjects. I was involved in an academic counselling and target intervention project with Starpath for students under-represented at tertiary. My  doctoral study was focused on the perceptions and experiences of priority learners in year 11-13 around  their personal educational planning (PEP).

Teaching | Current

EDPROFST 612B Te Whakaako in NZ Secondary Schools (Graduate Diploma in Teaching -Secondary)

EDUC 304 Educational Philosophy and Policy (Liberal Arts)

Professional supervision in the following pathways:


Graduate Diploma of Teaching

TER (Teacher Education Refresh)

Postgraduate supervision

  • Katrina Bungard MEd (Leadership) Thesis 2016-17: The Visual Arts Curriculum: Investigating Maori/Pasifika learning growth. With Susan Carter.
  • Geraldus Elwell MA (Education) Thesis 2007-2009: What are the enablers and barriers to success in tertiary education for working-class Pakeha men?
  • Brenda Martin MEd (Leadership) Dissertation 2009-2010: Bridging Conversations: How teachers scaffold low SES students at school.


Director of EDPROFST 612B Te Whakaako in NZ Secondary Schools (Graduate Diploma in Teaching-Secondary)

Areas of expertise


Adolescent motivation and engagement

Political economy and education in low socio-economic schools

Initial teacher education


The Arts


Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • Member of NZARE
  • TEU
  • Member of Teacher Education Forum of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • National monitor for the Education Council of Aotearoa/ New  Zealand (EDUCANZ)
  • Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG)

Committee membership (current)

  • Faculty Health and Safety Committee
  • CRSTIE Post-graduate Committee

Past memberships

  • Faculty Teacher Education Programmes Board
  • Faculty Teaching and Learning Subcommittee
  • Co-chair BEd(Tchg) Primary programme subcommittee
  • BEd(Tchg) ECE programme subcommittee
  • Practicum Advisory Group (Primary)
  • ECE Advisory Committee
  • Staff/Student Consultative Committee for BEd(Tchg)
  • LDPP Teaching and Learning Committee

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Sutherland, J. S. (2015). Personal Educational Planning at Secondary School: Vision and Voice The University of Auckland. ResearchSpace@Auckland.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/26618
  • McKinley, E. A., Madjar, I., Van der Merwe, A., Smith, S. L., Sutherland, S., & Yuan, J. (2009). Targets and Talk: Evaluation of an evidence-based academic counselling programme. 1-95. Auckland, NZ: Starpath Project, University of Auckland.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/18870
  • Carpenter, V., Sutherland, S., & Duncan, J. (12/10/2004). Teaching for diversity in New Zealand secondary schools. Video Campus, Auckland College of Education.
  • Sutherland, S. (2004). Art rooms: Sites of empowerment and success. New Zealand Journal of Teachers' Work, 1 (1), 16-22. Related URL.
  • Sutherland, S. (2004). Art teaching: Making a difference in low decile schools Massey University. Massey University.

Contact details

Primary location

Level 4, Room 452
New Zealand