Dr Donella J Cobb

Donella Cobb



Education; Education Policy; Globalisation; Music Education; Pedagogy; Professional Studies in Education; Sociology and Education; Teacher Education; Teacher Practice/Practicum

Comparative and International Education, International Educational Development, Critical Pedagogy, Pre-service teacher education (Primary), Teacher Identity, Learning Communities

Qualifications: PhD, MMusEd, BMusEd, DipTchg

Contact Details

Name  Extn.  Username  Room  Department
Cobb, Dr Donella 8385 dcobb TT.3.08 Te Hononga Curriculum and Pedagogy

You can contact staff by:
  • Calling +64 7 838 4466  select option 1, then enter the extension
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    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension
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    • For extensions starting with 8: dial +64 7 557 extension (TAURANGA exts only)
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Papers Taught

About Donella

Donella came to the Faculty of Education with a background as a teacher, Director of Music and Assistant Principal in primary schools in New Zealand, England,  Africa and Australia. Donella's creative and innovative approach to teaching has sparked her own interest in inquiry learning, curriculum integration, culturally responsive pedagogy and critical pedagogy.  Donella currently teaches Professional Practice and Inquiry papers and Music Education in the Bachelor of Teaching and Graduate Diploma of Teaching programmes. She was the recipient of The University of Waikato, Faculty of Education Teaching Excellence Award in 2015 and 2017 and The University of Waikato Teaching Excellence Award in 2017.

Research Interests

Donella's research interests centre around pedagogy and the contested notion of quality teaching. In the global context, Donella's research explores the political economy of education and the intersection between critical pedagogy, education in development and international education policy. Her current research examines the role of international aid organisations in the globalisation of learner-centred pedagogy. Donella also serves as the Communications Officer for the Oceania Comparative and International Education Society (OCIES).

Within the local context, Donella has worked in collaboration with the Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research (WMIER) to study the development of teacher identity in pre-service teachers. Donella's current research in this field explores pre-service teachers in the practicum setting, their transition into early career teachers and the relationship between teacher identity and pedagogy.

Recent Publications

  • Cobb, D., & Harlow, A. (2017). Rethinking the associate teacher and pre-service teacher relationship: Powerful possibilities for co-learning partnerships. In R. McNae, & B. Cowie (Eds.), Realising Innovative Partnerships in Educational Research
    Theories and Methodologies for Collaboration
    (pp. 87-98). Sense Publishers.

  • Cobb, D., & Franken, M. (2017). Editors’ introduction: A collaborative exploration of reflexivity as a pedagogic bridge towards publication for international postgraduate students. Waikato Journal of Education, 22(2), 3-11. doi:10.15663/wje.v22i2.562 Open Access version:

  • Cobb, D. J. (2014). Tales of a cross-cultural research journey: Navigating potholes, roadblocks and dead-ends. In J. Rath, & C. Mutch (Eds.), Emerging Critical Scholarship in Education: Navigating the Doctoral Journey (pp. 171-183). Newcastle upon Tyne, England: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Retrieved from Open Access version:

  • Vaioleti, T. M., Morrison, S. L., Ratana, D., Cobb, D., Vaioleti, L. M. M., Corcoran, J., & Teaero, T. (2014). Arts curriculum: Art education scoping and sequence framework in Kiribati. Years 10-13 Syllablus. The University of Waikato.

Find more research publications by Donella Cobb