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

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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 in the Bachelor of Teaching, Masters of Teaching and Masters programmes. She was the recipient of the University of Waikato, Faculty of Education Teaching Excellence Award in 2015 and 2017, the University of Waikato Teaching Excellence Award in 2017 and the Ako Aotearoa New Zealand Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award in 2018.

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 serves as the Communications Officer for the Oceania Comparative and International Education Society (OCIES). She has worked as an educational consultant for UNICEF, UNESCO, MFAT and NGOs throughout Asia, the Pacific and Africa.

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. J. (2018). Panacea or nostrum? Open Educational Resources and the recontextualisation of pedagogy. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 1-19. doi:10.1080/09620214.2018.1499435

  • Cobb, D. (2018). Placing the spotlight on open educational resources: Global phenomenon or cultural guise?. The International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives, 17(3), 15-29. Retrieved from

  • Cobb, D. J., Harlow, A., & Clark, L. (2018). Examining the teacher identity-agency relationship through legitimate peripheral participation: A longitudinal investigation. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 1-16. doi:10.1080/1359866X.2018.1480010

  • Cobb, D., & Couch, D. (2018). Teacher education for an uncertain future: Implications of PISA’s global competence. In D. Heck, & A. Ambrosetti (Eds.), Teacher Education in and for Uncertain Times (pp. 35-47). Springer. Retrieved from

Find more research publications by Donella Cobb