Associate Professor Sally A. Peters

Sally Peters

Head of School - Te Oranga School of Human Development and Counselling


Children; Early Childhood/Early Years Education; Education; Human Development; Learning; Teaching and Learning


Qualifications: BEd MEd PhD Waik DipNZFKU DipT

Personal Website:

Contact Details

Name  Extn.  Username  Room  Department
Peters, AProf Sally 8386 speters TT.5.03C Te Oranga Human Development and Movement

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Papers Taught

Research Interests

My main research interests relate to transitions, key competencies and children’s thinking (working theories). These interests interweave, with a central focus on the ways in which learning can be fostered within and across settings, and some of the dilemmas associated with this. I have grown increasing interested in transitions across different aspects of the lifespan and transitions in thinking. Currently, I am fascinated by the notions of liminal spaces, borders and borderlands. This has extended into exploring cultural borders, and I have been privileged to be working in partnership with Māori researchers on a number of projects.

My publications reflect my ability to contribute new ideas to the discipline, engage in international peer-reviewed scholarship and also a commitment to present findings and theory in ways that make a difference to teachers and therefore to children. My research across the ECE and school sectors led to being part of the team re-writing the early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki (2017) and the Ministry of Education’s resource document for teachers on Transitions and Pathways.

Current and recent projects

2018-2019 Teacher Led Innovation Fund

ECE to Primary Transitions in Dannevirk: Critical friend working with a grop of teachers in Dannevirke to explore and enhance transition processes across the kahui ako.

2018-2020 Private Organisation

Principal researcher leading a team to carry out an independent evaluation of an ECE pilot project. Funded by the organisation delivering the pilot programme.

2017-2018 Superu

Strengthening children’s relational competencies: Identifying key factors that impact on emotional and social resilience from pre-birth to 4.5 years: Member of a research team exploring secondary analysis of GUINZ data to explore emotional and social resilience,

2013-2016 IRSES Counterpart Fund administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand

Pedagogies of Educational Transitions [POET] Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme [IRSES] project: New Zealand team leader for a four year IRSES involving teams of researchers from Sweden, Iceland, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand.

2015-2016 Teaching & Learning Research Initiative (TLRI)

Nurturing and encouraging young children’s identity, language and culture in the early years: Research associate on a project with CORE Education exploring how young children express and develop working theories about identity, language and culture.

2014-2015 Teaching & Learning Research Initiative (TLRI)

Riariakina ō rongo hirikapo: Research team member in a cross-sector project on tamariki moving from kōhanga reo to kura classrooms.

2011-2013 Teaching & Learning Research Initiative (TLRI)

Learning journeys from early childhood into school: Co-director on a three-year Category A project which explored a range of transition issues with a view to supporting children’s learning journeys and enhancing transition experiences for children, families and teachers.

Recent Publications

  • Peters, S. A., & Sandberg, G. (2017). Borderlands, bridges and rights of passage. In N. Ballam, B. Perry, & A. Garpelin (Eds.), Pedagogies of Educational Transitions European and Antipodean Research (Vol. 16, pp. 223-237). Switzerland: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-43118-5

  • Dockett, S., Perry, B., Garpelin, A., Einarsdóttir,, J., Peters, S. A., & Dunlop, A. (2017). Pedagogies of educational transition: Current emphasies and future directions. In N. Ballam, B. Perry, & A. Garpelin (Eds.), Pedagogies of Educational Transitions (Vol. Part V, pp. 275-292). Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-43118-5_17

  • Ballam, N., Peters, S., & Paki, V. (2017). An international tertiary research partnership: Pedagogies of educational transitions. In R. McNae, & B. Cowie (Eds.), Realising Innovative Partnerships in Educational Research (pp. 279-290). Sense Publishers.

  • Hohepa, M., Paki, V., Peters, S., Gilbert, T., Hawksworth, L., Olliver, D., . . . Hakaraia, T. (2017). Riariakina ō rongo hirikapo From kōhanga reo to kura. Teaching & Learning Research Initiative. Retrieved from Open Access version:

Find more research publications by Sally Peters