Dr Donella J Cobb

Donella Cobb

Senior Lecturer


Education; Education Policy; Globalisation; Sociology and Education; Teacher Education; Teacher Practice/Practicum

Comparative and International Education, International Educational Development, Global citizenship education, global competence, teacher Identity.

Qualifications: PhD, MMusEd, BMusEd, DipTchg

Contact Details

Email: [email protected]
Room: TC3.35
Phone: +64 7 8379081

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 currently teaches in the Masters of Global Studies programme. 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. Donella is the Co-Director of the Centre for Global Studies in Education and the Deputy Director, Education of the Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence (CAPEs).

Research Supervised

Donella currently supervises in the area of Comparative and International Education, Global Studies and policy sociology at the Masters and Doctoral level.

Research Interests

Donella's research interests centre around pedagogy and the contested notion of quality teaching. In the global context, Donella's research is located within the field of Comparative and International Education (CIE) and explores the political economy of education, 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 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., & Couch, D. (2021). Locating inclusion within the OECD’s assessment of global competence: An inclusive future through PISA 2018?. Policy Futures in Education. doi:10.1177/14782103211006636

  • Tuia, T. T., & Cobb, D. (2021). Decolonizing Samoan fa’afaletui methodology: taking a closer look. AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, 17(2), 275-283. doi:10.1177/11771801211016854

  • Cobb, D. (2020). Initial Teacher Education and the Development of Teacher Identity. In M. A. Peters (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Teacher Education (pp. 1-5). Singapore: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-981-13-1179-6_383-1 Open Access version:

  • Cobb, D., & Arndt, S. (2020). Modul Mentoring. Indonesia: UNICEF. Retrieved from

Find more research publications by Donella Cobb