Professor Linda M Mitchell

Linda Mitchell


Assessment and Evaluation in Education; Education; Education Politics

Qualifications: PhD, MA. BA

Contact Details

Email: [email protected]
Room: TW1.05
Phone: Extn 7734
Cellphone: 02102391724

Papers Taught

About Linda

Professor Linda Mitchell is internationally recognised for her evaluation and analysis of early childhood education policies. Her research has influenced the development of policy frameworks that support good teaching and learning both in Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally. She is highly critical of ways in which private owners have made profits from education funding for their own individual gain, and argues for education to be a public good and community asset. Her recent book Democratic Policies and Practices in Early Childhood Education: An Aotearoa New Zealand case study expands on these views, illustrating what democratic practice might look like and what it can achieve in terms of policy and practice.

Her second strand of research is practitioner-focused. In two projects, Professor Mitchell and her research team are investigating how early childhood education can strengthen bicultural belonging for refugee and migrant families in Aotearoa New Zealand, and also help families sustain a sense of belonging in their home country. These studies are funded through grants from the Royal Society Marsden Fund (refugee research) and the Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) fund (migrant research). They contribute to addressing a global issue of our time: the crisis for refugee and migrant children that has left 31 million children living outside their home countries.

Recently, her research field has expanded to strengthening early childhood provision in Timor Leste, one of the lowest income countries in the world.

Research Supervised

Completed PhD supervisions

Jane Ewens (2019). You kind of have to be a bit superhuman.” Early childhood teacher beliefs about what it takes to be a good teacher: A discourse analysis. Chief supervisor.

Olivera Kamenarac (2018). Constructions of Early Childhood Teachers' Professional Identities through the Reform of Early Childhood Polices in New Zealand over the Last Three Decades. Supervisor.

Janette Kelly (2018). Negotiating fairness and diversity: Stories from an Aotearoa New Zealand kindergarten. Chief supervisor.

Lynley Westerbeke (2016). Understanding the construct of belonging in a for-profit ECE centre: an ethnographic study. Chief supervisor.

Tracey Hooker (2016). Adults and children engaging with e-portfolios in an early childhood education setting. Chief supervisor.

Jeanette Clarkin-Phillips (2016). Fighting the odds to make it even: Mapping an affordance ecosystem in a kindergarten community. Supervisor.

Ignasia Mligo (2015), Impediments to Effective Enactment of Early Childhood Education Curriculum and Pedagogy in Tanzania: Issues and Experiences of Teachers in Urban and Rural. Chief supervisor.

Ongoing PhD supervisions

Amanda Coulston (ongoing). Constructing self: A case study into a programme for long–term unemployed young men working in early childhood centres. Chief supervisor.

Emela Achu Fenmachi (ongoing). Parental Involvement in Early Childhood Learning: Douala, Littoral Region, Cameroon. Supervisor.

Raella Kahuroa (ongoing). Exploring belonging through an empowering curriculum: an exploration of critical literacy approaches with young children from diverse backgrounds. Chief supervisor.

Hira Lakho (ongoing). The role of Early Childhood Education teachers and parents in supporting resilience in young children from migrant families in Pakistan. Supervisor.

Silky Luthra (ongoing). Understanding how Ableism affects children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Early Childhood Education Setting. Chief supervisor.

Jo McMillan (ongoing). The relationship between Māori students participating in process drama and an increased engagement in learning through the lens of Kaupapa Māori methodology. Chief supervisor.

Mefi Naufahu (ongoing). Educational engagement practices of Tongan parents in relation to their children’s learning. Chief supervisor.

Tofavaha Vehikite (ongoing). Faiako ma’a Tonga: A contribution as an edge-walker for the participation of Tongan immigrant families with early years’ children in early childhood learning centres in New Zealand - provisional title. Chief supervisor.

Completed MEd thesis supervisions

Lucia de Guterres Araujo (June 2018). Teachers’ perspectives and implementation of the child-centred curriculum for preschool education in Timor-Leste. (120 points). Chief Supervisor.

Zulmira da Cuz Soares Pinto (June 2018). Exploring funds of knowledge in Timorese families and their use in education. (120 points). Supervisor.

Debbie Woolston (2017). Associate teachers in early childhood education. (90 points). Chief supervisor.

Mefi Naufahau. (2014). An  investigation of Tongan parents’   aspirations, expectations and views of the value of Early Childhood Education  for their children. Chief supervisor.

Judi Randall. (2014). Impacts of Early Childhood Education Social Obligations on Families and Whānau. Chief supervisor.

Kathryn Hawkes (2014). Where have all the children gone – experiences of children, parents and teachers in a changing early childhood education service. Chief supervisor.

Tanya Shorter (2013). Teacher appraisal - its relationship to motivation, collegial relationships and pedagogical change in an early childhood context in Aotearoa New Zealand. Chief supervisor.

Raella Kaheroa. (2013).What critical literacy might look like in an early childhood setting. Chief supervisor.

Ongoing MEd supervision

Yasmine Serhan (ongoing). Intercultural dialogue between infants in a multicultural ECE context in Aotearoa New Zealand. (120 points). Chief supervisor.

Completed MSocSci thesis supervisions

Elizabeth Nateethong. (2013). Sex industry and society. Chief supervisor.

Recent Publications

  • Mitchell, L., Bateman, A., Kahuroa, R., Khoo, E., & Rameka, L. (2020). Strengthening belonging and identity of refugee and immigrant children through early childhood education. Wellington: TLRI. Retrieved from

  • Mitchell, L. (2020). Transforming Early Childhood Education. Dreams and hope in Aotearoa New Zealand. In M. Vandenbroeck (Ed.), Revisiting Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Ooppresses. Issues and Challenges in Early Childhood Education (pp. 166-185). New York, NY: Routledge.

  • Mitchell, L., & Khoo, E. (2020). Comment. Early Childhood Folio, 24(1), 1-2. doi:10.18296/ecf.0072

  • Mitchell, L. (2020). Community Involvement and Public Engagement in Early Childhood Education (New Zealand).. In C. Mutch, & M. Waniganayake (Eds.), Bloomsbury Education and Childhood Studies. London: Bloomsbury. doi:10.5040/9781350996496.0008

Find more research publications by Linda Mitchell