An academic who helped develop and strengthen women’s roles in the education sector has been awarded the title of Emeritus Professor by the University of Waikato.
Professor Sue Middleton who recently retired from Waikato’s Faculty of Education pioneered New Zealand’s first courses that focussed on women and education and education and sexuality. She was also instrumental in implementing Waikato University’s Doctor of Education degree.
And Professor Middleton’s contributions extended much further than the Faculty of Education. She took on university-wide administrative roles to develop and implement training and resources for doctoral supervisors which were picked up by universities throughout Australasia.
University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says that during her 33 years at Waikato, Professor Middleton has always had the students’ best interests at the core of her research and teaching, and then taken a wider view. “
“This university and staff and students at other universities have all benefitted greatly from Professor Middleton’s contribution to academic leadership, research and teaching and teaching – it’s fitting to be awarding her the title of Emeritus Professor.”
Influencing scholars, students and teachers
Professor Middleton’s book Women and education in Aotearoa and subsequent publications have become classics and have influenced the thinking of a generation of scholars, students and teachers. She has written or edited 12 books. One of these (edited with Alison Jones), The Kiss and the Ghost: Sylvia Ashton Warner and New Zealand, examined the educator and novelist’s ambivalent relationship with her native New Zealand and her theories on learning. Professor Middleton’s new book, Henri Lefebvre: Space, History, Theory, (Routledge UK) will be published in November.
Throughout her career, Professor Middleton’s research has combined life-history intervewing and archival research to explore New Zealan educationists’ involvement in the global ‘travels’ of educational ideas, including the mid-twentieth century ‘New’ or ‘Progressive’ education movement. Other studies include an oral history of teaching (with Helen May) and the impact of the Performance Based Research Funding process on educationists.
Professor Middleton went to the United States on a Fulbright Senior Scholarship. She has given talks and workshops at many leading institutions, including Harvard University and Teachers College, Columbia, New York. She also had visiting fellowships at the Institute of Education in London and was awarded the New Zealand Association for Research in Education’s McKenzie Award for sustained contribution to educational research in New Zealand.