Dr Jane Furness

Jane Furness

Teaching Fellow and Research Officer

PhD, PGDipPsych(Com), MSocSc (with First Class Honours), BEd, TTC

About Jane

My background is in education and psychology. A trained teacher, I am also a registered community psychologist. I have over twenty years experience in adult learning and literacy education. I have taught in the areas of community psychology, family and community literacy, cultural diversity and women's studies.

Papers Taught

Research Interests

Broadly, my research interests span holistic, integrative theories of psycho-social wellbeing / human flourishing across diverse groups, community strengthening and development, systems-based approaches to social issues, social change and wellbeing, and evaluation of community and government service provision. I am particularly interested in impacts on psycho-social wellbeing of adult and family/whanau literacy and numeracy practices and education, and the interface between home and school and between community and government. As a Post Doctoral Research Fellow in the Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, I conducted research in teacher education curriculum and systems for equitable student outcomes, which brought together my dual passions for community psychology and education. I use mainly qualitative research methods in my work.

Research projects have included programme evaluations; for instance women's experiences of their male partner's participation in a men's non-violence programme, a parenting programme, whanau literacy programmes, and the workload of a sexual abuse crisis service. Other research has included, for example, studies of social housing needs,  home support services for people living with dementia, and wellbeing outcomes of adult and whanau literacy programmes. Currently I am a key researcher in a Maori and Psychology Research Unit team working with Auckland University on a 5-year Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Endeavour fund project entitled The expression, experience and transcendence of low skill in Aotearoa New Zealand. I am also extending my work on the wellbeing effects of literacy education from a recently completed Teaching and Learning Research Initiative funded by the New Zealand Council of Educational Research.

Recent Publications

  • Cooper, B., Cowie, B., & Furness, J. (2021). Curriculum mapping as a boundary encounter: meeting the demands of multiple agendas. Educational Research for Policy and Practice. doi:10.1007/s10671-021-09299-5

  • Hunter, J., & Furness, J. (2020). Questioning social media in the adult literacy classroom. New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, 55(1), 149-163. doi:10.1007/s40841-019-00148-x

  • Mitchell, L., Furness, J., Cowie, B., & Taylor, M. (2018). Family and community partnerships in education. In Oxford Bibliographies. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0197

  • Furness, J., Roberston, N., Hunter, J., Hodgetts, D., & Nikora, L. W. (2017). Wellbeing effects from family literacy education: An ecological study. Community Psychology in Global Perspective,, 3(2), 22-37. doi:10.1285/i24212113v3i2p22 Open Access version:

Find more research publications by Jane Furness


Adult Education; Arts and Language Education; Assessment and Evaluation in Education; Education Policy; Education Research; Human Behaviour; Human Development; Key Competencies; Learning and Education; Lifelong Learning; Literacy Learning; Psychology; Social Science Research; Teacher Education; Treaty of Waitangi

Contact Details

Email: [email protected]
Room: K1.02
Phone: Ext 9232
Cellphone: 021792788