Dr Katrina McChesney

Katrina McChesney

Senior Lecturer

Qualifications: BA, BSc, GradDipTchg(Sec), PhD

About Katrina

I am a senior lecturer in initial teacher education at the University of Waikato. Currently, I teach literacy and numeracy education and concepts of teaching and learning within the Bachelor of Teaching programme both at the Tauranga campus and online. I was a 2019 recipient of a Division of Education Teaching Excellence Award.

I am passionate about helping teachers be the best they can be for the sake of our tamariki. Having spent time outside NZ and worked on international benchmarking projects, I'm proud of the education system we have here in Aotearoa and want to see it continue to improve for all students.

I currently serve on the National Council of the New Zealand Association for Research in Education and co-edit the association's blog, Ipu Kererū ( I am also a member of the editorial board of Learning Environments Research, a Q1 Springer journal, and the chair of the Board of Trustees at Selwyn Ridge Primary School in Tauranga, New Zealand.

Papers Taught

Research Supervised


Tania Berryman - Master of Education, 2018-2019 (sole supervisor)
Embedding employability skills into pedagogical practices in vocational training contexts

Tanith Gordon - Directed Study, 2020 (sole supervisor)
In what ways do adverse childhood experiences impact children’s health and education?

Victoria Hiini - Master of Educational Leadership, 2018-2019 (sole supervisor)
Effectively leading pedagogical change within primary schools in the unique bicultural context of Aotearoa New Zealand


Tanith Gordon - Doctor of Philosophy, 2021- (chief supervisor)
Homelessness in New Zealand: A child’s voice: The effect of transient homelessness and transitional housing on Māori and Pasifika children 

Michelle Marston - Master of Educational Leadership, 2020-2021 (sole supervisor)
Māori student perceptions of school leaders' efforts to support their wellbeing and academic achievement

Jo McMillan - Doctor of Philosophy, 2019- (chief supervisor)
Collective teacher efficacy in international education reform contexts
Co-supervisors: Dr Donella Cobb, Professor Bronwen Cowie

Piper Mejia - Directed Study, 2021 (sole supervisor)
Why a human geographic study of gender performativity in the spaces outside of school can give insight into our understanding of the educational experience of female secondary school ākonga (students)

Kelvin Mills - Doctor of Philosophy, 2019- (co-supervisor)
Mathematics in workplace settings: Numeracy in the mechanical engineering trades
Chief supervisor: Associate Professor Nigel Calder
Co-supervisor: Dr Diana Amundsen

Lorraine Sands - Master of Education, 2020-2021 (sole supervisor)
Learning stories and their relationship to learner identities

Katherine Souness - Master of Educational Leadership, 2021 (co-supervisor)
The impact of school leaders on transition to school
Co-supervisor: Dr Olivera Kamenarac

Research Interests

My research centres on people's experiences of educational spaces, processes, and activities. I am interested in the fundamental question: What is it like for you? across a range of stakeholders/participants in various aspects, processes, spaces or types of education. Understanding people’s educational experiences is important for informing educational improvement as well as for supporting social justice, wellbeing, and educational outcomes.

I am currently involved in two major research projects:

- Investigating teachers' experiences of professional development and the barriers that they report as inhibiting professional development's impact

- Investigating the experiences of students preparing for, and transitioning into, careers in caring professions (currently, preservice teachers and social workers), including their wellbeing, resilience, transition experiences, and perceptions of the university environment

Other research projects I am or have previously been involved in include:

- Investigating how school climates are associated with outcomes including student mental health and wellbeing, bullying and antisocial behaviours, resilience, and life satisfaction

- Investigating teachers' and students' experiences within a professional development initiative focused on culturally responsive teaching mathematics teaching

- Developing and validating questionnaire tools for examining students' perceptions of their learning environments and teachers' perceptions of their professional learning / professional development

I am open to inquiries about supervision of postgraduate research related to any of the areas mentioned above and/or research that aligns with my interest in people's educational experiences and the key question: What is it like for you?

Recent Publications

Find more research publications by Katrina McChesney


Culture; Education; Education Research; Learning and Education; Pedagogy; Professional Learning; Reform in Education; Schools (Primary/Secondary); Teacher Education; Teacher Professional Learning/Development; Teaching; Teaching and Learning

Educational Experience; Learning Environments; Resilience; Socio-Emotional Outcomes; Wellbeing

Contact Details

Email: [email protected]
Room: Tauranga CBD campus, Durham St, Tauranga
Phone: Extension 3545