Dr Noeline I Wright

Noeline Wright

Senior Research Officer/Senior Lecturer

Qualifications: BA, MA, ED, DipEL, DipTeach

Papers Taught

Research Supervised

  • BYOD in a primary school
  • Understanding the role of online discussion in learning
  • Professional development in a secondary school
  • Private secondary schools in Maoist Nepal
  • Women leaders in a tertiary education context in Indonesia
  • Uptake of and resistance to, digital technologies in teacher education in the Maldives
  • Educational leadership and practices in primary schools
  • Primary schools under statutory management
  • Matriarchal educational leadership in Santa Isabel, Solomon Islands
  • Student agency and voice in primary schools
  • Role of digital technologies in reducing isolation in Māori rural communities
  • Investigating becoming a future-focused secondary school 

A statement of approach and practice to supervision

The process of supervision (for both me and you) is both rigorous and demanding. I will be supportive, but expect you to read widely and critically, prepare well for supervision meetings and be highly organised. As time goes by, you will take greater control of the process as you assume greater knowledge, confidence and expertise in your chosen field.

I will supervise with a colleague, particularly if the thesis is at doctoral level. That way, you get the benefit of two 'eyes' on your thesis, two points of view, and two fields of expertise. The following statement outlines my approach and practices about supervision comprising four major components:

1.  Meetings

I will usually meet with you once a month face-to-face, but we will probably interact via email in between those scheduled times. The f2f meetings centre on feedback to your drafts, discussing theoretical ideas, methodology or research questions. It is unlikely that we would meet without a piece of work to discuss. To that end, any written work will need to be submitted a minimum of a week before any meeting (or longer, depending on the size of the draft), unless we have made other arrangements.

2. Feedback

This is a critical part of our relationship. I will do my best to get this to you as quickly as possible, often within 10 days of receiving it. It will often be annotated closely, but my job is not to do the thinking for you, rather it is to critique and help shape your thinking about your chosen topic. This feedback will support our f2f meeting. The idea is to provoke thought and robust argument.

3. Independence

The thesis is yours. The role of supervision is to help you develop a clear, thoughtful and clearly expressed argument that reflects deep and critical thinking. It is therefore your job to do the thinking and arguing - mine is to prod your thinking, arguing, and framing to shape a quality thesis. My role is to focus not so much on content, but on the quality of your argument and its expression. I may however, direct you read certain texts, or point you to read in a certain field to expand, focus or challenge your thinking.

4. Writing

The quality of your writing is important to me. Your thesis is, after all, the product of your research. I will expect you to develop an elegant and clear 'story' that makes it easy for others to know what you explored and found out, how you did it, and what it adds to the body of knowledge in the field. As you get closer to finishing your thesis, I will concentrate more on challenging you to write with clarity, elegance and precision.

Undertaking a a thesis, whether masters or doctoral, is an intellectual and emotional challenge. There will be times when you doubt yourself, or feel anxious. There will also be times of excitement and pleasure when you have those 'aha!' moments. The role of supervisor is to guide you and ask difficult and disarmingly simple questions as you go. Supervising is also about challenging you to think deeply and write cleanly and well. The writing of the thesis can often seem like the hardest part, for the thesis has to exist as a document separate from you, tell the story of your investigation and show what it means and adds to our knowledge. We have to help you create a thesis an examiner will want to read and admire, and one you are proud to own.

Research Interests

e-learning (secondary schools); pedagogy (secondary schools); digital leadership in secondary schools; initial teacher education/beginning teacher development.

Some details

Current personal research centres on aspects of e-learning, particularly in secondary school classrooms. I've been working closely with a local school to ready itself for rolling out BYOD (bring your own device). A key feature of my research centres on using action research to examine the pedagogical uses of digital technologies in both preservice and inservice educational contexts.

I an general editor of the Open Source Waikato Journal of Education.

Another project has been a longitudinal investigation into the first four years of new secondary schools - from the appointment of key stakeholders through to three years of teaching and learning (Wright & Adam, 2015). It is now a 2018 book, Becoming an Innovative Learning Environment: The making of a  New Zealand Secondary school.

A funded TLRI project (Teaching and Learning Research Initiative) 2017-2019 explores how staff and students make sense of founding a new school. The lens is through Fletcher's (2008) an architecture of ownership - belonging, agency, meaning-making.

Embedding literacy in tertiary/vocational contexts has also featured as an earlier research interest, particularly using action enquiry as a method for data collection, generation, analysis and reflection leading to enhanced professional practices.

Internationally, I was one of the faculty staff involved in a longitudinal NZAID project to support staff and programme development for the School of Education in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

In 2002, I completed an educational leadership doctorate centred on the professional lives of English Heads of Department, with the findings represented as a short story.

Recent Publications

  • Wright, N. (2019). Futures of learning in an ‘on’ world: implications for primary school learning. In Primary Education Research Symposium. Symposium held at the Eastern Institute of Technology, Napier, New Zealand.

  • Wright, N. (2018). Making new schools: Influences, practices, disruptions. In NZARE 2018. Conference held at the AUT South Campus, Auckland, New Zealand.

  • Wright, N. (2018). Becoming an innovative learning environment: The making of a New Zealand secondary school. Springer. doi:10.1007/978-981-13-0764-5

  • Hawera, N., Sharma, S., & Wright, N. (2017). Initial teacher education students’ reasons for using digital learning objects when teaching mathematics. In A. Downton, S. Livy, & J. Hall (Eds.), Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (pp. 293-300). Adelaide, Australia: MERGA Inc.. Open Access version:

Find more research publications by Noeline Wright


Education; Education Research; E-Education; E-Learning; Leadership; Learning; Learning and Education; Learning Centered Leadership; Learning Environment; Pedagogy; Professional Studies in Education; Teacher Education; Teacher Practice/Practicum; Teacher Professional Learning/Development; Teaching; Teaching and Learning; Teaching Online; Tertiary Education

action research
digital technologies in education
secondary schools

Contact Details

Name  Extn.  Username  Room  Department
Wright, Dr Noeline 7861 noelinew TW.1.11 Education, School of (SOE)

You can contact staff by:
  • Calling +64 7 838 4466  select option 1, then enter the extension
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