Professor Elizabeth Mary Rata
PhD, MEd, BA
Elizabeth Rata is a sociologist of education and a professor in the School of Critical Studies in Education at the Faculty of Education, The University of Auckland. She is Director of the Knowledge in Education Research Unit (KERU) where she leads the Knowledge-Rich School Project. This Project is using the Curriculum Design Coherence Model for teachers in their course design, in professional development programmes, and in pre-service teacher education. Her post-PhD research was into the effects of ethnic politics on educational change.
For the last decade her research has been concerned with bringing back academic knowledge into education so that all students, no matter what their background, have the opportunity to succeed at school. Her research criticises the current commitment in New Zealand education to student-led learning, innovative learning environments, and the emhasis on teachers as facilitators.
She was a Senior Fulbright Scholar to Georgetown University, Washington, DC in 2003. Her major books are: A Political Economy of Neotribal Capitalism, 2000, and The Politics of Knowledge in Education, 2012. She publishes in international journals such as Anthropological Theory, The Curriculum Journal, Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, Critique of Anthropology, Educational Philosophy and Theory, New Zealand Journal of Educaitonal Studies, and the British Educational Research Journal with disciplinary connections to sociology, anthropology, philosophy,and political science. She has supervised over 40 Masters and PhD students in a range of areas including Māori education, higher education, curriculum studies, education policy, and the history of education.
Research | Current
This section contains description and publications related to my four main projects followed by media article and speeches. All publications are available for private study by emailing me at email@example.com
The projects are:
- Knowledge in Education
- The Knowledge-Rich School project and the Curriculum Design Coherence Model
- Education and Democracy
- The Politics of Ethnicity in Education
KNOWLEDGE IN EDUCATION
My research into knowledge in education is undertaken with colleagues in the Knowledge in Education Research Unit (KERU). KERU is a cross-Faculty Research Unit located in the School of Critical Studies (CRSTIE) in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland. I established KERU in 2010 following the visit to the School by that year’s Hood Fellow, Professor Michael Young. KERU members attend the Knowledge in Education (KiE) symposia held biennially at Jesus College, Cambridge University.
Selected publications and videoed presentations about knowledge in education
The Curriculum Design Coherence Model
Rata E., McPhail G. (2020) Teacher Professional Development, the Knowledge-Rich School Project and the Curriculum Design Coherence Model. In: Fox J., Alexander C., Aspland T. (eds) Teacher Education in Globalised Times. Springer, Singapore
Rata, E. (2019). Knowledge-Rich Teaching: A Model of Curriculum Design Coherence, British Educational Research Journal. Vol. 45 Issue 4, p681-697.
McPhail, G., & Rata, E. The Knowledge Democracy Connection and Music Education, Philosophy of Music Education Review, 27 (2), 112-132.
Rata, E. (2018) Knowledge and politics, Educational Philosophy and Theory, 50:14, 1318-1319, DOI:10.1080/00131857.2018.1461363. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00131857.2018.1461363.
Rata, E. (2017). Knowledge and Teaching, British Educational Research Journal. 43(5), 1003-1017. DOI:10.1002/berj.3301
Rata, E. (2016). A pedagogy of conceptual progression and the case for academic knowledge. British Educational Research Journal, 42 (1), 168-184. 10.1002/berj.3195;
Rata, E, McPhail, G, & Barrett, B. (2019). An Engaging Pedagogy for an Academic Curriculum. The Curriculum Journal, 30(2), 162-180.
Rata, E. and Taylor, A. (2015). Knowledge equivalence discourse in New Zealand secondary school science. New Zealand Journal of Educational Research. 50(2), 223-238. DOI 10.1007/s40841-015-0020-1
McPhail, G. & Rata, E. (2017). A theoretical model of curriculum design: ‘Powerful Knowledge’ and ‘21st Century Learning’. In. B. Barrett, U. Hoadley & J. Morgan (Eds.) Knowledge, curriculum and equity: Social realist perspectives. Routledge publisher. Ch 6.
McPhail, G. & Rata, E. (2015). Comparing Curriculum Types: 'Powerful Knowledge' and '21st Century Learning' New Zealand Journal of Educational Research, 51(1), 53-68.
Rata, E. (2012) The Politics of Knowledge in Education. British Educational Research Journal, 38(1), 103-124.
Rata, E. (2012) The Politics of Knowledge in Education. London: Routledge.
THE KNOWLEDGE-RICH SCHOOL PROJECT
In 2018, KERU established the Knowledge-Rich School Project to trial the Curriculum Design Coherence Model (CDC Model). In New Zealand the Project involves primary and secondary schools with a kura kaupapa Maori joining in 2020. Initial findings show that the CDC Model is a successful design tool for teachers. It is used to design courses within a school year as well as across the years programmes in all school subjects, for example, primary writing programmes, Maths, English, Religious Studies, Music, Science, Social Studies and History. The Project was joined in 2019 by Sheffield Hallam University’s School of Education, led by Dr Richard Pountney,in conjunction with Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education KNSTE, led by Diane Swift.
Rata, E. (2019). Knowledge-Rich Teaching: A Model of Curriculum Design Coherence, British Educational Research Journal. DOI:10.1002/berj.3520
KNOWLEDGE AND DEMOCRACY
My major ongoing theoretical inquiry is about the connection between the type of knowledge taught in education systems like New Zealand’s and the viability of democracy in the 21st century. It has long been assumed that educated people will be committed to democratic principles such as equality and justice and to the institutions which safeguard these principles. However, the emergence of populism and authoritarian governments around the world suggest that we can no longer assume the strength of democracy nor its inevitability as the political system for the future. What then does this new world hold for New Zealand? What can our education do to ensure that democracy remains strong in this country? My research examines the type of knowledge taught at school and how it is taught. I ask how this knowledge and the type of thinking it develops produces young people who have the ability and the desire to be democratic citizens.
The publications for this Project are:
Rata, E. The Politics of Knowledge in Education. Published in The Educationalist, January 2020 (Originally delivered as a Public Lecture, May 2014, Bhopal, India.) http://www.theeducationist.info/politics-knowledge-education-elizabeth-rata/
Rata, E. (2017) Connecting Knowledge to Democracy In Knowledge, curriculum and equity:Social realist perspectives. In Barrett, B., Hoadley, U. & J. Morgan, (Eds.), Routledge. (pp. 19-32); London: Routledge.
Rata, E. (2018), ‘A Durkheimian Approach to Knowledge and Democracy’ In. Guile, D.,Lambert D. & M. Reiss (Eds.), Sociology, Curriculum Studies and Professional Knowledge: New Perspectives on the work of Michael Young (pp. 73-83). London & New York: Routledge. Chapter 5.
Rata, E. (2014). Knowledge and democracy: The strife of the dialectic. In Barrett, B. & Rata, E. (Eds.), Knowledge and the future of the curriculum: International studies in social realism. (pp. 79-91). Basingstoke UK: Palgrave MacMillan.
Rata, E. (2012) The Politics of Knowledge in Education. London: Routledge.
THE POLITICS OF ETHNICITY IN EDUCATION
This Project continues my long-term research into the ways in which the ethnic politics of the post-1970s’s decades has influenced education. More recently I have examined the localisation of the curriculum and pedagogy with examples from New Zealand. The project has involved fruitful collaborations with colleagues and masters and doctoral students over the years leading to the following publications.
Corballis, M., Rata, E., and R. Nola (2019). In Defence of Science and Questions for Māori Knowledge. History of Philosophy of Science and Science Teaching. November https://www.hpsst.com/hpsst-newsletter.html
Rata, E. (2020). The History of an Intellectual Dispute at Auckland’s School of Education. In Bonal, X., Coxon, E., Novelli, M. Amd V.P. Toni. Roger Dale Festschrift. Springer.
Rata, E. (2019). Response:To the article by Georgina Stewart and Nesta Devine: “A critique of Rata on the politics of knowledge and Māori education” Vol 24 (1) 12-24
Lynch, C. & Rata, E. (2018) Culturally responsive pedagogy: A New Zealand case study, International Studies in Sociology of Education, 27:4, 391-408, DOI: 10.1080/09620214.2018.1468274
Rata, E. (2017) Ethnic Revival. In Fathali M. Moghaddam Ed. The SAGE Encyclopedia of Political Behavior, (pp. 265-268). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
McPhail, G., Rata, E., & Siteine, A. (2018). The Changing Nature of Music Education. In G.McPhail, V. Thorpe & S. Wise, Case studies in educational change. Perspectives from music education in Aotearoa/New Zealand (pp. 74-91). London: Routledge.
Lomax, D. & Rata, E. (2016). Diversity, social cohesion and the curriculum: A study of a Muslim girls’ secondary school in New Zealand, Pacific-Asian Education. 28, 31-50.
Rata, E. M. & Zubaran, C. (2016). Ethnic Classification in the New Zealand Health Care System, Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. 41: 192–209
Rata, E. and Zubaran, C. (2016) Ethnic classification in the New Zealand health care system Atlas of Science. (republished in NZ Politics Today, 19th August 2016)Rata, E. (2015). Multiculturalism and education. In Mansouri, F. (Ed.), Cultural, Religious and Political Contestations: The Multicultural Challenge. (pp.107-118). Springer.
Rata, E. (2014). The Multicultural-Liberal Contradiction. In Boulou Ebanda de B'béri &
Fethi Mansouri (Eds.), Global Perspectives on the Politics of Multiculturalism in the 21st Century. (pp. 34-49). London & New York: Routledge.
Lourie, M., & Rata, E. (2014). A critique of the role of culture in Maori education. BritishJournal of Sociology of Education, 35(1), 19-26.
Rata, E. (2013). Knowledge and the Politics of Culture: An example from New Zealand’s Higher Education Policy and Practice. Anthropological Theory, 13 (4), 329-346.
Rata, E. & Tamati, T. (2013). The Effect of Indigenous Politics on English Language Provision in New Zealand's Maori Schools. Journal of Language, Identity and Education, 12(5), 262-276.
Rata, E. (2011). Theoretical Claims and Empirical Evidence in Maori Education Discourse. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 44(10), 1060-1072.
Rata, E. (2012). A Critical Study of Maori Education, in Openshaw, R. and Clark, J. (Eds.), Critic and Conscience: Essays on Education in Memory of John Codd and Roy Nash, (pp. 175-202). Wellington: NZCER.
Rata, E. (2011). Encircling the Commons: Neotribal Capitalism in New Zealand Since 2000, Anthropological Theory. 11(3), 327- 353.
Rata, E. (2011) Discursive Strategies of the Maori Tribal Elite, Critique of Anthropology, 31(4). 359–380.
Rata, E. (2010). Localising Neoliberalism: Indigenist Brokerage in the New Zealand University, Globalisation, Societies and Education, 8(4), 523-538.
Rata, E. (2010). A Sociology ‘of’ or a Sociology ‘for’ Education? The New Zealand Experience of the Dilemma, Journal of International Studies in Sociology of Education 20(2): 109-128.
Rata, E. (2006). Ethnic Ideologies in New Zealand Education, Delta 58 (1), 29-41.
Rata, E. (2005). Race, Ethnicity and Democracy in New Zealand Education, Public Sector, 28, No. 2, 2 – 6.
Rata, E. (2005). Rethinking Biculturalism. Anthropological Theory, 5(3): 267 – 284.
Rata, E. (2004/2005). 'Class Discourses in Neotribal Capitalism' Political Crossroads, 10(2), 19 – 32.
Rata, E. (2004). Neotribal Capitalism and Public Policy, Political Science, 56(1), 55 – 64.
Rata, E. (2005). Marching through the Institutions, The Neotribal Elite and the Treaty of Waitangi, Sites New Series, 1 (2) 56 – 81.
Rata, E. (2004). The Capitulation of the Left, Red and Green, December, 13 – 32.
Rata, E. (2004). Trading on the Treaty, New Zealand Political Review, 53, 28 – 43.
Rata, E. (2003). Leadership Ideology in Neotribal Capitalism, Political Power and Social Theory. 16, 45 – 73.
Rata, E. (2003). An Overview of Neotribal Capitalism, Ethnologies Compareés. Oceanie, debut de siecle. 6. alor.univ-montp3.fr/cerce/r6/e.r.htm
Rata, E. (2003). Late Capitalism and Ethnic Revivalism, ‘A New Middle Age?' Anthropological Theory, 3 (1), 46–64.
Rata, E. (2003). The Treaty and Neotribal Capitalism, Public Sector, 26 (3) 2 – 6.
Rata, E. (2002). The Transformation of Indigeneity’, Review, A Journal of the Fernand Braudel Center for the Study of Economies, Historical Systems and Civilisations, State University of New York. XXV (2), 173–195.
Rata, E. (2001). Conflict and Contradiction in Maori-Pakeha Relations. A Critique of Neotribal ideology in Maori Education', UTS Review, 7 (1), 135 – 152.
Rata, E. Constructing the Gaps, New Zealand Political Review, November, 24 – 30, 2000.
Rata, E. (1999). A Theory of Neotribal Capitalism, Review, A Journal of the Fernand Braudel Center for the Study of Economies, Historical Systems and Civilisations, State University of New York. XXII (3), 231–290, 1999.
RECENT MEDIA ARTICLES AND SPEECHES
Rata, E. The Politics of Knowledge in Education. Published in The Educationalist, January 2020(Originally delivered as a Public Lecture, May 2014, Bhopal, India.)http://www.theeducationist.info/politics-knowledge-education-elizabeth-rata/
Rata, E. (2019). NZ History Curriculum a Trojan Horse, Newsroom, 17th Septemberhttps://www.newsroom.co.nz/@ideasroom/2019/09/17/811099/the-nz-history-curriculum-a-trojan-horse
Rata, E. (2019). Interview. Australian Teacher Magazine. 30th September 2019EducationHQ New Zealand https://nz.educationhq.com/news/65303/compulsory-history-should-open-the-door-for-national-curriculum-academic/
Rata, E. (2019). Abandoning Reason. Newsroom 23rd April https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/04/23/544502/abandoning-reason-endangers-our-survival
Rata, E. (2019). Knowledge Blind Spot. Newsroom. 18th Februaryhttps://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/02/18/449015/elizabeth-rata-nzs-knowledge-blind-spot
Rata, E. (2018). Closing Education’s Knowledge Gap. Newsroom, 15th Augusthttps://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/08/05/179420/closing-nzs-knowledge-gap
Newsroom, 17 April 2018 The Basic Flaw in our Education Systemhttps://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/04/16/105007/elizabeth-rata
NCEA system gets learning the wrong way round, NZ Herald, 5th July 2018https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12082872
‘Handicapped by Knowledge Blindspot’ NZ Herald, 7 December 2017, A34.
Academic learning a path to better things and we should treasure it. New Zealand Herald 8 May 2015, A32.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11444946
Teaching | Current
- Doctorate of Education: Serving Society - Creating equity, diversity, and justice
- EDUC 776 Education, Culture and Identity Masters course
- EDPROFST 754 Special Topic: Critical Research Methodologies in Education Masters course
- EDUC 118 History and Society in New Zealand Education
- EDUC 321 Politics, Philosophy and Education
Completions (PhD and EdD)
Sheraz Akhtar, 2020
Urban Refugees and Education in the Contemporary World: A Case Study of Pakistani Christian Refugees in Bangkok, Thailand
Temitope Adelekan, 2020
Knowledge and Creative Tension in the New Zealand University
Barbara Ormond, 2019.
Knowledge in History Education: History Teachers as Curriculum Makers.
Daniel Couch, 2019.
The Neoliberal Policy Reassembly of Afghanistan’s Higher Education Sector: Towards a Theory of Conflict Capital.
Yi Huang, 2018.
A Neo-Bourdieuian Social Analysis of Neoliberal Ideology in Education: A Study of Chinese Students.
Alexis Siteine, 2018
Knowledge, Identity and curriculum: A Sociological Study of Ethnicity in New Zealand Education
Faculty of Education and Social Work Dean's List
Nominated for NZARE Sutton-Smith Best Doctoral Award
Zulfa Sakhiyya, 2018
Knowledge and the Market: The Internationalisation of Indonesian Higher Education
Tauwehe Sophie Tamati, 2016
Transacquisition Pedagogy for Bilingual Education: A Study in Kura Kaupapa Māori Schools in Aotearoa/New Zealand
Dean’s List. Nominated for UoA Best Doctoral Thesis. Nominated for NZARE Sutton-Smith Best Doctoral Award
Saba Kiani, 2014
Structural contradictions and political tensions in Iranian higher education: The case of English for Academic Purposes Programmes
Megan Lourie, 2013
Symbolic policy: A study of biculturalism and Maori language education in New Zealand
Nominated for NZARE Sutton-Smith Best Doctoral Award
Mallika Bandara, 2012
The feminisation of migration: Sri Lankan women professional in New Zealand
Graham McPhail, 2012
The canon or the kids: Teachers and the recontextualisation of classical and popular music in the secondary school curriculum
Faculty Nomination for UoA Best Doctoral Thesis. NZARE Sutton-Smith Best Doctoral Award Recipient
Leon Benade, 2011
From technicians to teachers: The New Zealand curriculum and the development of ethical teacher professionality
Kevin Kennan, 2010
Spiritual intelligence and imagination in New Zealand students
Current Doctoral Supervisions
Pauline Cooper-Ioelu. The Academic Nurse: The discipline and the development of academic
Rochelle Spicer. Recontextualisation of knowledge in Year 7 and 8 social studies
Janet Field. Purpose and Knowledge in the international school
Global crisis and the self-education of humanity: A transformational praxis model
Educational Experiences of Pakistani Christian Refugees in Thailand
A case study of the pedagogical identities reproduced and created in state integrated Islamic schooling in New Zealand
Reviving the Enlightenment in New Zealand Education
Interculturality in China’s EFL (English as foreign language) policies and practices
Louise Zame, 2019
Knowledge and Inquiry Learning in a Primary School
Lizzie Grace, 2018
Navigating Curriculum and Pedagogy in Secondary English Text Selection
Mi Zhou, 2018
Comparing the New Zealand and Chinese curricula reforms
Noella Yoon 2017
National certificate of educational achievement (NCEA): education or populism?
Cristopher Lynch 2017
Teachers’ attitudes to Maori educational achievement initiatives
Vimla Sewpershad 2017
Selecting and Sequencing: Closing the gaps in secondary school mathematics learning
Emma McKeown 2016/17
Policies in Self-Managing Schools
Rochelle Spicer 2016/17
A double edged sword: The effects of changes to a school's decile rating
Steven McDonald 2016
Youth Smoking: Why do they do it?
Charles Liu 2015
Teaching writing in South Auckland primary school
Deborah Lomax 2015
Curriculum Dilemmas: A study of an Islamic girls secondary school in New Zealand
Fifita Fakatulolo Koester
Multliteracies in Tongan education policy and practice
Subject-Specific Mathematical Vocabulary in Mathematics Lessons
Anita Taylor 2014
Investigating the equity of NCEA pathways by measuring parity of innovation year 11 core subject courses in stte schools of high, mid and low decide rankings
Veronica Lovejoy 2013
Female motivation to succeed in secondary school history
Daniel Couch, 2011
The ‘new education’ in New Zealand during the 1930s and 1940s
Athlene Ramsay, 2011
Teachers choosing to teach in poor areas
Bishard Mutepha, 2010
The experience of Zimbabwean families in New Zealand
Mallika Bandara, 2007
Cultural identity and change: The experience of migrant women in New Zealand
Beliefs and practice: Teacher responses to the bicultural requirements in current New Zealand early childhood education
Linda Cheeseman, 2005
Intentions versus implementation in the numeracy development project
Ta Taoro, 2005
Students’ explanations of their truancy behaviour
Andrew Stierman, 2005
The virtual Colombo Plan
Where Ta meets Va: Pacific Island peoples’access to the creative industries of New Zealand
- 2017: World Class professor Award to State University of Semarang, Ministry of Higher Education, Indonesia
- 2014: Azim Premji Foundation Award, India
- British Educational Research Journal Paper of the Year Award, 2012
International Journal Board for:
International Studies in Sociology of Education (appointed 2006)
British Educational Research Journal (appointed 2015)
- Fulbright Senior Scholarship, Georgetown University, 2003
- Faculty of Education Excellence in Supervision Award, 2013
- Excellence in Tertiary Teaching Award, Auckland College of Education, 2002
- University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship
Areas of expertise
- Sociology of Education
- Curriculum and Pedagogy
- Anthropology of Education
- Education Policy
- History of New Zealand Education
- Maori Education
- Neotribal Capitalism
- Higher Education
- Knowledge and Democracy
- Ethnic Politics
- Social Realism
- Teacher Education
- Director: Knowledge in Education Research Unit (KERU)
- Member: School of Critical Studies in Education Research Committee
- Member: University Disciplinary Committee
- Professorial Representative: Faculty Senior Leadership Team
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Rata, E. (2017). Knowledge and teaching. British Educational Research Journal, 43 (5), 1003-1017. 10.1002/berj.3301
- Lourie, M., & Rata, E. (2017). Using a realist research methodology in policy analysis. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 49 (1), 17-30. 10.1080/00131857.2016.1167655
- Rata, E. M. (2017). Ethnic revival. In F. M. Moghaddam (Ed.) The SAGE encyclopedia of political behavior (pp. 264-265). Thousand Oaks, California. USA.: Sage Publications. 10.4135/9781483391144.n125
- McPhail, G., & Rata, E. (2016). Comparing curriculum types: ‘Powerful knowledge’ and ‘21st century learning’. New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, 51 (1), 53-68. 10.1007/s40841-015-0025-9
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Graham McPhail
- Rata, E. (2016). A pedagogy of conceptual progression and the case for academic knowledge. British Educational Research Journal, 42 (1), 168-184. 10.1002/berj.3195
- Rata, E., & Zubaran, C. (2016). Ethnic classification in the New Zealand health care system. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 41 (2), 192-209. 10.1093/jmp/jhv065
- Rata, E., & Taylor, A. (2015). Knowledge equivalence discourse in New Zealand secondary school science. New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, 50 (2), 223-238. 10.1007/s40841-015-0020-1
- Rata, E. (2015). Multiculturalism and education. In F. Mansouri (Ed.) Cultural, religious and political contestations : The multicultural challenge (pp. 107-118). Cham, UK: Springer. 10.1007/978-3-319-16003-0_7