Associate Professor Carol Anne Mutch

PhD, MA, BA, DipTchg


Carol Mutch is an associate professor and Head of School in Critical Studies in Education. She came to The University of Auckland following many years as a primary teacher, teacher educator and policy advisor. During her career, Dr Mutch has lived and worked overseas as a teacher in Canada and the UK, a visiting professor in Japan (Nagoya & Waseda) and the UK (LSE), and taught at the National University of Samoa. Her teaching and research interests are in research methods, education policy, curriculum development and social education. She has published in scholarly books and journals on qualitative and mixed methods research, social studies and citizenship education, education history and policy, curriculum and evaluation theory, and the peer review process. Most recently, following the Canterbury earthquakes, she has focused on the role of schools in disaster response and recovery .

Dr Mutch has written Doing Education Research (NZCER, 2005; 2013), which is one of the publisher’s bestselling books and edited the collections, Challenging the notion of “other” (NZCER, 2006) and Navigating the Doctoral Journey (Cambridge Scholars, 2014) with Jean Rath. Dr Mutch sits on numerous international editorial boards, as well international and national association executive boards, advisory committees and reference groups. Awards and citations recognising her work have come from the American Educational Research Association’s Critical Studies in Curriculum group (Early Career Award), Griffith University (for Academic Excellence), the Christchurch College of Education (Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching) and The Peter Brice Award for Intercultural Understanding (from the Pacific Circle Consortium).

Research | Current

Current research projects

  • The role of schools in disaster response and recovery
  • Citizenship in action: The responses of children and young people to disasters
  • The ANZAC legend as told through the New Zealand School Journals

Current theoretical explorations

  • Researching with children in sensitive settings
  • Complementary evaluation: Bringing internal and external evaluation closer together
  • Research and evaluation: what is the difference and does it matter?

Research interests

  • Education policy and curriculum development
  • Research and evaluation methods
  • Social studies and citizenship education
  • Schools, communities and children in disaster settings


  • Qualitative: case study, narrative, alternative presentation formats
  • Quantitative: document analysis, survey
  • Mixed methods

Teaching | Current

  • Education history, policy and politics
  • Social justice, diversity and inclusion
  • Curriculum theory and implementation
  • Research and evaluation methods
  • Social studies and citizenship education

Courses currently teaching on:

Postgraduate supervision

PhD Supervisor

  • Jennifer Tatebe (2011-14) [Preparing to teach in disadvantaged schools]
  • Deanna Johnston (2011-2015) [Key competencies in the curriculum]
  • Alexis Siteine (2011-) [Identity in the curriculum]
  • Donella Cobb (2012-) [Global influences on student-centred education]
  • Lisa Dyson (2014-) [Using evaluative data in secondary school]
  • Luke Sullivan (2014-) [The introduction of charter schools]
  • Sapna Sharma (2014-) [Role conflict in female teachers]
  • Bronwyn Houliston (2015-) [History as a contested subject]
  • Yagya Panta (2015-) [The role of schools in the Nepal earthquake]
  • Maria Perreau (2014-) [Young people as activists]
  • Claudia Rozas (2015-) [Secondary English teachers]
  • Andrew Thompson (2015-) [Enduring ideas in education]

Masters supervisor

  • Hasan Abdali (MA completed 2013) [Quality in education]
  • Karen Adlington (PGDip completed 2013) [AIMHI schools]
  • Zainab Khamis (MA completed 2013) [Student voice in university decision making]
  • Chris Hu (BA Hons completed 2013; MA, 2014) [Teacher’s pet phenomenon; Children moving schools post-disaster]
  • Anastasia Bargiarcchi (BEd Hons completed 2013; MEd 2014) [Sexuality in early childhood]
  • Kylie Thompson (MProfSt dissertation completed 2014) [Project-based learning and citizenship education]
  • Rebecca Dow (MProfSt dissertation completed 2014) [Pastoral care networks in schools]
  • Lucinda Murch (MEd) [Nature play in early childhood]
  • Adam Driver (MEd) [Youth citizenship]
  • Andrew Thompson (MEd) [Dewey and progressive education in New Zealand].
  • Maria Perreau (MProfSt dissertation) [Social studies and teaching for social justice]



  • Won the prestigious Peter Brice Award at the Pacific Circle Consortium’s 2011 annual conference held at the Faculty. The award recognises a person from the event’s host country who exemplifies the education ideals of one of the Consortium’s founding members, Peter Brice.
  • Edited book shortlisted for the American Educational Research Association's Qualitative Book Award 2015.


Head of School, Critical Studies in Education

Areas of expertise

  • Current research projects

    • The role of schools in disaster response and recovery
    • Citizenship in action: Responses to recent New Zealand disasters
    • The ANZAC legend as told through the New Zealand School Journals

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • Executive committee member: Pacific Circle Consortium (PCC); International Association for Citizenship, Social and Economics Education (IACSEE); also member of NZARE; ANZEA; AERA,
  • Editorial boards: New Zealand Journal of Education; Curriculum Matters; Pastoral Care in Education; Citizenship, Social and Economics Education; Journal of Educational Policy; Pacific-Asian Education; and Evaluation Matters.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Mutch, C. (2015). Education in New Zealand: A Revered Past, a Contested Present, and an Uncertain Future. In M. Y. Eryaman, B. C. Bruce (Eds.) International Handbook of Progressive Education. New York: Peter Lang Publishing Group. Related URL.
  • Mutch, C. (2015). Quiet heroes: Teachers and the Canterbury, New Zealand, earthquakes. Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies, 19 (2), 77-86. Related URL.
  • Mutch, C. (2015). The role of schools in disaster settings: Learning from the 2010-2011 New Zealand earthquakes. International Journal of Educational Development, 41, 283-291. 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2014.06.008
  • Mutch, C. A., & Rath, J. (Eds.) (2014). Emerging critical scholarship in education: Navigating the doctoral journey (1st). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Pages: 257.
  • Mutch, C., & Gawith, E. (2014). The New Zealand earthquakes and the role of schools in engaging children in emotional processing of disaster experiences. Pastoral Care in Education, 32 (1), 54-67. 10.1080/02643944.2013.857363
  • Mutch, C. (2014). The role of schools in disaster preparedness, response and recovery: what can we learn from the literature?. Pastoral Care in Education, 32 (1), 5-22. 10.1080/02643944.2014.880123
  • Mutch, C., & Marlowe, J. (2013). Lessons from disaster: The power and place of story. Disaster Prevention and Management, 22 (5), 385-394. 10.1108/DPM-10-2013-0172
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jay Marlowe
  • Mutch, C. (2013). "Sailing through a river of emotions": capturing children's earthquake stories. DISASTER PREVENTION AND MANAGEMENT, 22 (5), 445-455. 10.1108/DPM-10-2013-0174

Contact details

Primary location

Level 3, Room 301
New Zealand