Professor Carol Anne Mutch

PhD, MA, BA, DipTchg


Carol Mutch is a professor of Critical Studies in Education in the Faculty of Education and Social Work. She is also the Education Commissioner for UNESCO New Zealand. Dr Mutch 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. Her disaster-related research has taken her to Australia, Japan, Samoa, Vanuatu, Nepal and China.

Dr Mutch has written Doing Education Research (NZCER, 2005; 2013), which is one of the publisher’s bestselling books and Optimising your academic career: Advice for early career scholars (NZCER, 2017) which won the CLNZ tertiary book award in 2018. She has edited or co-edited, Talanoa Fogafala: Hear our voices [a poetry collection] (Te Whakatere, 2019), Understanding enduring ideas in education (NZCER, 2017),  Navigating the Doctoral Journey (Cambridge Scholars, 2014) and Challenging the notion of “other” (NZCER, 2006). 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), the McKenzie Award for lifetime achievement in educational research (New Zealand Association for Research in Education[NZARE]) and she is an Honorary Life Member of the Pacific Circle Consortium and NZARE.

Research | Current

Current research projects

  • Schools and the Covid-19 pandemic
  • 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
  • Using Bourdieu to explain educational policy decision making

Research interests

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


  • 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:

  • EDCURRIC 106: Social Studies Education
  • EDUC 118: History and Society in New Zealand Education
  • EDUC 304: Educational Philosophy and Policy
  • EDUC 321: Politics, Philosophy and Education
  • EDPROFST 774: Education for Empowerment
  • EDPROFST 777: Curriculum: Theory, Issues, Practice

Postgraduate supervision

PhD Supervisor

  • Maria Perreau [Young people as activists] (Completed)
  • Claudia Rozas [Secondary English teachers] (Completed)
  • Zhenan Feng [Virtual reality games for disaster prevention] (Completed)
  • Bronwyn Houliston [History as a contested subject] (Completed)
  • Yagya Panta [The role of schools in the Nepal earthquake] (Completed)
  • Karen Hale [Services available for students with special education needs] (Completed)
  • Jennifer Tatebe [Preparing to teach in disadvantaged schools] (Completed)
  • Deanna Johnston [Key competencies in the curriculum] (Completed)
  • Felicity Molloy [Dancers who come to academia] (Completed)
  • Judy Selveraj [Special education in secondary schools] (Completed)
  • Alexis Siteine [Identity in the curriculum] (Completed)
  • Donella Cobb [Global influences on student-centred education] (Completed)
  • Lisa Dyson [Using evaluative data in secondary school]
  • Carolina Castro [The experiences of Colombian refugees in New Zealand]
  • Sapna Sharma [Work-life balance in female secondary teachers]
  • Andrew Thompson [Enduring ideas in education]
  • Somayeh Davari [Induction of early childhood teachers]
  • Mohammad Tolkhah Adityas [Teaching tolerance in indonesia]

Masters supervisor

  • Juanyuan Chang (MProfSt) [Chinese students adjustment to New Zealand]
  • Amanda Kirkham (MProfSt, completed) [Global Citizenship Education]
  • Julius Schwenke (MProfSt) [Pacific social studies teachers]
  • Yvonne Marren (MProfSt, completed) [Careers education in secondary schools]
  • Felicia Ward (MEd, completed) [Subject English in the New Zealand curriculum]
  • Tania Fu (MEd, completed) [The Delors Report and citizenship education]
  • Maureen Drum (MProfSt, completed) [Literacy across the secondary school]
  • Hasan Abdali (MA completed) [Quality in education]
  • Karen Adlington (PGDip, completed) [AIMHI schools]
  • Zainab Khamis (MA, completed) [Student voice in university decision making]
  • Chris Hu (MA, completed) [Teacher’s pet phenomenon; Children moving schools post-disaster]
  • Anastasia Bargiarcchi (MEd, completed) [Sexuality in early childhood]
  • Kylie Thompson (MProfSt, completed) [Project-based learning and citizenship education]
  • Rebecca Dow (MProfSt, completed) [Pastoral care networks in schools]
  • Lucinda Murch (MEd, completed) [Nature play in early childhood]
  • Adam Driver (MEd, completed) [Youth citizenship]
  • Maria Perreau (MProfSt, completed) [Social studies and teaching for social justice]
  • Shirley Baume (MProfSt) [Multicultural students in New Zealand classrooms]



2020: Winner of the University of Auckland Research Excellence Medal for post-disaster research.

2020: Advisor to the ACT (Australia) Director General of Education’s Covid-19 recovery response.

2019: Winner, Velocity Innovation Challenge (in the Education category) for Virtual Reality Evacuation Game with doctoral candidate Zhenan Feng.

2019: Winner, NZARE McKenzie Award for excellence in educational research in New zealand.

2019: Fellowship and Networking Grant Award Oceania Comparative and International Education Society (OCIES).

2019: Winner, Arthur R King Jnr Award for Curriculum Innovation (Pacific Circle Consortium)

2018: Life Membership, New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE) for service to the    organisation and educational research.

2016: Excellence in Postgraduate Supervision (Faculty award).

2015: Edited book shortlisted for the American Educational Research Association's Qualitative Book Award

2013: Honorary Life Member, Pacific Circle Consortium (for 25 years’ service to the international organisation)

 2011:  Peter Brice Award  for Intercultural Understandng, Pacific Circle Consortium.



Education Commissioner for UNESCO New Zealand

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)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Mutch, C. (2018). The role of schools in helping communities copes with earthquake disasters: the case of the 2010–2011 New Zealand earthquakes. Environmental Hazards, 1-21. 10.1080/17477891.2018.1485547
  • Mutch, C., & Cameron-Lewis, V. (2017). Teaching about war today: An analysis of curriculum resources produced for New Zealand’s commemoration of the First World War. Citizenship, Social and Economics Education, 16 (3), 184-198. 10.1177/2047173417745872
  • Mutch, C., & Tatebe, J. (2017). From collusion to collective compassion: Putting heart back into the neoliberal university. Pastoral Care in Education, 35 (3), 221-234. 10.1080/02643944.2017.1363814
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jennifer Tatebe
  • Mutch, C. (2017). Optimising your academic career: Advice for early career scholars. Wellington, New Zealand: NZCER Press. Pages: 150.
  • Mutch, C., Perreau, M., Houliston, B., & Tatebe, J. (2016). Teaching social studies for social justice: Social action is more than just 'doing stuff'. In M. Harcourt, A. Milligan, B. Wood (Eds.) Teaching social studies for critical, active citizenship in Aotearoa New Zealand (pp. 82-101). Wellington, New Zealand: NZCER Press.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jennifer Tatebe
  • Mutch, C. (2015). Leadership in times of crisis: Dispositional, relational and contextual factors influencing school principals' actions. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 14, 186-194. 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2015.06.005
  • Tatebe, J., & Mutch, C. (2015). Perspectives on education, children and young people in disaster risk reduction. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 14 (2), 108-114. 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2015.06.011
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jennifer Tatebe
  • 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

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 3, Room 307
New Zealand