Associate Professor Dawn Laura Garbett

PhD, MSc Sci Ed, BSc, DipTch


I am a teacher and a lifelong learner. My curriculum strength is science education but this is only a vehicle to teach about innovative pedagogies, digital technologies and inclusive practices to students of teaching in secondary and primary classrooms and early childhood centres. I encourage inquiring into teaching practice and leading learning. This commitment to enhancing future-focused, exemplary teaching is the foundation of my research platform.


Previous professional experience

I taught biology and science in a secondary school for 10 years. I designed and taught an optional girls-only science and mathematics course to encourage girls in STEM subjects. I initiated the highly successful EQUALS=Science network in the 1980’s to promote innovative teaching strategies to foster girls’ involvement in science. My interest in early childhood education stems from my invovlement in Playcentre and my connection with primary education is through my position as chairperson of the local primary school Board of Trustees.

Research | Current

  • Teaching using mobile technologies
  • Inquiring into practice - leading learning in the classroom
  • Assessment for learning
  • Transformations - from student teacher to teacher; teacher to teacher educator.

Teaching | Current

  • EDCURSEC 613 Teaching and Learnig Science 1
  • EDCURSEC 614 Teaching and Learning Science 2
  • EDCURSEC 617 Teaching Biology Education
  • EDCURRIC 610 Science Education

Postgraduate supervision

Paul Denny Incorporating virtual achievements into the PeerWise online learning tool (PhD candidate)

Angela Tsai Evolving pedagogies to enhance the student learning experience in large undergraduate courses​ (PhD candidate)

Xue Yuang Understanding technology as an enabling constraint in initial teacher education (PhD candidate)

Tarewa Williams Seeing through the eyes of students: The impact of Kiwi Can on the 5Cs of Positive              Youth Development (MProfSt)

Ruby Huang Exploring the Science Capabilities through teacher reflection in a secondary school setting (MProfSt)

Tong Wee Goh Promoting professional learning: An exploratory study of beginning Physical Education teachers in Singapore secondary schools (Masters complete)

Jayne Dunbar Playful Education: A Self-study of a Health and Sport Science Academy​ (MProfSt complete)

Tara Reminginton Row Like a Girl  (PhD on hold)      


  • National Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award, Ako Aotearoa
  • Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Auckland
  • Faculty of Education Fellowship, Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice


Centre for Learning and Research in Higher Education (CLeaR) Fellowship Programme Leader

Areas of expertise

Teacher education, science education, innovative pedagogies, technology.

Research methods - self-study and practitioner research, action research

Governance in schools


Committees/Professional groups/Services

Editorial boards* and review panels

  • Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice*
  • Studying Teacher Education*
  • Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education*
  • Science Education Review*
  • Research in Science Education
  • Higher Education Research and Development (Guides committee)

University Committees and service

  • School of Curriculum and Pedagogy
    • Teaching and Learning committee 2016-
    • Hauora committee 2012-2015
    • Executive 2012-2013
  • University Teaching and Learning Quality Committee 2008-2011
    • Inclusive Teaching and Learning of Students with Impairments - practices and guidelines
    • Assessment of Group Work
    • Guidelines for Effective Teaching
    • Academic Honesty Tutorial scoping group and TLQC Reference Group
    • University Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards sub-committee

Professional service

  • ISATT (National Representative)
  • Glendowie Primary Board of Trustees (Chairperson 2009-)
  • Glendowie College Board of Trustees (2007-2012)
  • Ako Academy Executive 2009-2013

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.
  • Ovens, A., Garbett, D., & Hutchinson, D. (2016). Becoming teacher: Exploring the transition from student to teacher. In J. Loughran, M. L. Hamilton (Eds.) International handbook of teacher education. Volume 2 (pp. 353-378). Singapore: Springer Science and Business Media. 10.1007/978-981-10-0369-1
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Alan Ovens
  • Garbett, D. (2016). Becoming a teacher educator: The rise of Crusader Rabbit. In J. Williams, M. Hayler (Eds.) Professional learning through transitions and transformations: Teacher educators' journeys of becoming (pp. 107-121). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. 10.1007/978-3-319-22029-1_8
  • Ovens, A., Garbett, D. L., & Heap, R. (2015). Using Assessment to Enhance Twenty-First Century Learning. In C. Koh (Ed.) Motivation, Leadership and Curriculum design : Engaging the Net Generation and 21st Century Learners (pp. 173-183). Springer. 10.1007/978-981-287-230-2_14
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rena Heap, Alan Ovens
  • Garbett, D. (2013). Promotion by Teaching Distinction: Developing resilience and cache for a track less traveled. Studying Teacher Education, 9 (2), 108-117. 10.1080/17425964.2013.808045
  • Garbett, D. L. (2013). Making science work in the primary classroom. In Fitzgerald, A (Ed.) Learning and Teaching Primary Science (pp. 247-259). Victoria, Australia: Cambridge University Press.
  • Garbett, D., & Ovens, A. (2012). Being a teacher educator: Exploring issues of authenticity and safety through self-study. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 37 (3).10.14221/ajte.2012v37n3.3
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Alan Ovens
  • Garbett, D. (2012). The transformation from science teacher expert to teacher educator. In S. Bullock, T. Russell (Eds.) Self-Studies of Science Teacher Education Practices (pp. 31-44). Dordrecht: Springer. 10.1007/978-94-007-3904-8
  • Garbett, D., & Heap, R. (2011). Making practice visible: A collaborative self-study of tiered teaching in teacher education. Studying Teacher Education, 7 (3), 235-248. 10.1080/17425964.2011.617117
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rena Heap


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 3, Room 335
New Zealand

Web links