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 from secondary classrooms to early childhood centres. I encourage inquiring into teaching practice and leading learning. This commitment to enhancing teaching is the foundation of my research platform.


Previous professional experience

I taught biology and science in a secondary school science for 10 years. I also designed and taught an optional girls-only science and mathematics course to encourage girls to continue in physics, chemistry and mathematics at the senior level. My interest in girls’ education led me to initiate 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 technology
  • Inquiring into practice - leading learning in the classroom
  • Assessment for learning
  • Transformations - from student teacher to teacher; teacher to teacher educator.

Teaching | Current

  • EDCURRIC 718 Leadership for Learning
  • EDCURSEC 614 Teaching and Learning Science
  • EDCURSEC 617 Teaching Biology Education
  • EDCURRIC 610 Science Education
  • EDCURRIC 115 Science in the Early Years

Postgraduate supervision

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

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


  • 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

Areas of expertise

Teacher education, science education, innovative pedagogies.

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
  • Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education*
  • Science Education Review*
  • Research in Science Education
  • New Zealand Early Childhood
  • Higher Education Research and Development
  • Studying Teacher Education

University Committees and service

  • School of Curriculum and Pedagogy 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)

  • Garbett, D. L. (2014). Lessons on the hoof: Learning about teacher education through horse-riding. In A. Ovens, T. Fletcher (Eds.) Self-study in physical education teacher education: Exploring the interplay of scholarship and practice (pp. 63-73). Berlin Heidelberg: Springer. 10.1007/978-3-319-05663-0_5
  • 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. L. (2013). Curriculum in Play-Based Contexts. In Gunstone, R (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Science Education: SpringerReference. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.

Contact details

  • Media Contact

Primary location

Level 3, Room 335
New Zealand