Dr Deborah Anne Marie Widdowson

PhD (Berkeley); MA (First Class Hons) Auckland

Biography

Deborah is a lecturer in the School of Learning, Development and Professional Practice and the current Director of the Centre for Child and Family Research.  She has wide experience in conducting research and evaluation projects accrued over the past 19 years working with children, young people and their families across education, health and welfare, using qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches. Through her research and teaching, Deborah's overall aim is to contribute to an understanding of the developmental underpinnings of  teaching and learning, in particular, in relation to early childhood and the primary school years. Deborah currently works part time.

Research | Current

  • Critical transitions: developmental foundations and transition to school. 
  • Naive theories: children's domain specific thinking.

Recent Funded Research

2017- 2018 Formative Evaluation of KidsCan Vulnerable Children's Initiative. Widdowson, D. & Fouché, C.

2016 - 2017 Can We Enhance Children’s Self-Control Development in Early Childhood Centres

2014 - 2015 Meeting the housing needs of vulnerable populations in New Zealand.  Mills A, Thom, K, Maynard A, Meehan, C, Kidd, J, Newcombe, DA, Widdowson, D.

2013 - 2015 Widdowson, DA, Dixon, RS, & Kushner, S.  Stocktake and Needs Analysis of Child Development Services in New Zealand, $120,000

Teaching | Current

EDUC 115 Child and Adolescent Development

EDUC 221 Child Development

EDPROFST 765 Development in Early Years

Postgraduate supervision

Ye Zhang, PhD thesis: Block play in early childhood education settings in Hong Kong (with Asso Prof Helen Hedges and Dr Angel Chan)

Noor Hasnieza Hashim, PhD thesis: Children's social and emotional readiness for school (with Asso Prof Helen Hedges and Dr Angel Chan)

Vanessa Nathan, PhD thesis: Preschool intervention to enhance children's self-regulation skills, behavioural and academic outcomes (with Dr Louise Keown).

 

Distinctions/Honours

Fulbright Scholar to US (1994)

Responsibilities

Director, Centre for Child and Family Research

Areas of expertise

  • child development;
  • cognitive and conceptual development;
  • genre theory/writing research;
  • transition to school;
  • qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches,
  • program evaluation.

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • 2017 Present member of Teaching and Learning Quality Commitee, LDPP

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Mills, A., Thom, K., Maynard, A., Meehan, C., Kidd, J., Newcombe, D., & Widdowson, D. (2015). Meeting the housing needs of vulnerable populations in New Zealand. Auckland, New Zealand: Transforming Cities, University of Auckland.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/27386
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: David Newcombe, Alice Mills, Claire Meehan, Jacquie Kidd
  • Widdowson, D. A. M., Dixon, R. S., Peterson, E. R., Rubie-Davies, C. M., & Irving, E. (2014). "Why Go to School?" Student, Parent and Teacher Beliefs about the Purposes of Schooling. Asia Pacific Journal of Education10.1080/02188791.2013.876973
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Christine Rubie-Davies, Elizabeth Peterson
  • Widdowson, D., & Dixon, R. (2013). Final report for the evaluation of the Blue Light Ventures Inc. Youth Life Skills Programme. Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland Uniservices Limited.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Robyn Dixon
  • Dixon, R., & Widdowson, D. (2012). Final report: Evaluation of the WDHB CALD Cross-Cultural Training Course. Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland Uniservices, The University of Auckland.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Robyn Dixon
  • Peterson, E. R., Rubie-Davies, C. M., Elley-Brown, M. J., Widdowson, D. A., Dixon, R. S., & Earl Irving, S. (2011). Who is to blame? Students, teachers and parents views on who is responsible for student achievement. Research in Education, 86 (1), 1-12.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/18975
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Christine Rubie-Davies, Robyn Dixon, Elizabeth Peterson
  • Dixon, R., Maddison, R., Mhurchu, C. N., Jull, A., Meagher-Lundberg, P., & Widdowson, D. (2010). Parents' and children's perceptions of active video games: A focus group study. Journal of Child Health Care, 14 (2), 189-199. 10.1177/1367493509359173
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/12965
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ralph Maddison, Cliona Ni Mhurchu, Andrew Jull, Robyn Dixon
  • Widdowson, D., & Dixon, R. (2010). Final Report for the Evaluation of the Parent Mentoring Project in Manukau.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/18974
  • Widdowson, D. (2010). Final Report for the Process and Outcome Evaluation of the Affirming Works Tupu'anga Mentoring Programme.