Dr Jennifer Tatebe

BA, BEd, MEd, PhD,


Dr Tatebe is a Senior Lecturer in the sociology of education specialising in equity and social justice. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she graduated from the University of British Columbia (UBC) with a Masters of Higher Education, Bachelor of Education (Secondary), and Bachelor of Arts in English literature and History. Her work is informed by her teaching experience in primary, secondary, and alternative education settings in the United Kingdom and Canada; and professional tertiary roles in Student Development and Cooperative Education. Her research and teaching examines the transformative potential of education in disadvantaged contexts by exploring the socioeconomic and political contexts of these educational spaces and their influence on teaching and learning.

Research | Current

My research explores the transformative potential of education in disadvantaged contexts with particular emphasis on the ways in which political, economic, and social factors influence how privilege and disadvantage are framed in society and within the teaching profession. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative methods of inquiry, and a critical theoretical framework, my research seeks to challenge some of the existing educational inequities in New Zealand schools.

I am working on a range of different research projects which include:

  • The ways in which preservice teachers recognise and challenge school, societal and political practices that reproduce inequities
  • The impact of urbanisation on small and rural primary school governance 
  • How New Zealand secondary school teachers address issues of inequality in the curriculum and their teaching practice

Teaching | Current

Students in my classes are challenged to examine social justice issues in education. Participation in discussions (in both large and small classes), interactive tutorial activities, analysis of video clips and other forms of media, and curriculum and policy documents, help to foster the development of evidence based argumentation and critical thinking skills, and the stimulation of continued thinking about equity concerns upon leaving the classroom.

I have an open door policy for students. I actively encourage my students to contact me at any time about their coursework, assignments and academic support initiatives to help them achieve their academic goals.

Courses I currently teach on include:

EDUC 113

Current Issues in Education


Promoting Achievement for Diverse Learners

EDUC 213

Education and Social Justice



Postgraduate supervision

PhD supervision


Thesis title

Ruijie Xu

Dramatic play of Multicultural Young Children in Aotearoa New Zealand: A Study of Creativity and Cultural Diversity

Lina Valdivia

Teachers’ Professional Collaboration and Trust Networks: A Case-Study of Japan and New Zealand

Badhoora Naseer

Preparing primary teachers for inclusive education in Maldives

Somayeh Davari Early Childhood Teacher Induction
Mary Pottinger (Ed.D) Meeting the diverse needs of akonga in a decile 10 grammar school
Muhammad Adityas Ideology and Education: Investigating Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices on the discourse of Tolerance in Secondary Education in Indonesia

Masters supervision


Thesis title

Felicia Ward

The learning area of English in the New Zealand Curriculum

Frederique Abbott

Equitable education in a changing society. Is equity achievable in a classroom setting in Auckland?

Yvonne Marren

21st century learning: discourses of lifelong learning and the search for social justice within New Zealand careers education and guidance policy.

Nikki Brighouse An alternative perspective on barriers to University entrance
JuanYuan Chang Cross-cultural challenges of Chinese international university students in Auckland


  • 2014 Dean’s list award in recognition of excellence achieved in a PhD thesis
  • 2014 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Travel Award
  • 2013 Dean’s Forum for International Networking in Education (FINE) award
  • 2012 Dean’s Forum for International Networking in Education (FINE) award
  • 2012 Doctoral Academic Career Module graduate, University of Auckland
  • 2011 Faculty of Education Outstanding Teaching Award nomination
  • 2011 University of Auckland Doctoral scholarship recipient
  • 2010 Commonwealth Doctoral Scholarship recipient

Areas of expertise

Social justice and education

Urban schooling

Teacher education

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • 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
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/42765
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Carol Mutch
  • Tatebe, J. (2016). Inspiration and innovation in teaching and teacher education. Journal of Education for Teaching, 42 (2), 265-267. 10.1080/02607476.2016.1140463
  • 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: Carol Mutch
  • Tatebe, J. (2015). The Ethics of Difference: Ethical Dilemmas of External Researchers. Journal of Academic Ethics, 13 (3), 229-237. 10.1007/s10805-015-9236-4
  • Tatebe, J. (2014). Learning to teach: Pre-service teachers’ engagement with poverty and disadvantage. In V. M. Carpenter, S. Osborne (Eds.) Twelve thousand hours: Education and poverty in Aotearoa New Zealand (pp. 189-193). Auckland: Dunmore Publishing.
  • Tatebe, J. H. (2014). The Politics of Discomfort: Unsettling Conversations about Preservice Teachers’ Engagement with Socioeconomic Disadvantage The University of Auckland. ResearchSpace@Auckland.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/22460

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 3, Room 312A
New Zealand