Associate Professor Jason Michael Stephens

PhD (Stanford), MEd (Vanderbilt), BA (UVM)


Jason M. Stephens is an Associate Professor in the School of Learning, Development and Professional Practice, where he teaches courses on human learning, development and motivation. His primary line of research focuses on academic motivation and moral development during adolescence. He is particularly interested in the problem of academic dishonesty and the incongruity between moral beliefs and behaviours related to cheating, which many adolescents report experiencing. He is a co-author of two books on schooling and moral development (Educating Citizens and Creating a Culture of Academic Integrity) as well as numerous journal articles and other publications related to academic motivation, moral judgment, self-regulation, and cheating behaviour among secondary and post-secondary students. Prior to joining the Faculty of Education and Social Work in May 2012, Dr Stephens was an Assistant and Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut (2004-2012).

Research | Current

  • Academic motivation
  • Moral judgment
  • Self-regulation
  • Cheating behaviour among secondary and post-secondary students

Teaching | Current

EDUC 121/121G How People Learn (Semester 1)

EDUC 117 Educational Psychology (Semester 2)

Postgraduate supervision

Huo, Chuanwei (2019 to present). Group Learning and L2 Motivation. Ph.D. to be completed in 2023. *Primary Supervisor (AP Richard Hamilton, co-supervisor).

Li, Ya (2020 to present). Teacher Expectations, Students’ Perceptions and Motivation in Tertiary CFL Classrooms in China. Ph.D. to be completed in 2023. *Co-supervisor (Prof Christine Rubie-Davies, primary supervisor).

Shu, Shi (2015 to present). Enhancing MOOCs: Using instructional design to increase learner motivation and engagement. Ph.D. to be completed in 2020. *Primary Supervisor (Dr Marion Blumenstein, co-supervisor).

Wang, Jiang (2019 to present). Teachers' perspectives on academic ability and full-year acceleration. M.A. to be completed in 2020. *Primary Supervisor (Dr Janna Wardman, co-supervisor).

Xu, Bing (2019 to present). Detecting Emergent Leaders and Exploring Their Influence in Computer-Supportive Collaborative Learning. Ph.D. to be completed in 2023. *Supervisor (Dr Kerry Lee, co-supervisor).

Past Students

Airy, Sam (2012 to 2020). Delivering courses in entrepreneurship as a vehicle for changing New Zealanders’ beliefs about their economic potential.  Ph.D. completed in March 2020. *Co-Supervisor (Prof Gavin Brown, primary supervisor).

Park, Joo-Hyun (2014 to 2019). An exploration of attitudes towards success and their relation to subjective well-being among high school and university students in New Zealand and the Republic of Korea.  Ph.D. completed in December 2019. *Co-Supervisor (Prof Gavin Brown, primary supervisor).

Daniell, Glenys (2014 to 2018). Dead ends and doorways: Attainment and equity in upper secondary school qualifications’ pathways​.  Ph.D. completed in November 2018. *Supervisor (Prof Helen Timperley, Co-Supervisor)

Jing, Yu (2013 to 2018). L2 motivations and self-identities of Chinese learners of English.  Ph.D. completed in May 2018. *Co-Supervisor (Prof Gavin Brown, primary supervisor)

Alansari, Mohamed (2013 to 2017). Predicting students’ success: What works with tertiary students? Ph.D. completed in November 2017. Nominated for the Vice-Chancellor's Prize for Best Doctoral Thesis in 2017. *Co-Supervisor (Christine Rubie-Davies, Primary Supervisor).

Erasmus, Michael (2014-15). A 4 x 2 model of achievement goals: Predicting academic engagement and achievement among high school students​. M.A. thesis (120-pt) was completed in November 2015 and earned first class honours. *Primary Supervisor (Penelope Watson, Co-Supervisor)

Chua, Nicholas (2014). The mediating role of teacher efficacy in the relationship between motivations for teaching and the integration of moral values in instruction: A study of secondary school teachers in Singapore​.  M.A. thesis (60-pt) was completed in November 2015 and earned first class honours. *Primary Supervisor (Annaline Flint, Co-Supervisor)

Kaur, Ripi (2013-2014). Exploring ethnic differences in academic motivation and achievement among university students​.  B.Ed.Hons. completed in November 2014. *Primary Supervisor (Peter Keegan, Co-Supervisor).

Laxon, Tracey (2013-2014). Teacher gender self-confidence and attitudes towards gender-diverse students in New Zealand schools.​  B.Ed.Hons. completed in January 2014. *Co-Supervisor (Penelope Watson, Primary Supervisor)

Hui, Fiona (2012-2014). Are we teaching with special expectations? Discovering the expectations of teachers towards children with special needs in New Zealand​.  M.A. completed in 2014. *Co-Supervisor (Christine Rubie-Davies, Primary Supervisor)


Research, teaching and service

Areas of expertise

  • Academic Motivation
  • Moral Development
  • Cheating Behaviour
  • Blended Learning 

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.
  • Stephens, J. M. (2019). Natural and normal but unethical and evitable: The epidemic of academic dishonesty and how we end it. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 51 (4), 8-17. 10.1080/00091383.2019.1618140
  • Stephens, J. M. (2018). Bridging the Divide: The Role of Motivation and Self-Regulation in Explaining the Judgment-Action Gap Related to Academic Dishonesty. Frontiers in Psychology, 9.10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00246
  • Stephens, J. M. (2017). How to Cheat and Not Feel Guilty: Cognitive Dissonance and its Amelioration in the Domain of Academic Dishonesty. Theory Into Practice, 56 (2), 111-120. 10.1080/00405841.2017.1283571
  • Stephens, J. M., & Wangaard, D. B. (2016). The achieving with integrity seminar: an integrative approach to promoting moral development in secondary school classrooms. International Journal for Educational Integrity, 1210.1007/s40979-016-0010-1
  • Murdock, T. B., Stephens, J. M., & Grotewiel, M. M. (2016). Student dishonesty in the face of assessment: Who, why, and what we can do about it. In G. T. L. Brown, L. R. Harris (Eds.) Handbook of human and social conditions in assessment (pp. 186-203). New York, USA: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Stephens, J. M. (2016). Creating cultures of integrity: A multilevel intervention model for promoting academic honesty. In T. Bretag (Ed.) Handbook of academic integrity (pp. 995-1007). Singapore: Springer Science+Business Media Singapore.
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M., Stephens, J. M., & Watson, P. (Eds.) (2015). The Routledge international handbook of social psychology of the classroom. London, UK: Routledge. Pages: 397.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Christine Rubie-Davies, Penelope Watson
  • Stephens, J. M., & Wangaard, D. B. (2013). Using the epidemic of academic dishonesty as an opportunity for character education: A three-year mixed methods study (with mixed results). Peabody Journal of Education, 88 (2), 159-179. 10.1080/0161956X.2013.775868

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 5, Room 508
New Zealand

Social links

Web links