Associate Professor Melinda Webber
PhD, MEd (1st Class Hons), PGDipEd, BEd, DipTch(Primary)
Ki te taha o toku matua ko Ngāti Whakaue toku iwi.
Ki te taha o toku whaea ko Ngāpuhi, ko Ngāti Kahu, ko Ngāti Hau ōku iwi
Associate Professor Melinda Webber is a former Fulbright/Nga Pae o te Maramatanga Scholar who has published widely on the nature of Māori identity. Melinda's research examines the ways race, ethnicity, culture and identity impact the lives of young people, particularly Māori students. In 2016, Melinda was awarded a prestigious Marsden Fast-Start grant to undertake a research project examining the distinctive identity traits of Ngāpuhi, New Zealand’s largest iwi, and in 2017 Melinda was awarded an esteemed Rutherford Discovery Fellowship to tackle an important question facing educators – ‘How can we foster cultural pride and academic aspiration among Māori students?’
Associate Professor Melinda Webber was the 2017 Director for Phase Three of The Starpath Project and is currently the University of Auckland Director for the Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity programme. She also spent six years as a co-principal Investigator on the Nga Pae o te Maramatanga funded project 'Ka Awatea' which examined the nature of teaching, learning and home socialisation patterns that support high-achieving Māori students in New Zealand.
Research | Current
- Adolescent social psychology
- Racial ethnic identity construction
- Maori Gifted Learners / Maori student success
- Qualitative research methodologies
Current Research Projects:
- The Starpath Project – Partnership for Excellence
- Kia tu rangatira ai nga iwi Maori: Living, succeeding, and thriving as iwi Maori - Rutherford Discovery Fellowship
- A fire in the belly of Hineāmaru - Marsden Grant Project
- Maori Achievement Collaboratives - Lead Research Partner
Teaching | Current
- Maori student success
- Maori research: Methods, approaches & ethics
- Educational & Social-Psychology – Identity development
- Gifted Education
Current Research Students
- Catherine Mitchell – PhD: The experiences of first generation doctoral students: choices and challenges
- Lisa Watson - EdD: Contributing Factors for Māori Student Success in English Medium Secondary Schools in Tai Tokerau.
- Hana Turner - PhD: Differential Teacher Treatment, Expectations and Student Success at Secondary School
- Barb O'Loughlin - PhD: What might high-quality learning for tamariki Māori in early childhood education look like?
- Pauline Adams - PhD: What counts as identity capital? Examining factors that facilitate identity in Māori-Pākehā individuals across multiple group contexts
- Tania Cliffe - PhD: Cultural identity and the trajectory of Māori youth who offend and enter into secure youth justice residential care in New Zealand and Australia.
- Yvonne Ualesi - PhD: Youth Mentoring in Aotearoa: Towards a Culturally Responsive Framework
- Tracey Harris - PhD: Maori learners at their cutting edge: A description of their opening pathways.
Completed Dissertations and Theses
- Chelsea Wills – BEd Honours - 2009: Teachers’ and students’ perceptions of writing ability
- Karen Liley – BEd Honours - 2009: Practitioner voices: new early childhood graduates’ perceptions of their preparedness to teach a bicultural curriculum
- Tessa Tupai – MEd - 2009: Experiences of first-generation university students: A New Zealand context
- Lisa Watson – MEd - 2011: Factors supporting Maori student success in two Northland high-schools
- Kiri Kirkpatrick – BEd(Hons) – 2011: Teachers’ use of information and communication technology to differentiate for gifted and talented students
- Rachel Aranui – MEd – 2011: Self-efficacy, classroom connectedness and racial-ethnic identity of tamariki Maori in bilingual classes
- Kirsten Clark – BEd(Hons) - 2011: Great Expectations for Male Maori in Education
- Tania Cliffe - MEd 2013: Whakapapa, education, identity and belonging: conversations with Maori students with high and complex needs
- Hana Turner - MEd 2013: Teacher Expectations, Ethnicity and the Achievement Gap
- Kylie Jenkinson - MProfst 2013: Academic Mentoring: High-achieving students’ perceptions of mentoring in a low-decile school.
- Vivienne Russell – MEd 2013: Gifted Maori students in an English-Medium secondary school
- Karen Smith - MEd 2013: The experiences of Pasifika students from low decile areas in high decile schools.
- Ben Claxton - MProfst 2016: How do Maori students from one South Auckland secondary school perceive educational success?
- Manaia Chou-Lee - MProfst 2016: Beneficial practices at an Auckland secondary school that prepare Year 13 students for integration into New Zealand society.
- Tari Stowers - MEd 2016: Exploring the Motivation and Well-being of New Zealand Medical Students
- Andrew Gipps - MEd 2016: A study of effective mentoring practice for 16 and 17 year old Pasifika Students in a New Zealand secondary school.
- Moana Timoko - MEd 2017: Whakapapa driving positive momentum in a Northland kura kaupapa Māori.
- Margi Grey - MEd 2017: New Zealand-born Pacific perspectives on culture, language and identity
- Kapua O'Connor - CoP 2017: Stories of Maori student success
- Renee Neville - MEd 2017: Teacher’s beliefs about racial-ethnic identity and the effect on their pedagogical approaches for Māori students.
- Melanie Van Ansam - MProfst 2017: Teachers’ initial experiences of collaboration in a Community of Learning
2013 Fulbright / Nga Pae o te Maramatanga Scholar
2013 Visiting Scholar - University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
2016 Marsden Fast-start Grant Awardee
2017 Rutherford Discovery Fellowship
Areas of expertise
Racial-ethnic identity development
Maori conceptions of giftedness
Maori student success
- 2016-2018: Trustee, The First Foundation Charitable Trust
- 2018: Maori Advisory Panel Member, Te Tai Tokerau Department of Corrections
- 2017-2018: Maori Advisory Panel Member, Te Runanga-a-iwi-o-Ngāpuhi Iwi Education Strategy Development group.
- 2017-2018: Internal Advisory Committee Member, The University of Auckland Public Policy Institute
- 2017-2018: Te Kauhuahua Advisory Group Member, Te Āparangi Royal Society of New Zealand
- 2018 Academic Advisory Group Member, Te Rangihakahaka Centre for Science and Technology, Rotorua.
- 2016–2018: Academic Staff representative, Faculty of Education and Social Work Staffing Committee
- 2018 Academic Staff representative, Faculty of Education and Social Work Research Committee
- 2018 Chair: Te Puna Wananga Research Committee, Faculty of Education and Social Work
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Smith, G. H., & Webber, M. (2019). Transforming research and indigenous education struggle. In E. A. McKinley, L. T. Smith (Eds.) Handbook of indigenous education. Singapore: Springer Singapore. Related URL.
- McKinley, E., & Webber, M. (2019). Whāia te ara whetu: Navigating change in mainstream secondary schooling for indigenous students. In E. A. McKinley, L. T. Smith (Eds.) Handbook of indigenous education (pp. ). Singapore: Springer Singapore. Related URL.
- Macfarlane, A., Macfarlane, S., Derby, M., & Webber, M. (2018). Bridges to success for Māori: An aspirational lens. Psychology Aotearoa, 10 (1), 11-15. Related URL.
- Webber, M. (2018). Unapologetically Te Arawa: In pursuit of a tribally-specific research approach. In R. E. Rhinehart, J. Kidd, A. G. Quiroga (Eds.) Southern hemisphere ethnographies of space, place, and time (pp. 265-282). Oxford, UK: Peter Lang. Related URL.
- Webber, M., Riley, T., Sylva, K., & Scobie-Jennings, E. (2018). The Ruamano project: Raising expectations, realising community aspirations and recognising gifted potential in Māori boys. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 1-12. 10.1017/jie.2018.16
- Fitzpatrick, K., Wells, K., Tasker, G., Webber, M., & Riedel, R. (2018). Mental health education and hauora: Teaching interpersonal skills, resilience, and wellbeing. Wellington, New Zealand: NZCER Press. Pages: 345. Related URL.
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rachel Riedel, Katie Fitzpatrick
- Rubie-Davies, C. M., Webber, M., & Turner, H. (2018). Māori students flourishing in education: High teacher expectations, cultural responsiveness and family-school partnerships. In G. A. D. Liem, D. M. McInerney (Eds.) Big theories revisited 2 (pp. 213-235). Charlotte, NC, USA: Information Age Publishing. Related URL.
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Christine Rubie-Davies, Hana Turner-Adams
- Rocha, Z. L., & Webber, M. (Eds.) (2018). Mana Tangatarua: Mixed heritages, ethnic identity and biculturalism in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge. Pages: 218.