Associate Professor Mary F Hill

PhD, MEd, BA, Dip Tchg


Mary is an Associate Professor in the School of Learning, Development and Professional Practice. She is a fully registered teacher with extensive teaching experience in primary and tertiary settings.

Her major professional and research interests revolve around issues of educational assessment, professional learning, teacher education and practitioner research. Her current research projects include: the University of Auckland and Boston College (USA) Rethinking Initial Teacher Education research collaboration; the Work of Teacher Educators in NZ (a collaboration with the University of Otago, NZ, Brunel University in the UK , University of British Columbia, Canada, and, in Australia, Victoria University and Australian Catholic University); and exploring threshold assessment concepts (with colleagues from Waikato University).She recently led a four-university study: Learning to be assessment capable teachers (a collaboration between four New Zealand universities).

Between 2005 and 2008 she was Associate Dean, Research in the Faculty of Education at the University of Auckland. She has also been Co-ordinator of Primary Teacher Education at the School of Education, Waikato University (1999-2004). From 2003-2011 Mary was Chair and a board member of the New Zealand Council for Educational Research. She is the General Editor of the academic journal Assessment Matters.

See also

Research | Current

From 2000 Mary has been active nationally and internationally in several areas of educational research, spanning educational assessment and teacher learning, teacher education and practitioner inquiry. In the context of national standards for primary schools, and NCEA in the secondary sector, Mary works individually and collaboratively to investigate how teachers learn about, understand and use assessment in their classrooms. She is particularly focused on understanding preservice teacher learning in complex social contexts.  More recently she has broadened her focus to investigate the work of professional educators (such as teacher educators and social work educators) and how they build a research dimension into their academic identities. This work began when she took on the very challenging role of Associate Dean Research in the Faculty of Education, and the results underpinned the strategic approach she implemented as Associate Dean. Central to these areas of research focus is the use of practitioner inquiry for evidence-based practice.



  • Educational assessment – assessment for learning, formative assessment professional learning in assessment
  • Practitioner research capability – organizational research capability building, teacher educator research identity


  • Qualitative research including observation, interviews, ethnographic approaches
  • Practitioner inquiry including ethical approaches, mixed methods, action research

Teaching | Current

Courses taught:

  • EDPRAC 751 Practitioner Inquiry
  • EDPRAC 752 Evidence-based teaching practice
  • EDPROF 753 Working together to accelerated learning
  • Leadership in Professional Practice Ed D

Postgraduate supervision

Current and past thesis supervision

Topics supervised include:

  • “An outsider’s take: a case study of the NZQA to theorise the need for change towards a qualifications framework for the organization of the Eastern Caribbean States”
  • “Completing a Bachelor of Education (Teaching) upgrade: The impact on experienced primary teachers”
  • “Induction Experts: An analysis of beginning teacher support in low-socioeconomic New Zealand primary schools”
  • “The effects of prompts and explicit coaching on peer feedback”
  • “Investigating the development of historical empathy in students at a NZ secondary school”
  • “Principal succession practices that ensure the continuity of culture, vision and special character within state integrated schools in New Zealand”
  • “Re-contextualising assessment theory and practice in final year university and school practicum settings”
  • “Student perspectives of formative learning in first year university”
  • “The effects of NCEA on formative assessment in secondary schools”
  • “Factors that impact on the formative use of reading"


Faculty of Education award for sustained excellence in teaching 2014


Deputy Head of School, Learning, Development and Professional Practice 2015

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Professional Links:

  • NZARE Member
  • AERA Member
  • Editor: Assessment Matters Journal

University Committees served on:

  • CHAIR LDPP Postgraduate Committee
  • MEMBER Faculty of Education Postgraduate Committee
  • MEMBER Faculty of Education PGRAES Committee
  • MEMBER LDPP Research Committee
  • MEMBER Electronic Research Management Advisory Committee

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.
  • Jiang, H., & Hill, M. F. (2018). Teacher learning with classroom assessment: Perspectives from Asia Pacific. 10.1007/978-981-10-9053-0
  • Hill, M. F., Ell, F. R., & Eyers, G. (2017). Assessment capability and student self-regulation: The challenge of preparing teachers. Frontiers in Education, 210.3389/feduc.2017.00021
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Fiona Ell
  • Hill, M., Ell, F., Grudnoff, L., Haigh, M., Cochran-Smith, M., Chang, W.-C., & Ludlow, L. (2017). Assessment for equity: Learning how to use evidence to scaffold learning and improve teaching. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice, 24 (2), 185-204. 10.1080/0969594X.2016.1253541
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Mavis Haigh, Fiona Ell, Lexie Grudnoff
  • Grudnoff, L., Haigh, M., Hill, M., Cochran-Smith, M., Ell, F., & Ludlow, L. (2016). Rethinking initial teacher education: Preparing teachers for schools in low socio-economic communities in New Zealand. Journal of Education for Teaching, 42 (4), 451-467. 10.1080/02607476.2016.1215552
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Mavis Haigh, Fiona Ell, Lexie Grudnoff
  • Hill, M. F. (2016). Assessment for learning community: Learners, teachers and policymakers. In D. Wyse, L. Hayward, J. Pandya (Eds.) The SAGE Handbook of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment (pp. 772-789). London: SAGE.
  • Gunn, A. C., Berg, D., Hill, M. F., & Haigh, M. (2015). Constructing the academic category of teacher educator in universities’ recruitment processes in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Journal of Education for Teaching, 41 (3), 307-320. 10.1080/02607476.2015.1041288
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Mavis Haigh
  • Hill, M. F., Ell, F., Grudnoff, L., & Limbrick, L. (2014). Practice what you preach: Initial teacher education students learning about assessment. Assessment Matters, 7. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Fiona Ell, Lexie Grudnoff
  • Smith, L. F., Hill, M. F., Cowie, B., & Gilmore, A. (2014). Preparing teachers to use the enabling power of assessment. In C. Wyatt-Smith, V. Klenowski, P. Colbert (Eds.) Designing Assessment for Quality Learning (pp. 303-323). Dordrect, Germany: Springer. Related URL.


Contact details

Alternative contact

Office: H106, Epsom Campus

Primary office location

Level 1, Room 106
New Zealand

Web links