Dr Rebecca Ngaire Jesson

PhD, MEd (First Class Hons), BA, DipTchg


Dr Rebecca Jesson is a Senior Lecturer, School of Curriculum and Pedagogy and Senior Researcher, Woolf Fisher Research Centre, Faculty of Education. Rebecca's research is situated in schools and their communities, and aims to improve the literacy outcomes for students.

Rebecca is an experienced primary school teacher across a number of schools and year levels, including Reading Recovery. Her Masters of Education research focussed on implementing critical thinking in the English curriculum. Her PhD research was situated in a schooling intervention, and explored differing models of professional development in writing.

Research | Current

Rebecca works with teachers and schools to raise student achievement in literacy.Her research interests involve applying theories learning and  teaching to achieve acceleration in literacy learning. She sees possibilities for literacy instruction that can be purposefully designed to build upon prior learning as well as prepare students for future learning. Through her work in clusters of schools, Rebecca is committed to excellence of instruction and achievement in low decile communities. As part of her research, she works closely with teachers and schools to examine pedagogy and overcome constraints. Rebecca's current research programmes include:

Manaiakalani and Manaiakalani Outreach Research and Development Programme (Principal Investigator)

Blogging over summer (Principal Investigator)

Pasifika Literacy and School Leadership Programme (Literacy leader)


Teaching | Current

  • Edcurric 740: Accelerating Learning
  • Edprofst 703: Literacy - the inquiring teacher
  • Edcurric 621:Language and Literacy Years 1-3
  • Edcurric 622: Language and Literacy Years 4-8


Postgraduate supervision

  • Enhancing learning using Digital Learning Objects
  • Whanau engagement in a digital learning environment
  • What are students reading in Year 7 & 8 digital learning environments?
  • Effective dialogic teaching for Pasifika students
  • Found in translation: the process of teacher learning in two languages
  • The role of metalinguistic awareness in students' writing development
  • A comparative study of effective literacy pedagogy in New Zealand and China


Research Excellence Award, 2015


  • Associate Director: Woolf FIsher Research Centre
  • Curriculum Leader: Postgraduate Diploma of Education (Literacy Specialisation)
  • Curriculum Leader: Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy
  • School of Curriculum and Pedagogy  Research Committee

Areas of expertise

Literacy teaching and learning, teaching and learning of writing, interventions in schools

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

Contact details

Primary location

New Zealand