Dr Rachel Allyson Williams

BPHE (Hons), BA (health/psychology), BEd (Secondary), MPH, PhD


Kia ora, I am a postdoctoral research fellow currently working in the field of literacy education. I am passionate about improving student health outcomes and, over the past five years, I have designed, implemented and evaluated the impact of participation in school-based programmes on student health and achievement-related outcomes. I favour a pragmatic approach to my work and tend towards a multi-modal, mixed methods research design. Most of my work is underpinned by positive psychological theorising, most notably, Positive Youth Development theory.

Research | Current

My current research project focuses on primary school student literacy learning over the holiday period. I am currently developing a blogging programme for Year 4-10 students, in conjunction with school staff and students from 12 schools in east Auckland. The project is one of many offered by research staff as part of a reciprocal relationship between the University of Auckland, the Woolf Fisher Research Centre and the Manaiakalani schools across New Zealand.

Previous research interests have focussed on child and adolescent health and well-being, health promotion, and programme design, delivery and evaluation.
 My research methodologies are primarily quantitative in nature.

Teaching | Current

At present I am teaching as a guest lecturer in papers in the School of Education and the School of Counselling.

Prior to working for The University of Auckland I lived and worked as a teacher in England, Switzerland, Japan and Canada.

Postgraduate supervision

As of January 2017 I will undertake the supervision of three Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy master students.


Doctoral Scholarship Recipient, The University of Auckland, 2011-2015

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Postgraduate Student Committee, School of Curriculum and Pedagogy

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Williams, R. A. (2015). Investigating the implementation and impact of participation in a health promotion programme on the social attitudes and behaviours of children in New Zealand schools The University of Auckland. ResearchSpace@Auckland.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/27425