Professor Stuart McNaughton

PhD, MA 1st Class Honours (in Education), BA


Professor Stuart McNaughton is in the School of Curriculum and Pedagogy in the Faculty of Education and is also Director of the Woolf Fisher Research Centre.

Research | Current

My programme of research has several strands. It includes work on the development of a psychological model of socialisation (incorporating concepts of teaching, learning and development) applicable to informal and formal educational settings which provides a means of analysing development within and across settings. Associated with this is the demonstration through research applications of ways of incorporating cultural processes in research tools and in explanations of teaching, learning and development. These applications contribute to solutions to a long standing difficulty in developmental and educational psychology, explaining the role of culture in teaching and learning. The programme involves systematic applications of these concepts to areas of educational concern, specifically literacy instruction and language acquisition, and the identification and testing of specific properties of instruction in procedures designed to enhance teaching and learning. The programme contributes also to the development of more effective and equitable education. In addition to specific instructional procedures, recent work includes the development of assessment tools for language and literacy applicable to both English medium and Maori medium instruction in New Zealand, and in English medium instruction in other countries.

My current position includes being a Director of the Woolf Fisher Research Centre which opened in October 1998. This is an externally funded centre developing research-based educational programmes in communities with low resources in South Auckland. I lead a research team (of colleagues, post doctoral and doctoral students) in studies of effective educational interventions for schooling success. The centre has a focus on Maori and Pacific Islands children’s educational achievement.


  • Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Membership of Professional Associations

  • New Zealand Psychological Society
    Member 1974-1998; Awards Committee (Council) 1983
  • New Zealand Association for Research in Education 1979 – present
    President 1993 – 1995
    Council Member 1991 - 1997
  • American Educational Research Association
    Member 1998 – to present
  • American Psychological Association
    Foreign Affiliate 1976 - to present
  • International Reading Association
    Member 2003-present
  • Society for Research in Child Development
    Member 1976 - to present

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Jesson, R., McNaughton, S., Wilson, A., Zhu, T., & Cockle, V. (2018). Improving Achievement Using Digital Pedagogy: Impact of a Research Practice Partnership in New Zealand. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 50 (3), 183-199. 10.1080/15391523.2018.1436012
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Tong Zhu, Rebecca Jesson, Aaron Wilson
  • McNaughton, S., Rosedale, N., Jesson, R. N., Hoda, R., & Teng, L. S. (2018). How digital environments in schools might be used to boost social skills: Developing a conditional augmentation hypothesis. Computers & Education10.1016/j.compedu.2018.07.018
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Naomi Rosedale, Rebecca Jesson, Rashina Hoda, Lin Teng
  • Jesson, R., McNaughton, S., Rosedale, N., Zhu, T., & Cockle, V. (2018). A mixed-methods study to identify effective practices in the teaching of writing in a digital learning environment in low income schools. Computers & Education, 119, 14-30. 10.1016/j.compedu.2017.12.005
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Naomi Rosedale, Rebecca Jesson, Tong Zhu
  • Reese, E., Keegan, P., McNaughton, S., Kingi, T. K., Carr, P. A., Schmidt, J., ... Morton, S. (2018). Te reo Māori: Indigenous language acquisition in the context of New Zealand English. Journal of Child Language, 45 (2), 340-367.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Peter Keegan, Susan Morton, Cameron Grant
  • Lai, M. K., & McNaughton, S. (2018). Learning networks for sustainable literacy achievement. Networks for Learning: Effective Collaboration for Teacher, School and System Improvement (pp. 152-171). 10.4324/9781315276649
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Mei Lai
  • Robinson, V., Bendikson, L., McNaughton, S., Wilson, A., & Zhu, T. (2017). Joining the dots: The challenge of creating coherent school improvement. Teachers College Record, 119 (8), 1-44.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Aaron Wilson, Viviane Robinson, Linda Bendikson, Tong Zhu
  • Wilson, A. J., McNaughton, S., & Zhu, T. (2017). Subject area literacy instruction in low SES secondary schools in New Zealand. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 40 (1), 72-85. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Aaron Wilson, Tong Zhu
  • Jesson, R., Wilson, A., McNaughton, S., & Lai, M. (Eds.) (2017). Teachers leading inquiry for school problem solving. Wellington, N.Z.: NZCER Press. Pages: 102.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rebecca Jesson, Aaron Wilson, Mei Lai

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 4, Room 435
New Zealand