A key area of CORE’s work is Research, with a particular focus on learning. We seek to support all learners to thrive in today’s world and build the capabilities that will enable them to learn, work and live well in the future.


Research and innovation is integral to our business. We work with educators, communities and organisations to undertake research and evaluation. We also provide research and evaluation advice and consultancy services.

Our organisation’s expertise lies in shaping the future of teaching and learning. It does this through promoting innovation and equity in areas such as curriculum, pedagogy and learning environments. We use creative ways to open research and knowledge to everyone.

We affirm key values and tikanga that are distinctive to Aotearoa-New Zealand, and uphold the distinctive realities, knowledge and experience of diverse communities.

Our services

mm team publishing
The Māori medium team - publishing, research and evaluation, and professional development and learning (Otiria marae).

We offer expertise in the following areas:

  • Designing and undertaking classroom research using innovative and creative methodologies
  • Kaupapa Māori research and evaluation
  • Coaching and mentoring of research and teacher-led inquiries including Teacher-Led Innovation Fund (TLIF) projects
  • Keynotes and conference presentations 
  • Workshops and professional learning
  • Support for dissemination and publication
  • Research and evaluation related consultancy including developing workplace research cultures

Current and recent projects

Nurturing and encouraging children’s working theories about identity, language and culture (2015–16)
A Teaching and Learning Research initiative (TLRI) project exploring young children’s working theories about identity, language and culture in Samoan-immersion and English-medium early childhood centres.

Poipoia Te Mokopuna (2016)
A whānau centered evaluation of the Poipoia te Mokopuna: He puāwaitanga harakeke programme, funded by the Ministry of Education.

Auckland Intermediate Schools (AIS) project (2016)
A research project on how nine intermediate schools across Auckland are supporting student agency – told through the eyes of students.

Kaikohekohe Education Trust Initiative (PDF) (2015)
A research story, told through the voices of students and teachers, about changes to school and learning as the result of a community-wide initiative.

Continuity of Early Learning: Learning Progress and Outcomes in the Early Years project (2014–2015)
research projectcase studies of assessment practice and a literature scan focused on documenting and sharing learning outcomes and progress in ECE and school settings for children birth to 8-years.

School Journal and Ready to Read (2014)
Two MoE funded projects examining how digital technologies might support instructional reading in schools – included a prototype design.

Pegasus Project (2013)
A research report on how digital devices changed teaching and learning in Christchurch as part of the earthquake recovery.

Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) projects


working with children
Working with a child in the TLRI project about children’s working theories.

Nurturing and encouraging children’s working theories about identity, language and culture (2015–2016).

A Teaching and Learning Research initiative (TLRI) project exploring young children’s working theories about identity, language and culture in Samoan-immersion and English-medium early childhood centres.

Literacy and e-learning: Mining the action research data (2011–2012)
A cross sector (ECE, primary and secondary) collaborative research project that re-analysed data to investigate and build a theory about the wide range of literacy learning that can take place in e-learning contexts.

Moments of wonder, everyday events: Children’s working theories in action (2009–2010) 
An investigation of children’s working theories (ideas and understandings about the world) in action in five parent-led early childhood centres in Canterbury, New Zealand.

Teacher-led Innovation Fund (TLIF) projects

TLIF is designed to support the development of innovation in primary and secondary schools and kura (state and state integrated). The initiative encourages collaboration across schools and kura with PD providers, early years, tertiary, community, researchers, and experts of all kinds.

The fund is exciting because it's all about classroom kaiako and teachers getting the chance to innovate to improve outcomes for all children.

We are delighted to announce that this year we will have the privilege to work alongside teachers and kaiako in nine projects across Aotearoa - New Zealand.

Communication and wellbeing for a successful transition from ECE to school (CaWS)

maori research colleagues
Māori research and evaluation colleagues

  • Lead school: Hornby Primary School
  • Focus: This inquiry investigates how the Hornby community of schools and ECE can collaborate with language experts to improve the communication skills of learners aged 4–6 years so that all learners will become confident and competent learners, contributors, communicators, and citizens of the Hornby community.

Nō Onamata te Mauri, Kei Anamata te Aronga: A 21st Century pedagogical model for wharekura

  • Lead kura: Ngā Taiātea Wharekura 
  • Focus: This project is for ākonga, their whānau, the Waikato-Tainui tribal region, and all families that send their children to Ngā Taiātea from different parts of New Zealand. The project will develop innovative practice to blend ancestrally-driven and future-focussed learning principles.

Advancing Māori success as Māori through Project Based Learning

  • Lead kura: Tai Wānanga
  • Focus: Tai Wānanga are curious about the potential of Project Based Learning (PBL) to improve taiohi (students) learning, and kaitiaki (teacher) practice. This project aims to develop a kura-wide pedagogical PBL model.

Building Successful Learning Foundations through an Innovative Junior Learning Environment

  • Lead school: Waiouru School
  • Focus: This project explores the influence of strong relationship based practice between students and teachers; and strong 21st century teaching pedagogy using specialist teaching in core subject areas. It includes an emphasis on key competencies as integral to learning in all areas to benefit year 1–4 students, and children transitioning from ECE to school.

Karanga Mai Outreach Homebound Programme

  • Lead school: Karanga Mai Young Parent College
  • Focus: The project involves the design and implementation of culturally responsive, home-based, individualised pedagogy to increase participation, engagement, achievement and transitions through engaging and connecting the young parent and by enhancing the educational prospects of the child.

‘Teaching past the Frangipani’ – empowering Pasifika Arts in Niu Sila Schools

  • Lead school: Sylvia Park School
  • Focus: This project is about how innovative and culturally responsive teaching practices in the arts can be implemented to make a difference in literacy achievement with years 7–10 Pasifika students. This work will be predominantly based in the Maungakiekie Community of Learners and will be lead by Pasifika teachers, with Pasifika students.

Raising student achievement through STEAM collaboration using UDL

  • Lead school: Flanshaw Road School
  • Focus: This innovative project looks to support teachers across the West Auckland Principals Association 2020 network of schools to develop knowledge and capacity to lead creative and innovative STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics), projects in their schools using Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles.

Mathematics in Maketu

  • Lead school: Maketu School
  • Focus: This project aims to enhance teacher practice to ensure that all young learners aged 3–6 and their whānau, living in the small rural community of Maketu, receive quality mathematical education. Primary and ECE teachers will collaborate on mathematics teaching and learning across both contexts to improve teaching practices and lift achievement.

Agentic learning, engaged students

  • Lead school: East Taieri School
  • Focus: This project is about enhancing student achievement through expanded agency and deep engagement. This project will explore innovative student agency pedagogies in ways that ensure that students are the key decision makers within the learning process ­as agents of their own learning.

Dr Vince Ham eFellowships


efellows share research at Auckland meeting
eFellows share their reserach findings at a CORE Auckland meeting, 2016

Teacher: Hugo Zanker
Focus: Working with students to create a vibrant music scene that utilises the affordances of technology. Carried out in Methven.

Teacher: Bronwyn Te Koeti
Focus: Working closely with whānau to co-create and trial a numeracy resource for years 1–3 children that is founded on traditional community knowledge and stories. Carried out in Hokitika.

Teacher: Justin Hickey
Focus: Investigating and creating a classroom community with students. Carried out in Greymouth.

Teacher: Caroline Bush
Focus: Investigating the impact of play based pedagogy on the oral literacy of young migrant learners. Carried out in Auckland.

Teacher: Shirlene Murphy
Focus: Exploring with teachers how tuakana-teina relationships and everyday professional conversations might support teacher professional learning. Carried out in Auckland.

Teacher: Christine Alford
Focus: Working with preschoolers to understand how storytelling, using artefacts, can support oral language development. Carried out in Whangārei.

CORE Education funded projects

Taking Stock of Māori Medium Educational Resources: Priorities, Gaps, and Futures? (PDF) (2017)
This bilingual summary aims to provide the Māori medium education sector with a snapshot of what pouako priorities and aspirations are for resource development, and what gaps need to be addressed.

Teacher as researchers (2016)
Research investigating how research matters to teachers and schools.

New entrants classrooms in the re-making (PDF) (2015)
A classroom research project on the development of a key competencies play-based curriculum at Mairehau Primary School in Christchurch.

Kaikohekohe Education Trust Initiative (PDF) (2015)
A research story, told through the voices of students and teachers, about changes to school and learning as the result of a community-wide initiative.

Clients and partners

  • ECE services, schools, tertiary institutions, governance bodies, government organisations, local bodies, and many other organisations
  • Auckland City Council, Biological Heritage National Science Challenge, Kaikohekohe Education Trust, Masterton Lands Trust, and Ministry of Education
  • Eastern Institute of Technology, New Zealand College of Early Childhood Education, UNITEC, University of Canterbury, University of Otago College of Education, University of Waikato, Western Institute of Technology, Wilf Malcolm Institute, WINTEC
  • East Taieri School, Flanshaw Road School, Hornby Primary School, Karanga Mai Young Parent College and Early Learning Centre, Mairehau Primary School, Maketu School, Mapusaga Aoga Amata, Ngāi Taiātea Wharekura, North beach Community Preschool, Sylvia park school, Tai Wānanga and Waiouru School