Christine’s PhD was completed at the University of Auckland in the area of high expectation teachers. She identified teachers who had high expectations for all their students and was able to identify practices and beliefs that set them apart from other teachers and meant that their students made very large learning gains when in their classes. The Teacher Expectation Project (TEP) which she led provided a model for implementation of high expectation practices into schools. A randomized experiment, the project showed significantly increased learning gains for students of teachers in the intervention group who learnt the practices of high expectation teachers. Further, all students benefited no matter what school they came from, what grade, socioeconomic level, ethnicity or gender. The TEP provided clear evidence that when teachers have high expectations for students and implement the practices of high expectation teachers, student academic and beliefs outcomes improve. As a result, Christine teaches courses related to the social psychology of the classroom, supervises large numbers of students in this field and has written extensively on teacher expectations and aspects of the social-psychological environments of classrooms that make a difference for students. Alongside her academic work, Christine also spends considerable time working in schools with teachers and school leaders.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Teacher expectations, teacher beliefs, student achievement, student beliefs, ethnic minority groups, stereotyping
In her spare time, Christine loves to spend time with her husband, children and grandchildren. She also enjoys long walks along the beach or in the bush. Christine has a large organic garden that keeps her family supplied with fruit and vegetables throughout the year. She also has a passion for travelling and loves visiting new places and meeting new people.