Mark Sheehan

Mark Sheehan profile picture photograph

Senior Lecturer
School of Education


PhD; MA; BA; Dip. Tchg


Dr Mark Sheehan has contributed to the history education community since the 1980s as a secondary/tertiary teacher, researcher, museum educator and a curriculum developer.  He was a senior lecturer at Ako Pai o Te Herenga Waka for almost 20 years and now holds an adjunct research fellow position with VUW.

His research focus is on supporting history/social science educators with the knowledge and skills to confidently engage with the opportunities that come from the evolving nature of our bicultural heritage and the increasingly diverse nature of Aotearoa. As well as teaching and researching in this area, he has contributed to a number of curriculum initiatives, including the New Zealand Curriculum (2007), the MāoriHistory Initiative (2014 – 2016) and most recently, the Aotearoa New Zealand Histories curriculum project.

Recent Publications

Sheehan, M. (2021). Ka Mura, Ka Muri [Look to the past to inform the future]: disciplinary history, cultural responsiveness and Māori perspectives of the past. In Knowing History: Powerful Knowledge and the Power of Knowledge. (Editor). Arthur Chapman, UCL Press, London, pp. 202 – 215. ISBN 9781787357303.

Wood, B.E., Sheehan, M. (2020). Transformative disciplinary learning in history and social studies: Lessons from a high‐autonomy curriculum in New Zealand. Curriculum Journal, November 2020, pp. 1-18.

Pennell, C. and Sheehan, M. (2020) ‘But what do they really think? Methodological challenges of investigating young people’s perspectives of war remembrance’. History Education Research Journal, 17 (1), 23–38. DOI

Sheehan, M. and Ball, G. (2020). Teaching and Learning New Zealand’s Difficult Histories, New Zealand Journal of History, 54, 1, pp 51– 68.

Sheehan, M. (2020). Learning by doing: the challenge of aligning theory and practice in school-based, post-graduate, teacher education programmes, Teacher Education: Global Issues, Local Responses, Editors Jillian Fox, Colette Alexander and Tania Aspland, Springer Education, Switzerland, pp. 261-272.

Sheehan, M. (2020) Historical Thinking, difficult histories and indigenous Māori perspectives of the past, Palgrave Handbook of History and Social Studies Education, editors: Christopher Berg and Theodore Christou, Springer Nature: Switzerland, pp. 497 - 510. DOI

Sheehan, M. (2019). History Education in New Zealand. The Palgrave Handbook of Conflict and History Education in the Post-Cold War Era. Editors Luigi Cajani, Simone Lässig and Maria Repoussi. Georg-Eckert-Institut, Springer Nature, Switzerland, pp. 403 – 412.

Sheehan, M., Epstein, T., Harcourt, M. (2018) ‘People are still grieving’ Māori and non-Māori adolescent’s perceptions of the Treaty of Waitangi. In Carla Peck and Terrie Epstein (Eds) Teaching and Learning Difficult Histories in International Contexts: A Critical Sociocultural Approach. Routledge, USA, pp. 236 – 250.

Sheehan, M. (2018). Whose knowledge counts? The place of historical thinking in a high autonomy history curriculum. Arbor Special Issue: Heritage, identity and historical thinking. Editor Cosme J. Gomez Carrasco, 194 (788): a442.

Michael Johnston, Rosemary Hipkins, and Mark Sheehan (2017) Building epistemic thinking through disciplinary inquiry: Contrasting lessons from history and biology. Curriculum Matters, 13, pp. 80-102.

Sheehan, M., Davison, M. (2017) 'We need to remember they died for us’: How young people in New Zealand make meaning of war remembrance and commemoration of the First World War.  London Review of Education, 15:2, January, pp 259-271.

Hipkins, R., Johnston, M., Sheehan, M. (2016). NCEA in Context. NZCER Press: Wellington.

Johnston, M., Sheehan, M. (2016). Historical Thinking and the Boy Friendly Curriculum. Assessment Matters: Volume 10: pp. 74-125,

Sheehan, M. (2016). History's Distinctive Contribution to Critical Citizenship: Master Class in History Education.  Editors Katherine Burn, Arthur Chapman and Christine Counsell, Bloomsbury: London.

Sheehan, M. and Taylor, T. (2016). Australia and New Zealand: ANZAC and Gallipoli in the Twenty First Century. In The Teaching of History and the Changing Nation State – Transnational and Intranational Perspectives. Editor Robert Guyver. Bloomsbury: London, pp. 237-254.