Azra Moeed

Associate Professor
School of Education

Teaching in 2020


PhD, MEd, BEd (teaching), BSc


Azra Moeed has been involved in science education for most of her professional life. Azra taught science and biology at Upper Hutt College for eleven years and was the Head of Science before coming to lecture at Wellington College of Education. In New Zealand, she has taught in primary, intermediate and secondary schools and in early childhood education as a Play Centre Supervisor. She believes that her teaching experience has helped her to understand the New Zealand learner at different levels of education.

A passionate science teacher, Azra has contributed to the Capital City Science Educators and to the biology teachers’ network. She has been involved in the organisation of national conferences, has been a member of the Wellington region science fair judging panel and contributes to the educational programmes at the Wellington Zoo and the Allan Wilson Centre of Molecular Evolution. She has organised Science Challenge for Year 10 students, supported BP Technology challenge and established an environmental group for forest restoration.

With her team of science educators she is involved in a collaborative project for professional development of primary school teachers. Azra was awarded an Excellence in Teaching award in 1996 and The Royal Society Science Teacher Fellowship in 1999. In 2016, Azra was awarded the Ako Aotearoa National Tertiary Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award.

Current research

Azra’s main research interest is in science education, science teacher education and environmental education. For her PhD research she studied the phenomenon of science investigation and explored the connectedness between motivation to learn, learning and assessment. Azra has presented her research at international conferences in the United States, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong.

Currently, she is supervising five doctoral students with diverse topics within the science discipline including: the Nature of Science; learning through practical work in Malaysian secondary schools; teaching and learning of ecology in New Zealand schools; Science education in Tanzania; International Baccalaureate and National Certificate in Educational Achievement at level 3.

Current research focus

Secondary school science education, learning through practical work in science.

  • High-ability students of science: how are their academic needs being met in New Zealand classrooms?

The project is led by Dr Jenny Horsley and I am a co-researcher on this project. The project explore how our most able science teachers address the needs of their high ability students.

  • Teaching and Learning Putaiao in a wharekura

Recently completed research projects

Beyond Play: Learning through Science Investigation

This project was funded by the Teaching and Learning Research Initiative fund and was a set of four case studies set in secondary and primary school and wharekura. I was the principal investigator and the team members were Dr Dayle Anderson, Dr Craig Rofe and Mr Rex Bartholomew.

Zealandia arc project

The project is led by Dr Andrea Milligan, I am a researcher in this environmental research project.

Supervision interests

  • Science education
  • Environmental education

Recently completed supervision

Doctoral thesis completions

Tewkesbury, M. (2017). An analysis of National Certificate of Educational Achievement chemistry courses in terms of curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment: With comparison to the International Baccalaureate Diploma

Juma, Z. R. (2015) Exploring the development of biological literacy in Tanzanian junior secondary school students. Subject specialist, secondary supervisor.

Northcott, B. D. (2014). Exploring New Zealand year 11 students' understanding of Nature of Science concepts. Subject specialist, secondary supervisor.

Sani, S. S. B. (2014). Exploring Teachers' Approaches to Science Practical Work in Lower Secondary Schools in Malaysia. Subject specialist, secondary supervisor

Kalolo, J. F. (2014) Improving the quality of science education in Tanzanian junior secondary schools: The stakeholders' perspectives, issues, and promising practices. Subject specialist, secondary supervisor


Teaching in 2020