Hiria McRae

Dr Hiria McRae profile picture

Senior Lecturer Te Kura Maori


Teaching in 2020


BA (Māori), Dip Tchg (Primary) Waikato University; PhD (Education), PGDip (Education) Victoria University of Wellington.

Iwi affiliations

Te Arawa, Tūhoe, Ngāti Kahungunu


My interests are Māori education, iwi based Māori student success models, science education, education for sustainability and place based education.

Research interests

  • Māori medium education
  • Māori student success in science education
  • Place-based education
  • Education for sustainability

Current research projects

I’ve recently been involved in two research projects exploring the use of digital devices. My role in both projects was to engage with Maori medium schools, teachers, students and parents. One project was internally funded and examined the use of Chromebooks to support home learning within a cluster of Porirua East primary schools. The second project was a Ministry of Education funded national project examining primary students engagement with digital tools. Both projects have provided me with an opportunity to further engage with Maori communities and their needs and aspirations in education. Future planned projects include the development of coding in te reo Maori and examining difficult histories with diverse Maori communities.

Recently completed research projects

  • VUW funded 2015 – Education Arc: An examination of Zealandia
  • VUW funded 2016 – Home learning with Netbooks in a Group of Porirua East Schools
  • Ministry of Education 2016 – Digital Natives: A national audit of primary school children use of digital tools

Supervision interests

  • Maori education
  • Education for sustainability
  • Science education
  • Place based education

Recent supervision completions

Andrea Benge Masters of Education (2014) – “Does Inquiry-Based Learning Provide a Tool for Employing Culturally Relevant Pedagogy?”

Current supervision

Karyn Saunders, PhD – “The use of ako in secondary school mathematics”

Rana Doud, PhD – “Digital tools and the teaching and learning process”

Ethel Renata, EdD – “Digital tools and nurturing Maori student identity”

Katia Guiloff, MSc – “Sharing of indigenous student narratives about engaging with the environment”

Russell Pine, Med (Psych) – “Teacher trainee attitudes towards teaching and learning te reo Maori”

Selected recent publications

McRae, H. (2018). Principles of an Indigenous Community-Based Science Program. International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, 26(2), 44–56.

Mercier, O., McRae, H., Chambers, P.T., & Harris, P., “He pūkenga pūtaiao: Māori women and science”. Event for “Wāhine: Beyond the dusky maiden”, an exhibition that acknowledges and celebrates the mana of Māori women. National Library, Wellington, NZ. 14 July 2017. Seminar. https://natlib.govt.nz/events/he-pukenga-putaiao-maori-women-and-science-july-14-2017

McRae, H.S., (2014). Ngāti Whakaue Iho Ake – An Iwi Exploration of Science Education. Unpublished PhD thesis. Wellington, New Zealand: Victoria University of Wellington.

Macfarlane, A., Webber, M., Cookson-Cox, C. & McRae, H. (2014). Ka Awatea: An iwi case study of Māori students’ success. [Manuscript]. Auckland, NZ: University of Auckland.
Retrieved from www.maramatanga.co.nz/projects_publications.

McRae, H., (2012). Kia ako pai te putaiao: Issues in teaching Māori science education. In, Harvesting Ideas: Niu Generation Perspectives, Suva: USP Press, pp.206-215.

McRae, H., (2012). Sustaining Indigenous Student Participation in School Science. The International Journal of Science in Society. Vol 3, Issue 1, pp.1-12.

Kidman, J., & McRae, H., (2012). Commentary: Future Directions in Classroom Research with Indigenous Children. In, Understanding Teaching and Learning: Classroom Research Revisited, Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, pp.313-318.

McKenzie, T., Toia. R. & McRae, H., (2012). Beyond the chalk face: Language learning on the go. Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal. Vol 4, Issue 1, pp.11-28.

McRae, H. & Taiwhati, M. (2011). Tikanga Māori Kei Te Ao Whakaako: Māori concepts and practices supporting teacher education. In, Processes of Inquiry: Inservice Teacher Educators Research Their Practice, Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, pp.133-148.

Kidman, J., Abrams, E., & McRae, H., (2011). Imaginary Subjects: School science, Indigenous students, and Knowledge-power relations. British Journal of Sociology Education. Vol 32, No.2.

McRae, H., Macfarlane, A., Webber, M. & Cookson-Cox, C. (2010). Māori students experiencing success: A pilot research project. Report to the Ngāti Whakaue Education Endowment Trust Board, Rotorua. Te Waipounamu Focus Group Christchurch: University of Canterbury.

McRae. H., McKenzie. T., & Toia. R. (2010). ICT Tools Supporting Teacher Practice in Language Acquisition. Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal.

McKenzie, T., McRae. H., & Toia. R. (2010). Anywhere, Anytime - Creating a Mobile Indigenous Language Platform. Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal.

Taiwhati, M., Toia, R., Te Maro, P., McRae, H., & McKenzie, T. (2010). Takina te Kawa—Laying the Foundation: A Research Engagement Methodology in Aotearoa New Zealand. Australian Journal of Indigenous Education.


Teaching in 2020