Dr Ruth Boyask

Director of Postgraduate Programmes;
Senior Lecturer

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 ext 7569

Email: ruth.boyask@aut.ac.nz

Physical Address:

School of Education
Auckland University of Technology
Level 4
AR Building
90 Akoranga Drive
Auckland 0627

Postal Address:

School of Education (A-14)
Auckland University of Technology
Private Bag 92006, Auckland 1142

Address for blogs:
Links to relevant web pages:


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Education
    Education Department, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
  • Masters of Education with distinction
    Education Department, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
  • Diploma of Teaching, Division C Secondary
    Christchurch College of Education, New Zealand
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (Sculpture)
    School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Memberships and Affiliations:

  • British Educational Research Association (BERA)
  • Elected to Council for a term of 3 years from September 2015
  • Member of the BERA Ethical Guidelines Review (2017) Working Group
  • Convenor of the Social Justice SIG from 2010-2015
  • British Educational Leadership Management and Administration Society (BELMAS)
  • Member of the Structural Reform RIG and Critical Educational Policy and Leadership Studies RIG
  • European Educational Research Association (EERA)
  • Advisory Board for Educational Philosophy and Theory incorporating ACCESS, 2014 – ongoing.
    - Guest editor for a special issue for 2017.
  • Editorial Board for Methodological Innovations journal
  • Editorial Board member of the journal International Studies in the Sociology of Education.
  • Reviewer for British Educational Research Journal; Journal of Education Policy; Education Policy Analysis Archives; Discourse; Teaching and Teacher Education; Education, Management, Administration and Leadership; Studies in Higher Education; and Routledge books.

Teaching Areas:

  • Education policy, governance and leadership
  • Research methods
  • Social justice and equity in education.

Research Areas:

  • Education policy
  • Research utilisation
  • Educational governance
  • Public education
  • Work related learning

Research Summary:

Public education emerged as a response to wider social processes such as industrialisation and democratisation, the force of which have subsided through cultural, economic and technological change. Public education presently is framed by the legacy of over 30 years of neoliberal policy, and more recent fundamentalisms and populisms that question old forms of legitimacy and the common good.

My research raises and addresses questions about how these changes have impacted upon educational research, policy and practice. My current work considers these three domains and their intersection in the light of public sphere, social justice and democratic theory. I have particular interests in school governance, educational decision-making and the utilisation of educational research, with subsidiary interests in professional or work-related learning and democratic schooling.

Current Research Projects:

  • Mobilising Socially Critical Research
    This is a developing programme of research arising from the BERA Respecting Children and Young People project that I led from September 2013 – March 2015. Its current focus is on case studies of engagement between socially critical educational researchers, policy intermediaries and policy makers.
  • Public Education in an Era of Privatisation
    This strand of work attempts to define and reconceptualise the notion of the "public" in educational systems that prioritise private interests. Currently I am pulling together through writing several completed projects in this area, and developing new internationally located empirical work.


Journal articles

  • Boyask, R. (2016) Primary School Autonomy in the Context of the Expanding Academies Programme, Educational Management Administration and Leadership.Prepublished December, 15, 2016, DOI: 10.1177/1741143216670649
  • Boyask, R. (2015) The Public Good in English Private School Governance, European Educational Research Journal, 14(6) 566–581.
  • Boyask, R. (2015) Nuanced understandings of privatization in local authorities' services to schools, Management in Education, 29 (1), 35-40.
  • Boyask, R., Rees, T., Gristy, C. & Knowler, H. (2014) Implications of localism in educational policy on the aspirations of young people in Cornwall, Social and Public Policy Review, 8(2), 19-31.
  • Boyask, R, (2013) Theorising the democratic potential of privatised schools through the case of free schools, ACCESS: Critical Perspectives on Communication, Cultural and Policy Studies.
  • Boyask, R., Donkin, A., Waite, S. & Lawson, H. (2013) Autonomy and governance in local authority provision for children and young people, Policy Futures in Education, 11(5). dx.doi.org/10.2304/pfie.2013.11.4.375
  • Pratt, N., Tedder, M., Boyask, R. & Kelly, P. (2013) Pedagogic relations and professional change: a sociocultural analysis of students' learning in a professional doctorate, Studies in Higher Education, dx.doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2013.818640
  • Lawson, H., Boyask, R., & Waite, S. (2013) Construction of difference and diversity within policy and practice in England: time to trouble, Cambridge Journal of Education 43, 1, 107-122.
  • Waite, S., Boyask, R., & Lawson, H. (2010) Aligning person-centred methods and young people's conceptualizations of diversity. International Journal of Research & Method in Education. 33 (1). 69 – 83.
  • Quinlivan, K., Boyask R., Carswell, S. (2008)Dynamics of power and participation in school/university partnerships. New Zealand Journal of Education Studies. 43 (1). 65 –84.
  • Boyask, R. (2008) Who is a good learner? Literacy Today. 54, 30-31.
  • Boyask, R, McPhail, J.C., Kaur, B., O'Connell, K. (2008) Democracy at work in and through experimental schooling. Discourse. 29 (1). 19-34.
  • Rees, G, Baron, S., Boyask, R., Taylor, C., (2007) Research-capacity building, professional learning and the social practices of educational research, British Educational Research Journal, 33(5), October 2007. pp.761-779.

Book chapters

  • Boyask, R., Donkin, A., Waite, S. & Lawson, H. (2013) Partnership Research About "Difference": Co–constructing Local Educational Policy, in Martina Koegeler-Abdi and Richard Parncutt (Eds) Interculturality: Practice meets Research, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 14 – 30
  • Boyask, R. (2012) Advancing relations between qualitative methodology and social theory in the sociology of education (pp. 21-31) in S. Delamont (ed) Handbook of qualitative research in education, Cheltenham, Glos.: Elgar.
  • Boyask, R. (2010) Diversity and Learning in New Zealand Schooling, in M. Thrupp and R. Irwin (Eds) Another decade of New Zealand education policy: Where to now? (pp 21-34). Hamilton, New Zealand: Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research.
  • Boyask, R., Carter, R., Waite, S, Lawson, H. (2009) Concepts and patterns of diversity: Mapping efforts to address learning and diversity in English schools, in K. Quinlivan, R, Boyask & B. Kaur (Eds), Educational Enactments in a Globalised World: Intercultural Conversations, Sense Publishers.
  • Kaur, B., Quinlivan, K., & Boyask, R. (2009) Introduction: Educational Enactments in a Globalised World: Intercultural Conversations, in
  • K. Quinlivan, R, Boyask & B. Kaur (Eds), Educational Enactments in a Globalised World: Intercultural Conversations, Sense Publishers.
  • Kaur, B., Boyask, R., Quinlivan, K., McPhail, J. (2008). Searching for equity and social justice: Diverse learners in Aotearoa, New Zealand. In G. Wan (Ed.), The education of diverse populations: A global perspective. The Netherlands: Springer Science and Business Media.
    Edited Book
  • K. Quinlivan, R, Boyask & B. Kaur (Eds) (2009). Educational Enactments in a Globalised World: Intercultural Conversations, Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Book Review in New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies:
'Having said that, I would like to commend the editors and authors for their commitment to robust theoretical engagements and their focus on complexity, contingency and difficult unresolved questions. This seems extremely important in a climate of increasing instrumentalism and lack of intellectual rigour in descriptive educational research. The authors are to be congratulated for creating an innovative, engaging and insightful collection of texts that will certainly provoke interesting debates and push the boundaries of discussions in Higher Education contexts internationally' (Professor Vanessa Andreotti, University of Oulu, Finland).

Book Review in British Journal of Educational Research:
This slim volume is an engaging, complex, provocative, often frustrating, yet ultimately satisfying exploration of the impact of culture and globalisation on education. Edited by researchers in two countries and with contributions from the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the USA and the Pacific Islands, the book attempts to grapple with difference and diversity in a range of educational contexts. As contributors Jean Claire McPhail and Annemarie S. Palincscar explain in the excerpt above, the lure of this book (as of cross-cultural educational work) is the way in which encounters with difference open up spaces of possibility for rethinking education in the context of globalisation (Dr Alexa Dare, Gonzaga University, Spokane, USA).


  • Boyask, R. (2015) Social Justice in Privatised Schooling: Report for British Academy/Leverhulme, Plymouth University: Plymouth.
  • Boyask, R. (2014) New Relations Between Local Authorities and Schools, Plymouth University: Plymouth
  • Boyask, R., Gristy, C., Murphy, M., Rees, T., Waite, S., Knowler, H., Rea, T (2009) The role of schooling in furthering the aspirations of and for young people in rural communities: Understanding contexts for educational change: A Research Report, Plymouth: University of Plymouth.
  • Boyask, R., Lawson, H., Waite, S., Donkin, A. (2009). The Diversity Project: Summary Report on Findings: Focus Group Evening, University of Plymouth; University of Exeter; Plymouth City Council.
  • Boyask, R. Quinlivan, K. & Goulter, M. (2007) Write-on! Investigations into the relationships between teacher learning and student achievement through writing: Final Report Prepared for TLRI, Teaching and Learning Research Initiative, Retrieved 21 December 2007: tlri.org.nz/pdfs/9240_finalreport.pdf
  • Boyask, R. (Aug, 2006) BESQT Pedagogy Project Toolkit Trial Evaluation Report: Phase One and Two, A Report prepared for the Ministry of Education; Christchurch, NZ.
  • Boyask, R. et al. (1999) ANZAAE response to The Arts in the New Zealand Curriculum: Draft. Christchurch: ANZAAE.


  • Boyask, R. & Norrish, S. (2015) Participatory Learning and Young Explainers, Plymouth: Plymouth City Council & ICCI, Plymouth University.
  • BERA Social Justice, Race Ethnicity and Education, Sexualities, Inclusive Education, Youth and Informal Education, Practitioner Research SIGs (2015) Fair and Equal Education: An Evidence-based Policy Manifesto that Respects Children and Young People, London: BERA. (Lead Editor).

Blog posts

Published conference proceedings

  • Boyask, R., Donkin, A (with Lawson, H & Waite, S) (2011) Researching diversity for policy: Outcomes from a partnership project, Conference proceedings of the Conference for Applied Intercultural Research, University of Graz, Graz, Austria, 7-10 April.
  • Waite, S., Boyask, R., Carter, R. and Lawson, H. (2008) Concepts of diversity in the UK: person-centred methodological approaches to tracking identity formation within education. Conference Proceedings Children's Identity and Citizenship Europe (CICE) conference, Istanbul, 29-31 May 2008.
  • Boyask, R., Taylor, C., Rees, G and others (2004) Life beyond the TLRP: A conference for contract and early career researchers: Report from the conference proceedings and recommendations for the TLRP, Edinburgh, 2-3 December 2004.
  • Boyask, R., Rees, G.,Taylor, C. (2004) Professional learning in the educational research community: Initial reflections on the experience of the TLRP Research-Capacity Building Network, Teaching and Learning Research Programme: Annual Conference Papers, Retrieved from: tlrp.org/dspace/retrieve/276/RCBN+full+paper.doc 15 December 2004
  • Boyask, R. (2002) The Hybrid Child: Arts-based Inquiry. Conference Proceedings NZARE Conference. Palmerston North, Massey University, Dec 5-8.
  • Boyask, D. & Boyask, R. (2001) Situating learning in the contexts of professional cultures (or "We're all going to nude school"). Conference Proceedings NZARE Conference. Christchurch: Christchurch Polytechnic, Dec 6-9.


External grants and awards

How can education policy respect children and young people? British social justice researchers seek new ways to inform public debate
BERA, Competitive Grant for BERA at AERA symposium, Chicago 16-20 April 2015
Lead Applicant: Ruth Boyask
Co-applicants: Katy Vigurs, Ruth Lupton, Liz Todd, Jocey Quinn
Awarded: £2500.00

2013 - 2014
Participatory learning in the Young Explainers for undergraduate students: An evaluation of the development of professional identity and practice (PLiYEs)
HEIF Knowledge Exchange Funding, ICCI
Lead Investigator: Ruth Boyask
Co-investigators: Philippa Bellows, Sara Norrish
Awarded: £960.15

2012 - 2014
Investigating Social Justice in Privatised Schooling
British Academy/Leverhulme Trust
Investigator: Ruth Boyask
Grant: £9691

2012 - 2014
Investigating New Relations between Local Authorities and Schools in the South West of England
Funder: BELMAS, Structural Reform Research Programme
Investigator: Ruth Boyask
Grant: £4000

2008 - 2010
Diversity Project Focus Groups Proposal: A Partnership Project with Plymouth Local Authority
Funder: Department for Children's Services, Plymouth City Council
Lead Investigator: Ruth Boyask
Co-Investigators: Sue Waite, Hazel Lawson, Arnet Donkin (PCC)
Awarded: £2000.50

2006 - 2007
Write On!: Investigations into the relationships between teacher learning and student achievement through writing.
Funder: Teaching and Learning Research Initiative, New Zealand Council for Educational Research
Directors: Ruth Boyask and Kathleen Quinlivan
Awarded: $NZ47,477.00

An Evaluation of the Use of School Journal and Ready to Read Series to Support Effective Literacy Practice
Funder: New Zealand Ministry of Education
Grant held by Unit for Studies in Educational Evaluation, University of Canterbury
Submitted by: Ruth Boyask, Alison Gilmore, Jo Fletcher, Fiona Gilmore, Jilaine Johnson, Faye Parkhill
Awarded: $NZ160,000.00

Engaging in intercultural conversations on participation, diversity and social justice in schooling
Co-presenters: Jean McPhail, Baljit Kaur, Kathleen Quinlivan, Ruth Boyask
NZARE at AERA Symposium, San Francisco, April, 2006
Awarded NZ$2000 by the NZARE Council