Dr Daniel Couch

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Email: daniel.couch@aut.ac.nz

ORCID: ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2670-2065

Links to relevant web pages:


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Education, The University of Auckland
  • Master of Education, The University of Auckland
  • Postgraduate Diploma of Education, The University of Auckland
  • Bachelor of Education, The University of Auckland


Daniel’s research interests cohere around a critical examination of the role of neoliberalism in education. His research explores the role of higher education within conflict-affected contexts, and higher education’s potential as an institution of peace within contexts affected by violent conflict. Additionally, Daniel's research into PISA, and the assessment of Global Competence, is interested in the mechanisms which spread a particular educational agenda from country to country. As a former teacher and deputy principal in Aotearoa New Zealand schools, Daniel is also interested in the rise of neoliberal influence on policy and practice in Aotearoa New Zealand’s education sector, as well as the historical development of education in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Research interests:

• Education, higher education, and conflict-affected contexts
• Intersections between violent conflict, education, and state building
• Capitalism, neoliberalism, globalisation, and education
• Philosophies of education, and their implications for the politics of education
• Innovative Learning Environments and instrumentalist pedagogy
• Progressivism and the history of New Zealand's education system

Teaching summary:

Courses 2020:
EDUC 653 - Educational Philosophies
EDUC 711 - Contemporary Philosophies of Education
EDST 701 - Towards a Personal Philosophy of Teaching and Learning

Postgraduate Supervision:
Aarthi Srinivasan (PhD) The moral path beyond war: A narrative inquiry into the influence of lived experiences on the moral perspectives of Kashmiri youth who have lived through conflict (Second supervisor, with Associate Professor Leon Benade)

Jamba Tobden (PhD) An inquiry into the Political Economy of Gross National Happiness: An integrated policy response for sustainable happiness and wellbeing through enhanced government performance (Second supervisor, with Professor Nesta Devine)

Professional activities:

Appointment, affiliation, and membership

  • Newsletter Coordinator, Education in Conflict and Emergencies SIG: Comparative and International Education Society (2019 - ongoing)
  • Member, Oceania Comparative and International Education Society (2016 - ongoing)

    Research outputs:

    Journal articles

    • Shah, R., Paulson, J., & Couch, D. (2020). The rise of resilience in education in emergencies. Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 14(3), 303-326. doi:10.1080/17502977.2019.1694390

    • Cobb, D. J., Couch, D., & Fonua, S. M. (2019). Exploring, celebrating, and deepening Oceanic relationalities. The international education journal: Comparative perspectives, 18(2), 1-10. Retrieved from https://openjournals.library.sydney.edu.au/

    • Couch, D. (2019). Conceptualising quality following conflict: Afghanistan’s higher education policy. Asian Education and Development Studies, 9(4), 441-451. doi:10.1108/AEDS-08-2018-0127

    • Couch, D. (2018). The policy reassembly of Afghanistan's higher education system. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 17(1), 44-60. doi:10.1080/14767724.2018.1523708

    • Couch, D. (2012). Progressive Education in New Zealand from 1937 to 1944: Seven years from idea to orthodoxy.. Pacific-Asian Education Journal, 24(1).

    Book chapters

    • Couch, D. (2018). From progressivism to instrumentalism: Innovative Learning Environments according to New Zealand’s Ministry of Education. In L. Benade, & M. Jackson (Eds.), Transforming education: Design & governance in global contexts (pp. 121-133). Singapore: Springer Nature. doi:10.1007/978-981-10-5678-9_8

    • Cobb, D. J., & Couch, D. (2018). Teacher education for an uncertain future: Implications of PISA’s Global
      Competence. In D. Heck, & A. Ambrosetti (Eds.), Teacher Education In and For Uncertain Times (pp. 35-47). Singapore: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-981-10-8648-9_3


    • Shah, R., Henderson, C., & Couch, D. (2019). Disaster Recovery Guidance Series: Education sector recovery. Washington DC: World Bank. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/


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