2012 Award Winners

The 2012 Winner of Sustained Excellence Award was Dr John O’Neil, Massy University


Professor John O’Neill has made a significant contribution to teacher education over the past twenty years as a teacher, researcher and professional leader.

John is an exemplary teacher educator who works with students across undergraduate and graduate initial teacher education programmes as well as in a wide range of postgraduate education papers. He challenges students to commit to deep thinking and to rise to challenges inspiring critical reflection and a disposition for life-long learning. Rather than tell students what to do and think, he supports them to solve problems, to reflect on their evolving practices and to forge links with theory and evidence-based practices. John has great respect for his students and is therefore able to develop an empowering and mutually respectful teaching and learning relationship.

John’s research reflects his long-standing interests in educational policy, practice, leadership and teachers’ learning and development. He has an impressive national and international research profile. He is joint editor of The New Zealand Journal of Teachers Work and on advisory boards for international peer reviewed journals. John is especially supportive of less experienced researchers and generous with his time as he supports them to become research active and get material published. Nationally, his standing as a researcher is recognized in his appointment to the PBRF education panel and the Marsden Society Social Science panel.

John was a key driver in the development of a four year BEdTchg/DipEdStudies and provided leadership in the development of professional practice papers. He has developed a pilot project designed to support the work of Associate Teachers and encourage teachers to research their practice. This work sits alongside his advocacy for publishing teachers’ school-related research.

John is a leader in the field of research ethics serving as Director of Research Ethics at Massey University and taking a leading role in work commissioned by the New Zealand Teachers Council to support its Code of Ethics.

Uppermost among his personal qualities are John’s integrity and great respect for his colleagues and students. He is always humble and unassuming, sensitive to people’s needs and inclusive. John is committed to social justice and to highlighting issues affecting teacher education. He is a worth recipient of this award for sustained excellence.