CORE's Team

Keryn Davis

Senior Researcher



Contact details


P: (03) 379 6627

M: 021 594 667

Region: Canterbury

Keryn Davis

Professional profile

Keryn is a Senior Researcher at CORE Education, based in Christchurch. Her interests include collaborative practitioner research and change, teaching and learning in the early years, and assessment.

Keryn has worked collaboratively with practitioners, primary advisors and academics promoting cross-sector relationships and understandings for the past 10 years. She has been involved in a number of New Zealand Ministry of Education initiatives, and was a member of the Early Childhood Learning and Assessment Exemplar Project team (2001–2002). She was involved in a three-year TLRI project led by Professor Margaret Carr and Dr Sally Peters that brought early childhood and primary teachers together to explore learning dispositions and key competencies (2005–2007).

More recently, Keryn was co-leader of a TLRI project with Dr Sally Peters, working with a group of playcentre practitioners exploring young children’s working theories (2009–2010).

Currently, Keryn's work is split between facilitating Ministry of Education funded ECE Professional Development and a new research project led by Dr Sally Peters and Vanessa Paki, exploring children’s learning journeys from early childhood into school.


For the past 12 years, Keryn has been an early childhood education professional development facilitator working on Ministry of Education funded projects for the University of Canterbury and CORE Education. Keryn's involvement in professional development has allowed her all sorts of opportunities, such as being a resource developer and writer, lecturer, researcher and a member of several working groups for Ministry of Education. Increasingly, Keryn's work has taken her into primary school classrooms and she has been involved in collaborative research projects and professional development.

Keryn is able to provide professional development or consultancy in the following areas:

  • All aspects of early years education, including teaching and learning and governance and management
  • Research and evaluation
  • Resource writing and development

Professional memberships

  • Shortlisted for the NZECE Research Network for Most Promising New Researcher Award, 2006


  • Davis, K. & Peter, S. (2011) Exploring learning in the early years: Working theories, learning dispositions and key competencies. In B. Kaur (Ed.) Understanding Teaching and Learning in the Classroom: Classroom Research Revisited. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
  • Peter, S. & Davis, K. (2011) Working theories and learning dispositions in early childhood education: Perspectives from New Zealand. Early Childhood Policy and Pedagogy in the 21st century: An International Debate. Anglia Ruskin University.
  • Peter, S. & Davis, K. (2011) Fostering children’s working theories – Pedagogical issues and dilemmas in New Zealand Early Years: An International Journal of Research and Development. London: Routledge.
  • White, E., Davis, K. & Peters, S. (2011) Tim and the water: Growing an Island of Interest. Playcentre Journal, 140, 20 – 23.
  • Davis, K., Peter, S. & Duff, A. (2010) Working theories in action – Building and sharing islands of interest and expertise. Playcentre Journal, 139, 20 – 23.
  • Davis, K., Peters, S., Wellby, N. & Mactier, D. (2010) From fact to fiction, from animal expert to storyteller: A journey in striving to understand a child’s working theories and putting the understanding to good use. Playcentre Journal, 138, 20 – 23.
  • Davis, K. & Peter, S. (2010) Moments of wonder, everyday events: How are young children theorising and making sense of their world? Playcentre Journal, 137, 26 – 29.
  • Carr, M., Peters, S., Davis, K., Bartlett, C., Bashford, N., Berry, P., Greenslade, S., Molloy, S., O’Connor, N., Simpson, M., Smith, Y., William, T. & Wilson-Tukaki, A. (2008) Key learning competencies across place and time. Kimihia te ara tōtika, hei oranga mō tō ao. Teaching and Learning Research Initiative Final Report.
  • Davis, K. (2006) ‘It’s much more muddled-up than that.’ A study of assessment in an early childhood centre. MEd. Dissertation. University of Canterbury.

Personal statement

I grew up in Dunedin but I have called Christchurch home for 14 years. I am married with two young boys who keep me on my toes, and when not working, I can be found hanging out with my family and friends.

I am passionate about understanding and improving teaching and learning in the early years through professional development and collaborative research. I feel extremely fortunate to have had plenty of opportunities to combine these passions with working with many incredible practitioners, children, families, whānau, academics, facilitators, and advisers in a vast array of settings and contexts.