Cognition Education has worked closely with the New Zealand Minsitry of Education for nearly a decade to provide high quality professional development for teachers, school leaders and groups of schools.  

The focus of these PLD contracts is to raise and accelerate student achievement with a focus on priority groups and subjects. In addition to the specific focus on the individual contracts (e.g., mathematics; cultural capability and assessment etc.), all PLD engagements have outcomes in relationship to lifting achievement for priority learners and improving teacher practice and subject teaching. Cognition Education was appointed as a provider across all the Ministry of Education categories. We deployed a team of region managers and a team of subject knowledge experts, teacher training specialist and facilitators working in more than 1100 schools with teachers and leaders.  

Our Impact :

Cognition evaluates and delivers professional learning and curriculum development support that is based on the needs of each individual school. Key projects include: 


We provide support to more than 200 schools focused on accelerating learning in Mathematics of underachieving students, by working with teachers within each school to lead the inquiry of mathematics learning in their own school. In addition to this, we also deliver mathematics focused in-depth PLD support in a further 70 schools, where we co-design and deliver tailored solutions to the specific needs of the school and teachers. Part of our PLD approach includes working alongside leaders to build their capability in leading mathematics teaching and learning, creating a sustained environment with in-school expertise that can provide support to new staff once we exit school.  

  • IMPACT: Effect sizes on student achievement assessments in years 1–6 for schools range from 0.83 to 1.26, which represents highly accelerated learning (more than twice of Hattie’s “annual significance” measure) from the base-point. For years 7–8 the range is 0.71–0.77 (nearly twice of Hattie’s “annual significance” measure). 


Cognition Education, through its Leading Literacy framework, provides support to schools in identifying weaknesses in school literacy DNA and assessing opportunities for improvement. With a framework aligned to the National PLD Priorities, our literacy team has been supporting leaders and teachers to build school-wide literacy capability that is sustainable, equitable and reflects New Zealand’s diverse communities and perspectives. Under this programme, we guide schools to make informed decisions using our Cognition Way process – discover challenges unique to each school, design tailored literacy approach for all teachers and students, deliver sustained and strategic PLD approaches across oral language, reading and writing, and evaluating the literacy approach, refining the process as we work. 

  • IMPACT: Participating schools reported improved literacy achievements of students, in addition to successful building of value and connections to children’s home language as well as big gains in the social-emotional development of the learners as they can have improved voice and language to express their feelings. 

Digital fluency:

Cognition delivers the Learning with Digital Technology programme to schools New Zealand wide, covering digital citizenship, digital fluency, curriculum digitisation and eLearning, providing innovative approach to professional learning using latest technologies. This initiative helps educators to become fluent in speaking the ‘language of digital’ and become confident using technology to its full potential in the classroom to enhance learning outcomes of learners. 

  • IMPACT: The programme has helped teachers to boost their confidence in using a range of digital tools to support learning, improved collaboration among staff and even among schools, and increased student engagement in classrooms. 

Over the last decade, Cognition Education has successfully delivered more than 200 NZ professional learning and development contracts per year. We continue to be a key provider for the NZ Ministry of Education and are often approached proactively by the Ministry to support schools or communities of schools who have high levels of need. 

 For more information on implementing professional development for teachers, leaders or groups of schools click here.