CORE's Team

Catherine Johnson

Accredited Facilitator (English-medium)


2016 M.Ed (Hons) University of Canterbury
1995 B.Ed (Hons) Sheffeild Hallam University

Contact details


P: 0800 267 300

M: 027 631 5323

Accreditation Number: ACC 887

Region: Canterbury

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Catherine johnson 2 Full shot

Professional profile

Catherine has in-depth understanding and experience of teaching as inquiry pedagogies, curriculum integration and design, and pedagogical leadership. She is passionate about the potential use of digital tools to create futures thinking, shifting the status quo, mindsets and educational paradigms.

Involved in the development of the digital technologies curriculum content and its integration with the technology learning area, Catherine has a broad and extensive general, and specialist curriculum knowledge. Design and development is supported by the use of literacy and teaching as inquiry to support and mentor teachers and leaders.

Catherine’s strength is creating sustainable teams of educational change agents. She achieves this by firstly a personal approach of culturally responsive, values driven relationships which are inclusive, non-threatening, and inviting. Secondly she uses design thinking processes, to achieve needs based problem solving strategies.

Prior to joining CORE Education, Catherine was Director of Education at the Mind Lab in Christchurch, Leader of a large Technology Faculty in North Canterbury, facilitated middle leadership programmes, and was seconded to be a specialist subject advisor.



  • Reduces the theory-practice gap by using research to inform decision making. 
  • Masters’ study focused on the conditions required to enable successful teaching as inquiry pedagogies. Now a published book. 


  • Understands the cross curricular potential of innovative digital tools to enable effective curriculum integration through teaching as inquiry pedagogies in Years 1 to 10.
  • Promotes the systems to enable design thinking pedagogies across learning areas in junior and senior secondary.

Cohesive team building

  • Promotes and enables future focused leadership capabilities, through servant and agile leadership strategies to focus developments into effective learning relationships, empowering classroom teachers and the leaders who serve them. 


  • Provides support and direction for cross sector generation of shared and sustainable vision. 
  • Mentors leaders to develop broad perspectives, how to foster desired cultures within teams, and how to tackle the hard conversations to effect change.

Professional body membership

  • Canterbury Technology Advisory Board (Year 7 and 8) Deputy Chair.


Conference presentations, seminars and workshops

  • uLearn17: Teaching as Inquiry Pedagogies workshop and Reverse Engineering
  • Inspire 2017: Virtual & Augmented Reality workshop
  • Interface 2017: Workshop Bluetooth Hoverbots
  • Leading it Better 2015/16: Greater Christchurch Technology Learning Community Cluster
  • Teaching it Better 2015: Presentation of e-portfolios promoting student agency and lifelong learning
  • TESSAC 2013: Connecting the great divide? Demystifying the Year 7-10 curriculum.

Awards, fellowships and scholarships

  • 2015 TeachNZ one year study award
  • 2012 Microsoft Innovative Teacher of the Year finalist.

Personal statement

Earlier in my career I worked with horses at an equine assisted learning ranch in New York state, I witnessed the ability of horses to heal, teach, and rehabilitate children and adolescents. They actually ‘paired up’ and worked 100% with the child to enable them to be. I thought “if horses can do this, what are people doing?”. This experience clarified to me the importance of the work each of us undertakes as educators, and as leaders of our tamariki/children.

As a mother of three teenage daughters I appreciate the challenges that many parents and whānau are facing raising and guiding their children. Our children have provided my husband and whānau with many such challenges, each of these have added to my understanding of differentiation as a teacher and educator. I appreciate and understand the complexities of providing learning experiences that are both valid to the learner and that are worthy of the student taking forward into their adult lives.

I have a strong interest in the restoration of classic sports cars, however my passion lies with the the education, training, rehabilitation, and occasional competing of my three horses who complete my world of learning and pushing the boundaries of possibility. I attempt to live Gandhi's mantra “live life as if you will die tomorrow, learn as if you will live forever”.