Mrs Malia Salote Puloka

BSc UNSW., MEd AUT. (Dist), DipEd (Secondary) Tonga, MSc, PGDipSci

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Professional Teaching Fellow
Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy


Malia joined the Department of Statistics in April 2018 as a PhD student under the supervision of Dr Stephanie Budgett and Associate Professor Maxine Pfannkuch. She is also employed by the Department of Mathematics as a Professional Teaching Fellow teaching MATHS 102. Malia is also the Tuākana maths programme coordinator for Māori and Pasifika students. Prior to working at the university Malia was a secondary school mathematics and statistics teacher. She started her teaching career in Tonga, where she is originally from, before emigrating to New Zealand to continue teaching for a further ten years in secondary schools.

Research | Current

Malia’s research will focus on building Year 10 students’ data modelling capabilities with categorical data. The proposed research intends to design a learning trajectory consisting of innovative learning and assessment tasks and technology in order to enable students to build their reasoning skills about categorical data. Her research aims to understand how to scaffold students from their prior conceptions towards more sophisticated conceptions of reasoning about two-dimensional categorical data. The research builds on Malia’s master’s research, which involved trialling a computer-based prototype tool, an eikosogram, on senior secondary students. Her research found that students could not pose investigative questions from categorical data and could not answer their questions using the eikosogram. Students’ proportional reasoning was also an issue.

Teaching | Current

  • MATHS 102
  • Mathematics tutor to Māori and Pasifika undergraduate maths students
  • Tertiary Foundation Mathematics
  • Tuākana maths coordinator

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Budgett, S., & Puloka, M. (2019). Making sense of categorical data - question confusion. In S. C. Budgett (Ed.) Proceedings of the Satellite conference of the International Association for Statistical Education (IASE) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Stephanie Budgett
  • Puloka, M. S., & Pfannkuch, M. (2018). Year 13 students’ reasoning from an eikosogram: an exploratory study. In M. A. Sorto, A. White, L. Guyot (Eds.) Looking back, looking forward. Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Teaching Statistics (ICOTS10, July, 2018), Kyoto, Japan Kyoto, Japan: IASE. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Maxine Pfannkuch

Contact details

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 303 - Bldg 303
Level 1, Room 160
New Zealand