Professor Tom Nicholson: New Zealand

Tom Nicholson is a Professor of Education in the Institute of Education at Massey University.

Tom gained his PhD at the University of Minnesota and worked at the University of Waikato and then at the University of Auckland where he held a personal chair in Education and was co-head of the School of Education before coming to Massey University’s Auckland campus in 2006 where he is a Professor of Literacy Education.

Tom currently teaches in a range of areas including human development, research methods, language, literacy, and cognitive development, and the teaching of writing in the classroom.

In 2009 he was elected to the International Reading Association’s Reading Hall of Fame – he is the fifth New Zealander to be elected to the Hall of Fame and one of two working at a New Zealand University.

He has taught many papers including the reading process, psychology of reading, developmental psychology, issues in education, human development, language literacy and cognitive development, educational research methods, research methods for professional practice, teaching writing in the classroom, applied behavior analysis, child language development, language and cognition, and reading difficulties.

He has generated more than 170 publications including 25 books. Recent authored and co-authored books include Phonics Handbook, Teaching Expository Text Structure, Teaching Reading Vocabulary, Teaching Reading Comprehension, Dyslexia Decoded, and the New Zealand Dyslexia Handbook (see the YouTube clip below).

Tom directed an after-school reading project for ten years attended by many hundreds of pupils needing help with learning to read and spell.
He is married, lives in Auckland, likes walking and jogging, cafes, the movies, and looking at art.


The effect of phonics-enhanced Big Book reading on the language and literacy skills of six-year-old pupils of different reading ability attending lower SES schools, by Laura Tse, Tom Nicholson, 2014, published in Frontiers in Psychology, section Cognitive Science.

Phonics Handbook by Tom Nicholson, published in 2005 by Wiley (UK)