EDUCATION REVIEW Vol 8. Issue 5 2017 $10.95
Why the new legislation won’t cut it for teachers
Crisis of Anxiety
The need for more counsellors in schools
“It’s about getting the right people on the bus” postgrad & research
Quality tertiary teaching
how do we know it’s happening?
“They taught us to say the words with our hands. Now we don’t need to speak another language to talk to each other.”
“At Invercargill Middle School, we improved literacy by inventing a visual language.”
Rewarding great collaboration. Celebrating transformation. Creating brighter futures.
Enter the Awards now at pmawards.education.govt.nz
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The election effect
Education Review’s print edition is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to in-depth coverage of education in New Zealand.
I write these words tentatively, ignorant of the outcome of the upcoming election as we go to print. By the time you’re reading this, the 2017 General Election will be over – the votes counted, the composition of our government confirmed. The trouble with elections is that they come around too fast. Three years passes in what feels like a blink of an eyelid. A change of government can bring new ideas to the table, but it isn’t always in the best interests of the voting public to have policies thrown out before they’ve had sufficient time to take shape. Take National Standards, for example. With the obvious exception of National, nearly every party was proposing to abolish them. It’s a similar story with charter schools. Communities of Learning are not looking particularly safe. Tertiary education funding would undergo massive transformation with a change of government. Change can be a good thing, but we need a more pragmatic, civilised approach to it – one that doesn’t have the potential to see policies and systems thrown out every three years. The idea of a cross-party, sector-wide education hui has been mooted for some time. This would help to inform a longer term strategy for education, to minimise upheaval every time there is a changing of the political guard. Labour, Greens and New Zealand First all support it. And just under 90 per cent of respondents in an educationcentral.co.nz poll voted in favour of an education hui. Earlier this year, comedian Mike King likened the promises made by politicians in the build-up to the election to those made by parents who want compliance from their children. He says he doesn’t care which party gets in and it is more important that whoever is in power is prepared to take on board what the New Zealand public needs and wants. Regardless of who is in power, we need a government that is really prepared to listen to the sector – teachers, students, parents – and put these interests above those of any political agenda or election cycle.
Go to educationreview.co.nz for web-exclusive content, including thought-provoking opinion articles from sector leaders.
Jude Barback, Editor
Shine like a diamond: PM’s Supreme Award winner Te Taka Keegan
So close, yet so far: why the Pay Equity Bill won’t cut it
School transformation: “it’s about getting the right people on the bus”
Micro-credentials: a sea change for tertiary education
Assuring the quality of tertiary teaching in New Zealand
“Crisis of anxiety”: a call for more counsellors in our schools
Doctorate meets career
Role Models in Education: providing a platform for professional development
Making our secondary schools more accessible for parents
Future-focused initial teacher education: preparing teachers for changing demands
Lifting and shifting: Careers NZ moves in with the TEC
Upskilling to lead students into digital revolution
“That’s women’s work”: challenging gender stereotypes through tertiary education
6 ways to help tertiary students deal with stress
Taking teachers out of the country to bring cultural responsiveness into the classroom
The postgraduate platform: events and initiatives around the country
International education: more than export earnings and migration
Jude Barback 07 542 3013 email@example.com
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Education Central .co.nz CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jaylan Boyle, Dr John Boereboom, Dr Stanley Frielick, Annie Graham-Riley, Chris Whelan and Dr Stuart Wise.
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Education Review is distributed to key decision makers in the education sector and its distribution is audited by New Zealand Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC). Distribution: 6450
EDUCATION REVIEW Vol 8 Issue 5
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Postgrad & Research 1
Shine like a diamond:
PM’s Supreme Award winner Te Taka Keegan
Education Review asks Te Taka Keegan, recipient of this year’s Prime Minister’s Supreme Award at the Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards, about what it takes to shine in tertiary teaching.
Education Review: Congratulations on winning the supreme award at the TTEAs this year. What does this accolade mean to you? Te Taka Keegan: From a personal perspective, it is a huge honour to be mentioned alongside so many other great tertiary teachers of New Zealand. Ako Aotearoa has created a tremendous resource of innovative and effective teachers who have, over their careers, shaped and inspired thousands and thousands of learners. It is indeed a privilege to have my name mentioned alongside this collection of outstanding educators. But the accolade is not just about me personally. It is an honour for my wife, for my parents and whānau, for my iwi and for all of those who have over my life shaped me to be the person that I am. And it is more than that too. In the weeks following the announcement of the award, I estimate that I received congratulations from 300+ people. The award clearly meant a lot to a lot of people, including colleagues at the University of Waikato, and in particular my students, many of whom I hadn’t heard from for many years. So it has also been an opportunity to honour the discipline of computer science, to honour te reo Māori, and to honour the students that I have been fortunate enough to spend time with. All of this is quite a humbling experience. It has also become apparent that the accolade comes with some benefits and responsibilities. The benefits include opening doors that may have not otherwise been opened; opportunities to have a voice where otherwise my opinion may have not otherwise been considered (like for example having this opportunity in Education Review); and being able to connect with some really great people that I may not otherwise have been able to connect to. Also, having time with the korowai Rauaroha is a privilege that obviously comes with a responsibility of tiaki. Other responsibilities of this accolade involve making time to share this award, to share my experiences, and to share any knowledge that
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I have learned. I do all this in the hope that it will make me feel a more worthy recipient.
What do you think gave you edge over the rest of the winners, in terms of being selected for the Supreme Award? TK: This is a difficult question for me to answer. The rest of the winners looked to be awesome, passionate teachers who genuinely care about their students, truly deserved in their own rights. I would love to have been their students. Maybe something I had was the fact that a lot of the projects I have been involved with have affected many learners in New Zealand, especially in regards to te reo Māori. I received a lot of really great comments on my research and my teaching. And I think I was given some really good advice on how to prepare a portfolio. I have a lot of people that I am very grateful to.
Why are such awards important?
TK: This award is particularly important because the awarder, Ako Aotearoa, forms a collection of awardees who represent the best tertiary teaching practices in the country. It creates the amazing resource of teaching excellence and then looks at ways to share and distribute this teaching knowledge across the sector. Secondly, to apply for an award you have to undertake some deep soul-searching on your teaching practices. You have to undertake some serious analysis on what works and what doesn’t work in your teaching. It is deeply reflective and forces you to go places that you wouldn’t normally go. It is a serious stocktake on your teaching pedagogies, and in some ways it is like flicking the master reset button on your teaching. This has been both refreshing and empowering. The third point is that it is rare for us to have opportunities to celebrate great teachers. For a teacher the biggest reward is the joy in seeing
students inspired, transformed, and excited about learning. Teachers are successful when their students are successful. Teachers celebrate when their students celebrate. It is not really in the mindset of a great teacher to put themselves forward for an award. It almost goes against a code of good teaching practice. So because it is rare it makes it more important that great teachers are acknowledged and it is important we have opportunities to hear and learn about their teaching practices.
What led you to become a tertiary educator?
TK: My own learning, and being transformed myself by tertiary education. In my mid 20s I was able to change my career and the course of my life by undertaking tertiary study. I wanted to continue the research, in particular in the intersection of te reo Māori and computer science, and the best place to undertake this was in a university. As a university lecturer, part of the role involves having to teach. This was never something I set out to do; it was just one of the roles a lecturer has to cover. But I quickly became seduced by the joy there is in assisting and inspiring others to learn.
What do you relish about your job?
TK: I enjoy the balance I have between teaching and research. With teaching you have the opportunity to make an impact on students directly; the rewards are in the personal relationships you form and then the subsequent empowerment and wonder that you can instil in your students. The rewards are at a personal relational level. Depending on the class sizes, there are maybe a hundred or so students you can affect in a year. With the research that I do, I have the opportunity to affect maybe hundreds of thousands of people
a year. I don’t get to form a personal relationship with these people, but I do get to see lots of examples where the results of my research into te reo Māori and computing science are being used. That is also very gratifying. Having a good balance between researching and teaching is the important thing.
What are the biggest challenges you face in your role?
TK: There are two primary challenges that I regularly have to face. The first is common amongst many of the award winners, I think, and that is the challenge of time. There are so many opportunities and directions that I want to spend time on: teaching, research, supervision, supporting Māori and te reo kaupapa, supporting Māori research in technology, supporting iwi and marae initiatives, supporting my whānau, and supporting sporting interests, just to name a few. But yet there is only so much time that can be given to each activity. The second challenge is that I work at the intersection of computer science and mātauranga Māori. This is a unique space and there are only a few people working there. This does present a whole raft of challenges and ethnocentric perceptions that need to be overcome. Perhaps this award will help to shift some of those perceptions.
What advice do you have for new or aspiring educators?
TK: Enjoy all the joys that teaching can bring. Follow your heart and create a teaching environment that you believe in. Don’t be afraid to fail; that is when the best learning happens. Spread the love and empathy; your students will always feel this. Share your passions in your subject area but inspire your students to find their own passions and their own enjoyment in learning.
Where to from here? What are your next goals?
TK: I have a number of short-term goals. I intend to honour the award that I have just been presented
in a number of ways, but in particular with my time. I am currently on sabbatical, so I have a number of papers I need to get written. I need to design a new course to be taught in 2018, so I want to try and make that the best course I have ever taught. I have a number of long-term goals: I would like the standard of teaching to be lifted by examples shown by the winners of the Ako Aotearoa Sustained Teaching Excellence Awards; I want
te reo Māori to become normalised in all forms of technology; I want to increase the number of Māori in computer science; I am part of the Kāhui Māori on the National Science Challenge for Technological Innovation; I want to ensure that Māori are given every opportunity for research in the technological sciences. And I want to be the best husband and father that I can possibly be.
2017 national Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award winners
ore than 200 tertiary teachers have been acknowledged through the national Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards for their contribution to their learners, organisations and communities since the awards began in 2002. Each year winners receive $20,000, with the Supreme Award winner taking home an additional $10,000. Ako Aotearoa administers these national awards for the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment. All winners become members of the Ako Aotearoa Academy of Tertiary Teaching Excellence and continue to contribute to enhancing teaching practice across New Zealand through a range of events and initiatives, often in conjunction with Ako Aotearoa and its regional hubs. The Kaupapa Māori category was introduced by Ako Aotearoa in 2010 and the Excellence in Supporting Pacific Learners endorsement (worth an additional $5,000) in 2016.
Prime Minister’s Supreme Award winner
(also a winner in the Kaupapa Māori Category – Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching)
Kaupapa Māori Category – Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching Mereana RapataHanning
Dr Te Taka Keegan Senior Lecturer, Computer Science Department, the University of Waikato Te Taka has revitalised the Māori language through technology in his teaching and research. “I have been able to transform the landscape beyond my classrooms for the betterment of both te reo Māori and computer science.”
Principal Lecturer, Otago Polytechnic Mereana is responsible for nursing programmes focusing on Māori health, cultural safety and Treaty of Waitangi education. “My key contribution is in increasing knowledge about contemporary Māori health status and informing health professionals of strategies that will enable them to work effectively with diverse Māori realities that exist in Aotearoa today.” Continued on next page >>
Postgrad & Research 3
General Category – Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching Professor Ursula Cheer
Dr Brad Hurren Teaching Fellow, Department of Anatomy, the University of Otago
Dean of Law, the University of Canterbury Ursula’s previous realworld experiences shapes her teaching with dynamic results. “I drive my students to become involved with the sorts of activities and conditions likely to generate high-quality and deeper learning.”
Dr Liz Ditzel
Brad imparts his infectious enthusiasm for anatomy to students, colleagues and the wider public. “I grab with both hands any opportunity to talk about and pass on what I have learned about human anatomy.”
Associate Professor Ben Kennedy
Principal Lecturer, School of Nursing, Otago Polytechnic Her passion to teach came from a desire to help nurses survive the ‘reality-shock’ of their clinical context. “I love teaching and thrive on being part of a vibrant team of academics who are passionate about nurse education.”
Dr Ruth Fitzgerald
Department of Geological Sciences, the University of Canterbury Ben has successfully created a ‘transformed’ learning environment in line with the top science educators in the world. “I love teaching and volcanoes, and I am convinced that learning about rocks is fun!”
Dr James McKinnon
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, the University of Otago A dynamic and engaging lecturer, dedicated to supporting and encouraging students to follow their interests in anthropology. “My teaching approach is to forge academic knowledge into tools for successful living (rather than merely facilitating good grades).”
Gail Harrison Manager and Lead Educator, the Whanganui Learning Centre
Senior Lecturer, School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies, Victoria University of Wellington James constantly evaluates and refines his teaching to improve the learning experience for students. “I want students to learn to be active, creative agents in their worlds, not merely critical bystanders or passive consumers of others’ products.”
Gail’s personal educational experiences have guided how she supports adult learners to succeed in education and life “I see my role not only as a learning facilitator but as a mentor, assisting learners to achieve goals and to achieve excellence in educational achievement, in spite of the odds.”
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Associate Professor Jay Marlowe School of Counselling, Human Services and Social Work, the University of Auckland From grassroots social worker to teacher, researcher and advocate for students from refugee backgrounds. “As a teacher, I talk with students, rather than lecture at them. I relate theoretical ideas to realworld examples and draw on my international social work practice experiences.”
Amy Raymond Senior Academic Staff Member, School of Business Studies, ToiOhomai Institute of Technology A night class in accounting has led Amy on a career that highlights how exciting the world of accountancy can be. “My ‘wow’ is transforming the boring.”
Haruko Stuart Teaching Fellow in Japanese, Department of Languages and Cultures, the University of Otago Haruko coordinates and teaches Japanese language courses with passion, love, patience and empathy. “Language learning opened up a whole new world for me, and now it is my turn to share this experience.”
So close, yet so far: why the Pay Equity Bill won’t cut it
ust a few months ago, the signing into law of a two-billion dollar settlement deal with aged care workers felt like one of those rare moments when something might actually be getting done in politics, a nice break from the usual dogmatic bickering. It felt like sanity had finally prevailed, a mere 124 years after New Zealand women led the world in politically franchising half our population. It felt like one of the tenets that those brave Kiwis fought for – the right to equal remuneration – might be in danger of actually moving meaningfully forward, supported at last by political action as it is universally supported in principle. It seemed blindingly obvious that other sectors would take heart from such a precedent, and that more deals must surely follow. Yet weeks after the Government inked the deal, a Bill was introduced into Parliament that many see as an attempt
“It’s difficult to even call the new Bill by its given title – this piece of legislation has very little do with achieving equal pay and is much more about shutting it down before it gets going.” at pulling up the ladder ahead of other equity claims. The cross-party consensus that was seen as cause for optimism has seemingly gone up in smoke – Kristine Bartlett, the original complainant who joined forces with unions to push through the aged care deal, told newsroom.co.nz: “[The Government] has reneged on what the initial agreement was when they set the principles and pay rates, and made it so much harder if ever there’s other guys going for it… “That’s the disappointing part. I was so, so happy knowing that when this went through, when mine was put through, I was so excited, thinking ‘now all these other
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JAYLAN BOYLE looks at the hasty introduction of the Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill and why unions believe the proposed legislation will make it harder, not easier, for women to make equal pay claims.
low-paid, women-dominated industries or workplaces can go and put claims in’. And of course, that’s all stopped at the moment. So it’s back to the drawing board again.”
Wolf or sheep?
The Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill was introduced to Parliament by Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse in late July, accompanied by a press release that was fairly light on detail. In the statement, Minister Woodhouse said: “The Bill implements the recommendations made by the Joint Working Group and aims to address one of the material barriers to achieving pay equity… The Bill provides a practical and fair process for employees to follow if they feel they are not being paid what their job is worth. “It will also make it easier for employees to file pay equity claims directly with their employers rather than having to go through the courts. “To support an effective and efficient pay equity regime, the Bill includes regulation making powers that prescribe additional matters that can be taken into account when considering: whether a pay equity claim has merit matters that can be considered as part of a pay equity assessment identifying appropriate comparators.” It’s the first and last sentences of the above excerpt that have attracted criticism from unions, academics, and political opposition. The Public Service Association (PSA), New Zealand’s biggest union by membership, released a statement in response with a fairly unambiguous leader: “National’s ‘pay equity’ Bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
In case there was any confusion as to the PSA’s stance on the Bill, national secretary Erin Polaczuk went on to say: “It’s difficult to even call the new Bill by its given title – this piece of legislation has very little do with achieving equal pay and is much more about shutting it down before it gets going. “The Bill… is being incorrectly presented to the New Zealand public as a pathway to equal pay. In fact, the Bill will make it significantly more difficult for workers in female-dominated occupations to pursue pay equity claims by placing new and unreasonably onerous requirements on claimants.
“The Bill as it stands has cherrypicked the positive notes from the Joint Working Group’s recommendations and spun them alongside law changes that actually limit women’s ability to achieve pay free from discrimination.”
The PSA’s principal objections to the perceived intent of the Bill are broadly representative of most criticism that’s been publicised, as follows: Onerous barriers to establishing the merit of equal pay claims before they can even proceed to be assessed. A new hierarchy of comparator roles that limits the ability of women to choose appropriate male comparators to help determine the true value of their work. The removal of the right to seek back-pay in all new pay equity claims, regardless of the extent and nature of the pay discrepancy. Transitional provisions that unfairly stilt current claims so that they would be judged retrospectively through the new proposed legislation. Of course, education is one of those “womendominated” professions that Kristine Bartlett is referring to, particularly at an ECE and primary level. NZEI Te Riu Roa president Lynda Stuart says that the Bill amounts to a betrayal of the principles that were agreed to within the Joint Working Group that sought to roadmap the way forward. “Is [the Bill] an attempt to put a lid on the situation? I am thinking that that must be the case, because there was an agreement with government, business and union negotiators – they had a joint working group,
“I was so excited, thinking ‘now all these other low-paid, women-dominated industries or workplaces can go and put claims in’... [now] it’s back to the drawing board again.” they agreed on a set of principles that would guide pay equity negotiations. The Bill doesn’t reflect those principles, it doesn’t reflect a better process toward equal pay.”
Apples and oranges
But the really sticky bit of the Bill has proven to be the comparator clause, and it’s being framed in diametrically opposite terms by both sides. Of course, if you’re making a case that you’ve been systematically discriminated against in the form of a skinnier paycheck, you’ll need to demonstrate that a comparable profession that’s less female-dominated gets paid more. Clause 24/3 is a set of parameters detailing permissible comparisons. Essentially it’s a set of concentric circles. A claimant starts by looking for a man who is paid more and works for the same employer; if they can’t find one, they then have leave to look at “similar employers”. If none are found, they must then turn to clause 24/3/d: “Comparators from a different industry or sector may be selected for the assessment only if no other appropriate comparators exist.” It’s this hierarchy of admissibility that will create a neverending spiral of bureaucratic process, say critics of the Bill, including Lynda Stuart. “The new Bill makes it much harder for women to both establish merit in their case, and to come up with a fair comparator. We say women should be free to choose the best comparators, not to waste time looking at totally inappropriate jobs in the same sector first. “The pay equity principles that were agreed to by the Government originally allowed for that to happen. Instead of making it harder for women, we need to acknowledge that the situation we’re in isn’t good. Women working comparable jobs are being paid so much less than their male counterparts, and we can’t allow that to happen in 2017. That’s disgraceful.”
Judy McGregor is a professor at AUT, a former Human Rights Commissioner and a former newspaper editor. She was equally unequivocal in a recent opinion piece for the NZ Herald: “If the Government has its way with the proposed pay equity bill, women such as education support and mental health workers will have to endure a legislative steeplechase of higher and higher and wider and wider brush fences to achieve settlements.” Yet Minister Woodhouse has said in response that the comparator thing is a non-issue. “The purpose of the Bill is to avoid the adversarial court process that the parties in the TerraNova [aged care support workers] case would have had to embark on had the Government not intervened and negotiated a settlement. “The TerraNova settlement was reached with reference to a comparator within the health sector and the Bill enables parties to look outside the sector if an appropriate comparator cannot be found. “This will make New Zealand’s law more progressive than any other country we compare with.” Lynda Stuart says the Minister’s comments are “completely misleading”. “The TerraNova settlement was arrived at without agreeing on a specific comparator. Negotiators on both sides looked at a range of roles in the health sector and elsewhere and were not obliged to come up with a comparator at all.”
It appears that the issue of pay equity isn’t one that the Government wants to call attention to leading up to the election. It’s telling that there have been no further press releases from the office of Minister Woodhouse on the topic of the Pay Equity Bill – understandable from a strategic point of view really, given that until the letter of the law is tested in real life, critics can do no more than insist that it will prove to be a pitfall and not a fast-track. The Minister can simply repeat the ‘adversarial court process’ line till the cows come home. Minister for Women Paula Bennett has also stayed conspicuously silent on the subject of the Pay Equity Bill in recent weeks, despite media outlets requesting comment. The upshot of all this is pretty simple, to my mind: with its seemingly hasty introduction of the Pay Equity Bill, the Government has managed only to get itself on the wrong side of public perception. Of course, it’s all moot should we have a change of government – Labour has said the Bill is dead if they end up moving down the hall – but if not, the bickering will continue, and women will conceivably have to add a few more years to the 124 they’ve already waited.
Postgrad & Research 7
“it’s about getting the right people on the bus” JUDE BARBACK talks to Mana College principal John Murdoch about what it takes to turn a school around.
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ohn Murdoch is a name that is becoming wellknown in education circles, thanks to his part in leading a transformation at Mana College in Porirua. Just don’t tell him that – one of Murdoch’s biggest bugbears is the media’s tendency to paint “the hero’s journey” and oversimplify the complex process of change by crediting it to one person. You can’t blame the media really. Murdoch led an inspiring turn-around at Taita College in Lower Hutt before taking on the principal’s role at Mana College last year. He was a first-time principal when he arrived at Taita in 2009. “Looking back now, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing,” he reflects. He must have got something right, however, as the NCEA pass rates doubled during his six-year tenure at Taita. He concedes, somewhat reluctantly, that his 25 years of secondary school experience may have had something to do with it. He’s brought his own ideas to the table. Murdoch says that while the learnings, values and experience from Taita have been useful during his time so far at Mana, the two schools faced quite different challenges that required different approaches. “At Taita we ate the animal from the inside,” he says. “The culture was poor; the school had a big problem with engagement and attendance.”
He says these aspects had to be tackled first before embarking on a learning vision for the school. By contrast, at Mana the culture wasn’t the main problem. In the 1970s the high school had around 1,000 students, but in recent years the roll had dwindled to around 300. “The school was in statutory management; the middle class was leaving in its droves. The priority was gaining the confidence of the local community.” So with Mana, he started with the community and “ate the animal from the outside”. As a result, things are starting to look up for the school. The roll is now up to 370 and growing. And the Ministry of Education recently announced a $9 million redevelopment for the school. Both approaches boiled down to getting the learning vision right. The key is listening to what students really want, says Murdoch. And what has he gleaned from talking to students? “There isn’t a kid who doesn’t want to do well. Adults are the problem. And school is boring,” he lists. It’s about listening to what kids want to get out school, and building their school experience around it, says Murdoch. At Taita, this meant turning extracurricular activities into curricular activities. “I think there were more students at the school at 3.30pm than during the school day,” he says wryly.
“They loved the EOTC stuff. They loved cultural and sporting activities. They even loved homework club. So we went about incorporating this stuff into the school day, into the curriculum, so there was no such thing as extracurricular.” The curriculum began to align more with what students actually wanted to learn about. The school began offering courses that really lead somewhere. These changes were accompanied with high expectations of the students, says Murdoch. “If you can’t get it right for the most disadvantaged kids, and give them a sense of agency, you haven’t a hope.” At Mana College, they’ve set up learning advisories; each advisory comprises 12 students to one teacher. Each student has a learning plan which informs their timetable. This allows the school to truly achieve personalised, student-centred learning. Murdoch stresses that this sort of learning vision wouldn’t be possible without the Mana community on-side. “I think intelligence as a collective is not really well considered,” he muses. He believes this is demonstrated well in tikanga Māori. Before taking the reins at Mana, he was told the school and the local iwi don’t get on. He’s since discovered this to be a misconception. “The iwi are fantastic.”
Having said that, Murdoch says it probably isn’t the best time to be part of a Community of Learning. “It isn’t entirely straightforward for the school to work collaboratively as a group when we are undergoing such transformation.”
“If you can’t get it right for the most disadvantaged kids, and give them a sense of agency, you haven’t a hope.” He speaks highly of Mana’s board of trustees who collectively have opened doors to all sorts of networks for the school. “The board is passionate about kids attending their local school.” One group that isn’t always easy to convert to new ways of thinking is the teaching staff. “The most resistance comes from teachers – that’s always the challenge,” says Murdoch. While the students and the community are always open to new systems and ideas, teachers can be reluctant to embrace change. He puts this
down to the pressures of an increased workload and a shift away from their locus of control. As such, he anticipates around 45 per cent staff turnover in the first 18 months. If they can’t buy in to the learning vision, they’re better off somewhere else. It’s a rather cut-throat admission, but it seems Murdoch would go to just about any length to see his students flourish. “As Jim Collins said, it’s about getting the right people on the bus.” Murdoch has a mild Scottish accent that broadens as he talks about his heritage. He came to New Zealand in his teens. One grandfather was a headmaster, like him; the other a weaver. “As I get older, I realise I’m actually more like my grandfather who was a weaver,” he says. It’s his father he probably emulates the most – Dr Campbell Murdoch has played a major role in transforming general practice and improving access to health services, and continues to make a difference. Like father, like son – John Murdoch says he can’t ever envisage a day he will take a cushy principal’s position at a school that isn’t in need of transformation. “It’s just not me,” he says.
ABBY IS Ready for an education system
that reflects the...
MEET THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE MOVEMENT. BECOME ONE.
Postgrad & Research 9
a sea change for tertiary education
ANNIE GRAHAM-RILEY looks at the new bite-sized qualifications that look set to change the relationship between work and study.
ew Zealanders young and old are about to benefit from a new qualification pathway that will formally acknowledge skills and study at a level other than that of certificates, diploma and degrees. Micro-credentials are, at their core, certifications offered for taking courses and developing skills in specific areas. Sometimes called badges, nanocredentials or nano-degrees, these credentials promise recognition for workforce upskilling and reskilling. The component of learning undertaken is validated in a micro-credential and is important in itself; it is not simply a stepping stone to any subsequent qualification. NZQA is currently running a pilot programme (running from 1 August 2017 to 30 June 2018) and is working alongside Otago Polytechnic, The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) and Udacity to co-create programmes and ensure that the skills taught align with those deemed essential by employers of the future. The micro-credentials have exciting potential and may change the direction of tertiary education in New Zealand. It’s anticipated that micro-credentials will be deemed invaluable by employers in the future, who will quickly be able to ascertain whether a potential employee has the skills required for a role. Moreover, employers will be able to encourage employees to upskill in a quick and timely manner, should the nature of their roles change. Micro-credentials are more specific than other tertiary qualifications. They generally require a lower level of commitment and are less intense than a traditional degree programme, but are intended to serve an important role in acknowledging skills that may be otherwise missed in traditional education. Oftentimes microcredentials can be attained while the recipient continues full-time work or other education, such as secondary schooling. Whilst still in the preliminary phrases in New Zealand, micro-credentials may be able to offer opportunities for professionals wanting to explore alternative career options and impress employers with more specific knowledge. New Zealand’s first micro-credential, issued by Udacity, became available in August of this year. Online education provider Udacity offers a range of nano-degrees and credentials in partnership with international companies including IBM and Mercedes-Benz to provide present- and futuredesigned courses.
Udacity spotted a gap in educational services and realised a need to acknowledge skills that are not always taught or recognised by traditional training providers. Those who are interested in developing virtual reality applications or exploring robotics may be marginalised by university education but can be accredited through Udacity at the completion of an online course. Interestingly, the first micro-credential offered in New Zealand by Udacity, announced by Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Phil Goldsmith, is a self-driving car nano-degree. The programme is assessed by NZQA and provides 60 credits at Level 9 of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework. As with any microcredential, this credential would be documented on an individual’s record of learning and could be easily accessed by a potential employer.
“YES has morphed over the last 24 years. We recognise those skills that are not necessarily taught in the classroom but are the future [in terms of] what employers are looking for. It’s very good that NZQA recognises what employers are saying they are looking for,” she says. YES is hoping to continue its close relationship with NZQA, anticipating that, from July 2018, students completing the YES programme will be issued with 24 Level 3 credits under the NZQA framework. “Currently, YES is only acknowledged as being ‘equivalent credits’ so it doesn’t appear on the record of learning under NZQA, but a microcredential will appear, so it will be recognised in a broader sense,” says Shubkin. Importantly, such a micro-credential may mean that young New Zealanders don’t need to spend three or four years out of the workforce, studying full-time, in order to have recognisable qualifications: “We’re talking about building lifelong learners, but a lifelong learner isn’t always going to stop what they are doing to do a three-year degree,” she adds. YES, which is supported by The Lion Foundation, BP and the Ministry of Youth Development, praises the fact that NZQA is keeping up with the times and leading the way when it comes to formally acknowledging nontraditional forms of education. “We [New Zealand] are definitely keeping up with the global trend of acknowledging learning that is not traditional,” says YES Head of Curriculum Yolande Rosario. Future-focused Shubkin has applauded NZQA for “looking to recognise 21st-century skills that are not normally taught in the classroom”. In essence, micro-credentials are offering a change from the status quo of educational offerings in New Zealand. People can upskill while continuing to work, complete other study, or even parent, while not having to commit to a full-time course load or face-to-face classes. Shubkin agrees with this description, saying that micro-credentials offer people the potential to explore multiple career pathways. “Gone are the days when you needed a multiyear degree,” she notes.
“We’re talking about building lifelong learners, but a lifelong learner isn’t always going to stop what they are doing to do a three-year degree.”
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Micro-credentials can be delivered in a variety of different ways and may include short courses delivered online, in the workplace, or at training institutions face to face. Micro-credentials can be at any level of a qualifications framework and individuals would typically be awarded between five and 60 credits. Importantly, micro-credentials will be acknowledged formally on an individual’s record of learning. Otago Polytechnic is set to be the leading tertiary education provider for micro-credentials in New Zealand, having launched their microcredential service, EduBits, on 27 July after liaising with NZQA. EduBits promises to recognise sets of skills and knowledge and have the potential to provide ongoing upskilling and reskilling. Otago Polytechnic and NZQA will jointly award microcredential EduBits. NZQA has also been working closely with YES, which will soon begin offering micro-credentials to those taking part in the hands-on learning experience. Terry Shubkin, Young Enterprise Chief Executive Officer (also known as ‘Chief Excitement Officer’), acknowledges it has been important for them to remain relevant and up to date since first beginning the YES in-school programme 36 years ago. She believes micro-credentials are the perfect avenue through which to do this and was thrilled to be able take part in NZQA’s pilot.
For more information about EduBits, issued in conjunction with Otago Polytechnic and NZQA, visit https://edubits.nz/about/edubits. More information about the Young Enterprise Scheme is available at http://youngenterprise.org.nz.
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Assuring the quality of tertiary teaching in New Zealand
DR JOHN BOEREBOOM argues that we need to develop a clearer framework to measure quality tertiary teaching in New Zealand.
he Government, students, families and employers increasingly expect universities to produce competent, employment-ready graduates. At the same time, higher education is subjected to increasing demands for accountability. It would not be hard probably to get a consensus around the proposition that universities should aim for high quality in both their teaching and their research. While quality in higher education is easy to demand, it is harder to define. The British Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) defines quality as “a way of describing how well the learning opportunities available to students help them to achieve their award. It is about making sure that appropriate and effective teaching, support, assessment and learning opportunities are provided for them”. In New Zealand, the universities are collectively responsible for quality assurance across the sector. The Academic Quality Agency (AQA) for New Zealand universities conducts external academic quality assurance by means of a five-yearly cycle of audits. These audits involve peer review and are evidence-based, externally benchmarked, and enhancement-led. This process seems to be very effective. A 2015 international review confirmed that New Zealand universities’ external quality assurance audit process “meets the highest standards of independence and integrity”. The result is a university system that is internationally recognised as providing students with relevant, modern and high-quality teaching and learning experiences. Reassuringly, all eight New Zealand universities are ranked in the world’s top 500. A recent report showed that 93 per cent of international university students chose to study in New Zealand because of the strong reputation of our universities. Clearly New Zealand is performing well at the national and institutional level – but what is happening at the grassroots level? Despite this rosy national picture, a criticism of international rankings of higher education institutions is that these rankings tend to overemphasise research performance and fail to address the quality of teaching at the classroom, lecture theatre or laboratory level. Many academics consider the processes of external quality assurance as cumbersome, bureaucratic and time-consuming and competing with time for professional and course development. Tertiary teachers are usually appointed on the basis of their knowledge, qualifications and experience in their subject areas, and entry into tertiary teaching does not require the completion
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of an initial teaching qualification. Typically the main requirement to become a tertiary teacher is a PhD or master’s in a relevant field. There are no registration or accreditation requirements for tertiary teachers and there is currently no framework of standards for tertiary teaching in New Zealand. In the absence of these factors, what constitutes quality teaching in a higher education setting and how can this be assured? There are many definitions in the literature, but they commonly refer to the effective use of pedagogical techniques to produce successful learning outcomes for students. Based on a review of postgraduate certificate curricula and National Standards frameworks, there are five key dimensions of effective tertiary teaching: Course design, including the initial planning stage, writing learning outcomes which are constructively aligned to the graduate profile, mode of delivery, module and session planning and assessment.
Using a variety of teaching strategies to motivate students and optimise learning including contextual teaching, problembased learning, cooperative learning, blended learning and group work in settings ranging from the field and laboratories to lectures.
Assessment, including assessment for learning, constructive alignment of assessment and learning outcomes, formative and summative assessment, validity and reliability, relevant assignments, effective feedback, and innovative assessment practice.
Catering for diversity and ensuring equity of learning opportunities and outcomes for all students by accommodating a variety of learning styles, cultures, backgrounds and the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.
Use of educational technology to enhance different components of teaching and learning, such as enrolment management, content delivery, collection and grading of assignments, and online assessment and evaluation of teaching and learning.
In the context of the lack of training and registration requirements and armed with a broad definition of quality in tertiary teaching, how should the quality of tertiary teaching in New Zealand be assured? Before answering this question, some comparisons can be drawn with the compulsory education sector in New Zealand. The pathway
to becoming a registered childhood, primary or secondary teacher in New Zealand requires an initial teacher education (ITE) qualification,
provisional certification and a two-year induction and mentoring period. The Education Council has developed the Satisfactory Teaching Dimensions, which focus on ECE, primary and secondary education. The dimensions “affirm the bicultural and multicultural nature of New Zealand” and stress the fundamental requirement to “respond to the increasing drive for quality Māori education”. The primary use of the dimensions is to support the ECE, primary and secondary teacher registration process. If it is deemed necessary for ECE, primary and secondary teachers to be registered, it raises the question of whether there should be compulsory teacher training and registration for tertiary teachers. This debate has been ongoing since at least 1999, but there are currently no national requirements for registering or accrediting tertiary teachers. While a comprehensive content knowledge of a discipline area is essential, it is not sufficient to be an effective tertiary teacher. Tertiary teachers also need competence in pedagogy. In the absence of formal requirements, many universities provide postgraduate certificates for tertiary teaching that can be completed any time after commencing employment as a lecturer. Participation is typically not mandatory and teaching-related professional development has to compete with other work pressures, such as administration and research. In addition, many universities have academic development units that offer induction programmes and continuing professional development in the form of workshops for academic staff and individual consultancy. At the national level, AKO Aotearoa, New Zealand’s National Centre for Tertiary
Teaching Excellence, has a mission to “assist educators and organisations to enable the best possible educational outcomes for all learners”. The AKO Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards focus on: planning and design for learning; facilitating learning; assessing student learning; evaluating learning and teaching; and professional development and leadership in teaching. Currently the AKO criteria are used only by a minority of tertiary teachers who are nominated for national teaching awards. However, the criteria also provide a model for the local teaching award processes at various universities and could be used more widely. In the UK a Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) has been introduced and the Higher Education Academy (HEA) was established in 2003 to provide an accreditation scheme for university teachers. Another avenue in the UK, aligned with the UK Professional Standards Framework, is the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) in the UK, which provides accreditation for the programmes offered by higher education institutions and organisations and recognition of individual completion. Despite the lack of formal training or registration requirements, ample training opportunities exist for tertiary teachers at university, national, and international levels. However, there is no national consistency in how tertiary teachers and institutions engage with these provisions. One option is for New Zealand institutions to align themselves with the HEA. An example is the Auckland University of Technology (AUT), which has nearly 30 HEA Fellows in Fellowship and Senior Fellowship categories. However, it can be argued that since New Zealand lecturers face a unique teaching environment that includes meeting obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi and local needs, there should be a New Zealand accreditation scheme. Not surprisingly, the Productivity Commission has recommended that “New Zealand should develop frameworks of standards for tertiary teaching to recognise and reward capability, and these should incorporate effective modes of teaching for Māori and Pacific students”. It is now timely to take stock of the current situation and develop a New Zealand national framework and accreditation process. The UK Professional Standards Framework, the SEDA and HEA accreditation processes, the Satisfactory Teaching dimensions, the AKO criteria and the dimensions of effective tertiary teaching outlined in this article are useful starting points for the development of such a framework. Ako Aotearoa would be the natural choice for an organisation to develop such a scheme. Dr John Boereboom is director of the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at the University of Canterbury.
Response from Ako Aotearoa
Director of Ako Aotearoa DR STANLEY FRIELICK points out some factors to take into consideration when looking at monitoring the quality of tertiary teaching. Dr Boereboom’s views on the quality of tertiary teaching are sound but overlook some important developments and key findings in the ongoing debate. Ako Aotearoa has already ‘taken stock’ of the situation, starting with the ‘Taking Stock – Tertiary Practitioner Education Training and Support’ report in 2010, followed by a commissioned report on accreditation schemes. The former found 62 qualifications for tertiary teaching, and raised questions such as: “Do we need some national agreement on base competencies for beginning tertiary teachers?” And perhaps most importantly: “Is gaining a tertiary teaching qualification a prerequisite for becoming a good tertiary teacher?” The follow-up report on an accreditation scheme for tertiary teachers in New Zealand in 2012 was widely debated across the sector. As proposed in the report: “A voluntary accreditation scheme … would provide tertiary teachers with public recognition of their level of teaching skills and standards of practice … It would also provide a coherent and credible quality assurance indicator accessible to all stakeholders…” Ako Aotearoa has continued to promote this proposal as follows: We are currently co-funding two projects on the Higher Education Academy (HEA) scheme at AUT and Unitec. We were recently named in the Government’s response to the Productivity Commission: “We will support Ako Aotearoa and providers as they work to develop their own standards to assess and reward teachers’ capability...”. We are a member of the HEA Australasian Strategic Advisory Board that will coordinate the universities (more than 18 now) that are implementing the HEA scheme in Australia and New Zealand. Dr Boereboom is correct to point out some overlap between the criteria for the New Zealand Tertiary Excellence Awards and the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF). But the UKPSF is a multidimensional framework that includes core knowledge and professional values. A narrow focus on ‘areas of activity’ is not sufficient for a robust scheme.
The UKPSF is not prescriptive and provides multiple pathways to professional recognition for all staff who support learning (including professional staff). And it is possible to adapt the HEA model to the New Zealand context. AUT has demonstrated this compellingly in its Pathway to HEA Fellowship programme, which provides a bicultural perspective without compromising the integrity and international portability of HEA accreditation. However, there are some significant challenges ahead – not the least of which is the cost of setting up a new body to administer the accreditation scheme. Ako Aotearoa is not a tertiary equivalent of the Education Council and would need significant extra funding to provide this type of service. It would make more economic sense to work in partnership in with the HEA and develop a New Zealand version, as per the AUT model. This would provide significant benefits to both individuals and institutions, with the promise of enhancing our international rankings on teaching quality. I agree with Dr Boereboom that we need an accreditation process. The HEA model is already working for the universities and ITPs that provide degrees and postgraduate programmes. Wānanga will have their own views on aligning indigenous perspectives with international approaches. Professional standards already exist in the ACE sector and the TEC is working with Ako Aotearoa on standards for foundation education. Preliminary work has been done to scope what standards might look like in the VET/ ITO and ITE sectors. We should take care though to avoid ending up with a hierarchy of frameworks where one sector is seen as ‘higher’ than another. A set of generic standards such as the HEA model – suitably adapted for specific contexts and possibly informed by other approaches – would ensure quality for all learners, provide all staff with pathways to professional recognition, and enhance New Zealand’s international reputation in tertiary education. References: ‘Taking Stock’ report (2010) Govt response to Productivity Commission (2017)
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“Crisis of anxiety”: a call for more counsellors in our schools Are we are doing enough to ensure the wellbeing of students at all levels in our schools? ANNIE GRAHAMRILEY reports.
here are not only calls for a lower ratio of counsellors to students in secondary schools, but also calls for counsellors in primary schools to address what has been described as a “crisis of anxiety”. The question now is whether the latest government policy, a $100 million social investment package, alongside the new Risk Index targeted funding model, will deliver on promises to alleviate the problems currently being experienced across Aotearoa. The Youth Suicide report, issued by the Government in July, acknowledged a large increase in youth suicide rates in New Zealand. Youth suicide rates totalled 238 for the two years from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2016. This formal data refers to the 12–24-years age range and doesn’t specify the numbers of those affected in attendance of primary and secondary schools. However, Aotea College head of wellbeing Nicole Macquet agrees that many of the issues faced by our young people today can be directly linked to suicide and suicidal idealisations. “There has been a significant spike in mental health for young people in secondary schools, with serious and imminent concerns around safety. There are a large amount of issues directly related to mental health and I would say the amount of students who think about suicide is increasing,” said Macquet.
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Suicide, anxiety, and other mental health concerns such as anorexia, self harm and OCD are being brought to the forefront by an increasing emphasis on student wellbeing in schools. The NZCER 2016 National Survey of Primary and Intermediate Schools highlighted a serious issue pertaining to wellbeing in the aforementioned parts of our education sector. Findings suggested that more strategic attention and action is needed by policy makers, government agencies and in schools. Macquet again agreed with this sentiment, but stated that funding can be a problem and that many of the solutions to these problems are somewhat out of the hands of those on the ground. “Counsellors (are) grossly understaffed in schools. The recommendation by NZAC, PPTA and ERO is a ratio of 300:1 but it’s hardly ever anywhere near that. Some of the solutions for this problem sit at a level that we can’t influence,” she said. Whilst counsellors are present in secondary schools, it is teachers who, despite a lack of professional mental health training, are helping to identify and deal with such issues. This problem is also occurring in primary schools, where funding for counsellors is not provided by the government. Instead, primary schools deemed worthy under the decile system are supported by Social Workers in Schools (SWiS), who are then supported by the Ministry of Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki (MVCOT) and Child and Adolescent and Family mental health service (CAFS). Primary school teachers often become the student’s first port-of-call for students struggling with issues. Pam McCann, service manager for Family Works Hawke’s Bay says that the nature of referrals from schools are now far more complex
than they were in previous years and that the range of needs has also increased. “We see children with mental health issues such as anxiety, selective mutism, depression, stress, grief. We see children traumatised by their home environments and particularly where family violence is normalised,” said McCann. Dealing with these issues has become challenging for local SWiS programmes, who are finding it difficult to meet the ever-increasing demand. “We cannot keep up with the demand. More and more of our children are experiencing harm in huge numbers – from serious harm to less serious harm. We have to prioritise our work on the basis of who is most seriously at risk.” McCann is calling for guidance counsellors to be present in the primary sector to help alleviate the “burgeoning” demand being placed upon SWiS workers. “Guidance counsellors working alongside school-based social workers would provide extra resource for children. As an organisation we have a team of three counsellors who are overwhelmed by demand to be working with children. Guidance counsellors working collaboratively with SWiS is a great idea in this region because we do not have enough counsellors in the NGO sector to meet the needs of children and their whānau.” While McCann acknowledges that some of these issues are caused at home and pertain to the children’s experiences outside of school, there is also evidence to suggest that National Standards may be contributing to the crisis. NZEI Te Riu Roa president Lynda Stuart describes the situation as appalling. “National Standards are putting kids under enormous pressure, leading to high levels of anxiety. We are talking about, in some cases,
“Parents tell us that their children are telling them that they are failures. The system is broken. School should be a place of creativity that fosters a love of learning.” very small children here. It is not acceptable. Principals and teachers are increasingly worried. Parents tell us that their children are telling them that they are failures. The system is broken. School should be a place of creativity that fosters a love of learning.” The Government currently encourages schools to implement PB4L (Positive Behaviour for Learning) as a method to encourage resilience and alleviate issues deemed to be within the control of the school, such as behavioural issues and bullying. However, for more significant issues funding for the SWiS is currently only available in targeted low decile primary and intermediate schools (decile 1–5). Concerns over the impact of the Risk Index targeted funding model, and its impact on the allocation of funding, were commented on by Minister of Education Nikki Kaye, who said she wasn’t able to predict the outcomes of the new model but promised that no school would be negatively impacted.
“No school, early learning service or ngā kōhanga reo will see a reduction in their funding as a direct result of this change. In fact, we expect some will gain significantly.” Minister Kaye also reiterated that programmes targeted through decile, such as Nurses in Schools and Social Workers in Schools, “continue to reach those schools and services where the need is greatest”. In addition to this sentiment, Katrina Casey, head of sector enablement and support, promised that the new $100 million dollar mental health package, released on 14 August, would deliver on promises to alleviate some of the mental health issues in schools. She said it included an $11 million dollar pilot providing mental health specialists to selected Communities of Learning l Kāhui Ako to support the early identification of potential mental health issues, coordinate on-location access to mental health care so that students have fast, easy access to the support they need, and facilitate access to
specialist services when a more specific and/or severe mental health need has been identified. The package promises to reorient the current approach of mental health and begin to focus more on early intervention and building the resilience of school-aged children and young people. In the meantime, Nicole Macquet encouraged teachers, support staff and mental health professionals to empower students and work alongside them to find solutions. Aotea College has championed this approach to create their “Wellbeing Bubble”, which emphasises the importance of creating partnerships between students and staff, with a focus on building resilience and teaching prosocial skills. Macquet encourages educators to tap into student voice at all ages, to be asking curious and respectful questions such as “Help me understand?” and “Tell me more?” to find out what it’s like for them and then to co-construct the support they need. “It’s about schools in New Zealand saying ‘where can we help each other?’ We need to be tapping into each other’s expertise and lend support.”
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Doctorate meets career
It can sometimes be difficult to make the connection between doctorate-level qualifications and the world of work. However, Otago Polytechnic’s newly launched Doctor of Professional Practice is helping to join the dots.
hile the thought of further postgrad study is appealing to many people, it isn’t always clear what relevance specialised learning and research will have to their jobs. Otago Polytechnic sought to bridge the gap with the introduction of their first doctorate – the Doctor of Professional Practice. The course is aimed at experienced professionals who wish to take their learning to a higher level. While a doctorate typically requires people to take a break from their work, this one allows people to work and study at the same time. The doctorate is an extension of Otago Polytech’s other professional practice qualifications. Five years ago, the polytech introduced a graduate diploma in this area, followed by a master’s. “The master’s was a roaring success” says Otago Polytechnic Chief Executive Phil Ker, “But just as we experienced with those who completed the graduate diploma, the master’s graduates were asking ‘what’s next for me?’” This led the polytech to design the doctorate, which Ker describes as an “innovative, learnercentred qualification that will generate and apply new knowledge in the workplace”. “It is a learner-centred approach that will make a difference in our communities,” he says. Capable NZ Professor Samuel Mann led the team that developed the final version of the qualification and worked with NZQA to bring it to fruition. “Students will use substantial and novel research to address ‘wicked’ or new problems within their professions. It’s all about emergent frameworks of practice – they’ll see a change in professional practice for themselves, their organisation and their wider community,” says Mann.
What is professional practice?
Otago Polytech’s interest in professional practice actually stems back to when they established Capable NZ 15 years ago. This started out with assessments of prior learning and has evolved to a full-blown learning model based around prior learning. “We’ve carved out a strong market among adult learners in the workplace who are under- or uncredentialled,” says Ker. “What we came to realise is that there is strong demand to engage in learning that is about them, not off the shelf.” Otago’s focus on prior learning then evolved into professional practice. Ker believes their approach is unique. “We’re surprised more haven’t adopted it. We’re pleased they haven’t, but surprised nonetheless!”
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Otago looked to Middlesex University in London for guidance on the qualifications themselves. Middlesex is generally acknowledged as one of the leaders in the field of professional practice. Ker describes the process they use as “intensely reflective”. “The transformation we see is so effective. It works at undergrad and postgrad levels and teaches people how to learn.”
“It is a learner-centred approach that will make a difference in our communities.” The doctorate course starts with an intensive reflective process, in which the candidates look closely at who they are and where they want to take their career. They set goals before embarking on the actual study of how to learn. The beauty of the qualification is the ability to apply their research and learning directly into their workplace. Ker says it is “desirable” to have the employer on board, as it becomes a three-way conversation between the candidate, the polytech and the
employer. He acknowledges this isn’t always the case. If the employer isn’t prepared to invest, at the very least they need to be supportive, he says. The other big ‘tick’ for the course is its flexibility. It’s a distance-facilitated course, meaning it can be taken anywhere. They’ve even had an expat in Bahrain completing the master’s course.
Breaking the glass ceiling
Doctorate level qualifications are usually the domain of universities, but Otago Polytech has pushed through that superficial barrier. “This is the biggest academic news at Otago Polytechnic since degrees were approved in 1995. We’ve broken through the glass ceiling and have shown that we have the knowledge and history to provide doctorate level programmes,” says Mann. Ker says they didn’t encounter any problems getting the doctorate programme approved. “NZQA assured us they had no bias against polytechnics. I think it helped that we consciously specialised in professional practice.” They are also taking a softly-softly approach, starting with just five learners. Mann says there are already 25 people wanting to start the qualification. They will look to increase the intake over time. “We want to learn to walk before we run,” says Ker.
Exciting new qualification in agritech space Lincoln Hub, in partnership with Tech Futures Lab, is readying to launch a highly relevant business qualification for business professionals in the burgeoning field of agritech. From this November, the two organisations will offer the Master of Applied Practice – Technological Futures. Individuals will gain access to a diverse network of experts and practitioners in this field and work to understand, create and develop business opportunities based on tech-enabled agriculture in New Zealand. Agritech is a growing field globally with many innovations and advancements happening at a rapid pace and fundamentally reshaping how we farm, cultivate crops and rear animals. Agriculture has long been
considered the backbone of New Zealand, and now agritech presents the opportunity to create sustainable economic growth. Lincoln Hub is an innovation network and agri ecosystem with access to a worldwide network of agricultural expertise. It works with industry, education and science to create sustainable solutions to agricultural problems through new ways of thinking – focusing on the big opportunities in the agri sector. Tech Futures Lab is a technology, innovation and business learning hub for professionals. Candidates of the new master’s programme will gain hands-on experience and see projects and research at work. They will also spend four weeks during the immersion phase of the programme with Lincoln Hub’s partners around the country. Sarah Hindle, Tech Futures Lab general manager, says the new qualification will enable students to flesh out their ideas with “industry-backed research and real-world solutions”.
Role Models in Education: providing a platform for professional development ANNIE GRAHAM-RILEY looks at a sporting initiative that has opened the doors to more collaboration and collegiality among schools.
red from a desire to find an innovative way to inspire our tamariki and connect with colleagues nationwide, the phenomenon that is Role Models in Education is sweeping the country. In 2013 the idea to hold a competitive rugby game between teachers was discussed by Ricardo Fox, then principal at Frasertown School, and David Milne, who was then at Ohuka School nearby. The conversation didn’t amount to anything formal immediately but resulted in the challenge being reset for a later date. In 2016, with Fox’s leadership cemented at Hastings’ Mayfair School, the challenge was set. Fox, along with 39 other men and women from the Hawke’s Bay region, donned his black-andwhite-striped uniform, strapped on his boots and headed to Gisborne under the name ‘Role Models in Education’ for a much-anticipated match against Tairāwhiti Men in Education. The match was televised by Sky’s Grassroots Rugby and amassed support from students, sponsors and members of the wider community, who praised the educators for inspiring tamariki to give everything a go and take on a new challenge. The match proved a success and served as a juncture, paving the way for more regions to come on board and create their own version of Role Models in Education, with regular games being organised between the various regional unions. Gisborne Intermediate principal Glen Udall says that, initially, rugby was used as a vehicle to bring together educators and share a passion as well as bond socially; however, many sports are now being included across the various regions. Female netball leagues are being run in Hawke’s Bay and an inaugural match against New Plymouth was
played on 16 September, running concurrently with a rugby game held the same weekend. Cricket, golf, soccer and touch have also been added to the repertoire, with a summer tournament in the pipeline for the Tairāwhiti region. The Hawke’s Bay Role Models in Education have also taken part in community events such as Relay for Life, which has been used as a powerful platform to engage with students and the wider community to raise funds for the Cancer Society. Earlier in the year a rugby match between the Role Models and the Hawke’s Bay Police was also used as an opportunity to raise money for Child Cancer. The benefits of the phenomenon have expanded far beyond the initial ‘run around on the field’ concept. Collegiality between schools both regionally and nationally has been promoted, with male educators being able to connect in an industry somewhat dominated by women. Udall says that often games will be aligned with professional development, and connections have been made that would otherwise have been impossible. The Tairāwhiti team has even travelled to Australia to engage with colleagues across the ditch. “Extending professional collaboration beyond our regional confines has had a massive impact in our schools locally. We have had the opportunity to engage with principals in other regions in ways we would have been unlikely to be able to do without the connections we have made. “Each host [team] has sought to give visiting professionals access to schools and school leaders who are at the forefront of educational change. Through onsite visits, dialogue and presentations we have gathered an immense amount of professional knowledge, which is taken back to our own schools and has shaped how we have delivered educational experiences.”
Mayfair School principal Ricardo Fox agrees with this sentiment, paying tribute to positive experiences in Counties Manukau, where they visited Manurewa Intermediate and learned from “one of the best intermediates in the country around cultural engagement”. Fox also praised Rowandale Primary School principal Karl Vasau for opening the doors to his school during Tongan Language Week. These experiences have been deemed invaluable by educators across the country and would simply not have been had were it not for the gateway provided by Role Models in Education. Fox, who champions the phenomenon and continues to organise events, games and professional development nationwide, admits that the establishment of ‘RiE’ has not been without its challenges. “It is extra for the organisers but the outcomes are amazing for educators; the positive results outweigh the negatives. With anything new and innovative, people freely and easily cast stones. One of the misconceptions is that it’s a boys’ club – Role Models in Education here in Hawke’s Bay is gender inclusive. We have our women’s netball team, the men’s rugby team, mixed touch and cricket… To truly understand the power of the RiE and MiE kaupapa, you have to be a part of the experience. Don’t knock it before you try it!” Glen Udall agrees, adding: “We are excited where this kaupapa is taking us and the doors it is opening up. We are becoming better educators and better people through the relationships we are building and the experiences we are activating. The future holds no limits for us.” For more information on Role Models in Education, Hawke’s Bay, visit www.facebook.com/HawkesbayRIE.
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Making our secondary schools more accessible for parents JUDE BARBACK talks to Bali Haque about his latest book New Zealand Secondary Schools and Your Child: A Guide for Parents, which is bound to hit the right mark with Kiwi families and schools.
arents love to talk schools. Which high school your kids will attend is a hot topic on soccer sidelines, at school assemblies and over Friday wines. As parents of a nine-year-old, my husband and I are finding the secondary school debate is becoming less hypothetical with every passing school term. I assumed our son would go to the high school down the road, as I had done. However, my husband, who went to a private boarding school, has other ideas. Choice can be a tricky thing. As I read Bali Haque’s book, New Zealand Secondary Schools & Your Child: A Guide for Parents, it occurred to me that we weren’t thinking about schools in the right way. Had we even asked the nine-year-old which school he would like to attend, and why? Had we visited the schools to get an understanding of what they offered and how they operated? Had we bothered to get involved from the outset? For some reason, Kiwi parents – although this isn’t a problem unique to New Zealand – often become more disengaged from their child’s education as they progress to high school. “Something happens to kids as they transition to secondary school – obviously – but something also happens to parents. They feel far less inclined to get involved with their child’s education at the secondary school level,” says Haque. Haque puts it down to the heightened complexity of secondary schools. Unlike their primary and intermediate counterparts, secondary schools are often big organisations. Suddenly a child has up to eight or nine teachers, and access to the teachers and principal becomes harder. The curriculum is different and the NCEA assessment process can be difficult to grasp. As the title suggests, Haque’s book is like a manual for parents; I think it should be issued to every New Zealand parent of every year 8 child about to embark on the exciting and somewhat daunting world of secondary school.
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His book starts with the basics, with a run-down on different types of schools, and then explains how parents can navigate their way through schools’ ERO reports, NZQA assessment reviews and curriculum guides, their approaches to streaming, multiculturalism, discipline, homework and special needs. It also provides the clearest explanation of the NCEA system I’ve come across, to help guide a generation of parents who grew up with School Certificate and Bursary. School reports and parent interviews are discussed, and there are a few trouble-shooting chapters for when things go wrong. Haque has purposely kept the book fairly short and the language accessible, with no education jargon.
“Most teachers are doing a good job, and most want to do an even better job. The issue for me is: how do we support them to do this?” Perhaps one of my favourite parts of the book is the section that includes a series of fictitious teacher profiles. It is here we meet Miss Napa, the young science teacher with an innate grasp for how to incorporate digital technology into a schoolwide field study; we meet history teacher Mr James, whose talking-at-students method was well received by some students but loathed by others; we meet Mrs Gavinder, whose group work assignments are a flop. These teachers have been included to highlight that a one-size-fits-all approach does not apply in the classroom. What works for one teacher may not work for another, depending on their students and their interactions with the students. Haque is quick to emphasise that they are examples only. He says he deliberately chose mainstream examples, not teachers who were exceptionally innovative or questionable.
“Most teachers are doing a good job, and most want to do an even better job. The issue for me is: how do we support them to do this?” He thinks breaking down the barriers between parents and teachers is part of the answer. He acknowledges that this is perhaps rather idealistic, but points out that many schools now have learning advisors assigned to each student, to personalise their learning goals and bolster those connections between the school and family. While parents are the primary audience for the book, Haque suspects teachers and principals will also find the book useful, to remind them of how the system appears from the parents’ perspective. He hopes that teachers will view the book as supportive, rather than encouraging parental interference. “The issue probably is that in a busy secondary school, although teachers want parents to be involved, they can sometimes forget to view things from the parents’ perspective. Even teachers who are parents themselves do this. I always try and encourage teachers to imagine that their son or daughter is in their class.” Haque has been careful to keep the book free from advocating for any particular system or from any political discussions. For example, he made the conscious decision to omit any discussion about alternative assessment systems like Cambridge Examinations or International Baccalaureate, as it would be too controversial. It is primarily a book about navigating state education. Haque is also mindful that things move quickly in education. He would like to keep updating the book so that it remains current. I hope New Zealand Secondary Schools and Your Child: A Guide for Parents will become a useful resource for parents – and I expect it will. Anything that encourages a stronger bond between school and home has to be a good thing. New Zealand Secondary Schools and Your Child was published by Bateman in mid-August.
PILOT SCHEME DISRUPTS TERTIARY EDUCATION BY GUARANTEEING JOBS FOR STUDENTS Computer Power Plus, a national provider of IT training, is thrilled to announce a groundbreaking opportunity for their future students that will help the continued growth of the IT industry in New Zealand. Following on from their initial ‘Guaranteed Jobs Offer’ that was launched with great success in May, Computer Power Plus will guarantee 200 jobs for high school leavers that enrol with them for the 2018 academic year. This is an ambitious target but one that comes with no strings attached and General Manager Jay Bocock says this sets Computer Power Plus apart from other tertiary education providers. “We want to provide a pathway for our future students that takes them through their studies to a job,” Bocock says. “Given the rising student debt figures, this will allow our students to manage their loan as they move into the workforce.” Registrations opened at the end of July, and CPP believes they can achieve their goal of having 200 new students enrol who will then gather the required skills to hit the ground running when they enter the workforce in late 2019. “The feedback we hear from IT firms is that they’re crying out for talented young graduates and CPP is committed to providing them to ensure the health of the tech industry moving forward,” Bocock says.
The vision for CPP is to disrupt traditional thinking around education and graduate employment and implementing this initiative is the first major step. CPP will continue to put time and energy into engagement with the IT industry as they look to provide game-changing opportunities for students. There will also be six scholarships on offer as part of the 200 student intake. These will cover the total course fees, and include a free Google Chromebook. Students will enrol in either the New Zealand Diploma in Software Development, a new Level 6 two-year course or the New Zealand Diploma in IT Technical Support (L5) for the first year before choosing between the New Zealand Diploma in Networking (L6) or the New Zealand Diploma in Systems Administration (L6) for their second year. Once a student has completed their studies, CPP will place them in a full-time position (minimum 30 hours per week) in the IT industry or CPP will refund 100 per cent of their first year course fees. To be eligible for the offer, students must have finished high school within the past five years and have achieved a minimum of 42 credits at NCEA Level 3, including 14 credits in Digital Technologies or Computing AND 10 credits in Mathematics at Level 2 or above AND 10 credits in English at Level 2 or above. The offer is for domestic students only. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or head to www.cpp.ac.nz
GUARANTEED I.T. JOBS FOR SCHOOL LEAVERS! Computer Power Plus is offering a groundbreaking opportunity for Year 12 and 13 students leaving school this year. We will guarantee 200 IT jobs for high school leavers who start their studies with us in 2018. Our two-year programme is designed specifically to prepare students with the relevant skills for the work force at the end of 2019. We are also offering six full-fee IT Scholarships valued at $14,400 each.
If you’d like know more about our guaranteed jobs programme and want to share this exciting career opportunity with your students, please contact our project lead Lauren at Lauren.Colgan@cpp.ac.nz
YOUR PATH TO SUCCESS
Initial teacher education
Future-focused initial teacher education: preparing teachers for changing demands DR STUART WISE shares how the University of Canterbury (UC) is evolving its initial teacher education (ITE) programmes to keep pace with the ever-changing demands on teachers and learners.
s we move towards the end of the second decade of the 21st century, we are faced once again with the challenge of adequately preparing beginning teachers for the complexities they will face when working in our schools. Students in our schools need teachers who understand the context in which they live and can respond to their specific learning needs. They need teachers who can equip them with skills and strategies that enable them to flourish in the education system at all levels and become lifelong learners who can navigate the complexities of modern life. However, one of the great benefits of living and working in a country with a population of around five million people has been our ability to respond nimbly to change. In keeping with the mission of the UC College of Education, Health and Human Development, all the ITE programmes offered at ECE, primary and secondary levels are designed to prepare teacher graduates to be culturally competent professionals who respond to learners, engage critically with educational issues, and value positive relationships with students and collaborative ways of working in a variety of professional learning communities. It is expected that the teacher graduates from all programmes will be able to integrate the understanding and experiences of contemporary educational theory and practice. They will be knowledgeable and skilled beginning teachers with the expertise and dispositions essential to contemporary schooling. The growing body of research on initial teacher education has led to a more robust understanding of effective practices of programme design, knowledge, pedagogical practices and
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implementation of initial teacher education programmes (e.g. Ball & Forzani, 2009; Conner & Swilka, 2014; Darling-Hammond & Bransford, 2005; Grossman, 2005; Korthagen et.al., 2006; Loughran, 2013). This research has illuminated such common programme elements as: shared vision of effective teaching; clear standards of performance; curricular coherence; extended professional experiences; strong school-university relationships, and extensive use of effective pedagogies such as case studies, teacher research, and performance assessments. Research has also shown that such high-quality teacher education programmes have a positive effect on the capabilities of graduating teachers to integrate aspects of instruction, management, and assessment (Darling-Hammond, 2006). As part of the ongoing review of course content, we have been looking at how we might be able to more fully integrate educational studies perspectives (e.g. sociology, philosophy, psychology, history) to enable beginning teachers to understand and thoughtfully negotiate the current schooling challenges in relevant and meaningful ways. We have been focusing on using professional practice experiences to facilitate this in ways that allow our graduates to understand theories in practice and their implications for teaching a diverse range of young people in schools. Some of the ways we have been doing this, initially in our exemplary master’s programme and now in development in our graduate diploma courses, include: working to create closer connections between practice and theory, by focusing on critical reflection and analysis of ‘puzzles of practice’
(relating to challenges encountered on practice and experience and research that helps make sense of the challenges and positive teacher responses) having a dual focus on culturally responsive practice and curriculum and assessment developing sound knowledge of learners and curriculum to support teaching that is culturally responsive in context employing a strengths-based focus that challenges deficit discourses (where learners and/or teachers may be positioned in the system as deficient) developing adaptive expertise – preparing beginning teachers on a path that supports ongoing development of adaptive expertise fostering deeper mentoring relationships, as in the master’s programme, through three-way mentoring arrangements and an educative mentoring approach (it’s not about pre-service teachers merely copying practice, but being supported to engage critically with practice and consider different options and approaches).
Initial teacher education
All sectors consult regularly with liaison committees that include the Canterbury Primary and Canterbury Secondary Principals Associations. We also enjoy an excellent relationship with Ngāi Tahu via the Ngāi Tahu Rūnanga Education and Health Advisory group. Advice from these groups has proved invaluable as we have continued to revise and modify content in courses in the ECE, primary and secondary sectors. We have worked hard on maintaining and enhancing positive relationships with our stakeholders as we acknowledge that our partnerships with schools and early childhood centres are vital for the effective provision of ITE programmes. These positive relationships are reflected in the excellent attendance at Principals’ Days, where attendees come from around the country to meet with and speak to prospective employees. As part of our ongoing development of courses and course content, we are mindful of the changes that have occurred with respect to innovative
learning environments and flexible learning spaces. Following the devastating earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, schools in Canterbury underwent some of the most radical restructures and rebuilds that the country had seen for quite some time. Connected with this has been the development of BYOD environments, where every student has a digital device in the classroom. A real challenge for UC College of Education, Health and Human Development was to consider how we would be able to prepare our graduates to work in these new spaces and environments. We have also been very mindful of a growing number of secondary schools that are adopting an inquiry model of teaching in years 9 and 10 and how this approach may impact on what we do when preparing graduates to work in such schools. We are confident that the above developments are preparing graduates to be ideally equipped to work in these new teaching and learning environments. We are preparing students who have skills in adaptive expertise and understand the essential relationship between theory and
practice and that research should be informing their practice as they continue to develop their pedagogical skills in the classroom. Because of the focus on te reo and tikanga Māori in courses in all sectors, our graduates are becoming increasingly culturally competent. As a result of the focus on inclusion, they are able to develop inclusive practices in their classroom teaching. They are digitally literate, they are nimble and they have the necessary skills and abilities to make a difference for all ākonga in Aotearoa New Zealand. Dr Stuart Wise is deputy head of the School of Teacher Education, College of Education, Health and Human Development, Te Rāngai Ako me te Hauora, at the University of Canterbury. For references to this article, please contact email@example.com.
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Lifting and shifting: Careers NZ moves in with the TEC The recent ‘lift and shift’ of Careers NZ to the Tertiary Education Commision has generated ripples throughout the education sector. Jaylan Boyle spoke to two high school careers teachers to gauge the mood on education street.
n early July, Minister of Education Nikki Kaye announced that Careers NZ, New Zealand’s most utilised careers education resource for school communities, careers advisors, and employers, was to be “lifted and shifted” into the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) as an upshot of the recently passed Education Act Amendment Bill. A press statement released at the time manages to both comfort and worry those affected, in the same paragraph: “In the first instance this is a ‘lift and shift’ of staff and functions from Careers New Zealand to the Tertiary Education Commission. The legislation gives the Tertiary Education Commission six months to realign the way the organisation works to deliver the new careers functions. During this time there will be no external change to service for either organisation.” Rationalisation for the move came from Associate Tertiary Minister Louise Upston, who plays a familiar centre-right tune: well-worn phrases like ‘consolidation’ and ‘elimination of duplication’ were prominent – this is normally, of course, the language of cutbacks, particularly when emanating from Ministerial communications departments. “The TEC will be a one-stop-shop that consolidates careers information in one place, reducing fragmentation and duplication across government agencies and making pathways for young people into further study and work clearer,” said Ms Upston. “By expanding TEC’s functions we will improve the career system by strengthening connections between education and employment, making it easier for learners and job-seekers to navigate their pathway
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choices by accessing high-quality and relevant information and services. “There will be better and more consistent careers advice and information, as well as a new and improved suite of online tools, making it easier to use this information. “This will enable people of all ages to make better-informed, timelier decisions about their learning and career pathways. Employers will benefit from stronger connections with schools and tertiary providers, enabling them to more directly influence the skills pipeline.”
On the street
The mood on education street, so to speak, appears to be one of ‘we’ll have to wait and see’ – at least according to the school careers personnel Education Review spoke to. Jacqui Birkhead is director of careers at Auckland’s Avondale College. She says that Careers NZ services have, in fact, been contracting for some time. “I think we’re kind of waiting to see at this stage. Careers NZ has become smaller over recent times; what they actually offer schools has become smaller. At one stage they were coming in and doing lots of work with priority learners, and then they pulled back on that.” Jacqui isn’t sure whether such a contraction of services means the Government has been preparing for the merger with the TEC for some time. She is, however, very sure of the esteem in which Careers NZ is held by people in her field around the country, and by those who benefit from it. “Careers NZ has always been a wonderful resource for schools. So it would really be a shame if it were to decrease or even vanish. Perhaps being placed within the TEC will give
it more strength though, who knows?” Jacqui is concerned that the metrics used by the TEC to remodel Careers NZ, whatever its future form, may ignore the nuanced reality of careers education. Like so many aspects of education, there is the danger that a narrow focus on easily measured outcomes could mean that kids fall through the resulting cracks, or that school staff are negatively incentivised to pursue only certain outcomes. “It’s hard to measure lots of aspects of careers work, isn’t it? You might just be a small cog in a bigger journey, but a really important cog. Sometimes you can’t just measure success on outcomes. If somebody goes to a workshop [provided by an organisation like Careers NZ], how do you measure the outcome? Sometimes it’s about sowing the seeds,” she says. “While our work is based largely on outcomes, you don’t always see those results immediately or directly. Somebody’s increased confidence, for example, is hard to measure, isn’t it?” Education Review asked Jacqui which Careers NZ services she sees as crucial to the work she does. “They currently offer professional development workshops for careers staff, which are really useful. Their website is, of course, fantastic: it’s New Zealand’s best online careers resource, we use it a lot with students. It’s a wonderful New Zealand-relevant resource. “They have been moving more towards the online advice chat model through the website. I don’t know if many of our students actually
“I think face-to-face interaction with Careers NZ is just so valuable. They used to come into schools and help us work with priority learners, which was wonderful.”
engage with that. But I think face-to-face interaction with Careers NZ is just so valuable.” Jacqui says she finds it strange that there is lots of political lip service paid to strengthening pathways for young people to get into gainful employment or training, when what actually happens could be read as a cost-cutting exercise – as that’s often the underlying point of mergers. “All these politicians seem to have this focus on getting young people into work, and so you sort of think that there’d be more money put into these kind of services. Rather than try and reinvent the wheel, and change a really well-respected and widely used service. I mean, parents, students and everybody else all know about Careers NZ – I hope that if they do [change Careers NZ], we’re not going to lose some of the expertise in the staff that are there, and lose some of those community connections.” Jacqui says that as far she is aware careers staff haven’t been directly approached by the Government either for their thoughts on potential changes to Careers NZ or to give any more detail on the merger than is available publicly.
From under the umbrella
Education Review approached the TEC for comment on its absorption of Careers NZ. We asked direct questions, but unsurprisingly (given the proximity of the election and the
delicate phase of the transition), we weren’t given many direct answers. When asked whether costcutting forms part of the motivation behind the merger, chief executive Tim Fowler didn’t refute the idea in his return email, but reiterated the line put forth by his colleagues in government, saying: “The intention behind changes in the career system is to reduce fragmentation in the system and improve lines of accountability to improve outcomes for learners and job seekers.” Janet* is a careers advisor at a South Island secondary school. She says that there is a lot of concern in her profession that a Careers NZ that emerges from under the TEC umbrella will be a significantly reduced service. “I recently went to a PLD day that was run by Careers NZ, and it was just such a supportive, collegial, informative and productive day, and to think that those services could be going, I just feel that would be to the detriment of our students, staff, and schools.” Janet was speaking recently with someone who works at Careers NZ, in a relatively senior role. Janet says she was told that there are many there who feel like they are in a state of limbo. They’re told again and again to expect an announcement as to whether Careers NZ
staff will be retained at the TEC beyond the six-month moratorium phase, an announcement that is always deferred for one reason or another. This, Janet was told, has been going on for 18 months. Janet agrees with Jacqui in her perception that Careers NZ has been contracting significantly well before the merger announcement was made. “Up until this year, there used to be a minimum of two days training for new careers advisors. That’s now gone. As a new careers advisor, there was nothing in the way of training for me, starting as I did after the beginning of the year.” Janet also reiterates Jacqui’s admiration for the suite of tools that are accessible through Careers NZ. “I use the Careers NZ website every day. There are amazing, interactive resources on that website. There are lots of tools that students use all the time, like tutorials on how to write their CV or cover letter, for example. “I’m sure that if there was a survey done on the Careers NZ website resources, especially the Career Quest tool, you’d find that it is used by every school in the country, every day. To think that it might be going, that would be just criminal I think.”
*Not her real name
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Upskilling to lead students into digital revolution School leaders are evolving to meet the changing needs of students in the future. Three deputy principals have stepped forward to upskill and transform their teaching practices by enrolling in The Mind Lab by Unitec’s Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice (Digital & Collaborative Learning).
n today’s fast-paced, digitally enabled world, professional learning and development in education is more vital than ever. Stuart Kelly of Auckland’s Aorere College sees his role as a great way to advocate for professional development within his school, ensuring that his team keeps up with technological trends and is able to prepare students for modern-day careers. He says schools have an obligation to prepare students for the future by encouraging staff to stay abreast of current education technology offerings. “As pedagogy evolves to tackle our changing society, a willingness to take a more active role in effecting cultural change is one of the greatest attributes teachers and school leaders can have. “As a deputy principal, I have broadened my thinking in terms of integrating technology and digital skills in the school’s curriculum,” Kelly says. Sandy Stirling of Auckland’s Mauku School shares the same sentiment and has integrated technology and digital skills into his school with fantastic results.
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“I realised I was quite limited to set structures throughout my day. There wasn’t much flexibility to accommodate my students’ different needs – it was a one-way system in which I, as the teacher, determined how the day unfolded,” he says. “Now I have a wide range of new ideas that I am implementing in the classroom, including the use of apps and enabling a two-way dialogue with students, which has transformed the one-way system of learning to a far more collaborative environment.” Stirling explains that through the use of these new technologies, children are afforded more autonomy over their learning. “Students can create their own timetables in which they choose how to spend parts of their day and how to structure their time. Incorporating these initiatives into my teaching practice has seen remarkable growth in students’ confidence and a positive change in the way they are learning. “I have shifted from being the teacher with all the knowledge to being able to guide and empower my students to take ownership of their learning, and they have just flourished as a result.” Through The Mind Lab’s postgraduate certificate, educators learn how digital and collaborative tools and strategies can enrich their interaction with students and provide new ways to assist students with unique challenges such as learning disabilities and impairments. Steve Katene of Napier’s Richmond School has been able to guide and empower a struggling deaf student at his school, integrating the principles of gaming into education to improve the student’s communication and engagement in the classroom. “Many teachers get put off when they hear Minecraft and the Sims, as they believe they’re just games. However, I’m really interested in discovering how we can use these games –
which have fantastic engagement levels with kids – in education to further engage our students,” he says. Steve says he has been using the principles of gaming, specifically Minecraft, to improve the achievement levels of the deaf student. “This student had a severe hearing impairment, had ADHD, and hadn’t learnt how to sign – he would only communicate in grunts and pointing. One day he saw Minecraft on my tablet so I showed him how to use it, and I discovered a fantastic way to connect with him. “I left markers inside the Minecraft field where I posed a question or a scenario such as ‘build a house’, and then he built it in 3D. He started coming to us more and more as he needed help to figure out the scenarios – he had to communicate with us. “We started communicating through block patterns and using videos through the game, and it was amazing to see how quickly he was picking it up. The difference in his communication and his engagement has been remarkable.” All three leaders understand the impact the future of work has on both students and the teaching profession and how vital it is to create a learning environment that caters to these changing needs. “Our young people need to be adaptable to lead changes in society rather than simply being reactive. Students are now global citizens as well as local citizens so we need to make sure they can lead and learn anywhere in the world,” says Kelly. The Mind Lab by Unitec’s Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice (Digital & Collaborative Learning) is a part-time, 32-week programme that is redefining professional development for teachers through the offering of a hands-on, progressive and blended qualification. Upcoming intakes for 2017 are in July and November.
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Gender and work
“That’s women’s work”:
challenging gender stereotypes through tertiary education
The way tertiary education organisations package, promote and deliver their courses can help challenge long-held societal perceptions about certain vocations. By JUDE BARBACK.
e like to think we’ve evolved beyond jobs that are traditionally regarded as ‘women’s work’ and ‘men’s work’ but the stats tell a different story. Tertiary education organisations have an important role to play in shrugging off the gender stereotype hangover. The way organisations package, promote and deliver their courses has the potential to change perceptions of vocations and rebalance the gender mix.
Take nursing for example. While up to 50 per cent of those enrolling to become doctors are now reportedly women, only 10 per cent or less of nursing students are male. The health sector is crying out for more male nurses, but has struggled to attract men into what has traditionally been a female domain. However, research into a new graduate nursing programme that attracted more male students revealed that tertiary institutions have the potential to play a key role in challenging gender stereotypes, by thinking about the pathways into certain careers, and the courses on offer. The new dual fast-track graduate programme was the subject of a research project that looked at the qualification’s impact on attracting men into the nursing profession. The graduate programme combines the University of Canterbury’s Master of Health Science and Ara’s Bachelor of Nursing, and is available to graduates of a health-related degree. Ara nursing lecturer and researcher Dr Isabel Jamieson along with Ara nursing lecturer colleagues John Withington and Dianne Hudson, and UC colleagues Thomas Harding and Alison Dixon, based a suite of research projects on the new programme. Their research replicated a study from Monash University in Australia which runs a similar graduate programme. The findings were recently published in the Nurse Education in Practice journal (‘Attracting men to nursing: is graduate entry an answer?) and presented at the Ara Research Week in mid-August. The researchers found that, contrary to assumptions, the men in their study sample were as driven as female nurses to care for others. While men are very much a minority group in nursing, they are typically viewed as very likely to be promoted to managerial positions.
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“However the men we interviewed, on the whole they didn’t want to be managers. They clearly want to be providing direct patient care,” said Jamieson. Diversity in the workforce is important. Nurses should represent the population they care for, and men bring different qualities to the job, Jamieson says. “They can be very pragmatic, which is very useful. If men are dealing with a male patient, the male psyche is useful, the language and understanding a man’s worldview.” Jamieson suspects that prior academic achievement gives the men who enrol in the programme more freedom to choose their own path. “I guess that because these men already have degrees, they have proven themselves in the academic world and now they feel they can go and do what they want to do career-wise”. “Some of these men have already undertaken what could be identified as quite masculine fields of work, such as on building sites and in farm work. One of these participants said that both his parents are nurses, but he didn’t consider it till much later in his work life. While it is socially acceptable for girls to say they want to be a nurse, it is probably not so acceptable for boys.” And yet nursing is “a tough job”, Jamieson says. “It is physically, mentally and academically demanding. Nurses need to be able to combine the art and science of nursing to do the job. They are balancing lots of information all the time.” “I think the some of the general public underestimate what it takes to become a registered nurse. RNs need the personal attributes of kindness and caring, as well as clinical knowledge of health issues, disease processes, pathophysiology, coupled with a social/political understanding of health politics to say nothing of the plethora of questions arising from what a patient has just read on the internet or information provided to them from the latest app downloaded to their smart phones.”
Men in early childhood education
Nursing isn’t the only profession afflicted by gender stereotyping. Sarah Farquhar’s 2006 research paper on men in early childhood education (ECE) draws attention to “the veil of sexism inherent in the profession”. She outlines the experience of
ECE teacher Lance Cablk beginning his Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education) at the University of Auckland. “All my teachers and fellow students are women. ‘Good God! It’s a bloke’, one of the university faculty staff half-joked to our group on seeing me. Refreshing honesty – I later thought. But having it acknowledged so publicly set off more waves of self-doubt, initially felt as numbness.” Why are there so few male ECE teachers? The small percentage of male ECE teachers is generally thought to be a reflection of the fact that it was still regarded as ‘women’s work’. And there sadly was still stigma associated with the controversial Civic Crèche incident in 1992, when a male ECE teacher was charged with sexually abusing children in his care. Last year, the Ministry of Education confirmed that although it was aware of the gender disparity in the sector, it couldn’t discriminate through affirmative action or by providing scholarships on the basis of gender. It prioritised the quality of teaching rather than the gender of teachers. However, by making subtle changes to their course delivery and promotion, tertiary organisations may be able to affect change in this area. In his article ‘Challenges we face to increase the numbers of men in early childhood education’, early childhood teacher and researcher Craig d’Arcy gives some pointers on what ECE training organisations can do to make their courses more appealing for men. First up, he says they need to develop an explicit approach through advertising materials and course information that specifically targets men as potential students. He says educators need to ensure that when a male is in a course, the female students aren’t given the impression that the male students receive preferential treatment. “To support a male student, it is important to consider adapting materials to take into account learning styles of male students and also the male perspective on children and families.” D’Arcy says educators also need to seek mentoring opportunities to decrease the isolation of male students by placing them with experienced male workers on practicum placements.
Gender and work
Women in STEM
We seem to have made more progress with attracting women to professions that have been traditionally perceived as ‘men’s work’, such as those based in the sciences, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) disciplines. This could be down to the overt push from the Government. The Ministry for Women is pretty clear that we need to get more women involved in engineering, ICT, software development and computer science in order to meet skill shortages in these areas. It notes that at primary school level, there is no difference in science achievement between male and female students and by age 15 girls and boys have comparable literacy skills in science and maths. Girls currently make up around 50 per cent of students taking science subjects at the senior secondary level, however they are more likely to choose biology subjects while the boys opt for physics and calculus. Currently, at the tertiary level, women make up 64 per cent of Bachelor of Science enrolments. However they are over-represented in the health sciences and under-represented in areas such as engineering and technology. Women make up less than a quarter of those studying for a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and just over a third of those studying for a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. These study trends mean that women make up only 13 per cent of engineers and seven per cent of chartered professional engineers.
While there are several programmes and organisations in place to address gender imbalance in science and innovation, there is clearly a need to attract more females to these career choices at an earlier stage. In 2014 Ako Aotearoa completed some research as part of the Pathways to Engineering Education Project. They came up with a number of recommendations for attracting women and Māori and Pasifika learners into engineering, including profiling successful engineers from these groups to help promote engineering as a career choice. They also recommended the development of a common and more flexible bridging curriculum that may be delivered at both secondary and tertiary levels. In addition, they recommended that the Tertiary Education Commission consider offering free pathway courses to engineering study and, possibly, the development of increased scholarship or cadetship opportunities for engineering study in diploma and degree programmes that incentivise success in these qualifications. It’s also about challenging perceptions in general. Wintec held an ‘engineering in action’ day last year in an effort to do just that. According to Wintec chief executive Mark Flowers, some students’ perceptions of engineering made them rule it out early. “It’s possible that an image comes into your mind of people working with machinery, with spanners... building bridges and making roads,” he told Stuff.
But engineers were also the people who made innovative ideas work, for example in robotics or electronics. Flowers also felt there was a bias towards university education, which meant students might overlook institutes of technology and polytechnics (ITPs). It’s a similar story for tech industries, although this is slowly changing thanks to the introduction of CodeClub and a stronger approach to digital technologies at the primary school level. CodeClub is a volunteer-based primary and intermediate after-school programme that aims to teach young people to program via computer game, animation, and website-oriented challenges. “I’ve got an 11-year-old daughter and I wanted to give her the opportunity to choose IT as a career,” CodeClub creator Bryn Lewis told Idealog. “We need to get girls thinking about IT early on, and girls-only clubs seem to create an environment where they can learn. They haven’t necessarily decided to become programmers, but they’ve decided to embrace IT as a career.” AUT has a webpage and Facebook group for ‘Women in Technology’ in which it highlights the success of their female students, staff and alumni in key roles in male dominated fields. The university also runs programmes for high school and primary school students to inspire more girls to get into these fields. Indeed, it is a collective effort to challenge gender stereotypes, in which tertiary education organisations can play a pivotal role.
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ways to help tertiary students deal with stress Up to your eyeballs in assignments, part-time jobs and money stress? You’re not the only one. Education Review explores some of the ways in which tertiary education organisations are helping their students to manage stress.
ertiary students worldwide are carrying more stress than ever. Increased fees and costs of living, more competition in the workforce post-study, combined with the day-to-day stresses of exams and assignments mean that many students are living with too much stress and anxiety. Luckily the sector has developed all sorts of help, from mindfulness apps to yoga classes. Here are six ways to manage your stress and ease your anxiety.
1. Sensory modulation
Otago Polytechnic is considering installing a permanent sensory room on their campus after a sensory room created by students to reduce anxiety was a calming hit with punters. It was devised by two occupational therapy students, Janine Hunter and Nathalie Heinz, to mitigate the effects of anxiety – a condition that research shows is one of the more common medical diagnoses made in tertiary students. “Anxiety can be managed through sensory modulation strategies,” explains Janine. “Sensory modulation is about making sense of the world by processing and responding to environmental stimuli using all seven senses – touch, smell, sight, hearing, taste, balance and spacial awareness.” The room was outfitted with objects that provide a range of sensory experiences. “There was a weighted toy dog, a weighted blanket, and a vest-like weight for over your shoulders to calm you when you’re having an attack. The weight grounds them and then helps people modulate their emotions. We also had a vibrating massaging mattress, kinetic sand and a piece of material to swaddle themselves in.”
2. Puppy love
Harvard University’s Countway Library has employed a therapist named Cooper who is a huge success in the stress relief stakes. He loves to play and run around or to snuggle close when you’re stressed. That’s right, Cooper is a therapy dog who works at the library to help those who need stress relief. Library visitors can check Cooper out for up to 30 minutes at a time, the same way that they’d check out a book.
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Computer Assisted Learning for the Mind (CALM) is on the University of Auckland Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences’ website and gives simple advice about mental health and exercises to do online to help with stress. CALM also includes free mindfulness and compassion meditation training classes and downloadable guided meditations.
4. Embrace failure
Isn’t failure the last thing to focus on at university? The Perfection Project at the Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, is a student-led initiative that aims to promote the awareness of failure and setbacks as a healthy part of every student’s college experience and their lives post-study. The project encourages students to meet in person or to share their stories of “good failures” and their journeys of selfacceptance online .
Yoga as the great panacea for university students’ stress? Perhaps, yes. Today there is a type of yoga to fit everyone. Here in New Zealand, float yoga, where poses are held while suspended or swinging in small hammocks, trapeze-style, is taking off. Yoga rave has taken off in the UK and combines a yoga class with a DJ-ed trance session. Yoga makes you happier, says the research. For example, a study from
Boston University’s medical school found that levels of Gamma-aminobutyric (the amino acid GABA) are higher in those who perform yoga than in those who don’t. Higher levels of GABA in your system make you feel happier and more relaxed.
In lieu of an actual meditation course, you can have similar effects with the Calm app. You’ll get guided techniques for appreciating the now, building focus, working with your thoughts and appreciating the non-doing. Ever forgotten an exam? Then try the My Study Life app. The app is essentially a digital diary, and it’s designed to help you keep on top of due dates and study schedules. It’s free, and can be used to track deadlines. You simply enter in an assignment name and the date that it’s due, and the app will remind you as often as you like. Best of all, it can synch up across a whole bunch of devices. It is accessible offline, so it won’t chew up lots of data. You know that terrible, tight sensation you get in your chest whenever you start to feel anxious? It’s caused by stress affecting your breathing, creating exactly the kind of pain that the ReachOut Breathe app is designed to help you with. The free app helps you to slow and maintain your breathing, while also measuring your heart rate. So it’s not only good for exam time; it’s also useful for dealing with stress in general.
Taking teachers out of to bring cultural the country responsiveness into the classroom JUDE BARBACK talks to the University of Canterbury’s Tufulasi Taleni about how a week in a Samoan village has proven to have the most profound effect on student teachers’ understanding of the cultural and learning needs of students from different ethnic backgrounds.
ufulasi Taleni noticed that although student teachers learned about cultural responsiveness in their initial teacher education programmes, most teachers weren’t translating what they’d learned into their classrooms. “I saw a need,” he says. “Teachers were not actually culturally responsive – they found it hard to get programmes going and to put theory into practice.” Taleni now works for the University of Canterbury’s College of Education, Health and Human Development as its Kaiārahi Pasifika. But in 2003 he was contracted by the Ministry of Education as a senior advisor for Pasifika education to raise achievement of Pasifika students. It was back then that he realised a different approach was needed. “It was so easy for me to tell teachers and principals to lift their game – but how can they get that knowledge if I don’t provide it?” It was this question that prompted Taleni to start the Pasifika Education Initiative Samoa Malanga. In 2003 he started trips for groups of teachers and principals to a village in Samoa to help them gain a better cultural understanding that would help inform their teaching practice. The trips ran every other year until the last one in 2013. Then in 2016, when Taleni moved to his role at the University of Canterbury, he decided to continue the trips to the Samoan village for groups of teacher students to help them learn how to be truly culturally competent in their teaching practice. The first trip for the UC cohort of students was last year. Based on its success, another trip ran this year, also attended by Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Gail Gillon and Professor Angus Macfarlane. The students spend around seven days in the village, living with families. “It can be challenging; the living conditions are not what they’re used to. Students got quite emotional after the experience and some were at a loss for words about how they felt,” says Taleni. The students set goals before they go, and then reflect on what they have learned against those goals.
Another challenge is extending what the students who attended the trip have learned to the wider cohort of teacher students. Taleni says he invited students who had been on the trip to share their experiences in a lecture. The students must also share their experiences and reflections through a shared portal that can be accessed by others. The University of Canterbury has been supportive of the initiative, recognising the impact it has on a teacher’s education and development. However, Taleni is frustrated that the Ministry of Education hasn’t embraced strategies like this that are really working. “It’s hard to know what the Ministry thinks about the project,” he says, “I’m not sure about some of their strategies. They often talk of identity,
Two key words that spring to mind for Taleni when it comes to talking about Pasifika students are ‘engagement’ and ‘empowerment’. “To raise the achievement of Pasifika students, a teacher really has to care. Students want to see their values reflected in the teaching and this can only be achieved when teachers seek understanding and change their hearts.” Taleni says Pasifika students typically behave differently in the classroom from other students. “Pasifika students can often be quite reserved; they won’t ask questions, out of respect. It is up to the teacher to realise that instead of meeting the student halfway, they might have to move threequarters of the way.” Taleni says the lessons learned from working with Pasifika communities can be broadened to other cultures. “I work alongside our teacher students to help them develop cultural responsiveness to all students. I support them to have the confidence and competence to gain the knowledge of the culture behind it.”
“To raise the achievement of Pasifika students, a teacher really has to care. Students want to see their values reflected in the teaching and this can only be achieved when teachers seek understanding and change their hearts.” language and culture. This sort of initiative really contributes to a better understanding of these.” Taleni is keen to set up a similar initiative in South Auckland or Porirua, where there are strong Pasifika communities. It could involve working with churches, the community or existing hubs like that in Mangere. “This would really benefit our palangi students,” he says. “You can talk all you like, but unless you provide opportunities to seek knowledge, you’re not going to see any meaningful change.”
Go to educationreview.co.nz
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The postgraduate platform From 3MT, to writing workshops, to postgrad and research conferences, Education Review looks at some of the events and initiatives happening at our tertiary education organisations around the country. Three Minute Thesis
The concept for the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition came to a former dean of the Graduate School of the University of Queensland while he was taking a shower. Drought-related water restrictions meant Queenslanders were asked to use a three-minute timer while showering, and the dean fell to pondering what else could be accomplished in three minutes. Now an established part of 600 university calendars in 59 countries, the 3MT is an annual competition that challenges postgraduate students to present their research to a nonspecialist audience in no more than three minutes, using one (static) slide. Condensing three years of research, data collection, analysis and theorising into 180 seconds is no mean feat. The competition aims to teach effective communication techniques between academics and those outside their field of study. It also promotes collaboration and increases funding and employment opportunities. Winners from each university’s doctoral-level 3MT competition will get the opportunity to compete at the Asia-Pacific finals in Queensland on 29 September. The New Zealand Master’s Inter-University Challenge took place on Thursday 24 August at Victoria University of Wellington. Victoria’s own 3MT final was held on Friday 18 August and attended by more than 100 people. Jennifer Soundy received $3,000 for her winning presentation on a new solution to antibiotic resistance. The University of Waikato’s winner this year was Harpreet Kaur, from the Faculty of Science and Engineering. For Harpreet, entering the competition was a way to gain public speaking experience and personal confidence. She came to Waikato from India on a doctoral scholarship, and is studying ways to detect kiwifruit quality using light-based, lightweight equipment. Kiwifruit is expensive and hard to find in her home country, but fortunately Harpreet has developed a taste for the fruit during
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her studies. Her presentation was so engaging that she took out the People’s Choice Award as well.
In early September, the University of Canterbury’s Postgraduate Students’ Association hosted the Just Write workshop; a chance for postgraduate students to get together and ‘just write’. The free annual event focuses on removing the barriers that prevent students from writing and provides inspiration to help polish chapters and papers for submission. It’s a great opportunity to network with other postgraduate students, collaborate and try out new ideas. The event also includes seminars throughout the day to help students produce quality research outputs. Canterbury is also planning for GradFest, an annual week-long event of lectures and workshops for postgraduate thesis writers. At GradFest, held from 30 October to 3 November this year, students can learn about the latest research trends, develop new skills to enhance their study, and have the opportunity to network with other postgraduate students. GradFest brings together different departments at UC such as the postgraduate office, academic skills centre, library, e-learning, careers and academic services group to share their expertise with postgraduate students on subjects such as understanding the thesis journey, applying for ethical approval, smart tools and technologies for research, the publication process, thesis structure and planning, and writing a coherent thesis. Due to its popularity, GradFest was also held in May this year. Auckland University of Technology (AUT) hosted something similar in August this year during its postgraduate week. The packed PG week schedule included a welcome breakfast, workshops, webinars, oral presentations, posters, a diversity panel, EndNote and NVivo training, publication support, and more.
Victoria University of Wellington’s postgraduate information evening will take place on 27 September and focus on both general postgraduate study and professional programmes.
Sharing postgraduate projects
Understanding how dairy farmers decide to adopt more sustainable practices and exploring spirituality in post-quake Canterbury were just two of the topics addressed at Lincoln University’s 2017 postgraduate conference recently. Sixty-three postgraduate students presented their research projects to enthusiastic audiences on August 29–31 and the event demonstrated the broad range of issues studied at Lincoln, says Professor Charles Brennan, director of postgraduate studies. “Postgraduate research is the lifeblood of Lincoln University and runs through the veins of all of our academics and students. “While the majority of our research is focused on agricultural issues, the complexity of research throughout the whole land-based economy of New Zealand cannot be ignored. “Our students provide invaluable information in terms of subjects such as health and nutrition, financial planning, supply chain dynamics and sport and recreation.” Other projects presented at the conference involved students investigating how a social business model can enhance society’s values, helping to bridge cultural gaps in diverse business organisations, evaluating the effects of eight weeks of yoga training on rugby players’ performances, and understanding how the flammability of plants can promote wildfires. “The applied nature of our research means it has direct importance for the health and welfare of all of New Zealand,” says Professor Brennan. “It is a credit to all of our postgraduate students that they show determination, aptitude and enthusiasm for their research, which makes them global leaders.”
New Zealand’s first Design Factory ITP research Symposium
The 2017 ITPNZ (Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics New Zealand) Symposium was held in July this year at Wintec, who hosted the event in partnership with Unitec, Weltec, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Otago Polytechnic and Manukau Institute of Technology. Innovation that transforms societies was the theme for the two-day international symposium. Global innovators from Europe inspired more than 150 sector experts to transform problems into opportunities and create new innovations from challenges. Organiser and Wintec research and development director Mariana van der Walt says the 2017 ITPNZ Symposium brought together industry partners and communities from around the world. “This symposium is a meeting of minds and a platform for users, providers and thinkers from across the globe. The opportunity for attendees from across the education, government, industry and community sector to actively explore innovations and solutions is incredibly valuable for our local and global future.” The international ‘who’s who’ of speakers at the 2017 symposium were drawn from organisations working with Wintec on long-term initiatives. They include Alexandra Descamps from Designswarm in the UK, recently named top of the list of 100 Internet of Things influencers; Dr Vesa Salminen, research director at HAMK University Finland; Minna Takala, senior advisor at Häme Regional Council in Finland; Ola Svedin, chief executive of Mobile Heights, Sweden and from Impact Hub, Jesper Kjellerås, Sweden and Wieke van der Zouwen, Holland. The event focused on innovative strategies for community impact, health and ageing, waste management and regenerative practices, through presentation and workshops.
There’s no signage on the window of Wintec’s Design Hub, just the letter D made of coloured Post-it notes; but now the creative initiative has been invited to join the Design Factory Global Network, and the D will soon make way for New Zealand’s first Design Factory. The Design Factory brings together research, education and business practitioners to create a new learning culture and hands-on learning experiences. “This approach prepares Wintec students for future industries, employment and a complex world full of change and the unknown,” says Wintec Design Hub director Margi Moore. “We applaud our students and our industry partners; they are trailblazers, they invested in our process, took risks and we appreciate they were prepared to participate in a pilot. “Over the past year we worked closely with Melbourne’s Design Factory to develop this model and submit an application. I am very pleased to announce we have been accepted into the Design Factory Global Network to become New Zealand’s first and only Design Factory.” The design factory teaching model at Wintec is based on the growing global network of design factories that began in Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland. There are now 15 design factories in the Design Factory Global Network across five continents. They are based in universities and research centres where students work with industry partners in positive learning environments to solve complex, real-world problems. “Together with our industry partners, we have embraced a learning-by-doing, fail-fast philosophy and can-do mindset, to help the students adopt ways of knowing and doing that will prepare them for employment.” The results of the pilot went under the spotlight at Wintec last week. After 15 weeks, the student teams from the disciplines of design, communication, engineering and information technology outlined their methods and presented their final solutions to partners from Opus, Midland Trauma and Waikato District Health Board. The complex problems, managing water flow, reducing quad bike trauma and promoting interconnectedness for health and wellbeing were resolved and presented as opportunities. educationreview.co.nz
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more than export earnings and migration Executive director of Universities New Zealand CHRIS WHELAN says international students and researchers benefit New Zealand’s education system as well as its economy.
here’s been a lot of debate recently about the pros and cons of New Zealand’s record rates of migration. For some people, migration is pushing up house prices, taking jobs, and changing our communities in undesirable ways. For others, it is bringing in skilled workers, creating jobs, and growing the economy. For our education sector, migration is about sustainably nurturing what has become New Zealand’s fourth largest export market – international education, which brings in $4.28 billion a year and generates around 32,000 jobs for New Zealanders. About $1.13 billion of that is generated by New Zealand’s eight universities. Of these earnings, $750 million goes directly to the wider community through spending on things like travel, food, accommodation, and entertainment. The remaining $380 million, made up of international student fees, stays with the university. Every dollar of this is reinvested back into universities and is used to maintain the quality of teaching as well as develop and maintain facilities such as libraries, classrooms and research laboratories. This $380 million improves the quality of education we can offer all our students and makes that education more affordable. If international students disappeared tomorrow, universities would have to either significantly cut the quality and range of their programmes or increase fees by 50 per cent. The revenue from international students is one reason why all New Zealand universities are ranked in the top 2.5 per cent of global universities and why New Zealanders can access a world-class education at any one of them. New Zealand universities have a strong international reputation for the quality of their research and their researchers. In part, this reputation has been earned by our ability to attract and retain world-class researchers (and teachers) from abroad. For example, New Zealand now has more than 4,000 international students doing doctorates here (compared with around 5,000 domestic doctoral students). These are students doing original research that is required to make a significant contribution to their field of study. I’m aware of research carried out by these students that has directly contributed to New Zealand through discoveries, including how to more economically remove impurities from wine, dealing with disease affecting kiwifruit, developing better mechanisms for detecting and catching wild rodents in New Zealand wildlife sanctuaries, and working with New Zealand companies to develop new commercial products in fields such as medicine and biotechnology.
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A large proportion of international trade, diplomacy and research is based on relationships. It is much easier to build those relationships when potential partners already know something about each other. A proportion of these gifted researchers remain in New Zealand and end up working for our companies or universities. A number of our bestknown researchers, nationally and internationally, began here as students, applying their intellects to the needs of New Zealand and its people. They too are contributing in areas as diverse as leading the national kākapo recovery programme, developing cutting-edge medical equipment for sale around the world, and leading world-class earthquake resilience and recovery research. However, I think we need to do more to tell the story about the important role these talented people play in our country. Universities New Zealand recently commissioned a public opinion poll of 1,000 parents of high-school age children and 750 small business leaders. Of the parents, 60 per cent thought international students made a strong economic contribution to New Zealand and 52 per cent thought they made a strong cultural contribution. Of the business leaders, only 46 per cent thought international students made a strong economic contribution and 44 per cent that they made a social contribution. A similar survey in the UK showed around 63 per cent of the population thought international students made an economic contribution and 60 per cent thought they made a positive social contribution.
So, we (and the UK) have some way to go in better communicating the benefits of international students to our economy and our society. Let’s look at these wider benefits to New Zealand. Currently around 26,000 bright, motivated young people have chosen to study at a New Zealand university. They will spend anything from a few months to six or seven years studying here. Most return home to and work for their own companies, governments and universities and most will remain champions and friends of New Zealand for life. A large proportion of international trade, diplomacy and research is based on relationships. It is much easier to build those relationships when potential partners already know something about each other. I had the privilege of working for the government’s international aid programme for several years in the 2000s. One of my enduring memories of pretty much every visit I made to Asia and the Pacific was being met by government officials who had spent years in New Zealand through one of the scholarships established after World War II. Without exception, they were enthusiastic champions for New Zealand, willing to repay the hospitality and warmth they had enjoyed in this country by opening doors, making introductions and giving advice freely and helpfully. Similarly, a good proportion of young New Zealand graduates will work for international companies or other organisations that require the capability to develop and foster relationships with people from other cultures. We also encourage them to mix and get to know the students who study alongside them from pretty much every country in the world. Looking at my own experience again, working with a range of people from around the world, I have found in every case that success has depended upon being able to understand the cultural norms and to be able to establish an appropriate rapport and relationship with the people I meet. This is a skill that employers recognise and value. Last year a European study found that graduates with international experience are typically earning 7.7 per cent more than their peers five years after completing their studies. International education is more than export earnings and migration. The two-way flow of people between New Zealand and the rest of the world is critical for both New Zealand and its people. I hope that these benefits are kept in mind as we debate the pros and cons of migration and internationalisation.
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