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Dr Jenny Poskitt, a postgraduate lecturer at Massey’s Institute of Education, has expertise in professional learning, assessment and middle year student engagement. www.engine.ac.nz

POSTGRADUATE COURSES FOR 2014 Massey University offers a range of postgraduate qualifications that will help you take the next step in your professional life. Massey’s specialist staff has a wide range of expertise in literacy, numeracy, leadership development, early years education, educational psychology, teaching and learning and specialist teaching. Our senior advisers are on hand to help find the right course for you.

EnROlmEnts aRE nOw OpEn FOR:

wHat’s nEXt?

• Postgraduate Diploma and Master of Education

If you are interested in finding out more about our courses visit our website http://enrol.massey.ac.nz

• Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching

• Postgraduate Diploma and Master of Speech and Language Therapy

• Postgraduate Diploma and Master of Educational Administration and Leadership

• Postgraduate Diploma and Master of Literacy Education

• Postgraduate Diploma and Master of Educational Psychology

• Master of Counselling • Doctor of Education (EdD) • Master of TESOL

Roseanne MacGillivray, Postgraduate Administrator, Massey University, Institute of Education Email S.Dallinger@massey.ac.nz 0800 MASSEY | contact@massey.ac.nz

Massey University’s Institute of Education and Centre for Educational Development provide ongoing teacher and educator courses from in-school professional development, to Diplomas, Masters and Doctorates. Find out more at www.massey.ac.nz

Developing leaders in education

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If you’re looking for advanced professional and leadership development in the education sector, then there’s no better place than Unitec. Our qualified staff offer an exceptional level of personal and academic support.

Programmes on offer: » Postgraduate Diploma in Education » Master of Education » Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Leadership & Management » Master of Educational Leadership & Management » Doctor of Philosophy (Education)

Enquire now at www.education.unitec.ac.nz or call 0800 10 95 10


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SOMETIMES THERE ARE simply not enough pages. The education sector has continued to buzz with many of the contentious issues of last year. Announcing the interim decisions on the fate of the Christchurch schools was never going to be an easy task for the Ministry, and predictably has thrown up some controversy and anger from affected schools and parents along the way. It is a tricky business indeed; principals who are pleased with the progress being taken for their schools or community are reluctant to express this, such is their sensitivity to others whose schools are facing closure. The rally against charter schools continues with the PPTA again enlisting the help of Karran Harper Royal, a staunch opponent of charter schools, based on her experience of the system in the United States. And, despite calling in the big guns of Minister Steven Joyce to sort out the Novopay debacle, story after story continues to emerge over teachers not getting paid correctly. Indeed, teaching appears to be one of the more contentious professions at the moment, and interestingly, in many parts of the country, is one of the hardest to get into. In this issue we take a closer look at the current over supply of teachers and question the Ministry of Education and teacher education providers on how the situation has arisen and what is being done to manage it. Is it the provider’s job to inform prospective teachers that there might not be a job as a PE teacher waiting for them when they complete their qualification? Or should the onus be placed on the students to assess the market themselves and make their own choices without the big brother guiding hand of the institution? An interesting range of opinions emerge from our discussions with providers. We also look at the selection processes used by providers to recruit students onto their initial teacher education programmes. Despite the Ministry’s decision to backtrack on shifting initial teacher education programmes to a postgraduate focus, Massey’s new Institute of Education has forged ahead with its emphasis on research and postgraduate qualifications. The new institute was officially launched in February this year, and we talk to faculty about the directions they see teacher education taking. In previous issues we have addressed the topic of student underachievement and have heard from many experts on ways to tackle the problem. While concerns about the ‘long tail’ prevail, in this issue we take a look at the provision in schools for students at the other end of the scale, the gifted and talented students. Are our schools adequately catering for the learning needs of these students? We chat to experts, teachers, students and parents to help shed light on this matter, with interesting feedback. Our next issue is Teach International, but you can stay in touch between issues by following Education Review on twitter (@EdReviewNZ) – we aim to tweet about all that is newsworthy and interesting in the education world.

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Is the current oversupply of new teachers being managed adequately? Or are we preparing for the next teacher shortage? JUDE BARBACK looks into the tricky business of predicting demand.

PostGrad Schools of Education

2013 / www.educationreview.co.nz / $10.95

NAVIGATING THE SYSTEM:

SELECTION ONTO ITE PROGRAMMES

2

Feast or famine: the supply of new teachers

4

A relief teacher's guide to a happy class

8

Meet our future teachers

10

Enrichment or acceleration or both? How to best provide for gifted students

12

Navigating the system: Selection onto ITE programmes

15

Educating the educators: the launch of the New Zealand Curriculum Design Institute

16

Massey's Institute of Education is the New Kid on the Block

18

We ask teachers from very different schools for their best Teacher Tips

20

NZCER report: Current challenges in secondary schools

22

MIT’s School of Secondary Tertiary Studies gives students a second chance

24

NCEA behind bars: a new initiative between Corrections and Open Polytechnic.

FOR MORE STORIES GO TO www.educationreview.co.nz

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ENRICHMENT OR ACCELERATION OR BOTH? HOW TO BEST PROVIDE FOR GIFTED STUDENTS

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SALISBURY DECISION: THE IMPACT ON SPECIAL EDUCATION

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Jude Barback, Editor editor@educationreview.co.nz Follow us on Twitter - twitter(@EdReviewNZ)

2013 / www.educationreview.co.nz / $10.95

rbi: The long counTry road To broadband

do they have a Place in ece?

2012 // www.educationreview.co.nz

RBI: THE LONG COUNTRY ROAD TO BROADBAND

DO THEY HAvE A PLACE IN ECE?

NZTeacher

Playgrounds, turfs, and comPuters:

whaT schools are buying

Education in Review

TWITTER AND THE THESIS

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JUGGLING THE MBA WITH THE JOB

EDUCATION REVIEW

PLAYgROUNDS, TURfS, AND COMPUTERS:

WHAT SCHOOLS ARE BUYING

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A BILLION DOLLARS:

BEHIND THE CHRISTCHURCH EDUCATION SPEND

Part of the

2013 // www.educationreview.co.nz

EDUCATION SUPERSTAR: WHAT’S THE FUSS ABOUT FINLAND?

a billion dollars:

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Education in Review

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TwiTTer and The Thesis

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UNIqUEly NEw ZEAlAND REsEARCH

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BOOSTING R&D: CAN THE ‘SUPER MINISTRy’ DO IT?

DOEs A MAsTER’s MEAN MORE MONEy?

PosTGrAduATEs rEvoLT ovEr sTudENT ALLoWANcE cHANGEs

KIWI, KIWIFRUIT,

AND THE DAIRy INDUSTRy:

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PLUS MUCH MORE ONLINE... www.educationreview.co.nz

Teach

2012 / www.educationreview.co.nz

International

LATEST ISSUE

- APRIL 2013 - POSTGRAD - SCHOOLS OF EDUCATION

KIWI TEACHERS ABROAD TELL IT LIKE IT IS

FOCUS ON SECOND LANGUAGES

LEAGUE TABLES:

LEARNING FROM INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE PATHWAY OF THE POOR?

VOCATIONAL EDUCATION UNDER SCRUTINY

NEXT

Part of the

2013 // www.educationreview.co.nz

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

LEADERS ARGUE PRIORITIES FOR

NEW ZEALAND EDUCATION

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

Part of the

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

PD FOR BOTS: ONE BOARD’S EXPERIENCE

& Postgrad Research

ICT&

Procurement

Education in Review

BEHIND THE CHRISTCHURCH EDUCATION SPEND

DOES A MASTER’S MEAN MORE MONEY?

POSTGRADUATES REVOLT OVER STUDENT ALLOWANCE CHANGES

UNIQUELY NEW ZEALAND RESEARCH

 ALL A-TWITTER IN EDUCATION NEXT

2013 // www.educationreview.co.nz

AND THE DAIRY INDUSTRY:

WALKING THE TALK

IN SPECIAL EDUCATION

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PATHWAY OF THE POOR?

VOCATIONAL EDUCATION UNDER SCRUTINY

>> PostGrad & Research >> ICT & Procurement >> Education in Review >> NZ Teacher >> PostGrad – Schools of Education

SALISBURY DECISION: THE IMPACT ON SPECIAL EDUCATION

Procurement

BOOSTING R&D: CAN THE ‘SUPER MINISTRY’ DO IT?

THE U-TURN ON TEACHER CUTS: A FRAUGHT FORTNIGHT IN EDUCATION

LEAGUE TABLES:

THE U-TURN ON TEACHER CUTS: A FRAUGHT FORTNIGHT IN EDUCATION

LEADERS ARGUE PRIORITIES FOR

NEW ZEALAND EDUCATION

RBI: THE LONG COUNTRY ROAD TO BROADBAND

DO THEY HAVE A PLACE IN ECE?

2012 / www.educationreview.co.nz

KIWI TEACHERS ABROAD TELL IT LIKE IT IS

FOCUS ON SECOND LANGUAGES

2013 / www.educationreview.co.nz / $10.95

SPOTLIGHT ON THE

JUGGLING THE MBA WITH THE JOB

LEADERS ARGUE PRIORITIES FOR

& Postgrad Research

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

2013 / www.educationreview.co.nz / $10.95

Part of the

Part of the

&Leadership Professional Development

LEARNING FROM INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE

&Leadership Professional Development

WALKING THE TALK

IN SPECIAL EDUCATION

PD FOR BOTS: ONE BOARD’S EXPERIENCE

& Postgrad Research

AND THE DAIRY INDUSTRY: UNIQUELY NEW ZEALAND RESEARCH

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

Part of the

International

PLAYGROUNDS, TURFS, AND COMPUTERS:

WHAT SCHOOLS ARE BUYING

TWITTER AND THE THESIS

NEW ZEALAND EDUCATION EDUCATION REVIEWseries

Part of the

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

IN SPECIAL EDUCATION

PD FOR BOTS: ONE BOARD’S EXPERIENCE

PLUS MUCH MORE ONLINE... www.educationreview.co.nz

Teach

2013 / www.educationreview.co.nz

BEHIND THE CHRISTCHURCH EDUCATION SPEND

KIWI, KIWIFRUIT,

WALKING THE TALK

VOCATIONAL EDUCATION UNDER SCRUTINY

THE SUPPLY OF NEW TEACHERS 2012 / www.educationreview.co.nz

BOOSTING R&D: CAN THE ‘SUPER MINISTRY’ DO IT?

POSTGRADUATES REVOLT OVER STUDENT ALLOWANCE CHANGES

PATHWAY OF THE POOR?

FEAST OR FAMINE:

2012 / www.educationreview.co.nz

A BILLION DOLLARS:

DOES A MASTER’S MEAN MORE MONEY?

LEARNING FROM INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE

HOW TO BEST PROVIDE FOR GIFTED STUDENTS

2012 / www.educationreview.co.nz

EDUCATION SUPERSTAR: WHAT’S THE FUSS ABOUT FINLAND?

LEAGUE TABLES:

ENRICHMENT OR ACCELERATION OR BOTH?

NCEA BEHIND BARS

2012 / www.educationreview.co.nz

THE U-TURN ON TEACHER CUTS: A FRAUGHT FORTNIGHT IN EDUCATION

FOCUS ON SECOND LANGUAGES

SELECTION ONTO ITE PROGRAMMES

& ICT& Postgrad Education NZTeacher Research in Review Procurement EDUCATION REVIEWseries

2012 / www.educationreview.co.nz / $10.95

KIWI TEACHERS ABROAD TELL IT LIKE IT IS NAVIGATING THE SYSTEM:

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International

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

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&Leadership Professional Development

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Teach

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

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TWITTER FEED About 730 new graduates have successfully found places on state-subsidised new graduate programmes Proposed tougher standards for overseas nurses rejected as discriminatory 28 January 2013 The Nursing Council has rejected its proposal that nurses trained in India and the Philippines sit an exam and face tougher English language requirements to nurse in New Zealand. Financial stick raised over new grad places13 Ex-president wins back

• Education in Review: reflections on 2012 • NovoPAIN • The silver lining of cloud-based learning • Bulk buying: the pros and cons of Government procurement reforms • Paving the way for future growth • The Teacher Brain Drain • Charter Schools: answer to underachievement or mad experiment? • Town & Gown • Decile decisions • Early childhood education in 2012: a round-up • The Christchurch conundrum • Failure to launch: postgraduate initial teacher education • The big u-turn on class sizes • Public property: schools’ achievement

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PREVIOUS ISSUES OF POSTGRAD - SCHOOLS OF EDUCATION

NEWSFEED NEW GRADUATE UNEMPLOYMENT RATES UNCLEAR 28 January 2013

About 730 new graduates have successfully found places on statesubsidised new graduate programmes PROPOSED TOUGHER STANDARDS FOR OVERSEAS NURSES REJECTED AS DISCRIMINATORY 28 January 2013

The Nursing Council has rejected its proposal that nurses trained in India and the Philippines sit an exam and face tougher English language requirements to nurse in New Zealand. Financial stick raised over new grad

PostGrad Schools of Education

EDITOR Jude Barback PRODUCTION MANAGER Barbara la Grange ADVERTISING Belle Hanrahan PUBLISHER & GENERAL MANAGER Bronwen Wilkins EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Shane Cummings CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Paul Dacombe-Bird Cathy Wylie

APN Educational Media Level 1, Saatchi & Saatchi Building 101-103 Courtenay Place Wellington 6011 New Zealand PO Box 200, Wellington 6140 Tel: 04 471 1600 Fax: 04 471 1080 © 2013. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be copied or reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Vol 4 Issue 2

ISSN: 1173-8014 Errors and omissions: Whilst the publishers have attempted to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information, no responsibility can be accepted by the publishers for any errors or omissions. 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 REVIEWseries PostGrad – Schools of Education 2013

1


Is the current oversupply of new teachers being managed adequately? Or are we preparing for the next teacher shortage? JUDE BARBACK looks into the tricky business of predicting demand.

FEAST OR FAMINE: THE SUPPLY OF NEW TEACHERS

2

EDUCATION REVIEWseries PostGrad – Schools of Education 2013


TEACHER WORKFORCE

B

rett Sorrenson beams from the cover of The New Zealand Herald. He has a right to be happy: the new teacher, freshly graduated from Waikato University, was selected from over 70 applicants for a teaching position at Auckland’s Mt Albert Grammar School. Good news for Sorrenson, but what about the others?

CURRENT OVERSUPPLY OF TEACHERS It appears new teachers are emerging from three or four years of tertiary study, rearing for work, itching to put their education into education, ready to make a dent in their student loans, only to find the jobs just aren’t there. A quick trawl through the blogs reveals that Sorrenson’s situation is an understated example; some have applied for jobs with as many as 200 applicants and in some cases, more. Last year, Manurewa Intermediate principal Iain Taylor told the Herald that 303 people had applied for a learning support teacher vacancy at his school. “The calibre was amazing,” said Taylor, “In the end we appointed two people for the one position just because we couldn’t choose.” But as schools aren’t typically recruiting two teachers for every job, the problem remains, not just for new teacher graduates, but for experienced teachers as well. One online correspondent, an experienced teacher, described getting an interview as “impossible”. How did we find ourselves in this situation? Not so long ago there were cries of a teacher shortage. Di Davies, manager of the Ministry of Education’s TeachNZ says the global recession has contributed to the situation. “As in other countries experiencing the impact of the global economic recession, we’ve recently seen some significant changes to teacher supply and demand in New Zealand. “This shift in teacher supply has emerged over the last two or three years. It is impacting on new teacher graduates who were studying to become a teacher before the change became apparent (approximately 2,800 graduate each year), and on teachers who have been out of the workforce, in short-term or relieving roles.” However, Gary Downey of University of Canterbury argues the fixation with the current oversupply situation ignores the quality of graduates, and regional and international market variances. It is true that much of the anecdotal evidence stems from Auckland, and those in other parts of New Zealand are typically not finding the job market as tough. Highlighting grim cases of jobless new grads conceals that many are actually successful in finding employment. “In 2012 we had more agents and principals recruiting our students than we have had in previous years and can supply innumerable examples of our graduates being offered positions before completing their course,” says Downey. “Whilst official data is difficult to obtain we are confident that a high proportion of our graduates are in employment within a 12 month period.”

PACK YOUR BAGS For those who have struggled to find work on home turf, the prospect of teaching overseas becomes more appealing. While the infamous and ill-advised pep talk from an Education Ministry-contracted speaker to a group of teaching diploma students at Victoria University, advising them to seek employment overseas as there would only be jobs in New Zealand for 20 per cent of them, has perhaps been overstated in the media, it does signal some harsh realities for new teachers. “I’ve heard anecdotally of university or training college lecturers basically saying, it’s great to have finished the course with all of you, but I realise that most of you are not going to get a job in New Zealand,” New Zealand Secondary Principals’ Council chairman Allan Vester, recently told the Herald. Last year, Fairfax gave the example of Tara-Brock Sullings Tasi, a teaching graduate from AUT University, who resorted to applying for overseas positions after months of trying to land a job on New Zealand soil. Now teaching at a primary school in Seoul, Sullings Tasi is representative of many teachers fleeing the Kiwi nest for the sake of employment. However, Professor James Chapman of Massey University believes there is too much emphasis placed on this aspect. “Young people go overseas for a number of years and they do tend to come back,” he told Fairfax. Yet Kiwi teachers need to be cautious when seeking employment abroad, as it appears New Zealand’s current oversupply situation is echoed in many parts of the world. Australia is experiencing a similar outcry, with new teacher graduates out of work. The Commonwealth Contrarian suggests that the situation is currently much the same in many countries, notably Canada, where graduate unemployment in Ontario is now running at 68 per cent. The BBC reported in late 2011 that up to 95 per cent of new qualified teachers had been unable to secure full time jobs in Northern Ireland.

FEAST OR FAMINE Of course, it wasn’t always thus. In 2003, the then Government saw it necessary to bring in overseas teachers. Immigration NZ listed secondary school and early childhood teaching in its long-term skill shortage list. There was even talk of a $1500 loyalty bonus as an incentive to keep young secondary school teachers in New Zealand classrooms. Then in 2009, a $19 million teacher-bonding scheme was established to help overcome a teaching shortage and prevent teachers from being lured overseas upon completing their training. A mere four years later, and new teacher grads are being given a gentle nudge to the airport. But research shows that the sector could be facing a shortage again in just a few years’ time, due, in part, to a boost in the national birth rate. Professor Roger Moltzen of the University of Waikato told the Herald that Ministry of Education figures showed primary school

enrolments would increase steadily until 2019, when there would be 44,500 more students than in 2011. An additional 1150 primary teachers will be needed to cope with the increased enrolments, based on an average class size of 27. The knock-on effect for secondary school student numbers will start in approximately 2019, reaching a peak in 2024 with about 22,000 more students in the system than in 2011. “We anticipate that New Zealand could actually be facing a teacher shortage in the next few years because of the staffing required to cope with the student increase,” said Professor Moltzen. The implication of these forecasted trends for teaching students is that those who begin their studies this year, are likely to have improved job prospects in New Zealand primary schools by the time they have graduated. In addition to a boost in the birth rate, the ageing teaching workforce and the expectation that people will leave the industry is another indication that more teachers will be needed.

AGEING WORKFORCE However, the ageing workforce is thought to be one of the key factors contributing to the current over supply of teachers. According to a Ministry of Education report on teaching staff demographics, in April 2012, approximately 14 per cent of state-school registered teachers were aged 60 and over, and four per cent, not including principals, were past retirement age. The below table shows trends over time for both primary and secondary combined. The Ministry did not have figures available for the early childhood sector.

TEACHER AGE OVER TIME 20-29 30-39

40-49

50-59 60+

16%

21%

36%

22%

5%

2006 14%

23%

28%

30%

9%

2011

24%

24%

26%

14%

2001

12%

Source: Ministry of Education Di Davies says age distributions among primary and secondary teachers are very similar, although the secondary workforce is slightly older. The current average age of teachers in primary and secondary sectors is 46 years, she says. “The number of school teachers leaving the profession is at its lowest point for 10 years and so is the number of teaching vacancies, indicating that teachers are staying in their jobs longer. This is reducing the number of positions available for teachers who are looking for work. “As a result there is now high competition for teaching jobs and they are being filled quickly. There is still a shortage of highly qualified, te reo-speaking teachers in the Māori-medium and secondary sectors, and strong demand for teachers in some secondary specialist subjects like physics and maths,” says Davies. Massey’s James Chapman told Fairfax that his prediction in a 2006 study that there would be an exodus of retiring baby boomer teachers making >>

EDUCATION REVIEWseries PostGrad – Schools of Education 2013

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TEACHER WORKFORCE >> way for a new wave of teachers, had failed to materialise. The need for financial security at a time of economic hardship, is resulting in many teachers keeping their jobs for longer than expected, past the age of 65 in many cases. Now is not the time for older teachers to take that trip abroad or consider a radical career change. People are playing it safe and with good reason. Beverley Cooper of the University of Waikato says the number of teachers currently working past the age of 65 is “unprecendented”. It seems wasteful, this oversupply of bright young teachers waiting in the wings until the demographics slowly change. Could the Government have anticipated such trends and intervened to prevent the feast and famine see-saw rocking back and forth? Should the tertiary institutions have seen it coming and acted more selflessly? Indeed, the finger has been pointed at both.

COMPOUNDING CIRCUMSTANCES

RELIEF TEACHING

It appears eyebrows have also been raised at some schools for recruiting overseas-trained teachers, in spite of the well known predicament of the oversupply of New Zealand-trained teachers. “I’m all for diversity in terms of teachers, but at a time when it’s hard for our trained teachers to get jobs we don’t need a campaign to bring teachers from overseas,” said Chapman, as reported by Fairfax. Worryingly, despite the clues from Moltzen and others that change is nigh, that more jobs will

become available, it is likely that the current raft of jobless teachers will be competing with the new teachers in a few years’ time. Whether they return to the job market from stints in different vocations, or from teaching overseas, or from relief teaching positions, will the jobs go to them, the hardened and more experienced job seeker who missed out the first time round? Or will they go to the new graduates with their lesser experience but more timely exits from university? Beverley Cooper of Waikato, says there is an acknowledgement by the Ministry TeachNZ that in the short term graduates need to be prepared for employment in short relieving positions. “It is from this pool that many permanent appointments are made.” The former group, the current job-hungry new grads, will be anxious to secure a teaching position to ensure they don’t allow their teaching to lapse over a five year period forcing them into retraining. Alternative pathways should also be taken into account. While most acknowledge the merits of alternative pathways programmes, which essentially provide a sidestep for individuals when the traditional pathway of secondary to tertiary education is not appropriate, what are the implications for alternative pathways into teaching at a time when there is an oversupply of graduates emerging from initial teacher education programmes? TeachFirst, whose aim is to contribute to tackling educational inequality by attracting top university graduates into a two-year initial

teacher education programme that will lead them to teach in secondary schools serving lower decile communities, supports the introduction of alternative pathways. The organisation does not see them as counterproductive to managing graduate numbers because the training places for alternative pathways are often directly linked to real vacancies within schools. In its submission to the New Zealand Teachers’ Council Select Review Committee last year, TeachFirst even went so far as to state that owing to the employment-based nature of alternative pathways, they usually demonstrate higher completion rates than traditional university-based teacher education programmes. TeachFirst’s submission, and indeed its ethos, appears to be based on Fenton Whelan’s research, which states, among other things, that school systems that are selective about who becomes a teacher tend to be among the top performing school systems in the world. Indeed, the logic follows that the intense competition for jobs must be resulting in some outstanding teachers in New Zealand classrooms. As one teacher who has struggled to find work points out, “I know how good I am, so there must be some absolutely incredible teachers in classrooms this year.” But does it then follow that if prospective teachers turn their sights in different directions, our schools will be void of excellent staff? Does it follow that in the inevitable event of a teacher shortage, the lack of competition will leave the sector ultimately worse off?

A RELIEF TEACHER’S GUIDE TO A HAPPY CLASS

WITH MANY TEACHER GRADUATES STRUGGLING TO FIND FULL-TIME POSITIONS, EVEN IN SUBJECTS FOR WHICH THERE ARE SUPPOSEDLY SHORTAGES, RELIEF TEACHING IS A POPULAR OPTION IN THE INTERIM. SCIENTIST-TURNED-TEACHER, PAUL DACOMBE-BIRD, SHARES WHAT HE HAS LEARNED ON THE DAY RELIEF CIRCUIT. HAVING COMPLETED MY graduate diploma I expected to be employed on a permanent, fulltime basis in teaching secondary science, given the advertised shortage of teachers in our field. Such was not the case and I have subsequently been on the day-relief circuit. This has been an interesting and varied experience giving me valuable time in schools. One of the biggest differences between day-relief teaching and longer term work that I discovered was that every day is an entirely new experience and my personal flexibility was tested continually. “Mister, are you our teacher today?” “Are you a real teacher?” “Are you a [insert subject for the class you have in front of you] teacher?” These are the sorts of questions flung at a relieving teacher. Given that you’re now standing in someone else’s place, what do you need to do next? Be yourself. If you haven’t met this group of students before consider telling them something about yourself. If you are naturally shy and reserved, you could share this information too. Become a person for them, rather than an unknown quantity.

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Compliment the regular teacher to the class. Show that you know something about the class’s regular teacher and comment (honestly) about how well that person has done to get the class to the level they are. Good learners must be taught by good teachers. Caring teachers leave good work for relievers and helpful comments about their students. I’ve found it useful to acknowledge that fact. Show an interest. Particularly with a new class I move around the room to take the roll. This gives me some valuable one to one time by going round the class asking each student to identify him or herself directly. I’ll be looking for something to compliment about the student or find something out that will give a connection other than just school, class and subject. Learn about what they know. Almost invariably you will have some work to supervise the class with. If you are in your own subject, the temptation would be to conduct your own lecture on the topic, which might not be wise. Perhaps, knowing something about the likely progression of the unit, this would be a good time to ask the class to ‘teach the teacher’. Given that you then know a bit more about their understanding this may help you link into the work provided and move them through it.

EDUCATION REVIEWseries PostGrad – Schools of Education 2013

Suggest techniques. If you have a reasonably broad education, you will probably have a range of techniques for solving some of the problems which may be presented as starter activities or non-textbook work. Share your ideas and get some back. Even simple ‘pastime’ activities such as wordfind demonstrate patternseeking techniques within language which, once explained, can improve student success. Other simple skills such as reading all the way through instructions (twice) can be a useful starting point for some students and using mind-mapping for notes or cover pages for topics, which can later serve as summaries. Recognise good work and effort. Be sure to note down the students who are doing well during your session. You might tell them at the start that you will do this because their regular teacher will want to know. I was surprised at how effective stars, stickers, stamps and positive notes in books were in encouraging secondary students. Promising them something positive and having a clear idea of what ‘quality’ work will look like has been very useful for me. Be resourceful. You may find it useful to carry a small pack of supplies around with you. Mine includes: whistle, small bell, coloured felt pens, spare biros, HB pencils, sharpener, glue stick,


IMPACT OF FUTURE TEACHING STUDENTS It is a real concern, that the next wave of students considering becoming teachers will be deterred by the current struggle many new grads are experiencing in finding jobs and decide to pursue a different vocation. As a recent Herald editorial stated, “[The newly trained teachers’] plight will not go unnoticed by many of the bright students who might be considering a career in teaching.” However, Downey points out that the media representation of the domestic labour market plays a part in application levels. “We have actually had complaints from members of the public about spending money advertising to recruit students, which shows people are fundamentally missing the point,” he says. Be that as it may, the turbulence within the education sector alone is bound to deter some from teaching. After all, surely there can be few things more frustrating than beating the odds to secure a job and then not getting paid properly for it. And Novopay has been just one nail in the Ministry’s coffin. When a prospective “bright student” takes into account the recent wrangling over performance pay, league tables, charter schools, class sizes, Christchurch, and so on, it will be no surprise they may look to take a different career path. Beverley Cooper believes the current political climate has had an influence on applications, including the confusion over whether initial

vivid marker, Blu-tack, spare refill and extra whiteboard markers. Rather than attempt to be a mobile stationer, I’m keen to remove as many obstacles to co-operation as possible. Many classrooms do have a stock of resources, but about an equal number do not, so make the probability work in your favour. I also carry around a few magic tricks or illusions which are easy enough to demonstrate and serve to attract attention. If necessary I can illustrate to the students how they work. This doesn’t involve much of a layout and can be quite amusing. Most illusions teach valuable lessons on observation and how the brain interprets information. Professional notes. What would you like to know about your class from a stranger? You’ll be interested that they were well-behaved and respectful to your replacement and that they managed to keep on track with their work. You’d probably want to know that your relief had attended to any particular student needs and why. Identify the students who did well and tried hard. “Good Class” often just doesn’t say enough. I like to make sure to note when I have used a particular teaching technique in the class, especially if it appeared novel to the students and the effect it might have had on their learning either positive or negative. Direct instruction is my most commonly used technique, simply because it requires little set

teacher education would become a postgraduate qualification, an idea the Ministry backed down on after the teacher cuts were so vehemently rejected. “The oscillation of policy by the Government certainly unsettled applicants initially and many parents contacted us worried about the impact on their children moving to a tertiary setting. This has died down now and seems to have gone off people’s radar. There has been an overt media presence related to education and associated issues which also may have influenced people’s choices,” says Cooper. Associate Professor Sally Hansen of Massey University says that while the distinction between graduate and postgraduate status of initial teacher education programmes has not been a concern to the majority of their applicants, it continues to be a concern to faculty, who want “urgent clarity” on the situation. Dr Louise Starkey of Victoria University also believes that most students do not care whether an undergraduate or postgraduate approach is taken. “Those who want to become a teacher will do whatever it takes to get there,” she says. Starkey and Cooper agree, however, that the changes surrounding access to student allowances is having some influence for graduate programmes. “Graduate teaching programmes in all sectors traditionally have a high percentage of career changers and over 25 year olds. Many in current economic situation don’t want to add to their already large student loans and are ineligible for allowances under the new rules,” says Cooper.

Cooper also suggests that the lack of scholarships available, particularly in the secondary area, is a deterrent to prospective teaching students. “TeachNZ had scholarships for designated shortage subjects - maths, physics, chemistry, technology English and believe it or not PE! These were $10,000 plus course fees which were levers in the decision making for mature career changers. The focus for scholarships [now] is Māori bilingual/immersion teaching and some Pasifika early childhood.” However, many are pointing the finger at the institutions themselves. As the Herald editorial stated, “Newly trained teachers without a job have a right to feel aggrieved, especially if they believe they were not fully informed about the employment environment that would greet them when they graduated. In such circumstances, the spotlight will inevitably fall on the training institutions that have continued to churn out teachers. Undoubtedly, they can be faulted for an excessive number of graduates in some subjects, notably physical education, and a shortage in physics, chemistry, Maori and mathematics. In this area, there should be a greater attempt to ensure supply more accurately reflects demand.” Allan Vester agrees. “When you are training hundreds of graduates in physical education, the planners must have some idea that there’s no way that hundreds of vacancies will become available,” he told the Herald. However, institutions have hit back at such criticism. Indeed, each institution is confined to working within the enrolment numbers (EFTS) >>

up time, but I have experimented with popcorn reading, reading for meaning and small group work. Enjoy the experience. You might learn as much about yourself in one period with 10MAQ as you thought you had already learned in a lifetime. Consider it a ‘large panel’ job interview with the added bonus that you already have the job! You will have made a difference in each student’s life just by caring enough to enter the classroom. It’s great fun when ‘your’ students recognise and acknowledge you in passing or say that they hope you’re taking one of their classes on a particular day. LESSONS LEARNED »» Be yourself »» Edify other staff »» Show personal interest »» Learn about students’ knowledge »» Suggest techniques »» Be resourceful »» Leave professional notes »» Enjoy the experience

Paul Dacombe-Bird graduated from Victoria University in 1980 and worked in biochemistry and industrial chemistry for several years, and has worked for both private industry and government departments. He studied for his teaching diploma online through Victoria in 2011. EDUCATION REVIEWseries PostGrad – Schools of Education 2013

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TEACHER WORKFORCE >> into each category of tertiary course as set by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), based on perceived demand. “There was a slight reduction in initial teacher education EFTS this year, but only minimal,” says Cooper, of Waikato’s situation. Despite the TEC’s restrictions, institutions must work out how to strike the right balance between supply and demand. Associate Professor Sally Hansen of Massey University says while they operate within a capped environment, they do not set caps to reflect the New Zealand teaching job market as “we strongly believe that a teaching qualification is an excellent qualification for a diverse range of career opportunities. Determining a cap on selection related to the teaching job market (particularly one that is prone to shifting) could have the potential to be limiting and short-sighted.” Mary Simpson, Associate Dean of Education at University of Otago describes it as “a complicated picture”. She says at Otago they review their student enrolment numbers each year taking into consideration, among other factors, what is known of the employment market. “We do our best to monitor both national and local trends and we endeavour to track our students as they move into the teaching workforce. We know there are both regional and subject area trends and recognise the challenges in matching the number of graduates with the likely number of positions that will be available.” On the suggestion that institutions are not being clear with applicants on the likelihood of finding a job in their chosen subject, Cooper is emphatic. “I am confident that all ITE providers make this clear to applicants at interview. Most providers will have a target for each curriculum area based on many factors such as demand, availability of school placements etc,” she says. Downey from Canterbury says prospective students should be given more credit. “To suggest that these students don’t do adequate market research before entering the programmes is naive. Other factors that will affect their decision revolve around, in the case of PE teachers, their views on the labour market in four years time, the transferability of their skills and, significantly for many, the international labour market. The University is sustainable only if it runs programmes that people want to take.” Hansen from Massey agrees. “Applicants to our Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) programme usually come with good awareness of the areas of current demand. They are further encouraged, from the outset, to be realistic in their expectations, understanding that their ideal combination of subjects, levels and school is not guaranteed.” At Massey’s Institute of Education, applicants’ attention is drawn to the varying demands for different subject specialists in a number of ways: at interview stage, through discussions about what combination of subjects will best serve their interests as they begin the Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) programme’s ‘subject studies’, and talking to first year students in degree programmes such as the Bachelor of Sport and Exercise (Education) to highlight the need

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for flexibility in their future career plans. There is a requirement to have at least two teaching subjects in their undergraduate degree. However, Hansen says that they try not to be too prescriptive. “We accept we have a duty of care to applicants regarding their employment expectations. This needs to be balanced, however, by an awareness that we should not be making decisions for our students, some of whom will wish to use their qualification and skills in locations other than New Zealand and in settings other than the secondary school classroom.” A similar approach is taken at Otago. “When we receive an application, if it is in a subject area where there is an oversupply of teachers we always discuss this with the applicant. Applicants for secondary programmes are prepared to teach in more than one curriculum area. The combination of subject areas is important to consider,” says Simpson. “We also provide advice to early childhood and primary students about the current employment situation.” Like Hansen, Simpson also suggests that care is taken not to be too prescriptive as the institution cannot be aware of the intentions of every applicant. “A teaching qualification does provide a very sound background for work in other areas and applicants are often very aware of this. It is noticeable how many people working in diverse fields have a teaching qualification. Additionally, many students, for a variety of reasons do not intend to teach immediately.” Downey says Canterbury’s programmes offer “rigorous professional preparation”, which can lead to a diverse range of employment opportunities both within and outside the education sector. Whether institutions have always been so scrupulous at keeping applicants informed of the realities of the job market on the other side of their qualifications, remains more of a mystery. Certainly, the anonymous student at Victoria who went to the Dominion Post after the doomand-gloom speech about finding a job in New Zealand, questioned the university’s ethics in letting so many students into the course when more than half would not get teaching jobs in New Zealand. Perhaps the incident, along with the increasing media attention on the current oversupply of teachers has prompted institutions to be more matter-of-fact with applicants in recent months.

GETTING THE NUMBERS RIGHT In any case, predicting demand is not an easy game to play, especially with so many variables to take into account. Of course there have been many proposed solutions to the problem. The aforementioned suggestion of favouring New Zealand-trained graduates over those trained overseas, is one.

EDUCATION REVIEWseries PostGrad – Schools of Education 2013

“A teaching qualification does provide a very sound background for work in other areas and applicants are often very aware of this. It is noticeable how many people working in diverse fields have a teaching qualification.” Others have suggested decreasing class sizes or introducing a ‘team teach’ approach futile options given last year’s turn of events. Many, particularly from within the teacher unions, have suggested the now familiar mantra that the Government needs to work more closely with the sector to make sure the teachers are being looked after. However, TeachNZ manager Di Davies confirms the Ministry is taking a proactive approach in monitoring teacher supply and demand, and has improved the accuracy of analysis, forecasting and modelling of the teacher workforce. The Ministry produces the Monitoring Teacher Supply report each year, which provides a snapshot of the number of vacancies in schools on the first day of term at the start of each school year, and identifies recent trends from that information. As the change in teacher supply became apparent, the Ministry removed ‘Teaching’ from Immigration New Zealand’s Skills in Demand lists, which means overseas-trained teachers can still work in New Zealand, but the recruiting school must prove that they were unable to find a New Zealand teacher to take the position. The Ministry has also removed financial assistance to help schools recruit overseas. Previously, schools could get a recruitment payment of up to $1,000 to help them recruit offshore. Davies says there has also been a refocus on recruitment contracts so that the Ministry now has a preferred agency working to support new grads to find work, rather than the previous focus on bringing overseas teachers into New Zealand. There has also been a refocus on TeachNZ Scholarships and Awards, as Cooper alludes to above. Davies says these are now tightly focused on ongoing areas of shortage, including Māori-medium early childhood, primary, and secondary education; together with Pasifika early childhood. These measures may help in the short-term, but in all likelihood, the current situation will rectify itself; the economy will improve, along with the number of enrolments in primary and secondary sectors. If the current oversupply is managed too fiercely, the scales might even be tipped back towards a shortage. Despite sophisticated forecasting mechanisms, predicting future demand is not an exact science. Reacting quickly, managing expectations and adapting to change appear to be vital for surviving such fluctuations. n


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TEACHER EDUCATION

MEET OUR

FUTURE TEACHERS

Education Review asks two teacher education students about their expectations about their chosen course and career. We will follow their progress each year in Postgrad Schools of Education. ANNIE RILEY,

MASSEY UNIVERSITY, INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION – GRAD DIP PRIMARY STUDENT

Q

Why did you choose to study education?

A I chose to study education because I believe it is where I can make the biggest impact and hopefully affect positive change for the future of our country.

Q

Could you please describe the recruitment process into the teaching programme you are on? A It is a prerequisite for my teaching programme to have a degree. Following that I had to fill out an application form which included getting two references as well as completing a school observation. I was then shortlisted and attended an interview (mine was conducted via Skype as I was in Christchurch at the time) and was selected for entry into the programme.

Q

Do you have any idea in what area of teaching you might like to specialise? (eg ECE, primary, secondary - if secondary, what subject?)

...I am thankful that the course is intensive and engaging. There is also a real sense of community among my peers in the course and I have found this very helpful...

A I am studying Primary Teaching. I initially thought I would like to teach intermediate aged children but, having begun the course, I now have much more of an open mind and can see myself teaching other year levels as well.

Q

Are you interested in going on to do research in education? If so, do you have any idea what area? A Yes, I have always had an interest in creating equality. I would like to do further research into Maori and Pacifika learning. I also have an interest in learning disabilities such as dyslexia and have an interest in exploring alternative learning methods. I have also considered guidance counselling. So I suppose I am quite ambitious!

Q

What are you looking forward to most about the first year of the programme? A I am really looking forward to my placements. Though I am sure they will be challenging, I am really looking forward to being put in a practical learning environment. I think I learn best by ‘doing’ and so I am really looking forward to putting some of the theory into practice.

Q

What are you most nervous about as you embark on the programme? A Prior to beginning the course I was really nervous about the maths component as it is something I had not engaged with in a long time, ironically this is the paper which I am enjoying the most! Now I think I am most nervous about my assignments as it is hard to gage what is expected of me in terms of assessment.

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EDUCATION REVIEWseries PostGrad – Schools of Education 2013

Q

What are you looking forward to most about being at university? A Having already completed a three year degree, and having lived and worked overseas for a year, I was not looking forward to returning to university. I am still not too happy to be back but I am thankful that the course is intensive and engaging. There is also a real sense of community among my peers in the course and I have found this very helpful (it is not something I had experienced throughout my degree). I am looking forward to all the information I will pick up and I am trying to make the most of the expertise of my lecturers as they have all been where I hope to be next year.

Q

Do you have any ideas or preferences about the sort of school you will one day hope to teach at? (e.g. low decile, high decile, private, faith, rural etc.) A I hope to teach at a low decile school. I like a challenge and believe that this is where I can be most helpful and think it will be very rewarding. If I find that I am not suited for this I will be very disappointed. I also had thoughts about teaching at a rural school. I attended a rural primary school and can now see that it was an amazing learning environment, and that is something I would be interested in being a part of again.

Q

If you weren’t studying to be a teacher, what would you be doing? (i.e. what other career options did you consider) A If I wasn’t studying teaching I would probably be pursuing a career in media. I had previously worked for Media Works radio and had some options for this year to work in broadcasting. I was living in Australia in 2012 and moved back to New Zealand to pursue the teaching avenue.

Q

What made you choose Massey?

A I completed my degree at Massey University in Wellington. I would often hear my friends (who attended various other universities around the country) complain about their university in terms of the large class sizes and their lecturers not being invested in their students. I experienced the opposite at Massey and I was not keen to change to another university. I also spoke with friends in the education sector who gave me very sound advice as to which course to choose. My initial instinct was to go to Massey in Albany, and I also considered Canterbury but decided on Massey in Palmerston North - and I am very glad I did.


Q

What are you most nervous about as you embark on the programme? A Definitely the practicum. As a student I didn’t exactly make it easy for teachers, so I’m worried about what the students I teach will be like.

Q

What are you looking forward to most about being at university?

KELSIE DAVIE-MORLAND,

FACULTY OF EDUCATION, UNIVERSITY OF WAIKATO, CONJOINT BTCHG

Q

Why did you choose to study education?

A I’m loving every minute of it really. Studying what I want to, NO MORE MATHS!! (Sorry for mathematic enthusiasts) and meeting new people. I’ve already met a few and they’re great.

Q

Do you have any ideas or preferences about the sort of school you will one day hope to teach at? (e.g. low decile, high decile, private, faith, rural etc.)

A It doesn’t really matter to me really. Rural or smaller schools would be nice, it’s easier to keep an eye on students and develop educational relationships with them, but that also depends on the students.

Q

If you weren’t studying to be a teacher, what would you be doing? (i.e. what other career options did you consider) A Acting. I will be acting as a hobby, I’ll never give it up. But I’d love to be in Hollywood someday.

Q

What made you choose Waikato?

A I chose Waikato because of its reputation as a really good University and the courses it provided. Also because it was close of course. n

A For a while, teaching was not on my agenda. I wanted to be an actress and perform and that was it. But then I moved to Te Kauwhata College and meet a man by the name of John Riley, who taught English at senior level. Seeing his passion for both his subject and his students was awe inspiring and made me more confident in the class. Due to his teaching, and friendship, I unlocked a part of myself I never knew. He pushed me to do my best, knowing I could do better. He always saw the best in students and made them feel better about their writing, and about themselves. Being a part of his class not only as a student, but as a friend, inspired me to help students the way I was. I want to help someone accomplish what they’ve always wanted, I want to help people. And also, Mr Rileys passion was very infectious and I’m in love with both Theatre and Enlgish, which I hope to pass on to peers.

Q

Could you please describe the recruitment process into the teaching programme you are on? A It’s very simple, yet very precise. You apply, have an interview (which is a nerve-wracking as anything!) and then you get a yes or no. Trust me, the yes was the best feeling ever!

Q

Do you have any idea in what area of teaching you might like to specialise? (eg ECE, primary, secondary - if secondary, what subject?) A I am definitely going to teach English and Drama at secondary level. I’m hopefully going to do a double major next year in Theatre and English so I can teach both at Junior and Senior level.

Q

Are you interested in going on to do research in education? If so, do you have any idea what area? A Not particularly. I’m more interested with just teaching students, though the research others do is highly valuable.

Q

What are you looking forward to most about the first year of the programme? A Everything really. I’m really excited about the whole programme and getting into my second year for practicum.

EDUCATION REVIEWseries PostGrad – Schools of Education 2013

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GIFTED STUDENTS

ENRICHMENT OR ACCELERATION OR BOTH?

HOW TO BEST PROVIDE FOR GIFTED STUDENTS. The research shows the enrichment classes are not enough to cater for gifted students. What should schools be doing instead? JUDE BARBACK investigates.

W

ith so much attention being given to the ‘long tail of underachievement’ in New Zealand’s education system, it is easy to forget about the students at the other end of the scale. Dr Janna Wardman, a research fellow in the School of Learning Development and Professional Practice, University of Auckland believes the system is also failing many gifted students. Wardman, in an article published in University of Auckland’s Te Kuaka makes a strong case for acceleration. She suggests that in spite of decades of evidence-based studies that show that acceleration is effective for a wide range of gifted students, the research is not informing practice in New Zealand schools. This is echoed by a 2008 Education Review Office (ERO) report, Schools’ Provision for Gifted and Talented Students noted that only 18 per cent of New Zealand primary schools and 13 per cent of secondary schools had good provision for gifted students. This may come as a surprise to many schools, which have accelerate classes, however, Wardman suggests that the term is used inappropriately by most.

DIFFERENT FORMS OF ACCELERATION ERO’s findings may come as a surprise to many schools, as many believe they have suitable provision for gifted students. Typically this takes the form of an enrichment class - grouping bright kids of the same age together. Some schools call them ‘extension classes’, others ‘advanced ability classes’. In any case, Wardman suggests these methods do not accurately reflect acceleration. True acceleration can take many forms, she says. Full-year acceleration is when a student moves into the class a year or more ahead, enabling the student to work and socialise with their ability-peers rather than their age-peers. Curriculum compacting or telescoping can also constitute acceleration; this is when two years of learning might be covered in 18 months, for example. For secondary schools, dual enrolment with tertiary education providers is another form of acceleration. John Hattie’s 2009 synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to educational achievement, found that acceleration, in these forms, had the highest school contribution to student achievement; enrichment – the method currently most preferred by schools - did not even reach Hattie’s ‘hinge point’ as a strategy that made a visible difference. Enrichment, Hattie says, is a form of horizontal extension. Acceleration is vertical extension.

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WHAT DO STUDENTS THINK OF ENRICHMENT? A group of students at Henderson Intermediate’s advanced ability class expressed their enthusiasm for being in the class. There appears to be a big emphasis on competition. “The challenge is to be consistently the best,” says student Lia Kenept. Madeline Ion-Robinson says the class “provides a unique opportunity to challenge myself to reach new heights in my education.” “Although we are all really competitive we can all work as a team as well,” she says. “You can see the competitive flame in a peer’s eye when you achieve something which leads into a friendly competition and from there on you are always pushing each other to learn more, and to keep up with your peers, which is great motivation,” says fellow student, Jadon Stupples. Why this drive to be the best? Henderson Intermediate teacher, Kevin Elmes, suggests that because of higher expectations from teachers and parents, students in enrichment classes often strive to achieve more. “Students who are academically competitive can be motivated by the successes of others to ‘keep up’ with their classmates,” he says. Lia, Madeline and Jadon certainly exemplify this type of student. Naturally, they are delighted to be a part of the class. Their talents have been acknowledged and they are thriving from the challenge of being the brightest of the bright.

THE DOWNSIDE OF BEING GIFTED However, enrichment classes can sometimes have the opposite effect. Some students who are streamed into such classes, claim they never get to experience the ‘top of the class’ feeling. They feel decidedly average, even inadequate, in a class full of bright cookies. Even top students are not always comfortable being identified as gifted and talented. New research emerging from University of Canterbury found that many gifted students downplayed any perceived abilities in order to maintain their social status in school. The study, carried out by Canterbury PhD student Louise Tapper, tracked gifted and talented students from Year 9 over 18 months. “Students and parents in the study said that being gifted and talented in New Zealand is not something to shout from the rooftops,” says Tapper. “It was rather an identity that should be underplayed in keeping with the preferred New Zealand cultural demeanour of modesty and selfdeprecation. “I would argue that for young adolescents this can bring mixed messages. Able students are encouraged to be the best they can be but, as these students have reported, they have learnt to keep quiet about their successes or else someone will turn around and be offended.”

EDUCATION REVIEWseries PostGrad – Schools of Education 2013

Tapper’s findings ring true for teacher, Kevin Elmes. He believes enrichment classes can be “‘safe’ places where nervous and shy students’ academic success is admired by classmates and doesn’t provide opportunity for negative attention.” However, Elmes also suggests that enrichment classes are not a true reflection of the ‘real world’. “Different students have unique strengths and weaknesses and accelerated classrooms don’t provide the same breadth of students which they are likely to find later in life in their professional experiences,” he says. Samuel Dale, a student at Mount Albert Grammar School who was in extension class for Years 9 and 10, agrees with this. “Compared to the very multicultural school I attend, my class generally was middle class Pakeha. It would be fair to say that this class was not a representative of the school. My perspective is that this is a disappointing attribute to extension classes.” Certainly, enrichment classes can introduce a sense of division among students, a sense of elitism, that is not always carried with much grace by 11 and 12 year olds. A student who has his or her sights set on ‘making’ the enrichment class, but misses out, may experience an unwarranted and unnecessary sense of failure. This is often compounded by pushy parents. “Some parents of accelerate students push their children into these opportunities not because the child wants it but to satisfy their own personal goals,” says Elmes. Perhaps it is the ‘tall poppy syndrome’, hinted at in Tapper’s research, that quashes the enthusiasm of intermediate-aged children who have enjoyed two years of enrichment class membership, by the time they reach Year 9. It is interesting to note that although Dale now sees the advantages of being in an extension class, he didn’t feel it was beneficial at the time. “On reflection, being in an extension class for two years was mostly a positive experience although I did not feel that it was at the time,” he says. “Extension classes are not a perfect fit for everybody.”

SINGLE SUBJECT EXTENSION He may not have enjoyed his experience at the time, however Dale, now in Year 13, feels the time in the extension class has set him up for future academic success. “Extension equated with me doing Year 10 work in Year 9 and Year 11 work in Year 10. More able children than me in the class worked two years in advance in some subjects. The school selected the subjects in which we were extended in, which comprised of science and maths. Initially, these were not my strongest subjects


published NCEA results, rather than focusing on what is best for the individual student,” she says. Acceleration is not a new concept, and it has gone in and out of favour in New Zealand education over the years. Typically referred to as being “pushed ahead”, students whose birthdays fell at an awkward time of year - often June, July and August - and were deemed ‘bright’, were pushed ahead into Year 2 after six months or less in Year 1. Often the experience of these students, who were always the youngest in their class, was that although they were able to keep up academically, physically they were not, which affected their education in a negative way. “I came top in many a test, but never won a race,” reflects Alan, who was one such student. “My first year at university as a 17 year old was tough socially as I couldn’t go out and have a drink with new friends,” says another.

Students from Henderson Intermediate’s advanced abilities class (L-R): Jack Peach, Jadon Stupples, Madeleine Ion-Robinson, and Lia Kenept. and I found science especially difficult to keep up with at times,” says Dale. Extension in single subjects is another form or acceleration, which is increasingly common in New Zealand secondary schools. Wardman says the result of accelerating in some subjects is that gifted students end up almost, but not quite, qualifying for entry into the university courses of their choice at the end of year 12. “They then have a choice of picking up extra subjects at level 3 or preparing for scholarship, in order to fill a year 13 timetable,” she says in her Te Kuaka article. Wardman notes some resistance from schools to the idea of dual enrolment with a university, even for a small selection of courses. She says some principals feel that early entry to university from year 12 would “rob” them of their school leaders, and lead to a reduced year of government funding for the school. In the words of one deputy principal, to do this would simply “not be in our best interests”. However, although subject extension may not have led to early enrolment at university, Dale finds himself in a good position. “Now in year 13, in mixed ability classes, I find myself coping with new learning and the general workload better than most of my classmates. Perhaps because I started NCEA Level 1 exams in Year 10, I have more experience under exam conditions and have found a way to cope under pressure earlier than most.” Student leaders at Hamilton Boys’ High School agreed that starting NCEA in Year 10 has set them up well for Year 13 by broadening their subject options. Deputy head prefect, Oliver Wilding says that by completing Level 3 History a year earlier, he now has the option to take more subjects in his final year of high school. Head prefect Sam Franicevic, like Dale, says that although he was “pushed into” taking subjects earlier at the time, he would now “strongly recommend” younger students do the same, as the benefits are now apparent to him. Franicevic dismisses the suggestion that by taking NCEA subjects early, students may be cheating themselves out of their best possible results, however Dale says he was pleased to have the chance to better himself.

“Different students have unique strengths and weaknesses and accelerated classrooms don’t provide the same breadth of students which they are likely to find later in life in their professional experiences.” “Last year in Year 12, I made the decision to resit Level 2 maths, as the previous year my results in that subject weren’t fabulous and the alternatives were Level 3 calculus or statistics. This would have been a quantum leap for me. I believe this was because in year 9, maths and science was a struggle, covering two years work in one. “When I sat Level 2 maths in Year 12, when my peers were, I received much better results than I had ever achieved previously in maths.” Subject extension seems to work well in these instances. Students are given the opportunity to push themselves, but also the opportunity to try for greater results if they want to.

THE EFFECT ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT Subject extension also allows them to ultimately stay with their age-peers, whom they have gone through their education with. Many have argued that full-year acceleration has an adverse effect on a student’s social development. However, Wardman argues that the parents of accelerands considered acceleration brought significant benefits in their child’s social development, and the accelerands matured faster through the phase of teenage years. This is echoed by the Ministry of Education Gifted and Talented Handbook, which says that despite popular myths and misconceptions, students who are accelerated do not suffer harmful social and emotional effects, nor do they demonstrate any gaps in knowledge or skills in their learning. Consequently Wardman suggests that many gifted students would prefer the challenge of completing their secondary schooling in four years and entering university courses early. “[Students] see retention for a second year of NCEA Level 3 courses as being more about the glory of the school and their competition in the league table of

FINDING MIDDLE GROUND Certainly it is hard to separate ability from age entirely, which is no doubt why so many schools have opted for the enrichment class method. Is there any middle ground to be found here? Wardman says it shouldn’t be an either/or argument about enrichment and acceleration, rather is should be both, according to the needs of the individual student. “Subject acceleration may provide sufficient challenge for some - especially those for whom accolades are important. For others, who are bored to sobs with the pace of the school curriculum, it’s important to get through those years in a faster time. “Each student should be considered individually and in my opinion, it should be the student who makes the final decision on whether they follow an enrichment programme, or are subject accelerated in a few areas, or are full-year accelerated, maybe by two years and get the opportunity to start their tertiary studies at 16. If they are emotionally and socially mature, my research has shown it to be the best strategy; it keeps them challenged and there is less chance of them becoming bored and resorting to disruptive behaviour - which is more common with bright students than most schools would like to admit,” says Wardman. The New Zealand Curriculum acknowledges the particular needs of gifted and talented learners, and is designed to allow for flexibility of application so that the needs of diverse learners can be appropriately responded to. The Ministry’s TKI gifted and talented website is rich in resources for how schools and teachers can adequately meet the needs of these students. Tools like online learning, for example, may help bridge the gap between enrichment and acceleration. Hattie gives the example of enrolment with the Khan Academy, a global e-learning website, which might result in considerable advancement in mathematics. Such programmes, if integrated effectively, can allow for vertical extension within horizontal extension. In any case, providing adequate provision for gifted and talented students is something that should remain of great importance to the sector. Just as the pursuit for raising the high levels of student underachievement should not waver, neither should the fight to make sure our brightest students are receiving the best education possible. n

EDUCATION REVIEWseries PostGrad – Schools of Education 2013

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JUDE BARBACK looks at how providers are navigating their way through a mix of strict and flexible Teachers’ Council requirements for selection processes into initial teacher education programmes.

SELECTION ONTO

ITE PROGRAMMES

O

n the face of it, this is a non-topic. New Zealand Teachers’ Council sets the requirements for selection processes into all initial teacher education programmes. Providers follow these requirements. Selections are made. However, on closer inspection, many of the requirements are open to interpretation by the provider.

FIRST SCREENING OF APPLICANTS Typically it goes something like this. The programme coordinator at an institution looks at the applications, takes into account the academic requirements, the referees’ reports, consent for police record check and other information such as their interests and experience, and based on all this, comes up with a shortlist of candidates who then must have an interview. For the programme coordinator, some of Teachers’ Council criteria are so clear that it is not difficult to determine whether the candidate meets the requirement. The stipulation that ‘all candidates who are offered a place in the ITE programme must have had a Police vet’ carries no ambiguity, for example. The council is also pretty clear on the academic requirements for candidates under 20 years, although more flexibility is extended to providers for recruiting candidates over 20. Those under 20 are required to have University Entrance, (or the equivalent for Admission Ad Eundem Statum Prospective students). In accordance with the Education Act, providers also offer the chance for ‘Discretionary Entrance’ for New Zealand students

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under 20 years of age applying on the basis of NCEA Level 2 results or Sixth Form Certificate grades, who do not otherwise qualify for admission. Despite the provision for discretionary entrance, concern was voiced by some attendees at last year’s Teacher Education Forum of Aotearoa New Zealand (TEFANZ) conference that by placing so much attention on the requirement for University Entrance, other factors which could be determinants of an excellent teacher are being overlooked in some cases. However, most agreed the need for candidates to possess sound academic ability was important. The Teachers’ Council specifications for English language, numeracy and ICT competency is that ‘All candidates for entry into ECE, primary and secondary ITE programmes must be assessed by the ITE provider prior to entry.’ Candidates who do not meet the requirements must meet them prior to graduation from their programme. The method of assessment is up to the provider. As University Entrance has its own literacy requirements (eight credits at Level 2 or higher), and numeracy requirements (14 credits at Level 1 or higher), many providers are satisfied that the Teachers’ Council’s literacy and numeracy specifications have been satisfied with the applicant’s successful completion of University Entrance. However, at TEFANZ, the suggestion was made by one attendee that in spite of the University Entrance stipulations, it seemed many applicants were cruising in on the weight of hospitality or tourism unit standards, rather than an emphasis on

EDUCATION REVIEWseries PostGrad – Schools of Education 2013

more ‘core’ subjects. Another thought was that there was too much reliance on academic transcripts, with providers failing to investigate literacy and numeracy sufficiently. Mary Simpson, associate dean of teacher education at Otago University believes the University Entrance requirement is robust, although Otago also conducts an initial screen for literacy and numeracy competence at interview stage. Other providers also take this approach, preferring to assess a candidate’s literacy and numeracy capabilities through additional methods. The University of Canterbury, for example, carries out its own assessments, using the renowned assessment systems from Durham University. Similarly, selection onto Victoria University’s teacher education programmes includes an assessment exercise that looks at an applicant’s skills in listening, oral communication and working with others. In any case, Barbara Benson, manager of teacher education at Teachers’ Council says providers tell the Council approval or review panel what their literacy and numeracy assessments are and the panel decides if the level is acceptable. “If it is not, then the provider will have to meet the panel’s requirement,” she says.

THE INTERVIEW Those candidates who are shortlisted for the next stage of selection, then must be interviewed, either face-to-face or by Skype. The interview process


TEACHER EDUCATION varies from institution to institution. At Massey’s Institute of Education, the candidate is interviewed by a two-person panel for approximately 30 minutes. At other institutions, a larger interview panel is sometimes used. At TEFANZ, the point was made that in a panel approach to interviews, providers need to be careful to select a diverse range of interviewers as an unconscious bias to recruit teachers that look like the panel can often prevail. Candidates can either be interviewed individually or in groups. At University of Canterbury’s College of Education, interviews usually include three or four students at a time while at Waikato and Otago universities, all shortlisted applicants are interviewed individually. At Otago the interview panel usually consists of a lecturer and a member of the relevant teaching sector. “The interview panel consider academic ability or potential, communication skills, interest and experience, referee reports, personal attributes and suitability for teaching,” says Simpson.

SECTOR INVOLVEMENT Principals or teachers are invariably involved with the process. Relevant sector involvement is another Teachers’ Council requirement, but again, one that is open to interpretation by providers. Gary Downey, business manager of University of Canterbury’s College of Education says at Canterbury principals, and ECE teachers form part of the panel in interviewing candidates, although

he has heard anecdotally of some other institutions meeting the sector involvement requirement by simply asking principals what sort of teachers they would recruit. Benson says there needs to be “visible and evidenced involvement with the profession in the selection process”. Downey admits that it is not always straightforward. Principals are essentially trying to judge whether they would recruit the 18 year old interviewee in three years’ time, after their training. Young candidates have to be very good to impress a principal, he says. Downey says that while primary and secondary principals are generally keen to be involved with the interviewing process, early childhood educators typically take a bit more persuading, probably, he suspects, because ECE centres are usually run more as businesses. Despite the minor difficulties with involving the sector, attendees at TEFANZ generally agreed that involvement of principals and communities in the interview process was an important aspect, as they then have more ownership as they have put their reputation at stake. Teachers’ Council director Peter Lind says a stronger collaboration is needed between student teachers, experienced teachers and teacher educators, with each respecting what the others have to share from their perspective. He praises Waikato University’s Collaborative University School Partnership (CUSP) as a good example

of this. The CUSP initiative helps with student teachers’ practicum, and also allows teachers to co-teach a professional practice paper with a faculty lecturer. These sorts of alliances are bound to help providers better understand what the sector expects and needs from new teachers. Lind also points to research that shows that highly performing teacher education programmes are strongly grounded in practice through strong partnerships between the workplace and the tertiary provider, ensuring that graduates have a sound understanding of the link between learning and teaching. As a result, entry into these highly performing programmes is highly selective.

FOCUSING ON THE INDIVIDUAL With the task of meeting all the requirements laid out by Teachers’ Council and their own institution, as well as the sheer number of candidates, it would be easy for schools of education to take a tick-box approach to applications. At TEFANZ, there was some discussion that more weight should be placed on an applicant’s qualitative attributes. Factors such as personality and creativity are generally not acknowledged in the score sheet. However, it appears providers are paying close attention to candidates’ individual experiences to help inform their decisions. “In our graduate programmes over 60 per cent are mature career changers who bring excellent experiences to teaching,” says Beverley Cooper, associate dean of teacher education at Waikato >>

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EDUCATION REVIEWseries PostGrad – Schools of Education 2013

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TEACHER EDUCATION >>University. “In undergraduate programmes many also have had some time in the workforce before they apply and many have held leadership roles in schools - head students, sports coaches, peer support leaders, student council members, and so on.” Sally Hansen, director of teacher education at Massey University, says at Massey they are keen to know about why applicants wish to become teachers, their interest and experience in a variety of areas, such as community involvement, music, drama, sport and contact with other cultures. Indeed, most providers acknowledge the need to take a tailored approach. Downey says that if Canterbury had, for example, an applicant who was male, wanted to be a primary teacher, was particularly strong in reo but weak in maths, he would likely be accepted onto the programme on the proviso that he took various modules to get his maths up to scratch before graduating. Simpson says that at Otago they need to look more at individual circumstances for those candidates who are over 20. At TEFANZ, some expressed concern at the amount of discretion providers had for recruiting those over 20, one attendee describing it as “like falling off the edge of a cliff”.

DEALING WITH REJECTION Inevitably, when competition for places on teacher education programmes is tight, there will be rejections. Providers appear to take rejection seriously. At Otago, applications are double-checked before final decisions are made. “The applications of all unsuccessful applicants who are interviewed are reviewed again before a letter of decline is sent out,” says Simpson. At TEFANZ, it was evident there was some concern that potentially excellent teachers were being overlooked because they didn’t measure up academically. One solution some providers use in such instances is to direct the candidate to a foundational studies programme and ask to reapply upon completion. At Waikato, Cooper says that strong candidates are offered places as soon as all documentation is received and interviews are completed. Other candidates are placed on a wait list while intake numbers are confirmed. Some institutions are researching best selection processes into teacher education programmes. At TEFANZ it was suggested that in addition to looking at the profile of teacher applicants, success measures and outcomes, these studies should also look at which candidates weren’t making it and why. It is hoped this will help give some information about the gender, ethnicity and demographics of those who have been unsuccessful in applying for places on teacher education programmes.

ASSESSING THE SELECTION PROCESS Peter Lind would like to see this research taken one step further. He thinks there is scope for more sharing across institutions for the overall good of the system. “It is perhaps a naive political perspective, but ideally the universities should

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get together to pool their research and establish the best path.” He points out that Canterbury, Massey and Auckland universities are all conducting costly research on the impact of face-to-face interviews for recruitment into teacher education programmes. In a perfect world they should be collaborating, he says. Lind says the role of the Teachers’ Council could potentially be to provide more opportunity to incentivise this sort of collaboration. With adequate funding, he envisages Teachers’ Council providing forums so providers do not feel coerced. Teachers’ Council actively monitors the selection processes into teacher education programmes, as part of its role to monitor and review the programmes themselves. “The processes are described in documentation to the approval or review panel – this includes sample questions and the panel composition. All selection must involve a visual interview process. We ask students in the programme to describe their interviews - recent graduates too,” says Benson. Benson says when necessary, the council’s approval and review panels can set requirements or make recommendations to a provider. The council came under scrutiny last year during the Government’s review into its role in approving teacher education programmes and graduate outcomes. According to the Tertiary Education Union (TEU), Stuart Middleton at Manukau Institute of Technology was against the Council taking this role. “It is an absurdity that the Teachers’ Council gets involved in initial teacher education programmes. They should be approved by CUAP or by NZQA and the only question with regard to programmes should be whether the candidate for entry into the profession has undertaken such an approved course.” However, other participants at the TEU’s teacher education forum argued in favour of the council setting requirements for initial teacher education, saying teacher educators need to ‘stick up for the council’ and that the current review should result in increased independence for the council, not less. Findings of the review and its repercussions for teacher educators are due to be released imminently. Putting the council’s role to one side, it is good to see that providers are reflecting on their selection procedures. At Canterbury, for example, the process is thoroughly reviewed each year, according to Downey. However, providers will generally not make changes to their selection processes on the basis of the number of places they have available. “[Our] process is used consistently. It does not vary according to the number of places we have available,” says Simpson of Otago’s stance on the matter. Despite some criticism directed at providers and the Ministry for an oversupply of teachers, providers are quick to defend themselves and their processes. Regardless of the number of teachers needed, providers continue to be strongly focused on supplying quality teachers who have been prepared within their institutions to the highest possible degree. That their selection processes into their teacher education programmes reflect this is surely a credit to the sector. n

EDUCATION REVIEWseries PostGrad – Schools of Education 2013


CURRICULUM DESIGN

Education Review was there to witness the official opening of the New Zealand Curriculum Design Institute in Hamilton.

EDUCATING THE EDUCATORS T

he smell of fresh paint played on the nostrils, a sparkly new chandelier twinkled above and the red ribbon across the doorway flew in the Hamilton breeze as assembled guests awaited the arrival of Prime Minister John Key to officially open the New Zealand Curriculum Design Institute (NZCDI). And open it he did. Ribbon was cut, plaques unveiled, speeches were delivered, blessings bestowed. New place. New concept. The institute doesn’t fit conventionally into any existing facility type – it isn’t a university or a polytechnic, and director Susan Stevenson says it isn’t a private training establishment. What is does, among other things, is aid tertiary institutions in the design of their qualifications. The Prime Minister’s comparison of designing qualifications to making sausages - “You don’t want to know how it’s done; you just want the end result!” – while flippant, is probably close to the mark in many cases. Stevenson believes that more consideration needs to be given to the curriculum at the higher education level. At a symposium late last year, she pointed out that tertiary educators are typically very well qualified in their area of expertise, but often lack an understanding of how to design suitable education programmes. However, some tertiary providers have pointed to a lack of resources rather than proficiency in the area of curriculum design. As one provider representative said, “We lack the capacity for curriculum design, not the capability.” Either way, this is ultimately what the NZCDI does: collaborates with institutions to help them with curriculum design. As Stevenson said, the institute is there to “work around the edges to

optimise higher education”. She believes there is the potential to lift educational outcomes by at least 25 per cent. Its sales pitch is that, as a NZQA-registered and approved course owner, the institute designs a range of qualifications at all levels of higher education, from certificate to postgraduate, and then partners with tertiary providers to provide them. Yet, the institute is small enough to work on a bespoke level with tertiary providers to meet their needs. So not only does it provide qualifications to providers, but it also provides consultative services and professional development. Representatives from Hamilton-based tertiary institutions Wintec and Waikato University were among those who attended the opening. Amy Edwards of Wintec said they were collaborating with the NZCDI and other institutions in areas of professional development. Institutions are clearly aware of the need to develop and reflect on their own teaching practices. The day before the NZCDI opened, the University of Waikato’s Centre for Tertiary Teaching and Learning was officially launched. The centre, under the administrative umbrella of the Faculty of Education, sees the integration of three groups: Student Learning, the Teaching Development Unit and the Waikato Centre for

The Prime Minister’s comparison of designing qualifications to making sausages - “You don’t want to know how it’s done; you just want the end result!” – while flippant, is probably close to the mark in many cases.

e-Learning. Centre director Dr Marcia Johnson says the centre will take a pan-university role in promoting, facilitating and supporting learning and teaching development, as well as providing research-informed leadership in tertiary teaching and learning. No doubt there will be opportunities for Waikato’s new centre to liaise with its new neighbour. After all, the NZCDI is ultimately setting out to help providers help themselves. Through a range of qualifications, including a Diploma in Advanced Curriculum Design & Academic Leadership (Level 7), the institute is helping to educate the educators in the area of curriculum design. The institute also has a tool that can be used by tertiary providers as a health check for their existing programmes. The tool helps providers identify areas of weakness in their curriculum, which the NZCDI can potentially help them with. Perhaps, from a broader perspective, the real advantage of the institute is its international relevance. As the Prime Minister noted, through the aid of modern technology and the expansion of the service-based sector, curriculum design is a business that can be exported. Agreements have been signed with institutions in Korea, Papua New Guinea, China and the United Arab Emirates. Indeed, Stevenson and her team have high hopes for NZCDI. After the more formal proceedings, the chandelier dimmed, prompting a hush among the crowd. A blanket was pulled down to reveal an art work that would house the names of the 100 NZQA-approved courses. Nifty, and certainly evocative of the passion, creativity and drive that has very evidently been put into getting the institute up and running. n

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15


TEACHER EDUCATION

THE NEW KID ON THE BLOCK

The official opening of Massey’s Institute of Education heralds an exciting new step for teacher education in New Zealand, even in the face of job losses and political indecision surrounding the move to postgraduate initial teacher education. JUDE BARBACK reports.

F

our years ago, Massey’s ViceChancellor Steve Maharey extended the challenge to each of the university’s colleges to take a step back and think about what could be done to make things better. The “most radical idea” came from the College of Education. The proposal was for the college to become a researchled institute, in which the bulk of teacher education would be delivered through postgraduate qualifications. The “radical idea” has now materialised; Massey’s new Institute of Education was officially opened in February by Associate Minister of Education, Nikki Kaye. More than 80 people attended the launch at Massey’s Manawatū campus, and many more watched via a live webcast, including colleagues at the university’s Albany campus. The institute has replaced the Massey’s 16-year-old College of Education, and true to the brainstorming of four years ago, is taking a new direction, focusing on research and graduate and postgraduate teaching and related educational qualifications. This is the direction many institutions are now taking their schools of education. It is hoped the institute will sit in the lofty company of those at universities in London, Ontario, Melbourne and Harvard, where a similar approach is being taken to teacher education. The new institute hasn’t proceeded without its setbacks. Prior to the launch of the new institute, 25 jobs were lost from the former College of Education last year, to reflect a change in the academic staff to student ratios, according to Massey spokesman, James Gardiner. The staffing cuts, which also reflect the shift in emphasis from undergraduate to postgraduate in the new institute, were challenged by some while others accepted voluntary redundancy. It has cast a grey cloud over the move to the institute for the staff who have retained their jobs. “The fact that we have lost so many colleagues on the way is still a grieving process but we’re looking forward to the arrival of our new

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Caption: Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey and Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye at the institute’s launch. Director from the US in mid-year,” says Professor of Teacher Education, John O’Neill. Massey is not alone. Since their respective ‘mergers’, the various schools of education have adopted their own approaches to the common staffing challenges faced in teacher education. In O’Neill’s view, staffing and programme reviews have been forced by two decades of ‘more for less’ reduced central government ITE funding alongside increasing student fees and, more recently, less certain beginning teacher employment prospects. He also believes burgeoning approval, monitoring and reporting compliance costs from the New Zealand Teachers’ Council since 2001 and the ‘publish or perish’ demands of the Performance Based Research Fund since 2003 have played a part in forcing schools of education to review their programmes and staffing levels. “In my view, initial teacher education has been particularly disadvantaged by this unfortunate coincidence of policy effects and the Massey job losses are an almost inevitable institutional response to them. The University has a statutory obligation not only to balance its books, but to produce a surplus. “Our grieving process is such because each job loss is also the loss of a valued colleague who in another era would have been regarded as being knowledgeable and highly

EDUCATION REVIEWseries PostGrad – Schools of Education 2013

proficient in their work and making a valuable contribution to the education of future teachers.” Professor Patricia Hardré will join Massey in April as the institute’s inaugural director. With more than 20 years’ experience in academic leadership at several United States universities, her arrival is much anticipated. At the launch, Maharey spoke of Hardré’s nine books that she currently has out for review – an indication of her productivity. Associate professor Sally Hansen is currently acting as the institute’s interim director. The new institute has relocated from the Hokowhitu campus to the university’s main Turitea campus. There are plans for a new building at some stage in the future. “I think everyone is relieved to be on the Turitea site and the new accommodation is an excitement in itself,” says O’Neill. At one point the Government’s intentions to shift the focus of initial teacher education to a postgraduate level appeared completely aligned with Massey’s plans for a new institute. When it became clear later in 2012 that the Government was no longer prepared to go ahead with its postgrad plans, some expected this to put a dampener on Massey’s plans for the new institute. And while it obviously has not affected the outcome – the institute

has been proudly launched - there is no denying there have been some ruffled feathers along the way. Professor James Chapman, in addition to many others in the sector, believes the moratorium, introduced years ago by former Minister of Education Trevor Mallard and aimed at preventing the proliferation of teacher education programmes, is now being used by the current Ministry to block new teacher education programmes. The Ministry issued a statement last year to say the moratorium must remain in place with no changes to be made to initial teacher education programmes in terms of site, mode or delivery. This interpretation of the moratorium has prevented Massey from implementing a new postgraduate teacher education programme (despite receiving NZQA approval for the programme) and from offering its programmes through various distance learning capabilities and via its Albany campus. Chapman says it defies all logic. “It is an unnecessary interference in a democratic country,” he told Education Review last year. However, in a move that has understandably caused some annoyance and controversy among those in the sector, including staff at Massey, exemption was granted by the Minister of Education for Teach First NZ’s and Auckland University’s


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About 730 new graduates have successfully found places on state-subsidised new graduate programmes

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teacher education to a postgrad qualification, Associate Minister Nikki Kaye, in her speech at the launch spoke of “taking some of the politics out of some of the areas of education”. The Ministerial endorsement for the opening of the new institute is a good sign for Massey. While the support for a postgrad focus for initial teacher education might not yet be forthcoming from the Ministry of Education, it appears they support the drive for innovative and research-driven approaches to teacher education, like that which Massey is taking. Kaye said the institute’s launch was incredibly timely with the education and science select committee’s recent report into 21st century learning environments and digital literacy. Certainly there was much talk of blended learning, digital technologies. Maharey said, somewhat incredulously, that there were no computers in 1990, when he was in Parliament. His statement stands in stark contrast to the way technologies are used in teaching and learning today and will be in the future. “New technology is really going to dominate in the future, but the question is how do you effectively teach with that? The combination has to be new technology and great teachers; it can’t be new technology with people who don’t know what to do with it. It’s going to be a different educational environment, so as a university we need to contribute to those changes so we get the best for our kids,” he said. An engaging and cute clip showing what students of all ages like about school life and their teachers, was presented during the official launch, and served to remind everyone exactly who the end users of the institute will be. Hansen said graduates of the institute would be leaders and change agents who can genuinely make a difference and improve learning outcomes in school pupils. “Through education we are, in effect, helping to grow the future, to shape our nation.” Massey’s move to a researchled institute, in line with those of leading universities around the world, is to be commended. The institute certainly has something to prove and it will be exciting watching them prove it. n

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six-week postgraduate teacher education programme, for which 20 people with degrees have been recruited, as part of an initiative to get highly qualified graduates teaching in low-decile schools. Understandably those newly qualified teachers who are struggling to get jobs are also frustrated. “I have completed three years of study to get my Bachelor of Education degree and yet every job I apply for, mostly low-decile, they do not want beginning teachers, so how short are they?” asks Tanya, on a TV3 online forum on the topic. “What kind of chance do I have when every application gets declined then they make programmes like the one in question?” Sally Hansen says that while the distinction between graduate and postgraduate status of ITE programmes has not been a concern to the majority of applicants to these programmes, this is still a matter of concern for the faculty. “We are certainly seeking to have some urgent clarity around the move to postgraduate ITE,” she says. However, by hitting the pause button on postgrad teacher education, NZ Teachers’ Council director Peter Lind thinks the Ministry has given providers, like Massey, a chance to prove why the postgrad model is needed. “I think university deans should be using this time as an opportunity to demonstrate that postgrad is the way to go, that there are gains to be made. It is no use renaming a qualification as postgraduate for the sake of it.” Lind points out that some professions, like law, operate sufficiently from an undergraduate qualification and believes that careful consideration needs to be given to why a postgraduate qualification is necessary for initial teacher education. “In the 1990s shifting teacher education to a university undergrad programme was thought to be sufficient and now the yard sticks are moving again.” Massey’s new institute is out to prove just that – that a postgraduate and research-led approach to teacher education will result in better outcomes for students. Ironically, given the Government’s failure to move initial

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17


TEACHING CAREERS

TEACHER TIPS

Education Review asks four teachers from very different schools about what it’s really like to teach in their school.

THE DECILE 1 SCHOOL CHRIS MARKS, PT ENGLAND SCHOOL.

I teach year 5 & 6 in a 1:1 device open learning environment with two other teachers. I’m now in my third year of teaching. When I decided to become a teacher I had no idea what decile level I wanted to teach at but I was adamant I only wanted to teach at the primary level. I wanted to teach across all curriculum areas because I enjoy having variety in my day and I am interested in more than one area. After completing three practicum while at university I found I enjoyed the diverse cultures of lower decile schools and was being drawn towards these schools and that is one of the reasons that drew me to Pt England School. I love teaching at the school because it feels like one big family where everyone supports each other and we are all on the same wave length. I love our Pasifika and Maori cultures and the joy the kids bring to everything they do. I also love that our school is very innovative and learner focused and provides an education that is relevant to the future our kids have ahead in terms of being computer and internet literate. In my class every student has their own netbook as well as access to iMacs, iPads and cameras. The school is also very supportive in providing possibilities to extend and improve as a teacher as well, so it is a very dynamic place to work. The biggest frustration I have encountered so far is the admin and paperwork that teachers are required to do. Luckily I have come from a business background so I am used to doing this type of work but it is very time consuming and seems excessive at times. I really don’t like that my focus at times turns to assessment and reports when it should be on the students and their learning. Assessing and reporting to and about the kids is important but I’m not sure the balance is right. I feel like it’s not always done for the kids and it should be. I absolutely love teaching at the school so couldn’t imagine being anywhere else but who

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knows what the future holds. I think I would prefer lower decile but to be honest this is all I know and have experience in. I am also in the unique position of only ever having taught in a 1:1 device environment so I would find it very hard working in a class with only four computers in the back. If I was to move to another school it would need to be a place that has a dynamic learner focused environment that is not accepting the norm and is looking to the future to make sure education is relevant and for the students.

THE DECILE 10, SINGLE-SEX SCHOOL LISA MAVE, HEAD OF HISTORY, ST CUTHBERT’S COLLEGE When I trained to become a teacher I was philosophically opposed to the idea of teaching in either a single sex school or a high decile or independent school. I had attended a low decile co-educational school which had a poor academic record and my experience there was a miserable one. I felt that it was really important to make a contribution to schools of this nature and intended to only apply for teaching positions in low decile coeducational schools. During my teaching practicums at schools like this I found that the challenges students faced were beyond what I was capable of dealing with as an inexperienced teacher. It was by chance that I took my first job at a high decile state girls’ school and it completely changed my teaching philosophy. I didn’t set out to teach in a faith-based school. I made a commitment to teaching in girls’ schools and then made the decision to come to St Cuthbert’s because of the profile of the College. As I don’t have any faith of my own I had to consider the appropriateness of me working in faith-based school and whether or not I could effectively participate in that aspect of the College. Since coming to the the school I have come to value the added dimension that being faith-based adds to the culture of the school especially the ‘By Love Serve’ motto and the influence it has on active staff and student participation in service. I find it rewarding to work with girls who, unlike anything I had experienced myself, are comfortable and confident in their learning environment and who do not exhibit the reticence in the classroom that I felt girls in co-educational

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classrooms often do. I particularly enjoy being able to tailor the subject matter and activities of my Social Studies and History lessons to suit the interests and learning styles of female students. I value the opportunity that I have to make a contribution towards the development of our students into confident and successful young women. It is fantastic to work at the school because a strength of these schools is that there is a strong synergy between the aims and expectations of the girls, the students, their families, their teachers and the school itself. This singular purpose makes it possible for teachers to create unique and enjoyable teaching and learning opportunities for students. It is rewarding to work in an environment where the majority of students, no matter what their background or academic ability, set high academic and non-academic goals for themselves and work enthusiastically and diligently to achieve them. One of the biggest challenges of being a teacher is keeping up with how much students want to find out from you and the pace at which they want to do it. It is also important for me as a social scientist to be able to contribute to the understanding that St Cuthbert’s students have of the diversity of New Zealand society given the fact that so many of them will go on to hold influential positions in our society. The level at which I can engage with my students about historical and social issues and their capacity to take these ideas on board, adapt them to fit their core beliefs and then go on to do something useful with them always amazes me. After a number of years teaching in this environment it is still surprising and satisfying to be able to discuss and debate issues with the girls as if they were twice their age and engage in entertaining banter with them as if I was at least half mine.

THE RURAL SCHOOL OLIVIA YATES Teaching at a rural school is one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had. It’s fantastic! The students are amazing, all down to earth and willing to get involved with everything they can. It’s like a big family really. The community all come together and help out with everything and anything and are extremely supportive. When you have supportive parents and families it makes the teaching easier. The students are all involved with


their own learning and it’s a really awesome thing to be a part of. Professionally it’s great too. We only have five staff and the benefit of this is that you get to know everyone’s strengths really fast so that you know who the best person is to ask for advice from for different areas. One positive aspect that has come from my first few weeks is that working as a team is essential, especially in a small rural school; everyone needs to do all that they can to work together for the needs of the students. I applied for a huge amount of jobs in all areas of the North Island so I was open to teaching at any school in any area. However teaching in a rural school has always been a dream of mine. It’s what I set out to originally do and was confirmed after my first practicum at Walton Primary. I loved the tight knit feel where you have the opportunity to not know just your class but the whole school and I believe that’s a huge benefit of rural schooling. In saying this, I also loved my opportunities working in city schools and I would definitely love to teach there again. I want to have the experience of teaching in all types of schooling: private and public, rural and city. I believe it will make me a better teacher. So far my experience has changed a bit from what I expected when I was studying. When I began my study I always knew it was going to be hard work and each teaching practicum I undertook was a great experience of what was to come. However I didn’t realise the stress you take on when it’s actually your own class. You don’t just walk in the door at 8am and leave at 3pm; it’s more than that. The harsh reality is that as a teacher you are going to work hard and that has definitely been set in stone. You have to be prepared for the late nights and the early mornings but when you see those students succeed it makes up for all of those sleepless nights you spent planning. I’d have to say what I enjoy the most is the whole experience. It’s my first ‘real’ job and I’m still in the honeymoon phase. The kids are amazing and I’m extremely lucky to have such a supportive community to guide me. The most challenging thing would be having to fit so much in a day and also having to change lessons in an instant because things just may not work or something else could pop up. It’s all been such an amazing learning experience and I’m so excited about what this year still has to bring.

THE MODEL SCHOOL JENNY AUSTIN AND BRIGID CONAGLEN, COPRINCIPALS, CLIFTON TERRACE MODEL SCHOOL Clifton Terrace Model School (CTMS) is a, small, full primary school (Years 1-8) situated about a 10-minute walk to the Wellington central business district. The size of the school means that pupils are known throughout the school, and the teachers are resourced to ensure every pupil receives an education focused on quality. The staff strives to be innovative, versatile and successful in all that they do, from the warm, welcoming environment, to the teaching and learning approaches and the family and wider community partnerships. CTMS is one of the only primary schools in New Zealand that runs a Co-Principal model. Being teaching Co-Principals, we are hands-on and are able to initiate management decisions and respond effectively to student learning needs and wider school community opportunities. Our shared decision making and shared management are fundamental philosophies of our school. Aligning with these philosophies fosters an environment of teamwork and collaboration, a learning environment that values, encourages and celebrates innovation. This approach extends to the students where they are involved in making decisions about their learning, their environment and future goals. To support this collaborative decision making model that drives the school philosophy, the staff and students work collaboratively on developing a ‘School Agreement’ that guides the school’s thinking, decision making processes and actions throughout the year. This Agreement is fundamental to the operation of our school. Another key operational structure of the school is the integrated principles and values of ‘whakawhaungatanga’. Being a small school, the values and practices of working as a wider whānau are deeply ingrained in the ethos of the school. We have embraced and embedded a number of Māori cultural values and practices. For example, whānau groupings and tuakana/teina working relationships operate regularly across the school in a number of curriculum areas. We have daily hui where students actively engage and contribute to the school’s daily agenda and provide feedback about the school’s activities. In addition to this, our Te Reo Māori curriculum is further supported by weekly Kapa Haka lessons for each home group. At CTMS students are encouraged to realise their own intellectual, social, physical and

creative potential. Students are supported to take responsibility for their own behaviour and learning. Inquiry learning places a focus on developing selfconfidence, leadership and group co-operation skills. Much of the learning takes advantage of what Wellington city has to offer and there is an emphasis on integration of the curriculum through the arts particularly in waiata, visual arts and dance. Students have regular access to unique and stimulating learning opportunities beyond the classroom, responding to their interest and topical issues. This unique approach to learning provides further opportunities for the Year 7 and 8 students, who are extended in their learning and their responsibilities as learners through completing a series of independent activities in Wellington city. Once they have demonstrated a high level of independence and competence they achieve their ‘Year 7 and 8 City Passport’. The City Passport allows them to independently access city resources and programmes to support their learning. We hold clear aspirations for our Year 8 students and believe through our community based programmes, and access to high quality learning experiences within authentic learning contexts, we provide them with the necessary tools to prepare them well for secondary school. To develop a wide learning base of school programmes and learning opportunities, the school works in partnership with the local Wellington community. People from the wider community are regularly invited into the school to share their knowledge and expertise. Further to this, the personal experiences and expertise of individuals or group members strongly support the school’s programmes. For example, we place strong value on environmental education and developing sustainable practices in our school environment. We therefore, regularly engage community members from the Wellington City Council, or community groups such as, ‘Sustainable Coastlines’ to speak with our students about the reality of situations and their place as students and as community members in helping to create solutions to wider community issues. The school’s commitment to environmental education, is also evident in its participation in the ‘Schoolgen’and ‘Enviroschool’s’ programmes. Being a small school has its challenges. However, working within the framework of our school’s philosophy, the challenges and rewards are shared through the support of a team of hard working staff, Board of Trustees and community. n

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/educationreview2013 For many years, Education Review has been serving the New Zealand education sector as its main news source. In more recent years, Education Review has been known for its in-depth analysis of the issues. Now is your chance to tell us how we can best serve you in the future. Complete the Education Review reader survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/EducationReview2013 or go to the back of this issue to find the form. By spending just a few minutes giving us your feedback about Education Review, you will go into the draw to win a fabulous reading prize pack valued at $300. The prize pack includes: »» Michael Cooper’s Buyers Guide to New Zealand Wines 2013 »» Quotable New Quotes »» The Ultimate Vegetarian Collection »» Touchstones: A Memoir »» Dear Heart »» The 20th Century in Poetry

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SECONDARY EDUCATION

A new report on New Zealand’s secondary schools provides many useful insights into current issues for teachers and schools, writes New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) chief researcher CATHY WYLIE.

CURRENT CHALLENGES IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS E

very three years NZCER takes the pulse of secondary schools with a wide-ranging survey of principals, teachers, parents and board of trustees members. It is part of the national survey series we’ve conducted since 1989 to track issues and trends across the education system. In 2012 our survey drew on responses from more than half the country’s secondary school principals (55 percent - 177 in total), from more than 1200 teachers and close to 1500 parents, and 290 members of boards of trustees. The survey was carried out in July and August 2012 – before schools were hit by the Novopay problems. So how are our secondary schools doing? There are many positives in the survey data, but some of the concerns we have tracked over the years remain and in some cases have worsened, in particular funding levels, workload, competition between schools, support for schools and teachers, and access to reliable technology. Decile 1 and 2 schools stood out in the survey as having the biggest challenges with funding, student achievement, behaviour and motivation, and keeping and attracting good teachers. Funding – or its perceived inadequacy – has always been a theme in our surveys but if anything the financial squeeze on secondary schools has got tighter. Two-thirds of principals reported that their school was in a worse financial position in 2012 than in 2011. Reasons included increased fixed costs, the introduction of new roll-based funding every quarter instead of just on March rolls and declining income from sources such as international students and parental fees. More than half the principals were concerned about the adequacy of their information technology and Internet access. Teachers were

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enthusiastic about the potential for IT for student learning but more than half said use of IT in classrooms was curtailed by slow or unreliable equipment or access. We found that principal and teacher morale had slipped since 2009. While most secondary principals and teachers enjoy their jobs, many describe their workload as too high. Thirty-seven percent of teachers felt their high workload meant they could not do justice to all their students. Workload associated with NCEA also remains an issue – more so than in 2009. Most views about NCEA were positive, but most think assessment is driving the curriculum, even in Years 9 and 10. There are signs too that the greater emphasis on assessment, with its workload, is making it harder to put new ideas into practice. Parent views of their child’s schooling experience have remained good (81 percent are generally happy), and in some aspects have improved, such as their view that their child receives clear feedback about their work, and that the cultural identity of their child is recognised and respected. They’re more positive about the information they get about their child’s learning progress than they were in 2009. But just under half the parents would like more information about this. Parents were less satisfied about the quality of information they got from their school about qualifications and how they link with future options.

COMPETITION AND COLLABORATION We were interested in exploring issues of competition and collaboration between schools.

EDUCATION REVIEWseries PostGrad – Schools of Education 2013

This is a strong theme in another project I’ve recently completed, an analysis of the two plus decades since the Tomorrow’s Schools reforms. Published in a book calledVital Connections, my findings underline the need for much stronger connections between schools and a more connected system of support to build an effective learning culture and tackle gaps in student achievement. This has been a real shortcoming of our system and it is highlighted again in the responses to our 2012 survey. Eighty percent of secondary principals see their school directly competing with other schools for students. Some see themselves competing with just a few schools, but the range reaches 21, with a median of around five other schools in direct competition. All but three percent of the 61 per cent of schools with enrolment schemes draw students from outside their enrolment zone, with 41 per cent of these schools gaining more than 20 per cent of their rolls from outside their enrolment zone. There is evidence from the survey that low-decile schools are losing out in terms of overall roll numbers, and students with high aspirations. What do schools do to attract students? School actions to encourage students to enrol include attention to the quality of the programme, options for study, and a safe environment. High-decile schools are most likely to offer enrichment programmes for high-achieving students. Schools publicise their NCEA results, especially to feeder schools, and use local newspapers. They also pay attention to the look of their buildings and grounds. A quarter of the principals think they spend more on marketing the school than they would


like and 10 percent say that they spend more on property than they would like, to encourage enrolments. Though most principals are interested in working relations with other schools, only half report some sharing of resources, professional development and information about individual students. A fifth remain part of voluntary school clusters, which no longer receive Ministry of Education funding, and there is some interschool visiting to learn from one another or acting as critical friends for other principals. Schools do work together more now to place students who are having difficulty in one school into another (41 per cent, a marked increase from 28 per cent in 2009). However, fewer schools work together to reduce truancy (33 per cent compared with 44 per cent in 2009). Most liaise with local primary schools or intermediate schools in relation to student transition to secondary school. Most principals (85 percent) are interested in establishing new or additional working relations with other local schools. These relations are particularly valuable to share professional development and provide one another with professional support, to learn how other schools are tackling common issues, to explore curriculum areas where the school wants to change its practice, and to offer more subjects. Principals also see benefits in sharing

specialist facilities and equipment, collectively having a stronger voice with social agencies, and developing the potential to gain access to new funding sources through applying as a group. Teachers would welcome the opportunity to learn from colleagues in other schools but only 32 percent have such opportunities. They would also like more customised advice and support from outside their school. Only 37 per cent can easily access helpful specialist advice outside the school when they need it.

SCHOOL LEADERSHIP More secondary teachers show interest in becoming principals than in 2009. More principals now feel they can schedule enough time for educational leadership, though the overall proportions are still low: 28 per cent. But like teachers, current principals are less positive now about the support they receive for their role, both within and without the school. The stand-alone nature of our schools has a cost for principals as well, with the absence of career opportunities beyond the principalship. Just over half would like such career opportunities. A clear message in the survey is the multidimensional nature of school leadership. We asked principals to identify their achievements over the last three years. Student achievement features prominently, including 71 percent who note Māori student performance levels improving or staying high. School processes that support

student achievement—such as a more focused approach to pedagogy and the use of student assessment data to plan learning—are also areas in which two-thirds of the principals can see progress. There is an emphasis on developing strong school cultures. Between 50 and 60 per cent of principals talk about developing a stronger professional learning and inquiry culture and more leadership roles for teachers; developing student leadership roles and increasing student choices and ability to feed into decisions; retaining or building a strengths-based culture, and one which is inclusive of students with special needs. 57 percent of the principals think the overall quality of their teachers has remained high or improved since 2009. This is the most up to date information we have about what secondary principals and teachers are thinking and experiencing, as well as the perspectives of parents and boards of trustees. There are encouraging signs of shifts in secondary school approaches to learning and student engagement, but also warning signs about tensions that may be hard to address in our current system. n For more detail on the 2012 secondary survey results, see Wylie, C. (2013). Secondary schools in 2012. Main findings from the NZCER national survey. Wellington: NZCER. www.nzcer.org.nz/research/publications/ secondary-schools-2012

Go further. Postgraduate studies in education. Postgraduate study at the University of Waikato, Faculty of Education opens your eyes to new ways of looking and thinking about people and the world. Our staff are leaders in their field and contribute to national and international research, while our graduates are sought after around the world. Explore your area of interest and enhance your practice through a 180-point masters or a doctoral degree. Bold Ideas. Smart People. Unlimited Ambition. Whakaaro Pūkenga. Hinengaro Koi. Pitomata Mutunga Kore.

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(from left) Deon Blackburn, Aaron MacDonald, deputy principal Steven Samuela and Sione Salu.

GETTING A SECOND CHANCE As MIT’s School of Secondary Tertiary Studies’ foundation students leave the nest with their NCEA qualifications in tow, Education Review looks at the difference MIT is making in giving students for whom mainstream secondary schooling has not worked, a second chance.

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T

here has always been a tendency to blame. Whether it is the system, the parents, the Government, the individual, we have become adept at pointing the finger. Fortunately, there appears to be an increasing emphasis on rectifying the situation. For whatever reason, Rickee Te Wini McQuoid didn’t gel with high school. He missed five years of formal schooling, until one day, aged 17, it dawned on him that he’d closed off many potential avenues for himself. He realised that without a school qualification, he wouldn’t be able to enter a tertiary institution and pursue the sort of career he wanted. There has been much preoccupation with why the system is failing students like McQuoid, and certainly, we need to keep striving for student engagement; however, while the search for answers continues, many who have slipped through the cracks, will inevitably keep slipping. Fortunately, McQuoid’s quest for a second chance coincided with the opening of Manukau Institute of Technology’s School of Secondary Tertiary Studies. In 2010, he became one of the school’s foundation students. After two and a half years of study, McQuoid graduated from the school with the successful completion of NCEA levels 1 to 3. He is now studying towards a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Auckland and aims to cross-credit his papers into a law degree, which he intends to begin in 2014.

EDUCATION REVIEWseries PostGrad – Schools of Education 2013

A high school dropout’s journey to becoming a lawyer is nothing short of inspiring. Also known as Tertiary High School, MIT’s School of Secondary Tertiary Studies is the first school of its kind in New Zealand. Students, like McQuoid, who struggled with the mainstream secondary school environment, can study towards NCEA, just as they would at secondary school, while making a start towards tertiary qualifications for trades and careers at the same time. And, astonishingly, its free ─ even the tertiary qualification component. While McQuoid makes a good poster boy for the school, he is one of many. Sione Salu was a Tertiary High School foundation student and completed his third and final year last year. This year, he will embark on a two year Diploma in Architecture, and eventually he wishes to study for his Bachelors degree. Deon Blackburn, after struggling at secondary school, enrolled at Tertiary High School. Following a year of study, he has enrolled in a Certificate in Motorsport and plans a career as a mechanic. Similarly, Aaron MacDonald was on the verge of being excluded from his high school, before he enrolled at Tertiary High School. He will leave the school this year to study towards a Certificate in Sport and Recreatio, with the aim of becoming a personal trainer. There are many reasons why secondary school didn’t work for these four individuals. Salu says at mainstream school he didn’t have a good relationship with the teachers and found it difficult being constantly told what to do.


SECONDARY EDUCATION

“Here we have more freedom and trust. There is no uniform, we can leave campus at lunchtime and we are trusted to get back to class on time. If we don’t, there are consequences, but we are not treated like kids,” he says. Blackburn agrees. “They treat us like we are adults. The teachers really care about what happens to us. I stopped mucking around and started thinking about where I want to end up,” he says. The individuals should certainly be praised for their tenacity in overcoming the path which they’d already started to set for themselves. However, it is clear that much credit should also go to the staff. Tertiary High School Deputy Principal Steve Samuela says mainstream education does not work for everyone. “We offer the students a lot of support. We work with them closely to see where their interests lie and what we can do to help them achieve their goals,” he says. The school promises a high level of academic advice and pastoral support, including study and learning support, career and course advice, and a health and counselling service. Students study the core subjects, just as they would at secondary school, and with an emphasis on literacy, digital literacy and numeracy skills, and gaining credits from the NZQA framework. On the tertiary side, there will be the opportunity to study MIT elective courses in areas such as early childhood education, horticulture and nursing. Classes are small, with a ratio of around 15 - 20 students to every teacher, meaning there is more one on one time with staff. Reflecting on starting the course, McQuoid, now 19, says, “After so long away from school the first couple of weeks were terrifying. But the teachers were always hands on and it was almost like having a private tutor.” Although some may wish to cut ties with their old high school in pursuit of a fresh start, others may wish to keep in contact and take part in activities as if they were still there. Students are dual enrolled at MIT and their secondary school to allow this. The link with secondary schools is an important one. Tertiary High School is generally for students in the Counties-Manukau area, who have been nominated by their secondary school Principal. Students are typically selected from Year 10 or Year 11 of secondary school and enter the programme in Year 11 or Year 12. As a bridge to tertiary education, the school also maintains links with other tertiary institutions. A student is typically enrolled in the school for four years, at the end of which time, he or she will emerge with a qualification to start a career. Principal Michelle Hards says a strand that is emerging is where students want to continue their NCEA studies in order to achieve University Entrance, which will enable them to enter degree programmes. “Many students use staircasing opportunities

Rickee Te Wini McQuoid.

“After so long away from school the first couple of weeks were terrifying. But the teachers were always hands on and it was almost like having a private tutor.” and move through Certificate and Diploma courses to reach degree level study,” she says. Each student’s pathway is developed through careful consultation with their staff mentors and captured in individual education plans. The school isn’t without its challenges, however. Michelle Hards says it can sometimes be difficult getting students to re-engage with learning, particularly with students who have filled the void of mainstream education with other activities that work against achievement at school. Hards says part of re-engaging with learning is reflecting on this and actively disengaging from any external activity that is not supporting being successful at school. This process is a focus of the school’s mentoring programmes, along with goal setting and creating individual career and achievement pathways for each student. There is a strong emphasis on the individual and Hards emphasises that re-engagement with education is multi-layered and tailored to each student. At Tertiary High School, the first term is generally focused on task completion, getting through frustrations and finding processes to cope. The students are monitored very closely in the first two terms and there is extra help available to assist with this initial difficult period. “Some of our students have difficulty completing complex tasks, because they haven’t done so before,” says Hards. “We have high expectations of all students. We work towards 20 credits per term, and monitor progress throughout. Because we have supervised study/ tutoring built into our programme, students

who fall behind receive extra time with teachers to assist catch-up. We do not compromise on student success.” Hards says the school starts with the assumption that students will be successful then looks at what supports have to be put in place to achieve that. “Over the last three years we have been building these supports, both in the classroom and across the school and have adopted a culturally responsive pedagogy. We have developed a sense of community and belonging, through the creation of strong relationships with students and their families, based around a shared commitment to student success.” Inevitably a small number drop out of Tertiary High School each year; some return to their original high schools, or go on to employment or other educational providers, and there are a very few whom the school “lose” completely. “These are the students who are very far along the disengagement process and usually don’t have any family support. In these circumstances we try to find other outside agencies to help the student,” says Hards. Dropping out is not straightforward and Hards says the school pursues each student at length, even if they have stopped attending classes. Indeed it appears almost impossible for a student to “fall through the cracks” at Tertiary High School, such is the individual attention granted each student. Each student meets for three hours a week with their academic mentor, who, in conjunction with the school leaders, helps to provide pastoral care for the student as well. Families, along with members of the wider community, are involved in the process from the outset, helping the students develop skills like resilience and decision making. Ultimately, though, students take responsibility for themselves, which perhaps explains the strong sense of accomplishment felt by those who have overcome whatever hurdles they were facing in mainstream education to “make it” against the odds. n

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EDUCATION MODELS

NCEA BEHIND BARS T

A new initiative between Corrections and the Open Polytechnic is hoped to reduce crime through education.

he Government is aiming to reduce reoffending by 25 per cent by 2017. That’s 18,500 fewer victims of crime each year. Sounds like a lot in a short time. Where to begin? As it transpires, the work is already well underway. The Department of Corrections already places a strong emphasis on reducing re-offending through education and training in prisons. Corrections Minister Anne Tolley confirms that 3000 prisoners were involved in education programmes last year and huge investments have been made in drug and alcohol programmes and training opportunities for offenders. However, Corrections’ latest initiative will help take this one step further. Corrections have partnered with Open Polytechnic to provide Get Ahead with NCEA, an education programme which will help prisoners achieve NCEA qualifications over the next two years. Under the programme offenders will receive two hours of coaching a week on top of six to eight hours of self-directed distance learning, and will be able to study for an Open Polytechnic Certificate in Career and Self Development, a National Certificate in Employment Skills, a Certificate in Work and Life Skills, in addition to NCEA Levels 1 and 2. The mixed model delivery method was chosen strategically. “The materials are designed so students can complete the content on their own, but our community experience has shown that many learners at Levels 1 and 2 have not succeeded previously in any

educational environment, therefore support from the mentor/coach is just as much about building the students’ confidence so they become an independent learner, as it is supporting the student through the learning materials,” says Leanne Rate, communications manager for Open Polytechnic. It is expected that approximately 2000 prisoners will be enrolled in the programme. Students were recruited to start in the 2nd and 3rd weeks of February this year. A second and third student cohort will start training in April and June. The programme is the result of discussions between Corrections’ staff and senior Open Polytechnic managers last year, about how the two organisations could work collaboratively to improve the education outcomes of individuals within the care of the Department of Corrections, both within facilities and as they transition into the community. Open Polytechnic’s Get Ahead programmes were a good fit. The polytechnic has successfully delivered such programmes through other community organisations. “Our Get Ahead programmes have helped a lot of people develop work and life skills and the increased selfconfidence that comes from having those skills,” says chief executive Dr Caroline Seelig. Open Polytechnic itself is wellsuited to partnering with the Corrections programme, given its specialism in flexible learning and experience in working with community, education and industry providers. It has worked with

PRISONER EDUCATION AT THE LOCAL LEVEL

a number of Industry Training Organisations, and recently with several financial institutions in supplying financial adviser training to meet the requirements of new Government regulations. However, while the institution has had a role in educating some offenders in the past, the new partnership with Corrections suggests a much bigger step in the direction of prisoner education. “We’re really excited about this partnership between our organisations and the potential to make a real difference through our collaboration,” says Seelig. “Our goal is to empower them with new skills that will benefit themselves and their families, and the communities they will reintegrate into when they are released.” The programme delivered in partnership with Corrections will contribute to 18 of the 28 performance commitments Open Polytechnic has made to Tertiary Education Commission for 2013. These include a focus on enhancing transitions for learners from Level 1 and 2 through to higher level qualifications. The benefits of educating prisoners are not unknown. Research shows that education plays a big part in reducing recidivism – the rate at which prisoners commit new crimes leading to re-arrest or reincarceration. A 2012 five year follow-up study led by John Nally, director of education for the Indiana Department of Correction, confirmed that unemployment levels among released offenders are higher than other members of society, due to inadequate education and job skills. It also confirmed that recidivist offenders are often unemployed or under-educated, and, most significantly, that education is an

important element for re-entry into society. Celia Chazelle, co-founder of The College of New Jersey’s Center for Prison Outreach and Education, says that of the inmates who eventually return to society, those who receive educational programming behind bars are more likely to find jobs and do without government assistance. Although much of the research on educating prisoners is based in the United States, the findings reflect what is happening in New Zealand prisons. Eighty per cent of offenders in the care of Corrections have no secondary or tertiary qualification; 84 per cent left school at or before 16 years of age. As a result of this, there are a large number of offenders who lack basic literacy and numeracy skills which affects their ability to gain employment, or to participate in their own rehabilitation. “We know that a lack of education is a major driver of crime,” says Minister Tolley. “The reality is that around 90 per cent of prisoners can’t read or write properly. Most will be released back into our communities, but while they are inside prison they are the ultimate captive audience. “If we can give them access to an education while inside the wire, or just after release into the community, they can learn literacy and numeracy skills and earn qualifications, which will help them hold down jobs and make a positive contribution to society, instead of returning to crime.” n

WHILE THE OPEN POLYTECHNIC’S partnership with Corrections is national in its scope, Otago Polytechnic’s arrangement with the Otago Corrections Facility is a good example of prisoner education operating at a local level. Otago Polytechnic is contracted to provide teaching of computer and business administration skills to offenders. Programmes are delivered in a classroom in the programmes area of the Otago Corrections Facility with a maximum of 10 students per class. “I’m the only non-prisoner in attendance,” says Garry Patterson, a computing lecturer who leads the classes at the facility. Patterson says the expectation is that prisoners will gain skills that they often failed to do at school that will assist them on the outside. The polytechnic has recently changed how it operates its prison programme, due to issues around non-completion. Prisoners were released or sent to other prisons, which had a major impact on completions. As a result, the focus is more on gaining skills than actual qualifications. Patterson says it is very rewarding seeing offenders achieve. “A lot of these guys have had little or no education or positive achievements in their lives and it’s a real pleasure to see how they react when they pass their first assessment. They display real pride and they obviously feel good about it which must flow on. A man who has learnt new things and skills will always feel good about that and this can flow on to having a go at a job he wouldn’t have dared to before and perhaps not turn to crime which is the easy option. I’ve seen a few former students working around town.” 24

EDUCATION REVIEWseries PostGrad – Schools of Education 2013


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How many years of teaching experience do you have? 0–2 years 2–5 years 5–10 years 10–20 years 20+ years What is your highest level of education? Certificate/Diploma Bachelor degree Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma Master’s degree Doctorate Other (please specify) What is your annual income? Under $30k $30–50k $50–80k $80–$100k $100k+ How do you look for work in the education sector? Education Review magazine Education Review website Newspapers TradeMe website Seek website Other (specify) ................................................................................................. .......................................

How many conferences do you attend each year? None One Two Three Four or more Which peak body best represents you? New Zealand Teachers Council New Zealand Educational Institute Post Primary Teachers’ Association New Zealand Principals’ Federation Secondary Principals’ Association of New Zealand School Trustees Association Other (specify) .....................................................................................................................................

Do you have any other comments? ................................................................................................. ....................................... ................................................................................................. ....................................... ................................................................................................. ....................................... ................................................................................................. .......................................

WORKING IN THE SECTOR Do you believe you are paid appropriately for your skills and experience? Yes No What do you believe is the appropriate number of students in the classroom (primary and secondary classes)? 1-10 11-15 16-20 21-25 26-30 More than 30

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Rest assured that your information remains confidential and will not be given to any third party. To enter the prize draw, write your details below and send your survey marked ‘Education Review' reader survey’ to: Post: Box 200 Wellington 6140 Fax: 04 471 1080 Email: editor@educationreview.co.nz

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TAKE THE SURVEY ONLINE: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/educationreview2013


Artist Jess Paraone / Master of Fine Arts graduate Liminal Series 1 2012 Slip cast porcelain slabs, raku clay coloured with black stain, fired to 1260째C

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Education Review series  

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