Page 1

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

Part of the

Teach International

2013 / www.educationreview.co.nz

HOME TWEET HOME KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH NZ THE REAL COST OF OVERSEAS SCHOOL TRIPS

AGENCY ANSWERS

WHAT ARE THEY LOOKING FOR?

MORE STORIES ON www.educationreview.co.nz

SUPER SABBATICALS

TIME OFF TO LEARN Part of the

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

&Leadership Professional Development 2012 / www.educationreview.co.nz / $10.95

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

WALKING THE TALK

IN SPECIAL EDUCATION

PD FOR BOTS: ONE BOARD’S EXPERIENCE

LEADERS ARGUE PRIORITIES FOR

Part of the

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

NEW ZEALAND EDUCATION & Postgrad Research 2012 / www.educationreview.co.nz

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:

UNIQUELY NEW ZEALAND RESEARCH

Part of the

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

JUGGLING THE MBA WITH THE JOB

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

ICT&

2013 // www.educationreview.co.nz

Procurement A BILLION DOLLARS:

BEHIND THE CHRISTCHURCH EDUCATION SPEND

PLAYgROUNDS, TURfS, AND COMPUTERS:

WHAT SCHOOLS ARE BUYING

TWITTER AND THE THESIS RBI: THE LONG COUNTRY ROAD TO BROADBAND

iPADS:

DO THEY HAvE A PLACE IN ECE?

Education

>> NZ Teacher >> PostGrad – Schools of Education >> Teach International >> PostGrad & Research >> ICT & Procurement

>> Education in Review >> NZ Teacher >> PostGrad – Schools of Education >> Teach International >> Leadership & PD

ITCHY FEET?

OPTIONS FOR TEACHING ABROAD

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


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

Part of the

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

Part of the

RT: LIT SERVICE

Part of the

2013 / www.educationreview.co.nz

Part of the

2012/ www.educationreview.co.nz

IN EDUCATION

A CLOSER LOOK AT

RUDOLF STEINER EDUCATION

GENDER DIVIDE:

MEN IN ECE

NCEA VS OTHER SYSTEMS THE DOWNSIDE OF PICKING SIDES

a closer look at

rudolf steiner educAtion

>> PostGrad – Schools of Education >> Teach International >> Leadership & PD >> PostGrad & Research >> ICT & Procurement

rAising boys’ Achievement EDUCATION REVIEWseries

Schools of Education

INEQUALITY

Part of the

PostGrad

THE STARPATH PROJECT ADDRESSING

International

Kiwi teAchers AbroAd tell it liKe it is

Focus on second languages

leAgue tAbles:

leArning from internAtionAl experience

New Zealand

pAthwAy of the poor?

Vocational education under scrutiny

series

of the >> Leadership & PD >> Postgrad & Research >> ICT &Part Procurement >> Education in Review >> NZ Teacher

Part of the

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

MEN IN ECE

>> Leadership & PD >> Teach International >> PostGrad & Research >> ICT & Procurement >> Education in Review

Teach 2013 / www.educationreview.co.nz

NCEA VS OTHER SYSTEMS THE DOWNSIDE OF PICKING SIDES

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

Teach

2012 / www.educationreview.co.nz

International

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

series

&Leadership Professional Development 2013 / www.educationreview.co.nz / $10.95

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

WALKING THE TALK

IN SPECIAL EDUCATION

PD FOR BOTS: ONE BOARD’S EXPERIENCE

LEADERS ARGUE PRIORITIES FOR

NEW ZEALAND EDUCATION

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

of the >> Leadership & PD >> Postgrad & Research >> ICT Part & Procurement >> Education in Review >> NZ Teacher

EDUCATION REVIEWseries CHARTER SCHOOLS The DebaTe Rages

BULLYING

RAISING BOYS’ ACHIEVEMENT

>> Leadership & PD >> Teach International >> PostGrad & Research >> ICT & Procurement >> Education in Review

se-

of the >> Leadership & PD >> Postgrad & Research >> ICT &Part Procurement >> Education in Review >> NZ Teacher

aRe we failing ouR kiDs?

hekia’s hoPes foR new ZealanD eDucaTion

Teach International >> Leadership & PD >> Postgrad & Research >> ICT & Procurement >> Education in Review

& Postgrad Research

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

>> PostGrad – Schools of Education >> Teach International >> Leadership & PD >> PostGrad & Research >> ICT & Procurement

>> Teach International >> Leadership & PD >> PostGrad & Research >> ICT & Procurement >> Education in Review

INSIDE:

THE EDUCATION REVIEW SERIES IS SEVEN HIGH-QUALITY, SEPARATE, SUBJECT-SPECIFIC TITLES PROVIDING A VALUABLE RESOURCE FOR EDUCATORS, MANAGERS AND EDUCATION PROFESSIONALS.

HOME

SEARCH

ABOUT US ADVERTISE RECRUITMENT SUBSCRIBE CONTACT

EDUCATION REVIEWseries Schools of Education

men in ece

2013/ www.educationreview.co.nz

inequality in educAtion

a closer look at

next

rudolf steiner educAtion

Teach

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

& Postgrad Research

AND THE DAIRY INDUSTRY:

UNIQUELY NEW ZEALAND RESEARCH

TWITTER AND THE THESIS

JUGGLING THE MBA WITH THE JOB

RBI: THE LONG COUNTRY ROAD TO BROADBAND

Part of the

2012 / www.educationreview.co.nz

PLAYGROUNDS, TURFS, AND COMPUTERS:

WHAT SCHOOLS ARE BUYING

POSTGRADUATES REVOLT OVER STUDENT ALLOWANCE CHANGES

KIWI, KIWIFRUIT,

iPADS:

DO THEY HAVE A PLACE IN ECE? &Leadership Professional Development

ICT&

2013 // www.educationreview.co.nz

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

BOOSTING R&D: CAN THE ‘SUPER MINISTRY’ DO IT? DOES A MASTER’S MEAN MORE MONEY?

KIWI, KIWIFRUIT,

Procurement

Education in Review 2013 // www.educationreview.co.nz

NZTeacher

EDUCATION SUPERSTAR: WHAT’S THE FUSS ABOUT FINLAND?

WALKING THE TALK

IN SPECIAL EDUCATION

UNIQUELY NEW ZEALAND RESEARCH

JUGGLING THE MBA WITH THE JOB

PD FOR BOTS: ONE BOARD’S EXPERIENCE

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

KIWI TEACHERS ABROAD TELL IT LIKE IT IS

FOCUS ON SECOND LANGUAGES

Education in Review

A BILLION DOLLARS:

BEHIND THE CHRISTCHURCH EDUCATION SPEND

DOES A MASTER’S MEAN MORE MONEY?

PATHWAY OF THE POOR?

VOCATIONAL EDUCATION UNDER SCRUTINY

AND THE DAIRY INDUSTRY:

International

2012 / www.educationreview.co.nz

LEAGUE TABLES:

POSTGRADUATES REVOLT OVER STUDENT ALLOWANCE CHANGES

Teach

2012 / www.educationreview.co.nz

A BILLION DOLLARS:

BEHIND THE CHRISTCHURCH EDUCATION SPEND

PLAYgROUNDS, TURfS, AND COMPUTERS:

LEADERS ARGUE PRIORITIES FOR

NEW ZEALAND EDUCATION

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

LEAGUE TABLES:

LEARNING FROM INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE

>> Leadership & PD >> Teach International >> PostGrad & Research >> ICT & Procurement >> Education in Review

ICT&

Procurement

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

FOCUS ON SECOND LANGUAGES

LEARNING FROM INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE

LEADERS ARGUE PRIORITIES FOR

NEW ZEALAND EDUCATION EDUCATION REVIEW

NCEA BEHIND BARS

nceA vs other systems tHe doWnside oF PickinG sides

EDUCATION REVIEW

gendeR dIVIde:

PostGrad the stArpAth project Addressing

rAising boys’ Achievement

NZ Teacher

2012 / www.educationreview.co.nz

KIWI TEACHERS ABROAD TELL IT LIKE IT IS

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

WALKING THE TALK

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

International

Part of the

& Teach Postgrad Research

2012 / www.educationreview.co.nz

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

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

IN SPECIAL EDUCATION

PD FOR BOTS: ONE BOARD’S EXPERIENCE

THELATEST SUPPLY OF NEW TEACHERS

EDUCATION REVIEW

rt: lit service

EDUCATION REVIEW

Part of the

&Leadership Professional Development

NAVIGATING THE SYSTEM:

SELECTION ONTO ITE PROGRAMMES

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

FEAST OR FAMINE:ISSUE

sPotliGHt on tHe

salisBury decision: the impAct on speciAl educAtion

EDUCATION REVIEW

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

Part of the

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

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

Schools of Education

Part of the

PostGrad

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

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

Part of the

NZTeacher

education suPerstar: whAt’s the fuss About finlAnd?

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

Part of the

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

Breadcrumbs/jbvbvnmbxnv/nbcnxvbnzxv

WHAT SCHOOLS ARE BUYING

TWITTER AND THE THESIS

SPOTLIGHT ON THE

RT: LIT SERVICE

SALISBURY DECISION: THE IMPACT ON SPECIAL EDUCATION

RBI: THE LONG COUNTRY ROAD TO BROADBAND

iPADS:

DO THEY HAvE A PLACE IN ECE?

PATHWAY OF THE POOR?

VOCATIONAL EDUCATION UNDER SCRUTINY

>> Education in Review >> NZ Teacher >> PostGrad – Schools of Education >> Teach International >> Leadership & PD

Teacher

>> NZ Teacher >> PostGrad – Schools of Education >> Teach International >> PostGrad & Research >> ICT & Procurement

PostGrad

GENDER DIVIDE:

MEN IN ECE

NCEA VS OTHER SYSTEMS THE DOWNSIDE OF PICKING SIDES

>> PostGrad – Schools of Education >> Teach International >> Leadership & PD >> PostGrad & Research >> ICT & Procurement

series

of the >> Leadership & PD >> Postgrad & Research >> ICT Part & Procurement >> Education in Review >> NZ Teacher

NEXT

One of the beautiful traits of teaching is that it is a profession needed and valued throughout the world. Whether it is putting your skills to work in an isolated Ghanaian gated compound as Tracy Olorenshaw is doing, or teaching second graders at an elementary school in North Carolina as Ula Lologa is doing, or taking a sabbatical to the UK as Jeanette Gibbs did, education is relevant wherever you go. That ‘kids are kids the world over’, appears to be another universal truth; these Kiwi teachers (all featured in the print or online versions of this issue) all reached this same conclusion. However, the means of teaching abroad are as many and varied as the potential destinations. In this issue we try to cover most bases, looking at the ins and outs of going through an international recruitment agency or a volunteer agency; applying for a scholarship, a place on a language immersion or teaching exchange programme or a sabbatical; or simply winging it on a working holiday. With many New Zealand teachers still struggling to find teaching jobs, now could be a good time to explore the possibilities of teaching abroad. However, of the teachers featured in this issue, most weren’t escaping a tough job market but rather seeking to broaden their horizons with new experiences. Regardless of their motivation, most are keen to keep in touch with what’s happening in education circles back home. We look at how social media with its forums, blogs, and chat capabilities have allowed teachers all over the world to connect with each other, keeping abreast of policy changes and curriculum developments ─ or simply the staff room gossip. Popular Twitter forum #edchatNZ has helped many far-flung Kiwi teachers to tune into what is happening back in New Zealand and also to share what they are learning in classrooms in other countries. It isn’t surprising that a spin-off student version of the Twitter forum has emerged. New initiatives to connect students from across the world are truly inspiring. A modern twist on the ‘letter in a bottle’ classroom experience, Skype in the Classroom is opening doors for many students and their teachers. In this issue, a teacher from Blockhouse Bay School in Auckland and a teacher from a school in Chicago give their candid accounts of how their classes met via Skype. For older students, the possibility to travel the world through overseas school trips is fast becoming an expectation for many. Hop online to read of the challenges of fundraising... Don’t miss our next issue, Leadership & Professional Development, in which we get a feel for how student leaders rate their educational experience in New Zealand, we talk to new principals about their journey to leadership, we look at pastoral care in schools, and we take a closer look at the Ministry’s favoured Positive Behaviour for Learning Programme.

>> NZ Teacher >> PostGrad – Schools of Education >> Teach International >> PostGrad & Research >> ICT & Procurement

NZTeacher

MORAL COMPASS

Teaching values in schools

PostGrad

Postgrad - Schools of Education

CLICK TO OPEN

Leadership & PD

Teach International

PostGrad & Research

ICT & Procurement

Education in Review

FEAST OR FAMINE: THE SUPPLY OF NEW TEACHERS

THE ISSUE AS A PDF Part of the

>> PostGrad – Schools of Education >> Teach International >> Leadership & PD >> PostGrad & Research >> ICT & Procurement

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

>> Education in Review >> NZ Teacher >> PostGrad – Schools of Education >> Teach International >> Leadership & PD

>> NZ Teacher >> PostGrad – Schools of Education >> Teach International >> PostGrad & Research >> ICT & Procurement

NZTeacher

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

>> Education in Review >> NZ Teacher >> PostGrad – Schools of Education >> Teach International >> Leadership & PD

NEXT

iPADS:

iPADS:

GENDER DIVIDE:

Part of the

2013/ www.educationreview.co.nz

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

Schools of Education

SPOTLIGHT ON THE

SALISBURY DECISION: THE IMPACT ON SPECIAL EDUCATION

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

>> NZ Teacher >> PostGrad – Schools of Education >> Teach International >> PostGrad & Research >> ICT & Procurement

>> Education in Review >> NZ Teacher >> PostGrad – Schools of Education >> Teach International >> Leadership & PD

Jude Barback, editor editor@educationreview.co.nz Follow us on Twitter: @EdReviewNZ

THE SUPPLY OF NEW TEACHERS

NEXT

Part of the

TwiTTer and The Thesis

Education in Review

TWITTER AND THE THESIS

DO THEY HAvE A PLACE IN ECE?

PostGrad

the stArpAth project in educAtion

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

Itchy feet

4

Politics, the world and teacher education

6

The dollar sign above every international student’s head

7

Exporting TechEd

8

Ghanaian experience: Getting out of the Kiwi comfort zone

9

From Wellington to Waxhaw: one Kiwi’s American dream

10

Skype in the classroom – connecting students to the world

12

Agency Answers

14

Leaping the red tape to London

16

Home, Tweet Home

18

Taking Kiwi culture to the world

20

What Tanzania taught the Kiwi teacher

21

Big wide world – but at what cost?

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

Read more

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

FEAST OR FAMINE:

THE SUPPLY OF NEW TEACHERS NCEA BEHIND BARS Part of the

PLAYgROUNDS, TURfS, AND COMPUTERS:

WHAT SCHOOLS ARE BUYING

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

inequality

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

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

A BILLION DOLLARS:

BEHIND THE CHRISTCHURCH EDUCATION SPEND

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

JUGGLING THE MBA WITH THE JOB

2013 // www.educationreview.co.nz

Education in Review

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

NZTeacher

EDUCATION SUPERSTAR: WHAT’S THE FUSS ABOUT FINLAND?

Playgrounds, turfs, and comPuters:

whaT schools are buying

UNIQUELY NEW ZEALAND RESEARCH

ICT&

Procurement

JUGGLING THE MBA WITH THE JOB

2013 // www.educationreview.co.nz

a billion dollars:

BEHIND THE CHRISTCHURCH EDUCATION SPEND

AND THE DAIRY INDUSTRY:

Part of the

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

UNIQUELY NEW ZEALAND RESEARCH

Education in Review

Addressing

BOOSTING R&D: CAN THE ‘SUPER MINISTRY’ DO IT? DOES A MASTER’S MEAN MORE MONEY?

POSTGRADUATES REVOLT OVER STUDENT ALLOWANCE CHANGES

Part of the

Part of the

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

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:

FEAST OR FAMINE: NCEA BEHIND BARS

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

2013 // www.educationreview.co.nz

Procurement

Part of the

Part of the

ICT&

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

2012 / www.educationreview.co.nz

RT: LIT SERVICE

iPADS:

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

Part of the

& Postgrad Research

HOW TO BEST PROVIDE FOR GIFTED STUDENTS

DO THEY HAVE A PLACE IN ECE?

KIWI, KIWIFRUIT,

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

LEADERS ARGUE PRIORITIES FOR

NEW ZEALAND EDUCATION

2012 / www.educationreview.co.nz

SALISBURY DECISION: THE IMPACT ON SPECIAL EDUCATION

LEADERS ARGUE PRIORITIES FOR

 ‘KIDS ARE KIDS THE WORLD OVER’ PD FOR BOTS: ONE BOARD’S EXPERIENCE

& Postgrad Research

ICT&

Procurement

SPOTLIGHT ON THE

RBI: THE LONG COUNTRY ROAD TO BROADBAND

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

WALKING THE TALK

IN SPECIAL EDUCATION

ITCHY FEET?

OPTIONS FOR TEACHING ABROAD

TWITTER AND THE THESIS

JUGGLING THE MBA WITH THE JOB

UNIQUELY NEW ZEALAND RESEARCH

NEW ZEALAND EDUCATION EDUCATION REVIEWseries

Part of the

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

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

AND THE DAIRY INDUSTRY:

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

WHAT ARE THEY LOOKING FOR?

SELECTION ONTO ITE PROGRAMMES

NEXT

AGENCY ANSWERS

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

ENRICHMENT OR ACCELERATION OR BOTH?

Part of the

PD FOR BOTS: ONE BOARD’S EXPERIENCE

Schools of Education

NAVIGATING THE SYSTEM:

PLAYGROUNDS, TURFS, AND COMPUTERS:

WHAT SCHOOLS ARE BUYING

KIWI, KIWIFRUIT,

IN SPECIAL EDUCATION

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

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

BEHIND THE CHRISTCHURCH EDUCATION SPEND

POSTGRADUATES REVOLT OVER STUDENT ALLOWANCE CHANGES

WALKING THE TALK

PostGrad

A BILLION DOLLARS:

BOOSTING R&D: CAN THE ‘SUPER MINISTRY’ DO IT? DOES A MASTER’S MEAN MORE MONEY?

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

SUPER SABBATICALS

TIME OFF TO LEARN

&Leadership Professional Development

2013 / www.educationreview.co.nz

EDUCATION SUPERSTAR: WHAT’S THE FUSS ABOUT FINLAND?

HOME TWEET HOME KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH NZ

THE REAL COST OF OVERSEAS SCHOOL TRIPS

2012 / www.educationreview.co.nz

Part of the

2012 / www.educationreview.co.nz

Part of the

2012 / www.educationreview.co.nz

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

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

Part of the

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

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

2013 / www.educationreview.co.nz

Part of the

International

&Leadership Professional Development

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

Part of the

EDUCATION REVIEWseries

Teach

series

&Leadership

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

of the >> Leadership & PD >> Postgrad & Research >> ICT Part & Procurement >> Education in Review >> NZ Teacher

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

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

Mike Booker, Felicity Davis, Karl Leonard, Ula Lologa, Tracy Olorenshaw, Holly Payne, Scott Wilson

Teach Vol 4 Issue 3

International 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.

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 Teach International 2013

1


TEACHING ABROAD

ITCHY FEET? Considering swapping your Kiwi classroom for pastures new? Education Review looks at your options. THE RECRUITMENT AGENCY If you have a clear idea of where you want to go and what sort of experience you’re after but would like the guidance and support of the experts, it’s probably wise to sign up to an agent. Recruitment agents can help with the logistics – things like finding you a teaching placement and helping you prepare for any immigration and travel requirements are part of the service. Agencies will handle all the paperwork, checks, and ensure your eligibility to teach in your chosen country. Often, agents will also help prepare you for what you will expect in your new classroom and arrange for induction meetings in your new country, providing a good chance to meet up with others in the same boat. They can help prepare you for cultural differences and common areas that New Zealand teachers may find difficult. Agencies can also help manage expectations, particularly around salaries – something that varies greatly from place to place. Teachers often find that contracts vary hugely and recommend going through a reputable agency to get the best deal.

“Go through an agency the first time. They know the good schools and which to avoid. I have met teachers over here on very poor contracts who dealt directly with schools.” – Peter Cowie, went through Teach Anywhere, teaching in Qatar THE VOLUNTEER TEACHING EXPERIENCE While many teachers are attracted to the lucrative payment packages that can come with teaching abroad, others are motivated by different factors. The volunteer option appeals to those who want to give something back to education and help those less fortunate, while also gaining an insight into a very different and often disadvantaged lifestyle. Volunteer teachers usually find themselves confronted with dealing with a much larger task than simply teaching. In many countries, education is highly regarded and sought after but hard to come by when children and teachers are often required to help with family businesses.

2

EDUCATION REVIEWseries Teach International 2013

Organisations like VSA are ideally placed to help teachers be part of a larger programme of building communities. Education is one of the volunteer organisation’s core aims in the eight countries in which it works.

“While at first I was outraged by this lack of commitment and consistency, as time passed, I came to question what I would do given these same circumstances. Tanzania was no comparison for a teacher’s salary.” – Holly Payne, Queen Margaret College, VSA trip to Tanzania


THE SCHOLARSHIP ROUTE Fulbright is probably best known for its prestigious scholarships, giving a small number of talented New Zealanders the chance to pursue their research or teaching interests in the United States. The Fulbright-Meg Everton Professional Enhancement Awards in Education are for New Zealand educators in early childhood, primary, or secondary education to undertake a professional development activity in the US that will enhance their professional knowledge, practice, and/or skills. A small number of awards valued at up to NZ$5,000 are granted each year, towards a 12 to 90 day visit to the US.

“I encourage my students to let me know what they don’t understand, be it my accent or specific pieces of contextual information. My expectations prior to arriving here are different to my expectations (of both the students and myself) as I approach the end of my teaching at Georgetown.” – Scott Wilson, Unitec, Fulbright scholarship to Georgetown University THE WORKING HOLIDAY Probably an option for the more intrepid traveller. This way is better suited to the individual who is keen to have a break from teaching and wants to do some travelling first before gaining work abroad as a teacher. It is a good idea to do your homework before leaving New Zealand about immigration requirements and the sorts of paperwork likely to be needed, including police checks, references, and Teachers Council documentation. The working holidaymaker is likely to be in pursuit of temporary or supply teaching contracts and many countries will have agencies lined up to handle this sort of work. Often the key is to register with these local agencies in good time to allow for a teaching placement to happen as soon as possible. The nature of teaching, with its school holidays, lends itself to travelling. Often a working holiday-maker will seek a more

permanent visa and teacher status if they find themselves enjoying it, but they have the freedom to keep it short-term and casual if they so wish.

“I’m on a two year working holiday visa and it wasn’t an issue at all in getting a job. There are so many people in London on working holiday visas that all employers are used to it. The agencies see the visas come through every day and schools have Kiwis and Aussies on contracts all the time on all sorts of different visas.” – Cameron Andrew, teaching at a London school THE LANGUAGE EXCHANGE PROGRAMME Language immersion awards (LIA) for teachers, managed by AFS Intercultural Programmes New Zealand and funded by the Ministry of Education, are considered an invaluable experience by language teachers. Awards are offered for teachers of languages within the New Zealand curriculum (other than New Zealand official languages) to travel to countries where languages are spoken that have curriculum support in NZ schools (currently French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Cook Island, Māori, Samoan, Korean, Tokelauan, Tongan, and Vagahau Niue). AFS selects teachers, arranging all travel and host country details as well as payment of teacher relief and providing orientation both pre-departure, on arrival in host country, and on return home. It also provides the necessary support in the host country according to AFS international policy and procedures. Teachers need to be fully registered New Zealand teachers, permanently employed by the school, and teaching a language. They also need support from their principal and Board and a clear idea of what they want to achieve with the award. Although applications from teachers from private schools will be considered, priority is typically given to teachers from state and integrated schools. Those teaching languages in Years 7–10 and applying for the first time are also given preference. Other programmes, such as ILEP (International Languages Exchanges and Pathways), also offer a number of overseas programmes for language teachers.

“My experience in France as a student made me very aware of the difficulties and challenges which learners encounter when taking on a new language and has made me aware of the things teachers do that work and those that don’t.” – Chris Durrant, head of languages at Otago Girls’ High School, LIA recipient to France

THE SABBATICAL Teachers and principals can apply for a sabbatical award for a period of 10 school weeks’ leave. Sabbatical leave is provided to engage in a balance of professional learning, reflection, and rejuvenation. The recipient receives their normal salary from the school while on leave and the award funds relief costs to the school for the duration of the sabbatical leave. There are a certain number of sabbatical awards allocated each year. Applicants need to have the full support of their principal and board of trustees and intend to return to teaching afterwards. While sabbatical leave is typically taken in New Zealand, award recipients can go abroad to investigate other schools and areas of interest.

“Actually it was one of those ‘light bulb’ moments where I was in a position professionally and personally, to take a term to do something different and relevant.” – Wendy Keir, Lynfield College, Secondary Sabbatical to Canada THE TEACHER EXCHANGE PROGRAMME Various organisations around the world offer the chance to swap places with a teacher from another country for a specified period of time. Exchange programmes vary and some are more prescriptive than others. AFS, for example, offers the opportunity for teachers to live and teach in Mexico, Korea, or Turkey. These are usually limited to a small number of places and accommodation and meals are usually included. The American Visitors International Faculty programme and the Japanese JET Programme are further examples. The JET programme was established by the Japanese Government in 1987 to promote internationalisation at the local level. New Zealand was one of the four original countries invited to participate. Most participants are selected as assistant language teachers, mainly at public schools. Others join the JET Programme as coordinators for international relations or sports exchange advisors. ■

“The students I teach are definitely another highlight of my time here. My students love everything about New Zealand and in a recent international evening I taught the class Ma-ori waiata and dance to perform in front of an audience.” – Ula Lologa, Visitors International Faculty exchange, teaching at an elementary school in North Carolina EDUCATION REVIEWseries Teach International 2013

3


TEACHER EDUCATION

POLITICS, THE WORLD AND

TEACHER EDUCATION

Are the international and political contexts of education being adequately addressed in New Zealand teacher education programmes? JUDE BARBACK looks at what measures several schools of education are taking to ensure an outward-facing approach.

N

ew Zealand shares in the global obsession with educational policy. Our fascination grows with the charter school debate raging in the US; our preoccupation with educational measures in Finland and Shanghai remains; we watch Australia and Britain experiment with league tables; we marvel at Ivy League universities embracing open education delivery methods; we consider whether pushing Asian languages is the way forward. We constantly wonder which country has got it right? Similarly, New Zealand comes under the same scrutiny from other countries in determining their educational policies. In this era of globalisation and advanced technology, and given the universal nature of education, it is no surprise that the hunt for best practice is shared by many nations.

POLITICS AND EDUCATION But are these international and political contexts adequately considered in our teacher education programmes? While the focus should remain on tailoring teacher education to the needs of New Zealand students, schools and societies, there is a need for New Zealand teachers to be aware of what is happening in education on a global and political stage. Ritesh Shah, lecturer at the University of Auckland’s School of Critical Studies in Education believes it is important for teachers to understand the global origins of educational philosophies and pedagogies. “Whether we realise it or not, our teaching practices, policies, and perspectives have been influenced by international ideas and values for quite a long time,” says Shah. He gives the example of student-centred learning and how this has stemmed from the progressive education movement that arose in the United States at the end of the 19th century. “Today, we take student-centred, or inquirybased learning as a given, but it hasn’t always been the case. Our teachers need to understand this.” Shah also points to the example of the Tomorrow’s Schools reform in the late 1980s, which he describes as the product of a broader restructuring of the state driven by neoliberal political ideology which arose in the United States and quickly spread by leaders such as Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.

4

EDUCATION REVIEWseries Teach International 2013

Politics and education are undoubtedly tightly connected. Shah says that many of the contemporary debates that we see occurring at the moment in New Zealand education—from the introduction of partnership schools, to a push for tighter teacher accountability—are the result of national and international political agendas that aim to reshape the function and role of education vis-a-vis the state. “We see and hear of our politicians selectively borrowing ‘international best practices’, or so they claim, to suit the broader political platform they seek to promote. And lately, actors like the OECD and the World Bank are increasingly driving education policy on a global scale, through comparative league tables, benchmarking exercises and advice on ‘what works best’.” However, Shah says we need to be mindful of blindly borrowing ideas from elsewhere and forcing them onto our teachers. “Educational ideas, policies and practices do travel but often they mutate along the way. What works in one context may not work in another. This is also important as we move to ‘exporting’ our own teaching approaches and pedagogies to systems under reform in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.” “To ignore the political, social, economic and cultural contexts that education as we know it is located ignores the highly contested and often fraught battlefield on which the purposes, means and ends of education are continuously being redefined; and increasingly so on an international scale that is driven by pressures of globalisation.” Fraught battlefield indeed. The turbulent politics surrounding education in New Zealand in the past few years has arguably been a deterrent for those considering becoming a teacher. While most prospective teachers are more likely to have been drawn to the profession by a desire to teach, rather than a desire to understand the global and political contexts of educational policy making decisions, it seems the latter is important in helping to fully shape a prospective teacher’s education. Shah believes education students need to be aware of the connection between educational practice, policy and politics and faculties of education have a duty to include these aspects in course curriculum. These components are present in the vast majority of New Zealand teacher education

programmes although it appears more emphasis has been placed on this area in recent years.

WAIKATO’S CENTRE FOR GLOBAL STUDIES The University of Waikato’s new Centre for Global Studies in Education is a good example. Officially launched in April this year, the centre is largely the product of the hard work of husband and wife team Professor Michael Peters and Professor Tina Besley. After spending 11 years overseas, including six years at the University of Illinois UC, where they became directors of Global Studies of Education, the couple were inspired to establish a similar programme at Waikato upon their return. Besley shares Shah’s view that an outward-facing approach to education is paramount. “We can’t be too insular,” she says. Besley believes taking a global approach to course delivery is necessary for discussing such a global subject, and she says there is a strong push for a suitable web-conferencing system to allow teaching via a synchronous mode. The centre is working collaboratively with the university’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences towards this aim. Besley describes this as a “starting gambit”; the hope is that online course delivery will occur throughout the university in the not too distant future. A suitable delivery method is also necessary to suit the needs of an increasingly global audience. Besley says the centre has already attracted New Zealanders based in Asia and the United Kingdom, as well as those in New Zealand who are unable to physically attend the university, due to location or disability. The hope is that in the long-run, the centre for global studies will be multi-disciplinary in scope, not limited to education, which reinforces the notion that education is not a standalone subject, but should be considered as part of a much bigger picture. Indeed, the centre is involved in some big projects, including tackling wider social issues of youth unemployment and children in crisis. A national conference is planned for later this year which will aim to bring together all the strands of


issue is the focus of lecture and tutorial discussions with the aim of giving students a set of tools to think about, talk about and also to act upon in potential education work settings internationally. The coordinator for the paper, Dr Greg Burnett, says a core foundation for the paper’s critical exploration of international education issues will be Michael Singh’s (2004) education in the “contact zone”. “Accordingly the paper stresses international education’s productive potential as well as its cultural politics, intersections, fluidity, heterogeneity, mobilities, and dynamism. The paper resists an ethnographic gaze that sees schooling, cultures, identities, knowledges, etc. across borders of difference as discreet, essentialised or exoticised,” says Burnett. “The paper provides a foundation upon which students can position themselves as teachers, or other education workers, in encounters with significant cultural, social and economic difference in potential future work contexts, both in New Zealand and internationally.” research and look at putting solutions into place. An international conference looking at youth unemployment and how education and higher education feed into that is planned for next year. Its research also extends to subjects such as open education, looking at the growing prevalence of MOOCs (massive open online courses) and their implications for institutions like Waikato. Besley gives the example of University of California, which is developing lower level tier courses through MOOCs and giving credit for these courses, thus contributing to students’ qualifications. Such changes could dramatically change the landscape for higher education, she says. “We can’t ignore it.”

TAKING AN INTERNATIONAL FOCUS Other institutions are also taking measures to emphasise the international scope of teacher education. At the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Education, several papers included in the teacher preparation courses address international influences on schooling and teaching practices, historically and at present. This ‘outward’ focus is maintained in its postgraduate programmes, in which issues of pedagogy, practice, curriculum and policy are situated in the global landscape. It currently offers one postgraduate paper entitled Education and the Development Process that critically analyses processes of globalisation and localisation and their implications for education policies and practices on local, national, regional and global scales. The faculty also draws on the experience of its international research students as well as those who choose to complete fieldwork abroad. The faculty’s Research Unit for Pacific and International Education was established to more critically and explicitly study the regional and global dimension of educational policymaking and practice, and provide expert advice and research on such matters. The University of Otago College of Education’s paper International Perspectives in Education has a similar focus, introducing students to a range of global education issues beyond New Zealand’s immediate national borders. Each week a different

DRAWING ON INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE Otago also provides an opportunity for international students to join their initial teacher education students and learn about education in New Zealand as well as spend some time in schools. Two papers have been designed for Study Abroad students, who are enrolled in a teacher education programme in their home country, to experience teaching in a New Zealand context. The development of these papers has involved discussion with Otago partner institutions to ensure the students can credit the work they undertake in New Zealand to their programme study in their home institution. One paper has a focus on children and their learning, inclusive practice and how the New Zealand education system is organised while the other is set up to allow the students to spend time in a school or early childhood centre. Mary Simpson, Associate Dean for Teacher Education, is enthusiastic about the initiative. “We are very excited about this development which we are sure will provide a wonderful experience for international students and bring their perspectives into our classrooms thus broadening the perspectives of our domestic students.” Simpson says she hopes it will also encourage domestic students to consider a Study Abroad experience as an option. “Our focus is not on numbers but on ensuring the experience is a rich and satisfying one for everyone. Many of the staff at the College have spent time working overseas, others have worked closely with international students who have been part of programmes. They are experienced and skilled at working with and supporting international students. We are sure we have the mix right,” she says. Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Educational Psychology and Pedagogy has a similar programme underway. Each year postgraduate students from Malaysia, China, Vietnam, and Indonesia, as well as experienced teachers from Hong Kong, travel to the Faculty of Education to complete their tertiary education or to upskill as part of a professional development programme. “It’s a win-win for the Faculty,” says

Dr Carolyn Tait from Victoria’s School of Educational Psychology and Pedagogy. “They learn from us, and in return we learn from them.” Much of the teaching of international students within Victoria’s undergraduate education programmes is in fact informed by the research of the Faculty’s international students—at Master’s, and more frequently, PhD level. “These international PhD students go home to gather data in their own education systems and return with results that in turn give their supervisors here in New Zealand an opportunity to gain expertise of teaching and learning issues in other countries, particularly South East Asian nations,” says Tait. As well as contributing to new knowledge in their home nations, these students’ research informs the delivery of the Faculty’s teacher preparation courses and undergraduate programmes. It’s an edge the Faculty is looking to capitalise in the near future by working with carefully selected institutions in South East Asia to deliver pre-service teacher education courses in collaboration with local institutions. Collaborating with schools is already an important ethos in the Faculty of Education. For nine years they have worked with the Hong Kong Institute of Education to provide five to six-week immersion programmes for pre-service and inservice teachers who are in the process of upgrading their skills. Faculty of Education staff teach modules of the Institute’s professional qualifications while the students are in Wellington, and oversee short teaching experiences in Wellington schools. “We’ve received feedback from the schools involved in this programme which indicates that they too enjoy the opportunity to learn about different cultural practices and languages afforded by the programmes,” she says. Courses from the Faculty of Education contribute to other programmes within Victoria University, including the four-year Bachelor of Education TESOL offered by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. The qualification prepares students to teach English at primary and secondary schools in overseas countries and the current intake of students are all from Malaysia. Part of their degree, including an extensive on-the-job training, is completed in Malaysia, but students also complete carefully structured teaching placements while in Wellington where they observe Kiwi teaching styles and practice these methods themselves. Tait says the programme gives the students a huge confidence boost. “They are often introduced to a different role for teachers than they’ve seen at home. Participating gives these students an opportunity to consider the implications for their own teaching practice when they return to Malaysia.” As always, there’s a plus side for local school pupils, teachers and any New Zealanders who also regularly participate in the programme: the chance to learn more about the cultural practices, viewpoints and learning styles from New Zealand’s closest Asian neighbours and important trading partners. “We live in a truly globalised world,” says Tait. “Developing an international perspective as well as local knowledge in teacher education is only going to become more important.” ■

EDUCATION REVIEWseries Teach International 2013

5


INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

International student numbers may be down, but educational diplomacy, along with other initiatives to provide a more transparent system for overseas students are in full swing as the Government strives to double New Zealand’s export education industry by 2025.

THE DOLLAR SIGN

ABOVE EVERY INTERNATIONAL STUDENT

I

n addition to boasting about their NCEA results, course offerings, sporting facilities, or cultural opportunities, an increasing number of school and tertiary websites are also boasting about New Zealand. Those in the market for international students know they are competing on a global scale for these students. And as schools are well aware of the dollar value of international students, they are all too happy to post pictures of sparkling seascapes and lush green fields in an effort to lure these students through their school gates. These students and their families are purchasing a lifestyle, after all, not just an education. Although fees comprise a large component, money generated from international students is spread beyond the education sector. On average, an overseas student spends $35,000 per year, including accommodation and lifestyle. Indeed, export education is big business for New Zealand. It is flagged as our fifth-largest export contributing around $2.7 billion a year to the economy. The Government is aiming to double this figure by 2025. “To meet this target, and to ensure that New Zealand remains an attractive destination for international students, we need to constantly be looking to improve on the support and service we offer those students,” says Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse. Interestingly, the annual Migration Trends and Outlook, released in March, reported a seven per cent drop in international student approvals to 68,980 – the lowest since 2008. The number of first-time student visa approvals had also dropped about 25 per cent since 2009. Labour export education spokesman Raymond Huo told the Herald that immigration “hiccups”, dodgy education providers, and unscrupulous student agents are damaging New Zealand’s export education reputation. He says fewer international students are choosing to study here because New Zealand has an image as being a destination for “ghetto education”. However, while the number of students has fallen, there is reportedly a two per cent increase in the amount of fees collected by education

6

EDUCATION REVIEWseries Teach International 2013

providers, according to Tertiary education Minister Steven Joyce. He says the decline had mainly come from fewer students enrolling for language courses, but there is an increase in students enrolling in polytechnics and universities. The Government appears committed to driving international student numbers, with several initiatives implemented recently to encourage students to come to New Zealand. Woodhouse points to changes to health screening that are expected to help “cut costs and red tape” for students. Work rights have also been extended to English language students who attend quality education providers in Canterbury. “These sorts of initiatives – combined with recent improvements in processing times for student visas – will make a huge difference in growing our export education industry,” says Woodhouse. Indeed, education was certainly on Prime Minister John Key’s agenda during his trip to China in April. Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce and Education New Zealand’s chief executive Grant McPherson accompanied the Prime Minister to discuss aspects of what McPherson has termed ‘educational diplomacy’ with Chinese authorities. China is of huge strategic importance to New Zealand’s export education industry. It is the largest source of overseas students, accounting for more than 25 per cent of the 100,000 international students currently enrolled in New Zealand’s schools and tertiary institutions. However, there is also an increasing emphasis on attracting students from new markets, such as South America and Asian nations like Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, as well as a renewed focus on Japan and South Korea. McPherson told the Herald that he perceives growth potential in polytechnics and private tertiary institutions that combine classroom and on-the-job training and offer specialist training in certain areas. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) plays a key role in monitoring education provider standards. NZQA has had to flex its quality control muscle on many occasions in recent years to bring private training establishments into line. It is crucial that it does, in order to assure students from China and other countries that their education in New Zealand


will be comparative with that offered by other overseas institutions. Certainly, Australia, Britain, the US and Canada are all in the same game and draw huge numbers of international students. International education fairs, such as the China International Education Exhibition Tour, are significant in attracting students. Educational institutions from around the world compete to promote their courses to prospective students. The Chinese event boasts more than 900 booths with around 30,000 attendees. Labour’s Raymond Huo believes some education agents attending these events have given New Zealand a bad name. Certainly without licensing, the system is open to the altruism or greed of the agent. As it stands, an education agent could potentially lure a student with the promise of splitting the commission with them. There are some measures in place to help govern agents. Education New Zealand’s Specialist Agent training programme helps to increase the effectiveness and ethical behaviour of agents promoting New Zealand education. In spite of such measures, Huo says Labour would introduce a licensing regime for education agents, similar to that for immigration adviser licensing. Formal licensing of education agents is not on the cards, according to Woodhouse, who is reluctant to put up unnecessary barriers for overseas students. Education New Zealand’s McPherson perceives the biggest threat facing Education New Zealand to be online course delivery, rather than agents or other countries. “Education is changing with non-traditional delivery methods including online. We need to ask if New Zealand has a role to play in this area,” he told the Herald . Meanwhile the web has an important role to play, not only in marketing and luring overseas students to New Zealand, but also in providing support when they are here. A new website, www.nzstudywork.com was launched earlier this year in order to provide advice and support to international students. “The new website provides international students with a ‘one-stop shop’ where they can get information about their employment rights and responsibilities, health and safety in the workplace, work conditions attached to student visas and settlement resources,” says Woodhouse. The website focuses on how international students can work while studying and offers a surprisingly candid view of the difficulties they can encounter. On the home page, there is a video montage featuring a number of interviews with international students at University of Auckland. The students’ answers reveal that the “first year is stressful”, that is “takes a toll on you”, that it “took a while to find work”, that employers are keen to know what New Zealand experience you have, that language difficulties can pose a problem, and so on. While it doesn’t paint an altogether rosy picture of working and studying in New Zealand, it does paint a realistic one. The site deals with Immigration New Zealand’s policies in terms of how much students are allowed to work on a student visa (20 hours a week), as well as what an international student should do if they wish to remain in New Zealand to work upon completion of their studies. It also includes a raft of information for employers. While formal licensing for agents does not appear likely in the near future, it appears more deliberate attempts to improve transparency, communication and quality control are being made in an effort to reach the Government’s $4 million export education aspirations. ■

EDTECH

EDTECH SECTOR

LIGHTS THE WAY FORWARD THE INAUGURAL EDTECH CONFERENCE THIS YEAR HIGHLIGHTED OPPORTUNITIES FOR NEW ZEALAND TO LEAD THE WAY WITH LEARNING TECHNOLOGY. EDUCATION NEW ZEALAND’S MIKE BOOKER REPORTS. Educators and learners are at the centre of changes to New Zealand’s rapidly growing and evolving education technology (EdTech) sector, which includes learning-focused technology products and services such as games, apps, educational software, courseware, and environments. The New Zealand EdTech sector’s energy and ambition was on display at the first EdTech conference held in Wellington in April. Globally, EdTech is big business, worth some US$15 billion per annum. “In the past, New Zealand has received global recognition for its world class education system, for example, our progressive curriculum, pedagogy, and our approach to literacy,” says Education New Zealand’s General Manager Education Development, Clive Jones. “There are now new opportunities for New Zealand to lead thinking in the development of world-class educational products that successfully leverage on learning technology – products and services that succeed because they can make a real difference to the lives of both educators and learners.” EdTech customers include early childhood education centres, schools, tertiary institutions, vocational, and lifelong learning, as well as corporate and workplace training, consumers wanting personalised learning, and information at work and in the home. Jones says the EdTech conference provided an opportunity to see a broad spectrum of companies really starting to use learning technology in a much more meaningful way. “We are starting to see smart, market-driven thinking, which puts educators and learners at the centre of the product development process”. “The more closely EdTech providers work with educators and learners in the development of new solutions, the greater the potential. “We’d like to see these ideas take off and become available to classrooms and to educators in New Zealand and around the world.” One of the speakers at the conference, Dr Garry Falloon, Associate Professor in the Department of Professional Studies in Education at University of Waikato, says schools and teachers have much to contribute to growing the EdTech export industry in New Zealand. “They can do this by their innovative approaches to teaching and learning and their willingness and ability to leverage the educational potential of new and emerging technologies for the benefit of their students. “The Kiwi ‘can do’ attitude, and enthusiasm for working alongside researchers and content developers to trial and improve the quality of online and app-based educational materials provides New Zealand with a significant edge over other countries, in the developing EdTech field. “Through such partnerships, New Zealand is ideally placed to lead the world in high quality content development.” Falloon was previously project leader for the Ministry of Education’s e-Learning research initiative. He has just completed a study into the use of mobile tablets for supporting literacy and thinking skills with new entrant primary students, specifically examining app content and design influences on the quality of the students’ learning pathways. He says there are developing opportunities for New Zealand teachers and educational leaders to work alongside schools in other countries, to help improve the ‘learning value’ they get from their digital technologies. “There are many pioneering and leading-edge examples of schools in New Zealand that are using technologies to make a real difference to the learning of their students that other schools worldwide could benefit from involvement with.” ■ EDUCATION REVIEWseries Teach International 2013

7


OVERSEAS TRAINING

TRACY OLORENSHAW left a fantastic job in New Zealand to embark upon her African adventure with her husband Olly, opening their eyes to a world of differences but also to the fact that kids are kids wherever you go.

GHANAIAN EXPERIENCE:

GETTING OUT OF THE KIWI COMFORT ZONE

“W

Time for a Change? The United World College of South East Asia is a 4-18 international school in Singapore for 3,900 students of over sixty nationalities. The College now has two campuses: Dover and East. The College is currently in an exciting phase of development which will see it grow to around 5,500 students by 2016. An extensive building programme is in progress to enable it to achieve this growth while maintaining the unique character of a UWCSEA education. The College is an IB World School, offering the Diploma and Primary Years Programmes. It is part of the wider community of the United World College Movement and is a member of the Round Square Schools. Around 70 teaching vacancies in a wide range of subject areas will arise for 2014. The posts will be advertised in October 2013. Benefits will include a very competitive salary, housing, medical insurance and education for children of teachers. Details of posts, the application process and of the College will be available on the College website at http://www.uwcsea.edu.sg We look forward to hearing from you.

8

EDUCATION REVIEWseries Teach International 2013

here is Ghana?” was one of the first questions we had when asked if we would be keen to come and teach there. Hunting for it in Western Africa on the map still didn’t really tell us too much. Some friends had often talked of teaching in an international school, living on the compound, and the love they had for the place. None of this really resonated too much until we put an application in with the recruitment agency based in the USA. Several long Skype interviews, with our referees being interviewed for over an hour each, and many, many questions later, we had to seriously consider: is this what we wanted? We decided that we were living a ‘safe’ life in New Zealand and our aim in life wasn’t this, but to experience other cultures and lifestyles and see the big wide world. Not having done much travel in our early teens/early twenties as most New Zealanders do, we decided now would be a good chance to have some adventure and travel. Teaching at the international school in the middle of BrongAhafo, Ghana, involved living in a very isolated community.The compound is surrounded by clay roads, where men, women, and children carry huge loads of sticks, sewing machines, bananas, and boxes full of chickens on their heads. Seeing babies tied on women’s backs as they go about their daily work is common practice. We had heard the students were amazing and had inspired some weary teachers to love teaching again. Leaving a fantastic job behind in New Zealand was a serious consideration and not one that was made lightly. It became more than the job, as I loved my job in New Zealand, it was more about taking life’s opportunities and having adventure with the chance to see how others live. I arrived to a class of fifteen students, with one local Ghanaian teacher and myself, an ex-pat

teacher. The aim being to work together to provide quality education for the students, as well as inspiring the local teacher I worked with to learn new ways of providing education for the students. Working with Grade 3–4 in a school that provided a US-based education system was how it had been explained to me, although I was told it had been ‘Kiwi-fied’ quite a bit along the way, due to the other New Zealand teachers who had blazed the trail before us. Kids are kids the world over, is my conclusion. Same interests, same learning needs, same joys, and same heartaches – just in different environments. I love the freedom these children experience living in the gated community, catching frogs, lizards, and fireflies, while avoiding the malaria carrying mosquitoes at dawn and dusk. The children live a life of freedom that I probably experienced as a kid but known by few in this day and age – where they leave home in the morning and return in time for dinner, with little concern for danger being out of their parents’ sight. The isolation, lack of ability to buy resources (these get delivered from USA once a year in a container), and the intermittent power and internet connection can be challenging. Learning about a whole other culture and nation, in which I knew little about before arriving here, has been a worthwhile experience. The well behaved students, the differences and wide range of cultures and nationalities within the school and the opportunities to learn of other countries offsets these hardships. Seeing and learning about how others live and how there are so many more people living in countries like Ghana than there are in New Zealand has been grounding. I think I have become more tolerant of differences and have a broader knowledge of how people think, live and interact. ■


OVERSEAS TEACHING

FROM WELLINGTON TO WAXHAW:

ONE KIWI’S AMERICAN DREAM Education Review chats to former Wellington teacher, Ula Lologa, about the differences and similarities teaching at an elementary school in North Carolina.

Q

WHAT OR WHO INSPIRED YOU TO TEACH ABROAD? ULA: I had always wanted to travel and work overseas but never got around to doing it earlier in my life. After working at Kilbirnie School in Wellington for almost nine years, I decided it was time to do something different. My friends and work colleagues encouraged me to go abroad as many of them had lived and worked overseas.

Q

WHY THE UNITED STATES?

ULA: After a recent trip to the US, it made me look into what overseas teaching opportunities were offered there. I read about the Visitors International Faculty, an organisation based in North Carolina that recruited international teachers to teach in American schools. A friend of mine who I was working with at the time had worked in the US on the same programme and inspired me to apply. I was accepted back in 2008 but due to the recession at the time, there weren’t as many jobs and the dream to teach in the USA was put on hold. In May 2011, I was interviewed via Skype and offered a teaching position in North Carolina.

Q

TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOB.

ULA: I am currently teaching at New Town Elementary in Waxhaw, North Carolina. It is part of Union County District, with the closest city being Charlotte, NC. I currently have 24 students in my class. They range from seven to eight years. In my grade level there are six other second grade classes. My role is a general classroom teacher. I teach literacy, maths, science, and social studies. Other subjects such as art, music, technology, media/ library are taught by specialist teachers.

Q

WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENCES AND SIMILARITIES BETWEEN TEACHING IN NEW ZEALAND AND THE US? ULA: The structure of the school day is very different from my previous school back in New Zealand. School begins at 7am and finishes at 2pm every day. Each class has a scheduled lunch time and you supervise and eat with your class every day. There is only one interval/recess a day and you supervise your own class. In terms of assessment, the focus is more on summative test than it is formative. Students sit end of year grade tests exams as soon as they enter third grade (Year 4). Parents expect graded papers to be sent home, often with a number or percentage grade on it. Report cards are given out every six weeks. The school’s management and policy decision making is controlled externally by the county. The similarities would be the students themselves. Kids are kids no matter where you are in the world. I forget sometimes that I’m in America because I feel like I’m teaching children back home. The only difference is their accents.

Q

WHAT HAS BEEN THE BEST PART ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE SO FAR? ULA: I love travelling and visiting cities and places here on the East Coast. The USA is a huge place and there is so much to see. I recently went to New York in the Spring Break (Easter) and had a fantastic time there. I’ve also been to Nashville, Memphis, Atlanta, Washington D.C, Alabama, and even down to New Orleans during my time here. I’ve also made lots of great new friends in my school, as well as other international teachers who have come here on the same cultural exchange program.

The students I teach are definitely another highlight of my time here. They are so enthusiastic and absorb so much of what you teach them. My students love everything about New Zealand, and in a recent international evening, I taught the class Māori waiata and dance to perform in front of an audience. The students are now teaching the whole school basic te reo Māori words everyday through the morning broadcasts before the start of the classroom instruction.

Q

WHAT HAVE THE MOST CHALLENGING OR FRUSTRATING ASPECTS BEEN? ULA: I think the most challenging for me was learning a completely new system and adjusting to a different way of teaching reading, writing, and maths. The school provided literacy support for me, and I would observe my colleagues as they would model a lesson in reading and writing. The low pay unfortunately is probably one aspect that I had to get used to. We are paid very well in New Zealand compared to teachers in North Carolina. Though it is only a minor thing, I have learned to adjust, adapt, and make the best of the experience.

Q

HOW DO YOU THINK IT HAS ENHANCED YOU AS A TEACHER? ULA: There is always something you take away when you come across new experiences. I am definitely learning a lot from teaching here. There are some practices that I would consider implementing when I come back home.

Q

WHAT ARE YOUR LONG-TERM PLANS – DO YOU INTEND TO RETURN TO TEACHING IN NEW ZEALAND? ULA: I’ve signed up for another year at my school, but at the end of my contract, I plan to move back to New Zealand in June 2014. ■

EDUCATION REVIEWseries Teach International 2013

9


TECHNOLOGY

SKYPE IN THE CLASSROOM

CONNECTING STUDENTS TO THE WORLD THE KIWI TEACHER: FELICITY DAVIS, BLOCKHOUSE BAY SCHOOL, AUCKLAND I used Skype for myself to connect with overseas friends a lot. At the U Learn conference, I heard about Skype for education and looked into it and loved the idea of connecting my kids with the world. It also gives the kids a real audience to share and connect with. It was quite awkward at first. We were new to this and the kids were very excited about Skypeing but then felt a little shy and nervous when we went live for the first time. Our first call with an American school consisted of lots of investigation questions about where we were all from. They asked us questions about our country and we asked them the same. At the current time, we are sharing favourite Kiwi books with others around the world. I knew I had found a digital tool that I would use again and again to take learning deeper for my students. When we hung up from our first call my students said, “wow that was so cool – we just talked with kids in another country!” I realised, here was a way to open our classroom to the world to share our learning and also learn from others. It is also a great tool for reluctant learners as it hooks them in instantly. I am lucky as we do have access to Skype and our principal supports the use of technology in our classrooms so I have not faced any technological hurdles. Time zones can also be quite challenging but it just takes flexibility in your programme to make it work for your students. We have had a few hurdles connecting with others from around the world; firstly we set up a call with a school in Chicago and we didn’t take daylight savings into account, which meant our times were well out. So I organised my students to come to school early at 8am one day so we could Skype them at their time of 3pm. Then sadly the teacher’s husband ended up in hospital so my students were very disappointed but understanding. We finally got to Skype with them and it was well worth the wait. It is so important to be flexible and be prepared to face hurdles. Students came up with their own set of etiquette rules for when they are chatting online such as loud clear voices, no silly faces, no fingers like peace signs, and using their manners. We had a few test calls so that the students got over wanting to see themselves on the camera and their silliness really just being kids. We also worked out the best way to sit so we could all be seen clearly and heard.

Two teachers from different parts of the world share how Skype has brought a new dimension to their teaching and their students’ learning. As a teacher I have learned that it is all about taking the first step and being passionate about exposing your students to the world to learn. With my classroom forming pen pal relationships and engaging in conversations, they are being equipped with the tools and vision they need to be successful in our global world. The feedback I have had from parents has also been very positive and they are behind the initiative and think it is fantastic we are collaborating and opening our classroom up to the world. The initial set up got my students very excited about reading as it gave the kids a purpose for what to discuss. My reading groups have been given a book to read and discuss and what made the book so special. The group then gets to share their book and thoughts about it with our Skype classes across the world. Next term I am hoping to use Skype a lot to invite the world into our classroom while we are doing our Science based adaptations inquiry learning. We are definitely going to continue Skypeing with other schools around the world after our holiday break. The students are also very keen to set up a blog to document our journey with Skypeing. The blog will also open us up to further pathways and connections with others around the world. The kids are also very keen to be experts for others in the world to dip into and it’s a fantastic way to put their learning into action and to give them a real audience.

THE USA TEACHER: ASHLEY MERCED, BERNARD ZELL ANSHE EMET DAY SCHOOL, CHICAGO, USA I have always been interested in connecting to other classrooms throughout the world. I love

to travel and have been very fortunate to travel to many countries. At my school, our second grade curriculum includes learning about the continents. This year I made it a goal for myself to really follow-through on my wishes to Skype and connect with other teachers and students in order to give my students an authentic experience learning about the world. Using Twitter was a great way to reach out and find teachers interested in having a global classroom. I found the first few teachers I have Skyped with this way. Actually this weekend I attended a professional development and learned about Skype in the Classroom, a website that connects teachers globally from around the world. I am excited to use this tool to connect with many other teachers from the around the world and continue this process. There were some technology glitches along the way; our audio not working, time zone differences, and such but that goes along with the territory of technology. In the end though, all the hurdles are worth it. Some benefits from students are authentically learning about various students from across the world. It also has been a great way to expand my teaching and the students’ learning about geography and where in the world places are. These experiences with other students across the world will stick in their minds forever I’m sure and therefore they will remember where different countries/states are geography wise. I have learned that there is an entire network out there of teachers who want to connect globally. I have learned that my students are more involved and interested in learning about the places we are Skypeing with because they are given these authentic experiences. After Skypeing with a class, I try and get my students to become blogging buddies with our new friends. This experience has given my students the opportunity to become better writers because they see that other kids are reading and commenting on their work so it matters more to write well. My next steps are to explore the website and network Skype in the Classroom to connect with even more teachers and students. Next year I plan on developing our Social Studies curriculum in a more authentic way by solely learning about the world through Mystery Skypeing.


HOW TO JUMP ON THE SKYPE BANDWAGON

KIWI KIDS (YEAR 6) SAY:

Skype in the classroom is a free online platform designed to help teachers connect with other schools and guest speakers from around the world via Skype. It’s easy to use – register with your Skype ID, complete your profile, and you are ready to become a global teacher. You can set up a Skype lesson for others to join, or you can simply join an existing Skype lesson and start learning together. Teachers of all subjects and age groups are welcome to take part. Skype in the classroom has a range of free Skype lessons provided by their partners, including NASA, Penguin Books, Random House Children’s Publishers, and Microsoft. These lessons allow teachers to bring amazing guest speakers into their classrooms via Skype. You can also visit their collections page to explore the latest inspirational Skype lessons that users have created. All educators who sign up to our platform can apply for 12 months free Skype Group Video Calling which allows users to video call with up to 10 different classrooms at the same time. You can also share your Skype stories on Twitter @SkypeClassroom or on Facebook at facebook.com/skypeintheclassroom. More information can be found on education.skype.com ■

“It was a wonderful experience Skypeing with another class in America. This would not have happened without our awesome teacher. So a big thanks to her on our behalf. I also learned a lot about the way school is in America.” Nethra Raman “I loved how we got to question the class in Chicago about schooling in America.” Devansh Chand “We got to meet new people and see how life is different for them.” Gabe Thirkell “I enjoyed getting to see and chat to people in a different country.” Paris Wakelin “We got to learn about another culture. The great thing is we got to see people’s faces and talk to them live and get instant responses, and it’s all free.” Vaibhav Jain

CHICAGO KIDS (2ND GRADE) SAY:

“I’m learning about new places because they are telling me clues about the place where they live.” Rosie H. “I love Mystery Skypeing because you get to learn about places around the world and it’s fun to guess where other people live.” Jenna H. “It’s fun to Skype with people who you don’t know and you’re meeting them. It’s fun to take guesses.” Marissa S. “I love Mystery Skypeing because you can learn how other people’s habitats are and afterwards it’s really fun blogging with our blogging buddy.” Drew R. “I like Mystery Skypeing because it’s fun to guess where people live and it is fun to see what goes on where they live. After we guessed where they were from we get buddies from there and we blog with them.” Madeline M.

Thinking abouT Teaching in The uk? Let career Teachers help you every step of the way. Hundreds of teaching positions in Early Years, Primary and Secondary in London and the surrounding counties Daily, short-term and long-term jobs to suit your travel plans NZD $500 towards your flight costs Excellent pay rates and tax efficient, weekly pay A personal overseas consultant to assist with preparations and documentation before arrival UK curriculum training and support Assistance with accommodation and UK bank account newzealand@careerteachers.co.uk

CT NZ advert 190x135 May 2013.indd 1

www.careerteachers.co.uk

13/05/2013 18:38

EDUCATION REVIEWseries Teach International 2013

11


Q&A

AGENCY ANSWERS

Education Review asks two global teacher recruitment agencies the big questions. QUESTION: WHAT ARE

OVERSEAS SCHOOLS LOOKING FOR? STUART BIRCH, MANAGING DIRECTOR, EDUCATION PERSONNEL LTD: The key criterion for most international schools is experience. For 90 per cent of schools internationally, they are seeking teachers with two or more years’ experience. Secondary maths and physics are sought after worldwide. Once a candidate’s ability as a teacher is established, then schools internationally value people skills, personal flexibility, and the ability to get on with people from different cultures above anything else. Many countries have quite strict visa requirements that require teachers to meet certain age limits and can be surprising for Kiwis. For example, it is very difficult to get a work visa for Indonesia if you are aged under 25 or over 55 when you start working there. Many employers have requirements for applicants to have a passport from a certain country.

LAURANNE CROOT, TEACH ANYWHERE:

Schools are definitely looking for teachers who can demonstrate flexibility and adaptability and who are able to settle within the community spirit of working overseas. Being away from family and friends, it is important teachers immerse themselves quickly with the school and surrounding environment. Teachers who are experienced in the NZ curriculum or the National Curriculum for England and Wales are in great demand as well as those who are committed to working on extracurricular activities.

QUESTION:

WHAT DO RECRUITMENT AGENTS NEED FROM PROSPECTIVE TEACHERS? STUART BIRCH: As well as all the usual paperwork, CVs, etc. the key thing is for candidates to be honest with recruiters about what they are looking for and what their personal needs and situation are. Some employers, for example, may only employ single teachers or teaching couples …

12

EDUCATION REVIEWseries Teach International 2013

or want an immediate start. It’s important that any family/ personal requirements are addressed right at the beginning. A good recruiter will talk with you to find all this out anyway. Just be honest with them. Likewise let your recruiter knows why you want to teach overseas – is it for the adventure, as a career move, or for the money? Your recruiter will then be able to tailor opportunities to fit your needs.

LAURANNE CROOT:

If teachers understand what their objective is for moving overseas, what their motivating factors are, it will certainly help an agency when searching for the perfect overseas job. Wherever possible, all factors are taken into consideration and we will be able to advise which type of school and location will be most suitable. We highly recommend teachers do research before contacting an agency; don’t just listen to comments and advice of friends and family. What works for one person will not necessarily work for another. We can advise, but it is useful if you have done some initial reading. Candidates should be prepared to provide copies of their CV, passport, a passport photo, degree certificate and transcripts – all of which will be required for ministry approval once a position is secured. They need to be flexible and patient when working with school deadlines – it may be up to eight months before the candidate commences their employment; the schools will be in communication as and when deadlines are approaching. The schools are skilled in ensuring their teachers are prepared and arrive on time each year.

QUESTION: WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT TEACHING ABROAD? STUART BIRCH:

A key misconception is that all international schools pay huge salaries. The big salaries

usually come from the top tier schools and even then are limited to certain countries. Often the top tier schools prefer to employ candidates who have already had international experience, so first time international teachers may need to start on lower salaries. I think the second thing that teachers from New Zealand need to be aware of is that there are some very dodgy schools out there in the world. In New Zealand our schools are all of a very high standard and so Kiwis can make assumptions about what they are going to. Everything from class size to accommodation may be very different from what you expect. It is very hard to check out a school when it is 5000km away. Some flexibility is required and you will never get all the details, but a baseline is that you should be confident you will get paid! 

LAURANNE CROOT:

A key misconception is that international schools are only for overseas/expatriate students. In fact many schools offer an international curriculum but cater for local students; this offers teachers an amazing cultural experience, while enhancing their skills as a teacher. Salaries are also a misconception. Often the gross salary will be less than your home country but in many cases it will be your total disposable income as schools tend to provide accommodation or allowances to cover your housing while overseas. Therefore the disposable income for most teachers increases, providing a great saving opportunity, which is a key factor for many teachers.

QUESTION:

ON WHAT GROUNDS DO TEACHERS USUALLY MISS OUT ON POSITIONS ABROAD? STUART BIRCH: Decisions for international appointments are often made on the same criteria as teaching jobs in New Zealand. However a number of personal factors like age, ethnicity, and family situation can also be taken into account by employers, which can be quite shocking for New Zealanders. With some international employers, decisions are strongly based on interviews.

LAURANNE CROOT:

It is unfortunate but teachers who are fixed on one location or school type tend to miss opportunities. The more flexible you can be, the greater the opportunities are available to you. Very often teachers who go overseas do not find themselves in their preferred location but are very happy with the choices they have made as they have joined a school that may offer superb professional development or greater saving opportunities.

QUESTION:

WHAT SHOULD KIWI TEACHERS BE PREPARED FOR WHEN THEY TEACH ABROAD? STUART BIRCH: One of the things I usually tell teachers is that they should be prepared for tears from themselves or one of their family sometime


before they come home. They could be tears at leaving family behind in New Zealand, tears of frustration when you’ve been trying for six weeks to get an internet connection into your new apartment and can’t understand what anyone is saying, or tears when you find out that the three bedroom apartment you’ve been promised takes an hour to get to as you crawl home in the worst traffic jam of your life. Resilience, flexibility to adjust to totally different cultures, and a willingness to push through the tough times is essential. A realisation that there is a ‘normal’ adjustment process people usually go through is key. This has been thoroughly researched with expats. When you arrive in your new home, there will be an initial honeymoon, then a period of missing all the things you lost when you left home, then you will adjust and enjoy life and all that your new home offers. These three phases go at different speeds for different individuals. And when you leave to come back to New Zealand or travel on, you will miss the things you grew to love. I still miss things about Spain from when I taught there 20 years ago.

connected to your location/school – many have local expat clubs that can offer great advice on what to expect. School holidays may not be in line with those back home, but they are more than compensated by with longer summer holidays and many public holidays throughout the year, which provides the fantastic opportunity for travelling across the region and further afield.

Preparation and research is key to minimising culture shock. Try to connect with teachers who are joining the same school, ask the school to put you in touch with teachers who are already working there, and join social media sites that are

In many cases the salaries can’t really be compared to those in New Zealand as teaching in the Middle East and Far East is very often either tax free or low tax and accommodation and flights etc. are usually provided for or allowances

LAURANNE CROOT:

QUESTION:

IS THE MONEY GENERALLY BETTER THAN IN NEW ZEALAND? STUART BIRCH: Usually a better living standard is available to teachers internationally, even though salaries in New Zealand dollar terms might be lower than you earn here; usually most of your living expenses are paid. The cost of living in many international countries is much lower than in New Zealand. For example, a three course meal for two in a restaurant in Pakistan is $16.00 and an hour long taxi ride is $2.60, so your money goes a long way. Remember to always take tax rates into account. Usually these are less than in New Zealand.

LAURANNE CROOT:

given, which means your take home pay is your disposable income.

QUESTION: WHY (OR WHY

NOT) SHOULD KIWI TEACHERS CONSIDER TEACHING ABROAD? STUART BIRCH: Teaching abroad can be incredibly rewarding in so many ways. It enables you and your family to really engage in another culture and country, to meet some amazing people, and discover the world. You will face considerable personal challenges and learn a lot about yourself. You can boost or start your career quickly and easily. You can learn a lot about teaching and education – and the financial rewards can be huge. Teaching abroad is not easy, but with careful planning, taking some managed risks, and by working with someone you trust, it can be one of the best things you will ever do.

LAURANNE CROOT:

The opportunity of working and living overseas is an amazing one. It broadens people’s knowledge and experiences. Many teachers complete their whole career overseas, others just want to do it for a year or two before settling back home; everyone has their reasons, but from our experience, it provides a great saving opportunity while exploring a new environment and it enhances a teacher’s skill base and enables you to meet and work with like-minded people. ■

EDUCATION REVIEWseries Teach International 2013

13


OVERSEAS TEACHING

LEAPING THE

RED TAPE TO LONDON Passports held hostage, visa hold-ups, trouble with teacher registration and police checks ... forget the horror stories of gaining entry and employment into the UK – recent law changes, helpful agencies and a good attitude will see you in a London classroom before too long. JUDE BARBACK reports.

A

s a New Zealander who has applied for student, working holiday, spouse, indefinite leave to remain and citizenship visas in Britain (which gives a succinct precis of my adult life), I have experienced firsthand the frustrating silence and inefficiency of the UK Border Agency. So it was without much surprise that I read the beleaguered agency is to be disbanded and split into two separate organisations, one handling visas and immigration and the other a separate law enforcement arm. The move came just one day after the UK Home Affairs Committee published a damning report about the Border Agency, criticising it for failing to meet its own targets for in-country immigration processing and for poor customer service. Alarmingly, the report declared that it would take approximately 24 years to clear the backlog of asylum and immigration cases. Other backlogs, including 59,000 in-country visa applications, were also brought to light. But why is any of this relevant in a New Zealand education magazine? The United Kingdom is a hotspot for Kiwis looking to work abroad, including New Zealand teachers. Kiwi teachers typically find work in the UK with little difficulty, due to a good reputation, hard work ethic and lack of language barrier. But despite their value, New Zealand teachers must navigate the ever-changing system and leap all that red tape in order to gain entry and secure a teaching job. TNT, a London magazine often touted as “the bible” for Antipodean travelers living and working in London, launched the UKBA Balls-Up campaign earlier this year, after being inundated with tales of passports being held for up to a year, jobs nearly lost and people deported due to advisers giving out the wrong information to those applying to extend their visas while in the UK. The main complaint was that UKBA advisers wouldn’t give applicants any details of their case until it had been with them for more than six months. “It is unfair travellers who are coming to live and work in London and boost the economy are being forced to put their lives on hold due to incompetency at the UK Border Agency,” says Carol Driver, group editor at TNT Multimedia.

14

EDUCATION REVIEWseries Teach International 2013

The campaign features many ‘horror stories’: people being unable to return home for weddings and important occasions because their passport is held hostage while being processed for a visa; people being given the wrong information and being told to leave the country. It is enough to put even the most intrepid traveller off their stride.

HOW AGENCIES CAN HELP Perhaps this is one reason why teaching agencies are popular for New Zealand teachers looking to work in the UK. Claire Scott, international recruitment consultant for Protocol Education says most schools in England choose to use agencies to appoint staff, particularly for overseas trained staff. “It gives them the security that that teacher has been fully background checked,” she says. Certainly, agencies can be very helpful in getting Kiwi teachers in, settled and employed. Scott says that registering with a teaching agency before leaving New Zealand can help ensure there will be no ‘downtime’ for work once you arrive on British soil. Pre-departure services vary between agencies. A few agencies, like Protocol and Teach Anywhere, have staff based in New Zealand, which means contact can be made in ‘real time’ and with someone who understands the New Zealand system as well as the UK one. These agencies typically hold information evenings around the country from time to time.

Many agencies provide a comprehensive list of both pre-departure and arrival services to help teachers get established before they leave. Protocol, for example, helps Kiwi teachers with visas, eligibility to teach in the UK, accommodation, advice on teaching in British classrooms and will also help set teachers up with a UK SIM card, bank account, National Health Insurance number, registration with the UK Teachers Council and lodging an application for Qualified Teacher Status in England. Obtaining a visa remains the biggest issue for most. Claire Scott says that although restrictions are getting tighter on visas for entry into Britain, and there are now fewer options on offer, if you are eligible for a visa the process is very straightforward and efficient from New Zealand. Most applications come back within two to four weeks, although there are some visas, such as a settlement visa, which can take up to 12 weeks. “We offer advice, send out application links and talk teachers through the process. We provide supporting letters for certain visas. There are visa agencies that will do the process on your behalf, but it isn’t worth the money,” says Scott. The other important issue is being eligible to teach in the UK. Things have eased somewhat in recent years for New Zealand teachers wishing to teach in the UK. From 1 April 2012, teachers who qualified in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the United States have been recognised as qualified teachers and awarded Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in England without being required to undertake any further training or assessment. Previously, qualified teachers from these countries could only be employed as unqualified teachers on temporary


The United Kingdom is a hotspot for Kiwis looking to work abroad, including New Zealand teachers. Kiwi teachers typically find work in the UK with little difficulty, due to a good reputation, hard work ethic and lack of language barrier. contracts and were required to do further training to obtain QTS. Now these teachers will be on an equal footing with qualified teachers from the European Economic Area. Teachers need to be fully registered in New Zealand; provisionally registered teachers are not awarded QTS. Claire Scott recommends teachers apply for QTS before they leave New Zealand as the Teachers Council issue a standard letter and this is posted to the UK along with the application form and a letter comes back within a couple of weeks confirming they have been awarded QTS. However, immigration criteria and background checks remain as strict as ever. “Child protection policies and quality standards are extremely high in the UK now,” says Scott. “There is a blanket requirement for anyone working in a school environment to hold a UK Police Check (Criminal Records Bureau Check) regardless of whether you have

lived in England before. This can be a lengthy process, and hold you up for work if you don’t arrive in hand with one already processed. It’s an important step to prepare for teaching over there, and something we get done early in the registration process.” Other UK required checks are a New Zealand police check, reference checks and verification of your qualification.

WINGING IT Of course, it isn’t essential to register in New Zealand before you go, especially if you’re not completely sure what your plans are when you get there. Some may be considering a break, some may wish to travel. Cameron Andrew, a New Zealand teacher currently teaching in London, gained entry to the UK on a two-year working holiday visa. Upon arrival, he signed up to three different agencies that suited what he was looking

for: day-to-day supply teaching at secondary schools. He then went travelling for four months. During this time the teaching agencies applied for police checks and sorted out the necessary paper work required to teach in the UK. Upon his return he went straight into teaching, working on a day-to-day supply basis for two months. “During this time I was placed in the school I am currently at and they were looking for a maths teacher. After working there for a week I was offered a job beginning in January. I didn’t have an interview at all. Instead, the head teacher came into one of my lessons and must have been happy with how I controlled and taught the class, then offered me the job.” Andrew says his working holiday visa hasn’t been an issue at all in getting a job. “There are so many people in London on working holiday visas that all employers are used to it. The agencies see the visas come through every day and schools have Kiwis and Aussies on contracts all the time on all sorts of different visas,” he says. Whichever path you take for your UK teaching adventure, being informed and prepared is key to approaching the notorious and changing red tape of the UK’s immigration system. ■

Experience more in your career with further learning through a 2014 Study Award, Study Support Grant, or Sabbatical. A love of learning is something every teacher holds dear. We can support your study towards qualifications and professional learning so you don’t have to juggle study time with your role as a teacher. Apply for a Study Award, Study Support Grant or Sabbatical to take your career further. For more information, and to apply, visit TeachNZ.govt.nz.

EDUCATION REVIEWseries Teach International 2013

15


HOME, TWEET HOME JUDE BARBACK looks at the different ways New Zealand teachers abroad are staying in touch with other Kiwi teachers and what’s happening with education back home.

16

EDUCATION REVIEWseries Teach International 2013


SOCIAL MEDIA

‘I

’m looking into how NZ teachers teaching abroad keep in touch with what’s happening with NZ education? Please get in touch if you can help. My message, sent via @EdReviewNZ, was sent more experimentally than expectantly into the Twitterverse. So it was to my great surprise to see my insignificant little tweet receive four retweets and a direct response within ten minutes. My half-hearted test to see whether social media really does play a part in connecting educators was proven. Education Review, or @EdReviewNZ, at the time of writing has a meagre following of 250. I specify ‘time of writing’ because no doubt by the time this article is published we will have a following of Justin Bieber proportions. Until then, we must remain one of the minnows of the Twitter world. But that’s the thing about Twitter and other forms of social media. You can be as connected and involved as you like. And while many resolutely shun it, many others are finding it hugely helpful in sharing ideas, learning from others’ experiences, and generally being connected to others with shared interests. Our need to retain friendships and connect with old ties has not weakened with the increasing ease to flit around the world. Many New Zealand teachers abroad are finding social media tools invaluable for keeping in touch with what is happening back home with education policies, their old school, curriculum changes, teaching practices, and so on.

MICROBLOGGING AND BLOGGING Social media takes many different guises – Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, and Pinterest are now part of our vocabulary. However, Twitter is a different bird completely, allowing just 140 characters per message, forcing tweeters to be pithy. The need for brevity allows people more back-and-forth conversation, to make your point and then ‘listen’ to others, rather than have a long-winded rant, a common alternative for many social media users. Perhaps it is for this reason that many New Zealand teachers have taken to Twitter, and in particular #edchatNZ, a Twitter forum aimed at giving New Zealand teachers the chance to discuss relevant issues. While the popular hashtag is increasingly used for regular sharing and motivation, its main function is the live Twitter chat that takes place every other Thursday at 8.30pm, allowing teachers to discuss topics which have received the most votes. #edchatNZ was launched in October last year and has snowballed, as Twitter has a way of doing. Danielle Myburgh (or @MissDSciTeacher) recently shared in PPTA News that it has helped to knock down some of the barriers between secondary and primary school. “We are learning some great things from each other,” she says. The forum is actually transcending national boundaries as well, with Kiwi teachers from

around the world taking part and joining the discussion about issues that are still relevant to them. They may simply wish to keep a grip on what is happening back home, or they may wish to continue their professional development through a Kiwi lens, or it may even help thwart some homesickness by keeping in touch. “At any time of the day, we can log on to find someone, somewhere, who will help us solve a problem, offer a new perspective, or share their great ideas. I literally have a world of teachers supporting me, 24 hours a day – and for a busy teacher, the fact that we are doing this in 140 character snippets or less is even better,” says Myburgh. A student spin-off to #edchatNZ has now emerged: #kidsedchatNZ, in which students from schools across New Zealand connect with each other, sharing what they have learned. Twitter is often referred to as a ‘microblogging’ site, and while it is ideal for quick exchanges, sharing links and thoughts as they crop up, many prefer its parent, the blog. Blogging continues to be popular; a blog is more like a public online diary, in which a person’s extended musings can be shared with the masses. Like #edchatNZ, blogging is a medium that has quickly been picked up by students. Idle web surfers could quite easily find themselves

probably be back into teaching in New Zealand next year but have decided I’ll wait until I’m home before I worry about jobs,” he says. However, it appears many Kiwi teachers abroad do like to keep an eye on the job market back home. Statistics show that in 2011, the Education Gazette website, on which teaching jobs are advertised, had over 53,000 visits from the United Kingdom, over 28,000 from Australia, and over 19,000 from the United States with thousands from South Africa, Canada, India, United Arab Emirates, Philippines and Fiji as well. The Gazette also provides curriculum updates and relevant information for New Zealand teachers, making it a popular site for those abroad with intentions of returning.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FROM AFAR Social media can play a part in a teacher’s professional development; #edchatNZ is described as teachers ‘taking their professional development into their own hands’. The added advantage for teachers teaching abroad is that it eliminates location as a barrier. However, Teachers Council doesn’t recognise professional development efforts of New Zealand teachers employed overseas. The Council considers recency of teaching experience

At any time of the day, we can log on to find someone, somewhere, who will help us solve a problem, offer a new perspective, or share their great ideas. engrossed in the student blogs from Pt England school, for example. Many teachers and classrooms keep blogs, allowing them to record their learning experiences and share them with others. Many teachers abroad do so as a way of remembering and sharing their experiences, too.

NEWS AND INFORMAL NETWORKS Of course, forums and social networking are not for everyone, and many rely on more low-key ways to stay in touch. The New Zealand Herald and Stuff websites appear to be popular with many Kiwis abroad for keeping in touch with what is happening with education news. And many simply stay in contact with former colleagues or people they studied with as a means of staying connected. Cameron Andrew, a Kiwi teaching in London, says he doesn’t bother much with forums and more formal social media avenues. “To be perfectly honest, the only thing I really do is stay in touch with friends back in New Zealand and hear how they are getting on. They will share anything that’s going on in the education system if I ask.” Andrew says his focus right now is more on his current teaching role, rather than what is happening back home. “I haven’t really thought about what’s going on back in New Zealand. I’ll

completed in New Zealand when considering whether or not a teacher is able to maintain full registration. All teachers seeking to maintain full registration need to have completed satisfactory recent teaching experience and have been appraised against the Registered Teacher Criteria. ‘Satisfactory recent teaching experience’ is defined in the Education Act 1989 as teaching completed in New Zealand and the Registered Teacher Criteria describes the criteria for quality teaching in New Zealand. Teachers Council confirm that teachers who have previously been fully registered but do not meet the satisfactory recent teaching requirement can reapply for registration in another category, subject to confirmation. This category indicates that the holder is an experienced teacher, but for valid reasons, has not recently been appraised as meeting the Registered Teacher Criteria. Yet, many New Zealand teachers currently abroad with a view to returning at some stage find that regardless of their current Teachers Council registration status, it is often in their best interests to keep in touch with what is happening back home. Keeping an eye on curriculum changes, job market fluctuations, educational policies, and what’s going on at their old school can sometimes help ease the reverse culture shock of coming back. ■

EDUCATION REVIEWseries Teach International 2013

17


FULLBRIGHT SCHOLARS

TAKING

KIWI TO CULTURE THE WORLD

Education Review talks to Karl Rangikawhiti Leonard and Scott Wilson, two New Zealand Fulbright Scholars currently in the United States teaching about their cultural passions of Ma- ori art and New Zealand cinema respectively. KARL RANGIKAWHITI LEONARD

– teaching courses in indigenous art traditions at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell, Montana Karl Leonard has been on the road. We tracked him down after he and his whānau arrived back at their home in Lakeside Montana after 24 days of travel. He’s worked out that the distance they have travelled equates to 87 hours on the road, or to put it into Kiwi terms, Te Reinga to Invercargill return, twice! The trip was significant as Leonard, in addition to visiting family friends in Wisconsin, was returning the Red Cloud Indian

18

EDUCATION REVIEWseries Teach International 2013

School Museum exhibition to South Dakota, after it had been lent to Kalispell, Montana in October last year. The exhibition was hoped to help form a relationship between Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell and its Indian neighbours, Salish Kootenai Community College in Pablo and Blackfeet Community College in Browning. The aim was for each of the colleges to take a turn in hosting the Red Cloud exhibition to collectively celebrate Indian art and awareness of their indigenous neighbours. Leonard’s involvement with the exhibition is indicative of the sort of work he is engaged with, as part of his Fulbright scholarship. He has been primarily working with a native Indian audience or those who have an interest in him as an indigenous person and the Māori people he represents. “This residency has reinforced my belief of where we as Māori sit as forerunners culturally, artistically, and linguistically as a people. It has enabled me to enter into Indian communities on their invitation and initiation,” says Leonard. Leonard says he initially had reservations about applying for the scholarship, due to the length of time it would take – 10 months or so. He was approached by Garry Nicholas, General Manager of Toi Māori, based in Wellington, who thought Leonard would be a good candidate given his arts and academic background and involvement, participation, and knowledge on things Māori. After some persuasion from his wife, Leonard applied and was successful. He arrived in Flathead Valley on 1 August 2012 and was followed two months later by his whānau – his wife and four children

aged six to 11 years. Fulbright paid travel for Leonard and his wife, and the couple paid for their children with assistance from Toi Māori. The family are there until 21 June this year. Leonard places great emphasis on being there and suggests this cannot be replicated by collaboration via modern technology, which he describes as “a western model of networking and sharing”. “Collaboration is based on worldview, culture, and kinship, which for most parts must be done face to face. For most indigenous people, you cannot create a real relationship without an invitation from them first and knowledge of how to carry and conduct yourself appropriately culturally,” he says. Leonard highly recommends the opportunity to participate in an exchange abroad. “An exchange is the only way to gain an appreciation, understanding, and knowledge of another people. For my children, it has strengthened their cultural identity and their academic ability as they have come from immersion teaching in Māori which is their first language to everything taught in English for the first time.” His advice to those considering a cultural exchange like his, is to first learn something of their practices and behaviours and have some idea of your own cultural identity. So what next for Leonard? When he returns to New Zealand he hopes to lecture and present where possible and also continue with the development of his art having met exponents of Indian art and practitioners of their culture. “Their influence is not the typical literal ‘grafting fusion’ but rather a coming together of ways in which the two art forms can work together in a duality rather than Māori art looking Indian or Indian art looking Māori.”


SCOTT WILSON – lecturing about New Zealand cinema at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Scott Wilson, a lecturer at Unitec with research interests in New Zealand cinema, had been looking for ways to “move out of his comfort zone” and develop his teaching practice further. He was keen to embark on a larger scale research project that would have a positive impact on his teaching and Unitec. “In a conversation with the lovely people at Unitec’s research office, the Fulbright was mentioned as a possibility and after a little investigating, seemed like an ideal opportunity to do all of those things within a well-established and rigorous structure.” Georgetown University’s Centre for Australian, New Zealand, and Pacific Studies has had a long history with the Fulbright programme and Wilson was attracted to the mix of teaching and research it offered. He is at Georgetown for the university’s spring semester. His teaching finishes at the end of April; after that, he intends to spend most of May in the Library of Congress, gathering research material for his project. Wilson is in Georgetown by himself, which he describes as “a little lonely” but also “great for giving me no excuse not to be working”. It appears Wilson’s teaching practice is benefitting from the exchange; he says he definitely feels like he is becoming a better teacher as a result of his time in D.C. “Any conversation with a group of students who are unfamiliar with the basic ideas that are central to this course – in this instance ideas about New Zealand national identity, New Zealand colonial history, or the broader history of settlement in Aotearoa/New Zealand means that I have to make sure I provide enough context to make the films mean something to the students, whilst at the same time, finding a way to let them offer their own opinions and insights from their own contexts and experiences. After all, trying to teach something to people who have had no prior experience is a great way of quickly discovering the previously invisible gaps of knowledge, or overlooked assumptions, one might have one’s self. “The conversations we’re having in class have been thoroughly fabulous

and have definitely allowed me to appreciate my topic through the eyes of people who are excited by it, but are also unfamiliar with it. I’ve also found that New Zealand cinema, because it is so very different to mainstream American film, provides a way for the students to talk about a variety of topics they might not otherwise feel comfortable discussing, like race, gender, and sexual politics and activism. So my own teaching is on its way to becoming more adept at using these texts to explore important concerns the students themselves have, which is a crucial part of engaging them with the classroom situation.” Wilson also believes his time spent at Georgetown will benefit New Zealand cinema in general. “Not only have I been able to introduce a select number of students to New Zealand films and their histories via this course, I’ve been able to experience some of what international audiences see when they encounter films from outside their own context. Given that I teach film history and theory in a New Zealand film school, dedicated to producing young New Zealand filmmakers, any insight I might have regarding what international audiences think, and how they interpret our films, will influence the ways I teach New Zealand film to New Zealand film students.” Wilson’s research project, which is at the heart of his time at Georgetown, is involved in exploring the international reception of New Zealand cinema, and his time with the students is a crucial part of his exploration. “My students often don’t notice something a New Zealand audience would be immediately alert to, like the differences between West Coast and East Coast beaches, or the ways in which class and status are coded for local audiences. At the same time, other things that are less important for a local audience become highly significant for them, like the presence of a Māori character in a film who never refers to his or her ethnicity (as in Scarfies or Stickmen). These insights could only really happen by taking New Zealand films to an international audience and spending time – lots of time – talking through these details.” It is this time spent engaging with students that has allowed Wilson to appreciate the importance of actually being there. “Even video conferencing limits conversation to the size of the

computer screen,” he says. “In the classroom, every shrug of the shoulders, yawn, or surreptitiously sent text is meaningful; every moment where a question is nearly asked but then isn’t becomes a chance to explore and develop a depth and breadth of understanding. I believe that with regards my own practice, in the future I’ll be seeking to utilise both possibilities, supplementing face-to-face classroom sessions with online or distanced resources. I believe that it’s not a case that one way is better than the other. Both are different and they offer different possibilities, opportunities and obstacles.” Wilson urges other lecturers to consider overseas opportunities. He suggests the most important thing is not only to keep an open mind, but also any open ear. “I encourage my students to let me know what they don’t understand, be it my accent or specific pieces of contextual information. My expectations prior to arriving here are different to my

expectations (of both the students and myself) as I approach the end of my teaching at Georgetown. “One of the unexpected freedoms I’ve found is that because the students knew in advance that I was a visiting scholar, they had no preconceptions about how I would be in the classroom and so were never going to compare me to the standard lecturer; this means that we could experiment in the classroom on the classroom, working out what we enjoyed, what worked best, and what didn’t work so well.” Upon returning to New Zealand, Wilson intends to return to lecturing but also hopes to continue with his research. “I’m gathering more material, as a result of my research, than I’ll be able to deal with whilst here [in Georgetown], so the business of assessing all that I’ve found will be an ongoing one, and necessarily all of that material will find its way both into my teaching practice and also into directing ongoing research.” ■

EDUCATION REVIEWseries Teach International 2013

19


OVERSEAS TEACHING

Far left: My grade 6 students, Gyetighi School, Karatu, Tanzania, 2009. Left: Sports exchange with a neighboring school (after a 2 hour walk to get there football began!). Students here are 14, 15 and 16 years old.

WHAT TANZANIA

TAUGHT THE KIWI TEACHER

HOLLY PAYNE reflects on her time teaching in Tanzania and questions whether her Kiwi teaching methods were appropriate in a vastly different culture.

H

aving returned from Africa over three years ago, there is rarely a day when I don’t reflect on a moment from Gyetighi School, situated amidst coffee plantations and cornfields, in the Safari Capital of Tanzania. The people, culture, geography, and resources, made for a teaching experience I will never forget. At first, it was the differences that stood out to me the most. The prefabs for classrooms, and the small children sitting row by row, six per bench, was a somewhat different classroom set-up to what I had grown accustomed at Queen Margaret Girls’ College in Wellington. There, we had one desk per child and chairs were tailor made for back posture and comfort. Furthermore, at Queen Margaret, the students were well-nourished and there was a 24 student per class limit. In stark contrast to this, at Gyetighi, I taught between 40 and 70 students per class, and while the students appeared to be tiny in physique, they were in fact often 17 and 18 years of age, malnourished and underdeveloped. The playground consisted of one metal swing and a slide, donated by an American organisation, and the students of Gyetighi worked hard to maintain the conditions of the play area. During the break time they hacked at the mud with metal hoes, while smaller children played and darted the swinging tools. All I could think of was the jungle gym that had recently arrived in the Junior School of Queen Margaret. It was surrounded by rubber padding and of high tech design. Tanzania was no comparison for playgrounds or for health and safety. Armed with chalk and a blackboard, as well as three weeks of Kiswahili language school, paid for by VSA (Volunteer Service Abroad), I was handed my resources for teaching. I had observed the Tanzanian practices, more often than not limited to rote learning and a small, outdated text book, so I was keen to try out the Kiwi method, among limited resources and a different culture and language. I introduced group work, class discussion, vocab lists, unit plans, and to my students’ surprise, I turned up to class each day.

20

EDUCATION REVIEWseries Teach International 2013

For Tanzanian teachers, the latter was particularly difficult, as often they also ran a personal business, such as growing crops or selling milk from their cows, to make up for the insufficient pay in teaching. While at first I was outraged by this lack of commitment and consistency, as time passed, I came to question what I would do given these same circumstances. Tanzania was no comparison for a teacher’s salary. Introducing new teaching methods was a challenge indeed. Both students and teachers were used to the command method of teaching and therefore they were reluctant to try anything new. It was difficult for the Tanzanian teachers to realise that just because students were talking in class, it did not mean that they were off task, and just because they did not recite phrases back to the teacher, it did not mean that they would not remember the material. With time and effort, I was able to demonstrate how teaching can be interactive and engaging and that perhaps there should be less emphasis on what is right and wrong, and more emphasis on the process of learning. In saying this, however, as I became wiser through time in Tanzania, I began to understand the consequences of a right or wrong answer in the Tanzanian education system. The difference between a pass and fail is the difference between further education and relegation to the fields. In Karatu, coffee workers earn less than one dollar a day, while passing grade 7 means entry into secondary school and a ticket out of the remote Rift Valley. Therefore, I came to question my own

teaching practices. Perhaps drilling of questions and answers was the best way to pass an exam? What evidence do we have that diverse teaching methods produce better results for Tanzanian children whose outcomes are vastly different to New Zealand students? As a white woman from small town New Zealand, my perspective was limited. Perhaps teaching in Tanzania cannot be compared to teaching in New Zealand. However, as my days at school unravelled, similarities also began to appear. First, there were similarities in the staff room. Indeed, teacher hierarchy transcends culture and language! Additionally, there were similarities in the way in which children behave. No matter what culture or languages, children will always manipulate whatever they have available to create games and laughter. Plastic bags wrapped with string make just as good balls as rubber ones and flicking bugs work just as well as flicking paper clips or blue tack in the classroom! On reflection, Tanzania has taught me the importance of an open mind. It has taught me not to judge before knowing and not to make comparisons with individuals and cultures. It has also taught me to think twice about my own teaching practices and to never assume that one teaching practice is better than another. For me, there is no such thing as ‘universal best practice’. It is indeed specific to a certain culture and place. Furthermore, what New Zealanders may label as poverty, is not necessarily what the children of Tanzania consider it to be. And in making judgements and comparisons there is danger in creating issues of corruption and unhappiness that previously did not exist. Teaching in remote Tanzania is no comparison to teaching in New Zealand. ■


OVERSEAS SCHOOL TRIPS

THE BIG WIDE WORLD –

BUT AT WHAT COST? Concerns over health and safety, increasing inequality between and within schools, financial pressure on parents, and difficulty with fundraising all create hurdles for the overseas school trip. However, many schools believe these obstacles should not stand in the way of offering their students the chance to experience the world.

I

n January this year, Bethlehem College’s four-week volunteer project in Kenya turned to tragedy when a road accident killed three members of the group. The tragic circumstances were compounded with controversy after a member of the group eventually admitted to driving the vehicle instead of the group’s Kenyan driver, who was also killed. The incident left the school and wider community reeling. Bethlehem College conducted a private investigation into the crash that concluded the school’s systems to guide overseas trips had not been strong enough. “So many lessons have been learned from this,” Board chairman Greg Hollister-Jones told the Bay of Plenty Times. The lessons won’t be heeded by Bethlehem alone; with more and more New Zealand schools conducting overseas trips, many others will also be taking these lessons on board. A quick trawl through school websites reveal that many are getting their students on aeroplanes and onto foreign turf on a fairly regular basis. Last year, Hillcrest High School offered a French language trip to Noumea and a Social Sciences trip to the Gold Coast. Hastings Boys High School has golf, rugby, and cricket tours planned for Australia this year. Every two years, a group of students from Diocesan visits its Sister School, Juntoku Girls’ High School in Tokyo, Japan for two weeks. Even primary and intermediate schools are venturing overseas – Murray’s Bay Intermediate takes 30 Year 8 students to Fukuoka, Japan each year. Heather Gorrie, principal of Gisborne Girls’ High School, a school that also offers a variety of overseas experiences for their students, says it is an incredible challenge to ensure that each trip is compliant with ever toughening health and safety regulations. Fortunately, the health and safety burden is not heavy enough to deter most schools. Despite the blow, Bethlehem College intends to continue with its overseas missions and is even planning to return to Kenya later this year. Gorrie says that as Gisborne is the second most isolated city on Earth, offering opportunities for their students to see the wider world is critically important for broadening horizons. Gisborne Girls’ High School’s overseas travel programme, which includes international languages trips to Europe, arts trip to Melbourne and health studies trip to Vanuatu on a two-yearly cycle, is based around curriculum extension for the participating subject areas. Other trips have also included Maori Language trips to Tahiti and a Heath trip Africa.

Historically, many overseas trips for schools were sports-focused – a first fifteen trip to Australia was a popular example of many high schools’ first foray into student trips abroad. However, the scope of school travel has come a long way, with many now venturing abroad for many different curriculum purposes. “The range of curriculum areas where trips are offered also allows for students from all walks of life to participate. Due to our isolation and limited socio economic base many of our students have not travelled beyond New Zealand and for some they have not travelled far beyond Gisborne,” says Gorrie. She says that in addition to health and safety elements, it is an incredible challenge to ensure that each trip is financially viable. Funding occurs through extensive fundraising over a two year period and is carefully linked to current curriculum assessment opportunities. A successful trip involves thousands of teacher hours, says Gorrie. “It is a test of marathon proportions in a community that has limited financial resources.” There are now agents and services to assist schools with the fundraising and planning of school trips. Travel to Learn, for example, offers school trips, sports and educational tours, visits and programmes to a variety of destinations around the world. They can tailor the tours to support relevant student learning. Other schools partner with community organisations to help with costs. However, despite the help of agencies, partnerships and the most creative and extensive fundraising activities, it is becoming increasingly difficult to raise the necessary money. “We have noted that in toughening economic times it has become harder to ensure fundraising targets are met for these trips and our lead teachers have developed many novel ways of fundraising for both individual students and each travelling group as a collective. Equity of access for our students to overseas experiences is critically important,” says Gorrie. The consideration of individual students is important, as schools don’t want students to miss out, however nor do they want to place undue pressure on families to find money that might not be there. It is a topic that needs to be handled sensitively. PPTA president Angela Roberts recently told The Press that overseas jaunts “increased inequality, segregation, and competition” among

schools, with under-pressure parents forking over large sums of cash. “It is well known a decile 10 school is much more likely to go to Gallipoli or Rome than a decile one school,” she said. However, while Gorrie acknowledges the difficulty of fundraising, she believes it is important that all students should have an opportunity to experience the world, regardless of their financial situation. At Gisborne Girls, careful and considered planning goes in around each trip to ensure that students who may be economically disadvantaged still have the opportunity to fundraise. “We see many family and whānau get in behind these young women to ensure that targets are met,” says Gorrie, “The two year lead in time around these trips has become a necessity in our community to ensure that the money can be raised without placing undue stress on individual families. We also provide choice for families that can offer extra financial support for some students but there is a clear expectation that all students will participate together in group fundraising to support group bonding.” Group bonding is an important part of it – not just for the trip itself, but for the preparation and follow-up. The excellent working relationships developed between students with their teachers and fellow students, as a result of working closely to fundraise, plan and coordinate in preparation for their trip, is a positive outcome many schools have noted. The positive outcomes of venturing further afield are many and fortunately, in most cases, vastly outweigh the work and commitment involved, the challenges surrounding fundraising, and the very real health and safety concerns. “We have seen significant benefit for our students who have travelled on these trips and for many they have been life changing experiences that have acted to lift personal and future goals, raise awareness and for all have promoted the desire for overseas travel later in life. Students who have engaged in these trips have seen real world applications for their learning and this has consistently resulted in increased levels of academic achievement,” says Gorrie. According to The Press Angela Roberts says education outside the classroom is “absolutely valuable” but questions the need to fly schoolchildren all over the world. She believes offering overseas trips is used as “a great sales pitch for the school” in many cases. ■

EDUCATION REVIEWseries Teach International 2013

21


INGENIO et LABORE

By natural ability and hard work

GREAT TEACHERS never stop

LEARNING APPLY NOW for postgraduate study

in SEMESTER

TWO

Behind every successful student is a great teacher, and great teachers are learners too. At New Zealand’s world-ranked* university our leading academic staff will provide you with the knowledge and skills to advance your career, so that together we can grow the students of tomorrow, today.

KingSt11959_ER_A

Take the next step in your learning journey. Enquire about our range of study options to suit your busy career and your lifestyle, starting July 2013.

www.education.auckland.ac.nz | 0800 61 62 65 education@auckland.ac.nz *www.worldranked.ac.nz

Teach international edr 2013  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you