Education: Journal Articles

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  • ItemOpen Access
    Turou hawaiki: Morning karakia and waiata as culturally responsive pedagogy
    (The University of Queensland, 2023) Karaka-Clarke, T H; Ratima, Matiu Tai; Stevens, Susannah; Motu, E; Watson, M
    This article presents the findings of a qualitative case study on voluntary participation in morning karakia (incantation, prayer) and waiata (song) sessions, led by a group of teacher educators. This study is informed by a selective review of literature from three relevant sources: the impact of music therapy practices, culturally responsive pedagogy, and the normalisation of te reo Māori (Māori language) and tikanga Māori (Māori protocols and customs). This approach to the literature review was necessary given the paucity of research on the impact of indigenous cultural practices such as karakia and waiata in mainstream cultural contexts. Through thematic analysis of a survey questionnaire (N = 65) and semi-structured interviews (n = 9), findings showed that participants experienced an improved sense of wellbeing, an increased feeling of whanaungatanga (relationships and belonging) and greater confidence in engaging with Māori culture. This study could be considered a catalyst for additional research into the practice of daily karakia and waiata in educational or professional contexts to better understand the long-term effects on wellbeing and on cultural competence and confidence.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Refugee young people (re)forming identities: The role of social networks
    (2019) Langat , Kiprono; Major , Jae; Wilkinson , Jane
    Educational contexts around the world are increasingly characterized by diversity, including a rise in students from refugee backgrounds. Much research has focused on the educational needs of these students and the particular struggles they experience in educational contexts. The increasing number of refugee and asylum seeking children in Australia calls for rethinking approaches to enhance the acculturation process in ways that build on individuals’ prior knowledge and understanding of self. This paper draws on data from a larger case study that focused on Sudanese young people in regional Australia and investigated their out-of-school activities, networks, and practices and how these contributed to their success across a range of contexts. Drawing on perspectives of identity and theories of social capital, we discuss the role of social networks in generating social capital and what this means in terms of the (re)formation of students’ identities in regional locations, and we consider how this can contribute to educational success. We suggest that the resources in regional areas present both a challenge and an opportunity for young former-refugee people in terms of repositioning themselves in new social, cultural, and educational contexts. The paper examines how the young people developed their own momentum, rationality, and legitimacy in their identity (re)formation, and suggests that educational settings need to connect with and understand young people’s out-of-school resources to avoid deficit narratives that lead to poor educational outcomes.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Pedagogical Innovation in Higher Education
    (IGI Global, 2020) Major, Jae; Tait-McCutcheon , Sandi Lynne; Averill, Robin; Wood, Amanda; Knewstubb , Bernadette; Mortlock, Anita; Jones , Liz
    Quality teaching in higher education (HE) is gaining increasing international attention and pedagogical innovation is seen as an important construct of quality teaching. The drivers for pedagogical innovation include the need for 21st century skills and understandings, student demographics and empowerment, technological advances, and a turn to teaching in HE. Defining innovative pedagogies is a recurring challenge in the literature and a key focus of this article. Using an investigation into innovative approaches to teaching and learning at one New Zealand university, prevailing themes of newness, benefit, and student outcomes are discussed to develop a working definition. What is missing from the discourses and definitions is specific consideration of the influence of context on what counts as pedagogical innovation. In light of this, the authors offer an emergent definition of pedagogical innovation in higher education.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Working with complexity: Leading school networks in Aotearoa New Zealand and England
    (SAGE Publications, 2022) Greany T; Kamp, Annelies
    Inter-school networks have been promoted in many school systems globally to facilitate: knowledge generation and dissemination; responsiveness to increasingly diverse student and societal needs; and emotional and practical peer support for educational professionals. In understanding contemporary education as a ‘wicked’ problem, this paper explores case studies of inter-school networks in Aotearoa New Zealand (New Zealand) and England through the lens of complexity theory. We focus on how the conditions necessary for complex emergence identified by Davis and Sumara operate and how these conditions, along with their ‘enabling constraints’, facilitate the emergence of new perspectives and practices that enable the achievement of network objectives. This analysis indicates that where particular forms of leadership are in place, challenges – such as fragmentation, competition and the absence of social capital – can be overcome. We argue that network leaders need to balance and bridge three overlapping leadership approaches: operational leadership, entrepreneurial leadership and enabling leadership. We conclude by exploring the implications and insights for school, network and system leaders.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Evolution of an Innovative Online Task to Monitor Children's Oral Narrative Development
    (Frontiers Media SA, 2022) Kopach A; Scott, Amy; Gillon, Gail; McNeill, Brigid
    Oral narrative abilities are an important measure of children's language competency and have predictive value for children's later academic performance. Research and development underway in New Zealand is advancing an innovative online oral narrative task. This task uses audio recordings of children's story retells, speech-to-text software and language analysis to record, transcribe, analyse and present oral narrative and listening comprehension data back to class teachers. The task has been designed for class teachers' use with the support of SLP or literacy specialists in data interpretation. Teachers are upskilled and supported in order to interpret these data and implement teaching practices for students through online professional learning and development modules, within the context of a broader evidence-based approach to early literacy instruction. This article describes the development of this innovative, culturally relevant, online tool for monitoring children's oral narrative ability and listening comprehension in their first year of school. Three phases of development are outlined, showing the progression of the tool from a researcher-administered task during controlled research trials, to wide-scale implementation with thousands of students throughout New Zealand. The current iteration of the tool uses an automatic speech-recognition system with specifically trained transcription models and support from research assistants to check transcription, then code and analyse the oral narrative. This reduces transcription and analysis time to ~7 min, with a word error rate of around 20%. Future development plans to increase the accuracy of automatic transcription and embed basic language analysis into the tool, with the aim of removing the need for support from research assistants.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Giftedness and infancy/toddlerhood: A Foucauldian analysis of discursive constructions
    (Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented, Ltd., 2023) Delaune, Andrea
    This conceptual research study examines the discursive constructions of giftedness, infancy/toddlerhood, and economics/neoliberalism to consider their implications in gifted education. This analysis is undertaken from a Foucauldian perspective and draws from concepts such as power/knowledge, discourses, disciplines, and power relationships to illustrate how these shape individuals within the gifted education milieu. Through an analysis of the layering of discourses, and the multiple subject positions which gifted infants/toddlers experience their formation of identity(ies), the reader is presented with opportunities to examine normative and alternate understandings of power/knowledge arrangements and reconsider the subjectivity of giftedness/infancy/toddlerhood anew. A further layering of economic discourses follows to expand the discussion and consider the gifted infant/toddler within wider social and political networks of power. This subsequent layering invites the reader to reconsider the discursive positioning of the gifted infant/toddler within wider discussions of equity and social justice. A final summation is offered to consider the possibilities of further post-structural analyses to extend rethinking giftedness through other theoretical concepts.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Space for you and your baby: Participant perceptions of community-based postnatal parenting support and adjustment to parenthood
    (2022) Amersfoort L-M; Friesen, Myron
    Space for You and Your Baby is a preventative support programme for new parents based on the Australian supported playgroup model. In Aotearoa New Zealand, Space is provided to approximately 2000 participants each year but has never been formally evaluated. This study employed a cross-sectional retrospective research design and examined why new parents attend Space and how Space contributed to their adjustment to parenthood. Over 500 current and former participants completed a mixed-methods survey. The results showed that participants were primarily motivated to attend Space for social support and highly endorsed the programme across all of the targeted outcomes. Facilitator competency moderated these generally positive findings. The results have implications for facilitator training, community partnerships, and point to opportunities for further evaluation research.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The impact of student self-disclosure on the stress and wellbeing of tertiary educators during the COVID-19 pandemic
    (2023) Dutton, Hilary; Sotardi, Valerie
    Workplace stress, burnout, and fatigue are commonplace amongst tertiary educators, and are compounded by the ongoing challenges of teaching and learning during a global pandemic. Amid efforts to identify and understand contributors to educator stress, student-teacher interactions have received relatively little attention. However, educators are often expected to engage in pastoral care when students disclose academic and personal problems. Receiving and responding to self-disclosure can be emotionally taxing, particularly in professional contexts of care, and therefore contribute to educator experiences of stress and burnout. In this study, we examined the relations between student self-disclosure and educator stress and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand. Almost all of the 318 tertiary educators received COVID-19 related disclosures from students. Findings show that educators whose students had shared personal problems during COVID-19 were more likely to report high stress and poor wellbeing.Such communication was also associated with higher rates of workplace presenteeism, suggesting that these teachers were likely to push themselves to a level that risks illness. Fortunately, these negative impacts were ameliorated when educators also reported a sense of support in the workplace. The implications for educators and tertiary institutions are discussed, including the provision of educator training and well-resourced student support services.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A better start literacy approach: effectiveness of Tier 1 and Tier 2 support within a response to teaching framework
    (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022) Gillon, Gail; McNeill, Brigid; Scott, Amy; Arrow, Alison; Gath, Megan; Macfarlane, Angus
    The Better Start Literacy Approach (BSLA) is a strengths-based approach to supporting children’s literacy learning in their first year of school. Previous research has shown the approach is effective at accelerating foundational literacy knowledge in children with lower levels of oral language. This study examined the impact of the BSLA for children with varied language profiles and across schools from diverse socioeconomic communities. Additionally, a controlled analysis of the impact of Tier 2 teaching within a response to teaching framework was undertaken. Participants included 402 five-year-old children from 14 schools in New Zealand. A randomised delayed treatment design was utilised to establish the effect of Tier 1 teaching. Analyses showed a significant Tier 1 intervention effect for phoneme awareness, letter-sound knowledge, non-word reading and non-word spelling. There was no difference in intervention effects across socioeconomic groupings. Children were identified for Tier 2 teaching after 10 weeks of Tier 1 implementation. The progress of 98 children in response to Tier 2 teaching was compared to 26 children who met Tier 2 criteria but received only Tier 1 teaching within this study. Children in the Tier 2 group scored significantly higher on phonological awareness, non-word reading, and spelling than the control group at the post-Tier 2 assessment point, after controlling for pre-Tier 2 scores. The results suggest that a proactive strengths-based approach to supporting foundational literacy learning in children’s first year of school benefits all learners. The findings have important implications for early provision of literacy learning support in order to reduce current inequities in literacy outcomes.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Implementing the 2014 SEND reforms in England: perspectives from SENCOs
    (Wiley, 2021) Tysoe K; Boulton H; Vincent, Kerry
    Introduction: This applied social research investigated the role of special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs) in relation to the 2014 SEND (special educational needs and disability) reforms in London schools. This article reports on the views and experiences of the SENCOs in five schools and contributes to the emerging body of research on how the SEND reforms are being embedded in practice which has relevance both nationally and internationally. The article uses the terms SEND (special educational needs and disability) and SEN (special educational needs) interchangeably in describing special needs.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Kōrero Mai: Kaiako experiences of synchronous online teaching and learning in New Zealand
    (2022) Karaka-Clarke TH; Macfarlane A; Bell B; Fletcher, Jo
    Online teaching and learning programmes allow ākonga who live in isolated areas, or who have differing learning requirements, to study by distance. Maintaining student engagement in the online environment is an important aspect. This article explores how kaiako (teachers) can engage their ākonga (students) better in online environments. The article has a particular emphasis on supporting Māori learners, who represent 25% of the New Zealand school population. Five kaiako were interviewed about their experience of teaching New Zealand secondary school students online. The study found that the kaiako had some awareness of bicultural values and practices, but lacked confidence in embedding it in their online teaching, which was limited to synchronous timetabled sessions with some communication by text and email. The time provided for online students was considerably less than for the secondary students in traditional classrooms.
  • ItemOpen Access
    “I can be a girl if I want to”: Supporting or silencing children’s working theories during counter-heteronormative picturebook sessions in early childhood education
    (University of Waikato, 2022) Morgan K; Surtees, Nicola
    Prevailing heteronormative discourses in early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand present difficulties for upholding the right of gender diverse tamariki (children) and lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer-parented families to experience belonging in equitable, inclusive early childhood settings. The purposeful use of picturebooks that disrupt these discourses can go some way towards mitigating against exclusion. This article draws on the findings of a small-scale qualitative research project that explored early childhood teachers’ use of picturebooks that included gender diverse children and lesbian- and gay-parented family content. In highlighting teacher support for or silencing of children’s working theories about possibilities for gender change and two mother or two father parents during the picturebook sessions, the article makes a case for expanding the curriculum beyond the limits of heteronormativity. Some practice recommendations for facilitating picturebook sessions are offered to this end. Importantly, teacher preparedness to manage discomfort arising through discussion of topics perceived to be dangerous or risky during such sessions is critical.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Impacting Change in Classroom Literacy Instruction: A Further Investigation of the Better Start Literacy Approach
    (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022) Gillon G; McNeill B; Gath M; Scott, Amy
    AbstractA controlled intervention study supported the effectiveness of teachers implementing an integrated intervention (Better Start Literacy Approach; BSLA) to accelerate foundational literacy skills for children in Year 1 with low levels of oral language ability in a community with significant challenges to effective teaching and learning (Gillon et al., 2019). As part of an implementation approach, the current study aimed to investigate whether teachers from less challenging contexts can successfully implement the Better Start Literacy Approach with reduced support from researchers. Two schools with a total of 93 Year 0/1 children participated in the teacher-led classroom literacy intervention, with 20% of sample classified as linguistically diverse. A series of research questions explored the impact of the intervention on children’s foundational literacy skills. Repeated measures general linear models demonstrated a positive impact of the intervention for the research group compared to the control group. Further analysis demonstrated the intervention was equally effective for linguistically diverse learners. The findings have important implications for better understanding the effectiveness of the BSLA in differing contexts and for linguistically diverse learners, further adding to the research for this literacy intervention.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Using emerging technology to draw learning across the curriculum
    (2021) Rimmer T; Le Comte K; MacCallum, Kathryn; Reinsfield E; Eames C; Fox-Turnbull W
    To drive the wider adoption of STEM in schools, researchers have promoted the benefits of teaching STEM subjects integrated across the curriculum. This integration can support more authentic learning opportunities where learning is framed in real-world application or driven through problem/project based learning. The integration of digital technologies (DT), where the learning moves away from consumption to creation, provides for further application of learning where the development of artefacts can be situated within other subjects. This integration, however, raises new challenges for effective teaching and learning, and while new technologies and approaches can support this practice, this is still evolving. In this study we explore how one high school in New Zealand has integrated the creation of digital artefacts situated, in the digital technologies (DT) class, with learning in the Māori Performing Arts class. The study explores how mixed reality (MR), combined with design thinking approaches, provide new opportunities to integrate learning and support engagement in STEM. Drawing on a participatory action research methodology, this article explores the experiences and perceptions of three teachers as they adopt MR to engage and teach students drawing on critical DT skills.
  • ItemOpen Access
    First-Year University Students' Authentic Experiences with Evaluation Anxiety and their Attitudes toward Assessment
    (2022) Sotardi, Valerie; Dutton, Hilary
    EMBARGOED UNTIL 04 OCTOBER 2023 In this study, we sought to understand assessment-related attitudes and authentic experiences of evaluation anxiety with a sample of first-year university students. We focused on identifying (a) why students had reported high levels of anxiety on a recent, grade-bearing assessment, and (b) how their attitudes toward assessment type and weighting influenced their views on anxiety and learning. Drawing on social constructivist principles, 31 first-year students in New Zealand participated in a 25-minute interview. Semi-structured interviews included open-ended items about students’ experiences with anxiety, followed by a Q-sort task that structured dialogue around assessment attitudes. Results show that evaluation anxiety was reportedly caused by several factors, including students’ doubts about their capabilities, concerns about insufficient time and time management, external pressures to be successful, unclear institutional standards for quality, and concerns about performing well on certain types of assessment. Students reported that oral presentations and high-stakes written tasks were more anxiety-inducing for them. Meanwhile, students reported that high-stakes written tasks, low-stakes tests, and lowstakes written tasks helped them learn more effectively than other assessment types and weightings. We discuss the implications of assessment design, including the challenges of evaluating students in a way that facilitates learning and limits unnecessary evaluation anxiety.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Exploring Community Mental Health Systems - A Participatory Health Needs and Assets Assessment in the Yamuna Valley, North India.
    (Maad Rayan Publishing Company, 2020) Rawat M; Thompson A; Gaitonde R; Jain S; Mathias, Kaaren
    Background: In India and global mental health, a key component of the care gap for people with mental health problems is poor system engagement with the contexts and priorities of community members. This study aimed to explore the nature of community mental health systems by conducting a participatory community assessment of the assets and needs for mental health in Uttarkashi, a remote district in North India. Methods: The data collection and analysis process were emergent, iterative, dialogic and participatory. Transcripts of 28 in-depth interviews (IDIs) with key informants such as traditional healers, people with lived experience and doctors at the government health centres (CHCs), as well as 10 participatory rural appraisal (PRA) meetings with 120 people in community and public health systems, were thematically analysed. The 753 codes were grouped into 93 categories and ultimately nine themes and three meta-themes (place, people, practices), paying attention to equity. Results: Yamuna valley was described as both 'blessed' and limited by geography, with bountiful natural resources enhancing mental health, yet remoteness limiting access to care. The people described strong norms of social support, yet hierarchical with entrenched exclusions related to caste and gender, and social conformity that limited social accountability of services. Care practices were porous, pluralist and fragmented, with operational primary care services that acknowledged traditional care providers, and trusted resources for mental health such as traditional healers (malis) and government health workers (accredited social health activists. ASHAs). Yet care was often absent or limited by being experienced as disrespectful or of low quality. Conclusion: Findings support the value of participatory methods, and policy actions that address power relations as well as social determinants within community and public health systems. To improve mental health in this remote setting and other South Asian rural locations, community and public health systems must dialogue with the local context, assets and priorities and be socially accountable.
  • ItemOpen Access
    “We’ve got through hard times before: acute mental distress and coping among disadvantaged groups during COVID-19 lockdown in North India - a qualitative study”
    (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020) Rawat M; Philip S; Grills N; Mathias, Kaaren
    Background: The COVID-19 crisis in India negatively impacted mental health due to both the disease and the harsh lockdown, yet there are almost no qualitative studies describing mental health impacts or the strategies of resilience used, and in particular, no reports from the most vulnerable groups. This study aimed to examine the acute mental health impacts of the COVID-19 crisis as well as coping strategies employed by disadvantaged community members in North India. Methods: We used an intersectional lens for this qualitative study set in rural Tehri Garwhal and urban Dehradun districts of Uttarakhand, India. In-depth interviews were conducted in May 2020 during lockdown, by phone and in person using purposive selection, with people with disabilities, people living in slums with psychosocial disabilities and widows (total n = 24). We used the framework method for analysis following steps of transcription and translation, familiarisation, coding, developing and then applying a framework, charting and then interpreting data. Findings: The participants with compounded disadvantage had almost no access to mobile phones, health messaging or health care and experienced extreme mental distress and despair, alongside hunger and loss of income. Under the realms of intrapersonal, interpersonal and social, six themes related to mental distress emerged: feeling overwhelmed and bewildered, feeling distressed and despairing, feeling socially isolated, increased events of othering and discrimination, and experiencing intersectional disadvantage. The six themes summarising coping strategies in the COVID-19 crisis were: finding sense and meaning, connecting with others, looking for positive ways forward, innovating with new practices, supporting others individually and collectively, and engaging with the natural world. Conclusions: People intersectionally disadvantaged by their social identity experienced high levels of mental distress during the COVID-19 crisis, yet did not collapse, and instead described diverse and innovative strategies which enabled them to cope through the COVID-19 lockdown. This study illustrates that research using an intersectional lens is valuable to design equitable policy such as the need for access to digital resources, and that disaggregated data is needed to address social inequities at the intersection of poverty, disability, caste, religious discrimination and gender inherent in the COVID-19 pandemic in India.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The absurdity of research registration for community-oriented knowledge coproduction
    (BMJ, 2021) Nagesh S; Varghese S; Qadeer I; Bhan A; Mathias, Kaaren
    Summary box: ►Requirement for a priori registration of research builds on the colonial roots of global health, excluding community-based researchers from global conversations. ► When communities and community-based organisations (CBOs) coproduce knowledge, it is more relevant, acceptable, appropriate, responsive and effective in generating change. ► Recognising the inherent value of studies which are small, specific, local, descriptive, observational or which focus on implementation reorders the current hierarchies of rigour and contributes to decolonising global health. ► Registration provides one pathway to public accountability, but perhaps a more rigorous pathway to accountability is long-term, engaged and documented relationships between researchers and communities. ► When necessary, global health research should allow for retrospective registration, with full fee waivers for researchers from CBOs and low-income and middle-income settings.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Analysis of lower hand wrist flexion and twist of the mallet head in a croquet shot
    (MDPI AG, 2020) Clarke, Jenny
    This study investigated the relationship between wrist flexion and the dynamics of the swing of a croquet mallet. Twenty-seven subjects participated in a study which used 3D motion capture equipment along with high-speed and high-definition video to determine if there is a correlation between the lateral twist of a croquet player's swing and the flexion of the wrist during that swing. The study found a significant correlation between the amount of flexion of the wrist from the start of the stroke to the top of the backswing and the twist of the mallet head at the top of the backswing (r = 0.330; p < 0.01). The methodology and findings are relevant to all sports where minimising wrist flexion is favourable for improving the consistency of stroke-making (e.g., golf putting, darts and snooker). Additionally, reducing wrist motion in stroke-making may reduce the incidence of wrist pain and injury in croquet. This second point provides further encouragement for attempting to reduce the amount of wrist flexion during croquet swings.