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Becoming effective teachers for under-25 students

MEDIA RELEASE – Bay of Plenty Polytechnic

Becoming effective teachers for under-25 students: A model for professional development decision-making.

A two year collaborative research project incorporating the combined skills of a team of researchers from the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, Eastern Institute of Technology, Wintec, Waiariki Institute of Technology and Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi is now underway, collecting and collating data to investigate and ensure the effective teaching for under-25 students in tertiary study.

This project is one of four that has been funded by Ako Aotearoa New Zealand National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence in 2013.

This research will involve ten case studies of programmes with high proportions of under-25 students in these five New Zealand tertiary institutions. Feedback collected from teachers, staff developers and students will inform the development of a professional development decision-making model. The new model will promote the integration of learning and teaching practices into course designs that are sustainable and responsive to the needs of under-25 students.

A recent study undertaken at the Eastern Institute of Technology investigating teacher professional development that contributes to successful outcomes for youth, Māori and Pacific students found that there is no evidence-based model that guides professional development decision-making for teachers of these students.

Bay of Plenty Polytechnic Academic Director, Dr Helen Anderson, is delighted the project is underway.

“Bay of Plenty Polytechnic is committed to excellence in learning and teaching; this project will make a significant contribution to our understanding of how students learn best and how we can ensure that our teachers are engaged with that learning,” says Dr Anderson. “It is too easy to assume we know what new generations of students need without investigating or challenging ourselves. This project creates a robust, research-informed opportunity for us to keep improving the relevance of the educational experience we design for students.”

Bay of Plenty Polytechnic Academic Staff Development Advisor, Judith Honeyfield, who is one of the five lead researchers involved, is looking forward to the commencement of the project.

“This is an absolute career highlight to work with five educational developers on such a crucial project,” says Judith. “It’s fantastic to hear direct from students and staff and to gather information based on and around more effective practice. For today’s students in the new age world of technology and communication, it is imperative that we remain in touch with what they need and respond to, and that we continually improve educational methods and the support we offer our students.”

Bay of Plenty Polytechnic is a co-leader of this project and is delighted to be working with its three regional tertiary partners as well as two larger organisations. Judith believes that, “Sharing our expertise and findings in this way will really maximise the outcomes for our students and the value of this research nationally and internationally.”


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