University of Canterbury teaching & learning research funded $726,000

Two University of Canterbury research projects to improve outcomes for young learners will share half of the $1.5 million 2021 Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) funding.

Three University of Canterbury School of Teacher Education academics with first-hand experience of teaching in Aotearoa’s schools are leading two of five newly announced TLRI research projects – Lecturer in Māori education and former primary school teacher Jen Smith, Lecturer and former secondary mathematics teacher Dr David Pomeroy, and Senior Lecturer and former primary and secondary teacher Kay-Lee Jones.

More about the UC-led research projects:

Ngā pūrākau o Te Kura o Tuahiwi. A Kaupapa Māori Case Study: a mixed methods approach

Investigator: Jen Smith
Partnership: Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury; Tuahiwi School
Funding: $277,287 over 2 years

Pūrākau, as a traditional form of Māori narrative, are central to the sharing of knowledge, culture and philosophy. This research, through a Kaupapa Māori approach, seeks to respond to the needs of Te Kura o Tuahiwi (the location of the case study) through the development of place-based pūrākau as a resource for early literacy teaching. The impact of these pūrākau will be explored, including the usefulness of these as a teaching and learning resource and the impact on vocabulary learning and emerging literacy capabilities of tamariki in dual language and rūmaki contexts.

Pāngarau unleashed: A multiple case study of de-streaming secondary mathematics

Kay-Lee Jones, Dr David Pomeroy, Associate Professor Sara Tolbert and Nathan Riki.
Partnership: Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury; Te Pā o Rākaihautū; Te Kura o Hine Waiora | Christchurch Girls’ High School; Onslow College; Mana College; Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | Ministry of Education; Tokona te Raki | Māori Futures Collective
Funding: $449,352 over 3 years

Many secondary schools in Aotearoa currently ‘stream’ mathematics, despite evidence that streaming exacerbates achievement inequalities and harms self-confidence. The need to ‘de- stream’ mathematics is clear and widely endorsed. However, the transition to mixed ‘ability’ mathematics is challenging and complex, involving changes in pedagogy, assessment, leadership, and community relationships. This project will use a bi-cultural teacher-researcher-student partnership model, grounded in the principles of ako and whanaungatanga, to provide four contrasting case studies of non- streamed secondary mathematics. In doing so, it will illustrate diverse ways to initiate and sustain effective transitions to non-streamed mathematics.

The Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) funds high-quality research projects that aim to improve outcomes for learners. All projects are partnerships between researchers and educators. The TLRI is funded by the New Zealand government and administered by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research | Rangahau Mātauranga o Aotearoa.