Lorrainne Spiller

Research Projects

29 Jan 18
Completed
with: New Zealand Council for Educational Research: NZCER categories: ResearchPrimary EducationPacific PeopleCulture

The NZCER national survey of primary and intermediate schools 2016 included a number of questions that asked specifically about matters related to Pasifika students, Pasifika families, or Pasifika cultural activities at school. We have brought the responses to these questions together for researchers working in Pasifika education.

25 Sep 17
Completed
with: New Zealand Council for Educational Research: NZCER categories: ResearchTeachers

This investigation was an exploration of a small group of teachers’ interpretations of self-assessment, both in theory and in practice. Teachers talked about their beliefs about self-assessment, the extent to which they supported the use of self-assessment strategies in their classrooms, and ways they went about this. They identified conditions that were enabling for student self-assessment, as well as barriers and challenges they faced. The research is therefore framed from the teachers’ perspectives, although comparisons are drawn to findings from other research.

30 Aug 17
Completed
with: Ministry of Education: MoENew Zealand Council for Educational Research: NZCER categories: ResearchSchoolsScience & Technology

This report documents the first phase of a project looking at school–science community engagement initiatives. This project was funded by the Ministry of Education and carried out by a research partnership led by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) in collaboration with Learning Media and the University of Waikato. It is one piece of a three part research project related to improving achievement in science education.
 
The report explores the wide range of programmes, initiatives and partnerships currently operating that are designed to link schools and the science community. Specific examples are discussed and there are sections on initiatives targeting Māori and Pasifika students. The report also discusses international initiatives. The final section looks at the purpose of science community-school collaborations and asks how they can be sustained and where to next.
 

30 Aug 17
Completed
with: New Zealand Council for Educational Research: NZCER categories: ResearchTeachersScience & Technology

This report is one in a series written for the Ministry of Education in the Curriculum support for science strand of a wider project called Science in the Curriculum. It describes two case studies in which teachers were asked to think about their purposes for teaching science and the outcomes they hoped their students would achieve. The case study teachers in two secondary schools worked with a visiting researcher. As part of the process teachers were supported to trial new strategies and responses from students on the changes were sought.

30 Aug 17
Completed
with: Ministry of Education: MoENew Zealand Council for Educational Research: NZCER categories: ResearchSchoolsScience & Technology

This research aimed to generate evidence-based recommendations for strengthening partnerships between schools and the science community to support students’ science learning and engagement.  It was underpinned by a future-oriented perspective, framed by larger questions about the purpose of science education in the context of a rapidly changing 21st-century world. The report digs beneath assumptions about why learners’ and teachers’ engagement with the science community is considered important, and examines what kinds of approaches and supports might sustain future-oriented science education for New Zealand learners.
 

18 Feb 15
Completed
with: Ministry of Education: MoE categories: EvaluationSchoolsPolicy

Throughout the history of schooling in New Zealand the national curriculum has been revised at fairly regular intervals. Consequently, schools are periodically faced with having to accommodate to new curriculum. In between major changes other specifically-focused changes may arise; for example, the increased recent emphasis upon numeracy and literacy.

A new national curriculum represents a large undertaking for those responsible for schools and classroom teaching. The 2007 New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2007) is an example. It developed out of an earlier period of “rolling revision” from the 1950s to 1980s, where curriculum was revised subject-by-subject with a haphazard timeline. Change was largely led by Ministry of Education (MOE) curriculum personnel with close links to teacher unions and teachers. During the 1990s the form of revision changed. An overarching curriculum framework (Ministry of Education, 1993) outlined a design of achievement objectives organised into eight levels from Year 1 of schooling to Year 13. Content was designated through seven learning areas and a statement for each was written and promulgated through the 1990s.

By 2000 feedback from schools led the MOE to carry out a “stocktake”, resulting in approval by the Minister of Education to undertake a phase of systematic revision from 2003. A draft New Zealand Curriculum was disseminated to schools and the community in 2006 and a final document ratified by the Government for publication in late 2007 and full implementation by 2010. Some components of the 1990s curriculum statements were retained with little change. They included the design of objectives and content for eight levels over 13 years of schooling. However some major changes also emerged from all this activity. They included:

  • a shift from “essential skills” to “key competencies” that integrate knowledge, skills, attitudes and values
  • expanded statements on values in the curriculum
  • inclusion of four future-focused themes: sustainability; citizenship; enterprise; and globalisation
  • guidelines on school-based curriculum design
  • a clearer vision statement
  • advice on pedagogy and on assessment
  • a reduction in the achievement objectives in all learning areas and the inclusion of these in one streamlined document rather than separate documents
  • increased emphasis on the teaching of languages other than English.

Notwithstanding the involvement of as many people as possible in the Curriculum Project, the MOE anticipated that the scope of these changes would be challenging for many teachers and schools. It was anticipated that considerable support would be needed as each school worked towards understanding how all the changes might come together in their school setting. Accordingly, the MOE explored ways of supporting schools with implementation of the new curriculum, including “teacher-only” days for concentrated time on change, and on-line resources to support the change process. Inevitably, some school leaders were ahead of others in adopting the curriculum innovations and adapting them to meet their school’s specific needs. With the imperative for all schools to be engaged in the implementation process by 2010, the MOE determined that it would be helpful if the successful experiences of schools that got underway with the process sooner rather than later be documented, analysed for common themes and used to help determine the most productive ways to support other schools. That was the aim of the research project reported here.

18 Feb 15
Completed
with: Ministry of Education: MoE categories: EvaluationEmployment & LabourTeachersSchoolsSecondary EducationTertiary EducationPolicyInnovation

This evaluation’s main purpose is to understand how well the programme has been implemented and to what extent it has achieved its objectives. The key evaluation questions are:

  1. How well (effectively and efficiently) has the programme been implemented?
  2. To what extent has the programme achieved its overall outcomes and objectives?

To answer the evaluation questions the evaluators developed a set of evaluation criteria in consultation with the Ministry and the Teach First NZ partnership. Our key findings are provided for each of the evaluation questions in relation to these criteria.