Six projects funded in 2016 round

Six projects have been funded in the TLRI funding round for 2016.

The projects selected for funding are:

Supporting teaching and learning in home-based early childhood education 

Principal Investigators:  Elizabeth Schaughency and Elaine Reese

Partnerships: University of Otago; Pioneers (formerly the Dunedin Community Childcare Association)

This project will support home-based educators to enhance children’s learning. Three research-informed professional learning modules will be trialled with networks of home-based educators. Each module focuses on one foundational skillset important to success in beginning school, including oral language and self-regulation. The project will evaluate the initial impact of each learning module and their combined benefits for educators’ practice and children’s skills. It will follow the home-based educators and children to evaluate whether the benefits are sustained and associated with children’s learning as they start school.

Funding: $200,000 over two years.


Age-responsive pedagogies: ‘Preschool’ ECE teachers interrogate their dialogues with and about two-year-olds

Principal Investigator:  Jayne White
Partnerships: University of Waikato; The Avenues Kindergarten (Tauranga Kindergarten Association); Gate Pa Preschool

Two year-olds are the fastest growing population group in early childhood education (ECE) in New Zealand today and are the focus of this project. Nine experienced teachers from two mixed-age ECE settings will engage in a video-based inquiry, providing insights into the kind of dialogue that occurs with two year-olds in these learning environments and its significance for learning. Teachers and researchers will identify ways they can shift their practice so that two year-olds are more appropriately ‘noticed, recognised and responded to’ through inclusive, age-responsive pedagogies for all.

Funding: $199,981 over two years.

An Architecture of Ownership: Students and teachers forging agentic identities

Principal Investigators:  Rachel McNae and Noeline Wright
Partnerships: University of Waikato; Rototuna Junior High School

Historically, physical architecture has been a key focus when flexible learning spaces are created. However, this is only one aspect of environment. Less attention has been paid to other elements which shape and influence students’ and teachers’ experiences within these spaces. This project centres on exploring the conditions under which teaching and learning can prosper within flexible learning spaces. It looks at how schools founded on future-focused design principles provide agentic conditions for teachers’ and students’ learning with the key competencies (Ministry of Education, 2007). The project explores how the participants make sense of and forge their agentic identities regarding relational, pedagogical, cultural, and physical architectures.

Funding: $199,986 over two years.

Using a wellbeing framework to recognise, value and enhance the broad outcomes for learners in adult literacy and numeracy programmes

Principal Investigators:  Jane Furness and Judy Hunter
Partnerships: University of Waikato; Literacy Aotearoa

This project will work alongside tutors in adult literacy and numeracy programmes to enable them to extend outcomes beyond current routine skills assessment to include personal, relational and collective wellbeing. The researchers will introduce an existing wellbeing framework and, in collaboration with the tutors, extend its application to multicultural settings to enhance the social engagement of participants. This enhanced framework, which will be enacted using innovative digital technologies, will be trialled in classrooms with the aim of highlighting connections between literacy and numeracy, wellbeing and agency.

Funding: $199,991 over two years.

Using mobile learning in free-choice educational settings to enhance ecological literacy

Principal Investigators:  Chris Eames and Claudio Aguayo
Partnerships: University of Waikato; Auckland University of Technology; Ahuroa School; Goat Island Marine Discovery Centre (Leigh Marine Lab, University of Auckland)

This research addresses the intersection of mobile learning, free-choice learning in science and sustainability education, and ecological literacy. It examines the outcomes of an intervention using mobile learning to enhance primary school teaching and learning during a unit on marine reserves. The unit will include a visit to Goat Island marine reserve and its associated Marine Discovery Centre. The study will examine how mobile learning in a free-choice learning setting influences teaching and learning for students, their teacher and their parents. It will also examine how it promotes the development of  knowledge, attitudes and behaviours for a sustainable future, known as ecological literacy.

Funding: $199,991 over two years.

Transforming information literacy space(s) to support student learning

Principal Investigators:  Lisa Emerson and Ken Kilpin
Partnerships: Massey University; Southland Boys’ High School; Aurora College; Central Southland College; Whanganui City College; Waitara College; Hastings Boys’ High School; Hato Pāora College; Horowhenua College; Bay of Islands College; Whitireia Polytechnic; Wellington Institute of Technology; Eastern Institute of Technology; Victoria University of Wellington.

This project aims to improve students’ information literacy competencies and learning across the senior secondary and tertiary sectors. It is a partnership with nine secondary schools and five tertiary institutions. The researchers will use participatory action research to develop new ways for teachers and librarians to collaboratively plan and implement instructional approaches that prioritise critical use of information literacy skills to learn disciplinary content knowledge. Outputs include a set of information literacy progressions (NZQF Levels 1-3 in schools and 4-7 in tertiary institutions) and teaching resources for use in schools and tertiary institutions.

Funding: $438,859 over three years.