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A number of NZCER staff contribute to our blogs and we link to and draw on external expertise. We hope it is a useful source of information, ideas and support about NZCER's work and wider educational and assessment issues. We welcome your questions and comments.

Please refer to the NZCER community guidelines for participation on NZCER blog posts.

By Rachel Bolstad

Read rest of post: Games OR learning?
Date posted: 12 July 2016

In the first of our new blog, Thinking about science education, Ally Bull considers the place of science in a future-focused school curriculum. Ally is a former senior researcher at NZCER and now consultant, with deep knowledge and expertise in science education, future-focused learning and professional learning for teachers.

Date posted: 8 July 2016

For this post, let’s assume that failure can have a positive, productive relationship with learning. Let’s explore what goes on when that potentially positive relationship is thwarted. If the possibility of failure is too awful to contemplate, using it strategically for learning is unthinkable. The strategy instead becomes one of avoiding failure at all costs.

Date posted: 16 March 2016

Getting our heads back in the game

Date posted: 15 February 2016

When people want to emphasise how important it is to succeed, or to get something right, they say “Failure is not an option”. Avoiding failure seems like a good idea because it’s so often a horrible experience - for us and sometimes also for anyone depending on our success. But in some fields of work, and in certain situations, failure actually is an option. 

Date posted: 8 December 2015

People in different fields of work – like GPs, carpenters, engineering technicians, and health and community support workers - have different relationships with the idea of failure and the making of mistakes. This has really struck me when doing research on learning in workplaces.

Date posted: 4 December 2015

Are you a "game-curious" teacher?

In October we convened our first games for learning project meet-and-greet with around a dozen game-curious primary, intermediate, and secondary teachers in Wellington.

Date posted: 4 November 2015

At this time of year I’m remembering the questions we used to have in our school about the PATs - ‘Term 4 is coming up  - what week shall we do the PATs  in?’  ‘Have we got enough Test 3s for the Year 5s?’  ‘When’s the BOT report due - we need to have it sorted by then?’.  You know those conversations I’m sure.

Date posted: 25 September 2015

Improving learning means improving teaching - how can you use the data you gather for a teaching inquiry to improve teaching?  After all, even though you may have a lot of teaching going on in your school, education is about learning and if there is no learning going on then there is no education.

Read rest of post: What improves learning?
Date posted: 10 September 2015

Meet the research team...

Welcome to the first update blog for NZCER's games for learning project. We're well into the scoping  phase of the project and here's what we've been working on:


Date posted: 7 September 2015