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Three new recipients of TLRI funding announced by NZCER

We are very excited to announce the next three recipients of Teaching and Learning Research initiative (TLRI) funding. Please join us in congratulating the three new research teams, who join 14 other teams working on TLRI projects that continue to receive funding from previous rounds. 

NZCER’s Dr Esther Smaill, who co-leads the TLRI, commented on the high quality of this year’s proposals and congratulated the successful applicants.  

“From an indigenised framework for play, to research on a Māori medium arts-based pedagogy, to an exploration of place-based approaches for addressing ‘plant blindness’, there is a rich body of research here that we are confident will lead to improved outcomes for ākonga in Aotearoa”.   

Established in 2003, the TLRI seeks to strengthen the relationship between educational research and teaching practice to improve outcomes for ākonga in Aotearoa.  

Funding is distributed through two pathways: Whatua Tū Aka, a kaupapa Māori pathway, and an Open pathway. For our 2022 funding round, we would like to introduce:  

Toi ora, Reo ora, Whatuora: Developing a Māori medium arts-based pedagogy to support Māori aspirations to revitalise reo and tikanga through the arts   

Investigator: Hinekura Smith  

Toi Ora, Reo Ora, Whatuora is a practice led arts-based project to story the aspirations of three connected rumaki reo whānau in the Waitematā Kāhui Ako through the Māori pedagogy and practice of whatu. This research contributes to scholarship and practice on Māori arts-based pedagogies as key language and cultural revitalisation practices within rumaki reo education. Importantly, this research sets out to strengthen Māori language community relationships through the pedagogy of whatu wānanga, to better support kura understandings of, and responses to, whānau aspirations for flourishing reo and tikanga.   

Ko te tākaro te kauwaka e pakari ake ai te tangata | Cultural pluralism for play based pedagogy: Developing and implementing an indigenised framework for play in a primary school  

Investigators: Sarah Aiono & Tineka Tuala-Fata  

Te Whai Hiringa-Peterhead School is focused on addressing systemic racism and building culturally sustaining teacher pedagogy. Working to indigenise their local curriculum, the school has prioritised home, culture and whānau experiences in their learning materials. Play pedagogy has been identified as a useful approach for ākonga (students) and whānau (family) as they transition to school. With little Aotearoa New Zealand research available addressing the position of play within a culturally sustaining approach to teaching, this project aims to identify how play pedagogy can be used to foster the school’s values of manaakitanga, whanaungatanga and māramatanga and honour the goals of mana whenua - whānau, hapū,and iwi. Using design-based research, project partners will work together to develop an indigenised framework for play including observation and reflection tools and professional learning supports to enhance kaiako (teacher) practice and ākonga learning.   

Envisioning student possible selves in science: Addressing ‘plant blindness’ through place-based education   

Investigator: Maurice M.W. Cheng  

This project aims to develop primary, intermediate, and high school students’ sense of place and science-related possible selves through local curriculum units that focus on plants. We chose plants because, compared with animals, they are often overlooked (hence the phenomenon of ‘plant blindness’), as is their part in realising many sustainable development goals. Our curriculum units will cover biological, personal, social/cultural and political/economic aspects of plants (kūmara, kawakawa and harakeke being examples our teachers suggested). Hence, the project harnesses the values of place-based education to foster student learning of science and development of aspirations to participate in science. 

About the Teaching and Learning Research Initiative   

The TLRI funds high-quality research projects that aim to improve outcomes for learners. All projects are partnerships between researchers and educators. It has been operating since 2003 and this year’s allocation means that funding has supported a total of 175 research projects, each lasting between one and three years. 

The TLRI is funded by the New Zealand government and administered by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research | Rangahau Mātauranga o Aotearoa

14 December 2022