New Books: 2016

At the University of Waikato we pride ourselves on teaching and research, and academic staff are benchmarked against the best in the world. Each year many of our academics contribute to or write books on their areas of expertise; this page is designed to highlight their achievements. These books are an extension of the academic excellence on offer at Waikato.

Environment, modernisation and development in east asia

By Ts’ui-jung Liu and James Beattie.

Published by Palgrave Macmillan (UK)

Published by Palgrave Macmillan (UK) and co-edited by Ts’ui-jung Liu and James Beattie, Environment, Modernization and Development in East Asia suggests new frameworks for understanding as inter-related processes of environmental, social, and economic change across China and Japan, from the 1700s to the 2000s.

Bringing China Home

By James Beattie and Richard Bullen.

Bringing China Home,by James Beattie and Richard Bullen, accompanies the exhibition of the same name, held at MTG Gallery, Hawke’s Bay, from July 2016 to June 2017. The book tells the fascinating story of that province’s engagement with China through war, migration, trade, and collection using Chinese objects from the Museum’s collection.

Celebrating soil: discovering soils and landscapes

By Megan Balks and Darlene Zabowski.

Springer publishers.

This richly illustrated book, written for a general audience, celebrates the diversity, importance, and intrinsic beauty of soils around the world. It helps the reader to understand the ways that soils are related to the landscapes in which they form. The book unravels the complex bond between humans and soils and the importance of soils in our cultures and everyday lives.

Soil is critical to terrestrial life on earth. It underpins human food supply and provides materials on which we build our lives. Soil is out of sight and often out of mind, thus easy to overlook. Yet soil has tremendous variety and intrinsic beauty for those who care to look. Soil contains a memory of the events that have shaped the landscape and the environment. With help you can look at a soil and understand the stories that it has to tell.

The Philosophy of Open Learning: Peer Learning and the Intellectual Commons

Markus Deimann and Michael A. Peters (2016)

Peter Lang -

In this book, internationally recognized scholars provide in-depth insight into the emerging field of open education. The Philosophy of Open Learning provides an overview of the current debates and introduces the reader to the overall discourse on open education. The broad range of topics, including MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and OERs (Open Educational Resources) is aimed at demonstrating that open education has emerged as a new principle for organizing higher education. Based on this idea, the book covers various issues that are backed up by thorough philosophical reflections that provide orientation for the heated debates. Open education is discussed in its various imbrications to other open movements, such as open access, and its relevance for education over the last fifteen years.

“I just want to heal my family”. Te Manu Kai i Te Mātauranga: Indigenous Psychology in Aotearoa/New Zealand

By Māori and Psychology Research Unit Senior Research Officer Dr Waikaremoana Waitoki and community psychologist Dr Michelle Levy

This is a ground-breaking book for Māori and indigenous psychology in Aotearoa. Centred on the story of one woman and her family, the 18 authors honour the saying, ‘No bird flies the same’.  Te Manu Kai i Te Mātauranga presents a collective vision for an indigenous psychology that honours unique Māori perspectives when caring for whānau.

Dealing with a range of psychological and social issues, the book’s theme offers a message of hope, and resonates with a range of therapeutic stories from a mātauranga Māori worldview. Te Manu Kai i Te Mātauranga represents the accumulated desires and aspirations of Māori psychologists for more than 20 years, realising a long held vision to claim an indigenous space in psychology. Supported by the New Zealand Psychological Society and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, Centre of Excellence, the book is an invaluable resource for whānau, schools, practitioners, researchers and academics.

Paulo Freire: The Global Legacy

Edited by Michael A. Peters & Tina Besley
Foreword by Nita Freire

New York, Peter Lang, 2015

This collection is the first book devoted to Paulo Freire's ongoing global legacy to provide an analysis of the continuing relevance and significance of Freire's work and the impact of his global legacy.

The book contains essays by some of the world's foremost Freire scholars – Peter McLaren, Antonia Darder, Peter Roberts, and others - as well as chapters by scholars and activists, including the Maori scholars Graham Hingangaroa Smith and Russell Bishop, who detail their work with the indigenous people of Aotearoa-New Zealand.

The book contains a foreword by Nita Freire as well as chapters from scholars around the world including Latin America, Asia, the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia.

With a challenging introduction from the editors, Michael A. Peters and Tina Besley, this much-awaited addition to the Freire archive is highly recommended reading for all students and scholars interested in Freire, global emancipatory politics, and the question of social justice in education.

Paulo Freire: The Global Legacy (Counterpoints) 1st Edition (

The Global Finance Crisis And Educational Restructuring

By Michael A. Peters, João M. Paraskeva, Tina Besley (Editors)

Better Classroom Relationships

By Michael A. Peters, João M. Paraskeva, Tina Besley (Editors)

The worldwide integration and globalization of finance, an aspect of “financialization,” coincided with the rise of market-oriented neoliberalism promoting free trade and privatization strategies. New Internet-based technologies have reinforced financial market integration, creating a fragile, globally integrated financial ecosystem that poses new systemic risks and contagion effects characterized by excessive borrowing and ballooning debt, massive asset bubbles, a huge shadow banking system, and financial innovation leading to collateralized debt obligation and securitization. 

Public education has been at the core of neoliberal privatization strategies and financialization with the trillion-dollar blowout of student loans. Education, once considered a national and global public good tied to the creation of knowledge and the basis of a just and democratic society, has undergone a profound transformation and financial restructuring. 

This collection of essays by a range of international experts addresses the root causes of this massive change, analyzing the growth of finance capitalism and financialization, as well as the financialization of education and its consequences. The book is a valuable resource for classes in educational reform, education policy, higher education, and educational finance. 

See a review at

Better Classroom Relationships

By Dr Maria Kecskemeti and Dr John Winslade

Better Classroom Relationships

Better Classroom Relationships

This book breaks new ground in its exploration of relationship-centred classrooms. In relationship-centred classrooms, the teacher and the student are equally important, shifting the focus to the quality of their interaction and whether it is supporting or hindering teaching and learning.

The authors draw on a strong theoretical base as they tease out the principles and practices of relationship-centred classrooms. The relationship practices they describe are underpinned by: 

  • The importance of being recognised and validated as a person
  • The importance of challenging ideas that exclude, oppress and disadvantage some people 

Respectful classroom interactions and constructive responses to conflict can be achieved if teachers apply specific conversational moves and a theoretical framework that offers new perspectives on relationship problems.

The authors argue that in order to respond to the diversity of today’s classrooms and constantly shifting relationship dynamics, teachers need to be able to deal with uncertainty and have a clear understanding of power relationships. The authors show how change can be achieved when teachers challenge discourses: those hidden assumptions that influence the outcome of interactions.

This book shows how new possibilities and alternatives to conflict can be opened up when teachers can draw on a theoretical framework and some specific relationship principles. The authors present those principles in a readable account and illustrate them in practice. 

Published by NZCER Press, 2016

Digital Smarts: Enhancing Learning & Teaching

By Noeline Wright & Dianne Forbes (Eds) Endorsed by Professor Curtis J. Bonk

Digital Smarts: Enhancing Learning & Teaching

Digital Smarts: Enhancing Learning & Teaching
Published: July 2015

This publication is available free as an eBook or as a PDF(Please Note: the eBook should be opened with an eBook reader such as iBooks or an equivalent. Some internet browsers may require you to right click the link and 'save link as' to download).

Why 'Digital Smarts'?

We chose digital smarts as the key phrase for the book because we have appropriated it to encompass the following

  • an emphasis on pedagogy
  • agency, or students' active participation in their learning. This includes any learner in early childhood through to secondary and tertiary learning contexts where learners exercise agency over the focus of learning, generate content and resources, and are encouraged to provide feedback and feedforward to each other
  • creativity
  • risk-taking, experimentation, inquiry
  • challenging the publishing status quo—managing our own workload, using open review processes, viewing assessment as learning, posing challenges for teachers and seeking open access to research publications.

We think it is important for digital technologies to be seen as the servants of learning, providing opportunities for all learners to be adaptive help-seekers and agents of their own lives as they appropriate these technologies as cultural tools.

Peat Haze in Autumn: Making a Home in Hillcrest

By Dr Miles Barker

Peat Haze in Autumn: Making a Home in Hillcrest

Dr Miles Barker

With his most recent book, Miles Barker wanted to try something new. A Waikato faculty member since 1986 and formerly Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, Miles says “Nearly all my publications over the past five decades had been in the typically scholarly mode expected in science, science education and environmental education. This time I wanted my writing to be unapologetically intimate, strongly laced with nostalgia and warmth, maybe even a little poetic.” Miles has written such a book. Indeed, the ’Peat Haze’ of the title, referring to the autumnal aromatic tang that hung over Hamilton in the 1940s from the peat fires, serves as Miles’s private code for memory and nostalgia.  
The first five twelve vignettes of Peat Haze tell how the threads of Miles’s forbears’ life- experiences in 19 th and early 20 th century New Zealand narrowed to his own Hillcrest upbringing. The later seven stories, tinged with austerity and cautious optimism, document the widening strands of Miles’s boyhood. They touch on many poignant aspects of community life: Hillcrest School’s wrestling with intelligence testing; power relations at Waikato Hospital; the League of Mothers; an elegant innings by cricketer Bert Sutcliffe; military drill at Boys’ High; the heyday of the Scout movement …  
Miles is grateful to many University of Waikato colleagues: “Historians Peter Gibbons and Dr Philip Hart gave me wonderful advice; librarians John Robson and Kathryn Parsons were always encouraging.” Two previous publications were of special relevance: “The Hillcrest Oral Project of 1999, especially with former campus librarian Sylvia Hart’s annotations, offered wonderfully rich data; and Waikato graduate Erica O’Flaherty’s fine Masters thesis Keeping up with the Joneses? Representation versus Reality in the Postwar Private Suburb of Hillcrest provided a secure, scholarly context.”

International Perspectives on Older Adult Education

By B. Findsen, M. Formosa (Eds.)

Mike Brown

International Perspectives on Older Adult Education
Research, Policies and Practice

New book, March 2016 International perspectives in older adult education: research, policy and practice. Co-edited by Professor Brian Findsen, University of Waikato and Dr Marvin Formosa, University of Malta.

This important book builds on recent publications in lifelong learning which focus on learning and education in later life. The essential difference from other publications in educational gerontology is that this work breaks new ground in international understandings of what constitutes later life learning across diverse cultures in manifold countries or regions across the world. Containing 42 separate country/regional analyses of later life learning, the overall significance resides in insiders’ conceptualisations and critique of this emerging sub-field of lifelong learning.

International perspectives on older adult education provides new appreciation of what is happening in societies from Europe (14), Africa (10), the Americas (7), Asia (9) and Australasia (2) authored by adult educators and/or social gerontologists in respective geographical areas. These analyses are contextualised by a thorough introduction and a critical appraisal where trends and fresh insights are revealed. The outcome of this book is a never-before available critique of what it means to be an older learner in specific nations and the accompanying opportunities and barriers for learning and education.

The sub-title of research, policy and practice conveys the territory that authors traverse in which rhetoric and reality are interrogated. Coverage in chapters includes conceptual analysis, historical patterns of provision, policy developments, theoretical perspectives, research studies, challenges faced by countries and “success stories” of later life learning. The resultant effect is a vivid portrayal of a vast array of learning that occurs in later life across the globe. 

Published by Springer International Publishing Switzerland

Educational Philosophy and Theory

By Michael A. Peters

Educational Philosophy and Theory

Michael A. Peters

The EPAT Editor's Choice series comprises innovative and influential articles drawn from the Educational Philosophy and Theory journal archives, spanning 46 volumes, from 1969. Each volume represents a selection of important articles that respond to and focus on a particular theme, celebrating and emphasizing the heritage and history of the work, as well as the cutting edge contemporary contributions available. 

The series will create a rich vertical collection across five decades of seminal scholarship, contextualizing and elevating specific themes, scholars and their work. The EPAT Editor, Michael A. Peters, introduces each volume, the theme, and the work selected within that volume.

This first volume focuses on a collection of texts from the latter twenty years of Educational Philosophy and Theory, selected for their critical status as turning points or important awakenings in post-structural theory. In the last twenty years, the applications of the postmodern and poststructuralist perspectives have become less mono-focused, less narrowly concerned with technical questions and also less interested in epistemology, and more interested in ethics. 

This book covers questions of genealogy, ontology, the body and the institution, giving examples of theoretical applications of post-structural theory that testify to the generative and endlessly applicable potential of this work to different fields and avenues of thought. While informed by Foucault’s thinking of the political subjugation of docile bodies to individuals as self-determining beings, the chapters in this book culminate in amalgamations of different schools of educational philosophy, which explore poststructuralist approaches to education. 

Beyond the Philosophy of the Subject will be key reading for academics, researchers and postgraduate students in the fields of philosophy of education, philosophy, education, educational theory, post- structural theory, the policy and politics of education, and the pedagogy of education.

While traditionally identified as a practice-based endeavour, the many dimensions of teacher education raise important philosophical issues that emphasise the centrality of ethics to questions of relationality and professional practice. This second volume of the Educational Philosophy and Theory reader series demonstrates the continuing relevance of philosophical approaches to the field of teacher education. 

The collection of texts focuses on a wide range of topics, including teacher education in a cross-cultural context, the notion of unsuccessful teaching, democratic teacher education, the reflective teacher, the ethics and politics of teacher identity, and subjectivity and performance in teaching. Chapters also explore teacher education based on experiential learning as ‘experience’, demonstrating the continuing relevance of philosophical approaches to the field. 

In Search of Subjectivities will interest academics, researchers and postgraduate students in the fields of philosophy of education, philosophy, education, educational theory, teacher education, experiential philosophy, ethics, policy and politics of education, and professional practice.

Deleted Scenes for Lovers

By Tracey Slaughter

Deleted Scenes for Lovers

Deleted Scenes for Lovers

University of Waikato lecturer Dr Tracey Slaughter’s latest book is a collection of short stories. It’s called Deleted Scenes for Lovers and contains 17 stories by the award-winning author.

Dr Slaughter teaches on the University’s creative writing programme and has a string of awards for her writing, including the international Bridport Prize 2014, the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Awards in 2004 and 2001, and the 2015 Landfall Essay Competition.

Writing in The Spinoff reviewer Holly Walker said of this new book; “Tracey Slaughter has quietly gone about these past few years writing electrifying short stories unlike anything else published in New Zealand. Her new fiction is collected in a powerful, sometimes harrowing book.”

From small town New Zealand herself, Dr Slaughter’s work often focuses on the goings-on within those tight-knit communities. “I’m familiar with that bogan/surfie culture and I worked amongst it; in takeaways, service stations and pubs, watching that waxhead/petrolhead world go by. But I think it’s the writer’s job to see past labels, and hunt the pulse of the human story dwelling beneath, whatever social group a character might seem to fall into. I like the drama of lower decile life. It often stands out in the sharpest relief to me, and I never turn those stories away because they’re not decent, representative or seemly.”

Deleted Scenes for Lovers is published by Victoria University Press and retails for $30.

This page has been reformatted for printing.