Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research
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Through the eyes of babes

Assc. Prof. Jayne White

Jayne's overarching research project titled"Through the eyes of babes"has implemented polyphonic methods to investigate the experience of very young children in early childhood education services. During her PhD she set out to understand the metaphoric language of toddlers in dialogue with teachers and parents. Recent work with infants and their teachers in an ECE setting has detailed fine-tuned verbal and non-verbal dialogues as sources of meaning and, by association, their centrality to curriculum (Article). Her current projects include the investigation of infant transitions to ECE settings from home from  international and local perspectives, and she is working with a kindergarten in Tauranga to understand the experience of two-year olds in an ECE setting traditionally established for older children. In both cases video provides a central means of engaging with these phenomenon - from the perspectives of the children themselves.

Exploring student thinking and problem-solving in iPad-supported learning environments

Assc. Prof. Garry Falloon

This two-year project is focusing on the interaction and relationship between teacher pedagogy, curriculum and learning task design, mobile technologies and apps, in developing thinking and problem solving capabilities in 5-10 year olds. To date, studies have been completed exploring the development of computational thinking using open and closed content apps, and students use of apps as learning scaffolds in upper-primary school science. Future project work will extend the science investigation, by examining student problem solving using Makey-Makey technology. This video was recorded from inside the device as children interacted with a scratch pad and delivers very clean data due to no traditional camera being present.

Enhancing teaching and learning of primary mathematics through the use of apps

Dr Nigel Calder & Dr Carol Murphy

The aim of our two-year TLRI funded project is to examine how the use of iPad apps in primary mathematics classrooms can enhance student learning. Previous studies have indicated that the affordances of iPads can support student engagement and motivation as well as enabling personalisation in their interaction with the mathematics. Few studies, as yet, have fully explored the relationship between the iPad technology, pedagogy and student learning. A key outcome of the project is to co-construct, with teachers, a framework based on technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) that can be used to support decisions when selecting and using apps. We have collected video data of the students working with a variety of apps and analysed extracts of the data, with the teachers, to identify several themes that will underpin the framework. The video extract presented here is taken from one class of ten year-old students using the app Multiplier, as they work together on a problem involving multiplication and arrays. We include this as an example that we have analysed with the teachers in considering how affordances, mathematical thinking and collaboration come together to enhance learning.

How flipped classrooms afford transformative teaching, learning, and workplace competency

Dr Mira Peter & Dr Elaine Khoo

In this two-year TLRI-funded project two education researchers and the two engineering lecturers are exploring how flipped classroom model can help engineering students master threshold concepts and competencies (i.e., team work) and become successful professionals. Peer–peer discussions are directed in particular to improve collaborative reasoning and such dialogues have been shown to be an extremely effective learning strategy both for improving students’ critical skills and addressing background knowledge. This video clip of students’ small-group problem solving activity illustrates an instance of a collaborative dialogue that can contribute to students’ learning.

Understanding iPad mediated talk in young children's learning and exploration

Dr Elaine Khoo

This study aimed to understand the nature of the talk young children (3 and a half to 5 year olds) engage in, while using the iPad for free exploration and play in small group settings with teacher guidance. The research team collaborated with two early childhood educators to investigate the educational affordances of iPads for teaching and learning with children in an early childhood education (ECE) centre. In the centre, iPad use was child-directed with a teacher present to guide and facilitate children's participation within group contexts. Using the Nvivo software to code the video data, the analysis of talk was based on an adaptation of Mercer’s (1994) ‘talk types’ framework – distinguishing between cumulative, exploratory and disputational talk  – and, Fisher, Lucas and Galstyan’s (2013) analysis of the iPad’s ‘private-public work space affordance’. This video clip illustrates the potential of using the iPad as a shared resource to promote learning and exploration of children’s interest. The iPad-supported learning opportunities fostered children’s emerging literacies as well as social relationships and sense of belonging at the Centre. Quality child-peer including teacher-child talk is a valuable resource and central to children's developing skills, confidence and dispositions for meaningful and productive engagement with iPads.

Teacher pedagogy as an answerable act in dialogic encounters with infants

Bridgette Redder

Bridgette turns to the self as opposed to a study of other teachers in order to explore her answerable acts with infants as a source of research. The purpose of Bridgette’s PhD research titled Teacher Pedagogy as an Answerable Act in Dialogic Encounters with Infants: A Self-Study of Teacher Deeds as a Moral Imperative is to gain an understanding of the ways in which she as a teacher is morally answerable to infants in everyday pedagogical events. Video technology made it possible for Bridgette to visually capture her experiences in dialogic encounters with infants. The employment of multiple recording devices made it possible for Bridgette to capture these events from both an inside and outside perspective. This video event was recorded using WMIER’s Swivl camera (https://www.swivl.com/); it tracks Bridgette’s movements as she interacts with older infants. Bridgette is wearing a pair of recorder glasses which capture what she sees from her perspective inside the interaction. In the background attached by a magnetic tripod to a green pole is a small Polaroid cube video recording device. Bridgette selected answerable act video events from the footage. Teachers were asked to view, reflect upon and discuss these events at critical friend inquiry staff meetings which were also videoed. Bridgette has completed the collection of her video data, it has been uploaded to Studiocode (https://vosaic.com/products/studiocode) a video analysis software programme and she is now in a position to commence coding.

Mixed media pathways: Bringing teacher education to your home town

Dianne Forbes

Since 1997, mature adults living in rural areas throughout New Zealand have been accessing degree level education to qualify as teachers while based in their home regions. The University of Waikato’s Bachelor of Teaching, Mixed Media Presentation (MMP) has enabled aspiring teachers to study online, supported by base schools, in order to realise their teaching dreams. As the 20th anniversary of MMP approaches, it is timely to look back at the early days when students worked with dial-up internet, via ‘on-line deals’ available from 5pm to 8am, for 30 hours a month.  A series of video interviews with founding participants was shared with delegates at the recent DEANZ 2016 conference, to illustrate how they viewed their mixed media experiences almost two decades on.

The video interviews suggest that MMP made it possible for students to study while being at home with young families, and maintaining close ties with their local communities and schools. Many alumni have remained in education, and many are still in touch with each other. Participants attributed their success to the relational links across four quadrants: the community-based study groups established by students, on campus teaching blocks, regular time in a local base school, and contact with university staff via telephone and online spaces. Blended learning opportunities like the MMP are significant as they exemplify many of the strategic drivers of modern tertiary education, with flexible, online and community-based education, enabling access for non-traditional student cohorts in the regions.

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