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NZ e-Learning pedagogy: What does a New Zealand student in 2014 look like?

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Started by Nathaniel Louwrens 27 Aug 2014 1:37pm () Replies (7)

There have been some conversations in Enabling e-Learning recently that have brought up the topic of teaching practices and what is required in the 21st century. There are, understandably a range of opinions on this.

Over the next few weeks it might be interesting to have a discussion focusing on a New Zealand e-Learning pedagogy. These will focus on:

  1. What does a New Zealand student in 2014 look like?

  2. What does a New Zealand teacher in 2014 and beyond need to look like?

  3. Can we develop an e-Learning pedagogy or a list of teaching practices that are specific to teaching in New Zealand’s multi-cultural, ever-changing society in 2014 and beyond?


In this first discussion the focus is on the student.

Many of us know what the research/experts say, so… From your own observations:

  • What does a New Zealand student in 2014 look like?

  • What do they want from school?

  • What do they actually need from school?

If you can, include examples/stories from your experiences.

Here’s a short video clip to start your thinking:


  • Are New Zealand students the same? Different? In what ways?

There are also a range of resources about pedagogy and future-focused learning available on the Enabling e-Learning website.


  • MeganCroll1 (View all users posts) 31 Aug 2014 3:14pm ()

    An interesting discussion that I will follow, and contribute towards, with interest.  

    I'm currently supporting a bunch of fantastic Year 5&6 learners and have been slowly developing their awareness of self-direction, motivation and problem-solving - especially with the increased emphasis on eLearning.   I'm finding this shift in learning will take time.  Some are running with it, others are needing more support to identify where they are at - what their next steps are, rather than leaps.  

    I feel the relationship between parent and student has an impact on their ability to collaborate, communicate and self-direct their own learning.  If they are not given a chance to make decisions, be accountable for their actions and take risks at home, then it becomes a whole new learning arena in a MLE.

  • LEAST (View all users posts) 31 Aug 2014 3:53pm ()

    Megan i am in agreement that the parent, student relationship brings challenges to self monitoring and the ability to collaborate with others in learning tasks. Especially in those tasks which require organistion of resources or planning.

    I am supporting a class of year 6-8 students that I have introduced a self monitored, independantly paced taskboard to. Continued monitoring of task completion is advisable however the ability of students to learn alongside their peers at varied times has encouraged peer collaboration quickly. The students have identified the champions among them and gravitate toward those figures for support when i am conferencing with a group or individual. I have found that like most learning tasks this also requires further differentiation for some to manage effectively.

  • justin hickey (View all users posts) 01 Sep 2014 10:48am ()

    Hi guys. Great discussion topic and something I'm fascinated and passionate about. I am teaching year 7-8 students in a 1-1 digital class. Collaboration, independent learning and shared learning are areas we are trying to build and improve on. I look forward to following the discussion

  • Janet McQueen (View all users posts) 01 Sep 2014 5:02pm ()

    A great topic.

    One area I think we all need to consider is the increasing population diversity in New Zealand and what needs diverse students have and require from school.

    One in every four New Zealanders (25.2 per cent) on Census day was born overseas. This is one of the highest shares of overseas-born people of any country in the world, just ahead of Australia in its 2011 Census (24.6 per cent) and only slightly behind Switzerland and Israel (both 26 per cent). This change has largely taken place in the last 20 years.

    We have moved on from laregely being either Pakeha , Maori or Pasifika. We are aslo seeing students identifying with an increasing array of multiple enthnicities. Whilst we are beginning to talk about teaching using culturally appropriate ways - when we say this we still laregely talk about Maori and Pasifika students. We need to use mult-ethnic approaches. Students bring different world-views and different cultural values and knowledge to the class room. As teachers in New Zealand we also have our own cultural understanding and knowledge in the way we teach. Teachers should adopt a critical approach to learning and teaching, building onto what the students bring to the classroom and using universal themes that everyone can contribute to. 

    With this increase in diversity we have also seen an increase in the number of students who do not speak English as their first language. It takes at least 5-7 years for a student to learn acdemic language - the language of the classroom. As these students are expected to laregely learn all subjects in English they need scaffolded language support. This means having language objectives alongside curriculum objectives in all learning areas.  All students benefit from language support as academic English is no ones first language. Yet how to do this is rarely a focus of professional development and scant atention is paid to it whilst training to be a teacher. We need to grow this knowledge and think about it as we think about the future as this increasing diversification of NZ society looks likely to continue. 

    Interesting challenges.  

  • Nathaniel Louwrens (View all users posts) 02 Sep 2014 8:14am ()

    Hi all!

    Thanks for your input so far.

    Janet, this is something I was thinking about when I started this discussion. New Zealand is very diverse (I didn't know the stats), but I think we still have a unique Kiwi-ness about us. But yes, there are a lot of challenges with our diversity (as you have raised).

    I agree Megan, that the parent-student relationship is also really important.

    It's great to hear where you are all at and some of what your students are experiencing and engaging with!

  • Rebecca (View all users posts) 08 Sep 2014 12:32pm ()


    This is a really interesting and thought provoking discussion.  

    I think the demands on children are so much greater now than when we were at school.  They need to be so much more savvy and aware of what's happening around them.  I'm not saying that we weren't when we were young but they have so much more access to information which is fantastic but also a bit scary.  I'm finding that children in general are much more grown up and aware of themselves and what they need to achieve to get where they want to be.  So many children are coming to school digitally aware and much more tech literate that the teacher.  I'm passionate about digital learning and have always been interested in keeping up with things but I can see how it would be easy to be overtaken by students. 

    I don't think that what children want from school has fundametally changed.  I think they want to be inspired, engaged and motivated.  They want to learn new things, to be challenged and to do things differently.  Where as we were happy to sit at school and have information given to us and copy that down, learn by rote, children now don't want this and won't accept this at school.  They like working with each other and finding things out for themselves.   I think this is also what we need to be doing as responsive teachers.  We need to be giving children the skills to think for themselves and be active learners who take responsibility for their own learning.  

    It's a lot for us to get our heads around as teachers and I think very exciting.

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