Recently approved Southern Hub projects
The three significant earthquakes and large number of associated aftershocks experienced in the Canterbury region since 4 September 2010 have required educational organisations to cope with a natural disaster and its consequences. While this disaster has had specific and unique effects on Canterbury, there is no doubt that aspects of teaching and learning and the resulting generation of new knowledge, new processes, and altered understandings has the potential to inform educational organisation policy and practices nationally and across many vocational settings.
The Southern Hub is pleased to support three projects that investigate the impact of this disaster on tertiary teaching and learning and, from the lessons learnt, develop recommendations that will assist organisations in strategising their response to major events and/or disasters in the future. Each of the projects introduced takes a different focus and, when completed, a resource will be developed in which all three project outcomes are combined into a comprehensive package.
Preparedness for sudden change: Lessons from managing large scale disruption within a Bachelor of Nursing learning community is led by Dr Lesley Seaton and a team from Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT), supported by Lieutenant Commander Lisa Conlon, University of Technology, Sydney. The project will explore the most appropriate and optimal role(s) for education providers where there is sudden, large-scale disruption to the learning community. It will provide recommendations for tertiary education organisations to ensure continuity of good teaching practice should such events occur.
CPIT’s Martin Jenkins leads our second “earthquake” project Institutional strategies supporting forced change: Guidelines derived from case studies of the February 22nd 2011 Christchurch earthquake. During the national state of disaster, the main CPIT campus was inaccessible for almost six weeks. This impacted strongly on CPIT’s ability to provide teaching and learning facilities and student support services. Because of the nature of the event, rapid change was required by the organisation, staff, and students to deliver redesigned programmes in very different teaching and learning environments. In this project, Martin sets out to determine how organisations, staff, and students respond to such forced change, how these changes have impacted on learning and teaching, and whether these changes are sustainable.
The project will explore the following three levels to determine the methods of curriculum delivery used to adapt to change:
- organisational – this will focus on key players who influenced the changes, the development processes followed, and staff expectations about the sustainability of the changes
- programme design – this level investigates the rationale behind the changes, drivers and barriers, and the educational principles followed in redesign
- students – they will be asked how these methods differ from pre-earthquake methods, how they were supported through the changes, and how the changes have impacted on them.
The final “earthquake” project Recognising the impact on students of a crisis event in an educational setting – Developing response recommendations is led by Sandra Richardson, Centre for Postgraduate Nursing Studies, University of Otago, Christchurch. Sandra and her team will explore the social, cognitive, and professional implications of the earthquake events on a range of medical and nursing students, and newly graduated nurses involved in the Nurse Entry to Practice programme. The project team will:
- explore the type and range of student reactions and adaptations to the impact of an unexpected crisis situation
- identify ways in which positive adaptation can be facilitated
- provide recommendations for educational and support organisations relevant across a range of settings and levels of education.
We are delighted to support Diane Gordon-Burns of the University of Canterbury and Leeanne Campbell of Rangi Ruru Early Childhood College in their project Inakitia rawatia hei kakono mō āpōpō: Students’ encounters with bicultural commitment that strongly reflects kaupapa Māori principles. Diane and Leeanne (pictured below) will explore the previous attitudes and experiences of early childhood first-year students in te ao Māori (the Māori world). The project intends to generate knowledge about specific indicators that will support the understanding of initial teacher education lecturers in implementing bicultural and tiriti-based programmes. This will prepare and strengthen graduating students and beginning teachers with a broader acceptance of bicultural commitment. It is anticipated that the recommendations generated will be of interest and benefit to all tertiary organisations, staff, and students.
Our final project, led by Flip Leijten of CPIT, investigates the effectiveness of peer learning in a vocational setting. The project will concentrate on aspects contributing to effective peer learning in a vocational setting, including:
- favourable conditions and how to measure effectiveness whilst considering who is learning
- how the role of peers with whom one works can be conceptualised
- what helps peers learn together
- what learning results through interaction
- how we know what occurs in groups or what has been learned.
A guide for trade teachers and tutors will be developed, using peer learning strategies, to enhance learner support.