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TLRI Programme Director Robyn Baker has some advice for people who are thinking about putting in a TLRI proposal.
The TLRI is focused on developing new knowledge about teaching and learning that is useful to practice and on raising research capacity and capability in all sectors. Since a formal review conducted in 2007 we have sought to provide more support around research content and process for people making proposals. We have aimed to ensure that while partnerships are central to TLRI project design they are not the key driver for the design of the research question(s) and methodology. These ideas were developed more fully in a paper that is on the TLRI website: Developing new knowledge and practice through teacher-researcher partnerships?
We have also undertaken a series of reviews designed to shed light on the contribution of TLRI projects to building knowledge about teaching and learning and these can be found in the Backgound Papers.
Partnerships between researchers and teachers
To be eligible for the fund, proposals need to come from partnerships involving teachers and researchers. In the context of the TLRI, teachers are defined as education and training practitioners. The category of education and training practitioners may include, but is not limited to: teachers in kindergartens, early childhood centres, kōhanga reo and Pasifika language nests; teachers in kura, primary, intermediate, and secondary schools; and lecturers, tutors, and trainers working in postschool settings such as universities, wānanga, polytechnics, private training establishments (PTEs), industry training organisations (ITOs) and workplace settings. The TLRI is open to researchers working in organisations (e.g., tertiary institutions) or working independently. However, the TLRI will not enter into contracts with individuals, requiring that contracts be with incorporated societies or similar legal entities. Staff members of the Ministry of Education or other government departments are not eligible to apply.
Funding has been allocated to six projects in 2012
Projects are divided into two different types and into categories, with different funding levels.
The projects selected for funding are:
Extending innovative leadership to enable e-learning for better student outcomes in primary schools
Principal Investigators: Dr Julie Mackey and Dr Niki Davis
Partnerships: University of Canterbury with five schools
This project aims to develop knowledge and capability about innovative school leadership strategies to enable e-learning focused on raising student achievement in an environment facilitated by Ultra Fast Broadband. Five experienced principals and their respective staff, researchers in e-learning and an advisory panel including international leaders in e-learning, school leadership and action research will bring diverse expertise to the project. The project will inform and contribute to New Zealand’s e-Learning Planning Framework, as well as the international field of school technology leadership.
Funding allocation: $129,882.47 over two years
Porous learning: What do families and schools need to know and do about using netbooks at home to enhance children’s literacy?
Principal Investigator: Dr Rebecca Jesson
Partnerships: University of Auckland, Woolf Fisher Research Centre and Manaiakalani cluster of schools and Manaiakalani Education Trust
In one cluster of schools, students’ families are assisted to purchase netbooks for students to use both in and out of school. Theoretically, alignment between school and home contexts promotes ongoing development in literacy learning. This project investigates how the netbooks are used at home by students and how schools and families support the students’ home use. It seeks to identify what patterns of use are associated with increased achievement, so schools can increase effective engagement of families and students in out-of-school literacy learning.
Funding allocation: $200,000 over two years
On the edge: Shifting teachers’ paradigms for the future
Principal Investigators: Dr Jane Gilbert and Dr Margaret Franken
Partnerships: New Zealand Council for Educational Research and The University of Waikato with Cultivating Leadership, Margaret Giroux and three schools
This is an action research project designed to explore the contexts and conditions needed for New Zealand teachers to experience the kind of on-the-job, transformational learning they need if they are to meet the needs of 21st century learners.
The research focus is teachers’ thinking: how teachers think, and the extent to which their thinking is changed by participating in a course and workshop that are designed to be "transformational”.
Funding allocation: $200,000 over two years
Enabling academic literacy: Smoothing the transition to tertiary learning
Principal Investigator: Dr Lisa Emerson
Partnerships: Massey University and three schools in the Whanganui-Manawatu region
This action research project investigates how to more effectively enable students’ transition to tertiary learning through academic literacy learning interventions at senior secondary school and first-year tertiary study.
The project is a partnership of secondary schools, emerging researchers and practitioners/teachers under the leadership of Dr Emerson, who is an experienced mentor and participatory research leader.
Through an innovative programme of academic support (including trained peer tutors, teacher resourcing and peer support), the project will develop a strategy that will enhance students’ acquisition of academic literacy and can be used widely in secondary school and tertiary settings.
Funding allocation: $198,676 over two years
Copy, cut and paste: How does this shape what we know?
Principal Investigator: Dr Elaine Khoo
Partnerships:The Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, Faculty of Science and Engineering and Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The University of Waikato
Software is not neutral. It comes with social and cultural assumptions that enable particular actions while making others less possible and imaginable. In this study, the notion of software literacy as the expertise involved in selecting, using and critiquing the software when this is used to achieve particular goals is introduced and defined. Two lecturers will collaborate to examine the notion of software literacy—how it develops and impacts on the teaching, learning and student understanding and use of the practices associated with knowledge generation, communication, critique and use in engineering and media studies.
Funding allocation: $129,883 over two years
Using multiplication and division contexts to enhance young children’s part–whole thinking in mathematics
Principal Investigators: Dr Brenda Bicknell and Dr Jenny Young-Loveridge
Partnerships: The Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, The University of Waikato with two schools
This project aims to explore how multiplication and division contexts can be used to help young children develop a greater appreciation of the properties of numbers. By exposing children to problems not traditionally used with this age group, the study should contribute to improving student outcomes in mathematics for a diverse range of learners. These problems include contexts familiar to the children where explicit equal-sized groups (e.g., two socks in a pair, five fingers on a glove) are used. The children will work together as a collective group to talk about, model and find solutions for problems using multiple representations. In the process of participating and contributing to the classroom discourse, they will be encouraged to communicate their ideas mathematically using language, symbols and texts.
Funding allocation:$130,000 over two years
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