EIT is a vibrant, innovative and research-led tertiary education institute. Research emphasis is placed upon collaborations with Hawke’s Bay industry and organizations and with colleagues in other tertiary institutions.

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Directory of Expertise 

Directory of Research Expertise

EIT has attracted many top scholars to lead research.

Click here for an overview of areas of specific expertise.

Research Outputs 

EIT is proud of its growing research capacity and completed projects.

Download a list of EIT’s 2013 research outputs here

It Doesn't Have to Continue 

A collection of stories about transforming family violence (an educational resource).

Compiled by Judy Wivell and Mandy Pentecost

Download It Doesnt Have To Continue here

Free Research Publications 

Free downloadable research publications available here

Experiencing the ill-defined: student centred learning 

Cheryl McConnell MPET (Deakin), Gillian Postlewaight BTch LN (Canterbury)
School of Education and Social Sciences

Cheryl McConnell and Gillian Postlewaight both teach EIT’s Bachelor of Teaching, Early Childhood Education degree programme. When they experienced what they termed a ‘pedagogical crisis’ in their teaching, they took a different approach to a course that both had previously taught for nine years, reconstructing it in a way that challenged themselves and the students. They then wrapped research around its delivery to assess the impact of the change and how the discomforting opportunity to experience the ill-defined affected the student teachers’ learning.

The crisis came about when Cheryl and Gillian tried to match the delivery of their teaching with the learning philosophy inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach, where the pedagogy of relationships underpins early childhood settings. They sought a shift from a subject-oriented approach to a more socio-cultural approach, enabling their students to experience first-hand how to work with children rather than being told how to do this within a tertiary classroom setting. In reconstructing the BTECE5.06 ‘Artistic Languages of Children’ course, they recognised that a shift towards a more artistic cognitive- based approach could increase the complexity of learning and model ways to work with children. This fitted well with the BTch (ECE) Field-Based Teacher Education (FBTE) degree that requires student teachers to combine practicum experiences with classes on campus, allowing theoretical learning and practice to occur concurrently.

In the reconstructed course, first-year EIT students were challenged to work in small groups, to self-select a topic of interest and determine a ‘burning question’, to direct their own investigation to answer the question, and to represent their learning in an artistic form, broadly defined. As a result, groups presented songs, poetry, screen-prints, models, collage and works in multi-media.

After the course was completed, Cheryl and Gillian used an impartial ‘critical friend’ to access the students’ reflections on the process.

Cheryl presented this work at the 2013 ‘Probing the Boundaries’ Interdisciplinary-Net conference in Sydney. Their subsequent chapter, titled ‘Experiencing uncertainty and the illdefined: Working with a different approach to teaching and learning’, is published in Finding Opportunities in Crisis (Pimomo & Ditton (Eds), Oxford, United Kingdom: Inter- Disciplinary Press, 2013). Another book chapter, ‘Pedagogical conflict creates opportunities to embrace student centred learning’ is in press.

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