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Rich insight into research at May session of Te Kai a te Rangatira

May 15, 2024

Associate Professor Emily Nelson

The May 2024 session of Te Kai a te Rangatira at EIT provided rich insight into the Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) and the artistic legacy of late New Zealand artist Peter Roche, with presentations by Associate Professor Emily Nelson and Dr. Bridget Sutherland.

Associate Professor Emily Nelson’s presentation, titled “Unpacking what makes Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) work-integrated partnerships authentic?” delved into the nuances of creating and maintaining authentic partnerships.

The Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) programme at EIT has been working with school-based partners to deliver the degree for more than a decade.

Nelson emphasised the importance of contextualising learning through real-world experiences, highlighting the benefits of school-based learning in teacher education.

“Our candidate teachers go out in groups two days a week to a partnership school for the whole year and what that allows them to do is put into practise or contextualise the learning that they have on campus at EIT.”

“We prescribe what they do on school-based learning, and we negotiate that with mentor teachers who have the responsibility to care for our candidate teachers while they’re in school.”  

Nelson’s insights challenged conventional notions of partnership in education, urging a deeper understanding of the dynamics between educational institutions and their community collaborators.

“What’s important about our school-based learning is that it’s located outside of practicum. And that is quite special in the bigger initial teacher education context.”

Dr. Bridget Sutherland’s presentation, titled “Night Piece”, offered a poignant glimpse into the artistic journey of Peter Roche, a late New Zealand performance and kinetic artist.

Central to the film is his work with artist Linda Buis and the series of cutting edge performances they did together dating from 1979.

Controversial at the time for pushing physical and psychological boundaries, the artist couple explored the depths of their relationship and shifted the contexts for contemporary art by often working at night in dangerous and desolate places.

Utilising Roche’s extensive photographic archive together with old reels of super 8 film and archaic video formats found in his studio after his death, the film pieces together imagery from his earliest solo works to the evocative documentation of collaborative performances such as ‘Night Piece’ where Buis crawled along a 60 ft high wall in the dark.

Providing a window onto this seminal moment of post-object art through the late 70’s and early 80’s in New Zealand, the film also explores Roche’s later kinetic and light sculptures. Working in a converted movie theatre, Roche worked largely in isolation creating confronting sculptures addressing military technology, the human machine interface and, in his final large installation, the nuclear uncanny.