#NZAREtop10: The 10 most-read posts from the first year of Ipu Kererū!

Ipu Kererū, the blog of the New Zealand Association for Research in Education, is one year old! Rā whānau ki a tātou – happy birthday to us!

This blog was launched in June 2017 to provide a space for members of NZARE to share their views and research findings related to education in NZ and internationally. We have been thrilled with both the blog contributions we have received and the enormous interest from our wider community. In our first year, we’ve had over 80 fabulous posts and over 75,000 readers from all over the globe! A big thank you to all our readers and contributors – ngā mihi mahana rawa ki ā koutou!

Here’s a run-down of our ten most popular posts this past year. We’re delighted to see the range of research topics and voices represented across your favourite posts – from postgraduate students to professors! Enjoy looking back at these posts, and consider who else you could share this collection with!

#1: “Beyond Māori boys’ writing: Reading and writing our WORLD” (read it here)

Reading our World

Our most-read contribution this year has been the seven-part blog series written by the 2017 warrior-researchers of Kia Aroha College. These Year 12 and 13 students conducted remarkable research into their own local, national and political contexts using youth participatory action research methodology, mentored by NZARE member Dr Ann Milne. We are delighted to see that their work has been the most-read content in the first year of our blog. Ngā mihi nunui rawa ki a koutou!

#2: “How should we group students in primary maths classrooms?” (read it here)

Group work DMIC 2

In this post, Professor Glenda Anthony, Professor Bobbie Roberta Hunter and Dr Jodie Hunter (Massey University) explore why research evidence suggests we should move away from ability grouping in mathematics classrooms – and what making this shift might involve in practice. Questions of pedagogy, teacher beliefs, equity and the nature of mathematics are considered in this post that bridges theory and practice.

#3: “Election 2017: Spotlight on Early Childhood Education Policy” (read it here)


In the lead-up to the 2017 general election, NZARE co-president Associate Professor Jenny Ritchie (Victoria University of Wellington) shared this analysis of the various political parties’ proposals for early childhood education and care. Jenny considered how the various policies and proposals compared to structural, processual, social justice and equity criteria for high-quality early childhood provision.

#4: “The end of National Standards and the role of researchers and academics” (read it here)

02 Measuring apple

From the other side of the 2017 general election, NZARE McKenzie Award winner Professor Martin Thrupp (University of Waikato) celebrated the newly-formed Labour – NZ First – Green government’s moves to throw out NZ’s controversial National Standards regime. In this post, Martin reviewed the history of National Standards, acknowledged researchers’ and academics’ efforts to push back against this policy, and considered the way forward for education in Aotearoa.

#5: “From the rākau to the ngākau: Exploring authentic approaches to leadership, policy, and pedagogy” (read it here)

Māori values

In this post, Associate Professor Sonja Macfarlane and Melissa Derby (University of Canterbury) consider whether schools’ incorporation of Māori concepts and values merely seeks to tick the ‘culturally-responsive to Māori’ box – or whether these practices emanate from the heart, with Māori concepts and values being authentically experienced in all aspects of school life by learners, teachers, school leaders, and whānau.

#6: “Reflections on flexible learning spaces” (read it here)

FLS 2 widescreen

With increasing numbers of NZ schools establishing ‘flexible’, ‘modern’ or ‘innovative’ learning spaces, Dr Leon Benade (Auckland University of Technology) shares observations arising from his intensive research into the experiences of teachers working in twenty-first century NZ schools. He considers the underlying policy assumptions and priorities related to these types of spaces in the Aotearoa NZ context.

#7: “Thriving or just surviving? Exploring teacher wellbeing” (read it here)

04 hearts

In this post, classroom teacher Meg Gallagher (Palmerston Primary School) reports on her Master of Education research into the resilience and wellbeing of mid-career primary school teachers in Aotearoa NZ. The post highlights the importance of balance, leadership, relationships, moral purpose and self-efficacy in promoting and protecting teacher wellbeing.

#8: “Relational aggression: Why are young children so mean?” (read it here)

cardboard man broken heart

This post by Dr Cara Swit (University of Canterbury) considers the intent and awareness associated with young children’s relationally agggressive behaviours. Drawing on her doctoral research, Cara compares relational aggression with physical aggression and highlights the inconsistency in parents’ and teachers’ attitudes to these two forms of aggression.

#9: “Spontaneous singing and young children’s musical agency” (read it here)

Bronya cover image

Another example of doctoral research comes from Dr Bronya Dean (University of Exeter / University of Waikato), who reports in this post on her study of preschoolers’ spontaneous singing in their everyday home lives. Bronya highlights the sophisticated ways in which young children use singing to manage themselves and others, switching between different types of music-making to accomplish different aims.

#10: “Who should learn more about White Privilege – Māori children or Pākehā children?” (read it here)

Blaine art for thesis

In this post, Dr Ann Milne (who also mentored the Kia Aroha College students behind our #1 most-read post, above) discusses the “white spaces” that are all around us, including throughout our education system in Aotearoa NZ. She calls for us all to be more attentive to questions of race, power and privilege in our education system and society, and to proactively help all students in NZ schools to recognise and challenge inequitable “white spaces”.

Thank you all for your support of our blog this year and your interest in all our contributors’ research and ideas! We look forward to another great year ahead.

All NZARE members are welcome to contribute to Ipu Kererū. Please refer to the Information for Contributors and contact us at blog@nzare.org.nz about writing a post for us – we’d love to hear from you!

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