Latest research: The NZ Journal of Educational Studies, 56(1), 2021

Associate Professor Georgina Stewart, AUT – Auckland University of Technology
New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies co-editor

The New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies (NZJES), published by Springer, is the official journal of NZARE – the New Zealand Association for Research in Education. As such, we occasionally use Ipu Kererū, which is NZARE’s blog, to highlight work published in the NZJES (the journal).

The latest issue of the NZJES is currently available with free access until the end of September 2021, courtesy of Springer. This blog post provides a ‘teaser’ of the issue’s content and direct links to each article.

NZJES is first and foremost a journal which reflects the research interests of New Zealand researchers. As such, each issue contains papers that show the depth and breadth of the educational research that happens in this unique and educationally complex country. At the same time, the journal is also developing a wider, international scope, and that trend is also evident in the papers included in this issue.

We hope you will enjoy browsing the article summaries below and that you will find something (or some things!) of interest to click through and read in full from the journal itself.

Editorial: Is our schooling system broken? (link)

This issue marks a change in the NZJES editorial team. Leon Benade has stepped away after a three year term as Co-Editor, so now Nesta Devine (previously Book Reviews Editor) joins Georgina Stewart as the Co-Editors and Daniel Couch comes on board as Book Reviews Editor. The editorial for this issue marks this change by being co-authored by all four editors: Leon, Nesta, Georgina, and Daniel. The piece continues the theme established in past editorials of providing critical commentary on the direction of national education policy. Specifically, this issue’s editorial considers recent reviews, reports, and recommendations and asks: Is Our Schooling System Broken?

On the gymnastics of memory: Stiegler, positive pharmacology, and illiteracy (link)

The first article in this issue is the first of an occasional series of invited international papers. This one comes from the exciting philosopher of education, Joff Bradley from Japan. Inspired by the work and recent passing of radical philosopher, Bernard Stiegler, Bradley examines how digital technologies affect cognition, memory and learning. He considers these issues in the context of specific features of language and literacy learning of Chinese scripts.

Private actors in New Zealand schooling: Towards an account of enablers and constraints since the 1980s (link)

This article, by Martin Thrupp, Darren Powell, John O’Neill, Sandor Chernoff, and Piia Seppänen, presents an account of developments in privatisation of schooling in New Zealand since the neoliberal reforms of the 1980s, which were of particular significance given the strength of state schooling in this country. The article demonstrates how some of these developments have had unintended or unanticipated effects on the rest of the system.

Challenges for mentors in working with secondary school pre-service teachers (link)

The next article, by Ngaire Hoben, examines the role of mentors and mentoring work in practicum provision for initial teacher education. Recent changes to regulations have increased the minimum length of time that pre-service teachers must spend on practicum to 16 weeks. This research finds that what is important is not the quantity of time spent in the classroom, but the quality of mentoring that pre-service teachers receive.

Teacher learning insights from two practice-based inquiries in South Africa and New Zealand (link)

In this article, Jyoti Jhagroo, Sarah Bansilal and Patricia Stringer report on practitioner inquiry by two teachers, one in New Zealand, the other in South Africa, both focusing on their teaching of measurement in mathematics. The study demonstrates the benefits to mathematics teaching practice of teacher reflective inquiry.

Engagement with science across the middle years in New Zealand (link)

Here, Kaitlyn M. Martin,  Lloyd S. Davis and Susan Sandretto report on an engagement survey with Year 7-10 students. The survey aimed to increase student engagement with science at this crucial stage of science education. The research suggests teaching in context as a significant useful strategy to help sustain middle schools students’ interest in science.

Measuring science skills development in New Zealand high school students after participation in citizen science using a DEVISE evaluation scale (link)

Continuing with the science focus, this Research Note by Robert Lewis and Sally Carson describes using a commercially-available evaluation survey to measure science capability development in school students who participated in Shark Spy, a citizen science project on surveying shark species. This example illustrates how citizen science projects more broadly can be evaluated to examine whether the desired learning outcomes are being achieved.

A critique of New Zealand’s exclusive approach to intercultural education (link)

In this final article, Neda Salahshour argues that intercultural initiatives and policies in New Zealand education aim to support Māori and Pasifika communities to the exclusion of other ethnocultural minorities. The 2019 Christchurch mosque attack is cited as an example of increasing racism against Asian migrants and New Zealanders from Asian backgrounds, showing that New Zealand needs to implement ‘truly inclusive’ education policies, well supported by professional development.

Concluding thoughts

Taken together, this issue of the NZJES touches on a range of issues and aspects related to education in New Zealand and beyond. This is in keeping with the journal’s multidisciplinary approach and the overarching aim – shared by both the journal and NZARE – of nurturing and promoting educational research.


The New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies (NZJES) is the official journal of NZARE, the New Zealand Association for Research in Education. It is published twice yearly by Springer Education. NZARE members enjoy a complimentary subscription to the journal; individual articles or an annual subscription can also be purchased through Springer.

Prospective authors are encouraged to consider the NZJES for:

  • submissions of empirical (qualitative and quantitative) and non-empirical articles, including those that are methodologically or theoretically innovative, as well as scholarly essays and book reviews
  • submissions in either Māori or English, or the inclusion of the paper abstract in both English and Māori
  • international submissions that shed light on matters of interest to its readership and that include reference to Aotearoa New Zealand authors and/or contexts
  • proposals for Special Themed Sections, which are groups of related papers curated by guest editors.

Learn more by visiting the journal website here.

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