Stout Research Centre


Communities of Learning: a refreshment for school self-management or a real game-changer?

Date: 22 March 2017

Time: 5.30 pm

Venue: Hunter Council Chamber, Hunter Building, Kelburn Campus

The Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies and the Faculty of Education present:

The Road Ahead Research Seminar Series

Dr Cathy Wylie
Chief Researcher, NZ Council of Education Research (NZCER)

Just before the start of the 2014 school year, then Prime Minister John Key’s announcement of a new educational policy signalled a significant shift in the course of New Zealand’s over-reliance on school self-management to provide good-quality, equitable education. Schools were invited to form Communities of Learning (CoL) centred on the student pathway through primary, intermediate and secondary school. Collaboration between schools focused on sharing effective teaching practices rather than competition for students is the new lever for system improvement. Three years later, more than half the country’s schools are members of a CoL.  What has it taken to get this change, and how much has really changed? What does this tell us about what is needed if CoL are to succeed?

Cathy Wylie is well-known for her research on policy and its impacts for school leadership, teaching, and students, and the longitudinal study Competent Learners, which has provided important understanding about different trajectories of engagement and achievement in learning. Her 2012 book, Vital Connections, written while she was a Stout Fellow, makes a cogent case for system change to strengthen all our schools and counter uneven educational opportunities.

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Dissent and the First World War

Date: 31 August – 2 September 2017

Time: 12.00 am

Venue: Rutherford House, Pipitea Campus, Victoria University


31 August - 2 September 2017

The First World War divided New Zealand society in many ways. But in the current commemorative climate little attention has been paid to the perceptions and actions of those who opposed the war. Dissent may take many forms, and we hope that this conference, co-hosted by the Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies and the Labour History Project, will include discussion of the following themes, among others:

* Conscription
* Māori and dissent, e.g. Te Puea Hērangi  and KIngitanga, or Rua Kenana
* Pre-war anti-militarism
* Post-war dissent e.g. veterans
* NZ Labour Party and dissent
* War profiteering
* Pro-German perspectives
* Internment 
* Pacifism
* The Irish in NZ
* Perceptions of dissent
* Religious dissent
* Gender and dissent
* Repression and persecution of dissent
* NZ trade unions and dissent
* Dissent within the military
* Germans and internment
* Censorship
* Conscientous objection
* Influence of the Bolshevik Revolution or Easter 1916
* Moral campaigns
* Divided communities, e.g. sectarianism
* Reading against the grain to locate dissent in the archives


The deadline for proposals is 28 APRIL 2017.  These should include:

  • Title
  • Abstract of no more than 300 words
  • Brief Bio
  • Full contact details of the presenter
  • Submitted as a word document (no PDFs)

We welcome submissions from a broad range of presenters, and encourage those who might be interested in organizing a panel session, or have any further queries, to contact David Grant:

Please email proposals for papers to

Further information will be available in April regarding on-line registration and conference programme.

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The Regulatory Frontier: Administrative History and 19th Century New Zealand

Date: 14 March 2017

Time: 12.00 pm

Venue: Stout Research Centre Seminar Room, 12 Waiteata Road, Kelburn

Presenter: Gerrard Carter

The study of the history of public administration as a distinct discipline seems to be out of favour with New Zealand historians.  With an emphasis on the period of provincial government rule between 1853 and 1876, this seminar considers the historiography of public administration in New Zealand with a focus on the 19th century up to the dissolution of the provinces, and suggests that there is a place for the history of settler bureaucracy.

Gerrard Carter is a PhD student at the Stout Research Centre.  He is currently employed as a civil servant.

Navigating educational excellence and equity in New Zealand

Date: 15 March 2017

Time: 5.30 pm

Venue: Hunter Council Chamber, Hunter Building, Kelburn Parade

The Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies and the Faculty of Education present:

The Road Ahead Seminar Series

Navigating educational excellence and equity in New Zealand
Presenter: Professor Elizabeth McKinley

It has long been an axiom of democratic societies that all students should receive and achieve a high standard of education, irrespective of their income, social or other group membership.  Yet there is also a long history of students being educated differently within the same school system according to their class, ethnic or racial background. It is accepted by educators there will be diversity of individual student achievement, but entrenched inequality stratified along lines of ethnicity, race, class or income is viewed as unfair and undesirable. Moreover, it is seen as being indicative of structural inequities within the education system itself.

The role of schools (and education generally) in achieving improved educational outcomes for groups of students underserved by our education system takes precedence in national educational policy. One project to attempt to do this work was the Starpath Project for Tertiary Participation and Success, a multi-faceted, longitudinal research and development project (2005-2015) conducted across 39 secondary schools in Auckland and Northland. It was designed to improve both equity and excellence outcomes for Māori, Pacific Island and other students from low SES communities. Drawing on my experience as the director of the Starpath Project for over 7 years (2007- 2014), this seminar will outline the major findings and reflect on the successes, challenges and ‘lessons learned’ from the project over this time.

Professor Elizabeth McKinley ONZM (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa/Kai Tahu) is currently the Professor of Indigenous Education in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE) at the University of Melbourne.  She leads Indigenous education and research, and leadership of the compulsory Education Foundations courses in the Master of Teaching degree.  Previously she was Professor of Māori Education at the University of Auckland, and Director of the Starpath Project for Tertiary Participation and Success.

The power of the ‘pen’ - personal journeys - political stories: Documenting the politics of early childhood in Aotearoa-New Zealand

Date: 12 April 2017

Time: 5.30 pm

Venue: Hunter Council Chamber, Level 2, Hunter Building, Kelburn Parade

The Stout Research Centre for NZ Studies and the Faculty of Education present:

The Road Ahead Seminar Series

Presenter: Dr Helen May

This presentation charts the early childhood policy story from the 1980s until current times, framed around writings of key scholars and activists across distinctive eras of political interest. The story is in part personal and illustrative too of the ‘pen’ as a political tool in charting the policy landscape, but the ‘pen’ was never separate from engagement in the politics itself and the ‘storytellers’ cited, with others, have challenged successive governments in print and press, but also worked with government and sometimes within government, to craft and implement new policy blueprints for early childhood. Recently the political mood has changed to one of caution and cut backs, so different from 30 years ago when this story begins, with its brief era of risk and optimism. The presentation concludes with an unfolding story where the only recourse is again for furious ‘pens’ to hit our digital media keyboards. This concerns the NZ Ministry of Education’s interest, against the advice of ECE researchers, in participating in OECD’s secretive ‘preschool PISA’ assessment project. The lack of consultation internationally and nationally has caused a worried flurry of keyboard activity. By the time of this presentation the story might be clearer.

Dr Helen May is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Otago, and a former Dean of the College of Education. She is the author of a number of books and publications on the history, politics and pedagogy of early years education and been involved in advocacy and advisory roles covering a range of early childhood policy initiatives.

The Land is Our History

Date: 19 April 2017

Time: 12.00 pm

Venue: Stout Research Centre, 12 Waiteata Road, Kelburn Campus

Presenter:  Miranda Johnson
University of Sydney 

In this talk, I will discuss my new book, The Land is Our History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016), which tells the story of Indigenous legal activism at a critical juncture in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, as these three countries sought out new postcolonial identities in the Asia-Pacific region. In the late 1960s, indigenous activists protested policies of assimilation and the usurpation of their lands as a new mining boom took off, both of which radically threatened their collective identities. Inspired by global movements for decolonization and civil rights, Indigenous leaders took their claims to settler law from which they had often been excluded in the past. Their claims had remarkable results. For the first time in the legal histories of these three countries, Indigenous peoples’ distinctive histories were admitted into court as evidence of their rights to land and of promises made in treaties with them in the past. Examining how Indigenous peoples opened up the space of law for the recognition of their rights from the early 1970s to the mid-1990s, this book chronicles an extraordinary and overlooked history in which virtually disenfranchised communities forced powerful settler democracies to reckon with their demands. 


Miranda Johnson is a lecturer in the Department of History, University of Sydney, where she teaches broadly in the areas of comparative Indigenous history, settler colonialism, and decolonization.  Her research centres on Indigenous history in North America and the Pacific and is particularly concerned with matters of rights, identity, and agency. The recipient of several major fellowships in the United States and Australia, The Land is Our History is her first book.

No RSVP required.

Creating young, active citizens: How well is New Zealand doing?

Date: 10 May 2017

Time: 5.30 pm

Venue: Hunter Lecture Theatre 323, Hunter Building, Kelburn Parade

The Faculty of Education and The Stout Research Centre present:

The Road Ahead Seminar Series

Presenter:  Bronwyn Wood

The past two decades have seen a growing interest in civics and citizenship education across much of the western world, driven by growing concerns in falling political participation rates, fears of loss of social cohesion in an increasingly diverse society and the rise of seemingly intractable issues of environment, economic and social sustainability. In response, many social policy and education initiatives have centred on promoting new forms of more ‘active citizenship’ in order to equip the next generation with the understanding’s and skills to embrace these ‘wicked’ problems. How are young people responding to these initiatives? And how well is New Zealand doing in creating space for young citizens to participate? This presentation draws on eight years of research into diverse New Zealand young people’s active citizenship experiences during their schooling years. It will compare New Zealand with other nations and examine emerging challenges and opportunities facing young citizens today.

Dr Bronwyn E. Wood is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Education, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Her research interests lie at the intersection of sociology, geography and education and centre on issues relating to youth participation, citizenship and education. She has just completed a two year project investigating how teachers and students are interpreting and implementing the new NCEA ‘social action’ Achievement Standards and begins a further three year study into how young people gain a sense of belonging and citizenship in super diverse communities in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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