EMERGING TEACHER EDUCATOR, 2020
Dr Elizabeth Reinsfield began her teacher educator career at the University of Waikato with two short term appointments to teach in Professional Studies area and to coordinate the Teacher Education Refresh programme. In 2017 she gained a permanent lecturing position. Since then, she has made a significant contribution to teacher education through her teaching, administration, research and leadership in a range of roles, including Programme Leader Graduate Diploma of Teaching Programmes.
Liz is passionate about technology education and has provided leadership to the preparation of teachers who are effective within this field, both in professional development programmes for existing teachers as well as within Intitial Teacher Education across sectors and programmes.
Liz has been recognised for her influence in teacher education beyond her university context. Two examples are provided. The first is her management of and teaching in the initial national Teacher Education Refresh programme. This was recognised as demanding work. It involved working with a range of previously qualified teachers who were returning to the profession but who were often reluctant to appreciate the need to participate in the programme. The second example is when the Technology Education New Zealand Association (TENZ) awarded her Outstanding Teacher Educator in Technology, particularly for her conceptualisation and implementation of the Mātanga project – a national professional learning programme (PLP) for Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary technology teachers in New Zealand. The programme provided the opportunity for teachers to engage with and adopt new ways of teaching the technology curriculum. This was particularly pertinent because of the recent curriculum revision, and consequent emphasis on Digital Technology. She is a major contributor to TENZ as an executive member and has recently been appointed as Conference Convenor for the biennial TENZ 2012 Conference.
Liz has taught in a range of both professional and curriculum education courses that contribute to secondary, primary and ECE initial teacher education programmes. She brings a critical lens to these papers and made excellent contributions to their design and implementation. She is an outstanding teacher as evidenced by student feedback and nominations for excellence in tertiary teaching awards in 2018 and 2019 and the Nola Campbell e-teaching award in 2018.
Liz has been successful in gaining small university wide strategic investment research grants to fund her research. Her publication record is impressive for someone so early in their academic career. She has begun supervision of postgraduate students and has been invited to join several editorial boards,
In 2019, Liz applied for and won the position of Graduate Diploma of Teaching Academic Programme Leader with the Division of Education and has worked with colleagues to restructure the programme and at the same time help to develop a new Postgraduate Diploma across the three sectors. In 2020 she was appointed to the newly created position of Director of Undergraduate and Graduate Programmes. Her colleagues value her thinking, her commitment to high quality ITE and her collaborative way of working. In a very short time her ability to design and implement new innovative programmes and contribute to ITE has been recognised. She is perceived by her colleagues as an up and coming leader in the ITE field.
SUSTAINED EXCELLENCE in TEACHER EDUCATION, 2020
Bev Cooper has made a significant contribution to teacher education throughout the past 25 years as an educator, researcher, professional leader and representative for the ITE sector.
From her first role in 1996 when she was appointed to take responsibility for liaison between the secondary teacher education programme and local secondary schools, the excellence of her work has been recognised – initially with a Waikato University Award in 2004. This triadic relationship between the university, school and student teacher has been the focus for much of her work as a teacher educator. Its quality has gained favourable recognition from the Teaching Council, Ministry of Education, Teacher Unions and Normal Schools.
The Collaborative University School Partnership (CUSP), which she sponsored and led, involved close collaboration with Normal and Partnership Schools. It has been cited as an example of exemplary practice by the Teaching Council. This programme has been fully researched over two three-year cycles. The programme and the research emanating from it have been the basis for academic papers, chapters in international handbooks, invites to seminars and conference presentations. These presentations and publications have been influential in the design of new initial teacher education programmes from undergraduate to postgraduate, across sectors and nations.
Bev has provided a strong voice for teacher education and teacher educators in national consultations and discussions. She has led delegations to talk with other national bodies and provided feedback on processes such as programme approvals. Her comprehensive knowledge of the sector has been a tremendous asset in these discussions. Nationally, she has influenced and guided development at a system level.
Bev was elected to the TEFANZ Executive in 2009, was president from 2014 to 2019 and currently continues to make a valuable contribution to the Association in her role as past-president. Bev’s strong advocation for recognition of teacher educators as an integral part of the teaching profession has resulted in increased consultation with teacher educators at the national level and, an increased national advisory role for TEFANZ itself. She has represented TEFANZ on a wide range of national committees, including: Teaching Council’s Initial Teacher Education Advisory Group (ITEAG); the Education Council Standards working Group; the Education Council’s Stakeholders Advisory Group on strategic options for developing future orientated initial teacher education; PPTA working group on ITE practicum; PPTA Teacher Education Advisory group; NZEI Advisory Group. Her contribution to these groups has been seen by others as bold, honest and constructive.
Bev has provided significant leadership to teacher education within the University of Waikato through her roles of Director of the Centre for Teacher Education and Associate Dean Teacher Education. Her insistence on evidence-based decision making, caution against simplistic solutions and in-depth knowledge of research in the field, informed her leadership for the development of new teacher education programmes. These included initial teacher education programmes across early childhood, primary and secondary education sectors and in a range of contexts including English medium, and Māori medium. She also proposed and led a collaboration with the School of Engineering for those seeking a career change pathway into technology teaching. New programmes experienced smooth implementation due to her invitational and consultative approach which included university staff and teachers in relevant contexts engaged in reading, debating and trialling new ideas.
Bev’s contribution to research and practice in the field of teacher education is extensive, much of it involving national or international collaboration. She co-led a three-year Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) project, Strengthening Mathematical thinking and reasoning proficiency in primary teacher education (2014-2017). She was the New Zealand lead researcher in the APEC group project Identifying Unique and Promising Practices in Mathematics and Science Teacher Preparation in APEC Economies (2012-2015). She is an active member of the WERA-IRN Teacher Education Network which includes representatives from Singapore, Switzerland, Denmark, USA, South Korea and Taiwan. Her invited paper to a Special Issue of Educational Research for Policy and Practice will show case the research of network members and ITE worldwide. Bev’s unwavering commitment to effective teacher education together with the scope and impact of her teaching, leadership and research makes her a most worthy recipient of this award for sustained excellence.