2022 TEFANZ Awards Recipient and Fellow

Our congratulations go to Emeritus Professor Noeline Alcorn (TEFANZ Fellow, 2022), Professor Alex Gunn (Sustained Excellence in Teacher Education Award, 2022) and Associate Professor Emily Nelson (Emerging Leadership in Teacher Education Award, 2022). The contributions of these leaders in teacher education were were recognised this year as recipeints of our TEFANZ awards. Below are the citations recognising their work in our field.

Emeritus Professor Noeline Alcorn
Emeritus Professor Noeline Alcorn

TEFANZ Fellow Award 2022

The inaugural award of the Teacher Education Forum Aotearoa New Zealand (TEFANZ) Fellow recognises Emeritus Professor Noeline Alcorn’s long term commitment and contributions to teacher education locally, nationally and internationally. Established through Noeline’s national leadership and advocacy TEFANZ’s purpose is to promote, foster and advocate for high quality teacher education that contributes to the community. Elected as the inaugural Chair of TEFANZ, Noeline served on the Committee from 1999 to 2006. She has continued to support TEFANZ in various forum including being a member the TEFANZ awards committee and presenting at forums and conferences.

Noeline’s sustained contribution to the national leadership of teacher education has been second to none. She was Chairperson of New Zealand Council for Educational Research 1988-1993, a member and chair of Education panel for PBRF in 2003 and 2006 and was Chair of the Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards Committee 2009-2013. She was awarded a Suffrage Medal in 1993, made a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order 2005 and given Life membership of the New Zealand Association for Research in Education in 2012. These all recognise her outstanding contributions to education nationally.

Noeline is recognised nationally as a leading contributor to research capacity building amongst colleagues working in initial teacher education. Noeline has championed the sharing of knowledge and practice across the TEFANZ community and been proactive in supporting research and research informed practice. She has acted as a PBRF research mentor at Waikato and a number of other institutions over a number of rounds.

As Principal and Dean, of the School of Education, University of Waikato 1992-2006 Noeline’s commitment to teacher education as a research-informed discipline was pivotal in fostering a research culture and ethos amongst staff. In part this is attested to by her vision in establishing the Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research and the number of Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) and other external research projects that researchers at Waikato have been able to pursue, with projects such as the Curriculum Stocktake influencing national policy. She would be the first to remind us that these projects and their implementation were group efforts; but make no mistake, Noeline was the initial creator, brainstormer, and driving force behind such powerful, prescient educational innovations.

Noeline’s knowledge of the sector is encyclopaedic. For anyone seeking to understand teacher education in Aotearoa, New Zealand, from overseas or locally, Noeline Alcorn’s published work is the place to start. She has written extensively on education policy and the issues, challenges and rewards of Initial Teacher Education. We are all indebted to Noeline for both laying out teacher education developments and providing an astute analysis of them. Her most recent 2020 paper “One hundred years of educational research in New Zealand: Landmarks and directions” was published in 2020 in the Waikato Journal of Education. The Waikato Journal of Education and Teachers and Curriculum, published through the University of Waikato through Noeline’s support, have been, and are, an important national and international venue for the publication of research conducted by teacher educators as individuals, in teams and with teachers.

Noeline’s leadership and contribution to TEFANZ and to teacher education has been substantial and sustained and has spanned over fifty years. Noeline has celebrated and promoted teacher education at the highest university, national, and international level. Noeline is respected for her breadth of knowledge, and her commitment to high quality teacher education programmes and research and for her humanity. In various roles, she has acted to bring people together to share ideas and design and advocate and progress initiatives that have significantly impacted the trajectory of teacher education. Emeritus Professor Noeline Alcorn is a worthy recipient of the inaugural TEFANZ Fellow Award.

Professor Alex Gunn

Sustained Leadership in Teacher Education Award 2022

Professor Alex Gunn has dedicated her professional career to improving the lives of children. A teacher educator since 1996 she has been a consistent and passionate voice advocating for those who might not otherwise be heard. Her work in early childhood education, inclusive education, Te Tiriti led initial teacher education, and LGBTQ+ concerns has ensured that those communities have a place at the table when important decisions are made. She has been tireless in promoting social justice and equity in education and society in general for the marginalized, the underserved, the excluded, and those who are small and often not properly heard. And if you know Alex, you know that advocacy is vigorous, dynamic, and influential.

Alex is more than an advocate, she is also a teacher educator, a mentor, and a scholar. Her scholarship is rigorous, innovative, and focused on pressing educational and social issues. She has collaborated nationally and internationally with colleagues and published widely. Her publications appear in the best venues and have international impact. Her mentorship is at once generous and demanding. She expects the very best from her students and provides the support they need to realize their potential. Her work in early childhood education and initial teacher education has been formative not just locally, but nationally. Her influence is seen across all of the teacher education programmes at the University of Otago, and her continuing contributions to TEFANZ, the Teaching Council, and the Ministry of Education are the epitome of service to New Zealand.

We have a wealth of truly wonderful teacher educators in New Zealand, and our nation is much the better for their remarkable contributions. Alex Gunn is in the vanguard of this group of extraordinary professionals, as a teacher, a scholar, an advocate, a mentor, a colleague, and a friend. Alex gives her heart and her mind, and both are mighty. Her nominators include colleagues, students, and four previous and current Deans of the University of Otago College of Education.

We can think of no one more worthy as a recipient of the 2022 TEFANZ Award for Sustained Excellence in Teacher Education. We thank Professor Alex Gunn for her outstanding contributions to education in New Zealand and beyond.

Associate Professor Emily Nelson

Emerging Leadership in Teacher Education Award 2022

Dr Emily Nelson is a passionate and conscientious lecturer and researcher. An experienced primary teacher and professional developer she was first employed as a lecturer in the Bachelor of Teaching Primary at the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) in 2013. She has been the Programme Coordinator providing academic leadership for 6 years.

An experienced tertiary teacher at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, Emily achieves consistently high evaluation feedback from her students and colleagues. Emily has been involved in developing and delivering the foundation course for the Te Tohu Paerua mō Te Aka Whakaaroaro, Master of Professional Practice. She has successfully met the additional challenge of melding western academic and mātauranga Māori knowledge. Emily is also leads the integration of mātauranga Māori in the Bachelor of Teaching Primary at EIT and is developing her own capability. She is a role model within the School and wider institution.

The Bachelor of Teaching Primary is a partnership-based programme delivered in both Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti. Candidate teachers spend two days a week in local primary schools. The success of the programme is dependent upon our relationships in the sector and Emily has a particular strength in maintaining these relationships. This very successful programme has a national and local reputation and EIT consistently receives positive feedback about the programme, graduates and Emily’s leadership and scholarship. Emily has demonstrated a willingness to share EIT’s learnings around practice-based and partnership-based ITE with other education providers, including MIT, Normal and Model Schools Association, Te Rito Maioha and Open Polytechnic.

Since completion of her PhD In 2014 from the University of Waikato, Emily’s reputation in her discipline both nationally and internationally has grown. In 2016 Emily was awarded the EIT Research Excellence Award. She has a strong publication record particularly in student voice in middle level education and innovative learning environments (ILE). Recent research has been focused on implications of ILEs for practicum in ITE and this has been disseminated in national and international contexts through presentations and publications. Emily has also demonstrated an ability to work collaboratively with colleagues internationally and nationally, within the School and the wider primary sector.

In February 2019 Emily was promoted to Principal Academic Staff Member, a significant achievement that recognises education professionals who have attained the highest standards of quality in their practise, have set an example of excellence in what they do, share their wisdom and expertise with their colleagues, and contribute significantly to the Institute and the community. In May 2022 Emily was promoted to Associate Professor.

Emily has proven leadership abilities within EIT and the School in research. She is a member of Research and Ethical Approvals Committee, the Strategic Research Committee and is Chair of the School of Education and Social Science, Centre for Veterinary Nursing and Te Ūranga Waka Research Committee. Utilising her research experience and knowledge Emily willingly supports and works with less experienced colleagues at all levels in research to assist them to achieve outputs. Emily participates nationally within the ITE sector as one of EITs representatives at NZEI and the Teaching Council Aotearoa New Zealand. She has been a member of the TEFANZ Executive since 2020 and was the co-organiser of the TEFANZ online Forum in 2021.

Emily Nelson is a respected and admired colleague who ably meets every criteria of the Emerging Leadership in Teacher Education Award and is a deserved recipient of the award in 2022.