2011 Award Winners

Congratulations to the following recipients of the 2011 TEFANZ awards

Emerging Teacher Educator – jointly awarded to  Dr Fiona Ell,   University of Auckland and Dr Kirsten Petrie,   University of Waikato

Dr Fiona Ell approaches her work as a teacher educator with a passion for student and teacher learning and a desire to understand how these may be enhanced. Over a relatively short time at The University of Auckland, she has gained credibility with colleagues, students and teachers as a researcher and teacher whose work is both high quality and closely connected to practice.

Fiona is deeply respected by students and staff as an excellent teacher. She is passionate, creative and well-organised, and receives very high ratings for the clarity of her teaching and for her sensitive concern for student learning and well-being. Fiona leads a large undergraduate stage three inquiry course, heads a postgraduate programme for early career teachers, supervises masters and doctoral students, and regularly teaches mathematics in a low-decile primary school.

Fiona’s connection to practice is demonstrated in her research interests. She is committed to improving the quality of mathematics education through collaborative, research-informed work alongside teachers. She has been a key person in three successful TRLI projects in mathematics education. Fiona is also one of a small group of New Zealand teacher education researchers to have focused on the impact of initial teacher education programmes on student teacher attitudes and learning.

It is clear that Fiona has already made a significant contribution to teacher education and is a worthy recipient of the TEFANZ Emerging Educator Award for 2011. She models exemplary practice as a teacher educator. She is an outstanding teacher, an active researcher and demonstrates service and leadership through her course and programme leadership.

 Dr Kirsten Petrie
During her transition from a successful health and physical education teacher in secondary schools to teacher educator in the Faculty of Education at the University of Waikato, Dr Kirsten Petrie has demonstrated a high level of commitment to teacher education. Kirsten has developed a genuine interest and expertise in curriculum studies for primary student teachers. Her contribution to the Faculty’s primary programmes committee is highly valued as is her role in supporting students in conjoint degree programmes.

Leading a team of colleagues as co-ordinator for the year one compulsory HPE curriculum paper, Kirsten’s enthusiasm and willingness to explore improvements has led to substantial revisions influenced by her emerging knowledge and understanding of effective pedagogy and content knowledge. Her excellent teaching is acknowledged across several papers in two degrees, supervision of postgraduate students and the supervision of student teachers in schools.

Kirsten has rapidly built her capacity as a researcher focused on teacher education and making a difference to classrooms. She developed her skills initially as the lead researcher in a Ministry of Education funded contract that examined effective professional learning by teachers in physical activity. This project led to her doctoral dissertation entitled Teaching Physical Education: Primary School Teachers as Learners. It has attracted a lot of interest within the international physical education community as there is a dearth of research in this field. Kirsten is currently the project leader of a two-year TLRI project entitled Every-body counts? Understanding Health and Physical Education in the primary school.

During her recent study leave Kirsten chose to spend a month teaching in a primary school classroom to better understand primary schools and schooling. This commitment to linking initial teacher education to the realities of the classroom has resulted in widespread acknowledgement from her colleagues and also positively impacted upon her student teachers.

Kirsten’s achievements to date illustrate a genuine interest, commitment and advocacy for teacher education. She is already an influential leader in her field and is a worthy recipient of the TEFANZ Emerging Teacher Educator Award for 2011.


2010 Sustained Excellence – awarded to Associate Professor Mavis Haigh,  University of Auckland

Associate Professor Mavis Haigh has made a significant and sustained contribution to teacher education as a professional leader, researcher and teacher.

Mavis has had a long-time commitment to research in teacher education.  Her research is always embedded in and strongly connected to practice, and has encompassed science education, curriculum implementation, the practicum and teacher professional learning.  Her focus on practice-relevant research, along with a commitment to collaborative projects, is also evidenced by the three TRLI that Mavis has been involved in.

Mavis is also an exemplary teacher.  She has extensive and successful experience as a primary and secondary science teacher educator and was one of the early initiators of postgraduate teaching in the former Auckland College of Education, especially in the area of teacher professional learning and practice.  Her postgraduate work now includes the supervision of honours, masters and doctoral students. Such supervision extends her influence deep into the practices of future teacher educators.

Mavis has also provided high levels of service and leadership in teacher education.  She led the development of the NZ science curriculum in the 1990s, was head of the practicum programme at the former College, and, following amalgamation, became the first Associate Dean Postgraduate in the Faculty of Education.  Mavis has also been a monitor for a number of programmes and a member of initial teacher education accreditation panels.

Mavis’s longstanding commitment to working with student teachers, her leadership of significant fields of practice related to teacher education, and her research mindset has enabled her to not only improve the areas of practice for which she is responsible but also to inform, through publication, the practices of other teacher educators.  Mavis’s long and distinguished career makes her a truly worthy recipient of the 2010 Sustained Teacher Educator award.