NZI 2019 Staff BRIAR LIPSON 03

Briar Lipson

Adjunct Senior Fellow

Briar specialises in education. Before joining the Initiative she was a Maths teacher and Assistant Principal in London. Briar has worked for International Education consultancy CfBT, and the Westminster think tank Policy Exchange. She holds a Masters Degree in Economics from the University of Edinburgh. 

Latest reports:
New Zealand’s Education Delusion: How bad ideas ruined a once world-leading school system (2020)
Research Note: Ignorance is not bliss: Why knowledge matters (and why we may not have enough of it) (2019)
Spoiled by Choice: How NCEA hampers education, and what it needs to succeed  (2018)

Scroll down to read the rest of Briar's work.

Phone: +64 4 499 0790


Recent Work

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Lessons from the All Blacks

It took eighteen years for New Zealand’s school system to plunge from world-leading to decidedly average. Despite a concurrent 32% real rise in per-pupil spending, in maths, Kiwi 15-year-olds now perform the way 13 and a half year-olds did just 20 years ago. Read more

Briar Lipson
Insights Newsletter
9 October, 2020
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What's going wrong in our schools?

Research Fellow Briar Lipson explains in a new book why New Zealand’s education system is a mess, riddled with unscientific ideas and seduced by child-centred orthodoxy. She talks to John Campbell on TVNZ Breakfast about how to create the corrective shift that will reverse the decline and narrow New Zealand's educational inequities. Read more

Briar Lipson
TVNZ Breakfast
7 October, 2020
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Are we making NCEA credits too easy for kids to get?

Following the release of her new book New Zealand's Education Delusion: How bad ideas ruined a once world-leading school system, author Briar Lipson discusses her research and findings with Sean Plunket on MagicTalk. The New Zealand Initiative · Are we making NCEA credits too easy for kids to get? Read more

Briar Lipson
Magic Afternoons with Sean Plunket - MagicTalk
7 October, 2020
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Schooling’s unspoken trade-off

The Ministry of Education has “heard concerns” that some schools are “too focused on academic achievement.” To fix this shocking scandal, the new Education and Training Bill will ensure boards of trustees “re-orient their focus.” Now they must focus more on students’ wellbeing and the Treaty. While learning new things can be fun, most learning of any value takes perseverance and self-discipline. Read more

Briar Lipson
Insights Newsletter
31 July, 2020

Child or teacher-led education - the delusion of doing both

Imagine if a friend believed cake was more nutritious for children than vegetables, and any time you tried to explain otherwise they closed down the discussion saying the two were a false dichotomy: children should just eat both. This is what happens when the overwhelming evidence in favour of teacher-directed, rather than student-oriented learning achieves air-time in New Zealand. Read more

Briar Lipson
NZ Herald
27 January, 2020
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Teach subject knowledge, not activism

Last week, an educational resource unveiled by Ministers Shaw and Hipkins was praised by The Guardian newspaper for putting New Zealand “at the forefront of climate change education worldwide”. ACT MP David Seymour judged differently, describing the same resource as “state-organised bullying”. Read more

Briar Lipson
Insights newsletter
24 January, 2020

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