In 2011 the Ministry of Education initiated a new school property strategy. Its aim was to replace New Zealand’s classrooms with ‘Modern Learning Environments’ (MLEs). Read more
Dr Michael Johnston
Dr Michael Johnston has held academic positions at Victoria University of Wellington for the past ten years. This includes being the Associate Dean (Academic) of the University’s School of Education for the last 3 years.
Prior to his time at Victoria, Dr Johnston was the Senior Statistician at the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, a position he held for 6 years. Before that, he held positions at Melbourne and Latrobe universities.
Dr Johnston holds a PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Melbourne.
He lives in Roseneath, Wellington, with his wife and two young children.
Wellington (Tuesday, 20 September 2022) – Ideology rather than evidence is the basis for the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) ‘Modern Leaning Environments’, research by think tank The New Zealand Initiative reveals. The fact that a government ministry could not produce data to support its policy for mass conversion of New Zealand’s classrooms to Innovative Learning Environments (ILEs), is the main finding of the Initiative’s new report, No Evidence, No Evaluation, No Exit – Lessons from the 'Modern Learning Environments' experiment. Read more
In 2011 the Ministry of Education embarked on a ten-year strategy to rejuvenate New Zealand’s aging classroom estate. Part of this strategy involved establishing large, open plan classrooms, populated by many more children than are found in cellular classrooms. The Ministry conducted no research on the effects of these ‘Modern learning Environments’ on students’ learning prior to compelling schools to adopt them. Read more
There is no evidence Modern learning classrooms are effective. That is according to research by think tank The New Zealand Initiative that has found the Education Ministry's classroom experiment has not been based on evidence. Read more
In 2011 the Ministry of Education embarked on a 10 year strategy to rejuvenate New Zealand's ageing classrooms. Millions of dollars were spent building open plan classrooms and implementing student led learning strategies. But in his report for The New Zealand Initiative, Dr Michael Johnston, found there was little evidence the policy has worked at all, and in some cases may be making learning even more difficult for some students. Read more
Dr Michael Johnston, a Senior Research Fellow from the NZ Initiative joined the program to discuss his research on 'Modern Leaning Environments'.
Ideology rather than evidence is the basis for the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) ‘Modern Leaning Environments’, research by The New Zealand Initiative has revealed. Dr Oliver Hartwich and Dr Michael Johnston discuss the fact that a government ministry could not produce data to support its policy for mass conversion of New Zealand’s classrooms to Innovative Learning Environments (ILEs) and other findings of the Initiative’s new report, "No Evidence, No Evaluation, No Exit – Lessons from the 'Modern Learning Environments' experiment". Read more
Michael Johnston talked to leadership coach Kate Morton of Transformation Space about leadership in organisations and self-leadership as an antidote to anxiety. They also discussed the implications of Kate’s work for addressing rising levels of anxiety in teenagers and your people. Read more
Michael Johnston recently gave the annual Hudson lecture at the Wellington branch of the Royal Society Te Apārangi. He talked about what science is, and what we can do to better in science education. Read more
There are some worryingly low pass results in a NCEA literacy and numeracy trial. Year 10 students have trialled the test, which will be made compulsory for year 11 students in 2024. Read more
The Free Speech Union recently published a report grading each of New Zealand’s eight universities on its record of upholding academic freedom. But why should anyone outside universities care? Read more
The New Zealand Initiative has been a trenchant critic of the way literacy is currently taught in New Zealand’s schools. The Ministry of Education has, for far too long, promoted manifestly ineffective approaches. Read more
Jonathan Ayling is the chief executive of the Free Speech Union. We talked to him about the state of free speech in New Zealand; and whether or not it's under threat. Read more
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr coined this well-known aphorism in his 1848 novel Les Guêpes (The Wasps). Read more