research-ED Festival of Education

2 June, 2018

We partnered with researchED to reignite evidence-based education in New Zealand. On Saturday 2nd June, over 240 passionate educators, parents, researchers and school trustees gathered at Auckland Grammar School to discuss the evidence on effective education.

Speakers, including Katharine Birbalsingh, Benjamin Evans, Melinda Webber, Michael Johnston and Elizabeth Rata, covered (amongst other things) early literacy instruction, the findings from John Hattie’s meta-analyses of education methods, how to improve University Entrance of Maori students in low decile schools, cognitive automaticity in maths, the meaning of knowledge, and the New Zealand history curriculum.

The festival created a buzz, and excitingly several attendees have since started blogs on which to continue the discussions.





The evidence-informed school
Keynote speech Katharine Birbalsingh, Headmistress Michaela Community School

The role of cognitive automaticity in mathematics learning: implications for NCEA

Session Dr Michael Johnston, Senior Lecturer School of Education at Victoria University

Turning the tanker: a case study in how to rescue an academic programme

Session Benjamin Evans, Director of Teaching and Learning, Prince Alfred College, Adelaide 

What does research in cognitive architecture have to offer phonics instruction?

Session John Walker, Director Sounds-Write, and Kim Bloor, Senior education psychologist, Dyslexia - SPELD Foundation, Perth 

What is the state of education in New Zealand, and what needs to happen?

Panel discussion, chaired by Tom Bennett, with Prof. Elizabeth Rata, Glen Denham, Briar Lipson and Dr. Michael Johnston


As a champion of education excellence, The New Zealand Initiative is proud to partner with researchED to bring the world’s most inspirational education festival to New Zealand.

If you are a teacher, school trustee, policymaker or parent, we invite you to join us for a day of myth-busting, questioning and debate about what and how we teach our children.

researchED is an international movement, which brings the education community together to discuss and debate the evidence about what works.

Date: Saturday 2nd June (the Queen’s birthday weekend), 9AM-4PM

Entrance is $40 for a whole day of learning and inspiration. The registration fee includes refreshments and lunch.

After a welcome and introduction, the day will be broken down into multiple break-out sessions, all delivered by passionate, evidence-informed teachers, school leaders, researchers and academics.

We have over 20 domestic and international speakers including:

  • Katharine Birbalsingh, Headmistress of Michaela Community School, London
  • Dr. Jennifer Buckingham, FIVE from FIVE Literacy Project, Sydney
  • Sonya Clark and Taylor Hughson, TeachFirst NZ alumni teachers
  • Tamsin Hanly, author of the Māori & Pākehā histories of Aotearoa curriculum programme
  • Prof. Elizabeth Rata, Director of the Knowledge in Education Research Unit, Auckland University



Stay in the loop: Subscribe to updates