Media release: Festival of Education comes to New Zealand

Media release
9 May, 2018

Wellington (9 May 2018): Are we teaching our children the best way possible? And if not, how does New Zealand’s teaching profession need to change? Those will be the fundamental questions posed to attendees of the first researchED conference which comes to Auckland on Saturday 2 June.

The one-day festival of education by international education-improvement movement researchED aims to help educators become more evidence-facing and to raise research literacy in teaching. researchED represents a new appetite from educators to empower themselves, and transform the way they learn about their own craft. The New Zealand Initiative is proud to be a partner of researchED.

Speakers include policy makers and researchers as well as school principals and teachers who will share how they have used evidence-informed practices to drive classroom performance.

Amongst them is UK educationalist Katharine Birbalsingh, co-founder and headmistress of Michaela Community School in London. She will talk about her evidence-informed school and what teachers can learn from her approach.

Dr Jennifer Buckingham, Senior Research Fellow and Head of the ‘FIVE from FIVE’ Literacy Project, will explore the haunting question: ‘What is the evidence on effective reading instruction? And why is it not followed?’.

Other speakers at researchED New Zealand include:

  • Sonya Clark and Taylor Hughson, TeachFirst NZ alumni English 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

The full speaker list with session details is available here.

researchED started in 2013 and has brought together educators, policy-makers and academics at conferences in Europe, North America and Australia.

Founder Tom Bennett says: “Too often educators are only exposed to one side of the argument - often sadly a side lacking evidence. Attendees of researchED should expect myth-busting and a few sacred cows put out to pasture. We want them to go home with new ideas, the latest thinking about what works, and how they can implement it in their own school settings.”

Research Fellow Briar Lipson, a former Deputy Principal and author of the Initiative’s report Spoiled by Choice, has brought the event to New Zealand. “My first ever researchED experience was a revelation. Up until then my teacher training had exposed me to a very one-sided version of theory and practice.”

“The New Zealand Initiative creates and supports evidence-based research. We want to help people become more informed and active in debates about better education and this is exactly what researchED does,” ends Briar.

Event information
Date: Saturday 2 June
Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location: Centennial Theatre, Auckland Grammar School, 55 Mountain Road, Epsom, Auckland
Tickets: $40pp including lunch. Registration is open now.


If you would like to attend researchED or interview one of the speakers, please contact:

Linda Heerink, Communications Officer
The New Zealand Initiative
Phone: +64 4 494 9109
Mobile: +64 21 172 8036

About researchED
researchED was founded in 2013 by Tom Bennett, a London-based high school teacher and author. The impact researchED has made in the UK resulted in Tom Bennett being appointed Special Advisor on behaviour to the Department of Education. researchED is a unique, grassroots, teacher-led phenomenon, bringing people from all areas of education together onto a level playing field. Speakers include teachers, principals, professors, researchers and policy makers. Within just five years the movement has spread to Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, the US, Canada and Australia with more events planned every week.  

About The New Zealand Initiative
The New Zealand Initiative is an evidence-based think tank and research institute, which is supported by a membership organisation that counts some of the country’s leading visionaries, business leaders and political thinkers among its ranks.

Our members are committed to developing policies to make New Zealand a better country for all its citizens. We believe all New Zealanders deserve a world-class education system, affordable housing, a healthy environment, sound public finances and a stable currency.

The New Zealand Initiative pursues this goal by participating in public life, and making a contribution to public discussions.

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