Teacher Learning and Innovations in Practice Research Hub

The Teacher Learning and Innovations in Practice Research Hub leads research and inquiry around key problems of practice in order to identify and foster innovative and leading-edge approaches in teaching and learning in all sectors and in teacher education, both preservice and inservice. The Hub provides a site for collegial engagement in support of practice-focused research relating to teacher education and teacher professional learning.

A particular focus of the research hub’s inquiry work is the identification and enhancement of culturally responsive practices. These are practices that positively address the learning and development needs and aspirations of linguistically and culturally diverse children and youth and extend our collective understanding of the bilingual/bicultural learning contexts in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Other areas of interest include: praxis-related research into teacher leadership, curriculum leadership, teacher and teacher educator identity and professional learning, professional learning communities, and school-university collaboration.

In support of our work, we are developing communities of practice around key shared interests:

  • Teacher Professional Learning & Induction
  • Teacher-Researcher Partnerships to Develop Intercultural Capabilities
  • Reggio Inspired Practice
  • Inquiry into Initial Teacher Education:
    1. Blended learning in ITE
    2. Mentoring and Coaching
    3. Culturally Responsive Practice
    4. Pre-service teacher learning and identity
    5. Inclusive Practice

Professional Organisation Memberships

Editorial/Reviewer Affiliations



Lead Investigators

Enhancing the intercultural capability of students of additional languages in New Zealand intermediate schools.  In this TLRI funded project, three intersecting groups (university partners, academic research partners, and teachers) are investigating how teachers can be supported, through a teaching as inquiry approach, to help students develop intercultural capability through language learning.

Assoc Prof Martin East (University of Auckland), Jocelyn Howard, Dr Constanza Tolosa (University of Auckland)

Pre-Service Teachers (PSTs) and Mathematics.  The main research questions for this project are how do preservice teachers plan and prepare to teach mathematics in the school setting, and what are their concerns about implementing their planned lessons?

Sue Wilson and Dr Jane McChesney
Māori-Medium PRT Pilot Programme.  This project is evaluating the provision of the Retention Pilot Programme for Māori Medium Beginnning Teachers. Prof Letitia Fickel

Reframing Teacher Education for Learning Equity and the Common Good: This international project aims to synthesize learning education into a set of cloud-hosted frameworks and resources that can be accessed and utilized internationally by universities, educational policy-makers, teachers, and leaders.

Prof Letitia Fickel (UC representative to the international network)
Programme Evaluation: UC College of Education, Health and Human Development MTchgLn – Evaluation of an innovative post graduate programme in initial teacher education (ITE)

Prof Niki Davis
Prof Letitia Fickel
Dr Jane Abbiss
Dr Chris Astall
Assoc Prof Una Cunningham
Prof Missy Morton

Programme Evaluation: EdPlus South Island Consortium’s blended PLD approach to literacy and English Language Learners Prof Letitia Fickel

Past Projects

Inclusion of Māori and Romany Students in the Education System: International Comparative Analysis of Slovakia and New Zealand Katarina Kanova (Comenius University, Bratislava ) 
Prof Letitia Fickel

Griffith University sub-contract with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership.

Dr Susan Lovett

Griffith University sub-contract with Queensland Educational Leadership Institute (QELI) developing and analysing an on-line survey instrument to evaluate the emerging principals' leadership programme.

Dr Susan Lovett

Strategies to develop school leadership. A select literature review, AITSL

Dr Susan Lovett

Griffith University sub-contract with the Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA): Principals as literacy leaders with indigenous communities.

Dr. Susan Lovett

Alaska Educational Innovations Network: School-capacity building through networked learning and school-university partnership

Prof Letitia Fickel
Patricia Chesbro & Nancy Boxler (University of Alaska Anchorage)        
Dr. Susan Tucker (Evaluation Associates)

School-University Collaboration in Initial Teacher Education: Annotated Bibliography of promising-practices from both the international and New Zealand contexts.

Prof Letitia Fickel
Research Assistant Michael Scott

Preparing Culturally Responsive Teachers: Preservice teacher candidates’ experiences and learning during field placements in rural Alaska Native communities

Dr. Tim Jester (University of Alaska Anchorage)
Professor Letitia Fickel

Shifting the conceptualisation of knowledge and learning in the integration of the new NZ curriculum in initial and continuing teacher education (TRLI project)

Dr Jane Abbiss,
Associate Professor Kathleen Quinlivin,
Prof Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti


Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd March 2017
Collaborative Masterclass: 
Putting Sociocultural Activity Theory to Work in Teacher Education
With Associate Professor Ian Thompson, Joint Convener of the Oxford Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research Oxford University

Cost: $60 at University of Canterbury
Co-conveners: Prof. Letitia Fickel and Dr. Alex Gunn

We are pleased to invite you to join us for a collaborative masterclass focussing on research into teacher education practice. This is an opportunity for us as teacher educators, to collaboratively learn from and with each other and Ian as we consider how sociocultural and cultural historical activity theory can be put to work in ITE.
We will kick off on the evening of Thurs 2 March at 4:30 pm with a Public Lecture/Keynote by Associate Professor Ian Thompson.
We will then continue on Friday 3 March in a Masterclass from 9:00-4:00.

  • Participants will have a shared reading ahead of the session to orient themselves to the major concepts, and will also choose among a selection of articles that put the theory to practice in Teacher Education based research.
  • Participants will be asked to bring a ‘snippet’ of their own research to interrogate with colleagues. The snippet can be an empirical, theoretical, or conceptual piece, in writing, of 1-2 pages in length – for sharing with others and critical peer conversation.
Putting Sociocultural Activity Theory to Work in Teacher Education

Past events

For advice

Letitia Fickel

Amorangi Taupua
Acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor Education, Health & Human Development
UC Child Well-being Research Institute Social and Emotional Well-being Theme Leader
Wheki 176
Internal Phone: 95796

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