Middle Years Teacher Preparation and Student Engagement in New Zealand

Penny A. Bishop, Ed.D., Penny.Bishop@uvm.edu
University of Vermont

Nicola Durling and Lisa Ng
New Zealand Ministry of Education


While New Zealand displays a strong grassroots middle schooling movement (Stewart & Nolan, 1992), the country’s schooling structure remains decidedly two-tiered. The prominence of primary and secondary schools is apparent in funding, policy, legislation, the national teachers’ unions, and teacher education. A need for greater attention to middle schooling is reflected in declining student engagement in these years (Durling, 2007), raising questions about the match between young adolescents’ learning needs and learning opportunities. The mixed model research described here employed national surveys, focus groups, interviews and document review to examine New Zealand educator perspectives on the intersection between teacher credentialing and the education of young adolescents.


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