MIC 17 | Hijacking the school bus: Ideologies, curriculum, and teacher training

Are you worried about our schools and kids? Do you sense that academic standards are declining, teachers are burning out, and the classroom has become a battleground for ideological conflicts?

If so, you’re not alone.

The data is alarming: more than 40% of students are failing writing and maths in our most recent NCEA testing. Experts predict that these trends will only worsen. We need to take action now. But what?

Find out at our solutions-focused discussion on the future of education. We’ll explore how we can best support teachers in their training, keep politics out of the classroom, and address issues that the headlines are ignoring. We’ll also examine the ideologies entrenched in teacher training that have sidelined practical teaching skills.

Don’t miss this important conversation.

You’ll hear from Dr Melissa Derby, an award-winning University of Waikato lecturer researching ways to improve literacy, Stephanie Martin, co-author of a recent study examining inadequate teacher training programmes, and Maryanne Spurdle, a Maxim Institute researcher specialising in education.

Let’s start mapping out an education system that prepares all our kids to reach their potential.

Listen to the podcast or watch the recording.

MIC 17 | Hijacking the school bus

Our Panellists:

Melissa D.

Dr Melissa Derby is a senior lecturer at the University of Waikato. Her research focuses on early literacy skills, particularly how families can help. She has received various awards for her scholarship, including the Fulbright-Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Graduate Award and two from the Royal Society of New Zealand Te Apārangi. She is also a board member and expert advisor for several government-funded national projects.

Steph M.

Stephanie Martin is an experienced educator and researcher. She has a Master of Teaching (Primary) and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Psychology. Stephanie worked as a primary school teacher and held various positions such as Associate Teacher, Mentor Teacher, and University Liaison Lecturer. She is currently developing new teaching qualifications for the Primary teaching sector with the New Zealand Tertiary College. Stephanie is also an Adjunct Fellow with the New Zealand Initiative where she co-authored a report recommending substantial changes to the way primary and secondary teachers are trained in New Zealand titled “Who Teaches the Teachers.”

Maryanne S.

Maryanne Spurdle holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of Auckland, a BA in Communications from California State University at Fullerton, and is a World Journalism Institute Fellow. She held a variety of positions before joining Maxim Institute in 2023, writing, editing and designing material for mainstream media and non-profit organisations. One of Maryanne’s early roles was at a charity that supports vulnerable and homeless adults in the north of England. That experience informed and fuelled her desire to discover and communicate the best ways that families, communities, and governments can encourage human flourishing in a complex world.

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