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Evidence-Informed Practice in New Zealand

Mei Kuin Lai (University of Auckland, New Zealand)
Claire Sinnema (University of Auckland, New Zealand)

The Emerald Handbook of Evidence-Informed Practice in Education

ISBN: 978-1-80043-142-3, eISBN: 978-1-80043-141-6

Publication date: 31 January 2022


This chapter reports on how teachers engage with research evidence in New Zealand (NZ). NZ is classified as a mixture of egalitarian and individualist ways, as it has low social regulation but is ‘centre right’ on social cohesion according to Hood’s (1998) matrix. That is to say, as it is self-governing school system, it has low social regulation with fewer hierarchical accountability systems, but there is evidence of both high and low social cohesion in the system. While the system values and promotes research engagement and establishes initiatives that require it, such engagement is not yet as fully embedded as the related policies and initiatives would hope. Many teachers are unlikely to engage with research without sufficient support, conducive conditions and adequate resourcing that support that aspiration. Enablers include: a research-derived and research-promoting model of pedagogy in the national curriculum, and initiatives that promote connections between practitioners and research/researchers. Barriers include: limited system-wide mechanisms to ensure that the policy mechanisms are working as intended, the ‘translation’ of research to practice, and research accessibility. We discuss three lessons from the NZ case: systematic and system-wide efforts to ensure high-quality tools and capability-building initiatives, the potential of research-practice partnerships to build research engagement capability, and how enquiry can support appropriate use of research evidence.



Lai, M.K. and Sinnema, C. (2022), "Evidence-Informed Practice in New Zealand", Brown, C. and Malin, J.R. (Ed.) The Emerald Handbook of Evidence-Informed Practice in Education, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 363-374.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022 Mei Kuin Lai and Claire Sinnema. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited