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A Critical Review of Learning Environment Policy Discourse in Aotearoa New Zealand

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journal contribution
posted on 24.02.2021, 21:34 by Anne StarkeyAnne Starkey, Bronwyn WoodBronwyn Wood
The Ministry of Education is funding a significant building programme for primary and secondary classrooms across Aotearoa, New Zealand. In New Zealand there is an expectation that new or refurbished classrooms will be innovative, modern or flexible learning environments. This paper reports findings from a critical policy analysis of the discourse within Ministry of Education documents focusing on the design of learning environments published 2010-2019. Using a ‘what’s the problem’ approach (Bacchi, 1999), we examine the representation of the ‘problems’ which the policy documents relating to modern learning environments intend to address. We use an eight-stage process of analysis of these documents in order to identify policy priorities, ideologies, assumptions and potential outcomes in order to see how these are used to justify authority and action. This analysis revealed two larger ‘problems’ and a number of subthemes underpinning these documents. We suggest that the construction of these problems has conflated many aspects of both space and teaching and learning and relied on unquestioned assumptions about ‘modern’ learning and collaborative teaching. We conclude by considering the implications of this policy direction for New Zealand’s education system.

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Preferred citation

Starkey, L. & Wood, B. E. (2021). A Critical Review of Learning Environment Policy Discourse in Aotearoa New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40841-020-00189-7

Journal title

New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies

Publication date

21/01/2021

Pagination

1-18

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication status

Published online

Contribution type

Article

Online publication date

21/01/2021

ISSN

0028-8276

eISSN

2199-4714

Language

en

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