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TERNZ Philosophy

TERNZ is a conference on teaching and learning research in higher and tertiary education, held in Aotearoa New Zealand, open to academics from all disciplines.

The theme of the TERNZ conference is learning in higher education: our learning, our students' learning, our colleagues' learning. The intention is that the conference should not only enable us to talk about education, but that the experience itself will be educational.

This is based upon the view that we as academics, just like our students, learn most effectively in an interactive setting in which our own experience is valued. The conference aims to promote the idea that the most valuable kind of research into ako/learning and teaching is that which draws directly upon our work as kaiako/teachers and tāura/learners from a variety of cultural and disciplinary backgrounds.

By creating a supportive environment, we hope to explore new ako/teaching and learning approaches, and develop a critical perspective in the face of the current rapidly changing contexts of tertiary education. We also hope to build a tūhononga ā-ngahau/network of teachers in higher education who see their teaching as a valuable field for research.

With these aims in mind, TERNZ is somewhat different from normal academic conferences or courses. There are no traditional paper presentations or keynotes. Our thinking is not led by ‘experts’. Instead, themes are developed through a series of extended conversations in which all participants have the opportunity to play an equal part.

Host groups – you will be automatically assigned to a host group for the conference and these small groups meet at regular intervals throughout. You are expected to attend and contribute to host group discussions. The purpose of the group is to provide a space to talk, meet other delegates, and extend the conversations from the parallel sessions. Discussions in the groups are guided by a facilitator, and the sessions are intended to be informal and enjoyable.

Participants are invited to propose workshop/discussion topics based upon a brief statement or abstract. This requires sections describing the research, stating why the topic is important, and details on how the session will be run. 

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