Previous International Collaborations

Read about our previous collaborations with international institutions.

Collaboration with WestEd (Strategic Literacy Initiative), USA

The centre has a long standing collaboration with WestEd’s Strategic Literacy Initiative (SLI) through research and publication collaborations. SLI is a project within the Teacher Quality division of WestEd, a not-for-profit research, development, and service agency in the USA.

SLI conducts research to better understand the impacts of design elements used in the wide scale dissemination of Reading Apprenticeship, a WestEd SLI instructional framework and professional learning model. In a recent dissemination grant from the U.S. Department of Education, SLI conducted online professional learning communities and invested in teacher leadership development to support teachers to implement the Reading Apprenticeship instructional framework in their schools.

The Centre Director, Professor Stuart McNaughton, led a large-scale Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment research project involving the then Co-Director of SLI, Dr Cynthia Greenleaf, to design with schools critical reasoning with local curricula and digital tools. One of the centre’s Associate Directors, Associate Professor Mei Lai, is working on a WestEd research project to better understand the online professional learning networks used to support teachers in using Reading Apprenticeship in their schools.

There have also been knowledge exchanges, with Dr Greenleaf visiting Woolf Fisher in 2018 and 2014 (recipient of the University of Auckland’s Distinguished Visitor Award), and Associate Professor Lai visiting WestEd in 2017, where she presented and discussed the Learning Schools Model, the intervention model used at the Woolf Fisher Research Centre. One of the centre’s Associate Directors, Dr Aaron Wilson is co-editor of the Leading Literacy Change column for the International Literacy Association’s Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy (JAAL) with WestEd SLI staff, Dr Greenleaf and Dr Katz.

JAAL is a peer-reviewed, research-based journal that explores innovative practices aimed at improving engagement and achievement among literacy learners ages 12 and older.

Pacific Literacy and School Leadership Programme

The Woolf Fisher Research Centre has been collaborating with the Research Unit in Pacific and International Education, the Centre for Educational Leadership and the Institute of Education at the University of the South Pacific to raise literacy achievement in 45 schools across three countries in the Pacific.

Centre team members involved in the project were: Rebecca Jesson, Jacinta Oldehaver, Emilie Sila’ila’I, Selena Meiklejohn-Whiu, Stuart McNaughton, Alexander Kegel, Tong Zhu, Lin Teng, Daisy Shepherd and Mudgha Manda. The programme began in 2014, and ran through until 2018.

The Pacific Literacy and School Leadership Programme was an initiative of the New Zealand Aid Programme, managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in partnership with the Ministries of Education in the Cook Islands, the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development in the Solomon Islands and the Ministry of Education and Training in Tonga.

The programme was being implemented in the Cook Islands, Solomon Islands and Tonga, and drew on the Woolf Fisher Research Centre’s Learning Schools Model to develop a partnership with school leaders and teachers to investigate and use the findings from research data collection in formative ways. Programme team members worked alongside school leaders and teachers to develop shared understandings about the patterns of teaching and learning, and refine teaching practices to improve literacy engagement and outcomes.

Related reading:
Jesson, R. N., & Spratt, R. (2017). An intervention in literacy in three Pacific nations: Implications of a context specific approach to co-design. International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives, 16 (1), 36-49.