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Olympic recognition for College of Education academic

Tuesday 26 April 2016 11:58am

Associate Professor Ross Notman.

The College of Education’s Associate Professor Ross Notman has been selected by the International Olympic Committee to include his research in a global publication on values in diverse contexts.

His work focused on how pupils were being taught to aspire to values embedded in the national curriculum, including aiming for excellence, respect for themselves and others, integrity and fairness.

He and a group of teacher researchers studied two intermediate schools and two secondary schools in Dunedin to get a snapshot of values teaching, through the Teaching and Learning Research Initiative, funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Education.

Associate Professor Notman uncovered links between teachers’ personal values and the values they emphasised to pupils. The research suggests that before teachers commit to the curriculum values, they first need to believe in those values themselves.

Values are one of the three key pillars of the school curriculum. He stated it was evident that teachers need more opportunities for professional training in teaching values, so teachers and pupils have a common understanding of the values, and a common language with which to discuss them.

Associate Professor Notman also suggested benchmarking New Zealand’s values teaching against other countries, more in-depth studies of the implementation of values in schools at all levels, and pinpointing the best practices in values teaching.

Because his work is available on the Teaching and Learning Research Initiative’s website, it attracted the attention of the Olympic Committee’s Olympic Values Education Programme, which wants to include the paper in its digital publication.

The International Olympic Committee decided in 2005 to develop a global youth strategy and address social responsibility through an educational values programme.

One aim is to promote values-based, life-long learning, which the programme wants to spread “beyond the sports field or the four walls of the classroom into the fabric of daily life”.