The “state of play” concerning New Zealand’s transition to innovative learning environments: Preliminary results from phase one of the ILETC project


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Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice

New Zealand Educational Administration and Leadership Society

Subject: Education


ISSN: 1178-8690





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VOLUME 32 , ISSUE 1 (June 2017) > List of articles

The “state of play” concerning New Zealand’s transition to innovative learning environments: Preliminary results from phase one of the ILETC project

Chris Bradbeer / Marian Mahat / Terry Byers / Ben Cleveland / Thomas Kvan / Wesley Imms

Keywords : Innovative learning environments; teacher change; deep learning; teacher mindframes; New Zealand; evidence

Citation Information : Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice. Volume 32, Issue 1, Pages 22-38, DOI:

License : (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Published Online: 21-April-2019



Driven by international trends and government policy, it is a requirement for all newly built schools in New Zealand to be designed as innovative learning environments (ILEs) with flexible learning spaces. These environments, celebrated by some for the “transformational” educational opportunities they may provide, also raise questions about whether the anticipated pedagogical value of these “non-traditional” spaces is based on idealised visions of teaching and learning rather than empirically derived evidence. Before such complex issues can be efficiently addressed, evidence of the actual “state of play” of ILEs is required. Drawing on New Zealand specific data from a large Australasian research project, this paper triangulates principals’ opinions, teachers’ perspectives, and the literature on some key preliminary issues: what types of learning spaces can be found in New Zealand schools; what teaching styles are evident in these spaces; what pedagogical beliefs are driving ILE teaching practices; and what types of learning activities are occurring in ILEs? The paper provides an evidencebased platform for further discussion about the opportunities and challenges surrounding the use and practice of ILEs in New Zealand.

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