Designing the bridges : highlights from Ako Aotearoa supported foundation, bridging and LLN research projects. A report prepared for Ako Aotearoa
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Citation:Anderson, H. (2017). Designing the bridges: Highlights from Ako Aotearoa supported foundation, bridging and LLN research projects. Wellington: Ako Aotearoa. Retrieved from https://ako.ac.nz/knowledge-centre/synthesis-reports/designing-the-bridges/.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5253
New Zealand society is diverse, complex and stratified. It has a sophisticated first world education system with comprehensive coverage from early childhood through to the most exacting research-based doctoral study. While this system provides for the great majority of New Zealanders, there remain groups whose participation in tertiary education requires significant and extraordinary effort to ensure equity of opportunity and successful inclusion. This is an important issue given the established links between tertiary education and employment, income and engagement with social and economic support systems. The groups that are marginal to the established systems include those whose prior educational experience has left them under-prepared for tertiary study, rural and migrant workers whose locations and prior learnings make access to learning very difficult, those with ongoing learning and social engagement disorders, bi/tri-lingual groups where English is as yet not functional for study purposes, and social and cultural groups often located away from urban centres who wish to engage or re-engage with learning within their communities and their cultural frames. The purpose of this report is to present a group of research projects funded by Ako Aotearoa and to synthesise their findings. These projects have all worked to address the issue of how to design education to ensure the successful participation of those groups described above in New Zealand society and its workplaces. The educational designs and strategies offer ways to enhance life chances to the benefit of the individual, family and community. New Zealand gains from the productive clash of differences these groups bring to our knowledge and understanding and hence our creativity, innovation and our future solutions. The funded projects described in this report are exceptionally diverse both in regards to the people who have been participants and the people who have run the projects. The methods are various with a focus on qualitative designs, and the outcomes range in quality and strength. Each contributes to building a picture of what organisations must do, programme designers must consider and teachers must deliver to achieve effective bridging. This picture includes how to engage the students, to foster relevant and valuable learning and to support students to the next step in their progress towards their goals. The reader is invited to consider the themes described, look to the highlights of projects where work has been done and then go to the Ako Aotearoa website to read the full reports of those projects that match your interests. The next section considers the context of bridging education and it describes previous research and analysis that had as its aim identifying the critical elements of successful bridging. These findings are then aligned to the individual projects.