The Herbison Lecture







The Herbison lecture is presented at the Annual Conference of NZARE by an invited Education Researcher.   The 2022 Herbison lecture will be presented by Professor John O'Neill of Massey University: Te Kunenga Ki Pūrehuroa.




Recognition of children’s learning in educational research, policy and practice

For Jean Herbison, learning in her early twentieth century childhood world was relatively uncomplicated and predictable. Life was shaped by unambiguous family, faith and settler colonial prescriptions about how children should behave and what they should become. Approaching the centenary of her birth, children today must navigate a very different society of ‘unlimited can’; an achievement society that generates a debilitating compulsion to self-improve (Byung Chul-Han). 

In this Herbison lecture, I offer a personal reflection on the contemporary ‘triangle’ of education research, policy and practice in Aotearoa New Zealand. Viewed as a culturally and historically specific ‘form of life’ (Rahel Jaeggi), I ask whether, over the last thirty five years, this triangle may have unwittingly contributed to a collective failure to give adequate recognition to children’s learning.  Despite our best intentions, have we simply reified students and in doing so alienated them from learning in all its complexities and dimensions (Knud Illeris)?

More than mere acknowledgement of ‘the other’, recognition theory highlights the importance of socially developed qualities such as confidence, respect and esteem (Axel Honneth) to each child’s capacity to develop meaningful relationships to or ‘resonance’ with an ever accelerating and uncontrollable world (Hartmut Rosa) and the people and communities in it. In practical terms, then, what can we draw on that is already immanent in our research, policy and practice triangle to transform children’s institutionalised learning?       

Ko te whāinga a Te Ahu o te Reo Māori, ko te whakatipu, ko te whakapakari hoki i tētahi rangapū kaimahi mātauranga e pūkenga ana ki te whakatō i te reo rangatira nei ki ngā akoako a ngā ākonga katoa i Aotearoa.

Te Ahu o te Reo Māori aims to grow and strengthen an education workforce that can integrate te reo Māori into the learning of all ākonga in Aotearoa.

“Te Ahu o te Reo Māori is more than a te reo Māori programme. It is an opportunity for teachers to engage and understand a different worldview; to engage in cultural practices, narratives and histories relevant to Aotearoa and to the system that supports the education of all students. The programme has enabled teachers with different skills and knowledge, from different schools, and from different sectors, to come together in a safe place to learn. The programme has challenged, overwhelmed, invigorated and inspired.”

Panallists to be confirmed.  


Professor Susan C. Faircloth

Dr. Susan C. Faircloth (an enrolled member of the Coharie Tribe of North Carolina) is professor and Director of the School of Education at Colorado State University. She has published widely in such journals as Educational Administration Quarterly, Harvard Educational Review, The Journal of Special Education Leadership, International Studies in Educational Administration, Values and Ethics in Educational Administration, Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education, Rural Special Education Quarterly, and Journal of Disability PolicyStudies.

Dr. Faircloth serves as a senior associate editor of the American Journal of Education, a member of the editorial board of the Journal of American Indian Education, and Chair of the technical review panel for the National Indian Education Study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, the Office of Indian Education, and the Educational Testing Service. Additionally, she serves on the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Minority Fellowship Selection Committee.

She is a former Fulbright Senior Scholar to New Zealand, Ford Foundation Postdoctoral scholar with the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at the University of California Los Angeles, research Fellow with the American Indian/Alaska Native Head Start Research Center at the University of Colorado Denver, and a recent William C. Friday Fellow for Human Relations.