Sarah Aiono

Institute of Education
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
An Investigation Into the Impact of Professional Development, With and Without Coaching, on the Implementation of Effective Teaching Through Play Prac

Research Description
With an increased focus in schools on how best to respond to the '21st Century Learner', teachers are being challenged to explore less traditional pedagogy in their classrooms. Play-based learning, the teacher role, naturalistic learning environments are unfamiliar to New Zealand primary trained teachers and many, while enthusiastic to adopt this pedagogy, require support to understand the theory and practical application of these teaching and learning strategies. This research aims to investigate effective professional learning supports that can be used to assist teachers to implement a learning through play approach in their primary school classroom. Key areas of research will include investigating to what extent primary teachers support children’s learning and socio-emotional development through play-based school environments; exploring how participating in a professional development program, with or without on-going coaching supports, impacts teachers’ practice and assessment of children in play-based classrooms; and what teacher’s perspectives are about teaching and learning through a play.

Personal Description
I am from Napier, New Zealand where I reside with my husband and 2 children. I am a long-time Massey student, first enrolling co-jointly in the final year of my high school studies. I enjoy the strong network and knowledge offered by the Institute of Education at Massey University. When my thesis is complete, I hope to use the findings to grow evidence based practices, such as Practice Based Coaching, associated with effective teacher skill development in play-based learning environments and grow teacher confidence and use of a learning through play approach in primary school environments.

Dr Tara McLaughlin
Professor Tracy Riley

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