CLeaR Fellows 2018 – Dr Julia Novak
Culturally Appropriate Measures and Pathways for Success
Julia Novak is originally a pure mathematician, with a PhD in Cryptography from Royal Holloway, University of London. Her love for the teaching and learning of tertiary mathematics led her to become a Professional Teaching Fellow in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Auckland, where she has been developing courses, lecturing and course coordinating for more than 10 years. In 2016 Julia completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice, she was awarded a Faculty of Science Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2013, a University of Auckland Teaching Excellence Award in 2014 and was part of a team from the Department of Mathematics to win a Faculty of Science Dean’s Award for Collaboration in Teaching, in 2015. Now splitting her time between her role in the Department of Mathematics and her role as Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning for the Faculty of Science, Julia also holds elected positions on the University Academic Programmes Committee and the Faculty of Science Staffing Committee.
“Culturally Appropriate Measures and Pathways for Success”
As a CLeaR Fellow for 2018, in partnership with Michael Steedman (Kaiarahi, Faculty of Science), I plan to investigate retention rates, pass rates and pathways for Māori and Pasifika students, within the Faculty of Science. After an initial data collection phase, I will consult with the Māori and Pasifika communities from both inside the university (students and staff) and outside the university (parents, schools and community groups) to gain cultural understanding. Then, in my role as Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning for the Faculty of Science I will begin to introduce changes in teaching and learning practices and attempt to influence the culture surrounding assessment. The timing of this fellowship, in parallel with the BSc restructure, gives me the opportunity to embed changes at a programme level. I envisage changes to learning and assessment practices and the creation of alternative metrics for success that are more consistent with Māori and Pasifika influences and values. Hopefully this work will result in increased engagement, achievement and success for Māori and Pasifika students across the Faculty of Science.