Doctoral graduate wins prestigious award

ACU doctoral graduate Brett Rangiira has received a prestigious accolade in recognition of his work exploring how Catholic secondary school teachers understand their roles in promoting students’ intellectual, social, personal, and faith development.

Dr Rangiira said he was honoured and excited to receive a 2022 Australian Council for Educational Leaders Research in Educational Leadership and Management Award.

He said his research revealed the inspiring depth and central importance of the student-teacher relationship and provided an opportunity to explore the field of teacher professional identity.

“Teachers said to me that the most important thing we do is build and maintain positive relationships with our students. There was a sense of satisfaction and human connection in these relationships, which are also the necessary foundation for engaging students in challenging learning experiences,” he said.

“When it comes to the question of how teachers understand promoting faith development in Catholic schools, teachers said these relationships provided opportunities for authentic dialogue to arise around personal, existential questions of meaning and value.

“This work makes a contribution to understanding teacher efficacy and how we understand our roles in the intellectual, social and personal, and faith dimensions.”

Deputy Dean of Education and Arts and Associate Dean of Research, Professor Jan Seruga, said he nominated Dr Rangiira for the award as his thesis presented an advanced body of knowledge about professional practice.

“The level of commitment that has been shown has seen the researcher well-positioned to make a considerable contribution to knowledge,” he said.

“The development of the situated pedagogical agency model that arose from the research will provide a useful model for further research.”

Dr Rangiira will receive his prize at the ACELQ Leadership Awards Ceremony on August 23.

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