School of Health Sciences
Tracy’s overarching teaching philosophy can be summarised as: ‘He waka eke noa’ - A waka we are all on together. This whakatauki is grounded in the philosophy that learning should be about engaging with others and sharing and co-constructing knowledge. It acknowledges that everyone brings culturally constructed experiences, attitudes, and expectations to any learning space. Tracy enhances student learning through drawing on their existing knowledge and connecting it to new knowledge to create a safer and more inclusive environment where everyone feels they bring something to the learning space.
Tracy says: “Effective teaching and learning are founded on Ako, and building positive relationships relationship between kaiako and ākonga, and between ākonga. Educational research shows that when kaiako foster reciprocity and ākonga can communicate their own needs, achievement improves. Taking time to understand learners and putting their wellbeing at the centre of learning is crucial.”
Tracy is a committed and passionate teacher who builds positive relationships and connections with and between students in a manner that epitomises care and kindness. Her continuous desire to learn about and understand where her students are coming from combined with innovative pedagogical strategies in courses which tackle sensitive and personal issues, cements her students’ sense of belonging and empowers them to achieve academic success. Student voice is front and centre in her approach. Collaboration is at the core of her teaching, and her creative scaffolding of learning clearly engages students.
A second-year student says: “Tracy's key principles of teaching are most definitely student-led, inclusivity, reflective and evidence-based. Tracy's passion for sexualities education shines through in all that she does – she is up to date with the current context of the field, both in 'lay realities' and in academia, which sparks students' interest in their learning and applying to their everyday context and communities of interest.” (HLED222)
Tracy’s teaching is underpinned by a passion for her subject and a desire to inspire others. She is recognised nationally as a leader in Relationships and Sexuality Education. She is collaborating with colleagues on national teacher education resources for the Ministry and the Classification Office and sharing her experience and knowledge with students, teachers and whanau across Aotearoa, New Zealand.