Dr Susannah Stevens
Senior Lecturer Dr Susannah Stevens
School of Teacher Education
Dr Susannah Stevens describes learning as “embodied, joyful and empowering”. Her philosophy is grounded in these attributes and underpinned by a strong theoretical perspective on learning and knowing.
Teaching in the fields of physical and sports education, she supports student success through culturally responsive pedagogy. Through her teaching, Susie model’s bicultural excellence by acknowledging privilege as Pākehā, and elevating Māori voices and tikanga. She actively uses te ao Kori and te ao Māori in Physical Education, and attends Noho Marae to establish rapport with new students. This role modelling has a clear benefit for her students: “The best part about this class is how we end up somewhere random outside and I somehow make sense of everything you said. Like that rock springing activity, the leaping and how Māori used this for physical training and leadership. And that time we ended up in the library stairs to teach us about privilege and the social determinants that impact sport and PE. I will always remember these concepts because of that” (Student feedback, 2019)
She demonstrates innovation through her open approach to sharing curriculum resources through a variety of media platforms. Her colleagues also note that she approaches every professional conversation with a keen practice of open-mindedness which means she listens, appropriately questions, and explores the unexamined assumptions.
Susie has contributed to a broader kaupapa of wellbeing and values-based education practices not just at UC but through volunteer and community work, and organisations nationally and internationally. At a national level, she provides advice to the Ministry of Education Physical Education Learning Area lead with physical education assessment in NCEA. She is also the Board Chair of Physical Education New Zealand (the subject association tasked with the planning, delivery and assessment of physical education in New Zealand), and has been involved in a voluntary capacity with this not-for-profit subject association since she began teaching.
Susie loves teaching because for her it is about human development, social justice and change, mana motuhake, and transforming thinking and lives. In the words of one of her PHD students: “Susie transports her energy, passion and values to her students, such as myself. It has been a great journey, and I am very fortunate to have a supervisor like Susie by my side.”