Sally Peters – New Zeeland team leader of the POET Programme visits Mälardalen University

Aug 14, 2013 | On campus Research/Cooperation

Mälardalen University is now hosting a meeting for international researchers within the POET Programme. One of the five team leaders is Sally Peters, who is internationally recognised for her research regarding children’s development and educational transitions.

Biträdande professor Sally Peters

- Through POET, researchers with an interest in transition can work together and build research capacity. This is a huge opportunity and I’m really pleased to be a part of it, since educational areas normally don’t get many large international exchange projects. I’m very proud that the quality of the research in our five universities has enabled this project, says Sally Peters.

Dr Sally Peters is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, Chairperson of the Department of Human Development and Counselling and Associate Director of the Early Years Research Centre at the University of Waikato. She has a background in early childhood education and has a special interest in children’s development and is specialised in the area of transitions. She is currently working with a team on a three-year project “Learning journeys from early childhood into school” funded by the Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI).

- We are researching ways of enhancing the learning journey into school with a special interest in the experiences of Māori children and their families. We’re trying to understand the cultures of early childhood and school and the border crossing between the two. We have a lot of policies to support children in school, but we do not always ask what the families want, explains Sally Peters.

Sally Peters, who finds all the POET projects very interesting feels that there is a big connection between the Swedish projects and the New Zealand projects.

- The difference is that in Sweden you have a bridge between early childhood and school, with the introduction of the preschool class, whereas in New Zeeland there is more of a border crossing, says Sally Peters, who during her visit will also be one of the speakers at a conference for early years teachers at Mälardalen University.

POET stands for Pedagogies of Educational Transitions and is based around the sharing of expertise across and beyond country projects on educational transitions. POET builds on and extends existing research collaborations and, in opening this up to a wide range of early stage and experienced researchers across Europe, Australia and New Zealand, contributes to the European Research Area aim of making Europe more attractive to researchers.

Five universities are involved in POET: Mälardalen University in Sweden, the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, the University of Iceland, Charles Sturt University in Australia and the University of Waikato in New Zeeland. The programme was instigated by Aline Wendy Dunlop of the University of Strathclyde, and Anders Garpelin of Mälardalen University is the leader of the programme.

Every POET meeting has a different focus, ensuring the learning from researchers from different countries. During a period of four years, 2012-2016, mixed researcher teams, consisting of experienced and early researchers will work together, sharing their practices and research and also developing new national projects and perhaps even an international project.