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Julia Bevin - 2022 Grantee Spotlight Interview

May 23, 2023 3:59:14 PM / by HealthCarePlus

We are delighted to see our funding and resources are helping Julia Bevin to pursue her EdD - Doctorate of Education through Te Herenga Waka Victoria
University of Wellington.


So read below the spotlight interview about Julia Bevin as she will share her inspirations and the wonderful work she hopes to accomplish with her grant.

1. Tell us a bit more about yourself?

I have been a primary school educator for almost 30 years. I have worked in a range of schools but am currently the principal of Paekākāriki School on the Kāpiti Coast. I have
three grown-up children who are busy making their mark on the world.


2. What are you doing? 

I am working on my EdD - Doctorate of Education through Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington. I am passionate about play and its place in young people's lives for developing agency and supporting well-being. My big question is How do play pedagogies enhance learner agency and well-being in the upper primary levels in Aotearoa/New Zealand?


3. What inspired you to do what you’re doing?

Firstly, my experiences growing up in the 70's and 80s lead me to think about the changes we've seen in recent decades and the impact this might have on children's
childhood experiences and, ultimately, their well-being.

My life as a parent leads me to think more carefully about well-being and the rise of mental health concerns for young people. I can’t help but wonder if the increase in online activity, social media, highly scheduled lives and a standards-based schooling system is more harmful than good for the next generation.


4. Why did you choose to focus on this topic?

Play-based learning or learning through play has become increasingly popular in the early years of primary school. I have seen amazing results from classrooms where teachers are skilled at utilising various play pedagogies to support positive outcomes for 5 - 7-year-olds. But what I do know is that many people consider play to be a good
thing for children up until about age 7, and then after that, there is a lot of pushback with comments such as ‘When do they stop playing?’ or ‘Isn’t it time for some real work?’

If we are to protect our children and give them the best possible childhood - a strong foundation for life- surely we need to allow them to be children, play and explore, and
develop a strong sense of self. How, then can schools achieve this for children aged 8-12.


5. What made you decide to apply for an HealthCarePlus Grant for Good? (where did you hear about it)

I heard about the grant through a visit someone from the team made to our school a few years ago. Having my fees taken care of for one year of this long journey is fantastic.


6. How was your experience in Appling for the grant?

The application process was easy to navigate. The application process helped me clarify my thinking about what I was doing and why.


7. How has funding from HealthCarePlus helped?

The EdD is a long process, probably 6 years part-time. This could equate to a significant student loan, so having some of the pressure taken off means I can dedicate more energy to my study.


8. What does this grant mean to you?

It means that people are interested in my topic! It means I have more opportunities to share my māhi and my message. I hope that once completed, people will read my work or listen to me speak, and eventually, we will see changes for young people in our schools.


9. What would you say to others considering but hesitant in applying for a grant?

You don’t know unless you try. The process itself is helpful. I wasn’t successful the first time I applied, so I learnt from that and went back and put more thought into what I was doing.


10. What advice would you give to future Grants for Good applicants?

Having the headspace to engage with further study and research has motivated me in my day-to-day job. I am grateful for the support and that people find my topic


11. What are you hoping to achieve?

Eventually, I’d like to influence curriculum and policy in New Zealand. In the short term, I hope to make a difference in my school by providing more opportunities for playful learning for our 8 - 12-year-olds.


12. In what way will your course help make a positive impact on others?

Bringing Sahlberg and Doyle’s (2019) message about the "Golden Age of Childhood" to all parents and educators. This will mean children are allowed to be children, and the stresses of adult life are removed from childhood. According to Sahlberg and Doyle (2019), "we stand on the edge of a potential Golden Age of Childhood, a new education era of creativity, exploration, deeper learning, and improved health and well-being for the world's children …" (p. 14). The ultimate goal is to protect childhood and improve outcomes for young people across all aspects of their lives.



If you are interested and want to know more this year's Grants for Good and how to apply for one then click here.


Tags: Grants for Good