Download the PDF version of the Massey University Paerangi Learning and Teaching Strategy


Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa is the foundation upon which we stand together in partnership, enabling the creation of knowledge that reaches the highest possible levels of advancement and attainment.

Massey University provides a pathway for all students to embark upon journeys of knowledge acquisition and embrace knowledge relevant to our country and to our wider world.

As a Tiriti-led university, we will enable the determination of Māori-led aspirations, the active use of Te Reo Māori, the vitality and wellbeing of all people and our environment in order to give full and authentic expression to the eminence of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Professor Giselle Byrnes



Paerangi is Massey University’s learning and teaching strategy. Guided by the Massey University Strategy 2018–2022, this document sets out our values, approaches and practices towards learning and teaching.

Read the full foreword


Massey University strives to be a Te Tiriti o Waitangi-led, learning centered community, which positively influences lives through teaching and research, enabling students and staff to be who they aspire to be.

Glossary of terms

Massey University has a proud heritage of excellence, inclusion and diversity. Spanning independent distance study through to collaborative on-campus learning experiences, we take pride in our ability to engage with, challenge and support students across a broad range of disciplines and pedagogies. At the core of our learning and teaching practices is the principle that every student, regardless of their study mode or location, receives a learning experience of the highest quality. In the context of digital transformation, we remain committed to nurturing curious, critical and creative learners through participatory learning experiences, where human interaction is seamlessly enhanced by technology.

We accept the responsibility to give effect to what it means to be Te Tiriti o Waitangi-led through our curricula, pedagogies and academic decision-making. Accordingly, Paerangi is guided by twelve core values, reflecting the twelve heavens ascended by Tānenuiarangi to procure the baskets of knowledge for humankind. These values underpin and guide our approaches towards learning and teaching. They set the tone, create the context and provide us with the space from which to collectively and meaningfully participate in ‘engaged learning experiences.’ These values acknowledge our distinctive ways of learning and teaching and encourage staff and students to foster, extend, and build upon these strengths, to ensure that a learning experience at Massey is an exceptional one.

Ko te pae tawhiti whāia kia tata, ko te pae tata, whakamaua kia tina.
Seek out distant horizons, and cherish those you attain.

Beyond the horizons referenced in this whakatauki, ‘pae’ is a term that is invested with aspirational potential. Learning and teaching, as a reciprocal endeavour in the transmission and reception of knowledge, might be perceived as a horizon to be reached and traversed, an orator’s bench to be ascended to, a pathway to be pursued or steps to be scaled. Hence, ‘pae’ is incorporated as a prefix to the twelve core values outlined on the following page. These twelve values in turn map onto the twelve key actions of this strategy.

Our values




Within the Paerangi framework the tauira (student) is located at the centre of the triangulated structure of aspirational goals. This is framed by the poutama pattern symbolising the ascent of Tänenuiarangi to recover the baskets of knowledge. It is the ultimate pathway to knowledge in which each pae, each horizon, and each step, informs the journey towards enlightenment.

Original design by Robert Jahnke and Rongomaiaia Te Whaiti

These twelve terms are tāonga, gifted to Massey University solely for this learning and teaching strategy. These values are to be read and understood in the context of learning and teaching at Massey University Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa.

Click on each value for more information


Ako means to teach and to learn. Teaching and learning work in a reciprocal relationship with each other. Akoranga, as a derivative of ako, embraces the context in which learning and teaching take place. Akoranga also extends to include the content, circumstances, time and place of learning. More information >


Whānau is a culturally empowering term associated with being and belonging. In the form of whānaungatanga, it embraces a sense of belonging and relationships, together with the contemporary notion of the rights, responsibilities and obligations that nurture group belonging, and group and individual identity. More information >


Manaaki references humility, respect, generosity, pastoral care and the support of others. Re-framed as manaakitanga, it indicates that we commit to upholding these values in all aspects of learning and teaching. More information >


Tiaki means to care for in a protective manner and to provide guardianship. Understood in the context of learning and teaching, kaitiakitanga expands the meaning of tiaki to encompass not only care for our students, but also our guardianship and stewardship of knowledge. Kaitiakitanga, therefore, enables positive student experiences, development and success. More information >


Auaha means to shape, create, form and fashion. It encapsulates the creative and innovative outcomes of learning and teaching at our University. In the form of auahatanga it becomes the activity; the creativity that embraces originality, ingenuity and resourcefulness. More information >


Wānanga is a term that frames the act of deliberation. It refers to discussion, cooperation and the dissemination of knowledge. Wānanga refers to collaborative, active and participatory learning, which sit at the heart of our pedagogies. More information >


Pakirehua conveys the notion of inquiry and questioning. In terms of learning and teaching, it refers to our desire to seek and develop knowledge through pure and applied research. It also includes the principles of research- led teaching, contextualised within our curricula and demonstrate. More information >


Tika is inherently tied to truth. As the root of matatika, the meaning is expanded to embrace the principles of ethical, fair and equitable practice. In the context of learning and teaching, it refers to teaching with integrity, and showing respect for students and the ownership of academic and cultural knowledges. More information >


Mātau means to be adept, knowledgeable, and competent. In the learning and teaching context, it reflects the expertise and wisdom underpinning the content and design of our curricula and pedagogies and how we encourage our students to aspire to excellence in their fields. More information >


Rawe captures our desire for excellence in all areas of learning, teaching and scholarship. The concept embraces qualities of importance, momentousness and significance and is therefore what we aspire to in all our endeavors. More information >


Whakapūmau means to make permanent or constant. Implicit in our learning and teaching is the concept of whakapūmautanga as a contractual and reciprocal agreement that mediates the principles of social, cultural, economic and environmental sustainability. These principles are advanced by our teaching and embedded in our curricula. More information >


Whakahaere means to lead, conduct or facilitate. In the context of learning and teaching, it refers to the ways in which we support students to transition into the University environment, and how we facilitate their growth and development throughout their studies. More information >




Active learning


Blended learning

Collaborative learning







Scholarship of Teaching and learning (SoTL)

Teaching scholars

Te Tiriti o Waitangi-led




Active learning is generally defined as any instructional method where students actively participate in and reflect upon their own learning. We recognise that students need to be involved and engaged participants in order to learn. The term ‘activity’ needs, therefore, to be interpreted in its broadest sense, including cognitive activity as well as writing. Solving a puzzle, constructing an argument, discussing a problem, summarising a reading, and practical work are all examples of activities that require the students to undertake a task that will help them learn.


In addition to the acquisition of knowledge and skills (knowing and doing), student learning involves developing self-awareness and self-development (being) that attends to the social, the emotional, and the experiential. ‘Being’ thus encompasses identity-formation and validation (for example professional identity, social identity, cultural identity), and includes the development of ethics and values.


Blended learning refers to learning design that strategically, systematically and effectively integrates a range of face-to-face, online, mobile, distance, open, social and other technologically-enhanced learning across physical and virtual environments.


This concept acknowledges that individual learning also takes place through interaction with others, either directly in person or through reading and writing. Collaborative learning involves communication between a teacher and learner, whether the teacher is a lecturer, a peer, or a textbook author, or a multitude of authors publishing in the subject or discipline. Interactions with other learners also facilitates learning through dialogue, discussion, and observation. The teacher and student also form a collaborative unit, working together to achieve student learning. While teamwork and group work are ways to facilitate social, relational and collaborative learning, we refer here to a broader framework, and this should not be taken as implying that every learning outcome should be achieved via group work.


We define this term in its broadest sense; taking initiative and demonstrating resourcefulness, identifying new ways to solve old problems, developing innovative solutions, and undertaking projects or building platforms – both commercial and social enterprises – to deliver those solutions. The goal of student enterprise is focused on developing and acquiring transferable skills that are developed by supporting students’ opportunities to engage with applied learning experiences both within and alongside the formal curriculum.


Interdisciplinary refers to the cognitive process by which individuals or groups draw on disciplinary perspectives and integrate their insights and ways of thinking to advance their understanding of a complex challenge, with the goal of applying understanding to a real-world problem. Interdisciplinarity requires the integration and synthesis of different perspectives, rather than a simple consideration of multiple viewpoints.


Multidisciplinary involves people from different disciplines working together, each drawing on their disciplinary knowledge to address a common challenge, but without attempting to integrate these different approaches.


Pedagogy is the method and practice of teaching. It encompasses teaching styles and approaches, methods of feedback and assessment, and the theory of teaching.


This refers to the relationships between research, learning and teaching. Our curricula are research-led because they are informed by the most current knowledge and research in their disciplinary fields. Our pedagogies are research-led in that they are shaped and informed by the most current research and practice in education (including discipline-specific education) and SoTL. Our learning experiences are research-led in that students learn how to research through their learning experiences.


The approach known as ‘scaffolded learning’ is described in the educational literature as the help and support provided to students, by both teachers and peers, that is gradually rebuilt or removed as the student gains the skills to be more independent. There are many ways that support can be provided including: dividing material or skills to be learned into organised chunks; gradually extending the complexity of tasks; providing examples; checking student understanding and clarifying areas of difficulty; and using illustrations, or metaphors to provide alternative ways to understand concepts. The concept of scaffolding informs the design of instructional activities at the course, programme and curriculum levels.


The scholarship of teaching and learning encompasses practices that engage teachers in looking closely and critically at student learning in order to improve their own courses and programmes, and to share their insights with other educators (Hutchings, Huber, and Ciccone, 2011). SoTL can be understood as an approach that combines scholarly inquiry with the intellectual tasks that make up the work of teaching, i.e. designing a course, facilitating learning activities, testing new pedagogical ideas and determining student learning outcomes (Schulman, 1998). As Kern et al (2015) argue, ‘The three important attributes of SoTL (and which distinguish SoTL from excellent teaching) are ‘that the inquiry must be systematic or methodical to gain credible results, be shared in order to advance the goal of improving practice outside one’s own classroom and that the ultimate goal be the students’ learning that results from the faculty member’s teaching’. Finally, SoTL research may include, but is not limited to, reflection and analysis, interviews and focus groups, questionnaires and surveys, content analysis of text, secondary analysis of existing data, observational research, and case studies.


Teaching scholars lead in demonstrating best practice teaching and learning and are exemplars for sharing and disseminating this work. Teaching Scholars lead SoTL and engage in innovative curriculum design, development and delivery, as appropriate to the level of academic appointment. Appointment to the role of Teaching Scholar requires evidence of teaching excellence, scholarly engagement with the relevant disciplinary and pedagogical literatures, and active and proven engagement with the scholarship of teaching and learning. The evidence of scholarship can include the publication of scholarly articles in leading journals, or its research equivalent in other disciplines.


Massey University has commenced the journey of what it means to be a Te Tiriti o Waitangi-led university. This means ensuring the principles and values of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding document, are visible, recognised and implemented in terms of how we engage with the communities we serve; through teaching, research and community engagement.


Transdisciplinary generally combines an interdisciplinary process with a participatory approach that results in a new approach to teaching or research that is considered ‘more than sum of its parts’. To be transdisciplinary means generating knowledge that has both academic and practical implications and can bring a range of disciplines into a coherent whole. This is an approach often applied to ‘real world’ problem solving, which requires not only intellectual integration but also the political negotiation of conflicting or competing interests.