Wed 18 Mar 2015

Thinkers in Residence Series

Acknowledged distance learning expert Derek Wenmoth will be the next speaker in the Thinkers in Residence series at WITT.

On Friday May 15, Derek will give what’s sure to be a provocative talk on the direction of future thinking, something the Christchurch-based educationalist is heavily involved in.

“He’ll be of huge interest to anyone involved in the teaching profession, and to anyone involved in education in the wider sense,’’ says WITT executive director Michael Campbell.

“”Derek is a director of Core Education, a not-for-profit service, and is on a number of Ministerial groups. He has a particular interest in e-learning and distance learning and is an excellent speaker.’’

Derek is regarded as one of NZ education’s foremost Future Focused thinkers, and has been involved in a wide range of innovative distance education projects and initiatives in NZ and internationally. He is a regular speaker at conferences both nationally and overseas.

Derek is the second speaker in the Thinkers in Residence series which got off to a splendid start with a thought-provoking speech by prominent Māori educationalist Aroha Mead on March 13.

She’s been teaching at Victoria University’s School of Management on the subject of Māori development, so that commerce graduates come out with an understanding of what’s required in that field.

Aroha spoke about educational outcomes and how Māori are still under-represented in education.  She pointed out that there were courses available for the management of Māori resources, for which Māori had a different perspective. Aroha said they see them as collective assets and are perhaps more concerned about protection rather than growth.

Aroha also pointed out how Māori had reorganised themselves post-treaty settlements, with the split between commercial and social services.  Perhaps the most telling point of her talk came when she told the audience that Māori look at a unique quadruple bottom line in business;  cultural, environmental, commercial and social. Michael said Aroha was an inspirational speaker.

“Especially in terms of Māori development and setting out challenges to the Taranaki community and to us at WITT in particular.  “It’s not just about offering courses for Māori students, it has to be the right course and ensuring the right philosophies are embedded into the course, such as the quadruple bottom line.

“Aroha said she felt that knowledge was missing from many commerce graduates, so it was important they became a crucial part of commerce degrees.

Michael says generally the speakers in the Thinkers In Residence series will speak on topics related to the three main strategies for  the future the  WITT council has identified,  “They  are Marine, Oil and Gas, and Māori Development.  “Aroha was obviously concerned with Māori development, one of our three pillars so it was a good idea to get her to come and talk to us.”

“Derek’s field of expertise, e-learning, crosses all three strategies.’’

Members of the public, as well as WITT staff and students, are welcome to attend the speaker series, which will be held in Te Piere o te rangi at WITT.


Next Series Date:

Discussion with Derek Wenmoth

May 15th, midday

Te Piere o te rangi

If you’d like to attend our next Thinkers in Residence session, please rsvp to