2 Jul 2014

Ngati Porou lecturer wins award

7:51 am on 2 July 2014

A lecturer who teaches her students in the dark has won a top prize.

The Prime Minister has presented Karyn Paringatai of the University of Otago with the Supreme Award for Tertiary Teaching Excellence.

The Ngati Porou woman said teaching in the dark was used widely by Maori before Europeans arrived.

She said the practice was highly effective and stopped students from switching off and not listening.

Dr Paringatai said turning off the lights and removing distractions ensured the students focused on the lecturer.

She said the first song they taught at Te Tumu - the School of Maori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies - would take up to five weeks to learn, but in the dark it took them two hours.

Dr Paringatai said the concept of teaching in the dark concept had also been used by law students in New Zealand.