I could not be more proud and excited to make this announcement….

The Dramatic Inquiry Network Aotearoa Trust – formed last year by a hardworking group of volunteers from across primary, secondary and tertiary sectors – has been selected by the Ministry of Education as a Network of Expertise (NEX).

Networks of Expertise funding supports subject associations and other peer-to-peer networks to deliver support for teachers and kaiako. The DI Network Aotearoa Trust is registered as a Network to support learning across curricula and learner pathways a recognition of the way DI can create authentic, engaging, meaningful and embodied teaching and learning experiences across the curriculum and across all sectors of education.

It’s great to know that Drama New Zealand, the subject society for drama is also included as a registered NEX – we will keep working closely with them as well as other organisations and networks.

With recognition from the Ministry of Education, and the significant funding that comes with it, the DI Network will be able to continue to strengthen its existing activities and create new resources to support New Zealand teachers with an interest in dramatic play, drama for learning, process drama, Mantle of the Expert and other DI approaches – with an emphasis on culturally sustaining processes and practice.

Work has already begun, with cluster meetings, workshops, symposia, teacher-teacher support and networking opportunities being planned around the country. Details of these will, of course, be shared on this site as they are finalised. A key objective of NEX funding is to offer professional development at low-cost, or no-cost to teachers, so watch this space!

Gaining NEX status marks an exciting time for education in Aoteaora and a significant turning point in the growth of Dramatic Inquiry in New Zealand. The growth of DI in Aotearoa has been a slow unfurling over many years. It has taken the passion and dedication of many wonderful teachers, mentors, researchers, teacher educators, and school leaders and this moment is a credit to everyone involved. Now many more teachers and kaiako can be supported to join our community – and countless ākongo will have opportunities to collaborate, engage, think with their whole bodies, question, create, explore multiple perspectives, and grapple with complexity as they enjoy learning in imagined worlds.

Ngā mihinui.

Viv Aitken (co-chair, awhi rito)

See also: From 'Underground' to Trust 
The story of Dramatic Inquiry Network Aotearoa