How can we make learning engaging and meaningful for students?

This was the challenge Rowan Taigel took on when she turned the curriculum, and the traditional approach to NCEA, upside down – focusing first on the problems students wanted to solve, then the skills they needed to do that, and engaging them to find their own solutions. Rowan explains to Denise why building relationships and students learning about their strengths and values were at the heart of this programme’s success. Listen as Rowan describes how students, parents, and teachers appreciated this approach where students got to drive their own learning, with one student describing the course as “the reason I come to school”.


Rowan Taigel is an educator and facilitator with over 16 years’ experience in education as a classroom teacher, Head of Dept, and most recently as a Deputy Principal. She specialises in engagement and wellbeing of students and staff. Rowan creates and delivers engaging programmes including problem-based learning, effective pastoral care in the 21st Century, and how to create meaningful staff appraisals that support wellbeing. Rowan works with NZIWR and independently through WhatIf PLD.

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