Lisa Terreni

Senior Lecturer
School of Education

Teaching in 2020


PhD VUW, MEd Well, BEd NZFKUDip Massey


Lisa is a senior lecturer at the Wellington Faculty of Education, School of Education teaching in the early childhood education degree programmes. She has been involved in early childhood education for many years—as a kindergarten teacher, a senior teacher, and as a professional development adviser for the Ministry of Education. She is also an artist.

Lisa's current research interests focus on exploring how visual art education can be used to enhance young children's thinking, communication and literacy skills. Her Masters in Education research focused on children's and teachers' use of an Interactive Whiteboard for visual art learning experiences in a kindergarten setting. She also has a keen interest in social and cultural diversity and how teachers can meet the needs of diverse communities.

A second place winner in Victoria University of Wellington’s 3 Minute Thesis competition in 2016, the below video outlines some of the key findings from Lisa’s PhD “I know what that is! It’s modern art!” Early childhood access to and use of art museums in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Lisa’s PhD research set out to determine the current extent of art museum visiting by the early childhood sector in New Zealand and investigate barriers to access. It also investigated existing practices between art museums and early childhood centres, and examined ways in which art museums and early childhood centres can effectively work together to create meaningful learning environments for young children. A mixed method approach was used for data generation which was interpreted using a Bourdieuean theoretical framework.

The thesis is available at

Current research

Dr Terreni's current research is investigating the influence of Reggio Emilia pedagogy and principles in the Asia Pacific region, working with early childhood centres in New Zealand, Australia, China and Vietnam.

Recently completed research

Lisa worked on a joint research project involving a kindergarten in New Zealand and one in China, exploring the power of storytelling as a stimulus for children’s meaning making and developing sense of identity.


Teaching in 2020