A Short History of not very much…..

A Short History of not very much…..

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This Project was created by stephen Aiello


Since starting my employment and research career at AUT in 2014 I have been working toward the development of design-based research projects that aim to provide more authentic critical care educational experiences and learner-centred pedagogies within the emergent profession of Paramedicine education.

Paramedicine offers unlimited opportunities due to being a relatively new research environment. I aim to explore the critical care aspects of emergency medicine in relation to paramedic pre-hospital management of heart attack and hope to implement a strategy of immersive simulation to complement the practical concepts of paramedic care.

To date, my collaborative work with the centre for learning and teaching (C-fLAT) has produced several outputs and has led to interprofessional and interdisciplinary contributions with other departments within the Universities health school.

My journey as an emergent researcher has led me to several areas if interest. I am currently investigating the accuracy of pre-hospital paramedic S-T Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) interpretation. This work is in conjunction with St John Ambulance, New Zealand and The Northern Regional Alliance. My aim is to help form understanding and a strategy to meet ministerial objectives, District Health board goals and a high standard of pre-hospital STEMI treatment protocol.

I am part of the lead investigation team reviewing the use of virtual reality for Paramedic scene orientation: Immersive 360 virtual reality orientation to promote scene awareness. This work will be expanded to include all health school departments and will form a catalyst for future work. To date, the investigation into 360-degree immersive environments has led to a collaboration with Chilean company ‘Embodied Reports’. Our work investigates virtual environments and Paramedical experiential data in order to guide decision-making via qualitative research methods and quantitative biometric feedback.

In addition, I am a practicing Intensive Care Paramedic with St John Ambulance and been qualified for over 18 years. This lends a real-world connection to my research and work.

As a novice researcher and a novice teacher I hope to find new ways to teach and engage the student that fits in with “today”. As a teacher of others my hope is to strike a chord in those I work with. For me, a motivation lays within rhizomatic learning and a particular statement that I use as a screen saver and as a reminder of not what i want to achieve but what we hope to achieve.
“I refuse to accept that my role as a teacher is to take the knowledge in my head and put it in someone else’s. That would make for a pretty limited world :). Why then do we teach? Are we passing on social mores? I want my students to know more than me at the end of my course. I want them to make connections i would never make. I want them to be prepared to change. I think having a set curriculum of things people are supposed to know encourages passivity. I don’t want that. We should not be preparing people for factories. I teach to try and organize people’s learning journeys… to create a context for them to learn in” (Cormier, 2011).

Rhizomatic learning acknowledges that learners come from different contexts, that they need different things, and it can never be presumed as to what those things are. Learning is a complex process of sense-making to which each learner brings their own context and has their own needs. It overturns conventional notions of instructional pedagogy by positing that “the community is the curriculum”; that learning is not designed around content but is instead a social process in which we learn with and from each other (Cormier 2011).

Paramedics are a funny lot. Not your traditional academics and not your traditional student as many will come with a practical sense of what ‘the role’ entails. It is only by showing them there is a potential for avenues and routes ahead that they might start to create and forge their own journey.



Cormier, D. (2011). Rhizomatic learning-why we teach. Why we teach? Retrieved from  http://davecormier.com/edblog/2011/11/05/rhizomatic-learning-why-learn/

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2 Responses to “A Short History of not very much…..”

  1. Thom Cochrane

    Hi Stephen
    This is a good start, but is more of a bio statement than a teaching philosophy or contextual statement. Perhaps you could add a paragraph on what motivates you to be a teacher in higher education.

  2. Ian Upton

    I will echo Thom’s sentiment here. I love the last sentence (paramedics are a funny lot and forging journeys). You could develop on this 🙂


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