Te aromihi pouako e puta ai ngā ihu o ngā ākonga Māori

Resources from Te Kotahitanga

The Te Kotahitanga project is based on knowledge gained through listening to the voices of Māori students. Groups of Māori students told researchers for Te Kotahitanga that the main influence on their educational achievement was the quality of the relationships and interactions that they had with their teachers.

The following three resources from Te Kotahitanga may be helpful for school leaders and teachers in identifying professional learning needs during appraisal.

Effective Teacher Profile

The stories that Māori students told about their experiences made it clear that, if teachers are to break old cycles of Māori underachievement, they need to theorise very differently about their Māori students and their own ability to support them to lift their achievement.

On the basis of this evidence and other research evidence, including from inquiry into the perspectives of caregivers, principals, and teachers, the research team for Te Kotahitanga constructed the Effective Teacher Profile (see below). The profile is founded on the principle that effective teachers of Māori students create a culturally appropriate and responsive context for learning in their classroom. The researchers add that it is the role of professional development projects to support teachers to make the necessary changes in their theories and practices.

The Te Kotahitanga Effective Teacher Profile

Effective teachers of Māori students:

a. positively and vehemently reject deficit theorising as a means of explaining Māori students’ educational achievement levels
b. know and understand how to bring about change in Māori students’ educational achievement and are professionally committed to doing so in the following observable ways:

  • Manaakitanga – teachers care for their students as culturally located human beings above all else.
  • Mana motuhake – teachers care for the performance of their students.
  • Ngā whakapiringatanga – teachers are able to create a secure, well-managed learning environment.
  • Wānanga – teachers are able to engage in effective teaching interactions with Māori students as Māori.
  • Ako – teachers can use strategies that promote effective teaching interactions and relationships with their learners.
  • Kotahitanga – teachers promote, monitor, and reflect on outcomes that in turn lead to improvements in educational achievement for Māori students.

Te Kotahitanga observation tool

(Note that the tool is Appendix A, pages 207-209, of the report linked to below. Note also that in schools participating in Te Kotahitanga, observation records are not used in appraisal unless the teacher chooses to bring their personal notes.)

The Te Kotahitanga professional development programme’s observation tool is linked directly to the Effective Teacher Profile. Observers and teachers use the tool to gather and record evidence about teachers’ relationships and interactions with their Māori students, including the teaching strategies used to promote learning. In each class, observers pay particular attention to what is happening for five Māori students previously identified by the teacher.

As soon as possible after the observation, the teachers and observer conduct a feedback meeting. These follow the protocols of professional learning conversations, with the evidence collected during the observation being used to help the teacher reflect on his or her own practice. The facilitator provides feedback and feedforward while also prompting the teacher’s own reflection. Together they co-construct a professional learning goal for the teacher to work towards. They use PSIRPEG, one half of Te Kotahitanga’s GEPRISP/PSIRPEG professional development model (see below), to identify a goal that will support the teacher to work towards improving the achievement of his or her Māori students.

Te Kotahitanga GEPRISP/PSIRPEG framework

Te Kotahitanga’s professional development model is structured around the GEPRISP/PSIRPEG framework.

The GOAL, the need to improve Māori students’ educational achievement, is the beginning and end point of this model and remains at all times the central feature or kaupapa of Te Kotahitanga. For those participating in professional development as facilitators, understanding Māori students’ educational EXPERIENCES is a prelude to their understanding how to challenge teachers’ theoretical POSITIONING in relation to Māori students’ achievement. From these understandings the need to develop positive RELATIONSHIPS with Māori students becomes apparent and conducive to supporting in-class INTERACTIONS and introducing STRATEGIES into the classroom that will enhance learning outcomes for Māori students. For this to take place, PLANNING is essential.

PLANNING incorporates discursive STRATEGIES in the classroom that will change teachers’ INTERACTIONS with students and vice versa, students’ interactions with each other, with their learning and thus with the curriculum. As a result of these changes, RELATIONSHIPS between teachers and students will change. Different relationships will affirm or challenge existing teacher POSITIONING with regard to Māori students’ educational EXPERIENCES within the education system, thus leading to the GOAL of raising Māori students’ achievement.

Massey High School Te Kotahitanga site, downloaded October 2010

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