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Engaging with tamariki and the wider Māori community - Establishing partnerships

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Started by Janelle Riki 07 Jan 2013 4:15pm () Replies (13)

Ngā mihi aroha ki te whānau!  Ngā mihi o te tau hou.  Warm new year greetings to you all!

Some of you will be beginning to think about the new year ahead of you with new students and their whānau joining your school community.  The new year is a fantastic opportunity for your school to engage with your Māori students, gather some Māori student voice data and get a real grasp of how your Māori students feel about their education and their school.  Over the years I have taken many an opportunity to start the year with an informal kōrero with the Māori students in my school and I have found this to be very rewarding personally as well as very rewarding and informative for my colleagues.  There are many things you might like to learn from your Māori students and I recently collated a few questions that I found quite effective for creating positive and trusting relationships with Māori students as well as gaining insight into their opinions, thoughts and feelings.  I have collated some of them in a google doc here and you are all welcome to use some of these questions if you feel they reflect what you would most like to learn from your students.  By no means is this a "list of great questions that will work for everyone", merely some suggesstions that you might like to add to/edit and comment on as you feel is appropriate.

It is equally vital that schools are actively engaging with their Māori whānau and local iwi/hapū as well as with their tamariki and there is some great advice on how schools might begin that process in the 'Productive Partnerships' tab on the Te Mangōroa website and also some very good resources and information on the Ruia website.

Mā te tokomaha, ka kā te ahi.  By the many will the fires be kept burning.  There is strength in partnership.

Ngā mihi.



  • Anne Sturgess (View all users posts) 10 Jan 2013 1:19pm ()

    Cheers bro Wink. I've provided a couple of great links in your BROfessional blog and thought Tawhai's question could fit well with this kaupapa as well.

    Tawhai asks teachers: "Are you my new hero?" http://3w.org.nz/video/tawhais-admov

    Part of the 'Maori Heroes for Education Whakahau Whakamana Whakahihi' initiative - http://3w.org.nz/

  • Moana Timoko (View all users posts) 10 Jan 2013 12:47pm ()

    Absolutely love your comments and quote Anne!  I have acknowledged you in the BLOG post here: BROfessionalism as I see it - A BROfessional approach to working with Māori Students.  Another approach to be considered when engaging tamariki and the wider Māori Community.  Ngā mihi e hoax

  • Anne Sturgess (View all users posts) 09 Jan 2013 2:43pm ()

    Kia ora. Great food for thought thanks e hoa ma. These are fantastic questions that lend themselves to being addressed within different contexts and in different formats (I can feel a survey monkey coming on....). My 'first glance' reaction was that some will be useful for schools wanting to survey their community, some provoke and challenge the thinking and practices within schools, and some encourage me to dig deeper into my own values, beliefs and practices - a wonderful resource. Ka pai.

    A question I ask of teachers (myself included) is: What ACTIONS do we need to take to ensure that gifted Maori students are able to bring WHO THEY ARE into the school and thrive as successful learners?

    To quote Dr Melinda Webber (Auck uni): "Maori children need to know that they descend from greatness.. and more importantly they need to know that YOU know this also."

  • Moana Timoko (View all users posts) 09 Jan 2013 12:52pm ()

    Loving the questions Micheal!

    I have a few to add - some might see them as being hard or harsh...but it's about being honest...with yourself and those you need to work with.

    As an educator....

    • Do I want to form strong relationships with my students and whānau?
    • Do I make an effort to do this effectively?
    • How do I know?
    • Do I listen, acknowledge, value, appreciate, consider, utilize student and whānau input - kōrero?
    • Am I open to new ideas, new strategies, new approaches?
    • Am I aware of what works?  (Based on research and findings)
    • Am I allowing my learners to access knowledge that already belongs to them?
    • Do I care?
  • Janelle Riki (View all users posts) 09 Jan 2013 12:44pm ()

    These are fantastic questions Mike, thanks so much for sharing them.  I will copy and post them into the gdoc so they are all there together.  I started by adding a few which you have also covered but I'm sure it's fine to have a few double ups so people can pick and chose.  Ngā mihi anō e hoa mō ōu whakaaro.

  • Micheal King (View all users posts) 09 Jan 2013 12:04pm ()

    Just some initial thoughts and questions:

    • Who do I go to for support, guidance and help with tikanga Maori and Maori education?
    • How does my knowledge of current research on Maori education influence my mahi?
    • What depth of connection do I have with my local Marae and iwi colleagues?
    • What relevance does the Treaty of Waitangi have to my mahi?
    • What beliefs do I hold about why Maori and Pasifika students are underachieving in our schools?
    • What do I have to confront in my own practice to become part of a solution?
    • How “Maori and Pasifika competent” am I as a leader, teacher, educator, trustees?
    • How does my knowledge of Maori and Pasifika peoples influence the way I engage with whanau?
    • What does “Maori Achieving Success as Maori” mean to me and also my work?
    • How do my values align with Maori and Pasifika people’s values?
    • How can I develop myself to be more culturally competent than I have ever been myself?
    • How equitable and culturally appropriate are my leadership, teaching and learning strategies?
    • In what ways might I improve my leadership, teaching and learning knowledge and understanding so that I am not relying solely on western-scientific ideologies and processes?
    • Why does culture matter in teaching and learning?
    • How can we create learning environments where all students feel a sense of membership?
    • How does your school come to be on that land?
    • How do I benefit by becoming more culturally competent?
  • Janelle Riki (View all users posts) 09 Jan 2013 11:45am ()

    Kia ora Mike,

    Ae ka tautoko au i tōu kōrero e hoa.  I agree that asking some thought provoking questions of educators, leaders and ourselves can lead to identifying our own beliefs and practices that can either empower or disadvantage our students.  Sometimes it takes the voice of our tamariki for some educators to even want to ask those questions of themselves in the first place and others are open to evaluating and reflecting on their own practices and beliefs.  I think it's a great idea to create a doc with some good reflective questions for educators and have created one here for us to add our thinking too.  Thanks Mike for the great suggesstion, ngā mihi.

  • Tamara Bell  (View all users posts) 09 Jan 2013 10:39am ()

    Great thoughts Micheal!  Perhaps we could add a new list of questions for educators & leaders in the school too, either below on the same gdoc or a new one perhaps?  I think it would be a great resource!

  • Micheal King (View all users posts) 09 Jan 2013 10:30am ()

    Kia ora all

    I wonder what a list of questions would look like if we were to target teachers, school leaders and board of trustees? I sometimes think that the greatest shift when engaging with whanau and their tamariki is not the shift that needs to occur outside the school gates but the shift within.

    Understanding our own understanding of what and why we think, feel and act in the ways we do can lead to a real shift.

    I suggest we think more about 'growing our cultural capacity and understanding and how that could lead to effective partnerships'.

  • Robyn Bennett (View all users posts) 09 Jan 2013 10:14am ()

    Kia ora for these ideas. I have been spending some time thinking about these very subjects so great timing from my point of view. Nga mihi ki a kōrua. . Robyn

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