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A REFRESHER about what works for Māori learners?

Started by Moana Timoko 14 Jan 2013 10:48am () Replies (35)

Kia ora koutou

What works for Māori Learners?  You may know, you may not - You may have some ideas and you may be seeking new ideas.  

You may want to share something that has worked for you OR you may want to share something that you've seen work.

How have you improved Māori student achievement?  Let us know how you know.

How have you improved Māori student engagement?  Let us know how you know.

How have you hooked your Māori students on to learning?  Let us know how you know.

Are you using a blend of face to face and virtual approaches to improve student learning?  If yes, how? - let us know.

I would love to read your kōrero - That's a bit of a play on words for you.

There are a lot of success stories out there but I want to read it, hear it & see it here.

There is a Māori whakatauki -

E kore te kumara e kōrero mō tōna ake reka - The kumara will not speak of its own sweetness.  

Share about someone else if you are not comfortable about sharing about yourself.


  • TeAhua Park (View all users posts) 07 Apr 2013 8:14pm ()

    Tena Koe Antz

    Thank you for your kind words.  Very encouraging.  The age of the students were around 9/10/11 year olds (so Year 5 & 6)  The ethnic make-up was around 92% Maori and 8% European.  Our class was in Kaikohe (small town - population approx 4200 at the last census) and we were given a building located in the township - so centrally located to parks, shops and in the business district.  Kaikohe is a decile 1 community.  Parent and or community involvement ranged from parents who would just drop in during class time (not scheduled), parents who would come to the park where we would have lunch (informal), parents who would take sports duirng lunchtime, parents who took aerobics for our P.E along with other community members (ie. sport Northland) etc and parents who would come to talk to students or help with a project.  Parent inovlvement was an open arrangement, where parents could decide how and when they would interact or get involved. One of the aims of the class in town was to create a space that parents could "drop in" to, allowing them to see what their child was doing and get invovled if they wanted to.  I found having a class facebook helped facilitate parent invovlement, as they would comment on what we were doing, post suggestions and start discussions themselves using facebook as the medium. I would  see comments pop up on my board and I could respond to them in real time, so this too helped that parent relationship. Although legally students this age can't have facebook accounts, the reality was many of them did at home, so while we didnt allow them to access their accounts at school, we would post questions and get really valuable reflections or comments from students after school.  It just confirmed to me that students dont stop learning after 3pm, and through the use of internet access, google docs, facebook and email, students didnt have to stop learning in my class either.  Students also attended community meetings, so we had people from the business association that would visit and or speak to the students as well as a range of business owners, professionals or anyone that students needed to talk to in terms of their inquiry.  Students made contact with business people and arranged most of the quest speakers etc.  We rarely had a day go by without any visitors to the class and it was great.  Students loved sharing what they were doing and getting suggestions from anyone that would take interest.  As part of this we had reqular parent meetings and it was so encouraging when our spaces would be packed with people or when there would be standing room only and students leading it all.  It did take a lot to set up (all the nuts and bolts) and it was a lot of work, but the rewards outweighted all of that.  I'd love to share more about the connected classroom, so if you have any other questions, please feel free to email me as well.  (I'm wishing I would have recorded more so I could share examples.  I do have bits and pieces which I will put together and blog so I'll keep you posted)  Thanks again for your comments


  • Antzkapa (View all users posts) 06 Apr 2013 7:03pm ()

    Kia ora TeAhua, that's awesome information to read and positive too. Imparticular, I am curious to know a few of things please: 1. The age group of the students  2. The ethnic make up of the class  3. The location (small town, urban)  4. Parent contribution.

    My thoughts from your comments" Ownership is a strong key towards success.  Ownership, creates responsibilty, responsibility becomes an act, acting is movement, movement is progress, progression is steps towards success."

    Thank you for your post, it has been enlighting and has reminded me of some needed things.

    Kia ora 


  • Anaru White (View all users posts) 21 Feb 2013 11:26am ()

    Kei te mihi atu ki a koutou katoa.

    Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and stories in this post, it has had the most traffic on the VLN over the last few weeks. I continue to reread the posts to learn, be challenged and be reminded of WHY I am here.

    I look forward to more and wonder how e-learning is blended in our practice in relation to this kōrero. How do the dimensions of e-Learning Planning Framework align? The Beyond the Classroom dimension comes to mind and how technologies help to make learning connections beyond the classroom.

  • Anaru White (View all users posts) 21 Feb 2013 10:57am ()

    Kia ora Tania

    Thanks for the share and a very interesting watch. I also like her stories about the humility it takes to step back and view the world from the eyes of others. A good lesson.

    This keynote was at the 'Culturally Responsive Teaching Awards Ceremony' in the US. An opportunity here in this space or NZ perhaps with so many dynamic teachers/educators/whānau members communities etc making a difference.

  • Tania (View all users posts) 19 Feb 2013 3:35pm ()

    This video clip is from the Keynote address at the Teaching Tolerance Honors Culturally Responsive Teaching Awards Event.  'The event concluded with a deeply felt keynote address on understanding the needs of diverse students by Lisa Delpit, author of the groundbreaking Other People's Children'.

    I have just watched this video clip and it fits in so well with this discussion thread.  Well worth the 20 minute watch.  Lisa talks about her 'joy' in teaching students of dvierse backgrounds.  The humility it takes to see the world through the eyes of others and the importance of opening yourself up to the world.  Lisa talks about the difference of looking, touching and listening as opposed to seeing, feeling and hearing in a cultural context.

    Thanks to Jocelyn Wright, our Early Years Team Leader, for sharing this powerful video clip.

  • Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu (View all users posts) 19 Feb 2013 10:39am ()

    Kia ora te whanau - fantastic discussions and stories!

    In a previous life, I taught Maori students in secondary schools in Social Studies, English, Travel and Tourism and Music.  As a Samoan, engaging Maori learners meant that I needed to view them through their eyes, how they viewed themselves and understanding what it means for them as Maori rangatahi.  To me it was a critical factor for young Maori to know themselves and be happy to show me who they were, before I can facilitate the process for success.

    I agree with the discussions so far that highlight that there are many facets to what being Maori means, because depending on who is doing the identifying or who is viewing the Maori learners - there are different interpretations.  The one interpretation that concerned me most as a teacher, was how the Maori students viewed themselves.  I tended to ask the students questions about why they viewed themselves in a certain way, what they valued about Maori tikanga, if they saw te ao Maori at school and what qualities are highly prized by their whanau.  

    As a teacher I took responsibility and the initiative to be "Maori-capable", in my approach to my pedagogy (practising ako, whanaungatanga, acknowledging wairua), including Maori content and asking the students to be the experts and provide opportunities to empower them to share their knowledge with the class.  As a teacher I valued the platform to explicitly provide a safe environment, create a safe space for culture to be valued and discusssed in relation to their learning.

    By making the students feel safe about themselves and using as much Maori kupu I had up my sleeves (the sleeves got bigger over time lol) then I was able to show my Maori students that Whaea Manu had a genuine heart for their success by calling their parents, sharing their personal milestones with their parents at work and empowering Maori parents and whanau to have a more physical presence in their children's kura.

    Empowerment of students, being explicit about expectations, transitioning potential to success!!  Let's keep it moving and continue to move mountains!!!



  • Tania (View all users posts) 15 Feb 2013 11:29am ()

    I have loved following this korero and am really impressed with the stories everyone has shared.  The proverb "He tangata, he tangata, he tangata" sums it all up for meLaughing and it all starts with relationships.  Building up meaningful relationships with our tamariki and their whānau, truly getting to know them and listening with intent!  Knowing what makes them tick and realising that one learning style is not going to fit all.  As a Facilitator I feel very lucky that I am working with some amazing teachers who I see working extremely hard to make a difference for our māori learner, valuing their tikanga, their identity and the reo.  AWESOME to see those WOW teachers who have been mentioned previously shine.  The importance of sharing these stories with other teachers cannot be underestimated.  There are still many teachers who don't have an understanding of our māori learners and what they need to succeed.  It is not necessarily because they don't care, but can be because they haven't had good role models or the opportunity to explore this deeper and gain a true understanding.  I know I am lucky in my role to be able to share these stories with educators throughout Northland - and this is a thread of discussion that I will encourage many to read!  Thanks again for sharing everyone.

  • Beth Dixon (View all users posts) 14 Feb 2013 12:34pm ()

    Kia ora anō tātau ...

    Kātahi rā te kupu rerehua ko tāu e Maria!  Koia kai a koe mō te tuitui kupu, mō te whiri i te taura whakaaro!Laughing

    Nā Benjamin Franklin te kīanga nei i whakatau ...

    "Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn".  We need to 'involve' our Māori students in the decision making around their education, to 'involve' their whānau in the education, to 'involve' hapū and iwi in the 'round-the-table-discussions'.  At the end of the day, they are our audience ... they are our purpose ... 

  • Moana Timoko (View all users posts) 13 Feb 2013 11:01pm ()

    Ngā mihi ki ngā kaituhituhi nei!  E haramai tētahi āhua!!!!  Loving it!!!

    Miss Tracey Tito I have seen you in action and yes, I agree with Phoebe - I think you're pretty WOWsome too!!!  Someone who takes the time xx

    Acknowledging those who are stepping up to make a difference is important - if you know a teacher that is doing a great job - tell them, let them know.  If a child in your class is doing well tell them and then get on the phone and let their whānau know.  

    Acknowledge the greatness!!!  Share their success loudly and proudly!!!

    Tracey mentioned being treated like a niece, or a moko by some of her WOW teachers.  I recently wrote a post about how lucky I am to leave my 6 year old daughter in the hands of a teacher who knows her, and cares about her just as much as I do....AND who is that teacher - Whaea Poly from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kaikohe.  Ngā mihi ki a ia.



  • Padma Krishnan (View all users posts) 13 Feb 2013 10:33pm ()

    Kia Ora

    I must say I have learnt so much just reading through these different view points and the one thing that stands out for me is the relationship with our Akonga. This seems to be the common thread running through all the conversations.

    I have found that working through the Ka Hikitia document has been very useful. The way it is set out is easy to follow and teachers are able to pick valuable information and ideas to use in their everyday work.

    But I must say nothing beats this korero. Thanks for the brilliant ideas/ view points

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