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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) 14 Jan 2013 5:02pm ()

    Tena koe Moana.  Good thought provoking questions to start the new year. As i read your post i reflected on my own practise over the past year.  I thought about some of the key words that i feel have an important correlation to maori achievement.  Words like supportive environment, community  and whanau, cooperative learning, making connections, reflection, relevance, engagement, real life, inquiry and ict.  I thought about effective pedagogy and how there are teaching approaches that consistently have a positive impact on student learning based on evidence  (see page 34 of the nzc document).  i have recently been reading about teaching as inquiry and i think if we all followed this process and continually refelected on our practise and made the necessary changes for the benefit of students then we should start to address some of the issues.  But it definately starts from us.   On a practical note...i facilitated a connected class where students made the decisions, planned what they wanted to study and worked through an inquiry model, using ict to find info and take action.  Students were so engaged because they were the drivers of the learning..learning was about their community and ultimately lead to change for their town.  Learning was real.  In terms of traditional assessment student reading levels sky-rocketed. They were motivated to write, through blogging and writing levels improved. There were just so many benefits from using ict to support learning (e-learning)  and from using inquiry and reflection...and effective pedegogy.

  • TeAhua Park (View all users posts) 01 Feb 2013 12:33am ()

    Tena koe Kelly

    You have highlighted some very important questions, and I definitely agree it is all the things you have mentioned.  As I reflected on what it meant to be Maori to me…I thought about several things.  I recall Patricia Graces story entitled Butterflies and how (at a very basic level) it highlighted the importance of perspective and how your experiences help to shape this.  Can someone who is not Maori say what it feels like to be Maori?  I’m curious! 

    In my family I have inherited being sight challenged.  We all wear glasses.  Funnily enough several of my friends wear glasses too.  We all have swops now and again to see who in fact is the most short- sighted of us all, and while we can still see the things in front of us, we have differing levels of clarity as seen through someone else’s  glasses. 

    Being Maori to me is about being born Maori (genetic) and viewing the world from my eyes.  More than that, it also depends on the lenses I wear (or the glasses I use) to help me view and understand the world I live in.  Things that contribute to my lenses are my experiences, my surroundings, my community, my upbringing, my culture, my tikanga, my whakapapa, my cultural concepts, my genetic makeup and my educational experiences (just to name a few).  How I view the world as a maori may differ because these things shape my perspective and I imagine I cannot say what it is like to view the world as any other ethnic group with 100% clarity. (Nor can I say that all Maori view the world from my lenses, although my sister and I wear nearly exactly the same prescription..lol)

    An example is the innate connection I have with Papatuanuku .  Growing up I could never really explain the feeling I had to the earth.   But on reflection, I think it is because of the cultural practices my parents, my grand parents, my great grandparents etc did to enforce the concepts of mana (mana atua, mana whenua, mana tupuna) through tikanga which connected me to the land (burring my pito and whenua, pepeha & whakapapa which connects me, my whanau urupa where I will return one day to be buried, ….and heaps of other things).

    I’d love to hear more from others…I can’t say my korero is backed up with research, but more so how I feel about being Maori as seen through my lenses.  Enjoying the discussion.  ;-) 

  • TeAhua Park (View all users posts) 01 Feb 2013 12:53am ()

    Tena Koe Moana

    I absolutely tautoko your korero and would love to hear you elaborate at some stage.  Thank you for promoting thought and discussion around Maori learners.  Awesome!Cool

  • 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


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