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STATEMENT: "The rate of change in education is too slow for our priority learners - Māori, Pasifika, students with special educational needs? Do you agree or disagree?


  • Desert.blonde

    I think an important category of students have been left out of this poll. Our gifted learners have very specific learning needs that are not being met, and the rate of change and funding for them is lower than nearly all other learners.

  • Nick Billowes

    Not enough schools in the target national priority groups are being able to access PLD at the moment.  The programmes on offer need to be accessible to enable the conversations, learning, developmentand commitment to transformation that is needed for significant 'step-change".  I agree that progress is slower than it needs to be. Nick B

  • Monika Kern

    My question is why is the change so slow? Our educators are largely innovative people, why is it so hard for the system to change?

    Another aspect is of course that our children are growing up in a fast-paced, ever changing environment while a lot of their educators (and the policy makers) have grown up in a slower paced environment. The children expect and need change that moves beyond glacial speed. If individual educators can make fast-paced changes in their classes, how can we transfer this to a fact(er)-paced system-wide change? What stops us from doing so?

  • Tessa Gray

    Hi all, thank you for your thoughts and responses in this poll. I'd also agree that on-going PLD is vital - especially as we address changing foci in education, as well as a change in terminologies and understandings - as a result of emerging research about priority learners and those identified with 'high' learning needs.

    In the paper on, Evaluation at a Glance: Priority Learners in New Zealand Schools, on page 4 it reads,

    Priority learners are groups of students who have been identified as historically not experiencing success in the New Zealand schooling system. These include many Māori and Pacific learners, those from low socio-economic backgrounds, and students with special education needs. 


    The key word that stands out is, 'historical'. Hence an identified need to urgently close the gap between our top performing students and our lowest performing students (the priority learners). This report has also focused on a need to know more about our learners,

    as individuals who possess interests, strengths, and capabilities, and who are endowed with cultural backgrounds and knowledge that can contribute so richly to the curriculum. (p22)


    Thinking crowd

    Here's a thought >>> Do we include 'students with special education needs' as those learners with identified abilities, gifts/ talents, who aren't reaching their potential as well?

  • Ingrid Frengley-Vaipuna

    I think change is particularly slow in secondary schools where silo thinking prevents true innovation which the NZC allows, indeed, encourages. Gifted kids,Maori and Pasifika could all benefit from interdisciplinary senior courses based around big ideas such as 'sustainability', 'digital citizenship' 'culture' 'nationhood' etc. where NCEA standards from many areas and levels could be incorporated. I have done this within a level 2/3 sustainability course using standards from history, science, efs, ss, tikanga and PE for assessment. Project based and co constructed. Kids (nearly all maori) loved it and did well. UE needn't be compromised, courses can still be endorsed and co-construction and personalising of courses can happen. The timetable is often cited as the reason these things can't happen and I believe it it's time different ways of looking at school structures is needed. Urgently. The lack of young teachers with fresh ideas probably doesn't help. The kids' world is fast and furious and wonderful. Why aren't schools?


  • Ingrid Frengley-Vaipuna

    Afterthought: Check this link http://www.good.is/posts/what-if-students-designed-their-own-schools?utm_medium=social&utm_source=fbwall and also Harpaz on communities of learning ( Ithink...)

  • Roxy Hickman

    Is it the speed we are moving or the direction?

    The faster technologies are effectively implemented into schools the more our priority learners will benefit ... and it is moving!  The impact that the iPad alone has had with a small group of special education students I have been working with is heart warming. In developing their confidence, independence and problem-solving skills they have made leaps in progress because they can figure it out for themselves and share their understanding in more ways than one.

    One example I have is of a student with limited verbal skills who has been working on her letter identification, requiring 1:1 help and what seemed very slow progress. After introducing the iPad to her with a few simple alphabet apps she is now able to “show what she knows” simply by following the intuitive and engaging steps. By observing this student using the iPad we discovered that her understanding of the task was there and this was a new way for her to communicate that to her teacher. This particular teacher is now looking at how she can use the iPad to assess all of her students and how other new skills can be introduced and assessed using the iPad.

    For many of our priority learners we need to consider how they find their “pen”. I love the RSA animate, it really shows how the “pen” has changed for many of our students and how divergent we should be in allowing them to find their way of communicating what they know. So are we moving in the right direction for our priority learners?

  • Tessa Gray

    Thank you Ingrid and Roxy for sharing your thoughts and experiences here.

    Ingrid, I’d love to know more about how you are interpreting the curriculum (in an interdisciplinary way) for your senior students. I also enjoyed the video you have shared on students designing their own learning. Very inspirational – shows high levels of flexibility, innovation and trust from the school administrators.

    Roxy your account is also heart warming and reminds me Josie’s story, where she too has found the benefits of technology with her diverse (priority) learners – a real inspiration. So, we do have plenty of good news stories - we just need to ‘shout out’ about them more!

    These two stories remind me of one of the following future oriented trends:

    • Theme 1: Personalising learning

    • Theme 2: New views of equity, diversity and inclusivity
    • Theme 3: A curriculum that uses knowledge to develop learning capacity

    • Theme 4: “Changing the script”: Rethinking learners’ and teachers’ roles

    From, Supporting future-oriented learning & teaching — a New Zealand perspective, NZCER [Report to the Ministry of Education].

    I’m certain other teachers would be very interested in hearing more about your personal stories too. I’ll leave you both a message. Smile