Tag Archives: Ka Hikitia

He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.

16 Oct



There is frequent comment in the literature of ‘being Māori’ in learning.  In the Māori Education Strategy- Ka Hikitia, there is clear focus on Māori being Māori in their learning:

This vision means ensuring that all Māori students, their parents and their whanau participate in and contribute to an engaging and enjoyable educational journey that recognises and celebrates their unique identity, language and culture” (MOE, 2013, p.13).

This opinion is supported in much of the literature and reports that have been commissioned by the Ministry of Education.

We know that Māori do much better when education reflects and values their identity, language and culture ...” (MOE, 2013,p.6).

This vision in Ka Hikitia identifies five principles of a Māori approach to learning: the significance of the Treaty of Waitangi, incorporation of identity, language and culture, ako, a two way teaching and learning process, and productive partnerships acknowledging the connection of students to whanau. This week I am going to look back on this document. This seems to speak clearly to our emphasis on collaborative practices in schools.

This clip also got me thinking.



Mentoring Students / GEMS

26 Oct

“As Māori [means] being able to have access to te ao Māori, the Māori world – access to language, culture, marae… tikanga… and resources… If after twelve or so years of formal education, a Māori youth were totally unprepared to interact within te ao Māori, then, no matter what else had been learned, education would have been incomplete.”

Professor Mason Durie, (2003). Ngā Kahui Pou: Launching Māori Futures. Huia Publication

As you may remember my NAPP inquiry was based around mentoring Maori students. Last week I read over these notes as a review and I got to thinking about the above quote. While was in Sydney I used to work with some challenging Year 9 and 10 Māori and Pasifika students. These kids fell through the cracks. No teacher, school wanted them. To be honest they were pretty hard work. I also coached the Year 9 and 10 rugby league team. We never won a game. I eventually found from that experience, I needed to make connection with their background. The biggest learning curve for me was to throw the curriculum out and connect with their families. I went beyond the classroom walls and visited their families, made connections and create a safe environment for their children. I walked the fields and I sat in their community halls. I went to their Churches and prayed with them. This has always been central to my teaching philosophy. For me, it was building that relationship. Parents and their kids will be honest with you, no matter, with all their stories.  It is here where you find it.


NAPP Reflections: Part 2

20 Oct


In my leadership project at school this year, reflecting on my NAPP project and working having been fortunate enough to spend time with some experienced principals I have been thinking about improving my own skills as a leader.

The following are some of those things we can all do better and are good ideas from those that know.

Leading by walking around the school is not a current craze. It is as important today as ever. If your team doesn’t see you taking an interest in them and their work they can become disenfranchised. The staff needs to know you are interested. These impromptu conversations are also key to uncovering issues.

We all need to listen more and talk less.

Keep your humility in check. We all think we’re the hero in our own story. The question is whose story are you really playing a part in? If you’re not humble, chances are you’re a lead character in the wrong novel.

Never forget why you got into teaching. Try and teach a class. Remember your passion is the kids not building meetings.

Go outside your comfort zone and introduce yourself to someone unexpected. This could be someone in a completely different industry or it could be from a new function in your own organization. I suppose this has been my why I have enjoyed NAPP so much. I have become connected with so many different people and readings.

Reflect on your week and ask what did I learn. Well I have done it in the form of this blog, Doing this can be a form of accountability. Am I really being an authentic leader displaying gospel values?

Professional Reading

Leadership and Sustainability by Fullan

My NAPP Enquiry

13 Oct


This week it is the beginning of the end for my inquiry.  The process is complete.

The focus of your inquiry

What was the inquiry question? “To examine the nature and effectiveness of a Mentor on the achievement and attendance of Maori/PI students at SHGC”

What were the learning needs? I wanted Deans from just gathering data to connecting with these students. It is important for staff to understand both narrative and data of these priority learners. In turn the greater body of staff would be workshop through Ministry initiatives such as Tu Rangatira, Ka Hikitia and Tataiako. I acknowledged this change and development to take place over a period of time so that real changes could be embedded.

The methods you used to lead others in a cycle of change

What learning experiences did you and your team design and engage in to address your inquiry question? We followed the steps of Ka Hikitia

Hei Whakaaro: Thinking

SLT, Deans and Staff examine “Maori achieving education success as Maori.”

Tutukia: Explore & investigate the evidence. Deans begin to track students

Examine data to guide Deans and Staff how Mari students are progressing. Deans identify Maori students in there cohort. Identify potential issues. Dean’s meetings used to discuss evidence. This may lead to further PD.

Mōhiotanga: Understanding and connecting

Richer relationships are developed. Increase knowledge of the cultural background of the learners. Making sure engagement is meaningful and authentic. E.g. relationships between Classroom teachers, Vertical Form teachers and Deans.

Whakamahi: Putting it into practice

The aim of culturally responsive teaching and learning is to improve Maori education outcomes where the child, parents and family, iwi are integral to determining the education journey: responding to “the child’s cultural experiences” e.g. Incubator, Kapa Haka, Powhiri

STEP THREE: Reflection, sharing the process school wide

Can we use this model to develop other target areas such goal setting?

Our school staff is well underway understanding ‘teaching as inquiry.’ This currently forms the basis of our appraisal process and PLGs. As part of leading PLGs in 2013 HOFs and Deans are working thorough Leading inquiry at a teacher level: It’s all about mentorship by Fowler. Develop extension and enrichment activities that have a positive effect on achievement for Maori and Pasifika learners e.g. whanau hui

The outcomes achieved so far

How has practice changed as a result of the inquiry? What is the impact of the changed practice for the Professional Learning Network? My focus was to on a small number of priority learning students which data suggested were not doing well in our environment. It became evident from an early stage that some of many of the systems put in place Deans and the greater staff were already doing.

1. Connectivity

This made a significant impact on student learning and engagement and resulted in much

improvement for those learners.

2. Becoming more aware of issues: Two teachers concentrated on a small group of students and used evidence to establish shared goals with their learners and their caregivers.

3. Greater focus in Deans Meetings.

Rather than spending a great amount of grappling with nuts and bolts issues a shared project or communion inquiry goal was established. The changed the culture of the meeting. It became more about professional development.

4. Deans evaluations are still to come.

The intended outcomes for student learning

What is the impact of the changed practice for students? There has been a positive impact for student learning. Our Deans previously had a great understanding of their students and this just highlighted this fact.

Thoughts on Leading learning

• Meaningful: Change must respond to complexity and collective “disquiet”

• Backed by research

• Critical reflection (individual and collective)

• Must allow other to add to (develop change)

• Leading change is one facet of education leads to change in other areas of practice (complexity)

• Leading change has to consider taking care of the welfare of others (staff and students)

• Understanding of the Kiwi Leadership Model and Tu Rangatira

Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success

15 Sep


KaHikitia Accelerating Success

An updated plan to support every Māori child and young person to be successful in education has been released by the Ministry of Education. Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success or “stepping up” builds on the gains and results of the first Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success.

Student Voice

26 Jul

Week two of the holidays and it seems strange to be at school and have no students. It made me reflect on a book I read last year The Global Fourth Way: The Quest for Educational Excellence (Corwin, September 2012) that ‘Without students, there would be no teachers. Their voices matter a lot.’ I might be getting a great deal done but what a strange place a school is without students.

The authors admit that while students are targets of school reform and change, they are not often empowered to be agents of change despite having a good grasp of the things that help them learn.

Earlier in my blog this year I asked the question ‘what makes a good teacher’:

  • knows how to teach and knows their subject
  • can communicate – gets all students involved by asking questions
  • knows the students and they are able to understand who the teacher is
  • doesn’t teach from the text books
  • uses eLearning
  • good sense of humour

Interestingly enough similar themes here reflected in Ka Hikitia. I wonder what my students in ten year time would say. I think it would be the same. Personally I believe good teachers have deep discipline and pedagogical content knowledge (knows how to teach and knows their subject), adapt to the capabilities of students (can personalise learning) and can communicate with a good sense of humour (builds respectful relationships).

For me, it is confirmation that these qualities stand the test of time and learners.  We know what teachers want but how often do we ask or know what students want from their schooling experience? I often experience teachers telling me they understand student voice but do they? Especially if it’s not what they want to hear. Just a thought.

Professional Reading:

The Best Evidence Synthesis has just been updated. This is well worth a look.



22 Jul

In my NAPP inquiry this year we have been tracking the process of the Maori and OPI learners at the College. We have taken steps from Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success

  •  Hei Whakaaro: Thinking: What is the strategy about?
  •  Tutukia: Explore & investigate the evidence (that is the data)
  •  Mōhiotanga:  Understanding and connecting
  •  Whakamahi: Putting it into practice

Best practice in professional learning suggests evidence based data and not anecdotal is successful in improvement and measuring impact. Data from different sources can be used to determine the content of teachers’ professional learning and to design and monitor the impact of professional learning programs.

I am finding and research suggests evidence of hard data, rather than anecdotes, that is collected regularly is more useful. Student journals, for example, can be analysed to identify areas where students are struggling or how students are progressing from one month to another.

Data can be used to measure and improve the impact of professional learning. Formative evaluations allow teachers to make mid-program refinements and corrections, while summative evaluations measure the effectiveness of professional learning activities and their impact on teacher practice, knowledge and student learning

Data should be seen as complementary to the relationship between student and teacher.  At its very heart, learning is a relational process and quality learning depends on the strength and depth of the relationship since it involves building trust based on mutual respect.  How do you measure these sorts of domains?  How do you report on these?  If we only rely on quantitative data, we are doing a grave disservice to the learning and teaching process.

I believe data gives us the best indicator of where students are struggling; it will never replace the responsibility of teachers in asking why and how based on the mutual respect. Our focus as a SLT has been to help the entire community understand data so they can challenge their own learning communities to ask why and how.

Professional Reading

Teaching as Inquiry Responding to Learners


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