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Thursday, 1 June 2017

Taking Stock

Aireen Ah-Kui attended the Manaiakalani School Leaders PLG and we met this morning to discuss my CoL inquiry and she helped me to gain a bit more clarity on its pathway.

Aireen talked through a presentation presented by Graeme Aitken who presented about Collaborative Inquiry.  He opens with this resounding statement:

"If teachers are going to have a pedagogy that makes a difference to children, the first thing you have to figure out is what difference you want to make.  ...And we never meant that to be, just literacy, and just numeracy...."

So what difference do I want to make this year, and what changes will I make to my pedagogy to match my aims?

Here is the end of term Māori student data against National Standards:  NB:  Year 6 = Year 7 now, Year 7 = Year 8 now:

After immersing myself in Te Ao Māori last year, I have become very doubtful of the current system and its measures - or perhaps I had been mislead - or perhaps I needed to shift my focus - or perhaps I had been talking and been informed by the wrong messages... 

Graeme Aitken discussed key points in this slide - three things that all teachers are trying to achieve.  There!  Points 1 and 2!  If my students are not coming to school, their families see no relevance in school, this NEEDS to be my first step to inform the changes in my pedagogy so I can work towards more achievement success for the Māori learners in my class as Māori.

So how am I changing my pedagogy to match my desire to change the way students feel about school, their level of enjoyment and their level of critical thinking?  Or as Graeme Aitken put it, "If that's what I want...If I want all my young people to be interested in my class...How am I going to teach?"

Graeme talks about the 'interception of all three:'  How do I change my pedagogy to allow this to happen?

These were my hunches that I had developed in Term 1, of changes I could make to my classroom practice to make the interception of the three key achievement objectives of teachers occur:
  • Culturally responsive practice
    • We begin and end each day with Karakia and say Karakia before each eating time.
    • I integrate te ao Māori in all curriculum areas/subject matter.
    • We spend time looking at whakataukī each week and unpacking the Māori whakaaro within them.
    • Finding those who are succeeding as Māori in a modern world.
    • We dedicate learning time to explicit grammar structures within te reo Māori.
    • We develop a sincere understanding of values and whānau and the importance of connectedness.
    • Focusing learning and dialogue on the purpose for learning around te whare tapa whā.
  • Mixed ability groups
    • Across the curriculum - Writing, Maths and Reading
    • Students choose those they have the best learning relationships with
    • Promoting tuakana/teina
    • Promoting safe learning environment
    • Siblings in the same class to promote learning conversations at home
  • Making connections with the community and taiao
    • Through the learning of Māori Gods
    • Going outside of the classroom often
    • Meeting experts often
    • Establishing and building relationship with community groups e.g. Ruapotaka Marae, Mad Ave, Panmure Library.
  • PB4L
    • Celebrate achievements - big and small.
    • Celebrate attendance - minimise conflicts around lateness and attendance.
    • Specific learning goals for students with high behavioural needs and celebrating them.

"Having done it, what evidence have I got to show they're more interested now than when they started?"

I have seen an increase in the use of te reo in every day work - as reflected in these examples:

I have tried to capture 'hard data' through the use of google forms:

What really empowered me about Graeme's presentation was his validation of going beyond just literacy or numeracy, to wellbeing and engagement of students as being a valid inquiry.  This is something I struggle with in this data driven system.  I will get the data, but it may take more time or perhaps I have to rethink the measurement tool to measure success - whatever that may look like - in a year of teaching this class.

This makes so much sense to me.  So I will hold on to this as I venture foward with my inquiry into achievement outcomes for Māori students across the curriculum in Years 7-8.

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