Thursday, March 10, 2016

Meeting the needs of Māori in English-medium schools

This week I read a CORE Education blog post by Alex Hotere-Barnes called "Developing warrior-scholars, rethinking success".   It was mainly devised from an interview Alex did with Kia Aroha College Principal, Dr Ann Milne, of whom I have been a huge fan of for some time.  The blog struck a real chord with me, the concept of 'white spaces', holistic achievement and really just about how Kia Aroha are approaching teaching and learning from a cultural identity perspective.  I would strongly encourage you to read Alex's blogpost as it was hugely insightful and bang on in terms of radically re-thinking innovative educational change that meets the needs of our Māori learners.

  Tamara Bell: Te reo Māori in English medium schools from EDtalks on Vimeo.

I was reminded of this Ed Talks I filmed way back in 2012 when she discusses 'Whitestream' rather than English-medium schools and how the majority of our Māori and Pasifika kids are in these schools, not immersion, something I have always been acutely aware of and concerned with.  How are we meeting their needs?  How can we do better - this is a huge focus for our school again this year and we have just finished constructing our school wide goal, which is trying to build on the steps we took to work towards our 2015 school goal.  As you will see below, our focus is strongly targeting the needs of Māori - and you won't get any apologies or regret from us for that.

Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui e hoa mā - if you want to make a difference for your Māori learners and whānau, put them to the front, no excuses.

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