Teaching English in a way that is responsive to the diversity in our classrooms has the most profound effect on our learners. Strong school–whānau relationships, culturally responsive classrooms, and the deliberate use of effective teaching strategies can help Māori learners succeed as Māori.
Supporting Māori learners with the English curriculum area
“Cultural responsiveness is much more than introducing myths or metaphors into class. It means interacting with their families to truly understand their reality; it means understanding the socio-political history and how it impacts on classroom life; it means challenging personal beliefs and actions; and, it means changing practices to engage all students in their learning and make the classroom a positive learning place for all students.
Culturally competent teachers are able to use the learner’s culture/s as a building block to learn and teach. They understand how to utilise the learner’s culture/s to aid the teaching and learning process, as well as to facilitate relationships and professional growth.”
Bishop et al., 2007, in Tataiako – Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners (PDF)
There are a range of resources and readings to help us begin to understand and use appropriate pedagogies that will enhance learning for Māori, and all learners, when engaging with the English Learning area in The New Zealand Curriculum.
Using Storybird to improve literacy skills
Susan Lee, teacher at Te Kura o Kutarere shares how using Storybird, a free digital story writing tool, in her classroom has made a significant impact on the literacy development of her students. She describes how students have become self motivated and proud of their work. Using Storybird has meant reluctant writers are now, "constantly reading their own work and reading other students stories and the writing is just flowing."
Snapshot 1: Ngā hau e wha
This snapshot, from the Senior Secondary English curriculum guide, describes how a school used close reading of Māori and Pasifika poetry to address the diverse needs and interests of its students.
The impact of using Google Apps on literacy learning in the classroom
Liz Maclennan from Breens Intermediate shares how she is using Google Apps with her students to raise literacy levels, particularly for Māori and Pasifika students, in her classroom. Through the use of Google docs, Gmail, and blogger students are able to share their work with parents, their teacher, and their peers.Allowing students access to lesson plans enables students to refer back to learning intentions, assessment rubrics, and key ideas whenever they need them. Using Google spreadsheets allows teachers to share and access assessment across their team.
Jane's story is a great example of how changing the way your class is run can have a dramatic effect on both the students and the teacher. Jane, a Year 9 English teacher, talks about how she has encouraged her Year 9 class to take ownership of their learning. Through the shared learning relationships students learnt to contribute to their own learning and the learning of others. They built a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities teachers and learners and how to work effectively as a group.
A Māori focused resource for English teachers (Word 2007 40KB)
Jenny Webb, from Queen’s High School in Dunedin, uses student voice, expert evidence, and classroom experience to investigate how the learning and improvement achievement of Māori students in English classrooms could be enhanced. As well as a detailed discussion of the findings, this resource also has a list of Māori Resources for English Teachers.
Supporting inquiry learning in a Māori context
On this National library site you'll find information and resources to help you develop a school-wide information literacy programme using an inquiry learning approach.
Focusing on the students
A focus on culturally responsive pedagogy in the English learning area. Although originally written for senior secondary level, this pedagogical base could be applied to a number of different contexts.
Learning programme design
When planning programmes, an English department/faculty needs to have at its fingertips a comprehensive analysis of the diverse learning needs of the students concerned. Although originally written for senior secondary level, this pedagogical base could be applied to a number of different contexts.
Culturally located learning spaces
Janelle Riki points to the design of how modern learning environments, modern learning spaces in schools and the ways that they are looking to redefine the learning spaces for students. Janelle asks how can we make these spaces culturally located for Māori students. For example in English medium schools, she believes schools could consider whether or not spaces exist in schools where Māori students are able to learn through their culture and about their culture.
Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013–2017 is a Ministry of Education strategy, designed to rapidly change how the education system performs so that all Māori students gain the skills, qualifications and knowledge they need to enjoy and achieve education success as Māori.
Te Kōtahitanga: Raising Māori student achievement
An initiative developed to improve teaching strategies and the effectiveness of teachers to increase the engagement and academic achievement of Māori students within mainstream secondary schools. As part of this project, an Effective Teaching Profile has been developed, giving teachers an inquiry framework from which to develop a Culturally Responsive Pedagogy.
Te Mana Kōrero
The Te Mana Kōrero series has been developed by the Ministry of Education to help teachers focus on quality teaching practices that can better engage Māori students in learning and improving academic and social outcomes. The film clips from Te Mana Kōrero, along with key questions and reflections are available from the Te Mana Kōrero kete.
Te Mangōroa is a resource for English-medium schools. It is a portal to stories, reports, statistics, and reviews from across TKI and other sites that reflect effective practices to support Māori learners to achieve education success as Māori.
Te Tere Auraki: Māori students' success in English-medium
Te Tere Auraki is a Ministry of Education professional development strategy focusing on improving outcomes for Māori students in English-medium schools. This strategy supports four main Te Tere Auraki projects: Te Kotahitanga, Te Kauhua, Ako Panuku, and Te Mana Kōrero.
Effecting change for Māori students(Word 48KB)
A summary that starts to align NZ Curriculum with Ka Hikitia and Te Kotahitanga.
Evaluation of the Te Kauhua Māori Mainstream Pilot Project (2004)
Te Kauhua was an exploratory professional development pilot. It provided schools with the opportunity, in partnership with their Māori community, to explore professional development approaches that enabled teachers to improve outcomes for Māori students and work more effectively with Māori whānau achievement in mainstream settings.
To extend your thinking
NZC Update 7 - Te Kotahitanga (Published April 2011)
This Update focuses on findings from Te Kotahitanga and highlights how this programme is producing positive gains for Māori students by influencing leadership, teaching, and learning in participating schools.
Updated on: 19 Jun 2015