Te Ara Whānui Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Kohanga Reo o Te Awa Kairangi have always been proactive about nurturing high performing and self-managing learners. You might remember them from the ICT PD days or sharing at He Waka Eke Noa and Ulearn. Te Ara Whānau has continued to remain focused on growing 21st learners and 22nd Century thinkers, and while they have always been on this journey; early on they discovered a structured tool that would enable them to reflect, reposition themselves and undertake the evolutionary changes that are needed for their tamariki and the wider community.
As early as 2013, staff were introduced to Te Rangitukutuku by LwDT Māori Medium facilitators. With an already sound and well-thought through infrastructure, their point of entry was to take the tool, with its focused dimensions, and enable individuals (and kura) to collectively drive their next steps towards sustainability.
Each time they used the self-review tool, kaiako were able to reflect, position themselves and then develop their own PLD pathways - based on the needs of their ākonga. Collectively as a kura, they have been able to identify areas to make stronger, while also highlighting developments and celebrations they might have previously taken for granted. For example, aspirational goals similar to the following have been identified:
In our classrooms, safe and responsible use of digital technologies is deliberately included and woven through a range of curriculum programmes. Deliberate acts of teacher modelling is included in planning, visually available and reflective discussions encouraged.
Students taking responsibility good choices, considering in their plan how technology helps their learning. They can articulate what they are doing and why.
Te Ara Whānui have reviewed themselves against Te Rangitukutuku over the past three years no less than five times already. What you get is a very holistic, ‘big picture’ resulting in the following accumulative shifts.
Note: For some aspects there is no reading for 2013. The tool has evolved over the 3 years and changes were made in 2014 which included the addition of new aspects to some strands.
Note: In 2015, staff used both the e-Learning Planning Framework online tool as well as the Māori Medium online tool. From discussions with staff their preference was to use the English Medium tool as this was more understandable. While they have native speakers on staff the Māori language used was difficult to understand.
As a result of using this tool, other goals have also been identified and addressed indicating a targeted, growing momentum across the school. For example developments have been made such as; building internal capacity, growing e-learning leadership and self-developed/tailored PLD; where kaiako have been able to model, extend knowledge, practice and understanding across the school. Change management continues to align to a clear vision for learning, and a focus on weaving the practices of Tu Rangatira alongside the digital technologies, is also evident. The inclusion of the use of Tu Rangatira was an addition and innovation, to add further learning to their e-learning strategy.
Note: Kura only reviewed the Teaching and Learning dimension this time round
Te Ara Whānui KKM identified the Teaching and Learning dimension as a key focus going forward. While they felt that the other dimensions were being well attended to, they wanted to drill deeper into their classroom practice. This has highlighted to them how their Kaimahi (guardian) see themselves as Kaitiaki (worker) and Kaiako (Teachers) equally in advocating for, being visionary in their work, managing their learning and networking beyond than their kura.
Each time Te Ara Whānui have used Te Rangituktuku to self-review their e-learning capacity, it has enabled them to:
Because technologies are changing so quickly, Te Ara Whānui believe there is still a lot of work to do around sustainable practices and sustaining new understandings. They want to keep at the edge all the time - always looking for ways to grow individual teachers, regardless of age or stage. A focus here is to enable experienced kaiako to support the capacity of younger kaiako (who are often early adopters of e-learning tools), so that they in turn demonstrate core pedagogies while also ensuring tikanga and te reo are sustained.
Big thank you to Kararaina Luke (Tumuaki), Justin Roberts and Kathe Tawhiwhirangi (LwDT facilitators) for this story.