Achieving equity and excellence for indigenous students and those from minority backgrounds, across multiple contexts, for learning is one of the most enduring challenges for educators in Aotearoa New Zealand. As a nation, our priorities in education are, to reduce achievement disparities within and across schools by improving educational provision to support quality pathways and equitable outcomes for all students. Equity is achievable through leadership that is trans-formative, culturally responsive, relational and evidence based. Culturally responsive and relational pedagogy describes a set of teaching and leadership practices that aim to create learning conditions conducive to achieving equitable opportunities and outcomes for culturally-diverse students. The focus and values that underpin this approach recognizes and utilizes students’ languages, identities and cultural backgrounds which is beneficial for all students. This workshop draws upon key government policy and research evidence to develop a coherent approach to activating the school community in leading change that promotes equity and excellence, while considering the relationships required to enact true partnership. This interactive workshop, will provide an opportunity to engage with resources and ideas designed for school leaders wanting to understand how driving the moral imperative for equitable outcomes for students in their school can reduce disparities.
Participants will be provided with an opportunity to engage with video evidence of school leaders and indigenous students discussing how shifts in pedagogy have enabled their learning. They will discuss with each other the ways this type of evidence would play out in their own context. There will be an opportunity for participants to personally interact with tools and resources that have been developed for use by leaders, teachers and students and consider how these could be applied in their own context.
The New Zealand education curriculum documents describe teaching approaches that research shows to have a consistently positive impact on student learning. One of these is Teaching as Inquiry. The fundamental purpose of the Teaching as Inquiry cycle is to achieve improved outcomes for all students. Less obviously, but very importantly, the cycle is an organising framework that teachers can use to help them learn from their own practice and build greater knowledge. This grows the value of teachers and enhances student learning and outcomes.
This workshop will outline the Inquiry cycle covering the focusing Inquiry, the teaching inquiry and the learning inquiry. Examples of how NZ teachers have used this to improve their practice and learner outcomes will be shared. Tried and tested practical ideas and tools developed over years of experience in supporting the professional learning and development of teachers will also be presented, providing participants with strategies to use directly in their own classrooms and practice.
“Good teaching and good decisions are based on high-quality information, not on taken-for-granted assumptions about the causes of children’s reading failure or the worth of new curriculum resources. The quality of information improves when everyone is open to the possibility that what they had previously taken for granted may not stand up to scrutiny. Teachers who are skilled in processes of inquiry can detect weaknesses in their own thinking about practice and help others to do the same.”
Practitioner Research for Educators (Robinson and Lai, 2006)
Te Whāriki is Aotearoa New Zealand’s unique internationally recognised Early Childhood Curriculum that provides a vision for children to be competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society.
The expectation is that, in their early years, children will experience a curriculum that empowers them as lifelong learners. This session will present how the foundations of this curriculum enables a hands-on and personalised teaching style that equips children for successful learning outcomes and prepares them for further learning. This presentation will highlight how New Zealand’s responsive and inclusive learning and teaching practices impact classroom outcomes. At the heart of this practice, is developing a local curriculum to support learner centred practices.
An interactive aspect of the workshop will help participants of all teaching levels to identify and examine their own values and beliefs, and how these are reflected through their teaching practices in the classroom. Together, we will weave a whāriki (mat) illustrating how our values and belief systems can be interwoven with student and family aspirations and curriculum competencies and goals.
Participants will gain understanding of new ideas and approaches drawn from New Zealand’s Te Whāriki curriculum for their own teaching and learning environments.