Concepts: What is Mana Tangata?

Concepts in adult LN (3)

Mana tangata means developing self-esteem through contributing.

Can we dig a little deeper?

Mana tangata literally means the mana, or authority, of people. Traditionally, mana tangata refers to the power and status gained through one’s leadership talents, strength of character, from basic human rights, or by birthright.

It can also refer to identity, individual cultures, and the power an individual gains through their abilities, efforts, and taking advantage of all opportunities.

In education, mana tangata refers to an individual’s contribution to the learning process. This should be a process where opportunities for learning are equitable and each learner’s contribution is valued. In this process of contributing, the learner develops their self esteem.

How does this help describe a learner-centred teaching environment?

Mana tangata helps describe a learner-centred teaching environment because the learner’s’ contribution and resulting self esteem is important.

When you work in foundation education, it can take a long time to see gains in traditional tests. But one of the areas where you can see much faster gains is in learner self esteem and self confidence due to positive learning experiences.

Learning and development occur through active participation in activities and through collaboration with others in a programme that builds on individual strengths and allows others to “make their mark” as well as develop satisfying relationships. This is learner-centred teaching.

This means:

  1. Interacting with others
  2. Learning to take another’s point of view
  3. Empathising with others
  4. Asking for help
  5. Helping others
  6. Discussing ideas

Making a contribution requires good relationships but it also requires opportunities.

  1. What do you do to foster contribution and collaboration?
  2. If you think about your learners and teaching experiences, what has caused the biggest increase in self esteem or self confidence in learners who have struggled?

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

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