2023 Library of Congress Literacy Award: Manako Team at Ako Aotearoa Celebrates Global Recognition

2023 Library of Congress Literacy Award: Manako Team at Ako Aotearoa Celebrates Global Recognition

Library of Congress Literacy Award 2023: Ako Aotearoa Recognised for Excellence

I’m very excited to share that Manako, the team I’m proud to be a part of at Ako Aotearoa, has received global accolades for its exceptional contributions to literacy.

This honour comes as part of the esteemed 2023 Library of Congress Literacy Awards, which spotlight groundbreaking literacy promotion strategies worldwide.

Manako’s Literacy Initiatives: A Closer Look

As part of the Manako team, we’re committed to enhancing language, literacy, numeracy (LLN), and cultural capability for educators working with adult learners.

Our programmes are deeply rooted in Māori and Pacific values, offering a culturally enriching learning experience.

A Decade of Celebrating Literacy Champions

The Library of Congress Literacy Awards, initiated in 2013 by philanthropist David M. Rubenstein, have been a catalyst for innovative literacy promotion.

We’re honoured that Manako has joined the ranks of 15 globally recognised organisations for its effective literacy practices.

The Upcoming Awards Ceremony

The awards ceremony is set to be a momentous occasion in Washington D.C., celebrating global efforts in literacy and reading promotion.

Timed to coincide with International Literacy Day, the announcement has generated considerable excitement. Helen Lomax, the Director of Ako Aotearoa, will be travelling to Washington D.C. along with a team member to accept this prestigious award.

The Evolution of Manako

Since its launch in 2015, Manako has been a hub of innovation, supported by Massey University, Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa, and New Zealand’s Tertiary Education Commission.

We’ve rolled out a variety of resources, such as the Tapatoru Ako Professional Practice Programme and Award, as well as the New Zealand Dyslexia-Friendly Quality Mark, setting new standards in educational excellence.

Tapatoru: Elevating NZ Tertiary Education Through Core Values

Here’s some more about the Tapatoru programme for those who are curious. Tapatoru is an innovative programme designed to enhance New Zealand’s tertiary education by integrating four key values: Whanaungatanga (relationship-building), Manaakitanga (respect and care), Wairuatanga (spiritual nurturing), and Aroha (empathy). The initiative aims for holistic development, targeting both educators and learners.

More Than Just Knowledge Transfer

At the heart of Tapatoru is the understanding that education is not just about imparting knowledge. It champions an inclusive and compassionate learning environment that respects New Zealand’s diverse cultures. By embedding these values, educators can create spaces that not only acknowledge individuality but also actively contribute to student well-being.

Resources for Value-Based Teaching

Tapatoru provides educators with the tools needed to incorporate these values into their teaching styles. It promotes strong connections with learners and communities, laying a foundation of trust and belonging. The practice of Aroha (empathy) allows educators to tailor their teaching methods to the unique backgrounds and needs of their students.

The Role of Wairua (Spirit) in Learning

The programme also highlights the significance of Wairua (spirit) in the educational process, recognising its role in well-being and personal development. This holistic approach confirms that education is not solely about academic achievements but also about nurturing the individual as a whole.

Tangible Impact on Education

What distinguishes Tapatoru is its real-world effectiveness. By applying these values daily, educators can create an environment that is not just safe and inclusive but also genuinely supportive, thereby boosting learner engagement and success rates.

Preparing for a Diverse Educational Landscape

In an ever-changing educational context, Tapatoru equips educators to meet the varied needs of today’s learners. It fosters a sense of belonging, enables lasting positive impact, and raises the quality of tertiary education in New Zealand. Tapatoru is more than a framework; it’s a practical pathway towards a more empathetic and efficient educational system.

Tapatoru on Pathways Awarua

Shortly, the entire Tapatoru curriculum will be available to the public via Pathways Awarua. Currently, we have almost 40 different lessons across seven different collections in Tapatoru Educator Pathway with more planned. Here’s a summary of what we’ve written:

1. What is the Tapatoru

1.1 What is Tapatoru?

In this lesson, you’ll delve into the Tapatoru programme, a bespoke development pathway designed specifically for you as a tertiary educator in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Engage with an expanding array of collections that tackle various aspects of educational practice, rooted in Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge), and crafted to enhance inclusivity, reflective thinking, and cultural competency. 

Embrace a holistic methodology encouraging you to explore your values deeply, fostering continual growth in your professional journey while prioritising a learner-centred environment.

1.2 Te Pa Harakeke Tapatoru

In this lesson, you’ll explore the depths of the Pā Harakeke Tapatoru, a metaphor grounded in the representation of family that guides the cultivation of nurturing and safeguarded educational surroundings. This approach beckons you to adopt transformative teaching techniques, anchored in reciprocal learning (ako) and the forging of substantial relationships (whakawhanaungatanga), with the goal of intertwining Māori and Pacific cultural values within modern approaches to teaching and learning.

2. Planning your PLD

2.1 The PLD Planner Tool

In this session, we introduce you to the essential Tapatoru PLD Planner Tool to personalise your Pathways Awarua journey. By participating in a short survey, you will help tailor your professional learning and development experience, enhancing your understanding of Māori and Pacific approaches and addressing the diverse needs of your ākonga (learners).

2.2 PLD Planner Tool Survey

This is where you complete the PLD Planner Tool Survey. For those educators working with Ako Aotearoa’s paid-up PLD and coaching you’ll be given a survey code from your facilitators. But it will still work even if you do not have a code and are just curious about the content.

Tapatoru 2.3 Your PLD Planner Tool Survey Results

In this session, you will delve into your Tapatoru Planner Tool Survey results to identify priority areas for your professional learning and development. Working either through an organisational subscription or the free version, you can leverage the tools and guidance offered by the Tapatoru programme to enhance your understanding in areas such as Māori cultural capability, Pacific cultural centredness, and neurodiversity, and develop teaching strategies that foster inclusivity, learner success, and a learner-centred approach.

You’ll be able to explore and personalise your Tapatoru journey to meet your vocational educational needs and to grow in your role, contributing to a holistically supportive and effective learning environment for your ākonga (learners).

Unpacking Your Values

3.1 Whanaungatanga

Discover the intrinsic Māori value of Whanaungatanga (relationship building) and its central role in creating nurturing educational environments grounded in kinship and a sense of belonging. Learn the nuances of powhiri and mihi whakatau ceremonies, and how to foster whanaungatanga in adult tertiary education settings, embracing a living philosophy that transcends biological ties and cultivates unity and mutual respect in Aotearoa.

3.2 Wairuatanga

Explore the enriching concept of Wairuatanga, a cornerstone of Māori culture that emphasises spiritual well-being and interconnectedness with the natural world. In this session, you will delve into practical strategies to foster a nurturing and inclusive learning environment, embracing rituals, karakia (prayers and affirmations), and reflective practices that resonate with the spiritual dimensions of your learners. Engage with the content through insightful videos and reflective questions, empowering you to weave Wairuatanga into your teaching approach, nurturing the holistic well-being of your learners.

3.3 Manaakitanga

Dive into the enriching world of Manaakitanga, a core value in Māori culture that stands for care, respect, and hospitality. In this session, you will learn to foster an environment where each learner feels valued and respected, enhancing not only their educational journey but their well-being as a whole. Through videos, reflections, and practical strategies, discover how to embody the spirit of Manaakitanga in your teaching approach, nurturing positive relationships and empowering your learners to thrive.

3.4 Aroha

Discover the profound concept of Aroha, central in Māori culture, representing love, compassion, and empathy. In this session, you will learn how to weave Aroha into your teaching approach, fostering a nurturing and inclusive environment that goes beyond mere instruction to holistically support your learners. Through practical strategies and reflective exercises, you will be guided on how to embody Aroha, encouraging positive relationships, collaboration, and a deep respect for the diverse identities and well-being of your learners.

4. Embedding Literacy and Numeracy

4.1 Introduction to Embedding Language, Literacy and Numeracy

In this session, you will delve into the concept of embedded literacy and numeracy (LN). Learn the essential frameworks and factors affecting adult LN levels in Aotearoa New Zealand. Through practical suggestions and reflection tasks, you will grasp how to integrate LN into vocational education, enhancing the relevance and application of these fundamental skills in real-world scenarios. Prepare to watch insightful videos and engage in reflection tasks to foster a deeper understanding and readiness to implement LN in your teaching approach. Get ready to transform your approach to teaching, making it more contextual and beneficial for your learners.

4.2 Embedding Language, Literacy & Numeracy with Māori & Pacific Cultural Considerations

In this session, explore how to weave Māori and Pacific cultural values and knowledge into vocational education, fostering a learning environment that is inclusive and empowering for all ākonga (learners). Learn practical strategies to integrate Kaupapa Māori (Māori principles and values) and Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) into your teaching approach, enhancing both the relevance and richness of literacy and numeracy education.

4.3 Embedding with the Learning Progressions

Dive into the essential frameworks of the Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy and Numeracy in this session. You’ll learn to tailor your teaching resources and assessments to meet the specific needs of your learners, enhancing their literacy and numeracy skills for success in their vocational pathways.

4.4 Te Whare Tapa Whā

Kia ora! Enhance your teaching approach with the holistic framework of Te Whare Tapa Whā, exploring the four dimensions of Māori well-being: taha wairua, taha tinana, taha whānau, and taha hinengaro. Learn to create a nurturing learning environment that respects and incorporates the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of all learners, fostering a deeper understanding and respect for Māori culture.

4.5 Kaupapa Contributing to Low Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy

Explore the deep-rooted causes of low adult literacy and numeracy in Aotearoa New Zealand with this module, including the exacerbated effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll learn to identify the barriers your students may face and devise strategies to foster a nurturing and inclusive learning environment, enhancing literacy and numeracy outcomes in your educational setting.

4.6 Introducing the LNAAT

Delve into the functionalities and benefits of the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool (LNAAT) in this session, learning how it can be a pivotal instrument in gauging and enhancing the literacy and numeracy skills of adult learners. You’ll also explore the culturally responsive Te Ata Hāpara and the youth version of the tool, understanding how to utilise them to foster a more inclusive and effective learning environment.

4.7 The Effective Practice Model

In this session, you will delve into the Effective Practice Model, a comprehensive approach that integrates Māori and Pasifika worldviews, knowledge, and values, along with a focus on neurodiversity, to foster a more inclusive and evidence-based teaching environment. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore additional resources that offer insights into embedding literacy and numeracy from various cultural perspectives. Engage with practical tasks to reinforce your understanding and apply the principles in your teaching practice, aiming to create a nurturing and responsive learning environment for all your learners.

Māori Cultural Capability

5.1 What is Ako?

In this session, you will immerse yourself in the Māori concept of Ako, a reciprocal approach to teaching and learning that fosters a collaborative and respectful environment. You will also be introduced to the tuakana-teina relationship, a cornerstone of this approach, which nurtures a mutual learning journey between the more experienced (tuakana) and the less experienced (teina). Through engaging discussions and reflections, you will explore how to integrate these principles into your teaching practice, fostering a space where both you and your learners can grow together, respecting and valuing each other’s contributions.

5.2 What is Tuakana-teina?

In this session, we delve into the tuakana-teina relationship, a fundamental concept in Māori culture that fosters interdependence and solidarity through a mentor-mentee relationship. You’ll learn how to incorporate this into adult education in Aotearoa New Zealand, promoting a collaborative, respectful, and inclusive learning environment.

5.3 What is Whakapapa?

In this session, we delve into the concept of whakapapa, a cornerstone of Māori culture that encompasses genealogy and the deep connections between people, their ancestry, and the environment. We will explore how understanding and incorporating whakapapa and pepeha in education can foster a rich, inclusive, and respectful learning environment, nurturing a sense of identity and belonging among ākonga (learners).

5.4 What is Rangatiratanga?

In this session, we delve into the concept of rangatiratanga, a central principle in Māori culture that embodies self-determination and sovereignty. Understanding and integrating rangatiratanga in educational settings fosters a learner-centred environment where individuals are empowered to take control of their learning journey, respecting and leveraging their cultural heritage. Let’s explore how you can embody and foster rangatiratanga in your teaching approach to nurture a more inclusive and respectful learning space.

5.5 What is Māori Cultural Safety?

In this session, we explore the concept of Māori cultural safety, emphasising the importance of creating a safe and inclusive learning environment for Māori ākonga (learners) rooted in mātauranga Māori principles. We also discuss practical strategies for vocational teachers and others to support Māori ākonga success, fostering strong relationships, empowering ākonga, and acknowledging the cultural heritage of all ākonga.

Pacific Cultural Centredness

6.1 What is Pasifika Cultural Centredness?

In this introductory session on Pacific Cultural Centredness, you will explore the importance of valuing and centring the cultural practices, beliefs, and values of Pacific communities, aiming to create more culturally responsive and effective systems in vocational education. We discuss how to foster Pacific Cultural Centredness, including engaging with specific Pacific community groups, respecting their unique values, and seeking guidance from cultural experts to create a supportive learning environment.

6.2 What is Talanoa?

In this session, you’ll explore “Talanoa,” a powerful Pacific approach to communication that involves storytelling, active listening, and mutual respect. By incorporating Talanoa into your teaching practices, you can foster a safe and inclusive learning environment, deepen your understanding of Pacific ākonga (learners), and promote cultural responsiveness, ultimately enhancing learning outcomes for your adult ākonga.

6.3 What is Le Va?

Discover the concept of Le Va, a Pacific principle that celebrates interconnectedness and relationships within communities and the environment. Learn how to apply Le Va in your adult education setting, fostering positive relationships, collaboration, and inclusivity, ultimately enhancing the learning experience for Pacific ākonga (learners).

6.4 What is the Fonofale Approach?

Discover the Fonofale model, a holistic approach to health and education emphasising the interconnectedness of physical, emotional, spiritual, and cultural well-being. By incorporating Pasifika cultural values and practices, fostering collaboration, and using flexible teaching methods, you can create an inclusive, learner-centred, and culturally responsive learning environment that promotes the holistic well-being of your Pasifika ākonga (learners).

6.5 Pacific Cultural Safety

Learn about Pacific cultural safety and its importance in creating inclusive learning environments for Pacific ākonga (learners). Discover how to build trust and understanding, acknowledge cultural diversity, and foster peer support to enhance the educational experience for all ākonga.

Introduction to Neurodiversity

7.1 Learning Differences and Difficulties

Learn about learning differences and how they are part of the neurodiversity spectrum. Discover various learning challenges such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, Irlen’s Syndrome, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Understand that these differences are not indicators of intelligence but unique ways of processing information, and explore strategies to support ākonga (learners) with these challenges effectively in vocational education.

7.2 Underlying Causes of Learning Differences and Difficulties

Explore the causes of learning differences in vocational education. Discover the complexities of neurodiversity, including genetic variations and multifactorial factors. Gain insights into the impact of teaching approaches and the importance of understanding these causes to better support your diverse ākonga (learners).

7.3 Strategies for Dealing with Learning Differences and Difficulties

Explore effective strategies for supporting learners with learning differences and literacy difficulties, including classroom culture, learning strategies, and communication techniques. Discover how to create an inclusive learning environment and implement dyslexia-friendly teaching strategies, ensuring that every ākonga (learner) has the opportunity to succeed.

Author: Graeme Smith

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

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