Te Niho Taniwha – A Framework for Promoting Strength and Resilience in Education


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This is an idea for discussion. I’ve been thinking about this for a while now:

  • What’s a model that allows us to bring together all the things that we know and do in education including the infrastructure tools and support mechanisms?

Here’s a possible answer above. I’m not an expert on Māori design, but this just seemed to click for me.

Meet Te Niho Taniwha… or “The Teeth of the Taniwha”. Niho Taniwha can symbolise – among other things – strength and resilience.

This is how I currently see a way forward that allows us to integrate and encompass all that we’ve learned in foundation education since 2006.

I’ve recently called education a “wicked problem”. In short, this means that education is a problem that has no easy solutions and often we have no way of knowing whether we’re even on the right track to a good solution.

What we need are solutions that have some bite, if you excuse the extended metaphor and pun.

What we’ve lacked in our search for solutions is a way to conceptualise the whole…. To pull all the parts together in a way that is coherent.

Looking to frameworks of professional standards is part of a solution, but as good as this is it doesn’t really encompass the bigger picture which involves various support mechanisms and practical tools for working with learners.

My model above seeks to bring together everything that is required for a professional standards framework but sitting on top of a system of practical tools and support mechanisms including professional learning and development (PLD) and Communities of Practice (CoPs).

The practical tools and support mechanisms are customisable in the sense that you could swap them out for different tools and resources depending on the context.

But because my context is foundation learning above, the tools across the bottom include the TEC infrastructure for foundation learning: The learning progressions for adult literacy and numeracy, the assessment tool and Pathways Awarua.

Would this model work in a higher education setting? I think so. Here’s a more generic model that could be customised for a university or polytechnic:

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Different components could be swapped in across the bottom layer of the tapatoru including other tools, platforms, resources and initiatives.

The top two layers still align with professional standards frameworks including the HEA system or variants like Ako Aronui.

Te Niho Taniwha would make a great framework for wider capability building across the education sector. But even if no one thinks this is a good idea, it has provided me with a lens for analysing what’s happening across educational contexts when it comes to understanding and comparing capability building approaches.

Any thoughts please let me know in the comments.

Hat tip: I’d like to acknowledge and thank Veranoa Hetet (@whaeavee) for kindly answering my questions on twitter about Māori design including the use of triangles and showing me what Niho Taniwha looks like.

 

CONTEXT – New Content for the new NZCALNE Assessment 1 with ALEC


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Teach Better Now with ALEC in 2017

We’re in the middle of a transition from the existing NCALNE (Voc) to the newer version of this qualification – the NZCALNE (Voc). Most qualifications are now in the process of shifting from the old “National” qualifications to the current “New Zealand” quals.

It’s a bit of a messy transition as we’re all caught in the middle. We really like the new unit standards so we want to switch everyone to the newest version as fast as possible. This means that we’re writing the new content as we go.

If you have the old assessment 1 and you want to see the new one, please email us on assess@alec.ac.nz and ask for the new assessment 1 template.

If this is confusing, please email as well or ring Graeme on 0800-ALEC-1-2. There will be some teething problems to make the shift, but we’d rather roll out the new qualification now rather than later. It’s much better.

New course structure

The new course structure is similar to the old with a few changes to make it more streamlined. There’s a short explanation below and a longer one here.

  1. Context
  2. Approaches
  3. Demands
  4. Strategies
  5. Before
  6. Teaching
  7. After

New Assessment 1

You are welcome to stick with the old assessment 1 if you’ve already made a start. But if you haven’t, here is what you need to know below.

New content for assessment 1 is complete but it hasn’t made its way onto Pathways Awarua just yet. But it is on Graeme’s blog now.

The new assessment 1 no longer requires you to write a report and there are only three parts. There’s still work to do, but it’s a lot easy to focus on just the three content areas of definitions, frameworks, and factors.

Down below are the links you need for all of the new content for Assessment 1 including:

  • What do we mean? Definitions for literacy and numeracy
  • What’s under the hood? Frameworks we use in adult literacy and numeracy
  • Why do we have this problem? Factors associated with low adult literacy and numeracy.

Follow the links below for definitions and explanations

What do we mean?

What’s under the hood?

Why do we have this problem?

If you’re stuck, please get in touch with us assess@alec.ac.nz