Cultural Capability Trial for Foundation-Level Educators


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Here’s something new from my He Taunga Waka Colleagues at Ako Aotearoa. They would love you to trial new content they have been writing.

The focus is on working more effectively with your Māori and Pasifika learners.

You’ll need to visit Pathways Awarua to trial the new material and there’s a link to a survey to complete at the end. Your comments will be anonymous.

Please participate. Your comments will help make this work even better. If you already have an account, just log in with that. You’ll see a screen like the one in the image below once you’re underway

Cheers, Graeme

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Kia ora tātou/ Talofa/ Malo e lelei/Kia orana/ Bula vinaka/ Greetings!

We are pleased to announce the launch the Cultural Capability trial for tertiary foundation-level educators!

General information

The purpose of this trial by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) is to improve the cultural competencies of educators across the tertiary sector.

The trial is based on cultural values – values will guide any educator to attain a broader understanding of their adult learners. The Māori Cultural Capabilities pathway trial focuses on the key value of ‘ako’, the concept of learning and teaching. The Pasifika Cultural Competencies pathway focuses on ‘values’ that are embedded and practised in cultural and everyday settings of Pasifika people.

What to do?

Firstly, read the attached information. The activities are located on the Pathways Awarua site, and here is the link to get there – https://www.pathwaysawarua. com/

Reminders

  • Read the information sheet first
  • Login by creating a username and password
  • Complete the survey monkeys after each pathway to give feedback
  • This trial will remain open till the 28 February 2018

Thank you for your participation,

The He Taunga Waka team from Ako Aotearoa

Information sheet for Cultural Capability trial 2018

Greetings/kia ora /kia orana/talofalava /malo e lelei /takalofa lahi atu /ni sa bula vinaka!

The purpose of the Cultural Pathways initiative by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) is to improve the cultural capability of educators across the tertiary sector. For this trial, the TEC are focussing on Māori and Pasifika cultural capability. This information sheet provides details for about the Cultural Capability trial created by the He Taunga Waka team from Ako Aotearoa.

Tell me more about this Cultural Pathway trial?

The cultural pathways consist of some sample activities which are interactive, for trialists to engage in, and respond accordingly. There are two pathways for trialists to complete; the Māori pathway focuses on ‘ako’ (the concept of learning and teaching); and the Pasifika pathway focuses on ‘values’ that are embedded and practised in cultural settings or instilled in the everyday actions of Pasifika people.

Where are they?

These two pathways and activities can be found on the Pathways Awarua platform, an online site for adult learners seeking to sharpen their literacy and numeracy skills in real-life situations such as driving skills, dealing with money, and health and safety. It is intended that educators (such as tutors, kaiako, lecturers, and training advisors) will be able to access these cultural capability pathways for their professional development too (easy instructions are found below).

How much time will it take?

This trial takes about 45-60 minutes, and there is a short survey to complete at the end of each Pathway.

How do I access the trial?

  1. Click on  https://www.pathwaysawarua.com/   and create a login-username and password.
  2. Click on go
  3. Select a pathway (Māori or Pasifika) on the left of your screen and complete the activities.
  4. Click on the link to a short surveymonkey to complete for that pathway.
  5. Go back and select the other pathway (Māori or Pasifika) and complete the activities.
  6. Click on the link to a short surveymonkey to complete for that pathway.

What happens after the trial?

We assure trialists that your personal details and written responses will be kept confidential and private. Your responses in the surveys will inform the design of further activities on these two cultural pathways. Information gathered in the surveys will be used for educative and research purposes only; and primarily for the benefit of tertiary educators.

We wish to finally thank you for your participation in this trial

The He Taunga Waka team from Ako Aotearoa

 

What’s the problem? The impact of colonisation


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The impact of colonisation is associated with low levels of literacy and numeracy. Colonisation refers to the loss of sovereignty by one group to another group. Here we’re talking about the colonisation of Māori by the British Crown and European settlers.

In the 1800s colonisation directly impacted Māori life expectancy. Sometimes this was from warfare, but often it was from illness and introduced diseases.

Māori had no immunity to illnesses brought by settlers that were common in Europe. This included measles, mumps, and whooping cough. All of these took a terrible toll among Māori In the European population, these diseases often affected children. But among Māori, these affected both adults and children.

In the 19th century too, introduced respiratory diseases such as bronchitis and tuberculosis also killed large numbers of Māori.

Loss of Māori land following the 1860s wars, Crown purchase and the Native Land Court led to the displacement of large numbers of Māori. Losing their land reduced many tribes to poverty and living conditions that were overcrowded and unhygienic.

Loss of land also meant they lost access to traditional food sources. Poor diet helped disease take hold and spread.

Māori life expectancy began to increase in the late 1890s and the population began to recover as Māori gained immunity to European diseases.

Despite improvements in the first half of the 20th century, Māori were also still severely disadvantaged socially and economically. This meant poorer housing and nutrition than Pākehā, or non-Māori New Zealanders.

In 1979, just 139 years after the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi), Māori academics believed that the loss of te reo was so great that it would suffer language death.

The main cause of this was colonisation and a state policy of assimilation. In some cases, there are specific pieces of legislation regarding education that we can link to this loss.

Since the 1970s though we have seen many gains including:

  • The development of Māori-language immersion kindergartens (kōhanga reo), schools (Kura Kaupapa), and tertiary institutions (whare wānanga).
  • The recognition of Māori as an official language of Aotearoa New Zealand in 1987.
  • Māori broadcasting since 1989 and Māori television since 2004.

The impact of colonisation on Māori is far reaching. It extends into to politics, spirituality, economics, society and psychology.

For Māori, colonisation means dealing with the impacts of devastating loss including:

  • loss of land
  • loss of power
  • loss of identity
  • loss of status
  • loss of language
  • loss of culture

The impact has been intergenerational. And this is not a comprehensive list, but enduring impacts include:

  • Low levels of participation and achievement in positive indicators such as education and economic well-being.
  • Over-representation in negative indicators such as drug and alcohol abuse and imprisonment rates.

Some questions to think about

Here’s a good place to stop and think about the impact of colonisation on your own learners. These questions are not assessed, but thinking about them will help you answer the assessment task.

  1. What do you see as the enduring effects of colonisation in education?
  2. What do you do in your teaching or training to value Māori language or culture?
  3. What more could you do to strengthen the overall well-being of Māori and other learners in your care?

Low adult literacy and numeracy levels: What’s causing the problem?


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It’s difficult to say exactly what is causing the problem of low adult literacy and numeracy in Aotearoa New Zealand. What we can say though is that low adult literacy and numeracy skills are associated with certain kinds of things.

Just because two things happen together doesn’t always mean that one causes the other. This is an easy mistake to make. In technical terms, we can say this: “Correlation does not imply causation.”

So the point is to be a bit cautious when we’re talking about what we think is causing the problem.

That said, here’s a list of things that often pop up when we talk about what’s causing low skills in the adult population in literacy and numeracy:

  • The impact of colonisation.
  • Socio-economic factors.
  • Cycles of poverty.
  • Poor teaching.
  • Technology.

We’ll have a look at each of these next.

Under the hood: Te whare tapa wha


tapawha2Te Whare Tapa Whā is a holistic model of health and wellbeing also known as hauora. Originally used in the healthcare sector, it’s now used in education and other settings including prisoner rehabilitation and career development.

Where does it come from?

Māori health expert Mason Durie developed the Whare Tapa Whā model of health in 1982. Professor Durie has affiliations with the Rangitane, Ngāti Kauwhata and Ngāti Raukawa tribes of New Zealand.

For over 40 years, Durie has been at the forefront of a transformational approach to Māori health and has played major roles in building the Māori health workforce.

What’s it for?

It’s for helping you think in a holistic way about health, education or any other issue affecting yourself or someone else.

What is it?

It’s a visual representation that shows a Māori wellbeing in four dimensions:

  • Taha wairua – the spiritual domain or well-being of your learner
  • Taha tinana – the physical domain or well-being of your learner
  • Taha whānau – the family or social well-being or domain of your learner
  • Taha hinengaro – the mental domain or well-being of your learner

Each of these are the different sides of a wharenui (meeting house).

In education, it’s a way of thinking about your learners more holistically. If each learner is like a whare, then it’s important that they are strong in each of the four dimensions. For example, if one or more sides of the house is weak or broken, then it’s likely the roof will fall in.

This way of thinking about our learners means that we have to think beyond the kinds of content that we want to teach. All four dimensions are necessary for strength and stability.

How is it relevant?

It’s relevant because you can use your knowledge of Te Whare Tapa Whā to enhance your teaching. This knowledge is drawn from Māori culture, but it’s not limited to working just with Māori.

Te Whare Tapa Whā explains the journey of many Māori learners and also outlines the tutor’s perspective towards this.

When we talk about a learner from the context of Te Whare Tapa Whā we place our learner at the centre. And that means that we can look at our learners in four different ways.

Most of our students go through a journey into our organisations. From a student’s perspective, this is the kind of conversation that they’re having with themselves even before they enter your classroom:

  1. Do I believe I can do this course? (Taha wairua).
  2. Do I have the resources I need to do this course? (Taha tinana).
  3. Do I have the support to do this course? (Taha whānau)
  4. Can I cope with the work in this course? (Taha hinengaro

What does it mean for me?

If you identify as Māori, the Whare Tapa Whā is a framework that allows you to talk about how you probably already work with your learners. If you are not Māori, the framework allows you to see your learners, particularly your Māori learners through new eyes.

It also means that the things that you think are the priority in your teaching environment, might not be for some of your learners. For example, learners who haven’t eaten breakfast are less likely to be interested in your great teaching resources.

One big implication is that you need to think about whether you’ve attended to all four domains from a Māori perspective.

Teach better – What is literacy for Maori?


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What’s the definition?

For Māori:

Literacy is the lifelong journey of building the capacity to ‘read’ and shape Māori and other worlds (p.11).

Where does this definition come from?

Maori Adult Literacy Reference Group. (2001). Te kawai ora. Reading the world, reading the word, being the world. Report to the Hon. Tariana Turia, Associate Minister of Māori Affairs. Wellington.

What are some key features?

  • Written by Māori for Māori.
  • Holistic, philosophical, spiritual.
  • Incorporates the idea of being literate in Māori and English.
  • Informed by Matauranga Māori (Māori knowledge and Māori ways of knowing) as well kaupapa Māori (Māori principles and values).

How is this definition relevant to my teaching context?

If you live in New Zealand, then this definition is relevant. Our learners are Māori. Many of our tutors teach courses where they have 100% Māori learners. And many of these learners have experienced repeated failure in mainstream education. So have many non Maori as well if we’re honest.

The point is that if we want to make a difference to these learners (and many others) we need to look at different ways of teaching and learning.

As we’ll see later on, we can tap into Māori ways of thinking about teaching that can disrupt – in a good way – the kinds of mainstream approaches we’ve always used.

Mainstream approaches to teaching and learning are grounded in a Western academic tradition that goes back to Greek and Roman times. It’s not wrong. But it is wrong for some of our learners.

If you can embrace a more holistic view of literacy and numeracy, you’ll find that you can become a better teacher. It doesn’t matter if you are Māori or not. What matters is some empathy for your learners and an openness to look at other ways of knowing and being.

Have you ever thought about the difference between reading and “reading”? For your learners this includes many things that we don’t think of as traditional literacy. But they matter.

Here’s some of the things that literacy can include under a more holistic and Māori way of thinking about the world:

  • Body language
  • Facial expressions
  • Geography
  • Oral traditions including stories, songs, genealogies, and prayer
  • Navigation
  • Reading traditional symbols
  • Whakairo (carving)
  • Raranga (weaving)
  • Ta Moko (tattooing)

Teach better – What is numeracy?


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(ii) Numeracy

This next definition comes from the PIIAC study as well.

What’s the definition?

Numeracy is the ability to use, interpret and communicate mathematical information and ideas in order to engage in and manage the mathematical demands of a range of situations (p.4).

Where does this definition come from?

Ministry of Education and Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (2016). Skills and Education: Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC). Wellington: Ministry of Education and Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.

What are some key features?

Understanding:

  • Quantity
  • Dimension and shapes
  • Patterns
  • Data and chance
  • Visual displays.

How is this definition relevant to my teaching context?

As with the definition for literacy, this one is important because it allows us to talk about our learners, our country and other countries when it comes to numeracy.

Also, it has a practical focus on using maths for a purpose. As with literacy, numeracy shouldn’t be mindless repetition and practice. It should be about solving problems that have meaning in the context of every life and work.

This is relevant to your teaching because this isn’t about the maths that you, or your learners, got at high school. This is about how to use maths ideas and knowledge to do stuff that you need to do.

The kinds of situations that are relevant to your learners and your teaching should provide you with the kinds of maths and numeracy that you need to do. But more on that in the next definition.

 

How do I teach better?


theres-a-better-way-to-teachThat’s my question for this year. And hopefully for you as well.

Stay tuned…