Talking about NZ’s embedded literacy and numeracy approach with Indonesian vocational teachers at AUT


IMG_8677

Recently, I had the tremendous privilege and pleasure of spending a day at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) talking about literacy and numeracy with a group of vocational teachers and tutors from Indonesia.

The group was large. The image above shows half of the team and I need to paste in a second photo below so you can see the other half. Here we go…

IMG_8679

My sincere thanks to Dr Adrian Schoone at AUT for inviting me to join these teachers for a day in their busy schedule. Adrian also deserves credit for the two photos above.

These vocational teachers and other support staff were here on a two-week study tour in October looking at how we teach trades and vocational education in Aotearoa New Zealand.

And as part of our introductions and whakawhanaungatana (getting to know each other), I asked them all to place themselves on a giant map I had projected on the wall.

As you can see below, they came from all over Indonesia – from the West to the East.

IMG_8662 2

For my part, it was a brief and hopefully fun introduction to literacy, numeracy and the embedded approach that we’ve developed here over the last 10 years.

IMG_8669 2

We had a play with some of the online tools that we have in New Zealand for literacy and numeracy as well. Luckily, AUT had a computer lab big enough to house us all for an hour or so.

IMG_8671 2

My students for the day were friendly, engaged and worked hard to transcend some of the language barriers between us.

One of the most interesting things for me was realising how integral approaches from Te Ao Māori are now to any discussion I want to have about this work.

Concepts like ako and tuakana-teina seemed to really resonate with the group and their own cultures.

In fact, some had questions about how they could incorporate aspects of their own indigenous ways of knowing and being into their teaching practice.

Just on that note, according to Wikipedia:

  • there are over 300 ethnic groups speaking more than 700 living languages across the vast Indonesian archipelago.

So these weren’t questions I felt could readily answer, but hopefully, they will open a door to further positive discussion back home.

This, in turn, should feed into the work these excellent teachers are doing to invigorate and reinvigorate vocational education in Indonesia.

Overall, it was an excellent day,  I loved spending time with this group and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

To my new friends and colleagues:

  • Assalam ‘alaikum. I wish you all the best with your work in Indonesia and hope our paths cross again at some stage.

 

 

Concepts: Thinking deeper and taking some notes


Kats

Nearly there. Good work so far…! Here’s what we’ve covered:

Time to do some work

Let’s stop again and make some notes. Skip back if you need to. But as before, see what you can remember. Then use the modules to check what you’ve written.

Think about how these concepts apply to your teaching. Think about your own experiences.

Here’s your task:

  • Download the worksheet, or use a chart like the one below to make notes on the concepts that we’ve talked about.
  • Can you explain each concept in your own words?
  • Can you say how each contributes to a learner-centred approach?

This task is not assessed, but it will help you with your assessment.

Concepts: What is kaitiakitanga?


Concepts in adult LN (8)

Kaitiakitanga means guardianship or caregiving.

Can we dig a little deeper?

Kaitiaki is a New Zealand term used for the Māori concept of guardianship, for the sky, the sea, and the land. A kaitiaki is a guardian, and the process and practices of protecting and looking after the environment are referred to as kaitiakitanga.

Sometimes people use the term kaitiaki for broader roles of trusteeship or guardianship.

Kaitiakitanga is both a tool and a process. It involves a set of obligations and responsibilities.

This includes a responsibility to those who have come before you as well as those who will come after. Also, its undertaking must result in a positive outcome.

In education, kaitiakitanga refers to the practical doing; rules and tikanga of a particular field. The tutor is the kaitiaki or caregiver of the learner’s knowledge. This implies certain positive responsibilities.

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

Kaitiakitanga helps describe a learner-centred teaching environment because it describes the tutors’ role as a caregiver or caretaker with regards to our learners’ knowledge.

In education, Kaitiakitanga can refer to concepts of leadership, mentoring, coaching, care, guidance, nurturing, sharing, responsibilities, and external consultation. 

Kaitiakitanga means an approach to leadership and guidance that includes both the academic and discipline related care; as well as the more holistic and relational aspects where the main concern is for the well-being of others including one’s fellow tutors as well as learners.

When it comes to relationships, Kaitiakitanga should always be mana-enhancing. This means that it should not compromise others’ identities, self-worth, or trigger insecurities.

Here are six questions that focus on applying Kaitiakitanga to your own teaching situation. The focus here is your learners, but it could also be your co-workers:

  1. How do I show my learners that I care about this?
  2. What knowledge and experiences do I have?
  3. What skills and values can I pass on to my learners?
  4. What’s the best kind of guidance I can provide to my learners?
  5. What kind of support do they need through the journey?
  6. How can I best teach what I know?

Approaches: What is ako?


Approaches in adult LN (4)

What is it?

Ako means both teach and learn. It’s a reciprocal relationship where the educator is also learning from the student.

Ako refers to traditional Māori thinking about the transfer and absorption of skills, knowledge, wisdom, experience, much of which has traditionally occurred in the course of everyday activities.

Ako implies ‘learn’ and ‘teach’ at the same time.

In English we use two words – learn and teach – for different things. In Māori, ako is simply used for both. In this way of thinking, it is acceptable for the learner to shift roles and become the teacher and for the teacher to become the learner.

A simple way to understand ako in the shifting roles of educator and learner is this:

  • sometimes learner, sometimes teacher.

Ako works through the tuakana-teina relationship between educator and learner. As we mentioned before, while these terms have their origin in traditional Māori settings, we now use them in adult education.

How does this approach contribute to a learner-centred teaching environment?

Tuakana-teina contributes to a learner-centred teaching environment by providing us with an alternative to traditional teacher-centred methods of teaching.

Consider the following two different models of teaching and learning from our discussion about tuakana-teina. The arrows indicate the transmission of knowledge.

Teaching and learning from a Māori perspective requires two active participants. Tuakana-teina is ako in action:

Tuakana ← ako → Teina

Teaching and learning from a traditional Western perspective doesn’t always require an active learner:

Teacher teaches (active)

Learner learns (passive)

  1. Do you ever notice when you find yourself in the middle of a long monologue in your teaching?
  2. What can you put both you and your learners more at the centre of your training?

Approaches: What is tuakana-teina?


approaches-in-adult-ln-3

What is it?

Tuakana-teina refers to the relationship between an older person (tuakana) and a younger person (teina). It is specific to teaching and learning in the context of Māori. In a more traditional Māori setting, the meaning is literally “older sibling-younger sibling”.

While these terms have their origin on the Marae in traditional settings, we have come to use them to talk about relationships in our adult education contexts in Aotearoa New Zealand.

For example, in education you might hear people use tuakana-teina to talk about teaching and learning in a number of different ways:

  • Peer-to-peer – teina teaches teina, tuakana teaches tuakana.
  • Younger to older – the teina has some skills in an area that the tuakana does not and is able to teach the tuakana.
  • Older to younger – the tuakana has the knowledge and content to pass on to the teina.
  • Able to less able – the learner may not be as able in an area, and someone more skilled can teach what is required.

Tuakana-teina is a mentoring approach where typically the mentors (tuakana) share their experiences, and their knowledge as well as provide information.

The tuakana is a support person and adviser for the teina and the teina gives the tuakana a chance to learn new things and meet new people.

How does this approach contribute to a learner-centred teaching environment?

Tuakana-teina relationships are essentially learner-centred in nature. Even when you (as the tutor) are the tuakana, the relationship is more of a conversation or two-way street. It’s flatter, like this:

Tuakana ↔ Teina

And less of a monologue or one-way street, like this:

Teacher

Student

By fostering and encouraging tuakana-teina relationships among your learners, you shift the balance of power in the classroom away from yourself and to your learners. This allows them to take responsibility for the learning, and often some of the teaching too.

Have a listen to Tamati talking about tuakana-teina.

What’s the problem? The impact of colonisation


JDP-328.jpg
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?

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.