Cultural Capability Trial for Foundation-Level Educators

ako brand

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

Screenshot 2018-02-13 11.34.05.png

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/


  • 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   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


7 Trends in education that will disrupt our work as teachers


From our analysis of education in New Zealand and internationally, as well as from other sources including technological innovation, silicon valley ed-tech and other startups, we see the following as current trends impacting our work:

  1. Increased scrutiny around the economics of education: This applies both from the external position of funding agencies like the TEC who are moving to a zero-risk “investment” model of education as well as internally as providers continue to look at ways to do their work while slashing fixed costs. We’re addressing this by massively slashing our fixed costs this year. We expect government funding of education to continue to slow down. The next several years could see a massive reality check amongst education providers as fixed costs like rents continue to rise while funding slows or actually decreases.
  2. The hollowing out of middle management in education: Educational bureaucracies can no longer afford to pay for middle managers. Currently, providers still need tutors to deliver to students. However, management teams are becoming a luxury. We expect management responsibilities to devolve to a combination of technological solutions, increased tutor workload, and increased diversification of upper management responsibilities. In terms of our training, we can offer busy managers a professional development solution that helps increase tutor responsibility for delivering high quality outcomes.
  3. Technological solutions: The drive by TEC and NZQA to increase training providers’ efficiency and effectiveness externally combined with an internal drive by business owners to remain profitable will mean a shift to scalable technological solutions for education. In our field we’ve seen this trend in the massively scalable Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool which assessed over 100,000 learners. We are trying and capitalise on this trend by partnering with to create a massively scalable and open version of our training programme.
  4. A move to online business models in education: Over the next ten years we are likely to see a transition to post-industrial education where delivery is dominated by online platforms. This will cause an unbundling of education where the information and training content in an education course can be separated out from other aspects such as personalised coaching (including face-to-face, blended, and online modes), assessment, and credentialing. This in turn will open up new online business models.
  5. Unemployment and underemployment: It’s possible that there is a tension between recognition of the value of increasing literacy and numeracy levels of at risk groups in the population versus the relatively minor impact of this investment in economic terms due to an increasingly restricted job market. Currently, there is a drive to upskill at risk groups including Maori, Pacifika, and Youth. However, if graduates of these programmes such as Youth Guarantee fail to find jobs over the next few years, funding could be pulled away from these kinds of foundation-focused programmes.
  6. A greater role for industry: As some educational pathways become more expensive and education shifts online, industry may take a greater interest in training solutions that can be customised to their needs for cheap or free. This is also in line with government directives for industry to take a greater role as outlined in the latest Tertiary Education Strategy.
  7. Import export education: With the development of massive online platforms for education delivery and assessment it makes sense for the different players to collaborate and export their education products. Likewise, it makes sense for countries and industries to look at what is available internationally rather than reinvent the wheel when it comes to nationally delivered training. This will lead to import education as well as the current trend around export education.

Agree? Disagree? What do you think?