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.

 

AFTER: Guidance for Supervisor or Verifier Comments


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Read this if

  • You are acting as supervisor or verifier for someone who is completing their NZCALNE (Voc) qualification.
  • You need to sign off on the final piece of work that one of your tutors is about to hand it before completing the NZCALNE (Voc).

Download the guidance for supervisors or verifiers

This is all contained in one PDF you can download here below. The download shows a copy of the actual template as well.

What does the supervisor or verifier need to do?

If you are the supervisor or verifier for someone completing the NZCALNE (Voc), you need to discuss the review questions with the candidate and record your comments. You can use the template on the following page or adapt to your own purposes as you need.

Collaboration between the candidate and you to review teaching delivery is one of the requirements of the NZCALNE (Voc). It’s also good teaching practice. We can’t sign off on the whole qualification unless we have some evidence of this.

For our purposes, a supervisor may include any of the following:

  • The tutor’s direct manager or programme leader.
  • A colleague that is acting as study support person.
  • Someone in management that has already acted as a supervisor or verifier for another part of this training and qualification.

What’s covered?

To sign off the final assessment task, we need evidence that tutor and supervisor have reviewed the teaching and facilitation in several areas. The best way to think of these is in regards to three reflective questions:

  • What are their strengths?
  • What are some potential improvements for future delivery?
  • How does any of this inform planning for the candidate’s professional development?

This review should be a friendly collaboration and two-way conversation. It could include teaching observation evidence, but it doesn’t have to. It’s not a performance review for internal promotional or salary review.

What do I have to do?

As their supervisor, we expect that you are already aware that the candidate is completing this qualification. You may have already verified your portfolio evidence for other parts of the course.

It’s the candidate’s job to:

  • Make the arrangements to meet with you.
  • Provide any evidence or assessment material you may wish to see in relation to this final assessment task or any part of the programme.
  • Provide you with an electronic copy of the Supervisor or Verifier Comments and Checklist template.
  • Negotiate how and when this template is completed by you.
  • Return the completed template to us as part of their supporting evidence for this final assessment task.

As supervisor or verifier, it’s your job to provide us with:

  • Your contact details including email and phone.
  • Details of when this review took place
  • Brief summary comments relating to the three reflective questions. As a guide, you might write one or two concise paragraphs totalling about 100 words for each of these. We won’t be counting words. Quality here is more important that quantity so feel free to keep it brief.
  • Your signature and date of signing at the end.

Download the guidance here for supervisors and verifiers including notes showing where and what to write for your candidate:

 

How do I enrol in TEACH BETTER NOW…? How do I enrol in the NZCALNE (Voc)…?


If you are teaching foundation education at any level, you need to be qualified and on a continuing professional development journey.

You need to start this journey through the Teach Better Now programme available on Pathways Awarua.

At the heart of this is the new New Zealand Certificate in Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education (Vocational/Workplace) – the NZCALNE (Voc).

There is a cost for assessment and gaining the credential. But it’s free to register on the website and you’ll have access to all of the course content.

Here’s what you need to do to kickstart your foundation learning professional development journey for this year:

 

  1. Register on Pathways Awarua if you haven’t already.
  2. Join our virtual classroom.
  3. Enrol in the qualification.
  4. Get started on the coursework and first assessment.

FIRST: Register on Pathways Awarua

1. You need to register on http://www.pathwaysawarua.com as a tertiary educator. If you are already registered, then go to step 5 below and join our virtual classroom.

2. Enter your details in the form including a username and password.

3. If you start typing the name of your organisation or employer it should appear in the box. Then add a name for your class, accept the terms and conditions and click Register. If you are an independent contractor please use the code 8888.

4. Once registered you should see a screen like this below. Ignore the code on the right. This is for you to use with your own learners later. Right now you just need to click the link on the left for the new NZCALNE (Voc).

SECOND: Move yourself into our virtual classroom

5. Now you should see the main NZCALNE screen below. Next, you need to join our virtual class. Click the head icon to go to your account settings. If you’ve already done this you can go to step 8 and enrol.

6. Enter the join code 1622DD to join our virtual class. Then tick the box to move to this class.

7. Save your settings and return to the main NZCALNE pathway.

Third: Enrol in the NZCALNE (Voc)

8. Now you can enrol in the programme. Make sure that the enrolment module is selected. Then click start. If you’ve already enrolled and you’ve also moved into our virtual classroom, you can go to the last step.

9. Read through the enrolment information.

10. Fill in the enrolment form with as many details as you can. Then save and move to the next screen.

11. If you can’t fill in everything, you’ll see a screen like this below. But you’ll still be able to move forward. Just click the arrow on the right. Or click Retry to add more info.

12. From here, you need to show that you understand some of the conditions of enrolment. And you need to let us know if you have access to learners of your own and whether you’ve done other study at level 4 or above.

13. Nearly done… Add your employer and supervisor’s details.

14. Complete the self-assessment. There are two pages.

15. If you are an experienced TESOL teacher please add details here. Likewise, if you are a very experienced trades or vocational trainer with existing evidence and you want us to consider this please add details here.

16. Add your timeframe

17. Review the summary of your enrolment and save

18. Drag the box ALEC1 Admin to submit for comment

19. You’re done…! Click the link for the new NZCALNE (Voc) to return to the main course pathway.

FOURTH: Get started on the course

20. Get started…!

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

Under the hood: Taking notes on the five frameworks


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As with the definitions, it’s a good idea to pause here and think about what we’ve covered so far. You need to know about each of these frameworks and how they apply to you as a teacher or trainer:

  • Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy
  • Learning Progressions for Adult Numeracy
  • Te Whare Tapa Whā
  • Fonofale Pasifika
  • ESOL Starting Points

Let’s make some notes. You might want to skip back and check on any details. But we also want you to think about your own situation and how you would answer these questions in your own words

For each framework you should be able to say what you think for each of these questions:

  • What’s the framework for?
  • What actually is it? What’s it about?
  • How’s it relevant to your own teaching or training situation?
  • What are the implications for you? Is there something you need to do?

Time to do some work

Let’s pause for a few moments. Here’s your task:

  • Download the worksheet, or use the chart below to make notes on the five frameworks we’ve talked about.
  • Make sure you’ve got some notes on what each one is for, what it’s about, as well as the relevance to your learners, and any implications for your teaching.

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

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Under the hood: ESOL Starting Points


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The Starting Points framework allows tutors to focus on learning that happens at or before koru/step 1 on the Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy. This is often in an ESOL context.

Where does it come from?

The ESOL Starting Points were created by The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). This was in response for a guide for working with learners who are pre-literate or very low level literacy learners.

What’s it for?

If we work with ESOL learners, the Starting Points allows us to focus on seven important areas that:

provide support for working out how to read and write words (decoding written words, forming letters, and writing or encoding words) to enable learners to access and work within the first steps of the learning progressions.

They represent critical skills and knowledge that are essential for supporting adult literacy development.

Without these skills and knowledge, it is unlikely a learner could advance significantly through the progressions for reading and writing (Starting Points, p. 3).

What is it?

It’s not represented by grid with strands and steps like the Learning Progressions. This is because the skills and knowledge are closely related and cross over.

Here are the seven knowledge areas:

  • Listening vocabulary. This includes the words a person recognises when they hear them in spoken language.
  • Phonological awareness. This refers to a learner’s ability to hear, recognise, and use the sounds that make up spoken words.
  • Sound-letter relationships. This is ability to make connections between sounds and the letters that represent them.
  • Print and word concepts. This refers to the rules that govern the use of the written language.
  • Letter formation. This relates to how well someone can form letters so they can write down words.
  • Environmental print. This refers to the words and images found out and about. This can include billboards, advertising, signs and labels.
  • High-interest words. These are words that are personally important that learners might recognise on sight. An example would be someone’s own name or a brand like McDonalds.

How is it relevant?

The ESOL Starting Points will not be relevant for everyone. For example, if you are teaching a trades or vocational training programme it’s unlikely that you will need to use the Starting Points.

However, if you are teaching a workplace literacy programme that involves new migrants, refugees, or other pre-literate learners then the Starting Points could be very relevant and useful.

What does it mean for me?

If you do have low-level ESOL learners, you will probably need to use the Starting Points reading assessment. This is part of the LNAAT.

If you’re unsure about this it could be a good idea to talk to the person in your organisation that administers the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool (LNAAT).

This assessment generates a report similar to the one’s we looked at earlier for the Literacy Progressions. For some courses, such as workplace literacy, doing this assessment will be a condition of your funding.

Under the hood: Fonofale Pasifika


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The Fonofale is a holistic, Pasifika model of health and wellbeing. As with Durie’s Te Whare Tapa Whā it comes from the healthcare sector.

Where does it come from?

The Fonofale Pasifika model was created by Fuimaono Karl Pulotu-Endemann (2009). Pulotu-Endemann is a Samoan-born, New Zealand-based academic and nursing professional.

What’s it for?

As with Te Whare Tapa Whā it’s designed to help you think about health, education or other aspects of life in a more holistic way.

What is it?

It’s a visual representation of Pasifika values and beliefs. We use the Samoan fale or house to describe the important factors of healthy development.

Here are the parts:

  • The foundation. This is the extended family – the foundation for all Pacific Island cultures.
  • The roof. The stands for the cultural values and beliefs that are the family’s shelter for life. This can include traditional as well as western ways of doing things.
  • The Pou (posts). These connect the family to the culture. They also depend on each other. They are
    • Spiritual. This relates to the sense of wellbeing that comes from Christianity or traditional spirituality or a combination of both.
    • Physical. This relates to the wellbeing and physical health of the body.
    • Mental. This relates to the mind including thinking and emotional wellbeing as well as behaviours.
    • Other. This includes other things like gender, sexual orientation, age, social class, employment, and educational status.

The fale is surrounded by a protective layer. This includes:

  • Environment. This relates to the relationships that Pasifika people have to their physical environment. This can be rural or urban.
  • Context. This dimension relates to the “big picture’ for Pasifika including socio-economic or political situations.
  • Time. This relates to the actual or specific time in history that impacts on Pasifika people.

How is it relevant?

It’s relevant because you can use your knowledge of the Fonofale to enhance your teaching. As with Te Whare Tapa Whā, this knowledge is not limited to just working with the people groups it represents.

This approach is also relevant because it will help create a learning environment that is culturally safe for Pasifika learners.

What does it mean for me?

If you identify as Pasifika, the Fonofale is a framework that allows you to talk about how you probably already work with your learners. If you are not Pasifika, the framework allows you to see your learners, particularly your Pacific Island learners in a different way, perhaps closer to how they see themselves.

Here are some questions from the learner’s point of view to help you focus on each part of the Fonofale model:

  • Do I have support from my family to do this course? (Family).
  • Does this course connect with my Pacific cultural values and beliefs? (Culture).
  • Do I have the resources to do this course? (Physical).
  • Do I believe that I can do this course? (Spiritual).
  • Can I cope with the workload? (Mental).
  • Is there anything that’s going to get in the way of my goals here? (Others).
  • Are my surroundings, including home and work, going to help me achieve? (Environment).
  • Can I afford to do this at the moment? (Context and time).

It may not always be possible to always attend to all dimensions of the Fonofale for all of your Pasifika learners. But one big implication is that if you have learners who are struggling, or who are not engaged, then the Fonofale may help you work out where the problem is and how to deal with it.

But one big implication is that if you have learners who are struggling, or who are not engaged, then the Fonofale may help you work out where the problem is and how to deal with it.