DEMANDS: NZCALNE (Voc) Collection 3 is live on Pathways Awarua

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We’d love it if you stopped by and had a read through the new content for Collection 3 of the new NZCALNE on PathwaysAwarua.

You’ll find a plain-English introduction to the Learning Progressions. This includes a demonstration of how to map the big picture literacy and numeracy demands of your programme, as well as specific samples of your teaching materials.

You’ll need to register as a new tertiary educator, or just log in if you already have an account. Look for the NZCALNE (Voc) pathway.

APPROACHES: NZCALNE (Voc) Collection 2 is live on Pathways Awarua

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You need to check out the new content for Collection 2 of the new NZCALNE on PathwaysAwarua. We cover approaches and concepts use in adult teaching and learning.

All the great content from Te Ao Maori is still there – just updated. And we’ve widened it to include things like motivation and learner agency.

You’ll need to register as a new tertiary educator, or just log in if you already have an account. Look for the NZCALNE (Voc) pathway.

CONTEXT: NZCALNE (Voc) Collection 1 is live on Pathways Awarua

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Please check out the new content for Collection 1 of the new NZCALNE on PathwaysAwarua. We cover definitions, frameworks, and factors associated with low literacy and numeracy levels.

You’ll need to register as a new tertiary educator, or just log in if you already have an account. Look for the NZCALNE (Voc) pathway.

What’s the problem? The impact of colonisation

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?


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.

10 Reasons You Should Move to New Zealand, Not Canada


Dear Smart People of America…

We’re much smaller than Canada, but we’re also far away from America. Some things to think about:

  1. We have the internet here too. This means that you can run your tech startup from the other side of the world.
  2. We would welcome your entrepreneurial thinking, your technology,  and investments in our small, but growing economy, and burgeoning start-up environment.
  3. We’re not perfect, but we’re a great, small, safe, liberal, tolerant country to raise your kids.
  4. We don’t have poisonous snakes, bugs, or really anything dangerous growing or lurking in the beautiful native bush.
  5. We make excellent wine, brew fantastic coffee, and grow grass fed beef and excellent quality fruit and vegetables.
  6. If you’ve seen the Lord of the Rings, you already know what the scenery looks like… You can hike up a glacier in the morning, surf in the afternoon. We are a country of sportspeople and we love the great outdoors.
  7. We don’t have nuclear weapons.
  8. We don’t have handguns or assault rifles.
  9. We don’t have any enemies either.
  10. Did I mention we’re about as far away from America as you can get?

Red Peak: How To Compare The Different Flag Choices

Redpeak montage

So my bro Simon allegedly started the Red Peak social media campaign. I already linked to his first post about this here.

And after flying Red Peak at half mast for a few days (after we thought all was lost), it was great to see that those in power changed their minds.

Now it looks certain that Red Peak will be one of the options in the flag referendum. This is good news. And means that we can now choose between some actual choices instead of the variations on the silver fern.

And just a note on this: You can like Red Peak, AND still love the Silver Fern (just not want it on a national flag).

What I wanted to see, and what Simon has now put together, is a visual comparison between the different flag choices. With some notes on good design.

  • Please: You can read it in full here. It will take you under 4 minutes and you’ll get an easy-to-read tutorial in good design (not just good flag design).

Simon’ lists 5 questions to ask yourself when you’re looking at the flag choices (or arguing with your old stubborn relatives).

Each of these he backs up with illustrations and a visual comparison between the five options. They’re all laid out side by side. Anyway, here are the questions:

  1. Does it look like a flag?
  2. Does it play nicely with others?
  3. Does it work at scale?
  4. Does it use pure design?
  5. Does it create stories?

If this all still sounds a bit abstract, then don’t just read this. Click through and have a look at the various choices side by side. And consider the design questions as you do.

And if that’s not enough to convince you (or the relatives) then check out this Ted Talk on what makes a good (and bad) flag. It’s totally unrelated to Red Peak, but it does give some great (and similar) advice. Hint: Apparently, Americans have a lot of really crappy regional flags…

Or just hit play below