Know and understand the learner's culture

Working in a school that is made up of mainly Pasifika (62%) & Māori  students (33%) means getting to know and understand the Pasifika & Māori cultures that the students have come from and are enveloped in. New teachers to the school, especially non certificated teachers, sometimes have difficulties in getting the students engaged and motivated.

This video "Strengthening Relationships" with teachers from Aorere College, McAuley High School, Mangere Bridge School, Sylvia Park School, Mary MacKillop School and Wymondley Road Primary School gives helpful advice and strategies on accelerating the learning of Pasifika students.

"Where teachers and Pasifika students develop strong relationships with each other , they each gain a more holistic view of the other person as an individual. Teachers who integrate cultural values and socio-cultural norms explicitly into their pedagogy increase levels of trust, acceptance, sharing and mutual support between students."

The same is true for Māori students where culture and relationships are also key.
Secondary schools who maintained high levels of engagement with Māori students

  • integrated te reo me nga¯ tikanga across the curriculum
  •  • used culturally appropriate contexts in teaching 
  • • increased teachers’ knowledge of te reo me nga¯ tikanga
  • • focused on building positive teacher-student relationships
  • • gave prominence to positive role models
The Te Kotahitanga project also accelerated Māori student success through he use of culturally responsive pedagogies where learners are able to connect new learning to their own prior knowledge and cultural experiences. This project had as its basis the voices of Māori students and what worked for them.


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