Rangimarie Mahuika, Mere Berryman and Russell Bishop
Assessment, much like learning, is interactive, social and contextual. New information and experience is understood and assimilated in relation to prior knowledge and experiences. While it is increasingly accepted that Māori learners have their own ways of understanding the world which are different from those of their non-Māori peers, teachers need to be careful not to promote a homogeneous approach to Māori learners. This article advocates the use of culturally responsive pedagogies that include assessment practices to meet the specific needs of the students.
Kaupapa Māori principles have the power to transform the educational experience of Māori students in mainstream classrooms. For example, tino rangatiratanga requires both children and parents to be involved in school decision-making. Taonga tuku iho requires schools and teachers to create contexts where to be Māori is to be normal and where Māori cultural identities are valued, valid and legitimate – that is, where Māori children can be themselves.
Te Kotahitanga is a project that seeks to improve the educational achievement of Māori students in mainstream schools. Through interviews with Māori students, their teachers and whānau, the authors learnt about the characteristics of teachers that made a difference. They have drawn these together into the Effective Teaching Profile.
What is school reform? What makes it sustainable? Who needs to be involved? How is scaling up achieved? This book is about the need for educational reforms that have built into them, from the outset, those elements that will see them sustained in the original sites and spread to others.
Using the Te Kotahitanga Project as a model the authors branch out from the project itself to seek to uncover how an educational reform can become both extendable and sustainable.