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Leading to the North-East: Ensuring the fidelity of relationship-based learning

In his 2019 bookTeaching to the North-East: Relationship-based learning in practice  Russell Bishop identified how Māori and other marginalised students—such as the children of migrant, refugee, and faith-based groups and neuro- and gender-diverse children—can benefit from a North-East relationship-based pedagogy.

Now in Leading to the North-East, he demonstrates how North-East leaders ensure teachers are able to implement and sustain the North-East relationship-based pedagogy with fidelity by- :

  • - setting goals for equity, excellence, and cultural sustainability 
  • - implementing a pedagogic approach that ensures these goals are realised
  • - implementing in-school support systems that ensures the pedagogy is implemented with fidelity over time—these systems include infrastructure, leadership, inclusion, and evidence
  • - taking ownership of the approach by planning, resourcing, and reviewing teaching and school-wide leadership practices to ensure support systems work as intended, over time.  

The book includes three case studies that demonstrate how this process of reform was able to successfully raise Māori student achievements to match that of their non-Māori peers, enable Māori students to do so “as Māori”, and benefit other marginalised students.

Non-New Zealand customers: This title is also available from

"The problem of Māori underachievement is endemic because we allow it, falsely label it, blame the culture and students, and believe it is intractable.  Russell Bishop shows that we already know how to truly improve the learning lives of Māori (and thence all other students), such that their culture is not left at the gate.  His anger, insights, and hope imbue this book, from the 3 case schools, the model of learning and instruction, and his lifetime evidence of the major impacts of his program.  He shows that it only takes 2 years for every school in NZ to truly make a difference IF we want to and commit to Bishop’s fundamental premises and ideas.  It can be done, it has been done, it should be done."

Emeritus Professor John Hattie, University of Melbourne