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English-medium schools engaging whānau: Building relationships, creating spaces

Linda Bonne and Alex Hotere-Barnes

English-medium schools’ inclusion of whānau Māori aspirations for their children has been identified as a critical factor in the wellbeing of Māori students. What can teachers and school leaders in English-medium schools do to include whānau aspirations and strengthen whānau engagement in Māori students’ learning and wellbeing? A group of professional learning and development project leaders and regional facilitators reported strategies they had supported schools to use with this goal in mind. Most approaches had positive effects on strengthening school–whānau partnerships, with unforeseen challenges emerging in one case. Some of the reported approaches and their effects are incorporated into five fictionalised narratives that teachers and school leaders can reflect on when they review their practices for engaging whānau.

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