A welter of reports over decades has highlighted the failure of our education system to lift achievement levels among Māori children. Te Kotahitanga, a research and professional development programme, offers a practical approach to changing disparities which once seemed impossible. The programme identifies the barriers to educational achievement of Māori and proposes classroom solutions.
- Where power is shared: where learners can initiate interactions; learners’ right to self-determination over learning styles and sense making processes are regarded as fundamental to power-sharing relationships, and collaborative critical reflection is part of an ongoing critique of power relationships.
- Where culture counts: where classrooms are places where learners can bring “who they are” to the learning interactions in complete safety, and their knowledge is ‘acceptable’ and ‘legitimate’.
- Where learning is interactive and dialogic: learners are able to be co-inquirers, that is raisers of questions and evaluators of questions and answers; learning is active, problem-based, integrated and holistic; learning positionings are reciprocal (ako) and knowledge is co-created; classrooms are places where young people’s sense-making processes and knowledge is validated and developed in collaboration with others.
- Where connectedness is fundamental to relations: teachers are committed to and inextricably connected to their students and the community; school and home/parental aspirations are complementary.
- Where there is a common vision; an agenda for excellence for Māori in education.