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Student interviews

From the student interviews we learned that when Māori students have good relationships with their teachers, they are able to thrive at school. Good relationships are based on teachers embracing all aspects of the ETP, including caring for Māori students as culturally-located individuals, caring for their performance and using a wide range of classroom interactions, strategies and outcome indicators to inform practice. These developing relationships and interactions were captured by the use of the observation tool. The teachers’ interviews indicated effective Te Kotahitanga teachers have undergone a philosophical shift in the way they think about teaching and learning. Anti-deficit thinking, agentic positioning, and the six demonstrable elements of the ETP are the essential threads in this new approach to teaching, here termed a Culturally Responsive Pedagogy of Relations. It is an approach that rests in the first instance upon a commitment by teachers to build caring and learning relationships and interactions with Māori students; in the second, for teachers to strongly believe Māori students can improve their achievement; and thirdly, their students are able to take responsibility for their learning and performance.

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