Te Puke High School
Te Puke High School: At Te Puke High School all initiatives have been aligned under the Te Kotahitanga umbrella. Senior staff discuss using the GPILSEO framework as a vehicle to spread and sustain Te Kotahitanga throughout all aspects of the school.
Comments are provided by the Principal and a Te Kotahitanga Facilitator regarding the way in which GPILSEO and the sharing and analysis of data is used to inform planning. These include comments about:
- full staff involvement in Te Kotahitanga
- the working relationship between the facilitation team and the senior leadership team
- expectations around the use of data/evidence to inform planning at all levels within the school
- the use of GPILSEO as a framework for reflection on practice
- middle managers as pedagogical leaders
- the alignment of all initiatives under the umbrella of Te Kotahitanga.
"We're talking about getting a spread across the school...we actually make it quite overt...in terms of the GPILSEO model and making sure that's what we're using to review our practice." (Principal)
"...and that's a real focus. To get teachers to bring as much evidence as they can, and I mean hard evidence, not just talk about it..." (Facilitator)
"Middle managers are critical because they're in a position to affect most change." (Principal)
Things to think about:
Question Focus - Those new to Te Kotahitanga:
- All teachers were participating in the Te Kotahitanga professional development within two years of its introduction at Te Puke High School. What benefits does the Principal suggest this has? What benefits do you see?
- The Lead Facilitator refers to 'hard evidence' that might include evidence from attendance records, pre and post unit tests, asTTle data, student surveys or pieces of student work. Anecdotal evidence on the other hand might include evidence such as teacher talking about the success of a particular strategy they have used. The use of 'hard evidence' allows teachers to gain an objective picture of student outcomes free from their own bias, assumptions and beliefs that can sometimes colour descriptions of the teaching and learning within their classrooms. What benefits do you see in using 'hard evidence' over anecdotal evidence to inform practice?
- GPILSEO (G - goal; P - pedagogy; I - institutions; L - leadership; S - spread; E - evidence; O - ownership) is an acronym to describe the key elements of a 'reform initiative' (Bishop, O'Sullivan & Berryman. 2010). It is the framework that schools use to support the development and sustainability of Te Kotahitanga. What opportunities do you see in using a research-based framework, such as this, to plan and review systems and structures within a school?
Question Focus - Participants in the Te Kotahitanga Professional Development Programme:
- In what ways are students' voices integrated into your planning in the classroom and at a departmental level?
- How might the alignment of all initiatives within a Te Kotahitanga school influence change at a classroom level? At a departmental level? Within the pastoral care systems?
- In what ways might a Te Kotahitanga focus on evidence influence the way in which you plan and set goals at a classroom level, within departments, and across the school?
Question Focus - In-school Facilitators and Senior Leadership Team Members:
- What links do you see between this DVD and the elements of GPILSEO?
- What do you understand by the term 'pedagogical leader'? What might the process of repositioning middle managers as pedagogical leaders within your school look like?
- What do you see as the value of developing a working relationship between the facilitation team and senior leaders? In what ways does this fit into the GPILSEO framework?
- From your perspective, what does this DVD highlight about Culturally Responsive Pedagogy of Relations at a leadership level within a school?
Bishop, R., O'Sullivan, D., & Berryman, M. (2010). Scaling Up Education Reform: Addressing the Politics of Disparity. Wellington, New Zealand: NZCER Press
Alan Liddle (Principal): “Te Kotahitanga started in 2007 and, ah, I came in as a new principal in 2007 so that was an exciting thing to come in for. Um, in the first year we had our first thirty in the, in the first cohort, and in the second year we had all staff involved. So I think we were in a really good position by 2008 to have had all staff involved in Te Kotahitanga and we’ve used that as our umbrella for our professional learning since then.”
Heather Bradley (Te Kotahitanga Facilitator): “We want to make it more sustainable so that it’s not just the facilitation team that’s going in and observing the teachers and supporting them. We’d like it to be embedded in all the professional learning groups.”
Teacher: “Student voice, student voice in the maths department, Steve is using students working at the whiteboard and he’s taking a little video clip of them and putting it onto staff resource and it’s linked in with, we’ve got a hyper link into the unit that we’re specifically doing so it it could be intergers, say, and then we’ve got a three or four second, um, little clip of the kids actually physically teaching, it’s really, really valuable.”
Alan: “I suppose it’s been through our discussions with other schools, making that connection between the Te Kotahitanga facilitation team and the senior leadership team, and really then having a look at how we can, ah, make sure that the Te Kotahitanga is part of all of our practice.
“We’re talking about getting it spread across the school. At these meetings we actually make it quite overt in terms of what we’re looking at, in terms of the GPILSEO model and making sure that that’s what we’re using to review our practices, looking at that evidence, what do we need to do to improve that continual improvement of what we’re doing.”
Heather: “And that’s the focus now for to get teachers to being as much evidence as they can, and I mean hard evidence, not just talk about it, we accepted a bit of that before but that’s not enough now, we need hard evidence, hard data. So that they can see themselves what they’re doing, so that they can show it to others and they can use that data to then move forward, so that’s a real focus.”
Alan: “So our meetings with the Te Kotahitanga team will actually focus in around that, what she’s saying about our Māori students in terms of their learning and achievement. Each senior leader develops their own objectives and then they set their targets to meet for that objective. And then they report against that to the Board of Trustees on a monthly basis.”
Teacher: “But it’s not only that I mean it’s like you coming into my class, you know we’ve done that for a long time but it always brings me back to that reflective practice.”
Alan: “Middle managers are critical because they’re in a position to effect most change and so by providing I think a greater emphasis on professional learning and that they actually are pedagogical leaders so there’s a shift in terms of their position, away from what traditionally would have been a management type position. I think also with the professional learning that we’ve put into place that teachers can see that all of the initiatives are actually aligned under the Te Kotahitanga umbrella.”
Heather: “That’s allowed them to be able to share with others and have that acknowledged. Previously I don’t know how we acknowledged good teachers. You identify a teacher as doing something really well and other teachers will go and say to them at the co-con meeting, can I come and watch that or can I look at that evidence?”
Alan: “I think one of the important changes that’s taken place, um, with Te Kotahitanga within the school is that breaking down of the barriers between classrooms. And I think the teachers are becoming a lot more comfortable about people moving in and out of their, their spaces that they’re teaching in. And so that they’re sharing their ideas a lot more, I think they’re open to new ideas and I think that’s really a healthy environment to be in.”