Date
14 April 2021

Adopt collaborative approaches that have the most positive impact

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Collaboratively planning a universally designed learning environment’

Understand what makes a difference

Understand what makes a difference

The most effective approaches that positively influence student wellbeing and learning:

  • promote reciprocal, learning-centred relationships with teachers and the school
  • recognise, respect, and value the diverse identities, languages, and cultures of the school community 
  • draw on community knowledge
  • make connections to students’ lives outside the school 
  • facilitate joint interventions.

Source: School evaluation indicators: Effective practice for improvement and learner success (opens in a new tab/window)

Build bridges and remove barriers

Build bridges and remove barriers

I think looking ahead to the future, this is the way to do learning. To combine school and whānau. If you remove the barriers and make it accessible in an environment that is safe like a marae, then it sets a platform for things.”

Find out more about Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi.

Invest in joint learning with whānau

Invest in joint learning with whānau

Joint interventions have the greatest impact of all approaches.

They help parents or other community members support student learning and wellbeing.

They also engage teachers in professional learning and development.

For example:

  • Reading Together® programme
  • Tilting the Seesaw for Teams
  • Co-development of te reo Māori audio recordings of books, made by elders, to support children’s language learning and reading 
  • Training parents and teachers to work together to identify how to best support children’s learning 
  • Ākonga regularly reading their books alongside kuia and kaumatua at ELS/school
  • Kaumātua or manawhenua sharing stories with ākonga and kaiako about significant landmarks and historical events in their local region

Learning from students and parents

Learning from students and parents

Mapping, drawing, and talking together builds understanding.

Explore case studies to find out more.

Indicators of mahi tahi

Indicators of mahi tahi

Mahi tahi or mahi ngātahi (collaboration) means working as one, with collective responsibility, commitment, and a shared focus.

Review the following statements for your own context.

Mahi tahi (working as one) is alive in a learning community when:

  • the local curriculum is co-constructed with ākonga, whānau, and mana whenua to create a responsive, localised curriculum linked to te ao Māori
  • learning is made visible in ways that work for both ākonga and whānau, for example, through learning stories or blogs and eportfolios
  • ākonga and whānau are included in decision making, goal setting, and problem solving
  • ākonga and whānau expertise is valued and community members are viewed as teachers and learners
  • creative, flexible, and responsive ways to keep whānau connected (mobile technologies and community networks)
  • kaiako work to understand learning and behaviour from a kaupapa Māori perspective
  • kaiako are open to feedback from whānau and the wider Māori community
  • kaiako actively engage with mana whenua and take responsibility for embedding their knowledge and narratives within curriculum and practice.

Source: He māpuna te tamaiti: Supporting social and emotional competence in early learning (opens in a new tab/window)

Reflection questions

Reflection questions

Consider these questions.

  • To what extent are whānau included in decisions about their children’s learning and wellbeing?
  • How well-informed are parents about their child’s learning and wellbeing, local curriculum, teaching programmes, assessment processes, and pastoral care practices?
  • What opportunities are there for whānau and ākonga to take a lead role?
  • How do whānau want to be communicated with?
  • What kind of information do whānau find most useful to receive or to share?
  • How is your school community changing? How do you know and what is the impact?
  • What does this mean for how your school communicates with all parents and whānau, not just those who come through the school gate?

Source: Adapted from He māpuna te tamaiti (p.10, p.12) (opens in a new tab/window)

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Collaboratively planning a universally designed learning environment”:

Return to the guide “Collaborative planning for learning”

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