Lighting the flames of yearning and learning: a whole whānau approach

Ako (the professional journal for 50,000 educators who are members of NZEI Te Riu Roa) published an article on 28 Jan 2019 titled 'Let the uniqueness of the child guide us in our mahi', available here. Excerpts from the article follow:

Lighting the flames of yearning and learning: a whole whānau approach

The most effective interventions for improving the engagement of tamariki with learning are those which build the ability of parents and other family members to support their child's learning, as well as building teacher understanding of the resources within the local community, according to the Ministry of Education's Best Evidence Synthesis data.

In the Horowhenua, a local iwi authority was able to take the lead, engage kaumatua and whānau, integrate cultural knowledge, and build positive relationships between whānau with the school, resulting in strong outcomes.

The Ministry of Education’s strategy Ka Hikitia promotes “Māori success as Māori”, and this was the focus of the programme led by Muaūpoko Tribal Authority with tamariki at Levin East Primary School, which began and ended at Kawiu Marae.

At its heart was Muaūpoko-tanga (traditional cultural knowledge of Muaūpoko), but it also included Reading Together®, which supports parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents to read to and with their tamariki or mokopuna.

Muaūpoko Tribal Authority Chief Executive Di Rump worked in partnership with whānau, school board and management staff, the Ministry of Education and the JR McKenzie Trust to develop the programme. “Reading Together® fitted within a bigger ‘Tungia te Koingo’, named by one of our parents. ...

The programme started after the Muaūpoko Tribal Authority approached the Ministry about accelerating achievement for Māori in Taitoko/Levin. Levin East School was also keen to have more input from iwi and whānau at the school, which has a high percentage of Māori children, many of them Muaūpoko. The involvement of Muaūpoko Tribal Authority board member Marokopa Wiremu-Matakatea, who has mokopuna at the school, was crucial because of his leadership and cultural knowledge.

While Reading Together® focuses on literacy (reading, writing and numeracy), the iwi decided to support this within a framework of their own tikanga and mātauranga. Because Reading Together® is patented and carefully managed, consent had to be sought and gained to modify it. ...

The confidence of the children has improved enormously, as their sense of belonging within their iwi as well as in their school has been strengthened, she says. “These guys have really stepped up, and learning has been on an upward trajectory ever since.”

Further Information: Tūngia te Koingo and Reading Together® in Taitoko

Posted: Tuesday 5 February 2019