In my daughter’s eyes- be the antithesis….

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sustain
səˈsteɪn/
verb
gerund or present participle: sustaining
1.
strengthen or support physically or mentally.
“this thought had sustained him throughout the years”
strengthen or support physically or mentally.
“this thought had sustained him throughout the years”
synonyms:  comforthelpassistencouragesuccoursupport, give strength to, be a source of strength to, be a tower of strength to, buoy up, carry, cheer up, hearten, see someone through.

I actually don’t know where to start here. I have been challenged, inspired, provoked and basically rarked up. To help and try synthesise and make sense of my thinking, I have decided to talk through the lens of my daughter’s eyes. Why my daughter? Well, I think a narrative through her eyes, will show you a part of what has stirred me up. Before looking through her lens, it is pertinent to consider what has provoked me.

Who has stirred me up? You may well ask… Dr Ann Milne and her Warrior Scholars from Kia Aroha College;

  • Jacob Harris-Kaaka | Year 12 | Te Aupouri | Ngāti Kuri
  • Timitimi Ropata | Year 12 | Ngāti Toa Rangatira | Ngai Tai

I was lucky enough to be a part of  our TOD for our for our Kāhui Ako. Ironically, part of their inspiring presentation was to critique the whole premise of Kāhui Ako. You can find a way into their awesome blog posts and research on Beyond Māori boys’ writing: Reading and writing our WORLD

“Kia Aroha College’s goal is to “Develop Warrior-Scholars.” Our designated-character sets out how we are different from regular state schools. Our Graduate Profiles make clear what success “as” Māori, Samoan and Tongan learners looks like at Kia Aroha College. Tino Rangatiratanga / Self-Determination is our rationale for ‘Why we do what we do’ at Kia Aroha College. Self-determination is about what Matua Graham Smith describes as the ongoing cycle of conscientising, resisting and transforming.” Beyond Māori boys’ writing: Reading and writing our WORLD [part 3].

There were so many aspects of the talk that sparked me, for many different reasons. My sense of social justice and moral purpose is why I do what I do. I want to make a difference and I will fight for unjust situations. I consider myself to be a proponent of critical pedagogy and if you read my past posts you will already know this. Some of the the thinking and influence that I have had within this lens are as follows.

When considering guiding questions within the field of education there is a deceptively simple one: What knowledge is of most valued? Historically, an extensive tradition has grown around a restatement of that question. Rather than “What knowledge is most valued?” the question has been reframed. It has become “Whose knowledge is most valued? (APPLE, 2004, 2000, 1996). In addition to whose knowledge is valued? I also recognise Praxis: Reflection and action. To no longer be prey to its force, one must emerge from it and turn upon it. This can be done only by means of the praxis: reflection and action upon the world in order to transform it (Freire, 1972 p.36). Considering the fore-mentioned “Praxis” should be a part of how we as educators “are” and “must be”. Alongside praxis is a need to ensure conscientization occurs. “Critical and liberating dialogue, which presupposes action, must be carried out with the oppressed at whatever the stage of their struggle for liberation” (Freire, 1972 p.52). • Conscientizaçào is most commonly translated as conscientization. The term encompasses Freire’s ideas and means in general terms ‘learning to perceive social, political, and economic contradictions, and take action against the oppressive elements of reality.’ (Freire, 1970 p. 17) This stood out to me when I was watching the video of Kia Aroha College and seeing the Kaiako in action. He was up fronting the power relations in society, he was allowing for that understanding of this to inform and empower his ākonga. Critical pedagogy is fundamentally committed to the development and evolvement of a culture of schooling that supports the empowerment of culturally marginalized and economically disenfranchised students. By doing so, this pedagogical perspective seeks to transform those classroom structures and practices that perpetuate undemocratic life (Baltodano, Darder & Torres, 2003, p.11). The ākonga at Kia Aroha College were experiencing that pedagogy in Praxis. Creating an environment for counter hegemony (Gramsci, 1976) to occur. Gramsci built on the ideas of Marx (1844), shifting from thesis and antithesis as opposing forces to form a dialectical relationship, to hegemony, counter-hegemony to create a new hegemony.

We must all do this, we must all be the antithesis to the “societal norms and culture” that are valued in society today. We must create an environment that disrupts this, challenges the status quo and empowers our students to create change. Kia Aroha College is living and breathing this. So are the Wharekura, living and breathing this for Māori achieving success as Māori.

The  slipped into an unconference and my uneasiness of the day ensured that I went straight to the pop up workshop on where to from here, after the powerful talk, what can we do? What change can we be? Or how can we ensure we ensure our ākonga can be. What do I mean by uneasiness? To tell you the truth. I am so proud of our Kura and what we attempt to do with shifting education. However, I was left with a sense of uneasiness in the morning. I will be open and honest here, I was uneasy that our Kapa Haka Rōpū was not here to welcome the manuhuri to our Kura by Pōwhiri, I was uneasy Maurie was not here to Kōrero Māori. Maurie was in Wellington working with NZQA and the MOE. Was there no other Tumuaki/Principals in our Kahui Ako that could Korero Māori? There was a Kōrero back after Anne spoke, but my heart said this should have been in Reo. We sing the school Waiata every morning and usually follow this tikanga and kauapapa. Why did we not do this that day? I realise there was multiple schools there within the Kahui Ako, but in a talk on “colouring in white spaces”, I was seeing the blank pages of a colouring book. We must live and breathe this every day. We are not a wharekura. However, we are a Kura of passionate teachers who want to challenge the status quo. I am inspired by my colleagues every day, in the shifts against institutions that we are  making and the moral purpose that we collectively bring.

But….. are we doing enough? No? We must do more? I must do more, I must be the antithesis of what is valued in society, I must ensure that all our ākonga are valued and that this is not occurring…..

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Good question from Claire. also put here by Lisa, inspired by Anne…

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and the point of not deficit theorising here by Ros,

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Back to my daughter’s eyes… My girl is the left hand one on the very first photo. I am Pakeha, her father is Māori. She lives with me and our blended whānau at Muriwai beach. She is from a split family, however, both her father and I have ensured she is loved, believed in and supported by all of us and our extended families. She experiences Awhinatanga and Mana Motuhake every day. In saying that, she did not know a great deal of her whakapapa and cultural connections. Her identity was predominantly influenced by me as a Pakeha mother. She has been to her Marae “Opurure” in Te Kuiti. However, she has not really known much of her iwi connections. She has grown and blossomed under the influence of a special man. I am grateful for the time she had with him and the impact he has had on her cultural identity. She has been connected to all of her whānau. However, she has just not really understood this. She has found aspects of this, still a long way to go. However, now thanks to Matua her nick name is “Maniapoto” Her connection to Ngati Maniapoto with the Joseph side of her whānau. Jaimee, my daughter has grown so much, in terms of identity wise through her time down at Rototuna High School and is continuing to grow back at Hobsonville Point Secondary. Two mainstream Kura that are attempting to break institutions and create change. Jaimee did something down the line and was influenced by a person with “mana” who epitomises being “whakaiti” who has an in depth understanding of tikanga and kaupapa Māori. Matua Anaru Keogh, who came from  Ngā Taiātea College    and is going back there. Jaimee joined Kapa Haka and that was the beginning….

 

 

 

She is in the above photos and her “Decile 10 Kura” in Hamilton as a new Kura Rototuna High School- 1 year old, attended and took part in the Tainui Regionals in Te Kuiti. One of only a couple of mainstream schools to take part… To say I was proud watching her and the ākonga is an understatement, I was beaming with pride, alongside Troy Collins another whānau/Mum of three ākonga in the Rōpū-Travis, Reggae and League. However, it is not just her learning in Kapa Haka, including Poi, Mau Rakau, Haka and Waiata that she has blossomed in, it is also her identity. Her other side of the whānau, the Poihipi side has links to Tainui and Ngaruawahia. I am sure that her Grandfather, who passed before she was born, would have been proud of her at the Tainui regionals. Her Father and whānau were there. Here she was on the stage of the Kura (Te Kuiti High) where her fathers cousins had all gone to school, in the region of her Marae. In addition I am sure he was proud to see her working in the wharekai at Hukunui Marae for the Pokai.

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Not only has Jaimee been influenced by Matua, but also other passionate teachers at Rototuna. In her module “We the People” she experienced learning into her identity from Whaea Amy Hudson, Sally McBride and Kendyl Morris. Again through Art, English and History, looking into her own identity. Teachers such as this are part of the antithesis that I talk of, that are starting with culture, identity and relationships and challenging social norms. This is how Jaimee saw herself…

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In my own module at the moment with Jessica called “Ko wai ahau?” which is Science and Mathematics. Our focus has been learning about why we are like we are. We are comparing western worldview of the biology of inheritance including cells, genes, and chromosomes, with Te Ao Maori ideas about whakapapa, genealogy, stories….and  mokopuna. We have also been exploring the patterns of inheritance through mathematics and put into perspective how close we really are. We have looked at aspects of whakapapa, however, I wanted an expert who could show in action how whakapapa is passed on to the next generation. Matua Anaru (previously mentioned), was chosen by his Grandmother to pass on the whakapapa of his whānau. He came up to Hobsonville and helped take my class for the most awesome session. Explaining the tension he had at primary school, when the teacher talked of James Cook discovering NZ, the fact he thought his Nana was telling fibs about Kupe being first. How when he came home his Nan said not to challenge the Kaiako. Matua can whakapapa right back to Kupe. He talked to the ākonga about how they learnt chants of whakapapa like the old school way of telling times tables. He did some great whakawhanaungatanga activities and Mau Rakau-which he is Pou Waru in.

 

 

 

Rather than just focussing on Punnet squares and traits, homozygous recessive genes etc… we have looked from different world views. When I was working with the stories of Papatūānuku and Ranginui, Anthony knew a lot, I asked him of his connections to the story. He had learnt about it where he had come from in Kawakawa. So when Matua came up Anthony, stayed behind after class to personally thank Matua, I told of his connection, with Matua from Ngāpuhi. They connected straight away. Just as Matua had done with Jaimee and his same connections with her with Ngāti Maniapoto. If ākonga did not know their iwi connections, Matua would ask their surnames and often find connections through this. Down the line, I worked with a project where I my group helped to make all the Maro for the Kapa Haka group, I did not know how to do this prior, so we got in Whaea Linda Keogh, who showed us the tikanga of gathering harekeke and stripping to make Muka and dye etc… we all learnt together, see more here… Ākonga making a difference through powerful partnerships. 

Continuing on with my daughter, she is back at Hobsonville Point Secondary Year. In terms of Te Reo, while Maurie has ensured that Te Reo is compulsory at our Kura, she has chosen to take the full year option “Nau Mai Haere Mai” with Whaea Leoni, continuing what she started off down the line with Matua and also in a smaller module with Whaea Nadine Malcom and Rebecaa Foster. In addition she has joined the Mana Wahine group and is excited for a couple of weeks time where her old Rototuna Kapa Haka Rōpū is coming up for whakawhanaungatanga and performance. To see some of these faces and connections.

 

 

 

So all of us as educators, in NZ, we have a moral imperative to ensure that we are allowing for world views beyond our own to be explicit in our classes. When I stayed behind at the workshop that was held on where to next after Anne’s Kōrero, teachers talked of being uncomfortable, but you know what, we need to get uncomfortable, we need to be the antithesis to the norm and allow our students to become critically conscious. We should aspire to the critical consciousness that Kura like Kia Aroha have created  and can do this in all contexts. While we are not full immersion, we must value culture, language and identity. However, cultural responsiveness is not enough as Anne Milne said. It must be a culturally sustaining pedagogy, hence the definition at the top of this post. Only then can we ensure the empowerment and cultural growth that will enable positive outcomes in our school. When I talk of outcomes, I mean more than academic outcomes, I mean personal and academic achievement. When my girl started school at Hobsonville, Maurie interviewed us and asked Jaimee and I what we wanted for her at the Kura. Jaimee, was excited to be back, to be back to sport, friends and talked about a few subjects. I said “I just want her to be happy, if she is happy the rest will come”. While I am not Māori, I will continue to be the antithesis and hope I can help make a difference for my daughter and all the ākonga that come my way.

Apple, M. W. (1996). Cultural politics and education. New York: Teachers College Press, 1996. ______

  • Power, meaning, and identity. New York: Peter Lang, 1999.
  • Official knowledge, 2nd ed. New York: Routledge, 2000.
  • Ideology and curriculum, 3rd ed. New York: Routledge, 200

Baltodano, M., Darder A., & Torres, R.D. (2003). The Critical Pedagogy Reader. NewYork: RoutledgeFalmer.

Freire, P. (1972). Pedagogy of the oppressed. London: Sheed and Ward Ltd.

 

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Make a difference…

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What drives the value I place on making a difference and on our ākonga making a difference…

Proponents of socio-critical discourses have foregrounded critical pedagogy (Culpan & Bruce, 2007; Gillespie & Culpan, 2000; Ross, 2001; Sparkes, 1996; Tinning, 2002). In  education, advocates of critical pedagogy are committed to ongoing reflection and action, as a process for creating change in classroom structures and practices that perpetuate undemocratic life. Furthermore, proponents attempt to develop a culture of schooling that supports empowerment of culturally marginalised and economically disenfranchised students (Baltodano, Darder & Torres, 2003). Critical pedagogy involves questioning assumptions of power, inequalities, and the relationship between power and knowledge. In addition, by acknowledging these inequalities, critical pedagogy aims to empower individuals and groups to take social action for change. Consequently, emancipation and social justice are major goals of critical pedagogues (Culpan & Bruce, 2007; Friere, 1972; McLaren, 2007).

I have written about students making a difference in a couple of posts before…

engage through powerful partnerships ….contribute confidently and responsibly in our changing world…

Ākonga making a difference through powerful partnerships.

This is a major driver for me philosophically. I am therefore lucky to be working in a school that has “powerful partnerships” as a main driver and critical pedagogy being applied in praxis, through an on going process of reflection and action. I am excited to be able to work in the “Impact Projects” at school this year and ensure I put this into action so that it is not just rhetoric. The intent of the project is to work with our special needs unit on site here at school “Arohanui” to ensure inclusion for all. To ensure we challenge power relations involving those with special needs and how they are included in society.

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with a focus on the Manaakitanga strand…

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Liz , Cairan and Rebecca make up our awesome project team at HPSS and have developed the curriculum around this to have student voice into passions, interests and needs of our students. The students are currently working their way around sparks over a six week period to get a true taster for what project may light their fire. I am running sparks for students and have tried to do this with the voice of the Arohanui students. Here is the voice of our potential partners…

What has been exciting to me over the past few weeks is that there is great interest from our students in this project. They see this project as a potential symbiotic relationship, where both groups of ākonga benefit from this definite challenge to the status quo. On the one hand, I feel that those who opt into this project have had a sense of empathy from the outset, on the other hand, what an amazing opportunity to develop many other skills and attributes. These attributes and skills may include, empathy, compassion, communication skills, leadership skills, patience, tolerance, acceptance of diversity and many more… The Arohanui students are excited to work with the mainstream kids and it has been rewarding seeing the students after the video provocation, going down and introducing themselves to the Arohanui students, the smiles on their faces as they say their names and introduce themselves has been tear jerking. As all of the seniors in the school are moving through the sparks, they are all learning their names, so we talked to the fact that even if they do not pick the project they can set on the path to greater inclusion by interacting and acknowledging at the least. This is another provocation that I used around #notspecialneeds

People talk of ākonga being citizens of the future, I believe they are citizens now and truly can make an impact locally and globally. I look forward to finding out who is coming into the project, continuing to develop a path based on social action and starting to co-construct with them a way to “make a difference”, knowing in doing so the rewards are great for all….As a final note, assessment will fall out of this around taking action. However, the evidence will be the on going journey of reflection and action of the ākonga as a portfolio and not be used as the main driver…

Baltodano, M., Darder A., & Torres, R.D. (2003). The Critical Pedagogy Reader. NewYork: RoutledgeFalmer.

Culpan, I., & Bruce, J. (2007). New Zealand Physical Education and Critical Pedagogy: Refocussing the curriculum. International Journal of Sport and Health Science 5: 1-11.

Freire, P. (1972). Pedagogy of the oppressed. London: Sheed and Ward Ltd.

Gillespie, L., & Culpan, I. (2000). Critical thinking: Ensuring the “education” aspect is evident in physical education. Journal of Physical Education New Zealand, 33(3), 84-96.

McLaren (2007). Life in schools: An introduction to critical pedagogy in the foundations of education. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.

Ross, B. (2001). Visions and Phantoms: Reading the New Zealand Health and Physical Education Curriculum. Journal of physical education New Zealand, 34(1).

Sparkes, A.C. (1996). Research in physical education and sport: Exploring alternativevisions. London: Falmer Press.

“Future for our students” and some thinking on N.C.E.A…

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Much is written about the future of work, where society is heading and what the education system to support this, will need to be. Here are a few opinion pieces on changing work…

In addition here is work from the OECD looking at Education towards 2030…

“Future of Education and Skills: Education2030

Globalisation, technological innovations, climate and demographic changes and other major trends are creating both new demands and opportunities that individuals and societies need to effectively respond to.

There are increasing demands on schools to prepare students for more rapid economic and social change, for jobs that have not yet been created, for technologies that have not yet been invented, and to solve social problems that have not been anticipated in the past.

One may argue it is still some time away to think of 2030 but this is the world in which those who are beginning primary school today will start their professional careers and those who are in secondary school today will become the core group of the prime working age. The project “Future of Education and Skills: Education2030” will target school education, both general and vocational, while recognising the importance of learning progressions and a life-long learning continuum”.

http://www.oecd.org/education/school/education-2030.htm

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At a National level we have http://www.futureofwork.nz/education looking for change towards… Screen Shot 2018-02-11 at 12.55.38 PM.png

All of this work shows the paradigm shifts that are occurring in the potential future of work. At the same time we have had a shift in assessment practice in New Zealand, however, this has been evolving for some time and the speed of evolution is not keeping up with what may be required in the future by our students as they leave the “Secondary Education System”. It is pertinent to reflect on the time line of the development of N.C.E.A.

NCEA timeline

The following summarised timeline shows how NCEA has evolved:

  • Late 1997, the New Zealand Government announced a policy called ‘Achievement 2001’, involving a complete overhaul of the secondary school qualifications system. Under the new system, students would be assessed at three, or possibly four, levels of the same qualification, to be called the National Certificate of Educational Achievement, which would be registered on the National Qualifications Framework.
  • In 2000, the start date for the new qualification was delayed a year, to 2002, because the system was deemed to be not ready, either at school level or at central agency level.
  • In 2002, NCEA Level 1 was introduced and the first group of students and teachers began to experience the new qualification.
  • Over 2003 and 2004, Levels 2 and 3 were introduced, and also the separate Scholarship examination, which was registered on the Framework at Level 4, but whose content was derived from the Level 3 standards.
  • As each level was introduced, the previous qualification at that level was discontinued, except the Year 12 qualification, Sixth Form Certificate, which was allowed to continue for a further two years by schools that were not ready to move to Level 2 in 2003.
  • In September 2004, the Minister of Education, Hon. Trevor Mallard, announced at a PPTA Annual Conference, that there would be a low-key review of the NCEA system during 2005, to inform strategic planning of future work to refine the qualification system.
  • By the end of 2004, the qualification was firmly entrenched in New Zealand schools, and the first phase of implementation was complete.
  • In November 2006, a new-look Record of Learning and Result Notice was developed.
  • In 2007, a suite of improvements to the NCEA were announced by the Minister of Education. Among the first to be announced in July was NCEA certificate endorsement designed to recognise student achievement at Merit or Excellence level across all learning areas. In November, ‘Managing National Assessment’ reports for secondary schools were made available online.
  • From the beginning of 2008, full-time moderators took up their appointments as part of a process to increase the amount of internally assessed student work undergoing moderation (approximately 10%).
  • Reporting of Not Achieved results was introduced for internally assessed standards, and in March, a new monitoring process was announced, which would compare internal and external assessment data for NCEA.
  • In April 2008 , the Record of Learning was renamed Record of Achievement, to better reflect its purpose. In May, random selection of internally assessed student work for external moderation was introduced, to increase public confidence in the credibility of internal assessment.
  • In June 2008, the process began to review and align standards with the new New Zealand Curriculum (developed by the Ministry of Education) and address issues such as credit parity and duplication. Newly aligned standards are due to be introduced progressively, with level 1 standards first, in 2011.
  • In May 2009, new-look statistics pages were released on the NZQA website, including data based on participation, gender and ethnicity.
  • In July 2009, consultation was completed on the draft level 1 standards and draft level 1-3 subject matrices. New rules on further assessment opportunities for internally assessed standards were introduced in July 2009, allowing one further assessment opportunity (re-sit) per student per standard per year.
  • In April 2010, Education Minister Anne Tolley announced the introduction of Course Endorsement for NCEA, to begin in 2011.  Course Endorsement enables students with strong performances in individual courses to gain Excellence or Merit endorsements in those courses.  Students will receive an Excellence endorsement for a course if they gain 14 credits at Excellence level, while students gaining 14 credits at Merit (or Merit and Excellence) will gain a Merit endorsement.  To ensure students are capable of performing well in both modes of assessment, in most courses at least three of the 14 credits must be from internally assessed standards, and three from externally assessed standards.

http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/

Much of this evolution has been tweaking. In contrast the development of the New Zealand Curriculum shows a different timeframe…

Timeline

New Zealand curriculum – draft 2006–2007

The timeline for consultation and implementation of the New Zealand Curriculum: Draft 2006–2007 is:

2006

July/August

Draft New Zealand Curriculum (English medium) published for consultation and feedback. (Feedback must be returned by 30 November 2006.)

September/October

Independent survey carried out to gauge penetration and understanding.

September/October/November

Independent focus groups.

30 November

All feedback and consultation completed.

2007

Draft Te Marautanga o Aotearoa published.

September

Proposed release of the revised New Zealand curriculum.

2008

Final Te Marautanga o Aotearoa published.

2008–2009

Implementation of the two partnership documents: the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

You can see that the assessment was developed and implemented before the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). For this reason, is it really a surprise that in many schools in New Zealand Assessment continues to drive the teaching and learning. Even when the standards were aligned to the NZC half way through the timeline, there was really only shifts in semantics of standards rather than the actual outcomes themselves.
The NZC is applauded internationally for its future focus-see this article…
The challenge is not what the New Zealand Curriculum offers, the challenge is what are the intended and actual outcomes for teaching and learning in our classrooms across the country? In addition what are the intended and actual outcomes for the assessment aligned to this? If, of course, the horse comes before the cart.
This overview of the NZC shows why our curriculum document is applauded for it’s future focus…
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I personally have a strong belief that what you assess, is what you value. Currently for most Secondary Schools, the major aspect of assessment falls from N.C.E.A and the Achievement Standards that align to this document. The limitation of this assessment system as I see it is that the Achievement standards align to this aspect of the curriculum.
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Many of the aspects of our curriculum that are applauded as “future focus” come from other parts of our curriculum document such as, the “key competencies”, “values” and “vision”. While there has been a shift in curriculum documents and assessment towards some aspects of these “socio-critical discourses” the intended and actual outcomes of this can differ greatly (I went deeper into this in my own research).
If the future of work is looking more towards skills and dispositions than content knowledge, how are we collecting and curating evidence of this?
Some schools have placed a real value on dispositions that align to the NZC such as the Hobsonville Habits from Hobsonville Point Secondary School.
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Where the habits are taught explicitly and reflections occur that evidence learning against these…
or the awesome work that Liz and her team have done with real world, authentic projects that make a difference in the community. All aligned to the school vision and values…
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For all the amazing teaching and learning, there is still a search through N.C.E.A to find assessments that may align. For example here are three different examples of standards aligned in different curriculum areas, that have a different focus…

Health 2 AS91237 2.3

Take action to enhance an aspect of people’s well-being within the school or wider community.

Physical Education 1 AS90969 1.8

Take purposeful action to assist others to participate in physical activity.

Social Studies 2 AS91282 2.4

Describe personal involvement in a social action related to rights and responsibilities

If taking an action in our community, is an outcome that we want for our students, that aligns explicitly to the NZC Vision as well as schools own vision…

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Reach for the sky! Whaia te iti kahurangi

At Hobsonville Point Secondary School we believe in empowering young people with the skills to contribute confidently and responsibly in our changing world.

Then wouldn’t the ideal situation for aligning Curriculum, Assessment and Pedagogy, to be one where there are more generic standards, that do not sit in the subject silos, with specific contexts required to be used… should the context be more personalised, as is the case in our projects that use student voice and choice for what actions will be. Evidence could be collected over time in any context or several contexts and then this could be used to make judgements against the standards. Portfolios where the teaching and learning of relevant contexts to the students are collated over time. With generic standards of more future focussed skills and dispositions.

These standards would be better aligned to the wider NZC. Another example of this can be seen in this standard…

Physical Education 1 AS90966 1.5

Demonstrate interpersonal skills in a group and explain how these skills impact on others.

While this appears to be generic the Explanatory notes state that the interpersonal skills must be in a physical activity context. If the outcome that we want for our students for their future is interpersonal skills, why must it be in this context? Could any teaching and learning be aligned to this outcome? If yes, why is it sitting in a subject silo, with a specified context. This is compartmentalising learning. Not to take away from Physical Education and the development of interpersonal skills within physical activity, more to highlight this can be achieved in many contexts, for example impact projects that are taking action in a local community.

Could the Hobsonville Habits shown above, become generic outcomes for standards that students evidence overtime in portfolios? If these are the attributes that our whānau and employers are looking for, how do we value these outcomes as much as the high stakes outcomes currently in place in the N.C.E.A? There are still many knowledge and content based standards? If knowledge is ever changing, why are we assessing this? Can there be a shift towards skills and dispositions in our assessment system?

Such as these…

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If there were more generic standards, would it allow there to be a power shift from the University end of things. Where, there is a hierarchy of knowledge and valued knowledge by curriculum area. Where universities still have a hold over the pathways that are occurring particularly at Level 3. Generic research standards, problem solving standards and more….

It is good to see that N.C.E.A is being reviewed this year,

https://www.education.govt.nz/ministry-of-education/consultations-and-reviews/ncea-review/

It is also good to see people on the advisory group that will bring some outside perspectives on what N.C.E.A can be.

At the same time they need to talk to schools that are pushing back on over assessment, that are trying to minimise over assessment and assessment driven programmes. That are personalising learning as the future of work documents talk to. That are taking action in their communities, while still working the constraints of the current system, that I have mentioned above. See the article below on this and what Maurie and HPSS have been pushing.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11940367

Also see RNZ Interview here…

https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018629096/ncea-assessment-not-good-practice

Only then can we truly align curriculum, assessment and pedagogy to ensure personalised and best outcomes for our students to face the future coming their way….

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Everything is nothing with a twist…I am not a non existent teacher who just lets students go!

everything is nothing

Everything is nothing with a twist…

Even after a wonderful performance by the All Blacks this morning, I cannot get out of my mind this article in stuff.co.nz re: modern learning. Riddled with assumptions and possibly fuelled by an agenda to fight MOE changes to classrooms of the future, I feel to stay quiet on the article would be to agree in a passive manner. Here is the article… http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/73042309/Top-schools-give-multi-million-dollar-classrooms-a-fail-grade

I never judge a colleague, a practitioner, a teacher, a learner, by what school they are in. I never make judgements about what might be happening in a persons classroom, how they are helping their learners to grow. I never make judgements about how school communities are trying to ensure positive student outcomes, academically, socially or emotionally. I always assume that no matter where a person in education works, both in and outside/alongside the school community, that they have the best interest of the students at heart.

So… how is it when it comes to modern learning environments that many choose to make assumptions and generalisations about what is occurring. As I said in the title of the blog, I am not a non existent teacher who just lets students go! I feel that I need to stand in support of my colleagues working in a modern learning environment and challenge what has been said.

This is my 20th year in education, I have taught in a variety of decile schools and have seen quality practice in every school I have ever worked in. Passionate colleagues who have the best interest of the students at heart. Teachers who have put the students at the centre and personalised learning for them, working with them and not doing education to them. Personalised learning is not therefore just letting go and letting students go. There is a power shift required. However, this is nothing new, this has come in educational theory for years…see this old post on going old school in a new school. https://sallyhart72.wordpress.com/2013/10/20/going-old-school-at-a-new-school/

Colleagues at HPSS are shifting education for sure, however, they are excellent practitioners, who are differentiating and connecting learning more than I have ever seen before. As I say, not to take away from any other school or setting as I believe there is good practice everywhere. Yes we allow students to explore, make sense, focus and more… (aspects of our learning design model, that allows for cohesion in the language of learning across the school) see post by Steve on this in more depth… https://stevemouldey.wordpress.com/2015/02/22/empowering-language/

Teachers are getting also to deep learning at school rather than just surface. Teachers are working to make learning visible and meaningful to their learners. https://sallyhart72.wordpress.com/2015/05/30/what-are-we-really-learning-making-learning-visible/

Oh of course a teacher in a MLE is going to say these sorts of things…they must not believe in assessment, they will never get in the league tables, do we care about that? No. Do we care about positive student outcomes? For sure! What are those? Now this is something up for debate? Who decides what positive student outcomes are “we do!” our school, our community, our learners, our whānau.

I believe that I have a good handle of curriculum, assessment and pedagogy, here is a link to my MEd (1st class honours) http://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/handle/10289/8984 show off putting that here! No proving that there is depth and an understanding of education to be challenging the view points put forward in the article. Also working as National Assessment Moderator for NZQA for 5 years, I also have a reasonably good handle of what is required to achieve success as is currently measured. We are looking to shift things and transform things in our context. However, we are well aware of constraints and work to see these in different ways, how can we collect naturally occurring evidence? How can we align curriculum, assessment and pedagogy and ensure that assessment is not the main driver?

It is not a dichotomy… modern learning vs traditional learning. Maybe it can be seen more as a dialectical relationship for your Marxists out there. Where hegemony and counter-hegemony work against each other to create a new hegemony. Where things do need a radical shift, but not to throw out the old, but to truly re-vision what success in education is and can be? It does not have to be a dichotomy…

dichotomy

I want to paint a picture…I am currently teaching collaboratively in a module with Tanya, who has many years under her belt as a Mathematician, she is an amazing practitioner differentiating more than she has ever done before. Working hard to put her students at the centre and achieving not only depth in learning, but also extending her learners more than she has ever before. Yes it is in a MLE, however, she is pushing herself as a practitioner more than she has ever done before, scaffolding and supporting along the way, not just letting go…however, that will come more as the students move further along the school pathway. She is also connecting with HPE, who would have thought that! Here is a write up on that module and the awesome social action taking place within it by @Sarvnazz http://attitudelive.com/blog/sarvnaz-taherian/opinion-exploring-disabilities-gain-empathy

Then we have https://twitter.com/CbwynnWynn our awesome SCT (specialist classroom teacher) who supports SCT across the region, has been an advisor and also a National Assessment Moderator for Biology. An amazing practitioner in any setting. She always has the student at the centre, more than any other practitioner I know, she always has, no matter where she has taught, she personalises learning constantly. However, she too scaffolds, supports, differentiates all the way. She is responsive to the learners and listens to their voice. This is good practice whatever school you are in.

I could go through all my colleagues at school and give you a brief on them and their teaching and learning programmes in their classes in the same manner. They are awesome practitioners, constantly inquiring into their own practice striving for positive student outcomes. I could have also done this when I taught at Onehunga High School, Takapuna Grammar School, St Cuthbert’s College and in London. Why, because I always see the best in my colleagues, I don’t run down other schools for what they are doing, I don’t see education as competition, I see it as collaboration to get the best for akonga/students across the nation. For allowing schools to work in their context in their way, with their communities, akonga/students, whānau to work out the best way to achieve “positive student outcomes” in line with their vision. If we are all working towards the same goal only then… Everything is nothing with a twist…

Doing things differently is not always easy!

Doing things differently is not always easy!

Coming back to the kaupapa! Things are pretty busy on the ground. Many different aspects to our model, how to have cohesion, develop capability and support. It is all a balancing act as a leader… Today I got the coaches to reflect back on our initial kaupapa doc and key parts to our role. Here is the two docs…

HPSS Kaupapa of the Learning Hub

The Learning Hub

A Learning Hub is a small group within a Learning Community. Each Learning Hub has a Learning Coach. They are central to the school’s goal to empower learners by “Innovating through personalising learning, Engaging through powerful partnerships, and inspiring through deep challenge and inquiry .

When the school is at full capacity, students will remain with the same Learning Hub for their time at school. This is so they will get to understand and know each other and their Learning Coach well. In the first few establishment years there will be some shifts due to growing groups. However, this will always be done by involving students and their families.

The Learning Coach is to act as the academic and pastoral mentor for each of their students. In this way, the Learning Hub is a support system for the learner and is a bit like an extended family. Within this system every student has an adult in the school who cares about him or her deeply.

The Learning Hub is a time for students to be exposed to a wide range of ideas, interests, skills and experiences which support their learning. During Learning Hub time students develop skills around learning to learn, and the habits to be successful inquirers and self-directed learners.

The Role of the Learning Coach

The Learning Coach has the opportunity to be a teacher of learning and to radically change the entire schooling experience for their students. An important role of the Learning Coach is to create a caring, intellectually stimulating and well-organised Learning Hub.

The Learning Coach is responsible for guiding each one of their students through their learning journey. The Learning Coach works with students to identify passions and link their interests and needs to their learning. Learners negotiate their LearnPath (personalised learning programme) with their Coach to ensure that what they are learning is relevant to them.

The Learning Coach supports learners to reach academic and personal excellence by supporting them to set learning goals, constantly revisiting them and revising them and to seek ways of supporting each learner to enjoy the success of achieving their goals. The Coach also works with learners to track their learning journey, to discuss learning issues and find solutions, provide pastoral care, provide guidance for life beyond school and build on learners’ capacities to take responsibility for their learning.

and……

There was a lot of reflection by the coaches in my community, concerns over one on one time and how to facilitate this without just giving busy work, also still the difficulty of being in a new role and developing things on the ground. Finding a balance between time for developing capability and making things explicit, between teaching something separately or catching it in action -eg our habits and dispositions…How much is in the moment and how do we learn as we develop our understanding, it won’t just happen, we need to take the time…

To support but not too much, to build their capability…the interesting thing is that I made the shift from resourcing all to us all building our capability as coaches, by dividing up and sharing our resources around the habits and my-learning. In the reflections today hubs were coming back to wanting to do more on learning to learn and specific processes such as goal setting, how to skim and scan etc…

So…..it is all about balance, while returning to our kaupapa, a shift away from support the coaches, to actually WHY hubs!!!!

It was not long enough for our meeting so I need to revisit further… after the meeting I clarified our discussions with this email…

Kia ora all, just while it is fresh in our minds, I feel like we rushed past it this morning.

It was good to have time to reflect on hubs and coaching this morning. Thank you all for your honest reflections on things. As you are aware, it is a new role to all, that we are working on refining and developing as time goes on.

Hubs are an extremely important part of what we do with the learners/akonga here at HPSS.

I am also aware that there are a lot of parts to the model, these are parts that were co-contsructed early on in the process of the school as being important for developing the whole learner, their being, what they give to the community and how they go about learning in a time where knowledge is ever changing and readily accessible.

The way forward…

1. My learning is your responsibility as a hub coach…you had some very important feedback re this and learning to learn and what the kids need… it is finding a balance of this just in time teaching and supporting each other and growing our capabilities to talk about and recognise the habits in action, across all aspects of the school…as Martin said “capturing it as it happens”. The balance though is that we are all developing our understanding around this and it is different to anything we have done ever before.
So you decide what is best for your learners on a Monday, is it focusing on a habit, is it goal setting? Is it different things for different learners???

2. My communities is a time to draw on whanaungatanga in action etc… this does require what we have done with a bit of up front teaching of what this means… we can then as Jill said, use the students as teachers “Tuakana Teina” in action, try not to worry about the terms, however, I don’t think we should shy away from using aspects of Te Reo with our learners, even if it is new for us.

3. My-being is structured I realise (it took a while!!) But it should not be seen as something we are doing to learners….when you work with the learners on these activities, we are recognising their stresses, their worries, this truly is about knowing the learner.

This morning was not to stress you out about what you are not doing well, in the scheme of things it was mainly the one on one that came up as an issue. We can develop our skills in doing this better…but we must hold tight with the good things you are doing as coaches, that you do know your learners, that you know how to support good learning and that we are all developing in this role.

I believe you are all doing an amazing job and we can continue to refine and tweak to become even more awesome hub coaches. Remember also what we build now in our learners, they will be able to support younger learners later on.

Keep up the good work.

Sal

Where to now…. for me to rethink how I support, with the kaupapa always in mind, what do the akonga/ learners need, not what do the coaches need and how can I support the coaches to provide that….

Even though I have not been the best about the coaching with Suzanne, I often have reflective conversations with a mentor of mine at school here (guru and SCT Cindy), it is hard yakka on the ground leading in an environment where everything is so new, Cindy used the metaphor of trying to cut your way through the bush and making new paths with what you are doing, while it could be easy to revert back to what you know, sitting in your subject silo, doing what you have always done, we must hold strong to the why??? Keep coming back to why we are doing what we are doing.

It is about the akonga…

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SOLO

tramping

Highlighting Habits and Developing Dispositions…Leadership Inquiry…

In a world where knowledge is ever changing and easily accessible, shifts are occurring in the way teaching and learning occurs. Many talk of developing dispositions, working learning muscles, learning to learn, key competencies, capabilities, metacognition, making learning visible and more…However, while I am in full agreement with this shift in focus, I am also aware that this is an area that will not just occur, that need to be thoughtfully planned for, scaffolded and made explicit to the learner. Not just done to the learner and not just assumed that if you think you are developing dispositions that it will happen. Do the learners recognise what they are developing, can they highlight strengths and weaknesses, where they are at and where to next? If these aspects of learning are not explicit, who holds the power in learning? Also if as a learner I do not recognise these dispositions in action, how can I transfer their use to other contexts, situations and learning. Here at HPSS we have our Hobsonville Habits, this is our dispositional curriculum based on the Key Competencies and developed in conjunction with our school community, (learners and whānau). Based on what dispositions our community wanted to see developed to allow learners positive outcomes in education and life. Allowing them to “flounder intelligently” (Guy Claxton) in our ever changing world. Hobsonville habits

How these habits are being developed is an on-going process, that is changing over time, with a recognition that we do need to make these more explicit with our learners. This means that as coaches of our Hubs and teachers of our Learning Modules, we are in an on-going process of reflection and action of how can we do this better? How might we make these clearer? How can we develop these and not just see them as inherent in who we are? That we can change, develop and earn more than just content knowledge in education and work towards our goal of “Personal Excellence” as well as “Academic Excellence”. For me as a Learning Team Leader at school, this is something that I believe I have not supported my community on enough. For us as educators at HPSS, there is many new aspects to how we are doing things around here. Due to this it can be full on at times on the ground with your head in many spaces. If you follow the blogs of others at HPSS, you may be aware of those aspects. If you follow Sarah you will know about project learning here at HPSS https://twitter.com/hpssprojects Also our shift to collaboratively taught, cross curricular modules Steve explains these better than I could as a member of the SLL team https://stevemouldey.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/personalised-learning-at-hpss/#more-610 We are also reporting on learning in a very different manner here which Heemi explains in his posts on reporting and assessment https://heemimcdonald.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/school-reporting-whats-to-keep-secret/ So with many different aspects to the school curriculum at HPSS, I believe I need to better support my coaches in how we develop and make explicit the dispositional curriculum at HPSS. This does not mean that I believe that dispositions sit siloed in hubs and with coaches, more that if I help to build capability at a hub level, then I can support my coaches in transferring this to their teaching and learning in other aspects of the curriculum at HPSS. In contrast to sitting siloed I believe that we need to be making this clear, every day, capturing dispositions in action, “speaking learnish” as Guy Claxton would say and acknowledging when these dispositions are used, need to be used, or need to be developed. Due to this I am on a journey as a leader and have made the focus of my leadership inquiry for NAPP on helping to support the dispositional curriculum and the capability of my coaches to help make this explicit with their learners across HPSS. To do this I would take targetted action in my community-Waiarohia. To do this I needed starting data. My data is two fold, looking at my leadership strengths and weaknesses and also at my coaches perceptions of their capability in using the dispositional curriculum. Here is the starting data that I gathered, so that I can measure qualitatively the journey that we all take, including mine as a leader and my coaches as dispositional curriculum leaders. I gathered the responses from my coaches in an anonymous google form and this is a summary of the data…

What do you consider to be Sally’s strengths as the leader of Waiarohia? And why do you think that? Give examples where you can… Sally has many leadership qualities that she exercises in her work as W leader. For example Sally is purposeful in her work with students and staff. To be purposeful you need to spend time thinking about, analysing and planning for the purpose of what you do.Sally is always well planned in her work and has thought about where it might take people. Another great leadership quality of Sally’s is her enthusiasm for her work. This enthusiasm takes others along with her. She is also confident enough to take risks in what she does with teachers and try new ideas and new things eg planning the multifaceted Hub time programme. Sally also realises she needs to be responsive to people thoughts and feelings. She listens carefully in meetings and negotiates well through sometimes tricky situations. She is willing to change tack too if the feedback warrants it. This to me says she is very knowledgable in how to work closely with and lead a team of thinking adults to get the best out of them. As if this were not enough Sally also has the impact/outcomes on the students…in all her work with staff it always comes back to what is going to be best for student learning. Sally is also committed to doing things well and refining until it works well. Sally cares about the people she works with and develops good relationships with them….they are then happy to work with and for her and go the extra …. Passionate – You are clearly passionate about the learning that takes place in our community which is evident in your language and the activities you plan, particularly around the dispositional curriculum. This is a strength because it drives the team to participate, engage, and support the dispositions within our community. Collaborative leadership – You demonstrate a highly collaborative model of leadership which encompasses the views of all team members. This allows each member to be heard and feel valued even if they do not agree with the outcome or decision taken. Approachable/Supportive – You are always prepared to listen to, and consider different points of view. On a personal level you are also extremely supportive which makes for a supportive working environment within our community team. Knowledgeable – You know what is going on and always up to date with current discussion topics. As a result, you are confident with what is happening at any given time. This is reassuring as a team member. Her ability to support us as hub coaches around activities were are strengths do not lie (Hauroa). That is where her passions lies developing growth and understanding for the students. Very organised. Always has resources and ideas at the ready to help us and makes sure we know what we’re doing. Willing to listen to any feedback – always asks for opinions (even if no one has any!) Is keen to give support and has good ideas about how to do this. It always feels like Sally is on our side.

What do you consider to be things Sally could do better as a leader of Waiarohia? And why do you think that? Give examples where you can… ?? Have confidence in your ability as a leader. You are doing a fantastic job! You lead a positive, supportive team which reflects your leadership style. I can’t think of anything to improve on, sorry. I will try to think of something.

How confident am I in coaching learners in my hub, the dispositional curriculum- Hobsonville Habits? and why do you feel this way? I think I’m okay with it, but sometimes struggle with coming up with specific examples of what some of the habits look like in relation to “my learning’ e.g. adventurous. I have a vague idea of what adventurous learning might look like, but find it difficult to give specific examples of what students might do to be adventurous in their learning. I am confident in some aspects…growing in confidence and learning all the time. I feel this way because it is still new and we are all learning about it. I am not overly confident with the dispositional curriculum or habits because it is not something I have taught to any great extent in the past. I feel I have only a superficial understanding of this content myself. Hmmm to be honest I feel like I am walking in the dark sometimes I feel like I understand the direction of where we should be going but than other times I feel lost. When it comes to the Habits – it is hard from myself to explain in different contexts as one students might see it differently than the next student. Somewhat confident – I think I could do better in this. I’m not confident that my hub are thinking about and using the Habits apart from when we explicitly talk about them. I get this feeling from evidencing habits in the Learner Narrative – it feels like the kids are making stuff up on the spot rather than thinking about using the habits throughout the week.

How can Sally support my learning to better coach the learners in my hub the dispositional curriculum? The materials and activities you have provided are very helpful. Additional PD on dispositional curriculum and habits and how they impact learning would give greater depth to these activities. Keep on listening to your people…..keep on co-constructing the pathway through while keeping your eye on the goal…you are good at this (it is a hard thing to do but you do it well!) It would be great if we had some resources for talking about the operation of the habits in their learning. For example, videos or students in class or encountering difficult work and how they are using the habits or might better use the habits. Students seem to have difficulty relating the habits to their daily lives at school. Maybe suggest activities which students can use to gather evidence for habits? We could make that evidence gathering more explicit in extended hub but stress that it is not sufficient. How to scaffold the breakdowns of habits to students? Perhaps having learning conversations prompters ???

Is there any other ideas, thoughts, feed forward, feedback that you think would be useful to Sally in embarking on an inquiry into leading the dispositional curriculum and how it is coached/supported? Demonstrate how the dispositional curriculum and habits are integral to learning and not merely tacked on as an extra. This will make it more relevant to staff and therefore students. Awesome Miss. Love to hear how all this is going along the way. Making it easier to find all the information that Lea and LTL have placed….I struggle to find it – maybe it is the system we have created. Perhaps a more centralised system for tracking habits in a public way (like a star chart or something, rather than the Learner Narrative) to support getting in the habit of gathering evidence for the habits.

So while my coaches gave positive feedback about my processes of leadership, I also critically reflected on how they are feeling about the dispositional curriculum and see this as an issue in my leadership, that I have not supported them enough and that I need to take steps with my leadership to do so. There has been two parts to this journey so far and I have shifted my thinking on this after some reading and learning. As a community we have been working to make the habits visible with activities such as…

and

and

Each term we have had a focus on one or two habits that we dig deeper with. To start off with on this journey I started to develop resources and create activities to make the habits more visible, to use and share with the coaches. Coaches take turns at leading activities which focus on these habits and we try to consolidate this with greater focus on one or two. Cindy, Cairan, Jill, Martin, Tanya and Leoni have lead some awesome activities that have been carefully thought through and linked to the habits… To help support further, I have tried to develop some more activities. First of all I tried to scaffold the habits a bit further, using some of the work of Guy Claxton on building learning power https://magic.piktochart.com/output/5007410-hobsonville-habits-taken-furth The link takes you to an online version of this..

Hobsonville Habits Taken Further Copy

I have also tried a number of activities to make the habits more explicit in different contexts… Where learners developed thinking on habits such as… and this…

Petra and Emily - Habits of the Athletes (1) and Connor Seb

Also activities such as this, which was sparked by Bryce a member of staff who epitomises the Hobsonville Habits through his life journey, provoking the learners linking Habits to Hauora…

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I consider myself to be a servant leader and in doing this I often go about doing what I am asking others to do and trying to “awhi” and support this in others. What I have realised part way through this process is this does not always lead to “sustainable leadership”. So I realised when I read “Coaching Leadership” a book by Jan Robertson that I was not always building capability in my coaches, if the leadership of the dispositional curriculum is to become more sustainable, then I need buy in and ownership by all my coaches as leaders. So aspects such as us taking turns to develop the habits in our community do build capability, by me developing resources to give to my coaches, I am not. So I believe I need to find a balance of developing and supporting ideas, which my coaches have asked for, but also allowing them to lead alongside me and develop their own capability in using the dispositional curriculum. Here are some snippets from Jan’s Book that show what sparked my reflections.

image copy image_1 image_2 image_3 So after reading this, I shifted my inquiry, I asked my coaches, who wanted to be involved in a coaching group, where we work together to develop and collaborate around leading the dispositional curriculum. There was no imperative to do so, all of my coaches have agreed to be a part of this. While I had already started developing activities, we have shifted to all coaches taking two habits each to develop my learning activities for their hubs next term. Coaches will lead these with their own hubs and will reflect and refine after leading these. We will all share our process, refinements and thinking as well as supporting resources. This will enable all to be a part of the development, while also sharing the workload of doing this. I will also gather feedback and voice in coaching conversations about how this has supported or otherwise coaches next term. In finding a balance and not transferring everything to coaches and still supporting others, as we have IEM’s coming up where the learners are to reflect on “my-being, my learning, my communities and my habits” and this is a source of unease for some coaches, I have developed some scaffolds to support learners in thinking about these… Here is the IEM doc as developed by the LTL’s and Lea.. Here are some supporting scaffolds I have developed… Thinking about Habits and Goals Thinking about my being Thinking about my communities Thinking about My Learning Anyway, this is a very long blog post, however it is important for my leadership inquiry that I keep a record of my process and journey of leadership and learning, there is still a lot more to come, I hope this journey will help me build my leadership skills and also build the capability and leadership of others, while also helping to embed our dispositional curriculum in a sustainable way….

Whānau connections: What? How? Why? So What? Now What? The importance of whanaungatanga at HPSS.

koru fern maori nature photos lucy g-11

Whanaungatanga
1. (noun) relationship, kinship, sense of family connection – a relationship through shared experiences and working together which provides people with a sense of belonging. It develops as a result of kinship rights and obligations, which also serve to strengthen each member of the kin group. It also extends to others to whom one develops a close familial, friendship or reciprocal relationship.
Kōrero ai ngā whakapapa mō te whanaungatanga i waenganui i te ira tangata me te ao (Te Ara 2011). / Whakapapa describe the relationships between humans and nature.

The following post involves reflection and potential action in the ongoing development of whānau connections at Hobsonville Point Secondary School. The importance of whānau connections at HPSS is paramount to the success of our school vision in values and our ability to truly innovate, engage and inspire our learners. Herein lies the importance of defining learner. For us at HPSS a learner is not just the students that attend the school, we see ourselves all as learners…The Senior leadership team, the teaching staff, the support staff and potentially the whānau/ family and wider community. We have already kick started the development of these connections. Therefore it is important to take stock of where we are at and where to now?

I would like to use some basic reflective questions to show this…

WHAT?
What is our take on Whānau connections?

To ensure that we have whanaungatanga in action (as defined at the top of the post), it is important that we involve the whānau on many levels across our school community. To do this we also see the whānau as learners. In education a strong aspect of power relations at play and to be considered seriously is the “history that we are tied to”. We must recognise in all schools, but even more so at a school breaking silos, showing connections in learning and doing things in a very different way, that we all bring our own perceptions of what education is and should be. Not only do our learners bring their history, culture, influences and experiences with them. So too do teachers and whānau. It is therefore imperative that whānau are part of the dialogue that occurs around the learning of their children/dependants.

HOW?
How have we tried to achieve this so far?

We have attempted to engage whānau on many levels and here is a few examples…

1. From the get go, the Senior Leadership team of Maurie, Lea, Claire and Di played an important part in introducing whānau to learning at HPSS. With individual meetings with the whānau and children on enrolment at HPSS. Also with community evenings/information evenings to keep the community in the loop along the way. Involving the what? How? Why? of learning here and keeping things open and transparent from the get go. The SLT also gathered learner and whānau voice on hopes and aspirations for their time at HPSS and beyond.

2. On-going whole school communication is continuing in newsletters, emails from school, keeping whānau up to date of up and coming events and points to note. Also, Maurie has ensured ongoing links to reading for whānau are a part of these newsletters, to provoke what it is to shift education and innovate.

3. We held an orientation day, where learners were introduced to their staff, communities, and different aspects of the HPSS curriculum. The learners prepared food in a mini project activity, for their whānau who came in that evening. Also meeting, coaches, communities and with visuals and displays of the HPSS curriculum in action.

4. Furthermore, we had an awesome school and community event on Waitangi Day, organised by the amazing Sarah Wakeford who is in charge of big projects and partnerships at the school, working alongside Sharon Afu (Deputy Principal at the Primary). The two schools worked closely alongside each other, involving learners and their whānau across the day. Read more here… https://sallyhart72.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/ma-pango-ma-whero-ka-oti-te-mahi-with-black-and-with-red-the-work-is-completed/

5. Acknowledgement of my communities in our school learning model is important to note. See more about these three aspects:
Manaakitanga
Whanaungatanga
Whenua, on this post here… https://sallyhart72.wordpress.com/2013/12/04/ma-te-whakaaro-kotahi-ka-ora-ai-the-cohesion-of-perspectives-will-strengthen-the-kaupapa/

mycommunities

6. In addition, we have our hubs, influenced by the advisory model of big picture schools. One coach, guide on the side, who is the main point of contact with whānau. The coach has had regular contact with whānau in a variety of ways. Email contact home has occurred fortnightly, with information about learner pathways, goals, how they are going and more…See here for more details on our coach role…https://sallyhart72.wordpress.com/2013/12/04/ma-te-whakaaro-kotahi-ka-ora-ai-the-cohesion-of-perspectives-will-strengthen-the-kaupapa/

7. HPSS also had the opening of the school and the open day where whānau and community were invited and attended. Again opening the doors and strengthening the connections.

8. We have held a parent information evening that was a huge success. Taking parents through stations of learning and engaging them in the aspects of the HPSS curriculum. With hands on activities, information to support their learning around the school model and question and answer time. This was extremely beneficial in helping parents to also shift their understanding of and allowing them to engage in the way that we are doing things here.

9. IEMs (Individual Education Meetings)
These have been held at the end of the term. A type of student lead conferencing, allowing the learners to bring where they are at, what they have learnt and where to now, to the table. Evidencing the learning, but leading the way…informing parents/whānau rather than being reported on. See more details on IEMs in on-going work here that Megan has lead…http://mrsmeganpeterson.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/individual-education-meetings/

10. We have also looked to gather data from our whānau, further connections with the whānau to ensure we are engaging them in their child’s learning. Here is a copy of the information we collected. https://docs.google.com/a/hobsonvillepoint.school.nz/forms/d/1p9y0wKwjJNhFlp4-_jpyTnHXlHyt5BFVb3cqNFuRE0U/viewform

WHY?
Why are whānau connections so important?

The importance of creating educationally powerful
connections with family, whànau, and
communities is an extremely important component of: School Leadership and Student Outcomes: Identifying What Works and Why Best Evidence Synthesis Developed by Viviane Robinson, Margie Hohepa, Claire Lloyd [The University of Auckland] in 2009.

Synthesising the data to look closely at answering…

• What kinds of connections make the biggest difference?
• How can school leaders build educationally powerful connections with families, whànau,
and communities?

Here is a summary of the data that answers this…

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 2.53.16 PM

Equally as important as the research, we hold strong to our school values of connectedness, collaboration, innovation, inquiry and excellence. In doing so connectedness and collaboration is not just with the learner in mind, also with the teachers as learners and the whānau as learners.
This is why we are engaging whānau and will continue to develop this with our values in mind. Always coming back to the why?

SO WHAT?
So what has been the outcome so far?

Anecdotal evidence and feedback suggests that the powerful partnerships we are forming with whānau at HPSS, have already had a positive impact on learning and the engagement in and with the school community has had an excellent start, in just one term at HPSS. Parents have really enjoyed the fortnightly contact home form the learning coach and also great feedback was received in relation to Orientation day, Waitangi Day, Parent information night and IEMs. This is a great start and I look forward how we develop these relationships further in the future. Ensuring that we are informing and engaging parents in their child’s education, rather than just reporting to. Learner voice has also given us valuable data of the connections we are making at a hub level, with their whole school learning and their feeling of community that we are developing and whanaungatanga at HPSS.

More in line with this shift…

REPORTING
(via EvaluationAssociates ‏@EvaluationAssoc on twitter)

NOW WHAT?
Now what? Where do we go from here?

To ensure the best student outcomes at HPSS we are very aware of the importance of powerful partnerships. We will work towards inclusion of some of the proven ways to do so via research such as the BES.
We will also endeavour to look for innovative ways for furthering this as a community. Ensuring that the powerful partnerships are nurtured to their full potential. This involves whanaungatanga across the whole community. With the Senior Leadership Team in ongoing dialogue with the whānau and community. With Sarah, Pete and their team looking at powerful partnerships with the whānau and beyond with the wider community. With Ros and her focus on culturally responsive pedagogy, which must include whānau connections. With relevant authentic connections being made and action taken with our big projects. With learning coaches and their connections to the whānau.

We want to take a new line of connection with whānau this term, we would like to look to developing the on-going communication with whānau. This can be student lead, involving their own way of driving this… potentially use of social media, such as twitter with hub twitter accounts and blogging, with hub blogs, newsletters or interactive information on apps eg padlets, i-movie, etc.. the potential is endless, we will wait for the learner voice on how we could continue to evolve our whānau connections in a way that each hub sees fit. Allowing for ownership and autonomy. We have excellent role models on this at Hobsonville Point Primary School, The blog written by Amy about how they are using these ideas at the Primary already… http://amymmcc.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/a-peak-inside-hpps.html

Watch this space as we continue to ensure powerful partnerships with whānau at HPSS…