Core Breakfast

Innovative Pathways to Māori Achieving Success as Māori


This session will explore innovative ways that schools can create environments to empower Māori students and raise achievement for all students in the process. We will discuss several avenues of support for school leaders and teachers to enhance their culturally responsive practices, and strengthen their relationships with Māori students and their whānau.

Goals of the Seminar:

  • Discuss strategies for strengthening relationships with Māori students and their whānau.
  • Explore what culturally responsive practice is and how to integrate these practices into the classroom and wider school community.
  • Share ways in which schools can use the Treaty of Waitangi as a vehicle for strengthening relationships and enhancing cultural practices.
  • Share guidelines for enhancing whānau hui and strengthening engagement processes.
  • Explore ways in which schools can support their Māori students to succeed as Māori.
  • Explore ways in which e-learning can be used as a vehicle to raise engagement and achievement.


Breakfast Keynote:

  • “What works for Māori students will work for everyone” – Russell Bishop
  • This doesn’t go the other one. What works for everyone, doesn’t necessarily work Māori students.
  • Who are these Māori students we are talking about? Gen Z Māori
  • Who are our Gen Z Māoris?
  • New millennials – e-Gen – Net Gen – Digital Natives – Gen Tech (Labels)
  • It is important we understand the language our students use – e.g. –  Skux, steezy, bolo, salty, snake, actual, on the grind.
  • The TBH phenomenon on Facebook is the first generation to give each other positive affirmations by choice. They are choosing to puff each other up.
  • The kids don’t have a lot in their kete past Googling it.
  • They tend to text to instead of talk face to face.
  • “They don’t have good oral language schools” – these are the labels we put on them. Yet these kids are having more conversations now than we were, when we were their age. They are confident communicators.
  • These students are globally aware. They have been coined the most globally aware generation of all time.
  • They require constant and immediate feedback.
  • They are independent and self-directed learners. They understand that information lives in an iPad.
  • They have a certain amount of independent learning skills when they come to school. We need to leverage that.
  • They are very entitled. We don’t fix, we replace.
  • They are tech savvy.
  • The have an expectant of flexibility. They don’t understand why they have to wait 2 weeks to get an internal assignment mark back.
  • They are smart! They can process massive amounts of information and new knowledge quickly.
  • They don’t like being told how to do something – here is your white refill, right in the top left, underline the misspelled words in red and highlight the verb in green.
  • We are killing the engagement in our kids by prescribing tasks that are inflexible and boring. 
  • They know how to skim read and process information quickly. They don’t know how to check its validity and rewrite information in their own words. We need to teach that!
  • They are not the first generation to be antisocial.
  • A selfie is about them expressing themselves and sharing their feelings with the word. They are expressing a persona they wished they were/looked like. They might be sad and presenting a happier front.
  • They tend to have poor literacy skills when writing statuses “I love when I can smell a guy’s colon as we walks by”
  • We can’t change this generation, we can only help mold them.
  • Our schools need to be a place that allow and enable student be who and what they are
  • When you enable you are putting things in place that help to them to be who and what they are.
  • What would I hear, see and feel when I come to your school that sends the message “We value and celebrate your culture”? 
  • What is on our website? What is in our newsletter? How do the kids respond in the playground? How am I greeted when  I walk into the office? What is on the walls?
  • How would I know I was in school in Aotearoa, NZ?
  • The next question becomes “How do we do this for all the kids?”
  • They are being cared for in their own country. Those cultures, customs and values are 100% being cared for in their own country.
  • Who is looking after our indigenous culture?
  • A man was threatened to be arrested for not speaking in English. The New Zealand Herald refused to publish a death notice in Māori. This is our first language of New Zealand and we are not afforded the right to use it.
  • What is culturally responsive practice? 
  • Culturally responsive practice is about enhancing the wairua of kids.
  • We need to move up the continuum. Accepting – inclusive – responsive
  • It is not enough to know your students as Māori. Māori is a tribal people, it covers a large number of people.
  • Māori never had a collective noun for themselves because they were tribal. Māori means normal.


We Need to:

  • See your kids in widescreen & surround sound
  • Quit the assumptions
  • YOU need to realise THEIR potential
  • Don’t breed a ‘failure culture’
  • Value more than letters and numbers
  • Expect more of them and even more of yourselves

Seminar :

  • This is hard because we are dealing with the Ministry narrative.
  • If we teach kids today as we did yesterday, we will rob our them of tomorrow.
  • Just because you love what you teach, doesn’t mean your students love what you teach.
  • If you are scared of change get out of teaching, you are in the wrong job.
  • Partnership, participation and protection.
  • Partnership = equitable, reciprocal, acknowledge their mana & whakapapa and acknowledge & grow their potential.
  • Participation = Invite & engage and go and learn about them.
  • Protection = Their aspirations, their culture, reo, iwi and their whanau.
  • Whanau Hui should be compulsory for all staff to attend. What message does it sent to parents if their child’s teacher is not there?
  • Don’t go to parents with your hands open, go with them behind your back. Show some humility and start a relationship.
  • Our students shouldn’t have to their ‘Māori ‘ off at the front gate.
  • Why is Kapa Haka practice run at lunch, but violin practice is allowed during curriculum time? We are sending a message to our kids, that kapa haka isn’t important.
  • Parents are having to have the conversation at home “You can’t speak Māori because they won’t understand you.”
  • What are the way you communicate with your Māori whanau?
  • Ask parents: What are your aspirations for your kids? What are we doing well? What can we do better?


Agency (Mana)

  • Whakamana is to give someone mana
  • Agency is about giving mana to our kids
  • There is a shift from teacher directed to learner centered. We are moving away from top down.
  • Teachers are facilitators and learning coaches
  • Students embracing design thinking and creativity. They are choosing where they learn, how they learn and what they learn. The first step for this is Ako. Ako means to learn in its simpliest form.
  • Ako is the process of learning and teaching interwined with all the relationships they involve.
  • When are your kids teaching other students their passions?
  • How often do we take a step back and learn from our kids?
  • When are our teachers learners and students teachers?

Ubiquity (Horapa)

  • Ubiquity means anytime, anywhere
  • Learning is not confined to a place or a time frame
  • Māori adapting to surroundings
  • Just in time, contextual learning
  • Learning no longer takes place between just 9am and 3pm.
  • Learning is now rewindable, technology gave us this opportunity.
  • We need to stop making learning a secret. Why don’t we tell them what they are going to learn for the year in January?

Connectedness (Tuihono) 

  • Relationship connections
  • Connecting to spaces and places
  • Being connected – plugged in
  • Face to face – virtual – global
  • Whakapapa
  • Whenua
  • Mahi toi
  • Hononga – taumau, whānau
  • We tell our students to unfriend all these people they barely know, but these connections that make in life are valuable.
  • Have connections are not bad. If they asked on their Facebook for a job, they are tapping into more than just their close circle of friends.

Collaboration (Mahi Ngātahi)

  • Working together
  • Communication
  • Learn together
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Tuakana/Teina – Create a wall in your learning space. Tuakana – I am great at… – Teina – I need help with… – Students and teachers can add to this. Don’t let it be an academic success wall. I need help with putting a washer in my washing machine or I need help with drawing a silver fern.
  • Wānanga
  • Hapu: Roles and responsibilities
  • Together with each other, for each other


Gathering Student Voice

  • Does your school enable you to be who and what you are?
  • What is it like being Māori at school?
  • Do you think your school values your culture? How do you know that?
  • How does your school make your whānau feel welcome at school?
  • Suggestions for questions – 
  • Presentation: A message to my teachers – 

To Do:


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