The Te Kotahitanga Project: An In-School Professional Development Project
The Te Kotahitanga research project sought to investigate, by talking with Mäori students (and other participants in their education), those underlying teacher and school behaviours and attitudes that make a difference to Mäori achievement.
In their narratives the students clearly identified the main influences on their educational achievement and told how teachers, in changing the ways they related and interacted with Mäori students in their classrooms, could create a context for learning wherein Mäori students’ educational achievement could improve. Bishop & Berryman (2006).
The Effective Teacher Profile was developed as a teaching model which is currently being implemented in 33 mainstream schools throughout the North Island of New Zealand. It focuses on supporting teachers to shift their interactions with Year nine and ten students from being predominantly those of instruction and monitoring, to include more learning conversations between teacher and student, and student to student. Co-operative learning tasks are promoted as a way of increasing student engagement in learning. A culturally responsive context is promoted through acknowledging Maori students’ prior knowledge and the cultural identity they bring to the classroom.
Keywords: Maori, New Zealand, Te Kotahitanga, Aotearoa, Co-Operative Learning, Cultural Responsiveness
Margot Elizabeth Calder
Lead Facilitator of the Te Kotahitanga Project at Tauranga Girls'College, English Department