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Evaluation of Whakapiki i te Reo: A professional development programme for kaiako in Level 1 and Level 2 Māori medium settings

Publication Details

This report contains findings from an analysis of a quantitative survey of 50 kaiako from selected kura, and a series of qualitative interviews with kaiako, principals and Whakapiki i te Reo (WKR) providers. This particular report is concerned with assessing the outcomes from the WKR programme, and particularly with the impact the programme is having on the reo Māori development of students, and the building of kaiako capability and kura capacity.

Author(s): Dr Rangi Matamua, Director, Kahukura Consultants.

Date Published: August 2012

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Executive Summary

The purpose of WKR is to support Māori medium schools and settings to strengthen their commitment to the provision of high quality Māori language programmes for their students. Further to this, WKR programmes support kaiako capability and raise kura capacity and sustainability. The goal of WKR is to raise the competency and proficiency language levels of kaiako to increase students’ language development capability and to support community aspirations to regenerate tikanga, mātauranga, and te reo Māori particular to Māori medium schools and settings, in consultation with the whānau, hapū and iwi . Findings show that the WKR programme is reported as having a positive impact on the reo Māori ability of kaiako and students. More than 90% of kaiako state that the programme had in some way improved their overall reo Māori proficiency. Likewise, WKR had improved the overall language proficiency of students from kura who had kaiako involved in the programme.

The WKR programme was reported as having a positive impact on all facets of te reo Māori for both kaiako and students, including reading, writing, speaking, and quality and quantity of reo used.

Kaiako believe that the WKR programme is a worthwhile programme, and kaiako also stated that they would recommend the programme to other kaiako and other kura. Furthermore, most kaiako decided that they would like to repeat the WKR programme.

Kaiako also believe that the WKR programme has increased both the reo Māori capability of the kaiako and the capacity of the kura. In addition, the WKR programme was considered to have increased kaiako knowledge of second language teaching techniques.

Principals believe that the programme has increased the capacity of the different kura and has had additional positive benefits for students. Principals stated that since undertaking the programme kaiako had taken on greater reo Māori leadership roles within the kura, and had developed new reo programmes and initiatives.

The providers feel that the programmes they have implemented are helping to develop the reo Māori aspirations of kura and kaiako. They also believe that the WKR programme should continue to support kura and kaiako language teaching and learning opportunities into the future.

Feedback from kaiako suggests that the WKR programme might explore the option of developing a wānanga style approach, giving kaiako longer and more intense classes. Also, a collective approach by providers, kura and kaiako was forwarded as an efficacious idea.

Findings show that the programme should increase its focus on supporting spoken reo Māori, while at the same time continuing its commitment to the unique tribal and regional dialects of some kura.

Important issues raised included the limited level of reo Māori of some of the kaiako on the WKR programme. While this is not reflected in the quantitative data, the interviews show that a number of kaiako and providers believe that there now exists a lack of language ability among some kaiako. Additional issues raised include the role of Kura Auraki and Kura Reo Rua, and the lack of research data on the development of kaiako and student’s reo Māori.

Recommendations include exploring wānanga, increasing the programmes focus on spoken reo Māori, increasing interaction between kaiako, kura and providers, re-assessing the level of language needed to attend the programme, and the types of kura best suited to WKR, extending the length of time kaiako are involved in the WKR programme, and developing a regular research process to collect regular and robust data on the benefits of WKR.

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