Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori: Te Reo Research Project Publications
The purpose of this research project was to gather information to help inform a review and refinement of the draft Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori: Te Reo, and also to identify the support required for the implementation of Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori: Te Reo and how whānau would like student progress and achievement reported to them. The project was undertaken by the University of Waikato and used a mixed method approach to collect the information.
Author(s): Margie Hōhepa, The University of Waikato.
Date Published: October 2011
Phase 1: Revision and refinement of Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori: Te Reo
In Phase 1 we wanted to find out about formal and informal assessment practices teachers were using to make judgements about student performance areas focused on in Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori: Te Reo. That is kōrero, pānui and tuhituhi. We also wanted to find out to what extent they were confident in making and moderating these judgements. In order to do this we undertook teacher and school surveys with a group of schools that were working with a group of Ngā Taumatua trained facilitators using the draft Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori: Te Reo.
We found out from school surveys completed by 16 schools that in general information about students' schooling and programme histories, such as time in immersion education and home language backgrounds, is not collected systematically. As a result teachers and schools are unlikely to have ready access to relevant, accurate information that is helpful when examining students' achievement and progress in Māori-medium settings. This suggests a need for more systematic collection and recording of information about the kinds of educational programmes students have attended, and the duration and consistency of that attendance in order to contextualise decisions about student placement on Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori progressions.
While this project is concerned with the learning area Te Reo Māori and Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori, school surveys also indicated that the timing of the introduction of English language instruction varied greatly from Y0 (in Level 2 immersion programmes) to Year 9 (in a Level 1 immersion programme). English language instruction may also be located off the school site. Prior to the implementation of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa schools and kura whānau exercised some autonomy in deciding whether to introduce English. While schools and kura have autonomy to decide when and how to introduce Te Reo Pākehā, its inclusion is now mandatory as Te Reo Pākehā is now a learning area in Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. The variability above suggests that in the future some thought and planning may be required with regards to PL&D support for the learning area Te Reo Pākehā.
Information from 73 completed teacher surveys reinforced for us that a common feature of Māori-medium education (MME) is multi-year level teaching. This feature may facilitate or impede teacher assessment practices. On the one hand multi-year teaching could support making judgements about student progress with regards to Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori, as teachers who are used to teaching across year levels may also be used to thinking about teaching, learning, planning and assessment across levels. On the other hand it is likely to have workload implications relating to multiple-loading teachers. Working across a wide range of classroom levels may already impact on teachers' workloads. This impact could be intensified by Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori implementation. This suggests that preparing teachers to implement Ngā Whanaketanga will need to include how to do this efficiently in multi-year level classroom contexts.
We found that teachers responding to the survey are likely to represent those who are relatively experienced in teaching in Māori-medium (mainly level 1) settings, with just over three-quarters of the teachers having taught for six or more years. They represent teachers with well-established networks of professional support with regards to Te Reo Māori, particularly with regards to pānui and tuhituhi, given that there were long term relationships with their Ngā Taumatua trained facilitators as well as between some of the schools. This suggests that professional learning and development for Ngā Whanaketanga implementation will need to take cognizance of teachers' levels of experience and direct some attention to developing networks where needed.
Teacher survey responses to questions about sources of evidence and weighting given when making judgements about student progress consistently rated daily learning and teaching observations and interactions with students as the greatest source and consulting with colleagues as the least used source, with formal assessments (e.g. asTTLe, He Mātai Mātātupu) somewhere in the middle. Moderating assessments through formal consultation with colleagues, plays an important part in overall teacher judgement, particularly for tuhituhi and kōrero. This suggests formal attention will be needed to help teachers develop knowledge and expertise in moderating assessments.We also found that while teachers generally reported feeling confident in making judgements about pānui achievement and progress, there was a fall-off in teacher confidence in making judgements about progress across tuhituhi and kōrero. This suggests that teachers are more likely to need specific support and professional learning opportunities to develop confidence and expertise in judging student achievement and progress in these two areas.
Survey responses about English assessment indicate that it is important to ensure that Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori are used where Te Marautanga o Aotearoa is implemented and correspondingly National Standards are used where the New Zealand Curriculum is implemented. This is to avoid MME teachers experiencing double-loading by, for example, trying to report against National Standards, with regards to Te reo Pākehā programmes in their schools.
Phase 2: Case Studies — Implementation and professional development
In Phase 2 we collected information about PL&D that facilitators were providing from four case study schools.
Information collected from case study schools reflect the importance of professional networks and relationships for effective PL&D facilitation. Existing networks and relationships were drawn on to develop and provide effective learning opportunities for MME teachers in a short time period (approximately two school terms). This indicates that capability exists to provide effective PL&D. However case studies showed that how its capacity might be best built needs to be addressed to avoid overload of those with capability. Strategies to develop capacity also need to protect those upskilling potential facilitators from overload, and ensure that knowledge and skills are not lost from schools in the long term as a result of taking out skilled experienced teachers to provide PL&D across the Māori-medium sector.
Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori: Te Reo are seen by teachers and principals (as well as parents – see Case Study 3) in the case study schools as potentially contributing to the establishment of a national picture of MME student achievement based on common points of reference. However care needs to be taken so that MME philosophies and principles are not subsumed under those of English-medium schooling and by approaches to National Standards implementation.
One finding of Phase 2 that has significant implications for how PL&D might be provided effectively is that in-school differences were greater than across-school differences in teachers' ratings of their abilities to moderate collectively and make judgements against the Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori: Te Reo. Identifying the pattern of strengths and needs in a given school at the outset will help tailor PL&D opportunities to these, be these provided to individual or groups of schools. The school and teacher surveys used in Phase 1 provide a good starting point for the development of possible tools to gather baseline information: about strengths and needs with regards to a school's systems for handling relevant student information; and teacher-related knowledge and expertise.
Key features of Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori: Te Reo PL&D that was implemented in 2010 that teachers showed particular appreciation for was how it helped increase teacher knowledge and understanding: of the Marautanga and its implementation; and of available teaching and assessment resources and how to use them effectively. This raises questions about what are the most effective ways to introduce and roll out new resources, including curriculum documents. This PL&D was developed to explicitly focus on links and alignments between new and existing documents and resources to introduce teachers to Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori : Te Reo, and provide concrete opportunities to plan, teach and assess with these in concert.
Phase 3: Case Study — Reporting to parents and whānau
Phase 3 of the project focuses on kura engagement with whānau. This phase involved groups of parents and parent members of the Board of Trustees from each of the four case-study schools. The parents provided information on their views, experiences and preferences for the reporting of student achievement and progress.
Reporting student achievement at a whole school/unit level
Key messages emerging out of the parents' voices that are discussed in this section indicate the significance that kura whānau place on engagement as relational processes involving school staff, families and students as one group, rather than engagement that involves groups from two separate contexts - home and school - engaging with each other, have for reporting information about student achievement at a school or unit wide level. Observations of whānau hui, examination of weekly pānui and discussions with facilitators and teachers indicated that Ngā Whanaketanga work in the schools is being drawn on. While parents did not always see or know the links between the kinds of information and the forms in which information was presented at these hui to Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori, they described what they understood from the presentations and appreciated the opportunities to learn about achievement and teaching programmes in their school or rumaki unit.
Reporting to parents about their child's achievement and progress
Parents identified some key preferences they would like to see included in reporting processes. These can be grouped around te reo Māori preferences and kanohi ki te kanohi preferences. Parents appreciated opportunities to hear their child talking about their own learning in te reo Māori, such as in student-led conferences. They also wanted opportunities to discuss their child's progress directly with teachers:
- If te reo Māori was a barrier to fully understanding what was being presented in te reo Māori;
- To find out the teacher's view of their child's progress and what might need to happen as a consequence; and
- To explore information in the written report in more depth and identify their children's progress in their work.
Parents identified a key role of reports about their children's achievement was to confirm in writing where their child is at and to show the whānau what the child could do. They preferred reports that provided clear information about their child's progress and where they need to go in their learning. The size of written reports (be they in Māori or English) needs to be carefully balanced in order for parents to receive clear messages about their children's progress, without being overwhelmed. Parents identified being interested in information that included social, emotional, linguistic (in particular te reo Māori development) and cultural development (such as iwi tikanga). They wanted to know about goals for their child's learning and what was happening to achieve those goals. Many parents also wanted information about their child's behaviour, confidence levels, preparation to move on to new things and transition to new learning contexts, such as secondary, or English-medium schooling.
Reporting information about student learning and achievement to boards
Parents who are board of trustee members focused on factors that helped, or could help facilitate the reporting and discussion of information about student achievement at board level. In general they saw board meetings as critical opportunities to discuss information and data about student achievement in their school. In order for this to happen, staff needed to be present and able to discuss and explain student achievement information. This is particularly important in schools with Māori and English-medium programmes, along with information about rumaki programmes and rumaki student achievement being a 'business as usual' integrated part of board business, rather than as an add-on. Board members also expressed a desire for information related to language development and learning (Māori and English) and information about how their students are doing at a national level.
Parents' knowledge and views of Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori
The four case study schools' involvement during the revise and refine phase for Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori: Te Reo and having an opportunity to participate in PL&D leading up to 2011 implementation was viewed positively by the majority of parent board members.
More work is needed to make sure that information about Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori is provided to parents in explicit rather than imbedded ways. For example, explicitly linking reports on student achievement and progression in whānau hui to Ngā Whanaketanga and its intentions. Parents indicated a preference for 'unbiased material' that lay out different views and provides an opportunity to identify and discuss strengths and potentially problematic aspects of Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori.
Most parents were positive about the implications of Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori for teaching and learning. Some concern was expressed however about how areas of valued learning and achievement that fall outside the document would be positioned. Also, concern was expressed over potential uses and reporting of information generated about student achievement and progress in a school.
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