Bringing about change
What is Ngā Manutaki? What is their role? Raewin describes the work she and her colleagues undertake with school management teams encouraging them to “refocus and reposition” themselves in order to bring about a change in Māori student learning outcomes.
Raewin Tipene-Clarke (Ngā Manutaki – Regional Coordinator): “The role of a manutaki which is the, um, name gifted to us really in relation to the work that we’re doing, is to focus the attention of senior management teams and principals in particular on Māori learner success. So it’s to nurture and guide those teams of people to focus unambiguously on what that success might look like. Some times that requires us to move people to uncomfortable places and that’s part of my role, to examine through probing questions what occurs in a school. To look at data and give some analysis, to understand the impact of systems and the way that Māori families and young people might interact with those systems. But we want to do that in a way that maintains the dignity of the role, so maintains mana tangata, so that is the principals, the senior leadership teams and our own. Because in the end it is about focusing on what is at the centre, and at the centre are rangatahi, those rangatahi who are relying on us to make a difference in the systems in which they find themselves learning. In some way our principals and leaders have become paralyzed into inactivity because they have not been able to have the hard conversations, the un-PC conversations that unpacks what occurs in their school and how they might lead and manage change in different ways, in twenty-first century ways. Māori learners are discerning consumers of education, they know what fairness looks like and they know what inequity looks like. We currently have a high quality low equity system, and we want to alter that picture. The way that we can alter that picture is for principals in schools and school leaders to own and manage the change they want to see. So that’s gathering the right sort of data, the right sort of evidence, and sometimes we see schools that are data rich, however what they lack is the skills or knowledge to mine that data and make it meaningful in terms of actions and goals that they might set for Māori learners.”