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Ministry of Education.

How does it work?

There are two core elements to the delivery of the programme:

  •  in-school activities that support schools leaders
  •  outside-school wānanga for school leaders.

The ‘mantra’ that He Kākano supports is: ‘What works for Māori works for everyone. But what works for everyone does not necessarily work best for Māori’. In practice this means:

  • finding opportunities to build evidence in order to improve outcomes for Māori
  • addressing issues of achievement, retention, engagement and attendance
  • ensuring classrooms can respond to the cultural needs of Māori students
  • including whānau as partners in teachers’ capability
  • using data and evidence to help make decisions.

Key concepts that underpin He Kākano include the belief that school leaders:

  • can create culturally appropriate and responsive contexts for teaching and learning. Cultural considerations are important in leadership.
  • must be ‘agentic’ - they themselves must be agents of change, being prepared to look at every aspect of their school including the school’s institutional structures; processes; vision; goals; curriculum options; their own leadership style; pedagogical knowledge; and relationships with staff, students and their local communities, so that all aspects support Māori student achievement and success as Māori.
  • play a critical role in enabling and supporting teachers to develop a ‘culturally responsive pedagogy of relations’ in their classrooms where ‘power is shared between self-determining individuals within non-dominating relations of interdependence; where culture counts, where learning is interactive, dialogic and spirals; where participants are connected to one another through the establishment of a common vision for what constitutes excellence in educational outcomes’ (Bishop, O’Sullivan, Berryman 2010)
  • need ongoing support in order to make the kinds of decisions and changes needed to be successful. In He Kākano, that ongoing support comes not only from the He Kākano team, but also from the range of relationships that develop at the wānanga and that are supported by the web-based and face-to-face (kanohi-ki-te-kanohi) communities of practice that are developed by the school leaders themselves.

The He Kākano strategy has come from three sources:

  • Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success
  • Māori Education Strategy 2008-2012
  • The Te Kotahitanga research and professional development programme (Faculty of Education, University of Waikato) and knowledge of iwi, hapū and Māori leadership development (Indigenous Leadership Centre, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiarangi).

Ka Hikitia draws from the  Best Evidence Synthesis (BES) documents including Te Kotahitanga research. It takes an ‘approach that invests in success’ (p.9) - a Māori potential approach. Ka Hikitia addresses the need to develop capacity and capability in all who are engaged in education so that the focus is on what works for Māori.

Te Kotahitanga research proposes that leaders and teachers need to implement seven elements of change to effect sustainable educational reform. They include goal setting, developing a pedagogy of relations that creates culturally appropriate and responsive classroom learning contexts, institutional reform that is responsive to classroom changes, a distributed leadership pattern that supports pedagogic leadership, spread to include whānau, iwi and hapū aspirations, preferences and practices, evidence-based decision making and ownership by all concerned of the goals of improving Māori student success. (refer to ‘ Scaling Up Education Reform’ - Bishop, O’Sullivan, Berryman 2010)

"One definition of achievement might be national measures such as NCEA credits, tertiary qualifications, but without the human measures i.e.: positive self identity, critical awareness, purpose, hope, young people can become disengaged and disillusioned with school. If we want an equitable system this situation has to change."

Anne Milne, presentation at wānanga 1

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