The new priorities that underpin regionally-allocated professional learning and development (PLD) have now been launched. Watch videos of key speakers introducing the seven new PLD priorities and find out about why they have been re-focused to support teacher capabilities.

Read descriptions of the new PLD priorities.

Kua whakarewatia ngā whāinga tōmua hou mō ngā kaupapa PLD ā-rohe. Mātakihia ngā ataata me ngā kaikōrero matua e kōrero ana mō ēnei ngā whāinga tōmua PLD hou me te take i whakahāngaitia ai ki te hāpai i ngā āheinga o te kaiako.

Tirohia ngā whakamārama mō ngā whāinga tōmua PLD.

Iona Holsted, Secretary of Education Iona Holsted, Hekeretari o te Mātauranga

In this video, Iona introduces the new PLD priorities. She emphasises the importance of cultural capability to ensure equitable opportunities for young people and the need for digital fluency in the current COVID-19 context.

Kei tēnei ataata, ka whakataki a Iona i ngā whāinga tōmua PLD. Ka kōrero hoki ia mō te hiranga o te āheinga ahurea e mātua whakarite ai i ngā huarahi ōrite mō ngā taiohi me te matea o te matataunga ā-matihiko i tēnei wā o te urutā Covid-19.

transcript icon Video transcript available for Tāngakupu ataata Iona Holsted, Secretary of Education Iona Holsted, Hekeretari o te Mātauranga
Open Tirohia Close Kati

Tēnā koutou katoa.

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou.

I thank you all for joining me this morning on video.

It would have been nice to have been in a big meeting room, but that's not to be.

Today is an important day from my perspective.

I want to begin by acknowledging the challenges we face this year, but mostly I want to focus on the future in terms of the PLD.

During Covid, especially during the lockdown phase, we saw huge efforts from every part of the education system to support the learning of children, and I was genuinely and continuously impressed by the pragmatism, the agility and the creativity that so many of you, and so many in the sector showed.

Looking forward, we need to now focus on some very big, big issues for the sector.

Today I'm really pleased to introduce the new priorities to guide professional learning and development for Māori medium and English medium schools.

The new priorities for Māori medium settings are Mātauranga and te reo Māori Marau ā-kura; and Aromatawai.

Kiritina Johnston will share more about these priorities in her video, but I can assure you they reflect the interests of those people who participated in Kōrero Mātauranga a couple of years ago.

For English medium settings the priorities are building cultural capability local curriculum design and assessment for learning.

If there was ever a case to be made for digital fluency, our experiences with Covid reveal those and I don't think I need to teach any of you the importance of it.

What is particularly important for us is to keep providing opportunities for educators to confidently and capably integrate digital technology into their practice.

So that they can in turn support and help young people to master and not be mastered by technologies.

All our new PLD priorities have strong support from across the education sector. They reflect what we've heard, over and over again.

They also reflect the directions signalled in the recently refreshed Ka Hikitia and Tau Mai Te Reo strategies, and the new pacific education plan.

The priorities refocus PLD to build the critical teacher capabilities that we need to promote equitable learning opportunities and inclusive practices.

While all of the new priorities have an important contribution to make, I see building cultural capability is essential if all young people are going to feel connected and welcomed at school.

Unfortunately, we hear too often that our Māori and pacific, and other young people of colour, experience racism and discrimination as part of their everyday lives and within schools and education generally.

We heard from too many learners and whanau that they're made to feel that their language and their culture are things to be left at the school door, rather than being understood as strengths to be nurtured and sustained.

You have a critical opportunity to develop and strengthen the capabilities that will enable kaiako and leaders to create a strong sense of belonging for all ākonga in their school or kura.

To support these shifts we need you as PLD providers and facilitators to also grow your strengths in critical consciousness and kaupapa Māori.

Pauline Cleaver will share more in her video about how we'll be supporting that growth. What's great is that there is a real thirst from our teachers and education leaders to grow this capability.

There is a real enthusiasm to work, to improve our responsiveness to many races in our schools.

We were overwhelmed by the requests for our trial racial conscious tool last year.

That is why we're focused on supporting you in the PLD network, so you can respond to that hunger with high quality PLD and help educators positively influence the progress and achievement of all learners.

To genuinely build the cultural capability of our teachers and leaders, we need to dismantle bias racism and low expectations.

This is challenging, confronting, and uncomfortable, but we owe it to our learners to take that challenge up. This challenge is not limited to the teaching profession it applies to regulators, policy makers and advisors.

At the Ministry of Education, I've taken on board the wise advice of my former advisor Dr Wayne Ngata, "to sort out our own whare first". He meant by that was that we had to attend to our own cultural bias before we should be telling others to attend to theirs.

We have participated in a program called Te Ara Whiti, and it's providing professional development and support to our staff to understand and confront their cultural biases to gain a better understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and ensure we have multiple perspectives in forming our work.

We recognise the need for our organisation and the system to be confident New Zealand's bicultural heritage, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and to draw from this foundation to navigate a future that is inclusive and increasingly diverse.

The courageous conversations beyond diversity training, which we're undertaking as part of our Te Ara Whiti program, takes as its starting point this unique context of Aotearoa New Zealand.

I think it frames the challenge that we have very constructively it begins, and I quote, “Te Tiriti o Waitangi, foregrounded by He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni, pledges a commitment to partnership between Māori and non-Māori through the principles of rangatiratanga and Kāwanatanga. We believe that working towards an authentic, treaty-based relationship between tangata whenua and all others – that works with and through tension – can provide a roadmap to cultural responsiveness and equitable outcomes for all in a context of ever-increasing racial and ethnic diversity.”

It's a mouthful, and it's a big challenge. I'm going to share with you some of the feedback that I've had around Te Ara Whiti, and I'm sharing this because I think it exemplifies how we would want children and teachers to come out of any form of racial bias training.

First from a Pākeha staff member, "I am a white woman who has been learning about racism for a while and although I was aware of my white privilege, I was not conscious to the extent of it, nor was I truly aware in a personalised way of the nature extent and impacts of racism on people of colour in New Zealand. Te Ara Whiti gives those of us who participated tools language and permission to have conversations about race, and to consciously and openly bring our feelings and beliefs into the workplace and our work. These tools provide a mechanism and an opportunity for us to understand each other better and communicate more effectively in our work every day. I left Te Ara Whiti feeling hopeful. I will act into that hope with the new tools I have at my disposal.”

And from a Māori staff member, “I have been subjected to racism through my entire life and has impacted me in ways I wasn't even aware of; from career choices to education and training decisions. My defense mechanism has been to suppress the feelings of mamae and whakamaa, and assimilate into the predominant culture of this country, so says not to stand out.

Perhaps the most important is that I now feel empowered to ‘speak my truth’.”

Dismantling bias is critical. Bias, conscious or otherwise, has a corrosive effect on learning for multiple reasons, but one of the most dangerous is low expectations.

An inbuilt prejudice that some kids are just naturally not as good as some things as others.

Dr Haare Williams recently published his book “Words of a Kaumatua”, and in it he has this really lovely prose : “There comes a time when a child is born.

Lying on the earth floor and a speck of light speaks through the raupō thatch and shines on the child and says to the child ‘my child, you are never born to fail’.”

If I could achieve one thing and one thing only it would be that this poetry is lived experience of every child.

We all have a role to play in making that reality. Thank you.

Tēnā koutou katoa.

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou.

I thank you all for joining me this morning on video.

It would have been nice to have been in a big meeting room, but that's not to be.

Today is an important day from my perspective.

I want to begin by acknowledging the challenges we face this year, but mostly I want to focus on the future in terms of the PLD.

During Covid, especially during the lockdown phase, we saw huge efforts from every part of the education system to support the learning of children, and I was genuinely and continuously impressed by the pragmatism, the agility and the creativity that so many of you, and so many in the sector showed.

Looking forward, we need to now focus on some very big, big issues for the sector.

Today I'm really pleased to introduce the new priorities to guide professional learning and development for Māori medium and English medium schools.

The new priorities for Māori medium settings are Mātauranga and te reo Māori Marau ā-kura; and Aromatawai.

Kiritina Johnston will share more about these priorities in her video, but I can assure you they reflect the interests of those people who participated in Kōrero Mātauranga a couple of years ago.

For English medium settings the priorities are building cultural capability local curriculum design and assessment for learning.

If there was ever a case to be made for digital fluency, our experiences with Covid reveal those and I don't think I need to teach any of you the importance of it.

What is particularly important for us is to keep providing opportunities for educators to confidently and capably integrate digital technology into their practice.

So that they can in turn support and help young people to master and not be mastered by technologies.

All our new PLD priorities have strong support from across the education sector. They reflect what we've heard, over and over again.

They also reflect the directions signalled in the recently refreshed Ka Hikitia and Tau Mai Te Reo strategies, and the new pacific education plan.

The priorities refocus PLD to build the critical teacher capabilities that we need to promote equitable learning opportunities and inclusive practices.

While all of the new priorities have an important contribution to make, I see building cultural capability is essential if all young people are going to feel connected and welcomed at school.

Unfortunately, we hear too often that our Māori and pacific, and other young people of colour, experience racism and discrimination as part of their everyday lives and within schools and education generally.

We heard from too many learners and whanau that they're made to feel that their language and their culture are things to be left at the school door, rather than being understood as strengths to be nurtured and sustained.

You have a critical opportunity to develop and strengthen the capabilities that will enable kaiako and leaders to create a strong sense of belonging for all ākonga in their school or kura.

To support these shifts we need you as PLD providers and facilitators to also grow your strengths in critical consciousness and kaupapa Māori.

Pauline Cleaver will share more in her video about how we'll be supporting that growth. What's great is that there is a real thirst from our teachers and education leaders to grow this capability.

There is a real enthusiasm to work, to improve our responsiveness to many races in our schools.

We were overwhelmed by the requests for our trial racial conscious tool last year.

That is why we're focused on supporting you in the PLD network, so you can respond to that hunger with high quality PLD and help educators positively influence the progress and achievement of all learners.

To genuinely build the cultural capability of our teachers and leaders, we need to dismantle bias racism and low expectations.

This is challenging, confronting, and uncomfortable, but we owe it to our learners to take that challenge up. This challenge is not limited to the teaching profession it applies to regulators, policy makers and advisors.

At the Ministry of Education, I've taken on board the wise advice of my former advisor Dr Wayne Ngata, "to sort out our own whare first". He meant by that was that we had to attend to our own cultural bias before we should be telling others to attend to theirs.

We have participated in a program called Te Ara Whiti, and it's providing professional development and support to our staff to understand and confront their cultural biases to gain a better understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and ensure we have multiple perspectives in forming our work.

We recognise the need for our organisation and the system to be confident New Zealand's bicultural heritage, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and to draw from this foundation to navigate a future that is inclusive and increasingly diverse.

The courageous conversations beyond diversity training, which we're undertaking as part of our Te Ara Whiti program, takes as its starting point this unique context of Aotearoa New Zealand.

I think it frames the challenge that we have very constructively it begins, and I quote, “Te Tiriti o Waitangi, foregrounded by He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni, pledges a commitment to partnership between Māori and non-Māori through the principles of rangatiratanga and Kāwanatanga. We believe that working towards an authentic, treaty-based relationship between tangata whenua and all others – that works with and through tension – can provide a roadmap to cultural responsiveness and equitable outcomes for all in a context of ever-increasing racial and ethnic diversity.”

It's a mouthful, and it's a big challenge. I'm going to share with you some of the feedback that I've had around Te Ara Whiti, and I'm sharing this because I think it exemplifies how we would want children and teachers to come out of any form of racial bias training.

First from a Pākeha staff member, "I am a white woman who has been learning about racism for a while and although I was aware of my white privilege, I was not conscious to the extent of it, nor was I truly aware in a personalised way of the nature extent and impacts of racism on people of colour in New Zealand. Te Ara Whiti gives those of us who participated tools language and permission to have conversations about race, and to consciously and openly bring our feelings and beliefs into the workplace and our work. These tools provide a mechanism and an opportunity for us to understand each other better and communicate more effectively in our work every day. I left Te Ara Whiti feeling hopeful. I will act into that hope with the new tools I have at my disposal.”

And from a Māori staff member, “I have been subjected to racism through my entire life and has impacted me in ways I wasn't even aware of; from career choices to education and training decisions. My defense mechanism has been to suppress the feelings of mamae and whakamaa, and assimilate into the predominant culture of this country, so says not to stand out.

Perhaps the most important is that I now feel empowered to ‘speak my truth’.”

Dismantling bias is critical. Bias, conscious or otherwise, has a corrosive effect on learning for multiple reasons, but one of the most dangerous is low expectations.

An inbuilt prejudice that some kids are just naturally not as good as some things as others.

Dr Haare Williams recently published his book “Words of a Kaumatua”, and in it he has this really lovely prose : “There comes a time when a child is born.

Lying on the earth floor and a speck of light speaks through the raupō thatch and shines on the child and says to the child ‘my child, you are never born to fail’.”

If I could achieve one thing and one thing only it would be that this poetry is lived experience of every child.

We all have a role to play in making that reality. Thank you.

Kiritina Johnstone, Group Manager of Te Uepū Reo Māori in Early Learning and Student Achievement, Ministry of Education Kiritina Johnstone, Kaiwhakahaere ā-Rōpū o Te Uepū Reo Māori, Early Learning and Student Achievement, Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Listen to Kiritina discuss the need to ensure Māori-medium PLD is delivered in a consistent and authentic manner to all kaiako supporting ākonga learning te reo Māori, and those learning through te reo Māori.

Whakarongo ki a Kiritina e matapaki ana i te hiahia kia mātua ōrite kia motuhenga hoki te āhua o te tuku PLD arareo Māori ki ngā kaiako katoa e tautoko ana i ngā ākonga e ako ana i te reo Māori, me ērā e ako ana mā te reo Māori.

transcript icon Video transcript available for Tāngakupu ataata Kiritina Johnstone, Group Manager of Te Uepū Reo Māori in Early Learning and Student Achievement, Ministry of Education Kiritina Johnstone, Kaiwhakahaere ā-Rōpū o Te Uepū Reo Māori, Early Learning and Student Achievement, Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga
Open Tirohia Close Kati

Tēnā koutou

He uri whakaheke tēnei nō Te Tai Tokerau

Nō Ngāti Kuri i te taha o tōku pāpā

Nō Ngāti Whātua, te Parawhau me te Patuharakeke i te taha o tōku māmā

Ko Kiritina Johnstone tōku ingoa

Ko au te Kaihautu o te tīma ,  o Te rōpū Te Uepū Reo Māori i roto i te Tahuhu

Kia ora, my name is Kiritina Johnstone. I'm the group manager of Te Uepū Reo Māori. We have responsibility for ensuring that Māori medium PLD is provided in a consistent but authentic manner for our Māori medium teachers and our Māori medium workforce. By Māori medium we mean anyone who has committed to learning te reo Māori or teaching Te Marautanga o Aotearoa through te reo Māori.

This year we have the opportunity of having some new PLD priorities for Māori medium. Those include te reo Māorime Mātauranga Māori, we have the Marau ā-kura, and we have aromatawai. We know that all of those areas are really important for our educational workforce, who are supporting the provision of te reo Māori, in the diverse context of learning that we have. And so we want to shape these PLD priorities with you, so that they work for you. We want to make sure that everything that we do, is going to provide positive outcomes for our students, for our tamariki for our rangatira mo apōpōPLD was reset a number of years ago and we had the opportunity to work alongside some experts, who helped us to develop the concept of what we called He Raukuramō te Iwi. This is us looking really strongly and deliberately at what our students need, to help them to be successful in their education journey and for their future, and so these PLD priorities will help us to achieve that.

We know that in a Māori medium setting, it helps us to strengthen our own cultural identity. It helps us to be strong in who we are to understand why,why we are the way we are. It positions us really well in our own turangawaewae and it gives us access to some amazing stories that reflect Aotearoa New Zealand. We want to continue to achieve that through Māori medium PLD.

We also recognize that we can't do this without you, the kaimahi within our kura. We need to make sure that we work alongside you to see and recognise what works for you, with you, and by you. And so we encourage you to come in and participate in this PLD opportunity as often as possible, because keeping your PLD, your professional knowledge, current and strong is important for us and for the students that you support every day.

Nei rā te mihi atu ki a koutou.

Tēnā koutou

He uri whakaheke tēnei nō Te Tai Tokerau

Nō Ngāti Kuri i te taha o tōku pāpā

Nō Ngāti Whātua, te Parawhau me te Patuharakeke i te taha o tōku māmā

Ko Kiritina Johnstone tōku ingoa

Ko au te Kaihautu o te tīma ,  o Te rōpū Te Uepū Reo Māori i roto i te Tahuhu

Kia ora, my name is Kiritina Johnstone. I'm the group manager of Te Uepū Reo Māori. We have responsibility for ensuring that Māori medium PLD is provided in a consistent but authentic manner for our Māori medium teachers and our Māori medium workforce. By Māori medium we mean anyone who has committed to learning te reo Māori or teaching Te Marautanga o Aotearoa through te reo Māori.

This year we have the opportunity of having some new PLD priorities for Māori medium. Those include te reo Māorime Mātauranga Māori, we have the Marau ā-kura, and we have aromatawai. We know that all of those areas are really important for our educational workforce, who are supporting the provision of te reo Māori, in the diverse context of learning that we have. And so we want to shape these PLD priorities with you, so that they work for you. We want to make sure that everything that we do, is going to provide positive outcomes for our students, for our tamariki for our rangatira mo apōpōPLD was reset a number of years ago and we had the opportunity to work alongside some experts, who helped us to develop the concept of what we called He Raukuramō te Iwi. This is us looking really strongly and deliberately at what our students need, to help them to be successful in their education journey and for their future, and so these PLD priorities will help us to achieve that.

We know that in a Māori medium setting, it helps us to strengthen our own cultural identity. It helps us to be strong in who we are to understand why,why we are the way we are. It positions us really well in our own turangawaewae and it gives us access to some amazing stories that reflect Aotearoa New Zealand. We want to continue to achieve that through Māori medium PLD.

We also recognize that we can't do this without you, the kaimahi within our kura. We need to make sure that we work alongside you to see and recognise what works for you, with you, and by you. And so we encourage you to come in and participate in this PLD opportunity as often as possible, because keeping your PLD, your professional knowledge, current and strong is important for us and for the students that you support every day.

Nei rā te mihi atu ki a koutou.

Pauline Cleaver, Associate Deputy Secretary of Pathways and Progress, Early Learning and Student Achievement, Ministry of Education Pauline Cleaver, Hekeretari Tuarua Pathways and Progress, Early Learning and Student Achievement, Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

In this video, Pauline speaks about the improvements across PLD, including the new online PLD application system and an improved approach to assuring the quality of PLD services to achieve best results. 

Kei tēnei ataata, e kōrero a Pauline mō ngā whakapainga ake puta noa i te PLD, me te pūnaha tuihono PLD hou tae atu ki te huarahi pai ake hei whakatūturu i te kounga o ngā ratonga PLD e tutuki ai ngā otinga pai rawa.

transcript icon Video transcript available for Tāngakupu ataata Pauline Cleaver, Associate Deputy Secretary of Pathways and Progress, Early Learning and Student Achievement, Ministry of Education Pauline Cleaver, Hekeretari Tuarua Pathways and Progress, Early Learning and Student Achievement, Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga
Open Tirohia Close Kati

Tēnā koutou katoa

Professional Learning and Development, PLD, keeps our teachers and kaiako learning - learning how to be the best, the most capable guides they can be for their young learners.

PLD is not the only support to education capability, but it is a very important one with an annual budget of about $100 million.  About half of that supports regionally-allocated PLD, making it a valuable lever for progress.

The priorities for regionally-allocated PLD signal a critical and explicit shift.  They focus teacher capabilities on the learner, the learner’s own unique and valuable story, culture and background and own set of needs.

They will help schools grow the important capabilities our teachers will need to draw on in guiding each of their unique learners to enjoy success and to thrive.

Schools and kura will apply against the new sets of English medium and Māori medium priorities in this year’s combined terms three and four PLD allocation round.  Delivery of regionally-allocated PLD to the priorities will then start in term one 2021.

As with anything new, the priorities mean we will need to make some adjustments and do some things differently. We need to adapt our ways and our tools for real progress to happen.

That is why we are continuing to make improvements across our PLD system.

We’ve redeveloped the PLD website to make the PLD processes clearer, more transparent and better for users.

Our new Salesforce application system means we can process applications faster. This will allow us to reduce time on administrative processes between when a school or kura identifies a PLD need and when the PLD gets delivered and capabilities start developing and growing.

We’re going to work with our PLD workforce on ensuring strength in the facilitator skills needed to deliver to the new priorities, particularly to the cultural capability priority.

For the moment the accreditation status of all current PLD facilitators continues until we have the new approach in place.

We need to be confident it will be fit for purpose and support PLD, its purposes and the priorities well. We will develop a better approach for ‘assuring quality’ of PLD services. 

The approach will refine how providers enter the regionally-allocated PLD system, how local expertise and knowledge of local learning needs is connected to delivery decisions, and how we manage our provider relationships to achieve the best results for teachers, kaiako and of course their ākonga.

It is important we get this right and work with you and others in our school and kura communities to do this and to test that it will work well. This means the shape of the approach will become defined over the next year, rather than being fully in place in term 1 2021.

We need to develop effective tools to ensure quality in both Māori and English medium settings, remembering that these are sometimes blended and overlapping. 

With that in mind, the competencies demonstrated by facilitators have to align with the overall shifts the new priorities call for in teaching practice.  This means that critical consciousness and kaupapa Māori theory will be front and centre of all facilitators’ own professional development journeys.

Over the coming weeks there’ll be opportunities to join webinars and talk about what these things mean and how we will make them real. Keep an eye on the new website and your inbox.

We need you as PLD providers and facilitators to show strength in critical consciousness, inclusive practice and kaupapa Māori.  We will share with the network what skills, experiences and behaviours we consider show and uphold these. 

As I mentioned earlier, we always seek to improve and we will continue over time to review our PLD business and quality assurance processes to make them better.

We all know that at the heart of PLD is the people. People who care deeply about learning.  People who see the gaps and step into the opportunities.  People who turn their knowledge and expertise into growth, innovation and rich new educational partnerships, particularly with Iwi and mana whenua, across the communities we serve.

I’m proud to introduce the new set of PLD priorities and the potential they represent. I know you will all join with me to help transform that potential into a truly inclusive system that ultimately delivers equitable outcomes for all our ākonga.  

Nō reira tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

Tēnā koutou katoa

Professional Learning and Development, PLD, keeps our teachers and kaiako learning - learning how to be the best, the most capable guides they can be for their young learners.

PLD is not the only support to education capability, but it is a very important one with an annual budget of about $100 million.  About half of that supports regionally-allocated PLD, making it a valuable lever for progress.

The priorities for regionally-allocated PLD signal a critical and explicit shift.  They focus teacher capabilities on the learner, the learner’s own unique and valuable story, culture and background and own set of needs.

They will help schools grow the important capabilities our teachers will need to draw on in guiding each of their unique learners to enjoy success and to thrive.

Schools and kura will apply against the new sets of English medium and Māori medium priorities in this year’s combined terms three and four PLD allocation round.  Delivery of regionally-allocated PLD to the priorities will then start in term one 2021.

As with anything new, the priorities mean we will need to make some adjustments and do some things differently. We need to adapt our ways and our tools for real progress to happen.

That is why we are continuing to make improvements across our PLD system.

We’ve redeveloped the PLD website to make the PLD processes clearer, more transparent and better for users.

Our new Salesforce application system means we can process applications faster. This will allow us to reduce time on administrative processes between when a school or kura identifies a PLD need and when the PLD gets delivered and capabilities start developing and growing.

We’re going to work with our PLD workforce on ensuring strength in the facilitator skills needed to deliver to the new priorities, particularly to the cultural capability priority.

For the moment the accreditation status of all current PLD facilitators continues until we have the new approach in place.

We need to be confident it will be fit for purpose and support PLD, its purposes and the priorities well. We will develop a better approach for ‘assuring quality’ of PLD services. 

The approach will refine how providers enter the regionally-allocated PLD system, how local expertise and knowledge of local learning needs is connected to delivery decisions, and how we manage our provider relationships to achieve the best results for teachers, kaiako and of course their ākonga.

It is important we get this right and work with you and others in our school and kura communities to do this and to test that it will work well. This means the shape of the approach will become defined over the next year, rather than being fully in place in term 1 2021.

We need to develop effective tools to ensure quality in both Māori and English medium settings, remembering that these are sometimes blended and overlapping. 

With that in mind, the competencies demonstrated by facilitators have to align with the overall shifts the new priorities call for in teaching practice.  This means that critical consciousness and kaupapa Māori theory will be front and centre of all facilitators’ own professional development journeys.

Over the coming weeks there’ll be opportunities to join webinars and talk about what these things mean and how we will make them real. Keep an eye on the new website and your inbox.

We need you as PLD providers and facilitators to show strength in critical consciousness, inclusive practice and kaupapa Māori.  We will share with the network what skills, experiences and behaviours we consider show and uphold these. 

As I mentioned earlier, we always seek to improve and we will continue over time to review our PLD business and quality assurance processes to make them better.

We all know that at the heart of PLD is the people. People who care deeply about learning.  People who see the gaps and step into the opportunities.  People who turn their knowledge and expertise into growth, innovation and rich new educational partnerships, particularly with Iwi and mana whenua, across the communities we serve.

I’m proud to introduce the new set of PLD priorities and the potential they represent. I know you will all join with me to help transform that potential into a truly inclusive system that ultimately delivers equitable outcomes for all our ākonga.  

Nō reira tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

Dr. Margie Hohepa, former Professor, University of Waikato Dr. Margie Hohepa, Ahorangi o mua, Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato

Dr. Hohepa encourages the workforce in kura, and rumaki in English medium schools to participate in PLD. She outlines how participating in PLD impacts the professional knowledge of kaiako as well as improving outcomes for their ākonga.

Ka akiaki a Dr. Hohepa i te ohumahi i roto i ngā kura, me ngā takiwā rumaki i ngā kura auraki kia whai wāhi atu ki ngā kaupapa PLD. Ka whakamārama hoki ia i te painga o te whai wāhi ki te PLD me tōna pānga ki te mōhiotanga ngaio o te kaiako, me ngā hua pai ake ka puta mō ā rātou ākonga.

transcript icon Video transcript available for Tāngakupu ataata Dr. Margie Hohepa, former Professor, University of Waikato Dr. Margie Hohepa, Ahorangi o mua, Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato
Open Tirohia Close Kati

Please select 'Māori' in the top right hand corner of this website to view the transcript of Dr Hohepa's presentation in te reo Māori. 

To the repositories of the language, to the many tribes, and the many chiefs, I greet you all. From the lofty mountains, to the undulating rivers, and all that lay between I acknowledge you. Although I am speaking from Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa, my genealogical ties stem from the mountain summits of Ngāpuhi Nui Tonu, from hakatere Manawakaiaia, to the descendants of Kuiawai, and the region that is comprised of Te Māhurehure.
Firstly, I express my warmest greetings, well wishes and acknowledgements to those who reside in Tāmaki, to those who are unwell, and to everyone in this time of hardship.

I thank those of you from the Ministry of Education for setting up this meeting. I also thank those professional speakers of the meeting as well. I acknowledge your work within our schools. And your work to upskill, to support, and help our teachers, our principals, as well as our families within the schools. Without a doubt this will be beneficial to our tamariki and mokopuna. I must acknowledge to that my own family has benefited from this, with my children as teachers and my grandchildren as students within the school system.

Although I am quite new to this, I am committed to the kaupapa of the meeting, and professional development for Māori medium schools. Kua (tū)whitia te poho (hopo), I am happy to express my ideas and thoughts.

Let me first express my gratitude and happiness with the approach you are taking. The Māori language and mātauranga Māori – to me these things are encapsulated in values, the dreams and the aspirations of the whānau that established our schools: for the Māori language, for tribal knowledge, for mātauranga Māori, and even the knowledge of this ever changing world.

It is also great to the connection between the concepts and principles that have been derived from mātauranga Māori and the experience within our kura, for example Rukuhia Rarangahia. As i look at the title of the resource, I am taken back to the time of Papa Blackie Pohatu, he was the one who led us at the time, it was he who named the resource as we were designing this assessment resource. It was he urged us to incorporate the wairua and tikanga Māori within the assessment itself.

And before I finish, it is clear to see and hear the feedback from the professional trainers, from past years. It was you who urged us not to use the same professionals as those used in mainstream schools. I see this as a focal point for the wants and needs of our kura, our whānau, our hapū, and iwi. You also said that “not one size fits all”, and I am reminded of the saying “one size fits one” as well, like the curriculum.

Although we come upon hard times, there is a hope that we can meet, speak, and eat together as with the professional trainers. 

Only in time will we see and reap the benefits of what we do now. Tēna tātou katoa.

E ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e rau rangatira mā puta noa, tēnā koutou.
Kei ngā maunga whakahī, ngā kokoi awa, ngā kārangarangatanga,

nei rā ngā mihi. Ahakoa e kōrero mai i a Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa, kua tataia mai tēnei e ngā tihi maunga o Ngāpuhi Nui Tonu ki hakatere Manawakaiaia, ki ngā uri a Kuiawai, ki nga pito katoa o Te Māhurehure.
Tuatahi, me mihi aroha ki a rātou i Tāmaki, ki a rātou e māuiui ana, ki a tātou katoa i tēnei wā taimaha.

Ko koutou o Te Tāhuhu e hakahaere ana i te hui, tēnā koutou. Ko ngā pou hakangungu e huihui mai, ka nui te mihi. Ka mihi ki ō koutou mahi i waenga i ō tātou kura. Ka mihi ki ō koutou kaha kia hakapeto ngoi e  tautoko ana, e hāpai ana i ngā pouako, i ngā tumuaki tae noa ki ngā whānau o ō tātou kura. Kare e kore, ka whai hua mō ā tātou tamariki mokopuna. Ka mihi hoki i te mea whaipānga tōtika taku whānau ki ō koutou mahi. He tamariki wāku kei rō kura e hakaako ana, he mokopuna wāku kei rō kura e ako ana.

Ahakoa tino tauhou ahau ki tēnei huarahi tuku kōrero, tino ngākaunui ki te kaupapa o tō koutou hui, te mahi whakangungu kura arareo Māori. No reira, kua whitia te poho, kua tere whakaae kia hakaputa i tēnei pitopito kōrero.

Ko te titiro tuatahi ki ngā aronga hakangungu e ārahi ana i ō koutou mahi, tino hari tino koa hoki te ngākau. Ko te reo Māori, ko te mātauranga Māori - Ki tāku nei ka hāngai tōtika aua aronga ki ngā uaratanga, ngā moemoea, ngā  wawata o ngā whānau i hakatū i ō tātou kura tuatahi: mō te reo Māori, mō ngā tikanga iwi, mō ngā mātauranga Māori tae noa ki ngā mātauranga o te ao hurihuri nei.

He pai hoki te kite ngā hononga ki ngā ariā me ngā mātāpono i ahu mai i te mātauranga Māori me ngā wheako roto kura, pērā i a Rukuhia Rarangahia. Ka kitea te taitara, ka hoki te mahara me te aroha ki a Papa Blackie Pohatu, nānā mātou i ārahi, nāna te puka i tapa, i a mātou i waihanga taua puka mō te aromatawai. Nāna mātou i akiaki  kia āta whakaarohia aromatawai i roto i te wairua Māori, tikanga Māori hoki.

Hei hakaaro whakakapi, mārakerake hoki te kite kua rangona ngā hakapae me ngā auē ō koutou, ngā pou whakangungu Māori, i puta i ngā tau kua hipa.  Nā koutou i akiaki kia kore e hakaorite i ngā pou whakangungu mō o tātou kura ki tō te kura auraki. Aiānei he aronga tōtika ki ngā hiahia me ngā wawata o ngā kura, whānau, hapū, iwi.  I hakapae hoki koutou, not one size fits all, kua hoki te mahara ki te swhakataukī kē “one size fits one”, pērā i te marau a kura.

Nō reira, ahakoa ngā taimaha o te wā, kō te tūmanako ka pai te huitahi, kōrerotahi, kaitahi o koutou ngā pou whakangugu.  

Mā te wā ka kitea ngā tino hua ka puta. Tēna tātou katoa.

 

Dr. Mere Berryman, Professor, University of Waikato and Director of Poutama Pounamu Dr. Mere Berryman, Ahorangi, Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato, te Kaiwhakahaere o Poutama Pounamu

In this video, Dr. Berryman asks us to think about what difference PLD has made for Māori and what future changes could be made in the context of the wider education system.

Kei tēnei o ngā ataata ka wero mai a Dr. Berryman me tāna pātai kia whakaarohia e tātou ngā momo hua kua puta i te PLD mō ngāi Māori, me ngā āhuatanga i roto i te pūnaha whānui tērā tonu ka panonitia hei ngā tau kei te heke mai.

transcript icon Video transcript available for Tāngakupu ataata Dr. Mere Berryman, Professor, University of Waikato and Director of Poutama Pounamu Dr. Mere Berryman, Ahorangi, Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato, te Kaiwhakahaere o Poutama Pounamu
Open Tirohia Close Kati

My brief was to pose a challenge to the sector, and in particular the facilitator workforce, about the changes in practice and values that will be required to deliver on the intent of the new PLD priorities.

Therefore, I want to do this by posing a series of questions and considerations – not around the PLD priorities per se - but around the PLD delivery model to consider how this is then passed on to students. In doing so it is important to understand that PLD delivery sits within a model of schooling that was based on the Prussian system of compulsory  attendance for boys and girls, specific training for teachers, national testing and a prescribed national curriculum for each grade level. 

This model, known by many as the factory model of schooling, was legislated through the Education Act of 1877, when the responsibility for education moved from families to the state (Melton, 2001). Sleeter (2015) says that “core practices and structures for this purpose, still used today, include grouping students by age, distributing them into ‘egg crate’ buildings, standardising curriculum, measuring student learning for purposes of comparison, and standardising teacher work” (p.112).  She says that there are many criticisms of the factory model of schooling, highlighting in particular the following three: the model is: 

“highly inequitable, reproducing social stratification based on race and class”; 

“its curriculum is standardised, based on a White upper-middle class worldview that limits perspectives, funds of knowledge, and intellectual inquiry, and bores the diverse students in schools”; and, it is 

“oriented around compliance with and maintenance of the status quo, rather than social transformation”

Closer to home Penetito (2004) argued that this schooling system “from its inception took on board a set of ‘values’, ‘ideals’ and ‘standards’, more or less coherent with the cultural history of Britain and Europe, that had evolved over several hundred years” ( p. 90). Wally’s point is particularly pertinent in the case of my work because I am particularly interested in Māori students and their whānau.  I have learned that when we get it right for Māori students we can also benefit Pacific Island students, other more recent immigrant learners and actually, all other students benefit from these changes as well. While the factory model is deeply embedded across the system, PLD sits within this model, its delivery having morphed slightly over the past three decades. I want us to consider: what difference this has made for Māori and what differences  might it make into the future as we deliver on the intent of the new PLD priorities? 

I came into PLD through a portal of Research and Development or R&D. My learning was well grounded through the 90s with the Poutama Pounamu Education Research and Development Whānau. We honed our learning in English and Māori medium settings, from quality evidence, and always through the voices of Māori students and their whānau, and from within kaupapa Māori contexts. Through what became known as the creation of educationally powerful connections with family in the Leadership BES (Robinson, Hohepa & Lloyd, 2009) our R&D work contributed to accelerated progress and the highest effect sizes of the overall studies considered.

Our work continued under a kaupapa of believing our tamariki mokopuna and their whānau deserved better from an education system that had perpetuated harm on generations of our people. However, rather than the technicist  factory model discussed previously we were learning that this required teaching to be what Freire refers to as an “ontological vocation” (1996, p. 12), saying that teaching requires a theory of existence, which views people as subjects, not objects, who are constantly reflecting and acting on the transformation of their world – leading to an equitable and socially just society. 

Our kaupapa was indeed worthy of resisting the prevailing deficit discursive positioning about Māori and working towards more transformative praxis through an ongoing spiralling process of conscientisation and resistance. We believed that a new status quo could be enacted through praxis. This means that teachers and whānau must be informed by sound theoretical research and iterative reflection.  The outworkings of this critical process of self-review is, according to Freire, radical hope – the belief that we can, as individuals, make life better for others, this belief “leading the incessant pursuit of humanity” (Freire, 1996, p. 64)

Poutama Pounamu provided a solid grounding for our contribution to Te Kotahitanga in 2000. The model of R&D was again funded as was teacher release. This meant time to engage with an iterative layering of learning from one year to the next; one phase to the next; one cycle of implementation to the next. Time to engage in deep learning through praxis away from the competing priorities of the profession. 

Te Kotahitanga was provided with over a decade of funding and it was a privilege to lead the professional development team. Being able to learn iteratively through the phases meant Phase 5 for the first time produced quite different overall outcomes and in a shorter period of time. After three years the Phase 5 data showed that:

  • the achievement of Māori students (as measured by NCEA levels 1–3) in Phase 5 schools improved at around three times the rate of Māori in the comparison schools
  • the proportion of Māori students coming back into year 13 (two-thirds of the 2011 year 12 cohort) had increased markedly in Phase 5 schools

A very high proportion of year 9 and 10 Māori in Phase 5 schools (87%) reported that it felt good to be Māori in their school (“always” or “mostly”), and over 60% reported that their teachers (“always” or “mostly”) knew how to help them learn

Māori students had gone from reporting racism in 2009 to saying, “it’s like the opposite of racism in this school” and “you feel way more comfortable around the teachers to learn.”

The move to use the policy lever for change saw much of the learnings from Te Kotahitanga and the Hui Taumata incorporated into Ka Hikitia in 2008. Then in 2011, Tātaiako Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners were published using most of the elements from the Te Kotahitanga Effective Teaching Profile. It is interesting that the factory model language supports teaching as a technical activity which is very much in line with the competencies in Tātaiako. Indeed the purpose of Tātaiako was to support teachers “to personalise learning for, and with, Māori learners, to ensure they enjoy educational success as Māori”   While there is no legislative requirement for Tātaiako to be implemented through the formal appraisal of teachers’ performance, there was an expectation that these competencies would be included in teacher appraisal and registration as they would be “linked to the Education Council’s Practising Teacher Criteria” (

Te Kotahitanga was socialised as far too expensive and to be stopped with the undoubted expectation that together Ka Hikitia and Tātaiako would go some way to spreading the same outcomes with very little fiscal investment, rather the profession doing what the profession ought to be doing. There was no R&D, no PLD, so no teacher release needed however, as the Auditor General’s report was to show, for Ka Hikitia, there was little to no uptake into practice let alone praxis. Similarly Tātaiako without a level of critical consciousness could become a transactional tick the box response to what some might say, has appropriated Māori metaphors into professional rhetoric. So for students in the factory model, little investment for little return from the profession who are learning to tick boxes.

For me, Building on Success followed with the aspiration of building on the success of Te Kotahitanga and other ‘effective’ programmes but it would be PLD alone - the research is not needed because schools are leading their own learning. Furthermore, there would be no teacher release and rather than an external evaluator, the Ministry of Education would partner and provide ongoing feedback loops into the learning. 

The institutions who won the contract received way less funding than Te Kotahitanga to work with far more schools - in total one third of secondary schools over three years to make the difference and sustain it. Accounting for every hour of PD provision became the norm and administrativia became our reality. Despite a rocky start and unrealistic expectations we did see some substantial progress. 

The Kia Eke Panuku initiative enabled work in 94 secondary secondary schools from Kaitaia to Invercargill, reaching over 6,000 teachers and nearly 30,000 Māori students. The vision of Ka Hikitia, Māori students enjoying and achieving educational success as Māori, underpinned a kaupapa that Kia Eke Panuku schools aspired to and simultaneous success trajectories provided the framing for all implementation and the development of new tools and resources.  This kept an unrelenting focus on all three aspects of the policy’s initial vision – Māori enjoying educational success; Māori achieving educational success and realising both these as Māori. 

For schools, this required focussing on both the school’s structures that provided the expectations and opportunities for Māori students to gain qualifications to open doors for future employment and to examine how the school’s culture (and the dynamics of power-sharing) was providing support for Māori students to be Māori or not. In Kia Eke Panuku:

Schools were helped to examine how they were responding to the aspirations of their Māori communities, at the levels of whānau and iwi. These discussions were accelerated through the development and introduction of the ako: critical contexts for change tool.  

The Ministry’s evaluation survey showed that over 90% of principals reported that Kia Eke Panuku was making a difference for student attendance, engagement and achievement.

According to ERO Reviews of 18 Kia Eke Panuku schools reviewed in 2016; 16 positively mentioned impact of the influence of Kia Eke Panuku.

At the same time as Kia Eke Panuku was operating, a review of PLD was also taking place with the advisory group contributing to a report in 2014. The review suggested that schools didn’t want to be forced into taking programmes that providers forced on them  and ‘programme’ became a dirty word. However, PLD providers did not control what went into schools - the Ministry identified what schools needed, they had processes to select providers, and they prepared the contracts that said what had to happen. In line with the factory model I remember this being spoken about in terms of - tight, loose, tight - tight expectations on what would be delivered, supposedly loose in how you would undertake those expectations and tight in terms of accountability. I know for example in Kia Punuku, a 96 page work plan sat behind the three years of delivery and being asked unrealistically for increased NCEA results in 12 months and sometimes less. 

The PLD Advisory Group recommended six principles to frame this new approach, and while each of these principles is entirely defensible they do not come without challenge. The principles and some of the challenges included:

A coherent learning system focused on priority goals – However, who prioritises these goals and how  responsive are they to context,  and how well understood are they by allocation panels?

Disciplined inquiry - that must be systematic evidence-informed, “based on an analysis of student profiles of engagement, achievement and well-being, focussed on improving these outcomes” however, “responsive to the diversity of leader and teacher learning needs.”  

Deep knowledge and skills - The report calls for adaptive experts who are ‘culturally responsive’.  But how do we know what ‘their’ culturally responsive is and what’s happened to relationships and coming to know what we should be being responsive to?  Who gets to define or determine this?    And, under the rhetoric of deep knowledge and skills    how much time will this take and how much time do we get to improve praxis or indeed will this become superficial, transactional reification of knowledge leading to more rhetoric.    

Multiple opportunities to learn – It is my understanding that from 1 July 2020 onwards all contracts will be 6 months, 12 months or 18 months.  So, how many opportunities are there for a classroom teachers to learn?          

Sustained improvement – How is this built into a highly contractual, often short term model?

System learning through research and development – where is this in current system?             

Parallel, but unconnected to the PLD Review, Investing in Education Success (IES) was also announced in January 2014.   By 2016, things had begun to morph even further. The neoliberal rhetoric of the time was loudly proclaiming -  “we are not buying programmes”, “schools must be provided with choice,” “we don’t need to prioritise learners, the evidence will lead the way,” “schools must and can engage in their own inquiries,” “we will not fund outside experts who don’t know what they are talking about” – but what really was happening in the new policy direction of Investing in Education success?

It appeared that previously available funding for teacher release may have gone to the new Community of Learning: Kāhui Ako leadership roles (Lead principals, Across School and Within School teachers) and we were socialised to a cascading model of learning; the new leadership roles  learn, then lead learning for others cascading the PLD down into the classroom. In my experience this has become more of a trickle-down model and an often hit and miss opportunity for many Māori children sitting in classrooms who might not be feeling the cascade of innovation. However, many students began to experience classrooms as shared teaching spaces with the possible disruption to their learning relationships.

PLD providers lined up to show themselves off to their best advantage through the virtual publication of their wares (CVs were virtually available), while coming to terms with a very different funding and delivery model. The factory model of schooling was clearly in play with PLD providers jumping hoops of administrivia for what has become an ever decreasing pool of funding forcing many very good competitors, small and large, out of the marketplace. The rest is our reality.

With the very recent Phase 3, Ka Hikitia vision statement: Māori are enjoying and achieving education success as Māori, as they develop the skills to participate in te ao Māori, Aotearoa and the wider world. Remember skills, without theory, are strongly linked to the technicist factory model of schooling and likely to result in transactional learning or rhetoric. PLD must move beyond a skills process alone.

Changing outcomes for Māori students is complex but not immutable. We have learned how to make the difference. However, altering one aspect of school life without changing the contexts for learning does not guarantee the fundamental changes needed to re-image a more socially just future. Māori learners being able to access all the benefits available through education requires them to go far beyond the mere acquisition of skills, devoid of understanding and being taught in classrooms  where they are free from racism.

To truly change outcomes for Māori students, the change must be driven by a moral imperative or radical hope to realise a different future reality.  Most people know that when they engage with professional development, there will be hard work involved.  We learned that change required ‘heart work’ – which is both hard and also underpinned by a belief and commitment to a new way of working.  Where this is embraced by the schools, the centres, the community, the providers and the contract holders, the change can be accelerated.

To truly change outcomes for Māori students, all players (school personnel, community personnel, providers, contract holders) must be extremely nimble.  Nimbleness is required at the micro-level – within each school and centre. All situations and contexts are unique.  The reform model must be applied responsively, following a transactional recipe for reform will not work.  Nimbleness is also required at the macro-level – all players need to work with the changing political environment, policy requirements, school structure changes and competing requirements within the school.

Complex change cannot be measured and reported by single indicators.  Moral-driven reform requires different measures than the existing standardised and evaluative reporting frameworks have allowed.  Telling the complex story remains challenging because complex change cannot be measured by and reported in short time frames, nor is it linear – short-term reporting (every six months) can be misleading when, to move forward, some schools need to understand their current reality which means they might need to move backwards first.  It is also counter-productive to measure programme effectiveness at a student level too early in the reform programme.   

Enabling opportunities for individualised deep learning through PLD off both the underpinning theories and how this plays out in practice are the powerful tools of transformative praxis as tools for sustainability. We have learned that when leaders and teachers begin such a journey they want access to continue their own personal learning through praxis and related study, so that, their learning becomes further embedded, sustained and more widely spread. 

Transformative praxis, the deep learning takes time and commitment, on the part of leaders and teachers, on the part of the PLD providers and on the part of the Ministry of Education.

So how will the PLD priorities be shared and what difference will they make? Will we continue to reify the knowledge and perpetuate the rhetoric of the market place or is the wellbeing of this current generation, remember they are our future - too important to continue to reinforce a status quo of inequity where some are privileged and some are not? 

To bring about transformative change, requires both:

  • a cultural shift, that is, a relational approach, founded in Kaupapa Māori thereby indigenising the education system; and
  • a structural shift that is founded in Critical Consciousness thereby decolonising the education system.

This must not be a ‘one size fits all’ transactional response.  Instead, it must be a truly responsive model, tailored to each school or centres’ context, building from their strengths and being led from the cultural toolkit of the learners themselves.  I would suggest the need to move past a factory model response that sets out a ‘recipe’ for success that can be learnt and applied without calling for informed minds or changed hearts within and across each community.  This requires moving beyond PLD as transactional rhetoric to deep praxis. Mauri ora.

My brief was to pose a challenge to the sector, and in particular the facilitator workforce, about the changes in practice and values that will be required to deliver on the intent of the new PLD priorities.

Therefore, I want to do this by posing a series of questions and considerations – not around the PLD priorities per se - but around the PLD delivery model to consider how this is then passed on to students. In doing so it is important to understand that PLD delivery sits within a model of schooling that was based on the Prussian system of compulsory  attendance for boys and girls, specific training for teachers, national testing and a prescribed national curriculum for each grade level. 

This model, known by many as the factory model of schooling, was legislated through the Education Act of 1877, when the responsibility for education moved from families to the state (Melton, 2001). Sleeter (2015) says that “core practices and structures for this purpose, still used today, include grouping students by age, distributing them into ‘egg crate’ buildings, standardising curriculum, measuring student learning for purposes of comparison, and standardising teacher work” (p.112).  She says that there are many criticisms of the factory model of schooling, highlighting in particular the following three: the model is: 

“highly inequitable, reproducing social stratification based on race and class”; 

“its curriculum is standardised, based on a White upper-middle class worldview that limits perspectives, funds of knowledge, and intellectual inquiry, and bores the diverse students in schools”; and, it is 

“oriented around compliance with and maintenance of the status quo, rather than social transformation”

Closer to home Penetito (2004) argued that this schooling system “from its inception took on board a set of ‘values’, ‘ideals’ and ‘standards’, more or less coherent with the cultural history of Britain and Europe, that had evolved over several hundred years” ( p. 90). Wally’s point is particularly pertinent in the case of my work because I am particularly interested in Māori students and their whānau.  I have learned that when we get it right for Māori students we can also benefit Pacific Island students, other more recent immigrant learners and actually, all other students benefit from these changes as well. While the factory model is deeply embedded across the system, PLD sits within this model, its delivery having morphed slightly over the past three decades. I want us to consider: what difference this has made for Māori and what differences  might it make into the future as we deliver on the intent of the new PLD priorities? 

I came into PLD through a portal of Research and Development  or R&D. My learning was well grounded through the 90s with the Poutama Pounamu Education Research and Development Whānau. We honed our learning in English and Māori medium settings, from quality evidence, and always through the voices of Māori students and their whānau, and from within kaupapa Māori contexts. Through what became known as the creation of educationally powerful connections with family in the Leadership BES (Robinson, Hohepa & Lloyd, 2009) our R&D work contributed to accelerated progress and the highest effect sizes of the overall studies considered.

Our work continued under a kaupapa of believing our tamariki mokopuna and their whānau deserved better from an education system that had perpetuated harm on generations of our people. However, rather than the technicist  factory model discussed previously we were learning that this required teaching to be what Freire refers to as an “ontological vocation” (1996, p. 12), saying that teaching requires a theory of existence, which views people as subjects, not objects, who are constantly reflecting and acting on the transformation of their world – leading to an equitable and socially just society. 

Our kaupapa was indeed worthy of resisting the prevailing deficit discursive positioning about Māori and working towards more transformative praxis through an ongoing spiralling process of conscientisation and resistance. We believed that a new status quo could be enacted through praxis. This means that teachers and whānau must be informed by sound theoretical research and iterative reflection.  The outworkings of this critical process of self-review is, according to Freire, radical hope – the belief that we can, as individuals, make life better for others, this belief “leading the incessant pursuit of humanity” (Freire, 1996, p. 64)

Poutama Pounamu provided a solid grounding for our contribution to Te Kotahitanga in 2000. The model of R&D was again funded as was teacher release. This meant time to engage with an iterative layering of learning from one year to the next; one phase to the next; one cycle of implementation to the next. Time to engage in deep learning through praxis away from the competing priorities of the profession. 

Te Kotahitanga was provided with over a decade of funding and it was a privilege to lead the professional development team. Being able to learn iteratively through the phases meant Phase 5 for the first time produced quite different overall outcomes and in a shorter period of time. After 3 years the Phase 5 data showed that:

  • the achievement of Māori students (as measured by NCEA levels 1–3) in Phase 5 schools improved at around three times the rate of Māori in the comparison schools
  • the proportion of Māori students coming back into year 13 (two-thirds of the 2011 year 12 cohort) had increased markedly in Phase 5 schools

a very high proportion of year 9 and 10 Māori in Phase 5 schools (87%) reported that it felt good to be Māori in their school (“always” or “mostly”), and over 60% reported that their teachers (“always” or “mostly”) knew how to help them learn

Māori students had gone from reporting racism in 2009 to saying, “it’s like the opposite of racism in this school” and “you feel way more comfortable around the teachers to learn.”

The move to use the policy lever for change saw much of the learnings from Te Kotahitanga and the Hui Taumata incorporated into Ka Hikitia in 2008. Then in 2011, Tātaiako Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners were published using most of the elements from the Te Kotahitanga Effective Teaching Profile. It is interesting that the factory model language supports teaching as a technical activity which is very much in line with the competencies in Tātaiako. Indeed the purpose of Tātaiako was to support teachers “to personalise learning for, and with, Māori learners, to ensure they enjoy educational success as Māori”   While there is no legislative requirement for Tātaiako to be implemented through the formal appraisal of teachers’ performance, there was an expectation that these competencies would be included in teacher appraisal and registration as they would be “linked to the Education Council’s Practising Teacher Criteria” (

Te Kotahitanga was socialised as far too expensive and to be stopped with the undoubted expectation that together Ka Hikitia and Tātaiako would go some way to spreading the same outcomes with very little fiscal investment, rather the profession doing what the profession ought to be doing. There was no R&D, no PLD, so no teacher release needed however, as the Auditor General’s report was to show, for Ka Hikitia, there was little to no uptake into practice let alone praxis. Similarly Tātaiako without a level of critical consciousness could become a transactional tick the box response to what some might say, has appropriated Māori metaphors into professional rhetoric. So for students in the factory model, little investment for little return from the profession who are learning to tick boxes.

For me, Building on Success followed with the aspiration of building on the success of Te Kotahitanga and other ‘effective’ programmes but it would be PLD alone - the research is not needed because schools are leading their own learning. Furthermore, there would be no teacher release and rather than an external evaluator, the Ministry of Education would partner and provide ongoing feedback loops into the learning. 

The institutions who won the contract received way less funding than Te Kotahitanga to work with far more schools - in total one third of secondary schools over three years to make the difference and sustain it. Accounting for every hour of PD provision became the norm and administrativia became our reality. Despite a rocky start and unrealistic expectations we did see some substantial progress. 

The Kia Eke Panuku initiative enabled work in 94 secondary secondary schools from Kaitaia to Invercargill, reaching over 6,000 teachers and nearly 30,000 Māori students. The vision of Ka Hikitia, Māori students enjoying and achieving educational success as Māori, underpinned a kaupapa that Kia Eke Panuku schools aspired to and simultaneous success trajectories provided the framing for all implementation and the development of new tools and resources.  This kept an unrelenting focus on all three aspects of the policy’s initial vision – Māori enjoying educational success; Māori achieving educational success and realising both these ‘as Māori’. 

For schools, this required focussing on both the school’s structures that provided the expectations and opportunities for Māori students to gain qualifications to open doors for future employment and to examine how the school’s culture (and the dynamics of power-sharing) was providing support for Māori students to be Māori or not. In Kia Eke Panuku:

Schools were helped to examine how they were responding to the aspirations of their Māori communities, at the levels of whānau and iwi.  These discussions were accelerated through the development and introduction of the ako: critical contexts for change tool.  

The MoE’s evaluation survey showed that over 90% of principals reported that Kia Eke Panuku was making a difference for student attendance, engagement and achievement.

According to ERO Reviews of 18 Kia Eke Panuku schools reviewed in 2016; 16 positively mentioned impact of the influence of Kia Eke Panuku

At the same time as Kia Eke Panuku was operating, a review of PLD was also taking place with the advisory group contributing to a report in 2014. The review suggested that schools didn’t want to be forced into taking programmes that providers forced on them  and ‘programme’ became a dirty word. However, PLD providers did not control what went into schools - the Ministry identified what schools needed, they had processes to select providers, and they prepared the contracts that said what had to happen. In line with the factory model I remember this being spoken about in terms of - tight, loose, tight - tight expectations on what would be delivered, supposedly loose in how you would undertake those expectations and tight in terms of accountability. I know for example in Kia Punuku, a 96 page work plan sat behind the three years of delivery and being asked unrealistically for increased NCEA results in 12 months and sometimes less. 

The PLD Advisory Group recommended six principles to frame this new approach, and while each of these principles is entirely defensible they do not come without challenge. The principles and some of the challenges included:

A coherent learning system focused on priority goals – However, who prioritises these goals and how  responsive are they to context,  and how well understood are they by allocation panels?

Disciplined inquiry - that must be systematic evidence-informed, “based on an analysis of student profiles of engagement, achievement and well-being, focussed on improving these outcomes” however, “responsive to the diversity of leader and teacher learning needs.”  

Deep knowledge and skills - The report calls for adaptive experts who are ‘culturally responsive’.  But how do we know what ‘their’ culturally responsive is and what’s happened to relationships and coming to know what we should be being responsive to?  Who gets to define or determine this?    And, under the rhetoric of deep knowledge and skills    how much time will this take and how much time do we get to improve praxis or indeed will this become superficial, transactional reification of knowledge leading to more rhetoric.    

Multiple opportunities to learn – It is my understanding that from 1 July 2020 onwards all contracts will be 6 months, 12 months or 18 months.  So, how many opportunities are there for a classroom teachers to learn?          

Sustained improvement – How is this built into a highly contractual, often short term model?

System learning through research and development – where is this in current system?             

Parallel, but unconnected to the PLD Review, Investing in Education Success (IES) was also announced in January 2014.   By 2016, things had begun to morph even further. The neoliberal rhetoric of the time was loudly proclaiming -  “we are not buying programmes”, “schools must be provided with choice,” “we don’t need to prioritise learners, the evidence will lead the way,” “schools must and can engage in their own inquiries,” “we will not fund outside experts who don’t know what they are talking about” – but what really was happening in the new policy direction of Investing in Education success?

It appeared that previously available funding for teacher release may have gone to the new Community of Learning: Kāhui Ako leadership roles (Lead principals, Across School and Within School teachers) and we were socialised to a cascading model of learning; the new leadership roles  learn, then lead learning for others cascading the PLD down into the classroom. In my experience this has become more of a trickle-down model and an often hit and miss opportunity for many Māori children sitting in classrooms who might not be feeling the cascade of innovation. However, many students began to experience classrooms as shared teaching spaces with the possible disruption to their learning relationships.

PLD providers lined up to show themselves off to their best advantage through the virtual publication of their wares (CVs were virtually available), while coming to terms with a very different funding and delivery model. The factory model of schooling was clearly in play with PLD providers jumping hoops of administrivia for what has become an ever decreasing pool of funding forcing many very good competitors, small and large, out of the marketplace. The rest is our reality.

With the very recent Phase 3, Ka Hikitia vision statement: Māori are enjoying and achieving education success as Māori, as they develop the skills to participate in te ao Māori, Aotearoa and the wider world. Remember skills, without theory, are strongly linked to the technicist factory model of schooling and likely to result in transactional learning or rhetoric. PLD must move beyond a skills process alone.

Changing outcomes for Māori students is complex but not immutable. We have learned how to make the difference. However, altering one aspect of school life without changing the contexts for learning does not guarantee the fundamental changes needed to re-image a more socially just future. Māori learners being able to access all the benefits available through education requires them to go far beyond the mere acquisition of skills, devoid of understanding and being taught in classrooms  where they are free from racism.

To truly change outcomes for Māori students, the change must be driven by a moral imperative or radical hope to realise a different future reality.  Most people know that when they engage with professional development, there will be hard work involved.  We learned that change required ‘heart work’ – which is both hard and also underpinned by a belief and commitment to a new way of working.  Where this is embraced by the schools, the centres, the community, the providers and the contract holders, the change can be accelerated.

To truly change outcomes for Māori students, all players (school personnel, community personnel, providers, contract holders) must be extremely nimble.  Nimbleness is required at the micro-level – within each school and centre. All situations and contexts are unique.  The reform model must be applied responsively, following a transactional recipe for reform will not work.  Nimbleness is also required at the macro-level – all players need to work with the changing political environment, policy requirements, school structure changes and competing requirements within the school.

Complex change cannot be measured and reported by single indicators.  Moral-driven reform requires different measures than the existing standardised and evaluative reporting frameworks have allowed.  Telling the complex story remains challenging because complex change cannot be measured by and reported in short time frames, nor is it linear – short-term reporting (every six months) can be misleading when, to move forward, some schools need to understand their current reality which means they might need to move backwards first.  It is also counter-productive to measure programme effectiveness at a student level too early in the reform programme.   

Enabling opportunities for individualised deep learning through PLD off both the underpinning theories and how this plays out in practice are the powerful tools of transformative praxis as tools for sustainability. We have learned that when leaders and teachers begin such a journey they want access to continue their own personal learning through praxis and related study, so that, their learning becomes further embedded, sustained and more widely spread. 

Transformative praxis, the deep learning takes time and commitment, on the part of leaders and teachers, on the part of the PLD providers and on the part of the Ministry of Education.

So how will the PLD priorities be shared and what difference will they make? Will we continue to reify the knowledge and perpetuate the rhetoric of the market place or is the wellbeing of this current generation, remember they are our future - too important to continue to reinforce a status quo of inequity where some are privileged and some are not? 

To bring about transformative change, requires both:

  • a cultural shift, that is, a relational approach, founded in Kaupapa Māori thereby indigenising the education system; and
  • a structural shift that is founded in Critical Consciousness thereby decolonising the education system.

This must not be a ‘one size fits all’ transactional response.  Instead, it must be a truly responsive model, tailored to each school or centres’ context, building from their strengths and being led from the cultural toolkit of the learners themselves.  I would suggest the need to move past a factory model response that sets out a ‘recipe’ for success that can be learnt and applied without calling for informed minds or changed hearts within and across each community.  This requires moving beyond PLD as transactional rhetoric to deep praxis. Mauri ora.