Our vision: The best possible educational outcomes for all learners
Through a focus on enhancing the effectiveness of tertiary teaching and learning practices, Ako Aotearoa will assist educators and organisations to enable the best possible educational outcomes for all learners.
Ako Aotearoa’s strategy is framed in the context of the Government’s Tertiary Education Strategy 2014-2019 and the Māori education strategy: Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013-2017.
Our use of the Māori word ‘Ako’ reflects our view that teaching and learning are two interactive parts of the whole education experience. Learning should be active and learners have responsibilities as well as rights. Teachers modify and improve their practice by interacting with active learners.
Ako Aotearoa is committed to becoming a treaty-based organisation, embracing the principles of te Tiriti o Waitangi. We aspire to become a bicultural organisation and are guided by Te Tauākī Ako, our Ako Framework developed in discussion with our Māori Caucus.
Ako Aotearoa leads the drive to establish what counts as good and effective tertiary teaching in Aotearoa, New Zealand and to make it happen, so that teaching is better, is better valued and produces the best possible educational outcomes for all learners and the nation.
Our value proposition Ako Aotearoa has been established to support New Zealand’s tertiary education organisations and educators to meet these wide-ranging challenges. A key starting point for us is that because of these complexities, there is no single solution for the enhancement of tertiary teaching and learning. Good practice and excellence in education comes in many forms.
With this in mind, our aims are three-fold:
- to ensure that all tertiary learners enjoy good and worthwhile experiences when they embark on tertiary study,
- to ensure that every learner has the maximum opportunity to complete their studies successfully, and
- to nurture and sustain both teaching excellence and excellent teachers.
Ako Aotearoa ensures an inclusive approach as we proactively seek to add value to all tertiary learning contexts. We believe there is much that different parts of the sector can learn from each other.
We work across the whole tertiary sector, involving adult and community education, institutes of technology and polytechnics, other tertiary education providers, private tertiary education providers, universities, wànanga and workplace learning.
In this way, we look to add value to organisations where initiatives to support effective teaching and learning outcomes are already underway and work to build capability for similar programmes where they may not yet be available.
To meet our commitments, Ako Aotearoa builds effective relationships with three stakeholder groups:
- organisations (including tertiary education organisations, government agencies, employers and unions)
- educators (including staff engaged in learning support, iwi development and workplaces)
- learners (through learner representative bodies).
How Ako Aotearoa can help you
Ultimately, for each learner in Aotearoa New Zealand’s tertiary education system, the quality of the education experience and outcomes depends on those who provide the education and /or coordinate that provision.
Ako Aotearoa’s role is to offer evidence-based support to those tertiary education organisations and to work with them to explore and evaluate new approaches designed to improve tertiary teaching and learning.
Where this is achieved, we seek to share and celebrate good and excellent practice as widely as possible.
At Ako Aotearoa we are guided by our values and principles. These identify who we are and how we work. In all our operations we:
- focus on learner outcomes
- are evidence-based
- are accessible and responsive to diverse interests and perspectives
- strive for excellence
- are an independent voice for effective teaching and learning
- draw on international perspectives where appropriate
- look for and foster innovation
- take a leadership role
Ako Aotearoa works in partnership with those organisations and individuals already involved in researching and promoting good teaching practice and the scholarship of teaching and learning. We identify and promote effective practice, and assess ways in which demonstrably successful ideas in one learning context may be applied equally successfully in another.