Successful teaching and learning strategies for Māori, Pacific and youth learners
This project uncovers and documents the teaching strategies at Whitireia New Zealand which have been successful with Māori, Pacific and youth learners. It includes a full report and a resource booklet which will be useful for any tertiary teacher.
Ria Tomoana – Whitireia New Zealand
Date completed: June 2012
About the project
This project contributes towards improving Māori, Pacific and Youth learner success at Whitireia New Zealand through the provision of practical tips and strategies for tutorial staff.
The project identifies, with specific regard to Māori, Pacific and youth learners, those activities and approaches that tutors were undertaking, which enable high success rates for these targeted groups.
The project has two parts:
- a research report
- a teaching resource for staff.
The research was exploratory and strengths’ based. Using an Appreciative Inquiry method staff were encouraged to share what they considered to be useful and successful teaching and learning strategies. Students were also interviewed to investigate what they considered was useful and helpful in their learning journey.
The research identified a set of five enablers, which were referred to by participants, either explicitly or by inference:
- Strong relationships within the learning space (necessary to have trust, not just between tutor and students, but also between students)
- Belief by tutor that all students have the ability to achieve
- Mindful that every student is different, even within the categories of Māori, Pacific, and youth – it’s about trying to find the space in your teaching to allow all students’ differences to be valued/acknowledged /reflected
- The need for the tutor to be reflective in their practice
- The use of good teaching principles.
At the heart of staff experiences was the importance of relationship development and cultural responsiveness particular to Māori, Pacific, and youth learners. Basic principles of teaching were also a strong common factor across all participants.
These research findings demonstrate how the 'Whitrieia Way' is realised in the tutorial space and has informed the development of a practical and user-friendly resource designed to support staff at Whitireia. The aim is to increase their ability to facilitate learning and create positive and successful teaching and learning experiences for Māori, Pacific and youth learners. The findings will also help to inform the development of the Whitireia Professional Development Strategy.
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