Professional development to improve outcomes for under 25-year-old learners
Project ID: NPF12-006
About this project
They used a Kaupapa Māori methodology and conceptual framework, which took account of the structural, cultural and political factors (Smith, 2012) that impact professional development decision-making.A team of tertiary teachers and staff developers across four ITPs and one wānanga investigated professional development decision-making in order to improve under-25 learners’ achievement.
The project produced two reports and developed a new integrated professional development decision-making model. The model is a multi-tiered approach to developing effective teachers for under 25-year-old learners, in which the ākonga/learner voice is at the centre. It is intended for use by whole organisations (that is, by teachers, staff developers, and management).
The project concluded that engagement in well-planned, organisationally-supported professional development that links to the learning needs and preferences of under 25-year-old learners creates better outcomes for these learners, and has a flow on effect to the wider student body.
Resources for teachers
- A project summary and guide to the series of eight resources for teachers
- Orientation and whakawhanaungatanga: Building positive student relationships
- A community of practice working with Under-25 Māori students
- Establishing and maintaining active teams and groups
- Peer observation of teaching
- Timing teacher talk: A formative teaching observation tool
- Three-way teaching feedback – A collaborative teaching observation approach
- Teaching young students workshop
- Self-reflective analysis tool for teachers of under-25 students
- Report: Professional Development Decision-making to Support Under-25 Student Success
- Literature review: Becoming effective teachers for under-25 students: Using kaupapa Màori theory framework
Effective professional development decision-making
- The importance of reframing and repositioning professional development focused on obtaining and acting on learner feedback is essential.
- Relational and relevant learning and teaching is key to improving outcomes for under 25-year-old learners.
- Together quality teaching and learning environments with student support make a difference.
- Under-25s value focused learning and teaching activities that reflect employment and higher learning transitions as preparation for their longer-term career aspirations.
- Participating in communities of practice is an effective professional development activity for teachers of Under-25 students.
- Educational Leadership that reflects an understanding of both content knowledge and pedagogical requirements and supports teachers in their learning is essential.
- Reflective and reflexive learning and teaching conversations that occur in multiple places in an educational setting are highly valued by teachers working with under-25's.
The eight professional development resources are linked to these findings.
The differing learning needs of under-25s
- It is important for teachers and stakeholders to be aware that students often do know what they need for their learning and to consult them on this. Avoid assuming that it is up to teachers alone to decide how to best facilitate and support students.
- Developing life skills alongside academic and work-ready skills is essential for the majority of under 25-year-old learners.
- In three quarters of the case studies, under-25s reported a preference for practical learning opportunities.
- Enabling students to make choices regarding how they approach their own learning is important.
- Providing a different structure and teaching and learning approach to the compulsory school environment is essential as many reported previous negative learning experiences.
- Technologies and visual learning media as learning tools are favoured ways to learn for this cohort.
- Establishing effective relationships between learners, and learners and teachers, improves their learning experiences and outcomes.
- Pastoral care support mechanisms need to be in place to provide wraparound support and learning opportunities for learners, who may also have challenging personal lives.
Certainly many of these characteristics apply for all students, not just the under-25 cohort. However, this project confirmed that it is the extent to which all these factors are present in the learning environment, which has the most impact on student success and achievement for under-25s.
New integrated professional development decision-making model
The literature review examined literature investigating teacher professional development that supports and contributes to successful learner outcomes for youth, Māori and Pacific students and found no models to guide professional development decision-making for teachers of under 25-year-old learners. The team developed a new integrated professional development decision-making model. It is intended for use by whole organisations (teachers, staff developers, management) and is a multi-tiered approach to developing effective teachers, in which ākonga/student voice is at the centre.
Figure 1: New integrated professional development decision-making model
Critical leadership questions to assist enacting the model
Relational and relevant learning and teaching
- What do I need to know and do to support teachers catering for students with diverse needs?
- How do I support and facilitate staff development that ensures the diverse needs of students are met in my organisation?
- How do I promote and ensure that teachers have access to a range of opportunities to develop pedagogical, learning and teaching skills?
Leadership-driven quality teaching and learning and staff support
- What team-based processes are required to ensure whanaungatanga and a positive collective learning environment for under 25-year-old learners?
- How is data relating to student engagement and achievement analysed and shared to inform teaching in my teams/organisations?
- Is reflective teaching practice fostered and underpinned by a range of learning theory and evidence-based practice for the under-25s?
- What opportunities are available for staff to develop innovative creative teaching strategies which also reflect an ethic of holistic care for learners?
Professional communities of practice
- What structures and resources can be allocated to ensure teachers have access to a range of pedagogical learning and teaching resources that can be adapted to suit their own contexts?
- Dr Judith Honeyfield (project co-leader), Bay of Plenty Polytechnic
- Dr Lesley Petersen (project co-leader), Eastern Institute of Technology
- Dr Helen Anderson, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic
- Dr Vaughan Bidois, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi
- Mike Crossman, Wintec
- Liz Fitchett, Waiariki Institute of Technology
- Cath Fraser, Consultant
- Claire Hague, Eastern Institute of Technology
- Dr Heather Hamerton, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic
- Dr Kay Morris-Mathews, Eastern Institute of Technology
- Dr Clarke Raymond, Waiariki Institute of Technology
- Claire Schnell, Waiariki Institute of Technology
- Professor Graham Smith, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi
- Mariana Van der Walt, Wintec
- Helen van Toor, Waiariki Institute of Technology
- Honeyfield, J., and Bidois, V. (October 2016). Professional Development Decision-making to Support Under-25 Student Success. Presentation at the at National Tertiary Learning and Teaching conference (NTLT), Rotorua.
- Honeyfield, J., Petersen, L., Bidois, V., and Fitchett, L. (September 2015). Becoming effective teachers for under-25 students: A model for professional development decision-making. Presentation at the Ako Aotearoa / Teaching and Learning Research Initiative Tertiary Research in Progress Colloquium V, Wellington.
- Peterson, L. and Honeyfield, J. (November 2014). Becoming effective teachers for under-25 students: A model for professional development decision-making. Presentation at the TERNZ (Tertiary Education Research in New Zealand) Conference, Auckland.
- Honeyfield, J., and Bidois, V (September 2014). Professional Development Decision-making to Support Under-25 Student Success: Project progress and interim themes. Presentation at Inquire Inspire research symposium, Waikato.
- Honeyfield, J. and Bidois, V. (July 2014). Becoming effective teachers for under-25 students: A model for professional development decision making. Presentation at the Ako Aotearoa / Teaching and Learning Research Initiative Tertiary Research in Progress Colloquium IV, Wellington. (4.33Mb PPTX)
- Ako Aotearoa $150,000 (excl. GST)
- Joint organisational contribution $153,320 (excl. GST)
Project completed December 2016
The report from this project is published under the Creative Commons 3.0 New Zealand Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike Licence (BY-NC-SA/3.0-NZ). Under this licence you are free to copy, distribute, display and perform the work as well as to remix, tweak, and build upon this work non-commercially, as long as you credit the author/s and license your new creations under the identical terms.