Rangiātea: reflective questions

These reflective questions help groups and individuals to engage with the ideas in the Rangiātea case studies and exemplars.

Questions relevant to all case studies

1. In these Rangiātea case studies the leadership qualities of the principals are highlighted as a feature of how the school has raised Māori achievement. For example, they:

  • are enthusiastic advocates of putting learners at the centre of what the school does
  • have high standards and expectations of Māori students
  • distribute leadership throughout the school and involve their board and their community
  • focus on professional development and are involved in all professional conversations with staff
  • look at what other schools are doing, and get expert help from others
  • resolve conflict quickly
  • articulate their focus on raising Māori achievement throughout the school community.

Consider the strengths of school leadership in your school. What are they, and how can they be developed to raise the achievement of Māori students at your school?

2. Developing professional relationships with staff and students that are positive and involve trust are really important for raising Māori achievement in each of these Rangiātea case studies. Relational trust is also an effective factor identified in the School Leadership BES (pp182 – 190). With your leadership team discuss and describe the significance of relationships in your school. How can they be developed to further improve outcomes for Māori students?

3. Each of the Rangiātea case study schools uses their own data to identify the strengths and needs of their teachers, and of their students. This data feeds into the teachers’ professional learning, and many use it to develop a teacher inquiry and knowledge-building cycle to promote valued student outcomes. In many cases it includes student feedback about what works well for them as learners. As one of the schools note: “what works for Māori works for everyone”.

Discuss with your senior leaders (such as syndicate leaders or heads of departments) about ways in which you could improve the use of your own data to feed into strong professional conversations which improve the quality and relevance of teaching and learning for all students within the school. It may be important to consider the ways in which you induct teachers new to the school as well.

4. Three of the Rangiātea project schools have introduced restorative justice practices to their schools. These set clear boundaries, establish consequences for actions and demonstrate consistency and fairness. How have these practices assisted their work in improving Māori students’ achievement and outcomes? In what ways could such an approach assist your school’s efforts to improve retention, engagement, achievement and valued outcomes for Māori students?

5. What questions do you have of the schools involved in the Rangiātea projects? Do you have modifications from the projects that you would want to make in your school in order to further improve the achievements and other valued outcomes for your students? What are the issues that you, your teachers and your students are facing that you want to address?

 Questions specific to individual case studies

  • The Hamilton Girls’ High School case study identifies that knowledge and pronunciation of te reo Māori is a challenge for school leaders. How has this been addressed at the school? To what extent is this a challenge at your school? What can you do to address it?
  •  The Opotiki College project focuses around the quality of teaching and learning – the “Opotiki Pedagogy”. There is support and resourcing for teachers and students when any issues that they have are identified. How can your school better direct its use of resources to identify and address the teaching and learning issues it faces? How can you better help teachers and students to realise their potential?
  • At Kakapo College, which is defined as “mainstream”, they identified that more retention and engagement was required for Māori students in particular. A key factor in this was support from their board of trustees and their development of a home-school partnership. In what ways could your school strengthen its board of trustees support and the home-school relationships to address the need to achieve better retention and engagement of Māori students?
  • The Headmaster at Hastings Boys’ High School clearly articulates the values and expectations of the Rangiātea project to students. In what ways could your school leadership team improve the way they convey their values and expectations to students?
  • Western Springs College is able to attract teachers who are committed to the improvement of Māori students’ achievement. As a result they are able to develop challenging and appropriate programmes for their students. Their students believe that their teachers have a high commitment to this development. As a senior leadership team consider the profile that your school has in attracting teachers to your school. In what ways do your teachers have a focus on the achievement of Māori students? What induction programmes do you offer to new staff?

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