REACH seminar, UVIC, July 2011 Anne Meade, PhD
“A safe environment which
enables Māori students to
debate” … and succeed
Who am I?
Mother and grandmother.
I’ve enjoyed a life-time career in early years education,
as a classroom teacher, academic, author, and policy
After holding academic positions three times at Victoria
University of Wellington, two secondments to work
for different Ministers of Education, and Director of
the NZ Council for Educational Research, I have
become an independent education consultant.
What is Te Tari Puna Ora o Aotearoa?
Te Tari Puna Ora/ New Zealand Childcare Association
(NZCA) is an NGO
It is the largest provider of early childhood teacher
education in Aotearoa New Zealand
It maintains the same government standards for
teacher education as universities
70 academic staff teach and administer the Diploma of
Teaching (Early Childhood Education (ECE))
The Diploma is taught on 15 Bases around New
Zealand, with one pouako (Māori lecturer) per Base.
Field-based model of teacher education
Field-based (aka centre-based) training is an
established pathway for ECE teacher education
Each week, student teachers attend one-day block
courses at a Base and work in early childhood
education (ECE) settings at least two days
Each week they complete a task in their “home” centre
Each term, they study one module only
Class size is usually fewer than 30 students
A strong relationship builds with the lecturers
Each year they complete a practicum in another centre.
Some enrolment statistics
In 2010, 1770 students were enrolled with
NZCA, and 485 (27%) checked Māori as their
ethnicity on their enrolment form.
Only 9% of students in all tertiary education
institutions in New Zealand are Māori.
Some retention and completion statistics
Provider type Course/mod Qualification
NZCA 91% 58%
Universities 84% 69%
Polytechnics 83% 70%
Wananga 64% 59%
For Māori students in 2009
NZCA course completion/ retention rates
was 88% for Māori students (for all
students it was 91%)
All tertiary education institutions’ course
completion rates for Māori students
ranged from 50% to 66%.
Purposes of NZCA’s research project
Purposes of the 2010 completion rates project:
• To identify the factors that contribute to
Maori students’ high completion rates with Te
Tari Puna Ora compared with other tertiary
– To continue good practice vis-à-vis Maori in
the degree programme introduced in 2011
– To share good practice with other teacher
• Kaupapa Maori basis, involving Māori staff in the research
design, in the research processes as research assistants,
participants, and critical friends
• Appreciative inquiry, starting with ‘good news’
• Triangulation by gathering the perspectives of:
– Tauira (Māori students)
– Pouako (Māori lecturers)
– Other lecturing staff
• Face-to-face focus group interviews with students and pouako
• On-line survey with other lecturing staff.
Data gathering around six questions
1. Why do Māori students enroll with NZCA?
2. What keeps them studying? (retention)
3. Three main reasons why they complete?
4. What do pouako do that contributes to the success?
5. What do lecturers do?
6. What should NZCA retain in its degree programme?
The emphasis in analysis has been on Māori voices.
1. Why tauira enrol with Te Tari Puna Ora - contrasts
• Reputation –word of mouth, Teaching staff said:
stories of success (“pull” factor)
• kaupapa Māori,
•Support/ encouragement to
study from centre colleagues/ • integrates Māori
family (“push” factor) language and
• Field-based model has customs throughout
practical value because they
can combine study,
working/earning and caring for •safe, comfortable
family, and practice value too
environment for Māori
• Career reasons.
2. What keeps them studying?
All participants were in general agreement on the
reasons for students maintaining their study: regime
• Benefits to own family by being a role model
• Whanaungatanga, support and encouragement from: family,
lecturers, pouako, student peers and centre colleagues
• NZCA teaching style – i.e., collective, interactive learning and
• Work-relevant course content; clear guidelines as to tasks
• NZCA’s respect for Māoridom permeates
• Affirmation of culture starts students on genealogy journeys
• The programme sustains and strengthens Māorii iidentity.
All the above contribute to the determination of students to
succeed. They emphasised their own determination.
3. What do pouako do that contributes to success for Māori?
• Develop and strengthen family-type relationships on
the Base and in classes.
• Foster hospitality and mutual respect
• Empower and give plenty of support
• Set high expectations/ motivate, encourage, inspire
• Provide role models of success
• Have lived-experiences as Māori; their teaching is
• Are fluent in the Māori language and Māori values/
4. What do lecturers do?
• Seriously commit to NZCA’s bicultural vision
• Embrace Māori approaches, and incorporate Māori
language , values and customs in all modules they teach
• Strengthen whanaungatanga, and support Māori students
• Collaborate with pouako
• Demonstrate high expectations that Māori students will
achieve and complete their Diploma with pride
• Vary their pedagogy, make classes fun as people
collaborate to enhance understanding
• Deconstruct assignments and explain academic
information into plain language and concrete examples.
Kaupapa Māori literature
Other studies of Māori students’ success indicate the
following factors aid retention and completion:
• Acknowledgement of and respect for Māori students
• Kaupapa Māori being integral to the course
• Cultural safety
• Caring, support, respect for Māori all contribute to a
strong sense of whanaungatanga
• Whanaungatanga evident in different forms amongst
those who are significant for the Māori students
• Effective teaching by pouako and other lecturers
• Flexibility in course delivery.
Whanaungatanga in its entirety is the major theme
• Whanaungatanga is about being relationally-
connected and is more probable in small classes
where Māori values & customs permeate everything
• Whanaungatanga provides a strong platform. It
guides and informs the culturally-responsive teaching
The students also value the centre-based model of
Their own determination to gain a qualification is a key
Everyone said to continue with Māori language and
culture being integral when the degree commences.