Friday, 13 October 2017

Teacher Effectiveness Profile

I have been thinking about the Teacher Effectiveness Profile (TEP) from the 2004 and 2005 iterations of Te Kotahitanga progamme, but I decided to write this blog after reading a colleague's post.

"The Effective Teaching Profile consists of six elements.
  1. Manaakitanga – teachers care for their students as culturally located human beings above all else.
  2. Mana motuhake – teachers care for the performance of their students.
  3. Nga whakapiringatanga – teachers are able to create a secure, well-managed learning environment.
  4. Wananga – teachers are able to engage in effective teaching interactions with Māori students as Māori.
  5. Ako – teachers can use strategies that promote effective teaching interactions and relationships with their learners.
  6. Kotahitanga – teachers promote, monitor and reflect on outcomes that in turn lead to improvements in educational achievement for Māori students."
Copied from:

I had previously lined the TEP up with the Registered Teacher Criteria  ( but have not updated it to the new EduCANZ criteria, which, like TEP, are fewer.

The point about this in relation to my colleague's work, linked to above, is that if we do not take her next step "... to find ways to incorporate their cultural experiences into school life and to increase our use of indigenous cultural references in our teaching" in relation to our large Filipino/a students, a she herself mentions, we would be failing in our duty of manaakitanga  to them.

I cannot easily find resources online about what "cultural repressiveness" to Filipino/a students might look like, a next step might be to ask the Filipino families that question. It's an interesting thought but I suspect that, since these students seem to come from homes where education is highly valued, the answer would be expect only the highest standards from them. 

Another point of interest that Tagalog (an official language of the Philippines, spoken by a quarter of their population)  and Māori belong to the Austronesian family of languages, there is some crossover to be exploited in te reo Māori lessons.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Education for a better world

1.      In an ideal world, how do you think education should be organised?
In an ideal world communities would organise their own education.  The central government might fund, or perhaps local councils, but central government would define the nature of the qualifications that students could attain based on principles student relevance, not some archaic idea of cultural need.
Communities could decide curricula, teaching principles (as opposed to evaluation criteria) and priorities for funding.  Teachers, parents and students would all be part of the decisions.

2.      What priorities do you think it should reflect? and who should be responsible for ensuring that it is of a good quality?
A priority should be made for students to be democratised to be the citizens of tomorrow and not just the consumers of today.  They would need to be educated with the skills and knowledge needed to lead a more open, convivial and collaborative society.  (It is an ideal world after all).
3.      Is there anything from the padlet wall that has informed your position?
The post about the problems between unions and the Government of Mexico resonated with me.  Firstly because it paralleled arguments about teacher evaluation in Stephen Balls’ article Secondly because it relates to our Registered Teachers’ Criteria used here in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The ideas propounded by Balls in the reading were very interesting and reminded me of Ivan Illich in “De-schooling Society” and, to some extent, “Tools for Conviviality”. I liked the idea of a collaborative service to communities and it as from there I got the idea of teacher principles not criteria as referred to above.
I am keen to read more in this area.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Priorities for Educators Going Forward

How has your experience of school shaped you as a learner, and as an adult?

I had a privileged schooling in New Zealand, both within the NZ and the global contexts. I don't really think I knew how to learn as a result of my schooling, it was just assumed that we would.  If we did, we were "able", if we didn't we were low stream. As a teacher I have carried those (poor) attitudes into my classrooms.

I do sense things are changing though. We know a lot more, thanks to research, about what damage we can do, we now seem to not know what the solutions are.

In what ways do you think your own schooling could have been improved, and what priorities do you think are the most important for schools today?

My schooling did not teach how to learn, it didn't prepare me very well for the emerging Aotearoa/New Zealand and distanced me from the working class roots of my parents.  That said, I enjoyed school and learned.

I am worried that my grandchildren will be born into a world that is failing as a ecological system.  I want them to learn the skills and attributes. 

I think they will need to know how to think, how to solve problems they haven't met before, and be compassionate and mindful.

How will our schools do this? I don't know.  As a teacher I have to be different from the way I was taught.  My school has to be prepared to do things differently. I think the answers will come by getting "into teachers' heads" as much as by tinkering with the education system.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

So what is a good teacher? #wfe3

This week we have been looking at what makes a good teacher.

I watched a discussion with the engaging Alex Moore on this topic.  It was enlightening.

Alex Moore talked about the process of continually becoming a good/better teacher.  This was quite liberating because it showed that becoming a better teacher was an open ended development process.  I have tried too hard at times to do more and more “righter” and “righter”, I sometimes lose the idea that there are many different good teachers, there is no one-model to aspire to.

He also spoke about prominent discourses in education, one of those was about competencies in teaching.  In Aotearoa/New Zealand we have the “Registered Teacher Criteria” that we have to present evidence that we have met each year. There are 12 of them. I was enthralled by Alex’s dissection of them, and it made me feel that they were somewhat irrelevant to the craft/art/science of teaching.  I think you could actually be a good teacher and not meet some of our criteria. I wonder if they are a political move to make us teachers “accountable” instead of being responsible.  (In a bit or reading about this week I read a quote from a Finnish education policy advisor, Pasi Sahlberg, who said the accountability was what you had left after responsibility had been eliminated.)

Alex followed onto talk about whether a good teacher can be ‘made’, that is the function of our criteria, I think.  It was interesting to him opine that competency lists could make a reluctant person become a teacher, but he felt that a good teacher cannot be “made”.  

Behind his words, and behind this week overall, is the big question: What is a good teacher?

This week’s work has led me to reaffirm the importance of networks of relationships, between teacher and learners, as being of critical importance.  In Aotearoa/New Zealand we have had a project called Te Kotahitanga (Unity) running for a number of years.  It has published a Teacher Effectiveness Profile.  With Kotahitanga’s strong access to Māori language and culture it has labelled each aspect of the profile in Māori.  The word for what I am talking about here in Māori is “manaakitanga”, the art of caring, might be a horribly loose translation, a better defeintion is caring for the pupils as people located in a culture.

Good teachers promote manaakitanga.

The quote by Pasi Sahlberg was in the Atlantic.  Retrieve it here.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

So what is intelligence? #wfe2

During my own education, how has my "intelligence" been assessed?

I can recall doing IQ tests as a youngster.  Back in those days Aoteroa/New Zealand was using TOSCA (Test of Scholastic Ability) but they did a "derived IQ" from that. I can't remember it ever affected my life much but we were streamed (this is the late sixties/early seventies).  

How has this affected the educational opportunities I have been given?

I was A stream so I guess my TOSCA was OK, and there were 5 other sets.  We got to do Latin because we were A set.  (Actually never regretted doing Latin, when I later became a biologist and letter again had my own garden it came in useful! There would be lots of lower sets who became gardeners that could have done with it.)

It also labelled me as someone who should achieve, this bought a bit of pressure.

What judgments have people made about me that have been affected by an assessment of my "intelligence"?
Dad was a London docker (we emigrated to NZ when I was 10) and Mum a seamstress. They had very low educational backgrounds, but coming out of WW2 they had a sense of we could be who we wanted to be. We were as good as the "masters". Dad was intelligent and well read in narrow fields (eg History of WW2) and Mum was a very good sower. This is relevant because although they wanted me to succeed, they really did not understand what studying meant.

Do you consider myself to be a "learner"? why?

As a result I did not study well.  I am highly dis-tractable. Even this morning writing this I wanted to check out on-line auctions!  I have learnt, I have an MSc, but I could have done better. I think I have a natural ability to learn but a disinclination to focus.  The result is I underachieve a bit, but I am not unhappy with that.  I know a lot of different stuff because my mind wanders as opposed to knowing a lot about one kind of thing.

Friday, 25 November 2016

What future for education

So I'm involved in my first MOOC and it's exciting and confusing.  But it's delivering what I want, a chance to be reflective about my practice as a teacher by putting students' learning at the centre of that conversation.

So far the conversation has been very wide, a real multiplicity of views and topics, Chaotic comes to mind!

I have picked up some good resources at and I think I will learn a lot in this MOOC. A piece of incidental learning so far has been the rather marvelous

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

A new strategy for an online education presence

I will trial a mix of three google products this year for my classes, along the lines discussed in a web posting 

If I have understood this post right the function of the three elements would be:

  1. Google Classroom.  Workflow management.  Issue assignments and collect them back in.
  2. Google site for each class, not the monster one.  Engage students and parents, useful videos and other web resources, extension material, power points and other resources used in class.
  3. Blogger.  The new one.  Lesson content. File every week.  A place where kids can ask questions, like they might in class, with everyone listening.
Other professional sites:

  1. Back to it! (This one!) Blogging about professional things, useful for appraisal.
  2. Journal. A three sentence journal diarying what happened today. Not shared.
Not all my classes would fit the model.  Transition/Gateway don't really have class content as every student is moving in their own direction.  They wouldn't need Google Classroom either, they