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Exploring kura engagement strategies with whānau, iwi and kura

The purpose of this project was to deepen the Ministry of Education’s understanding of the characteristics of successful whānau and iwi engagement in the development of marautanga-ā-kura. This was done by identifying key characteristics that schools employ when working with whānau and iwi groups in their area, and collating this information in the form of a series of case studies.

The review of evidence draws on international, local and Māori focused literature about parent, whānau, iwi and community involvement in schooling, student achievement and curriculum development.

The research found common themes that support successful school and parent engagement identified in both international and local literature included the importance of the following aspects:

  • Good leadership - where there is a clear vision and strong commitment from school leaders.
  • Good relationships, both formal and informal, where these relationships are based on mutual trust and respect and a shared responsibility for the students’ learning and well-being, good rapport will follow.
  • A school culture that reflects a commitment to involve parents in decision making, and listening and responding to the parents’ suggestions. Where parents are valued and provided with opportunities to learn about their child’s education and their understanding of that process, relations with the school will be enhanced.
  • Parent and community input into schools is valued because it helps to create a shared understanding about achievements.
  • Communication, both informal and formal, with parents should be clear and timely. Both the parent and school opinions on home-school relationships are considered.

 Questions / Things to think about

  1. Does your school hold regular events to bring together students, parents, teachers, and community members to consider student educational needs?
  2. Does your school sponsor activities and events that provide opportunities for students to display their knowledge to the community?
  3. Are teachers encouraged to get involved in activities with the local community?
  4. Does your school make appropriate use of the cultural and professional expertise of local people?
  5. Are parental and whānau involvement promoted in all aspects of their children's education?

Filed under: Productive partnerships | Effective leaders | Te Marautanga

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