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Ruth’s Story - Ako

This clip focuses on the concept of ako, which is based on the premise that we can each learn from the other. We hear the perspective of Ruth, who recalls her experience of being a Māori child at school, and having to leave her culture at the door as it were. For her, learning was a negative experience, adversely affecting her self-belief.

Students at Ruth’s school talk about ako; that is, being able to learn from each other, not just from the teacher or from books. Researcher Russell Bishop supports their view, saying that there are benefits for all students if a teacher can create an environment where ako is valued.

Questions / Things to think about / Activities

  1. How is knowledge shared and valued in our classroom/s? What does/could ako (reciprocal teaching and learning) look like eg learner: learner; teacher: learner; whānau: students; whānau: teacher?
  2. What evidence is there in our school of whānau and educators being open to learning from (and with) each other, in the true spirit of ako?
  3. What evidence is there that shows what works for Māori students, in terms of an inquiry approach? (See p 21 in Key evidence: Ka Hikitia re ‘ako’ and inquiry learning). How can we apply this evidence in our teaching?
  4. How could we help students to critique/ review each others’ work and provide constructive feedback?

What strategies could we use to find out what Māori students already know, and what interests them, so that we can engage them more meaningfully in the teaching and learning process?

Filed under: Ako | Effective teachers | Te Kotahitanga

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