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Some introductory points

Taihape Area School Case Study: Iwi and whānau engagement

Think about the following two statements:

“The first thing is to accept that whānau know more about their kids than you do … The second thing is to listen to that, and the third thing is to show that you’ve listened and to do something about it. As soon as you start listening and trusting the whānau, then they will trust us” (principal).

  • What key messages can the school, especially teachers, take from this belief? What might these messages look like if they were acted upon? Can you see evidence of these messages being acted upon at Taihape Area School?

“Find the key people in the community, let the whānau guide you to who are the leaders in the community, and start creating relationships and communication paths with the two groups and sharing that power … This includes the sharing of data, in all its highs and lows, ’cause we want to be part of the solution and we’ve got ideas” (Te Kauhua facilitator).

  • What key messages can the school, especially school leaders, take from this statement? What might these messages look like if they were acted on? Can you see evidence of these messages being acted on at Taihape Area School?

As you watch this clip, ask yourself:

  • What do parents at Taihape Area School appear to expect of school-family-whānau-iwi partnerships?
  • What appear to be some of the benefits of school-family-whānau-iwi partnerships for student achievement and engagement? Think particularly about what the senior student says about her parents’ involvement in her studies.

Taihape Area School Case Study: Iwi partnership

Some important statements about school-parent-whānau-iwi partnerships are made in this clip. Think carefully about the key messages about partnership in these statements:

“Partnership is the key to New Zealand education – partnership between the school, students, families, whānau, and the community” (principal).

“I really believe that whānau have to be part of the pedagogy of the school, not just passive participants. They need to know about what we are doing, they need to be part of the students’ goals so they can support them” (principal).

“We had to accept that the child was just an extension of a wider whānau and that whānau come from a marae and a hapū and so … but if we accept that, then we have to find ways of engaging that” (Te Kauhua facilitator).

“Because this is all about raising Māori achievement, I would expect that you involve our whānau, our marae, and our hapū and our iwi, and any other positive networks, organisations that are available to be able to achieve that” (parent).

Partnership “strengthens us as a people – it gives us and our kids something to be proud of” (parent).

Think particularly about the iwi educational representative’s conclusion that “academic achievement is raising within the kura because of that partnership between the school and the iwi.”

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