October 14, 2014
Good ideas confusing teachers
A leading researcher on how Maori children learn is slating the latest round of educational reform as a plague of good ideas.
Russell Bishop is this week being made an emeritus professor by Waikato University.
The Ngati Mahuta scholar drove the creation of Te Kotahitanga, a professional development initiative that changes the way teachers and schools respond to Maori pupils.
Professor Bishop says from his research into his own whakapapa he realised the importance of whanaungatanga and creating classrooms where the identity of the children is recognised and affirmed.
He says most programmes in schools are about changing the students rather than changing teaching practices.
"If you really want to make a difference for Maori educational performance, you’ve got to change the practice of the teachers. This is exacerbated in our schools by there being no real common code of practice. We’re plagued with a whole series of good ideas. Building on Success is an example of that. It’s a lot of good ideas. And the new programme the Government is bringing in, the $350 million programme, is in danger of foundering on this ‘1000 flowers blossom’ sort of thing, let all the good ideas come out," he says.
Professor Bishop says just providing Maori students with te reo and tikanga won’t make them better at maths.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH RUSSELL BISHOP CLICK ON THE LINK
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