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Hybrid learning from a Te Ao Māori perspective

Hybrid learning from a Te Ao Māori perspective

One of a series of guides on hybrid learning
Hybrid learning is continuous learning across three learning environments - onsite (at school), online (using devices) or remote (from home). In other words, it is about ākonga being able to learn, wherever they are, using devices or paper-based resources. A hybrid learning approach can include many aspects of Te Ao Māori. This guide focuses on incorporating a Te Ao Māori perspective in online teaching and learning to support ākonga Māori to experience success as Māori in hybrid learning.
I would like to start by briefly describing a Te Ao Māori perspective and how kaiako might incorporate this perspective in planning, teaching and learning online. Next, I will give some practical examples that kaiako can use for online learning. Then I will talk about future uses of Te Ao Māori perspectives.

Te Ao Māori perspective

Te Ao Māori acknowledges the interconnectedness and interrelationship of all living & non-living things. An expression of this may include greeting whānau 
in te reo Māori, making connections through whakapapa by finding out who whānau are and how you can connect to them, and tikanga, such as the importance and value placed on kai, or simple things such as removing your shoes entering the home.

Tikanga Māori will vary across whānau because they don’t all have the same way of doing things. Therefore, kaiako need to know the whānau intimately in order to build and maintain effective relationships. When the kaiako plans teaching and learning with a Te Ao Māori perspective, they need to be aware of whānau positioning in terms of tikanga Māori as we cannot assume that all Māori have the same world view. 
We know that quality learning is key to student success. A Te Ao Māori perspective is key to quality teaching and learning for Māori and will support Māori to experience success as Māori. For many Māori this could be the kaiako who uses authentic teaching and learning, thinking and acting on ways of connecting with ākonga using tikanga Māori. When kaiako make a positive impression with Māori, it raises status and mana for ākonga Māori and their whānau, which in turn often increases whānau engagement in learning. 

It is important to note that what works for Māori in teaching and learning often works for all ākonga.

Planning for online/remote learning with a Te Ao Māori perspective

Kaiako might, for example, co-design and plan the term unit or learning inquiry with ākonga and whānau around whakatauki, karakia, waiata or haka. This approach encourages engagement because it values the cultural identity and background of the tamariki and whānau. 
They may have a relevant whakatauki or waiata that connects to the overarching guidelines of the unit or learning inquiry. 

There is an increasing range of Māori resources available from a variety of sources including online books, websites, Youtube clips and TV programmes. Kaiako will be pivotal in providing specified links and references to this information making it accessible for ākonga.

Planning regular meetings with Māori ākonga and their whānau to gather their ideas, interest and voice at the planning stages, and to provide ongoing contact and support as they work through the learning. See Te Kura Ākonga o Manurewa Spotlight

Plan learning to be intergenerational as this may be the learning situation at home where the whole whānau are involved in the learning. Therefore with planning, find out where the whānau is from, their maunga, awa, marae, hapū, iwi and waka and use this in your plans. 

One way to ensure equity in planning is by giving the whānau top-ups for cell phones so that they can access online learning. Send whānau a video link of the kaiako explaining online learning and how they may support ākonga in the home context.

Online examples 

Here are some ways of helping to create a Te Ao Māori perspective in teaching and learning online. 

Encourage karakia at the start and at the end of work because karakia supports hybrid learning by separating ākonga from everyday life. It brings them into a space of focusing on learning. Karakia also brings you back to everyday life after learning.

Make whakapapa connections by having ākonga find a picture, photo or painting of tupuna (doesn’t have to be Māori) and discussing/writing about the name of the person/s in the photo and how that person is connected to them. If whānau has a cell phone, they can take a photo and send it to the kaiako to print. When ākonga return to school they could put the photocopy on the class wall or in a shared document and this creates a connection to the past. This is important for all ākonga and particularly ākonga Māori. 

Getting ākonga to take a photo of any taonga that the whānau have (it doesn’t have to be Māori). This is a connection to the past which connects ākonga to the whānau background/history. There will be a need to have some discussion around what the expectation is for taonga. Consider things like gang insignia and iwi (especially human bones of an opposing iwi, or a human head) and consult with whānau if this is going to be appropriate.

Set up online study groups for students and whānau to connect with each other and share. Make the online activities multilevel and encourage intergenerational participation so the groups can include younger and older people (aunty, koro, etc). A video link of how kaiako wants the groups to work would be useful. 

Get participants to discuss their name and the backgrounds as to how this came about. Some ākonga will need to research this with whānau first, and by doing so this will activate an integral situation of whānau to whānau connection. There is also a handy video recording app in google docs that is useful for this type of work. Stories are sometimes better recorded than written.

Looking ahead - for reflection

  • Equity issues for online learning need to be addressed. Do all ākonga Māori have free fast internet and appropriate devices? How can we support this?
  • Is the Strategic Plan and marau a-kura written using a Te Ao Māori perspective?
  • Use a Te Ao Māori lens to review all school documents. Do all our school documents reflect a Te Ao Māori perspective?
  • What learning experiences does the kura need to promote so Māori can see themselves as being valued and as a strength in the school’s culture, language and identity? Teaching and learning with a Te Ao Māori perspective does add value to the diversity of the school’s onsite, online and remote learning. Where might you start?
  • Read Tataiako and build steps to achieve the outcomes listed under each competency.
  • Find out the hapū or iwi whakatauki, waiata, haka, karakia, story.
  • Learn te reo Māori.
  • Teach different karakia for different purposes: to start, to finish, to break for kai, when planting, etc.

Further Information