An investigation into the teaching practices and strategies that result in improved engagement in mainstream classrooms for year seven & eight Māori students in a decile five intermediate school.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Teaching and Learning
Despite high achievement by many Māori (indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand) students there is still a disparity between the achievements of Māori students and Non Māori students in the New Zealand educational context. Given that over 85% of Māori students are currently in mainstream settings rather than Māori medium settings the Government has initiated and supported teacher professional development approaches in efforts to enhance teacher effectiveness for teachers working with Māori in mainstream settings.
This investigation looks specifically at the practice of four teachers who have been on the Te Kauhua/Māori in Mainstream Pilot project in a decile1 5 Intermediate school in the South Island of New Zealand. An important aspect of this investigation is that it listens to and includes the voices and opinions of eight students who are in the classes of these teachers. Early on in the Te Kauhua project teachers at the school articulated that it was the lack of engagement from their Māori students that was the problem and they wanted to look at ways in which they could maximise Māori student engagement in the classroom learning contexts.
The particular aim of this investigation was to look at specific strategies and practices that teachers used to successfully maximise Māori student engagement in the classroom curriculum. The results highlighted the importance of the quality of the relationship between the teacher and the students, the positive impact of the extra effort that teachers applied to engage their students and the students’ preferences for working in small groups. Underpinning these aspects of practice was the importance that teachers placed on developing their reflective practice and the participation in small learning professional learning groups.
SubjectsMaori student engagement
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