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If you’re awarded a Māori Medium Bilingual Education Study Award, you’ll have the opportunity to take time off school in order to get stuck into some study, and devote yourself to improving your knowledge and practice, without the additional pressure of a full-time teaching role.
Your learning institution, whether it’s a kōhanga reo, ngā puna kōhungahunga, puna reo, licensed ECE service or state/state-integrated school will receive funding to cover relief costs, while you receive your normal salary. Education Gazette asks two of last year’s recipients how the award has enabled them to further their careers and focus on better outcomes for their learners. Refer to the sidebar to this article for a breakdown of all the relevant details.
Mike Murray of Hornby High School knew about the Māori Medium Bilingual Education Study Awards for some years before he applied, but delayed his application so that he could pursue better fluency in te reo Māori: this meant that, with a solid grasp of the language, he was able to keep up with the demands of his study.
Mike studied for the Postgraduate Diploma in Education – Bilingual and Immersion, at Hōaka Pounamu (University of Canterbury). He reports that a lasting taonga that arose from his course was a far broader understanding of te ao Māori: the Māori world view.
“Teaching is not about just teaching [in a Māori cultural context]; but teaching as well as learning with your learners. I also greatly valued the opportunity to read and conduct research around developing ‘place-based education’. I came away with a far better understanding of the Marautanga – the Māori Curriculum.”
Mike’s course involved learning and research around:
Of course, for any educator, the driving purpose behind any pursuit of further knowledge and qualification comes back to one thing: improving outcomes for young people. We ask Mike about how he would characterise the changes in his practice – whether in terms of style, approach, or teaching programme – that have most benefitted the learners at Hornby High School.
“I’m now teaching our students – especially our Māori students – about ‘their/our place’: where are they from? That’s not just a suburb, but more importantly it’s their iwi, their tribal roots. I have also encouraged an exploration of Ngāi Tahutanga.
“Certain places in Ngāi Tahu give the students a sense of identity and a sense of place; what we call place-based education. Students now bring with them to the classroom their own knowledge and tikanga so we as kaiako become learners as well.
“Learning te reo Māori is a 24/7 journey. I encourage students to value their Māoritanga and culture, and I discuss with students the idea that whatever barriers there are in learning, whether financial, lack of resources, or lack of opportunity; these things can be overcome. And we as kaiako need to step out of the deficit theory of our rangatahi. We in Aotearoa have a history that is many layered, and education is the key.”
“Yes definitely, because the opportunities to engage with academics – who can sometimes be distanced from the ‘real world’ of teaching – can be a two-way exchange of ideas and models of teaching and learning. Principals can come to understand that there is a values system out there – outside of the current dominant societal constructs – that work exceedingly well for our rangatahi.”
“Go for it! It can be a ‘teacher-changing experience’; it will challenge you. Be prepared to cast aside some systems of whānau engagement which do not work. The challenging nature of the research is just that – very confronting! But the rewards are immense. Make a start on improving your te reo Māori though, as all assignments and presentations will be in te reo – maybe do a summer school paper so that when you start you will have better understanding and ability. Get to know how your school works at engaging whānau, and how Māori best learn.”
Ani Rauhihi-Skipper was inspired to apply for a Māori Medium Bilingual Education Study Award through comments from other teachers; she knew teachers who had been highly complimentary of Te Wānanga O Raukawa. But as a principal, she was simply too busy to take on any extra workload. Ani applied for a Māori Medium Bilingual Education Study Award, which she duly received in 2013.
In 2013, Ani studied for her Poutāhū Whakaakoranga: the Postgraduate Diploma in Education.
Ani has found Te Wānanga O Raukawa a great place to learn. She says that the principles that all students and staff uphold have been very conducive to success in her studies, and that the benefits go way beyond just letters next to her name.
“I have been able to contribute more time to my whānau and community, and my knowledge of te reo Māori and tikanga Māori has grown. I have practised writing in te reo Māori to an academic level, and this has improved throughout the year. My knowledge of education and in particular bilingual education here and abroad and the impact of various government policies has been extended; I thoroughly enjoyed – and continue to enjoy – my time at study, as I love to learn new things. I think I have become more reflective through my study.”
Though Ani is yet to bring her learning back to the classroom – as she’s still studying – when she doesn’t have her head down at Te Wānanga O Raukawa she’s been able already to bestow some of the fruits of her labour on the Foxton community. She reports that research she’s been involved with has already enabled her to offer advice and help that have contributed to the health and wellbeing of the town.
“Not only would I recommend it, but I actively do recommend it.
“Many of my colleagues have said to me that they would like to do some study or are currently looking at how they might complete some. I would recommend also that they attend Te Wānanga o Raukawa as the type of manaakitanga you receive there is unique (breakfast, lunch, tea included in your noho; a bed to sleep; plenty of areas to study i.e. library; free entry to the gym across the road, clothes washing facility; amazing mentor support; peer support).
“To have a fulltime study award like this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You are able to study fulltime and receive a salary – where else does this happen? Usually people have to work and study part time towards a Masters degree, unless they work at the university. The freedom you are given from this study award is such a privilege, and to be able to spend more time with whānau is amazing. My kids (aged 19, 16, and 14) all say how cool it is that I am home more often. My husband loves that I am more available too; we actually get time to talk and do things together! There are so many benefits i.e. rest, health, spiritual, mental, peace of mind, etc. that I would recommend this to anyone and everyone, it’s like winning lotto!”
A Māori Medium Bilingual Education Study Award is an opportunity for a teacher or principal to take leave to improve their proficiency in te reo Māori me āna tikanga Māori and their skills as a bilingual or immersion teacher. Recipients complete a Postgraduate-level qualification in Māori Medium teaching.
Three institutions currently provide approved courses that can be pursued by Māori Medium Bilingual Education Study Award recipients.
For further information on each course and the admission criteria for each tertiary provider please visit the relevant websites below:
For 2015 there are 42 study awards available to teachers and principals in early childhood, primary or secondary education.
The teacher or principal receives their normal salary from the school or ECE centre while on study leave. The study award funds relief costs to the school or ECE centre for the duration of leave.
In addition the award funds:
If you have any questions please contact TeachNZ by calling 0800 165 225 or emailing email@example.com
BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted: 6:01 pm, 28 July 2014
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