education.govt.nz

Accessing PLD by podcast

Issue: Volume 99, Number 19

Posted: 19 November 2020
Reference #: 1HAEe3

A Christchurch teacher has produced 16 podcasts with diverse voices to make professional learning and development (PLD) easy to access for his Kāhui Ako.

Joseph began his podcast series with the purchase of a microphone and some audio editing software.

Joseph began his podcast series with the purchase of a microphone and some audio editing software.

Teacher Joseph Houghton is director of Māori and Pacific Achievement at Shirley Boys’ High school and an across school lead for Ōtākaro Kāhui Ako, which includes seven schools and 13 early childhood centres in east and north Christchurch.

The father of five is also doing a PhD on empowering Pacific voice in secondary education in Christchurch and has close ties to the University of Canterbury. Prior to the nationwide school closures, the Ōtākaro Kāhui Ako had partnered with the University and Ara: Institute of Canterbury with plans to deliver a Kāhui Ako conference, which has now been postponed until mid-2021.

“We were looking for a new and innovative way to deliver PLD for our staff to connect with. While podcasts aren’t new, I did a bit of research online and I couldn’t find any Kāhui Ako podcasts. We’d thought let’s try to get a podcast episode out before lockdown.

“We were literally in the recording studio about to push record on an episode when the Prime Minister announced Level 4. We had 48 hours to sort ourselves out so we canned the podcast. Over the lockdown period with my family, I did a lot of research in terms of listening to podcasts and getting myself informed on how they are structured and how they run,” he says.

Relevant voices

Joseph taught himself how to use the audio editing software, Adobe Audition, and formulated a plan for his return to school. With a store-bought microphone, he began interviewing people face to face or via Zoom meetings.

The first podcast episode was about Māori and Pacific voices in lockdown learning, featuring Tufulasi Taleni from the University of Canterbury and Dr Melanie Riwai-Couch, who was working for Evaluation Associates, now sponsors of the podcast series: Ōtākaro Kōrero.

“As soon as we got access back to school, I recorded the first episode which was around how our Māori and Pacific families were going through lockdown. I wanted it to be relevant: that episode is still interesting.

I wanted our teachers to be able to have a sense of how our Māori and Pacific families were going and how they had gone during lockdown and how they had found the learning,” explains Joseph.

Expertise and talent were sourced from friends, colleagues and academics and, in one case, an expert Joseph saw on Breakfast TV.

“Dr Daniel Hikuroa had been on Breakfast TV. They were talking about Mātauranga Māori and his work and so I contacted Dan via Linked In and asked him if he would be interested in having a conversation and recording a podcast for our teachers. He was very keen. Episode 12 features him and is about being the best teacher of science for Māori students.

“I’ve tried to give different people a chance to offer their voice, so we have interviewed teachers, principals, professors, students – there’s a real variety. In general, I’ve never had anyone turn me down. I’ve asked 16 people, we’ve had 16 podcasts and we’ve got about 10 in the bank either being recorded in the near future, or planned.”

Cutting-edge PLD

For the past five months, Joseph and his colleagues have produced approximately one podcast episode every one to two weeks, focusing mostly on culturally responsive practice, as well as literacy and wellbeing. Topics include: Listening to Māori and Pacific whānau voice; Being the best teachers of English for Māori and Pacific students; Hauora – being an upstander; and Wellbeing perspectives.

“We have tried to connect with evidence based, practical and cutting-edge people, to produce relevant and exciting content.

“My philosophy with anything like this, is looking for 50 per cent from within our Kāhui Ako and 50 per cent beyond. We are celebrating our professionals, staff, even some of our students, families and communities, but also stretching ourselves to go beyond what we are experiencing, so we’re not only inward looking, but also outward looking,” he says.

The podcasts are geared to teachers in the Ōtākaro Kāhui Ako and in Christchurch. Joseph says says a Kāhui Ako podcast offers an opportunity to contextualise PLD needs that are relevant to a particular area. He hopes that other teachers in the area will host their own podcasts.

Discussing the Teaching Council’s Professional Standards for a podcast with Maria Lemalie, assistant principal at Shirley Boys’ High School.

Discussing the Teaching Council’s Professional Standards for a podcast with Maria Lemalie, assistant principal at Shirley Boys’ High School.

Nationwide potential

But Joseph also believes there is potential for a New Zealand-wide podcast series. The most popular episode to date was an interview with a teacher from Naenae College in Wellington: ‘Being the best teachers of English for Māori and Pacific students’.

“I’d seen something a friend had posted during lockdown about teaching his Māori and Pacific kids and I thought this would be a great podcast. That episode (episode 4) has had more than 100 downloads.

“We did one episode on the Ministry of Education’s Talanoa Ako app which is going to benefit Pacific families nationwide. Looking at the episodes we have done to date, I don’t see anything that will be limited to our local context.

“There might be one or two questions within a podcast about how to do something within the context of living in Christchurch. I would be asking questions with my own schools in mind, whereas a Kāhui Ako in Auckland will have different questions around what teachers and students can do within the context of living in Auckland.”

With more than 700 downloads to date, Joseph and his Kāhui Ako colleagues are on a roll. Coming up, there are more podcasts in the pipeline including: a school’s journey in engaging more with tikanga Māori and an interview with a Pākehā history teacher who is passionate about supporting Māori students.

Closer to home, Joseph plans to interview Maria Lemale, assistant principal at Shirley Boys’ High School, about how she brings the Teaching Council’s professional standards to life with her teachers.

“Not every podcast will push every teacher’s buttons, but some of our principals have said they listen when they go to the gym in the morning, some listen on the commute to school, others have shared it with staff and will use it to start a conversation,” says Joseph.

The Ōtākaro Kōrero podcast series can be accessed via Apple or Spotify and can be found at otakaro-korero.simplecast.com(external link)

Joseph plans an episode on values with Pete Beswick, Wellbeing Lead at Shirley Boys’ High School.

Joseph plans an episode on values with Pete Beswick, Wellbeing Lead at Shirley Boys’ High School.

 

Teacher Kōrero

Q: What do you like most about listening to a podcast for PLD? What are the pros and cons of this mode of delivery?

A: I really like that we are able to share relevant learning with staff and we can engage with it at a time that works for us.

Q: Do you think the topics to date are relevant to you?

A: The topics have been excellent, there has been a lot of great content around culturally responsive practice. I think this is really topical for all staff.

Q: Which podcast was of most interest to you and why?

A: I enjoyed the tenth episode of the Ōtākaro Kōrero podcast where I was introduced to the Talanoa Ako app which is designed to support Pacific families and their child’s educational journey. The app includes a wealth of information about time management, NCEA, literacy and career pathways. It also allows families to set educational goals for themselves and create a plan for their children. This was something that I have been able to pass on to our community.

Andrew Barker, Principal, Waitākiri Primary School

 

Q: What do you like most about listening to a podcast for PLD? What are the pros and cons of this mode of delivery?

A: What I enjoy about the Ōtākaro Kōrero podcast series is that it offers a wide range of topics in a format that can be accessed anywhere. I can listen on my commute to and from school, when out walking, etc. The only con that I can think of is that I am unable to ask questions that might deepen or settle my understanding of the topics being discussed.

Q: Do you think the topics to date are relevant to you?

A: So far the topics have been really relevant. As teachers we should all be aiming to develop our understanding of teaching in a culturally responsive manner, so this topic has been particularly interesting and important. As wellbeing comes more to the fore alongside culturally responsive practice (these two are really intertwined) this has also been relevant.

Q: Which podcast was of most interest to you and why?

A: One recent episode has been Growing Culturally Responsive Practice. Although for primary, there were still lots of takeaways which can be applied to other levels of teaching. Particularly that the teacher is not separate from the student, but both are part of the learning environment. It is not teacher vs student, but rather both are involved in creating an environment where learning happens.

Peter Beswick, teacher, Shirley Boys’ High School

 

Q: What do you like most about listening to a podcast for PLD? What are the pros and cons of this mode of delivery?

A: The podcasts have been a great way to delve a little deeper into issues that have been raised or introduced during professional learning workshops. I enjoy the ability to listen to these podcasts at a time that is convenient to me. Another aspect of these podcasts that I have found really worthwhile, is the range of presenters. It is always great to hear from both educational academics and those at the chalkface.

Q: Do you think the topics to date are relevant to you?

A: All of the topics revolve around the Kāhui Ako achievement challenges so they do hold a large amount of relevance for our learning community. I personally find the podcasts about current educational research very useful indeed. Learning about current research, via podcast, makes the information digestible. I have enjoyed the opportunity to hear from educational researchers as this helps to bridge the gap between research and practice.

Q: Which podcast was of most interest to you and why?

A: I really enjoyed the podcast about the latest research around reading interventions. This is a highly topical issue that is facing our society. I really enjoyed hearing how researchers’ findings can have a significant impact on classroom practice.

Lisa MacKay, teacher, Avonside Girls’ High School

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 11:09 am, 19 November 2020

Get new listings like these in your email
Set up email alerts