Kāhui Ako Local Curriculum Design Toolkit: new suite of design tools inspires conversation

Issue: Volume 97, Number 1

Posted: 29 January 2018
Reference #: 1H9hEZ

The idea behind the Kāhui Ako Local Curriculum Design Toolkit is that your Kāhui Ako will be empowered further to gain crucial oversight over learning programmes, beyond that which happens within individual schools, kura, and early learning services, and therefore add value to the educational experience of your ākonga.  The tools will afford opportunities to make structured yet flexible evidence-based decisions as your Kāhui Ako goes about the work of creating a local curriculum that maximises coherence and depth of learning opportunities. 

Four tools are grouped in a Māori worldview (under the title ‘Rapua Te Ara Tika’). Another four apply to English medium. 

To see a video about the tool, its various parts and how it all fits together, go to https://curriculumtool.education.govt.nz/(external link)

Māori medium – Rapua Te Ara Tika

Rapua Te Ara Tika, or “Seeking the right pathway”, promotes a Māori approach to curriculum development, teaching and learning. Kāhui Ako can use the tool to facilitate discussion to guide the planning and thinking for collaborative inquiries. The four tools within RTAT are:

  • Te Whare Wānanga - users are invited to enter the Whare Wānanga – the House of Learning and engage in a process of inquiry. Te Whare Wānanga is underpinned by three Pou which identify key focus questions on the learners identity (Poutiriao), relationships (Pouwhenua) and future focus (Pouawatea) to support the development of a localised student centred curriculum.
  • Te Herenga Tāngata - includes suggestions to guide individuals, kura and Kāhui Ako to create and strengthen relationships to support the learner and their learning aspirations and pathways. There is a particular focus on creating and working with local whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori education support groups.
  • Te Ara Tika - guides and supports kaiako, kura and the hapori to design and implement key transitions for ākonga throughout their schooling from kōhungahunga through to te whare wānanga.
  • He Akoranga Rangatira - supports ākonga, kaiako, kura, whānau and the hapori to identify what is Akoranga Rangatira (Powerful to learn) and Ngā Tino Huarahi Ako (Powerful learning) to ensure the localised curriculum is relevant and meets the Kāhui Ako needs.

Each of the tools are interconnected and support the development of a mārau ā-kāhui ako or localised curriculum.

English medium Toolkit

The English medium toolkit comprises the following tools:

  • Collaborative Inquiry tool - this tool sets out a digital system for establishing strategic focus areas, developing inquiry proposals, monitoring progress, and sharing findings. It will help to contextualise more effectively the wide variation in approach to teaching and outcomes, and helps with responses to both challenges teachers are facing, as well as excellent teaching practice that should be exemplified.
  • Relationships for Learning tool - this tool will help your Kāhui Ako bring into focus the relationships that your learning centre has with its surrounding community. It describes the key people and groups a Kāhui Ako may choose to work with to support learning – the tool is built to reflect the reality that learners don’t exist in isolation – they’re part of many other community structures.
  • Coherent Pathways tool - this tool is about learner continuity – it will help Kāhui Ako ensure that learners experience as smooth a transition as possible as they move from early childhood through to the end of their secondary schooling.

Rich Learning Opportunities tool - 
this tool helps Kāhui Ako to utilise the environment that they are part of, and the relationships that contribute to that environment, to design meaningful learning opportunities and work out what capabilities they want to prioritise. It enables Kāhui Ako to design opportunities for their learners to contribute to their communities in ways that build on and strengthen both community and learner capabilities.

Designed for collaboration

Helen Taylor Young is principal of Victory Primary School in Christchurch, a learning centre which trialled the Local Curriculum Design tools late in 2017. She’s excited about their potential for collaboration.

“[The Local Curriculum Design tools] are very exciting tools for Kāhui Ako to be able to collaborate across schools, but more than that, working with iwi for example. It’s a great central place where we can develop a body of work.

“One of the great things about it is that you’ve got a Māori-medium pathway and an English-medium pathway - the Māori-medium pathway has been developed by whānau and iwi.”

Helen also says that she’s impressed by the clarity of the tool, and how it is delineated into four parts: collaborative inquiry, pedagogy development, building relationships with community groups like iwi, and a space for coherent pathways.

Helen also likes the fact that the suite makes it easy to expand collaboration.

“You can invite people into different parts of it, so you can be working on things together without having to be together, which is fantastic. You can be a contributor, or if you’re someone like a community group, you can simply keep track of what’s happening.”

Regional support

The project team has been training Regional Office staff so they can assist Kāhui Ako to explore and to use the Toolkit. Expert Partners will also be providing support to Kāhui Ako on using the Toolkit, tailored to their needs and stages of development.

If you want to know more about the Local Curriculum Design Toolkit, or arrange a demonstration for your Kāhui Ako, email us at: curriculum.design@education.govt.nz

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

Posted: 9:00 AM, 29 January 2018

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