INDEPENDENT NEWS

Quality Of Teacher Training For Maori Students

Published: Tue 4 Dec 2001 12:24 AM
Teacher education providers need to better equip beginning teachers to teach Mäori students, according to a Te Puni Kökiri report The Quality Of Teacher Training For Teaching Mäori Students released today by Mäori Affairs Minister, Parekura Horomia.
Te Puni Kökiri talked to teacher education providers, school principals, beginning teachers, teacher trainees and Mäori parents to determine how well they equip graduates to teach Mäori students effectively.
Mäori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says that while some examples of good practice were found, generally most teacher education providers have a lot of work to do to ensure trainees develop the skills needed to teach Mäori students.
“Teachers play an essential role in shaping and developing student abilities, knowledge and attitudes. However low levels of achievement by Mäori in schools is not new and this report provides recommendations to help the education sector meet Mäori students’ needs. ” he says.
Mr Horomia said Te Puni Kökiri and the Ministry of Education have similar aims based around ensuring Mäori students can achieve to the best of their ability and both agencies need to assist providers to make improvements.”
Copies of The Quality Of Teacher Training For Teaching Mäori Students can be viewed at www.tpk.govt.nz.
Recommendations from the report
1. Teacher education programmes:
 extend their current curricula pertaining to Mäori to include more practical content that will prepare trainees for the reality of the contemporary New Zealand classroom;
 provide teacher trainees with opportunities to gain more practical experience in teaching Mäori students;
 set up formal and routine processes for suggestion and feedback from primary and secondary schools on the content of teacher-trainee education programmes in regard to teaching Mäori pupils;
 require graduating teacher-trainees to meet a prescribed set of competencies for teaching students who are Mäori;
 require teacher educators to undertake professional development focused on improving their Mäori language skills and their understanding of the Mäori world view.
2. Teacher training providers be advised of the four expectations that Mäori educators believe are a vital part of a teacher education programme – namely:
 having components that assist or encourage trainees to understand Mäori students’ cultural influences;
 examining the social and cultural differences between teachers and Mäori pupils;
 training in teaching techniques that offer learning experiences relevant to Mäori students’ own contexts; and
 encouraging trainees’ belief that their teaching can make a difference for students.
3. Teacher training programmes recognise and target the demographics in NZ society, where Mäori students comprise a significant and growing proportion of the school-aged population.
4. The NZ Teachers’ Council (replacing the Teacher Registration Board) play an important role in setting requirements for quality teacher training courses - to enable graduates to teach Mäori pupils more effectively.
5. A more creative approach be adopted to recruit more Mäori into teaching.

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