Te Manawa Pou: free online Professional Learning and Development

Te Manawa Pou is a free online Professional Learning and Development [PLD] programme for te reo Māori teachers from English medium primary schools (Year 1-8). It is designed particularly (yet not exclusively) for teachers based in rural areas, or for teachers who may be the only teacher of te reo Māori in their school and thus may benefit from making connections with others.
Every aspect of Te Manawa Pou is focused on supporting individual teachers to:
  • improve their te reo Māori proficiency
  • improve their confidence in teaching and using te reo Māori
  • enhance their quality teaching and learning of te reo Māori practices
  • explore strategies to give every encouragement and opportunity for iwi and whānau to be involved in their children’s te reo Māori learning.

Further information

Te Manawa Pou overview page
Te Manawa Pou Information Sheet [ PDF 397KB ]
Contact us about the Te Manawa Pou programme 

Developing Independent, Self Directed Thinkers...

Auckland: 6th March
Hamilton: 7th March

Time: 4.00pm - 7.00pm

$125 per person
$110 pp for groups of 3-9
$100 pp for 10+

We are living in challenging times... and also times of great opportunity. The very best gift we can give to our students is to prepare them to adapt and to develop their full potential in this fast-changing world.

Teachers make every other profession possible and, in a dynamic teaching environment, deciding what to include and leave out of the curriculum is important. This workshop will explore 7 key ideas as well as the importance of authentic learning and developing the dispositions of the Habits of Mind.

In this fast-paced 3 hour workshop, you will explore 7 important keys for teaching ...
  • Understanding how the brain learns
  • Minimising the Fear Factor
  • Teaching contextualised content
  • Empowering students to think
  • Hook learners with authentic learning
  • Never work harder than your students
  • Assessing for Learning

Plus... you will explore how to teach within an authentic context and integrate the Habits of Mind seamlessly into your classroom.
You’ll also learn...
  • What the 16 Habits of Mind are
  • Practical ways to use and implement and develop the Habits of Mind
  • How to foster the use of the Habits of Mind in school and at home
  • How teacher language affects the thinking and learning process
  • How a shared vision for teachers can make a significant difference to children’s lives.
Karen Boyes is described as Australasia's "Mrs Education." An expert in effective teaching, learning and living, Karen turns research into practical and simple to use techniques that create success. As the Founder of Spectrum Education, an author, publisher of the Teachers Matter Magazine and an Associate Director of the Institute for the Habits of Mind, Karen is an expert of teaching and learning throughout the world.  A dynamic presenter, she inspires teachers and students globally.

For further information and to place a booking.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan talks to Jon Stewart

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan talks about the importance of getting the balance right in the curriculum.
Some food for thought for all educators. We are all in the business of bettering the next generation for an unseen future.

"The best ideas always come at the local level. Not from me and frankly not from anyone in Washington"
Full interview
Extended interview - Part 1
Extended interview - Part 2
Extended interview - Part 3

Useful links

Race to the top
No child left behind
Respect initiative

Quote of the Month: Clifford Stoll

"Data is not information, information is not knowledge, knowledge is not understanding, understanding is not wisdom."

Clifford Stoll

Do you know your next steps?

Presenter: Pam Hook
Hamilton • 15 March

About this seminar

During this presentation Pam will outline how teachers can build primary and secondary students assessment capability using a modification of SOLO Taxonomy (Biggs and Collis 1982). This approach will support teachers to monitor and give effective feedback and feed forward on how students are going and where to next with their learning.
Who will benefit from attending this seminar?

This seminar will be particularly useful for educators who are interested in practical approaches to:
  • Improving student learning outcomes
  • Raising student confidence
  • Increasing student engagement

CORE Breakfast: Leadership post the quakes

Presenter: Chris Jansen
Christchurch • 28 February

About this seminar

Since the quakes, many organisations around Christchurch have lost staff and students, lost buildings, lost files and systems, and yet have re-emerged on shared sites, often operating in innovative and inspiring new ways. The quakes have not only triggered the temporary breakdown of conventional organisational structures, but also led to the spontaneous emergence of self-organisation, individuals and groups responding to the threat and the opportunities to support each other and create innovative solutions to the challenging situation.

This presentation will explore these phenomena. In particular, it will consider whether such self organisation can only occur post a traumatic event, or whether it is it possible for organisations to foster this level of self motivation, creativity, and generosity in its members (staff, students, communities) throughout its 'normal' operations?

CORE Breakfast: Sustaining curriculum conversations

Presenters: Christina Ward and Jane Nicholls
Dunedin • 7 March

About this seminar

It is four years since the launch of The New Zealand Curriculum Online web site. 35,000 teachers a month now visit this site. How are schools sustaining the momentum of curriculum review and development?

At this breakfast, we aim to introduce a feast of curriculum resources available online to support these conversations and decisions. We will guide you to a number of important curriculum research, learning resources, and tools. We will talk about ways schools take these online resources and use them effectively to guide curriculum conversations and thinking.

  • What recent research is available to inform school curriculum development?
  • How might schools use curriculum stories to challenge, inform and inspire conversations and decisions?
  • How does NZC Online support learning about the NZC principles?

This seminar will be particularly useful for:

  • School leaders, middle leaders and classroom practitioners
  • Those with responsibility for developing and supporting The New Zealand Curriculum within schools
  • Professional learning facilitators working with schools on curriculum review and development.

22nd Feb - Flowers and Roadcones

Intergrating technology thoughts

"High Stanadards" from John Spencer

These are few thoughts of "high Stanadards" from John Spencer, US blogger.
Often, the proponents of the drill-and-kill testing environment hold up the banner of "high standards" as a rationale for excessive testing. I disagree with this premise entirely. Here are ten reasons most tests lead to lower standards:

Extrinsic Motivation: Kids will work hard to learn, because they are naturally curious. When we replace this with an extrinsic motivation, it moves to economic norms, where they learn to do the least possible work for the highest results. A kid learns that it's okay to do a half-ass job if a D is still passing. Similarly, high achievers are often allowed to skate by complacently with good scores. That kind of mentality isn't present if a student is excited about learning.
Cramming: If I ask a student to learn something today and expect that student to remember tomorrow, a month from now and at the end of the year, the student will probably remember it. However, ask the same student to learn the information for the test on Thursday and it becomes easy to cram and forget.
Time Is Wasted: I visited a campus on Friday, figuring I might see some time-wasters. Maybe a crossword puzzle for good behavior or PAT time. Instead, as I walked through the halls, I saw entire grade levels of students silently taking a test on information that could have been assessed in an ongoing way throughout the week. I've written about this before. My students spend seven weeks (almost a quarter) of the year taking tests. The test is longer than the Bar Exam or the MCATs. It's insane.
Low-Level Thinking: Most tests are multiple choice. These tests, by design, do not assess what a student knows. Instead, they test what a student fails to recognize if he or she isn't guessing correctly. True assessment requires deeper critical thinking and avoids sloppy guesswork.
Slow Feedback: Students should be able to have instant feedback regarding how well they did. However, in an effort to avoid cheating, most students are not allowed to self-grade and reflect upon their learning. It can be a week or two before they get a test back. The best kind of assessment is the type that allows a student to think about his or her learning in order to adjust as a result.
Excuse for Avoiding Formative Assessment: I am shocked when a teacher says, "They did poorly on the pretest and now I'm shocked that they bombed the test." Really? How does that happen that a teacher can't figure out if a student is mastering a standard?
The Bell Curve and Other Deflators: I remember being a student and hoping that the whole class bombed the test, because low scores along around meant the teacher would curve it and I would receive a B instead of a C.
The Wrong Feedback: Tests typically focus on an overall grade rather than the mastery of a standard. Thus, there are two things vying for a student's attention: the grade and the learning. Often a student doesn't get to retake a test or find a different method to demonstrate mastery. Meanwhile, the qualitative, customized feedback is often missing from this type of assessment. And yet, it is this customized feedback that leads to higher standards of learning.
Risk Aversion: Learning involves taking risks. You can't have high standards without a certain level of risk-taking. Most tests are designed to not only discourage failure but encourage a certain fear of failure.
Complacent Teaching: If we say that a multiple-choice test is our only method of testing, we send the message that different learning styles and preferences make no difference. It becomes totally acceptable to move away from the notion of no child being left behind and instead pushing all students into the same myopic view of success. In the process, teachers have the permission to ignore the "lower level" students and focus on those who are "on the bubble." We're watering down our professional standard in the name of higher standards.

Further posts from John

The Real World
Abolishing Homework: Practical Thoughts
Or Maybe We'll Just Jam . . .

Wearing two hats

by Pinelopi Zaka (pinelopi.zaka@gmail.com, @paz11uc)

With the beginning of the new school year down under, teachers set their own new goals and many decide to apply some new strategies. For some this might involve using ICT and perhaps trying out blended online approaches that combine both online and face-to-face teaching and learning. In New Zealand and worldwide blended education is a fast developing area that is expected to continue growing, especially in kiwi schools with the rollout of UFB. This is an exciting opportunity to experiment with new tools and approaches, but also to motivate teachers to take one step further and investigate how they and their students experience the whole process, through research. Here are some of the reasons:

  • Knowing yourself! Through the process of researching your own class you wear two hats – that of the teacher and that of the researcher. This twofold role helps you to continuously self-reflect on what you are doing as a teacher and why you are doing it.
  • Knowing your students! Similarly to knowing yourself, through research you investigate your context in a more systematic way. You collect and analyse your data from your students, either through interviews, surveys or observations in a thoroughly designed way, preferably informed by the literature and other studies looking into similar topics.
  • Improving your teaching! While you research your class you collect lots of evidence regarding the success or not of your approaches. It is an ongoing process where, at any stage, you can adapt your practices, change your approaches, use different tools or do anything else that you think might improve your students’ experience.
  • Sharing your results and your learning journey! Nobody can deny how great the feeling of sharing is. Learning about what other teachers did, how they did it and what the results were is always interesting for educators who want to improve students’ learning experiences. A presentation at your school’s staffroom, a poster at a conference, or even better a published article in a research journal, are a few ways to communicate your class story to inspire others and contribute to the body of knowledge for the improvement of teaching and learning. Even if you think that your results are not that impressive, the learning journey you went through and your growth as a teacher is something that is definitely worth sharing!