Culture Counts 1 - Much Ado About English

Culture Counts
Power sharing in the
English Classroom
Alison Cleary
Learning Leader and Te Kotahitanga Lead Facilitator
Alfriston College
Learning intention:
• To increase our understanding of the
term ‘culturally responsive pedagogy
of relations’
• To determine what a CRP of R could
look like in an English classroom.
• To reflect on our own practice in
terms of CRP of R.
Success criteria:
I can:
I have:
A Te Kotahitanga facilitator’s ‘core
business’ is to support teachers to
develop an understanding of and
the ability to create a culturally
responsive pedagogy of
relations (CRP of R) in their
classrooms in order to improve
outcomes for Māori students.
But what exactly is
meant by the term a
culturally responsive
pedagogy of
Culturally responsive pedagogy
239,000 hits in 39 secs
Culturally responsive pedagogy of
49,000 hits in 39 secs
R.Bishop, M.Berryman,
T.Cavanagh and L.Teddy (2007)
A culturally responsive pedagogy of relations
is one where teachers:
create learning contexts that will address
the learning engagement and improve the
achievement of Māori students by
developing learning - teaching relationships
where the following notions are paramount.
Where power is shared:
• where learners can initiate interactions;
learners’ right to self-determination over
learning styles and sense making
processes are regarded as fundamental to
power-sharing relationships, and
collaborative critical reflection is part of an
ongoing critique of power relationships;
Where culture counts:
• where classrooms are places where
learners can bring “who they are” to the
learning interactions in complete safety,
and their knowledge’s are ‘acceptable’ and
Where learning is interactive and
• learners are able to be co-inquirers;
learning is active, problem-based,
integrated and holistic; learning
positionings are reciprocal (ako) and
knowledge is co-created; classrooms are
places where young people’s sensemaking processes and knowledge’s are
validated and developed in collaboration
with others;
Where connectedness is
fundamental to relations:
• teachers are committed to and
inextricably connected to their
students and the community; school
and home/parental aspirations are
Where there is a common
• an agenda for excellence for
Māori in education
Where power is shared between selfdetermining individuals within nondominating relations of interdependence;
where culture counts; learning is interactive,
dialogic and spirals; participants are
connected and committed to one another
through the establishment of a common
vision for what constitutes excellence in
educational outcomes.
(Bishop et al, p.25)
What might this mean for • The classroom teacher?
What questions might we ask
around our own practice?
As a classroom teacher…
• Does your classroom look like a place where the
students are valued for who they are?
• Is current student work displayed?
• Do you change what’s on your walls regularly or
has it become ‘wallpaper’?
• Would a visitor to your room know that they were
in an English classroom in New Zealand and not
just an English classroom anywhere in the world?
• Is the classroom a space your students feel
comfortable in and experience a sense of
Building learning relationships
(Know the learners)
Goals and aspirations
Formative assessment tasks
Student voice and feeback
Programmes of learning
Booking systems
Interest vs availability
Student voice
Change change change
Tried and trued vs brave and new
Resources vs change
Co Construction and Collaboration
Prior knowledge
Inquiry based
Self determining
Differentiation – programme, content,
Co Construction and Collaboration
Learning intentions
Success criteria
Co-operative learning
1-1 at their desks
Culturally appropriate contexts
• Do you ever include whakatauki* in your
language activities or make clear links
between Te Reo and English?
• Do you use Te Reo in your classroom for any
instructional verbs? Or for praise?
• Do you ever make connections between the
traditional stories of Shakespeare and Māori
oral history – for example Romeo and Juliet
compared to Tutanekai and Hinemoa?
• Is your word of the week ever in Te Reo?
Jane's story
Jane’s Story
As an HOD/HOL…..
• As an HOD do you allow your staff the flexibility
to adapt the themes or units of study to meet
the needs of their learners?
• Do you actively plan to include texts that reflect
the cultural worlds of the learners in your
• Do you meet with other learning area HODs to
find opportunities to make cross-curricular links
between them and your English programme –
especially in the junior school?
• Do your common assessment tasks provide
choice and are they multi-levelled?
Links to the NZC
Learning is inseparable from its social and
cultural context. Students learn best
when they feel accepted, when they enjoy
positive relationships with their fellow
students and teachers, and when they are
able to be active, visible members of the
learning community………
Students learn best when they are able to
integrate new learning with what they
already understand.
Teachers can help students to make
connections across learning areas as well
as to home practices and the wider world.
Effective teachers attend to the cultural and
linguistic diversity of all their students. The
classroom culture exists within and alongside
many other cultures, including the cultures of
the wider school and the local community, the
students’ peer culture, and the teacher’s
professional culture.
(NZC pg 34&35)
Links to Ka hikitia
(Managing for Success: Maori Education Strategy 2008 – 2012)
The concept of ako describes a teaching and
learning relationship, where the educator is
also learning from the student and where
educators’ practices are informed by the
latest research and are both deliberate and
reflective. Ako is grounded in the principle of
reciprocity and also recognises that the
learner and whänau cannot be separated.
Culture and education are inextricably
interwoven, in the education system as well
as in the learning setting. Mäori children and
students are more likely to achieve when
they see themselves, their whänau, hapü
and iwi reflected in the teaching content and
environment, and are able to be ‘Mäori’ in all
learning contexts.
(Ka Hikitia, p20)
JGeek – Maori Boy
JGeek and the Geeks - I'm a Maori boy
Student Responses
This song was offensive because its not al things
Maori people do. They didn’t wear loin clothes
when they first came to NZ and they don’t have
the same tattoos as Aboriginals – they have koru
patterns and they were green and not blue.
They should have made a song about being a
geek and not being a Maori. I think it was a
project that university students had to do
probably for a film study project.
Student responses
The style of this video was almost parody like,
with characters dressed in nothing but loin
clothes half the time…
I found the costumes quite odd as although they
were trying to portray a traditional Maori
theme, with the fake Maori tattoos, they did not
match as Maori did not wear loin cloths…
….I think the video is made in good fun…
Student voices
Student voices
Further readings or viewings for those interested in
developing more of an understanding or knowledge of
this topic. Russell Bishop – A culturally responsive pedagogy of
relations. Christchurch, Core Education Ltd.
Te Kotahitanga Research Unit
Bishop, R., O’Sullivan, D., and Berryman, M. (2010). Scaling up Education Reform: Addressing
the Politics of Disparity. NZCER Press, Wellington.
Bishop, R., Berryman, M., Cavanagh, T. and Teddy, L. (2007). Te Kōtahitanga Phase 3:
Establishing a Culturally Responsive Pedagogy of Relations in Mainstream Secondary School
Classrooms. Learning Media, Wellington.
Ministry of Education. (2007). New Zealand Curriculum. Learning Media, Wellington.
Ministry of Education. (2008). Ka Hikitia (Managing for Success: Maori Education Strategy 2008
– 2012). Wellington.
Montgomery, W (2001). Creating culturally responsive, inclusive classrooms. TEACHING
Exceptional Children, Vol. 33, No. 4, pp. 4-9.

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