Te Poutama Ngā Pou te Ako: Using an explicit mediation tool to facilitate secondary teacher candidates’ identity development as culturally responsive teachers

24th October 2018 : 17:00 - 18:30

Category: Seminar

Speaker: Professor Letitia Fickel, School of Teacher Education, University of Canterbury, Christchurch New Zealand & Visiting Oxford Erskine Fellow

Location: Department of Education, Seminar Room G

In Aotearoa New Zealand, the gap between high and low achieving students is one of the largest in the OECD, and the disparity of outcomes among Māori (the indigenous peoples) and other ‘priority learners’ remains a persistent challenge of practice for schools and teachers (Ministry of Education, 2008).

The result has been a growing call for changes in teacher preparation to better support culturally diverse learners within the particular national and cultural context of ‘biculturalism’, a treaty-based socio-political partnership between Māori and Pākēhā (non-Māori) that guides and informs national policy.  In response, teachers educators at UC developed a Masters-level ITE  programme with the goal of preparing new teachers “who are critical pedagogues, action competent and culturally responsive.”

In this seminar share research on our use of a graphically represented, synthesizing framework of culturally responsive practice that serves as a heuristic for the shared vision of ‘good practice’ for all stakeholders working in the programme. Co-constructed with our Iwi (tribal) partners, the framework draws on the Māori visual metaphor of a ‘poutama’,  which is often used to represent the process of learning and aspiring for knowledge. Te Poutama Ngā Pou to Ako represents the foundational ‘cultural tool’ that supports joint meaning-making among members of the community of practice, serving as a shared point of reflection for constructing knowledge and professional identity related to the shared principles of  and commitments to culturally responsive practice.