2. Summary of key findings from the literature
2.2 Enabling culturally appropriate and relevant learning environments
A culturally appropriate and relevant learning environment is consistently identified in the literature as fundamental to Māori doing well in tertiary settings.
A culturally appropriate and relevant learning environment is consistently identified in the literature as fundamental to Māori doing well in tertiary settings. Five key integrated components constitute such an environment: effective teaching; culturally specific learning spaces and peer mentoring; relevant programmes; strategic relationships with iwi and industry; and TEO leadership and management committed to Māori learner success.
Effective teacher relationships and interactions
- Relationships and interactions with students demonstrate to students they are cared for, valued and believed in.
- Students’ knowledge and experiences are valued and incorporated in teaching and learning.
- Collaborative peer relationships and collective group learning are facilitated.
- Early engagement is facilitated with parents and whānau to welcome and encourage their active involvement in, and support for, students’ learning.
- Staff actively demonstrate their belief in Māori learners’ abilities, and support and encourage learners to progress and to succeed.
Quality teacher delivery
- Teachers are passionate about what they teach, have subject knowledge expertise, have strong communication skills, and set clear boundaries.
Culturally specific learning spaces and
- Learners are socially and academically connected to support through regular interactions with academic staff, role models and peers.
Māori cultural values and tikanga central to learningTop
- Strong input and oversight from staff knowledgeable in tikanga.
- Integration of learning within local Māori communities and marae to provide expert knowledge and appropriate contexts for tikanga.
- Te ao Māori integrated in assessment, reinforcing its importance and relevance to learning.
Programmes relevant to Māori learners and communitiesTop
- Programmes that are responsive to learners’ individual holistic needs support learners to engage in study alongside other commitments.
- Tikanga and Māori values embedded in the curriculum and programme design and supported by the involvement of iwi and Māori communities.
- Programmes that enable learners to develop their cultural knowledge and identity.
- Opportunities for Māori learners to engage in and advance their knowledge of te reo Māori and Mātauranga Māori.
Strategic relationships and collaboration with iwi and industryTop
- Iwi present in advisory roles in the institution, and involved in programme design and delivery to ensure relevant content and programme credibility, and to build wider community capacity.
- Collaborative relationships between TEOs, iwi and industry to provide opportunities for learners and to ensure relevant pathways tied to future employment demand.
TEO leadership and management committed to Māori learner successTop
- Institution-wide commitment, policies, strategies to achieve equity and improve Māori learner success.
- Māori present in TEO leadership and management.
- Māori culture and tikanga embedded in curriculum and kawa integrated in institutional culture.
- Institution commitment and activities to foster whānau involvement.
- Recruitment policies focused on attracting staff and leaders with professional credibility and cultural and educational expertise.
- Institutions’ commitment to the advancement of te reo and Te Ao Māori.
- Professional development adequately resourced and centred on building staff cultural knowledge and competency.