uLearn – Mana Potential – A Strengths Based Tool for Behaviour Change

Presented by Susan Ngawati Osborne and Nigel Marshall – Website

Key elements of Mana Potential

  • Strength based, focusing on what they can, not what they can’t do (growth model)
  • It is culturally centred (not a add on)
  • Based on ako (co-constructed)
  • Relationship focused (connecting and connections; change doesn’t happen without a link to people)
  • Range of learning modalities (bring the stories to life, visual, imaginative)
  • Links to other learning theary and practice (fits into best practice of all Western psychology, mindfulness, positive psychology, paradigm shift)
  • Develop plans and strategies for sustainable change
  • Holistic measuring outcomes model
  • Based in spirituality (often the component that is missing from other models, this is a NZ model, thus we start with a karakia)

It’s about mana (pride, strength, self-respect, empowering, identity, presence, confidence, self-worth). Brilliant actions and exceptional talent will be noticed and will enhance one’s mana; whereas actions that cause harm, will also be noticed and will have a negative effect on mana –  it will diminish.

CaptureAko – a dynamic principle of learning. Principle behind  What does ako look like? Not being able to separate the learner from whanau (the need to know where you come from in order to address where we are going), building on reciprocal learning to

The model:

  • Centre circle (strengths – what would your firends say about you)
  • Bottom six – Papatuanuku [life giver, sustainer, nuturer, what keeps us strong in the world] (People, place, hobbies, treasures, values [what do you believe in?], self care/care for others)
  • Top six – Ranginui [the provider, protector, devoted partner, helps us to face life’s challenges] (Rongo ma tane [peaceful state what it might feel like, what do you need to be in a peaceful state, or what do you need from us?] Maui [happy and productive state] Ruaumoko [angry state]  Tu Matauenga [Explosive state] Tawhirimatea [after a storm state – what do you want us to do when you are in that state?] Tangaroa [after the crisis state]). Each section gets a colour and animal.
  • Top section is about developing emotional literacy.
  • Arrow from the upper section comes out and turns the reactive into something proactive. What can prevent from going up the scale.


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