As an acknowledgement of Matariki, students from Komiti Maori were invited along to join our Professional Learning Focus Groups. They spoke about their learning and we gently interrogated them. Some of the strands arising from the discussion were:
- The need for specific learning – and repeating stuff. “While some people find repeating stuff useless, I need it repeated and it helps”.
- “The biggest difference to my success is the thoroughness of what we have to learn”. Value the little stuff and the big stuff.
- “I feel supported when I have a wide range of knowledge of the topic”
- “Even though the I say no to support, I still probably want it”.
- “Mentoring was good because we could bond, talking with other without the need to write things down”.
- Self directed learning criticised and generally misunderstood as being a thing that has to be done alone without support. Are students misunderstanding the concept or are teachers not setting up this approach correctly?
- Need to have friends and connections in class – friends help more than the teacher at times.
- Other students can be distracting – desire for teachers to do something more about them.
- Personality of the teacher vital in enjoying the class.
Active learning was a topic that all the students spoke about. They
- One project was about looking at tikanga Maori and finding out more about it so they could share things with the school.
- Frustration at not having a topic, and generally not valuing the process of finding something to look into. No learning or reflection about this process was on the surface for the students and you have to dig for this.
- General comments showed they understood the point of active learning and that progress was being made towards a positive outcome.