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A second look at Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013–2017


Part two: Māori potential approach and educational pathways

Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success 2013 -2017.

NZC Online offers a series of blogs about Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013–2017. The blog posts look closely at different aspects of the Māori education strategy and provide questions, resources, and suggested actions for school leaders and kaiako.

This is the second blog post in the Ka Hikitia series. The first blog examined productive partnerships, one of the five guiding principles of Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013–2017.

This blog post explores another guiding principle – Māori potential approach. It considers what is meant by the Māori potential approach principle, provides questions for leaders and kaiako to consider, includes inspirational school stories, and offers links to resources that promote high expectations and strong educational pathways for Māori students.

Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei

Pursue that which is precious, and do not be deterred by anything less than a lofty mountain

Māori potential approach

The Māori potential approach principle supports and empowers all Māori students to excel and be successful.

“Every Māori student has the potential to make a valuable social, cultural, and economic contribution to the well-being of their whānau, hapū, iwi, and community and to New Zealand as a whole.”

Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013–2017, p.15

A key message of Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013–2017 is that everyone who has a role in education must share high expectations for Māori students to achieve. This includes students, parents, whānau, hapū, iwi, Māori organisations, communities, peers, and education and vocational training sector professionals.

Students who are expected to achieve and who have high aspirations for themselves are more likely to succeed.

The Māori potential approach principle is consistent with the principle of high expectations in The New Zealand Curriculum.

"The curriculum supports and empowers all students to learn and achieve personal excellence, regardless of their individual differences."

The New Zealand Curriculum, p.9

Student working at desk.

The Māori potential approach means:

Less focus on:

  • remedying deficit
  • problems of dysfunction
  • government intervention
  • targeting deficit
  • Māori as a minority.

More focus on:

  • realising potential
  • identifying opportunity
  • investing in people and local solutions, communities, or networks of provision
  • tailoring education to the student
  • indigeneity and distinctiveness
  • collaborating and co-constructing.

from Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013–2017, p.15

Sir Sidney Mead and Lady June Mead.

He Kākano film clip - Setting expectations
Sir Sidney and Lady June Mead embrace a Māori potential approach as they challenge schools and students involved in He Kākano to raise their sights for Māori achievement.

What messages in this film clip resonate with you?

School stories Kōrero ā-kura

Striving for personal excellence
The board at Te Kura o Hiruharama decided to change the school's mission statement. Principal, Sue Ngarimu-Goldsmith, explains how a whakataukī was used to inspire the thinking behind the school's mission "Striving for personal excellence".

Rangiātea: case studies and exemplars
These case studies and exemplars examine five secondary schools, each of which is on a journey towards realising Māori potential. Strategies and key factors are shared.

Ngaruawahia High School
Staff from Ngaruawahia High School explain how Māori students’ NCEA results improved dramatically when they considered evidence, accepted shared responsibility, set high expectations, and established goals.

Guiding questions Ngā pātai ārahi

Considering achievement

  • What evidence of Māori student achievement do we gather at our school?
  • How is this analysed and shared to inform our planning and classroom practice?

Considering expectations

  • What are our expectations for Māori achievement?
  • Are our expectations built on a Māori potential approach?
  • Can we expect more?

Considering productive partnerships

  • How do we include Māori students and their parents, whānau, hapū, iwi, and Māori communities in decision making around Māori achievement and expectations?

Considering next steps

  • What are our school's short-term, mid-term, and long-term plans to strengthen Māori student achievement?

Related research Rangahau whai pānga

Promoting success for Māori students: Schools’ progress (June 2010)
This 2010 ERO report evaluates how schools have promoted success for Māori students. It identifies system-wide issues and recommended steps to be taken by schools and by the Ministry of Education to promote success for Māori in education.

Creating strong educational pathways

Student on bridge.

Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013–2017 states that an essential element for Māori students' educational success is the creation of strong educational pathways. 

"Every Māori student must be supported to plan their pathway through education so that they can achieve their aspirations and those of their parents, whānau, hapū, iwi, and community."

Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013–2017, p.21

The final part of this blog lists several key resources that promote strong educational pathways for Māori students. These resources can be used by students, teachers, and whānau to help all Māori students gain the skills, qualifications, and knowledge they need to enjoy and achieve education success as Māori.

Māori future makers – Facebook
Māori future makers is an excellent tool for students and whānau when planning education pathways. Māori future makers profiles 30 inspirational Māori with specialist skills and capabilities who are studying, employed, or self-employed in primary, knowledge-intensive, and growth industries.

Career education and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa
This page relates career management competencies to the graduate profile characteristics espoused in Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (the curriculum document that supports Māori medium levels 1 and 2). The competencies and characteristics can be used to guide career education programmes for Māori students in English-medium schools.

Cultural responsiveness through thoughtful leadership
Deanne Thomas, Kaihautū Māori for CORE Education, has been thinking about what is really important for school leadership in terms of helping Māori learners reach their potential to the highest level of academic achievement.

Share your success

Do you have your own story to share about the Māori potential approach principle or educational pathways? Or do you know of useful ideas and resources? We would love to hear from you. Please leave a response in the comments.

Part three of the Ka Hikitia blog series

In part three of the Ka Hikitia blog series Wharehoka Wano, Kaihautū Māori at CORE Education, shares his views on the Māori education strategy.

ka hikitia
learning pathways
māori achievement