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Mahere Mātauranga Motuhake Te Aho Matua – transcript

Tokararangi and Cindy talk about their experience of using Te Aho Matua principles in the IEP process for students of kura kaupapa Māori.

Tokararanga Totoro, Pouārahi-ā-Takiwā, District Māori Advisor, Whangarei, Tai Tokerau/Northland:
Kia ora tātou, nau mai haere mai. 
Te mea tuatahi, te tuku karakia.
Ka hikita, ka hikitia. Hiki, hikitia.
Whakarewa ki runga rawa.
Herea kia kore e hoki whakamuri mai.
Poua atu te pūmanawa Māori, he mana tikanga me te uri o Māia.
Poipoia ngā mokopuna ngā rangatira mō āpōpō.
Ka tihei, tihei mauri ora.
Tēnā koutou katoa.

Cindy Fox, Special Education Advisor, Whangarei, Tai Tokerau/Northland:
Kia ora. My name’s Cindy and this is Toka, and we’re going to explain a process where we developed a new IEP template that was quite specific to the kura setting and the journey that we took to get to that new IEP process. 

It started through me attending two IEPs at the kura for two of the boys that I work with there.

The nature of the meetings meant that I used an existing IEP template that was following the New Zealand English-medium curriculum, so it primarily focused on key competencies. And during those two IEPs I wasn’t particularly at ease about the process. I didn’t feel there was a lot of engagement by whānau and staff, and it all felt very stilted. And in the end I didn’t feel like we had really become a team around working around what were important and significant goals for these two boys. I felt very unsettled about it and unsure, but I also wasn’t sure about how to move forward.

But Whaea Terrianne, who was the specialist teacher at the time, approached me at the end of the second IEP and asked me if we would be able to develop a different framework for the IEPs. And I was really excited about that, but I didn’t know what to do with that. So I quickly said yes, I think that would be great, and then I ran to Toka.

Yeah, I think when the request arrived, I immediately thought of Te Aho Matua. And fortunately I knew how to access the information, which is important. And I was able to access Te Aho Matua philosophy. But also an abbreviated Aho Matua, which was probably ... I looked at that one first because it just detailed the things in a very simple fashion, so to speak. So I used that and just put that over the template and worked through the process of creating a Mahere Mātauranga Motuhake Te Aho Matua, which basically means IEP plan for Te Aho Matua. When that was completed I showed it to Cindy, and then we emailed it off to Terrianne.

And Terrianne forwarded it to her principal of her school as well as the SENCO. And they had time to discuss it and think about it, and that was all really good.

I didn’t really understand Te Aho Matua –  I’d never been exposed to it before – but I still felt like we needed to go through this process. So we met with Terrianne, who was very excited about seeing the template in this format because it was much more reflective of that kura environment and setting.

However, I admitted that I didn’t really have a clue about it because it wasn’t part of my education background or my curriculum knowledge and background. And very quickly she said, “I have two articles that you can refer to."

Well, these were really very helpful for me because each of the six facets of Te Aho Matua was then developed and expanded on by these two article writers. And through that process,I was then able to for myself to develop a guiding template of what each of those different facets of the philosophy meant but also how it applied to the tamariki of that kura.

So it was very useful to begin to see that in lots of ways Te Aho Matua was in a way a comparable reflection to the key competencies in the New Zealand curriculum, which was quite exciting for me to see. Once I’d done that, I got Toka to review it.

I think that was quite a simple process to review the template just to make sure that everything fitted and everything was correct. I think that’s really important to do that. And I think the point Cindy mentioned about not understanding Te Aho Matua, that also applies to some of our Māori staff because not all of us came through the Te Aho Matua system. So sometimes we do need to read up the philosophy to make sure that … to improve our understanding of that system. And that will also help our interactions with whānau and staff as well if we kind of have a better idea of Te Aho Matua.

So that was really helpful to have Toka’s reinforcement about what I’d written up. So we emailed that back through to Terrianne who again forwarded it to the SENCO and the principal. And then it felt like everyone was very content with that being the process that we follow. So at the next IEP, we had a go using it. I had pre-sent out, where I could, the guiding template to families and the new template to families. And then we met together and ran the next IEP.

And do you want to give feedback first, Toka?

I think because the whānau could see from the IEP form, they made sense of it and they were able to participate in the discussion to give positive feedback. And staff also were involved because it’s their philosophy. And I think that the interaction was probably a lot better than previously.

The other thing that I did change, just in reflection, was that I invited Toka to be there, which I think was also really important. So it was really lovely to have him as part of that process and to be able to reflect back together.

The thing that I noticed for me in those next IEP was that there was a far quicker level of engagement. There was actually a bit of excitement about the process. It was much more meaningful to all of the team, to the parents, whānau, and to the staff. There was also a lovely mix of discussion between te reo and English. And although of course I didn’t necessarily understand that all, there was a willingness to translate it back for me, and there was an easy flow of dialogue between both languages.

And there felt like a greater uniting of the team around the child. It felt like, they of course had owned the child, but it felt like they owned the document at the end of that process, and that was exciting to me. So, it was a very useful and powerful journey for me to go on.

Kia kaha koutou ki te titiro me pēhea ka tahuri ai te IEP ki ngā tikanga o Te Aho Matua.

So yep, get stuck in, have a look at how you can include Te Aho Matua in your IEPs.

Nō reira, kia ora tātou katoa.
Te karakia mutunga.

Kia ora.

Kia tau kia tātou katoa te atawhai o tō tātou Ariki a Ihu Karaiti me te aroha o te Atua me te whiwhinga tahitanga ki te wairua tapu.
Ake, ake āmine.

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