Thursday, September 30, 2010

National Teaching & Learning Conference 2010, day 2 morning

Day 2 began with keynote with Tamati WaakaTe Whare o Wanaga Awanuiarangi, an uplifting and cogent presentation to start the day off well. Tamati began with his whakapapa (his genealogy from his father and mother and the landmarks which are important waymarkers). His presentation centred around ‘learning in a Maori way’ covering Maori ontology (Maoritanga), epistemology (matuaranga) and methodology (and the role of proverbs (whakatauki) in their epistemology. Using his whakapapa, he explained the various aspects of Maori approaches to learning.

Whakatauki included:

Tu kit e marae tau ana – learn your skill in a safe environment and your will thrive

Iti te kupu nui te korero – small words have large meanings

When through various teaching methods as examples – eg. Role play to learn whakapapa, concept maps, mind maps and structured word maps to learn waiata (archaic chants).

Ako Aoteaora publication on teaching and learning for success for Maori in tertiary settings includes 5 main points.

After morning tea, a series of workshops. I chose to attend Alison Viskovic’s session on ‘how do you learn to be a tertiary teacher’. Alison was my M ed. supervisor and now associate dean of the arts faculty at Whitireia Polytechnic. She did an overview of work from her Phd and a literature review on evaluating tertiary teacher training in NZ completed for Ako Aotearoa as a precursor to the Ako Aotearoa commissioned stocktake of tertiary teachers qualifications. A workshop followed to discuss approaches to questions like – do tertiary teaching qualifications matter?; how can informal learning about teaching in teachers’ local communities of practice to be better support? How different or similar are the teaching development needs of university or polytec teachers?; if courses / qualifications matter, what should NZ provision be like? How useful to us are standards set in the UK by the Higher Ed. Academy and the Further Ed. (lifelong learning sector?