Reason we need to address this question is that whilst some co-construction meetings are on track, others are not operating as effectively. The purpose of this PD is to unpack the theory and research behind co-construction meetings as an integral part of Te Kotahitanga.
Understanding the Nature and Purpose of Co-construction Meetings
Te Kotahitanga Co-construction groups are examples of Professional Learning Communities +
“ A professional learning community is one in which teachers update their professional knowledge and skills within the context of an organised school-wide system for improving teaching practices. In addition teachers’ efforts, individually and collectively, are focused on the goal of improving student learning and achievement and making the school as a whole become a high-performing organisation.”
The factor that makes the most difference is the way schools focus on using student achievement information. Such schools constantly monitor student progress. Teachers then use the information to adjust their classroom teaching to ensure improvement.
“ simply gathering data, however systematically or routinely, will not of itself improve schools. There needs to be a commitment to scrutinise such data, to make sense of it, and to plan and act differently as a result”
David Hopkins: School Improvement for Real. Routledge. Falmer 2001
Te Kotahitanga Co-construction Communities Shared vision
A clear focus on the goal of raising M āori student achievement via GEPRISP and the ETP
A belief in the agency of teachers (agentic) and a willingness to challenge deficit theorising in self and others
A supportive, solutions-focused context
Te Kotahitanga Co-construction Communities Clear focus on student learning
Focus on Māori student learning rather than teaching
Clear criteria and knowledge about what counts as achievement including relevant, benchmarked achievement information - for class, for Year level, National
Teachers make full use of valid, relevant and quality information that leads to student achievement.
Te Kotahitanga Co-construction Communities Deprivatisation of Practice
Teachers reflect, then share and discuss the progress of their students based on achievement information
Teachers discuss possible teaching strategies to improve student achievement
Te Kotahitanga Co-construction Communities Learning talk
Teachers adopt an attitude of inquiry – the focus is on learning to enhance learning
Analytical, critical and challenging
Analytical - analyses the impact of teaching practice on student outcomes
Critical - evaluates the outcomes of the analysis
Challenging - challenges teachers to try new strategies
Te Kotahitanga Co-construction Communities Collaboration
Teachers discuss and react to one another’s teaching and assessment practices
Teachers demonstrate respect for others’ ideas and opinions
Teachers allow each other time to understand and challenge
Teachers develop shared goals and may support one another to achieve them
Traditionally student’s learning difficulties or slow progress have been seen as a problem within the student, not as a reason to think about how the instruction offered, may or may not have benefited that particular student. We appreciate students are different in their rates and processing of learning, but we want to challenge the idea that all differences in achievement are due to differences in students’ abilities or home backgrounds. We suggest that learning to teach the more-difficult-to-teach students happens best within a professional learning community because the issues are usually too complex for one teacher to address alone.