About 180 educators met yesterday at Mangapapa School to take part in the first Gisborne Community of Learning (COL) — Kahui Ako activation day.
Representatives from 14 Gisborne schools attended the first of three days designed to help schools work collaboratively to improve the educational outcomes of students.
COL — Kahui Ako is the collective vision of 25 Gisborne schools with the goal of achieving their full potential by learning and achieving together.
Emeritus professor Russell Bishop, known in New Zealand and internationally for his research and successful development on what works best for Maori and marginalised learners, delivered the keynote address.
He said the focus needed to move from co-operation to collaboration.
“We want to move from talking together to working together,” he said.
“We want to move from practices that maintain the status quo and limit the achievement of Maori students and all students. We need to move to transformative practices.”
The collaboration between Gisborne primary, intermediate and secondary schools represented a new way of thinking about local education delivery and how to develop a more positive and prosperous community, said lead principal for COL — Kahui Ako, David Langford.
It was a way for schools to collaborate and pool the gifts and talents of the region’s teachers and lead educators.
“This will ensure our students have the greatest opportunities for success through learning pathways that meet their collective aspirations and their wellbeing needs.”
Discussions took place on the subject of making students leaders of their own learning. Professor Bishop said relationships were at the forefront of positive change in education.
“You’ve got to establish a family-like relationship by showing you care for the children and have high expectations.”
He put an emphasis on family.
“Whanau is about caring, growing, nurturing looking after, passing on knowledge for the future and making sure we don’t put people down and we grow our children.
Imagine if we could transform schools and classrooms so they were a whanau.”
Cognition Education is a partner in COL — Kahui Ako and is a team of educational experts accredited by the Ministry of Education to help schools throughout New Zealand to grow and achieve.
There were 160 representatives from Gisborne schools meeting at Gisborne Girls’ High today, and about 120 will attend the final activation day on Friday at Campion College.
Originally published by Kim Parkinson, The Gisborne Herald.