The vision of New Zealand’s Ministry of Education is to “lift aspiration, raise educational achievement for every New Zealander”. However, our national statistics show us that this goal remains elusive for many students, particularly those who identify as Māori. In order to both raise the educational achievement of all students, and to reduce the disparity between our Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, we need a comprehensive system of school reform. Over 20 years of research and developments have led to the development of a model of educational reform: ako: critical contexts for reform. Ako is a term in te reo Māori (Māori language) that describes a reciprocal teaching and learning relationship, where educators and students learn from each other. The reform is grounded in a commitment to equity, excellence and belonging for all, and to working towards the twin success trajectories of learning and achieving for the future, and ensuring students’ identity is strong and secure. The three contexts for reform are: cultural relationships for responsive pedagogy; home, school and community collaborations and adaptive expertise driving deliberate professional acts. When school leaders focus coherently on all three contexts, reform and student progress is accelerated.
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Eley, E., Berryman, M. Leading Transformative Education Reform in New Zealand Schools. NZ J Educ Stud 54, 121–137 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40841-018-0122-7
- School reform