Welcome to Building on Success.


Connecting and collaborating with whānau

http://maori-ed.tki.org.nz/what-works-for-maori-learners-and-why/connecting-and-collaborating-with-whanau/

As schools move towards less formal meetings with whānau, they often find that there are more opportunities to meet and that more whānau attend. Informal talks support a more trusting and equal relationship. In turn, these interactions lead to more positive and productive home-school collaborations.

Examples and stories in this kete will support schools on their own journeys of collaboration.

Perspectives on connections

This gallery explores the nature of the connections schools make with families and whānau. The first contribution provides research-based theory about the kinds of connections that make the biggest difference.

If effective connections are to be developed, teachers need to value the educational cultures of their students’ families and communities, and parents need to learn about and value the educational culture of the school.

Source: BES: School Leadership and Student Outcomes: Identifying what works and why,
page 169

Contributions and resources

Creating powerful connections
Creating educationally powerful connections with family, whānau, and communities

Chapter 7 reports a meta-analysis of international and New Zealand evidence that shows the relative impact of various kinds of school–home connections. The chapter highlights the role of school leadership in building educationally powerful links with students’ families and whānau, focused particularly on teaching and homework. This chapter shows how leaders can avoid counterproductive practices and dramatically lift achievement for educationally under-served students.

Some key strategies discussed in this document include:

  1. what makes a bigger difference in school–family/whānau connections

  2. creating educationally powerful connections through teaching

  3. creating educationally powerful connections through homework

  4. creating educationally powerful connections through school–home relationships

  5. connecting school and home to address antisocial behaviour

  6. the need for teacher engagement and development.

Source: BES: School Leadership and Student Outcomes: Identifying What Works and Why by Viviane Robinson, Margie Hohepa, and Claire Lloyd (The University of Auckland)

Creating powerful connections
Involving parents, families, and whānau
Involving parents, families, and whānau

Effective partnerships between schools and parents, whānau, and communities can result in better outcomes for students. The better the relationship and engagement, the more positive the impact on students’ learning.

This page on the Ministry of Education’s Educational Leaders website contains links to a number of New Zealand articles, school stories, videos, and other resources related to schools building relationships with families and whānau.

Source: Ministry of Education – Educational Leaders

Involving parents, families, and whānau
Inclusive Education (image)
Inclusive
Description

Partnering with parents, whānau, and communities

This guide in the Inclusive Education website presents a number of resources and ideas for engaging whānau.

Source: Inclusive Education: Guides for schools

Inclusive Education
Careers NZ

Careers New Zealand outlines six areas that schools can work on to improve engagement with family/whānau and, in turn, influence students’ career education.

  1. Parenting

    Help families and whānau establish a home environment that is conducive to student learning.

  2. Communicating

    Communicate effectively with parents and whānau about school programmes and student progress. Encourage two-way communication.

    Example: Help parents gain the skills and knowledge they need to support their children’s career goals and aspirations, such as by holding parent evenings.

  3. Volunteering

    Improve recruitment, training, and activities to involve parents, whānau, and community members in school activities and programmes.

    Example: Encourage family members to act as mentors and role models for students across a range of occupations.

  4. Learning at home

    Involve parents and whānau with their children’s homework, goal-setting, and other curriculum-related activities.

    Example: Encourage parents and whānau to participate in career events inside and outside school. Provide information to parents and whānau to help them talk to their children about their career ideas, plans, and dreams.

  5. Decision making

    Include family and whānau in school decision making, governance, and advocacy activities through the board of trustees, school committees, parent organisations, consultation, and so on.   

    Example: Include career education in the school charter or strategic plan. Ask parents and whānau to comment on the design and delivery of career education and guidance programmes.

  6. Collaborating with the community

    Coordinate resources and services with community groups, including businesses, agencies, cultural organisations, and training institutions.

    Example: Provide community groups and organisations with information on career options within the community.

Source: Careers NZ

Careers NZ

Resources and downloads

School Leadership and Student Outcomes: Identifying what works and why: Best Evidence Synthesis Iteration

Viviane Robinson, Margie Hohepa, Claire Lloyd (The University of Auckland, 2009)
This important BES research report provides evidence to guide leaders on “what works and why” as they aim to achieve the best outcomes for all learners. It includes information schools can use to inform their own strategies for home-school partnerships.

Involving parents, families, and whānau

The Ministry of Education’s site Educational Leaders has a range of articles and links that schools can access to explore different perspectives on partnerships with their communities.

Partnering with parents, whānau and communities

The Inclusive Education website has a guide that schools can use to develop and strengthen their connections with parents, whānau, and communities.

Careers NZ – Engaging with family/whānau

The New Zealand Careers Service provides information to help schools make connections with families and whānau that will support career education.

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Creative ways of making connections

This gallery features some other ways schools have connected with whānau, including holding a community dinner and forming an advisory group. 

One thing that really struck a chord with us was the whole thing of asking whānau what was their preferred form of communication … we were surprised to hear that it was email. …That rang a bell with us: the simple thing of actually asking such an explicit question.

He Kākano – Lincoln High School

Contributions and resources

Creative connections (video)
Creative connections

Chapter 9 of the eBook Connecting with Māori Communities encourages schools to consider alternatives to traditional forms of communication

No captions or transcript available

Source: Connecting with Māori Communities: Whānau, hapū, iwi by Mere Berryman and Therese Ford (2014)

Creative connections
Common-sense solutions

It’s different to other ways I’ve worked with and interacted with whānau – through kapa haka or on the sports field. And therein lies the power of the group.

Source: Case study – Supporting Rangatahi with common-sense solutions
Common-sense solutions
Family-centred (image)
FamCenteredGoneBad
Description

This illustration shows a bad example of a “family-centred” approach to engaging whānau.

Source: Michael Giangreco

Family-centred
Parents’ voices

When my child comes home and says ‘did you know this?’ That tells me they are learning. The school sent home a portfolio of work, and you can compare all the work from the previous term and see how much the children have learnt. They let me as a parent comment and set goals with the children – I think that is great.

Source: Partners in Learning: Parents’ voices (2008)
Parents’ voices
Engaging whānau – Lincoln High (video)
Engaging whānau at Lincoln High School

This video from the He Kākano series shows how one school asked whānau what they wanted and how the school responded. Schools can use this model to carry out their own investigations.

No captions or transcript available

Source: Ministry of Education – He Kākano

Engaging whānau – Lincoln High

Resources and downloads

Supporting Rangatahi with common-sense solutions

This case study from Newlands College and report can help schools explore ways in which they give parents a meaningful voice.

Engaging whānau

This video from the He Kākano series shows how one school asked whānau what they wanted and how the school responded. Schools can use this model to carry out their own investigations.

Connecting with Māori communities: Whānau, hapū and iwi

Mere Berryman and Therese Ford (2014)
This eBook is hosted on the Kia Eke Panuku website. It explores important ideas about creating powerful educational relationships with whānau, hapū and iwi. It examines messages from research and provides strategies, tools, resources and videos to help put the ideas into practice.

ERO national report - Partners in Learning: Parents’ voices (September 2008)

This ERO report explores the extent to which schools engage with everyone in their community, not just those already involved and engaged. This report presents the views of parents from diverse communities about their involvement with their children’s schools.

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Examples from Te Mana Kōrero

The videos in this gallery show the responses from four different schools to the Ministry of Education’s Te Mana Kōrero professional learning and development programme of 2009.

Contributions and resources

Whānau involvement 1 (video)
Whānau Involvement at Hiruharama School

Whānau and community involvement in school life can and should extend beyond supporting the school at cultural and sporting activities. It can lead to engagement that directly supports students’ learning. At Hiruharama School, whānau are engaged at every level, including strategic planning.

View transcript

Source: Ministry of Education – Te Mana Kōrero

Whānau involvement 1
Whānau involvement 2 (video)
Whānau involvement

The need for whānau involvement does not diminish as students advance through schooling, and schools need to ensure that their relationships with whānau extend beyond the immediate family. The key to achieving this is regular communication.

View transcript

Source: Ministry of Education – Te Mana Kōrero

Whānau involvement 2
Relationships for learning (video)
Relationships for learning

This video highlights the importance of building effective relationships between schools and whānau.

View transcript

Source: Ministry of Education – Te Mana Kōrero

Relationships for learning
Whānau and communities (video)
Whānau and communities

This video looks at relationships with whānau and communities. Research evidence shows that when schools develop relationships with whānau and communities about child learning, the learning outcomes improve for all their students.

View transcript

Source: Ministry of Education – Te Mana Kōrero

Whānau and communities

Resources and downloads

Whānau involvement at Hiruharama School

Whānau and community involvement in school life should extend beyond supporting the school at cultural and sporting activities and lead to engagement that directly supports students’ learning. At Hiruharama School, whānau are engaged at every level, including strategic planning.

Whānau involvement

This video shows that the need for whānau involvement does not diminish as students advance through schooling, and schools need to ensure that their relationships with whānau extend beyond the immediate family.

Relationships for learning

This video shows the importance of building effective relationships between schools and whānau.

Whānau and communities

This video examines research evidence that when schools develop relationships with whānau and communities around child learning, then the learning outcomes improve for all their students.

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Building strategic connections

This gallery features contributions on aspects of Māori culture and tikanga that schools need to understand as they develop strategic connections with whānau. 

Contributions and resources

Identify who you are
Identify who you are

Whether you are a school leader, a researcher, or a teacher, Māori communities want to know who you are – not necessarily what you are, but who you are.

Rituals of engagement such as pōwhiri and hui provide powerful opportunities for Māori to see who you are. Knowing who you are in part helps the community to determine their own connections with you and also assists them to ascertain where you are coming from.

Source: Connecting with Māori Communities: Whānau, hapū, iwi by Mere Berryman and Therese Ford, page 20

Identify who you are
Professional/ Personal

You can’t just say, ‘Well that’s the personal stuff, let’s just carry on with the professional stuff’ … You can’t just conveniently retreat behind the professional image …
 You can, but people see through that really quickly…
 It’s actually living your life a completely different way, and
 it’s also understanding the collective.

When you go to a hui, and you find that perhaps two hours goes and they’re still doing the whakawhanaungatanga, they’re still going around, and you know that there’s 
been a big change in yourself when you think – ‘Yeah, that's okay.’

Ted Glynn ; Source: Connecting with Māori Communities: Whānau, hapū and iwi
Professional/ Personal
Identifying who you are (video)
Identifying who you are

Mere Berryman describes the difference between discussing “who” you are as opposed to “what” you are.

To view this video in context, with key questions and associated resources, click on the source below.

No captions or transcript available

Source: Connecting with Māori Communities: Whānau, hapū, iwi by Mere Berryman and Therese Ford (2014)

Identifying who you are
Trusteeship (image)
Trusteeship
Trusteeship: A special opportunity for whānau

This case study discusses the important contribution whānau can make to the life of their children’s schools through their boards of trustees.

Source: Trusteeship: A special opportunity for whānau from Ngā Haeata Mātauranga: The Annual Report on Māori Education 2006–07

Trusteeship

Resources and downloads

Trusteeship: A special opportunity for whānau

In this case study, a former president of the New Zealand School Trustees Association talks about the value of having whānau on school boards.

Connecting with Māori communities: Whānau, hapū and iwi

Mere Berryman and Therese Ford (2014)
This eBook is hosted on the Kia Eke Panuku website. It explores important ideas about creating powerful educational relationships with whānau, hapū and iwi. It examines messages from research and provides strategies, tools, resources and videos to help put the ideas into practice.

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