Welcome to Building on Success.

The power of student voice


Increasingly, student voice is a powerful influence on learning. Student voice helps to:

  • plan the content, pace of learning and next steps
  • provide feedback to the teacher as to what they have grasped and where they may need more support
  • describe what makes an effective teacher.

What works for Māori learners

This gallery provides a mix of videos and documents that consider the importance of student voice in engaging Māori learners and supporting their achievement.

So we’re saying to teachers, ‘Let’s focus on Māori students and trust us, because it won’t hurt anybody … everybody will do well from it.’

Professor Russell Bishop, from Te Kotahitanga video series

Contributions and resources

Changing Māori educational experiences (video)
Changing Māori educational experiences

Te Kotahitanga goes beyond improving cultural iconography in classrooms. It also requires teachers to incorporate pedagogy that is responsive to the culture of students by providing contexts for learning that are based on students’ prior knowledge and experiences.

View transcript

Source: Ministry of Education – Te Kotahitanga

Changing Māori educational experiences
What’s good for Māori (video)
What’s good for Māori

Te Kotahitanga data shows that over time, as teachers become more experienced with the effective teaching profile, Māori students have improved their achievement and so too have non-Māori students.

View transcript

Source: Ministry of Education

What’s good for Māori
Engaging adolescents in learning

The following presentations are from the Edscapes conference, Mapping Teachers’ Professional Lives. The conference was held in Wellington in April 2011. It brought together a mix of practice-based workshops and inspiring speakers on the themes of leadership, engagement and professional activism.

Source: The New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA)

Engaging adolescents in learning

Resources and downloads

Changing Māori educational experiences

In this video from Te Kotahitanga, Russell Bishop discusses the importance of learners being able to bring their own experiences into the classroom and have them validated.

What’s good for Māori

Te Kotahitanga researchers asked Māori learners to share their experience of learning. The videos in this resource allow teachers to hear student’s voices.

Engaging adolescents in learning: Practical ideas to enhance good teaching

Christine Richmond (April 2011). Edscapes presentation (post-keynote) from the PPTA website

Exploring connections between engagement and “student voice”

Rose Hipkins (April 2011) . Edscapes presentation from the PPTA website

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Guiding documents

There are several guiding documents that offer support to educators as they examine their practice and understand the importance of engaging with student voice and learner agency. They help educators harness the power of Māori learners’ voices.

Students who expect and are expected to succeed are more likely to succeed.

Source: Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013–2017, page 38

Contributions and resources

Ka Hikitia: Māori potential approach (image)

A core principle of the government’s strategy, Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success, is that “all Māori students have the potential to excel and be successful.” Valuing and enabling student voice is an essential part of taking this Māori potential approach.

Source: Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013–2017, page 15

Ka Hikitia: Māori potential approach
Listening to whānau (image)
Connecting with Maori Communities Whanau Hapu and Iwi

The eBook, Connecting with Māori Communities includes the section Narratives from Culture Speaks (p. 29). The questions posed here can be used for discussion about issues such as power relationships, access, communication, and others.

Source: Connecting with Māori Communities – Te Kotahitanga eBook

Listening to whānau
Learning from Te Kotahitanga (image)
Te Kotahitanga Homepage

The material produced for the Te Kotahitanga response includes many videos and commentaries that feature student voice.

Source: Ministry of Education – Te Kotahitanga

Learning from Te Kotahitanga

Resources and downloads

Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013–2017

Ka Hikitia is a strategy to guide actions that will make a significant difference for Māori students in education for these five years and beyond. We know Māori students do much better when education reflects and values their identity, language and culture. This is a central focus within Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013–2017.

Te Kotahitanga

Te Kotahitanga was a research and professional development programme that:
1) supported teachers to improve Māori students' learning and achievement, enabling teachers to create a culturally responsive context for learning which is responsive to evidence of student performance and understandings
2) enabled school leaders, and the wider school community, to focus on changing school structures and organisations to more effectively support teachers in this endeavour.

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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This is a Ministry of Education initiative

Building a world-leading education system that equips all New Zealanders with the knowledge, skills, and values to be successful citizens in the 21st century.