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Te Kotahitanga is no silver bullet

Te Kotahitanga is no silver bullet

PPTA media release
15 October 2007

The much publicised Te Kotahitanga project espouses high ideals but flaws in the data and in the project’s underlying assumptions need to be resolved for it to have lasting value, according to a PPTA-commissioned report.


The evaluation of the Te Kotahitanga Phase 3 project, conducted for PPTA by Professor Roger Openshaw of Massey University, concludes that the claims made for the success of the project are not matched by the data presented.

The report finds that the absence of data from all 12 schools, and inconsistencies in the way it was collected render the data questionable.

It also concludes that it is impossible to show that any improvements in Maori achievement are exclusively the result of Te Kotahitanga given the variety of other initiatives operating in the 12 schools.

The review also points to problems with the project’s underlying assumptions, such as its belief that teachers had low expectations towards Maori students and needed to change these in order for their students to succeed – a point many teachers vigorously rejected.

In a survey conducted as part of the evaluation, a significant number of teachers reported feeling pressured to opt into the project. Many also felt there was inadequate time and resources for them to participate effectively.

Despite these pressures many teachers reported some positive results of the Te Kotahitanga professional development model. They valued the opportunity for quality observation and feedback and one-on-one mentoring with project facilitators. Many felt Te Kotahitanga had either improved their teaching practices or reinforced existing good practice.

PPTA president Robin Duff said the review’s findings were timely given the Ministry of Education’s move to increase the number of participating schools to 33 in phase 4 of the project.

“We are pleased that the Ministry is planning an independent evaluation of this next phase of the project.

“Teachers are often frustrated by limited access to really good professional development. If the government plans to invest more funding into the Te Kotahitanga project at the expense of other initiatives, it is essential that the project stands up to scrutiny.”
ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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