Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


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.”

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland