Sunday, 18 November 2018

Waka Hourua & Education #2: Maintaining a waka and Passion projects

Over the last year I have been on a profound path of discovery both personally and professionally. This path relates to becoming a crew member (kaumoana) on a waka hourua and learning about wayfinding/voyaging.

Our region has recently acquired a waka hourua (double hulled waka,) with the purpose of using it as a classroom on the water…(I have a strong distaste for this description and I have clearly communicated this to the powers that be.)

This waka is based on the model that our tipuna designed and mastered over thousands of years and its name is Tairāwhiti. So I laughed along with you Claire at the voyaging/mariner metaphors being used throughout this first podcast. :-))

It got me thinking about what I have learnt in the last 12 months regarding voyaging and the learning.

To keep this brief because voyaging is full of STEM learning opportunities! I’ll get straight to an observation I’ve made and how this might be or is already being replicated in a kura.

I’ve learned that much of the success achieved through voyaging is due to the crew regularly completing maintenance on the waka. The phrase often used is;

“If you take care of the waka in the harbour, the waka will take care of you on the moana.”

Maintenance involves mostly minor jobs like checking lines, lubricating hinges, replacing worn equipment, cleaning and checking gear and many other jobs. The significant jobs can involve dismantling an entire waka, replacing worn lashing, sanding & varnishing masts, oiling decks, repainting the hulls. This process of maintenance is an essential part of being kaumoana and involves all hands on deck. What I’ve seen is that it allows the kaumoana to not just become familiar with our waka, but also towards each other (the kaumoana you are likely to be voyaging with.) Through this regular maintenance we develop a sense of ownership, belonging and care. In contrast, if maintenance is neglected, then the waka becomes a hazard to the kaumoana, other ocean craft and through extension everyone else invested in it, including whanau and community.

The wero I am beginning to formulate in my mind relates to how might schools implement a regular maintenance type practice into their school?

My initial thoughts was the dread that someone might reply with, “practicing the times table at the beginning of each maths lesson is all the maintenance they need…” :-)) I’m thinking this is not about academic learning but more about the deeper stuff. I’ve started to expand my thinking about what a class might focus on to maintain. Perhaps the classroom?... the school?...perhaps the community? Perhaps schools are already implementing this concept in other ways. If so, how are schools developing an authentic sense of ownership, belonging and care within the students?

After mulling it over for a while I’m interested in the idea that passion projects may be providing the benefit gained from maintenance for our learners. If passion projects are aimed towards developing a sense of identity perhaps belonging then there is a similarity. Getting to learn about the little things that make you up, as well as the big stuff. Like in maintenance the small tasks are as essential as the big tasks. It all matters! So this is not a new idea at all, but perhaps the waka hourua provides an authentic context for our rangatahi to experience this concept and draw from when needed. In a Passion project, what might be classified as a small task? I imagine the regular almost routine tasks like setting intentions, testing ideas iteratively, evaluating & reflecting on progress might fit in this category. Perhaps Im completely off the mark...

Our Kaihautu (skipper) Pererika Makiha regularly asks new crew;

“Every person brings something special to contribute to our waka… What do you bring?”

If only everyone who is asked could answer this question confidently. Many can't or don't. The wonderful truth is that the waka needs a little bit of everything and not too much of anything. Being able to cook is important as is having a sense of humour, knowing how to fish or how to keep a conversation. Playing an instrument or knowing how to use a hammer. It’s all important and valued.

Through passion projects are our learners carrying out maintenance in a way not unlike how our kaumoana do on a waka hourua?

Regularly examining our learning practices and applications of learning through our own passions. The learners passion is the key. If the student is passionate about their learning then no matter if the task is big or small, it all matters. The ownership, belonging and care are more likely to grow from this foundation.

I’m thinking reflection is essential for this to really work. What did I learn today? How does it apply in my everyday? Where to from here? We always have a poroporoaki at the end of a maintenance or a sail. This provides an opportunity for us to reflect and share our thoughts.

I think the real value of this idea is that it's a culturally authentic perspective on a practice that is already being introduced into learning programs around the motu. Through several waka hourua located throughout Aotearoa rangatahi are being introduced to voyaging. Haunui in Tamaki Makaurau, Hinemoana and Ngahiraka mai tawhiti Tauranga, Te Matau a Maui in Ahuriri (Napier) and Tairāwhiti in Turanganui a kiwa (Gisborne). This means more of our rangatahi are beginning to connect with an culturally authentic and inspirational kaupapa that opens many opportunities on a global scale. I hope this perspective provides an opportunity for others to further explore the value of passion projects in relation to developing future student learning programs.

I’ve often said to visitors as part of our poroporoaki at the end of a sail, “If you leave this waka thinking that what you have learned only relates to being on a waka, then we have failed you… What you have learned as part of this experience (kaitiakitanga, manaakitanga, rangatiratanga, whanaungatanga) applies in anything you do in all parts of your life.”

As I mentioned earlier Our region has recently acquired a waka hourua with the purpose of using it as a classroom on the water… I’ve never felt right about describing this taonga of ours as something that fails so many of our rangatahi. I’m only now beginning to realise that it needs to be flipped… The waka enabled our tipuna to become the astronauts of their time. We must make our classrooms be like a waka.

I’d love to hear anyones thoughts on this idea about maintenance and learning.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Wayfinding in Education.


Ko Hikurangi te maunga 
Ko Waiapu te awa
Ko Hourouta te waka
Ko Ngati Porou te iwi
Ko Morgan Ngata au

This is something I have wondered all my life. Its caused many emotions, both pride, and fear, happiness, and wonder, sadness, and frustration.

Over the last 12 months, I have been introduced to voyaging on Polynesian canoes based on the traditional design used by our ancestors (tipuna) for over a 1000 yrs ago. These canoes are called waka hourua (double-hulled). A local trust had secured funding for a waka to be built and situated permanently here on the East Cape of New Zealand. The purpose of this waka is to ensure our ancestral knowledge is keep alive and strong in our rohe and in our rangatahi (youth). The wakas name is Tairāwhiti which is the name of our region in the Māori language.

 When I make the time and place energy into blogging it will always include an insight into my own values and aspirations. I'm fortunate to work in a profession that values these, therefore, my work and private life are often inseparable. This blog is an exploration of my deeper challenges and insights. I'll make sure I stay true to the educational focus.

Firstly let's go back a few months...
It's the last week of term 4, the waka Tairāwhiti has just been launched.

I'm in Napier with a group of students. I shared this footage and the light in my student's eyes said it all. This was going to be epic for our region...for our rangatahi. That Friday I flew up to Auckland. 

Funny side story... just happens that the person next to me on the plane was Dr Hinemoa Elder (we had never met previously but have been operating in similar circles of late...) and she is currently working on developing an AI program based on waka hourua for helping heal sufferers of mental health. MEAN!!!!! 

The voyage was incredible and I'll spend many more years proclaiming its significance for our rangatahi and whanau. Words will never truly capture the magic that the waka delivers, however moments of video and the wonderful stories shared by our young voyagers will provide wonderful insights. 

I started this blog focusing on my identity. I guess its fair to say this has been an area of contention as I am maori and I am a Ngata ( a significant whanau in te ao maori..) this has resulted in high expectations being thrust upon me and at times I rebelled, (that's another story...) The reason I am connecting back to this personal insight is that I believe it's not uncommon. I see in many ways the feeling and experiences I've had as being similar for many of our rangatahi. Perhaps my voyaging experience will also carry a similar experience for many others once they join us on a voyage.

Skills and Knowledge from seemingly different areas of my life all have a place on our waka. Learning to tie fishing knots with my dad when I was a boy helped me to learn the knots commonly used in sailing. Reading meteorological charts to chase the best waves from my years of surfing provided me with essential information when planning the voyage. Even my passion for cooking has an essential role to play in voyaging and kaumoana (crew) welfare. I simply found a context that allowed me to draw upon my own interests and passions. Voyaging is a context that can help to draw out skills and knowledge from anyone willing to give it a go.

But what value does it provide for the 21st-century citizen? 
Identity, Timeless Values, Whanaungatanga, Manaakitanga, Rangatiratanga, Kaitiakitanga, Karakia Matauranga Maori, every single compentency there is!!
Dr Chellie Spillers insights into Wayfinding and the leadership skills emphasizes the difference  between spherical 

Schools must be ready to commit towards drawing upon these experiences their learners will have. the Tairawhiti educators will be capable in delivering a context and experience that will capture the learner's imagination and curiosity, however it will need to be drawn upon by teachers and any other of the learner's supporters to ensure the we make the most of this opportunity. 

Saturday, 19 November 2016

SingularityU..Disruptions of Mind, Soul and Food.

The following is my summary of SingularityU and what it means to me as an educator in NZ.

After SinglarityUNZ it became apparent that we as a society are on the precipice of disruptive transformations The definition for this type of disruption is the development of new technologies that make previous technologies/systems obsolete.

Peter Diamandis perhaps best explains the driver for this disruption in this simple message.

           “It’s not about scarcity (lack of abundance) but about accessibility-..”

Accessibility is the key to a level of abundance beyond what many have never had. Abundance in energy, health care, prosperity and lifestyle. Moores law in relation to exponential growth is helping us to recognise patterns in the speed of tech advancements and make predictions in regards to price/performance and value.

How might we promote accessibility and value abundance within our learning programs?

An exciting and encouraging factor about disruptive technologies and the NZ education systems is the relevance our NZC has in regards to an uncertain future.

"Preparing our students to secure a sustainable social,cultural,economic and environmental future for our country. "

 Our curriculum document is the official policy relating to teaching and learning in english-medium schools in Aotearoa. Is principal function is to set the direction for student learning and to provide guidance for schools as they design and review their curriculum. With its vision, values and principles the NZC promotes the development of young people;

  • who will be creative, energetic, and enterprising
  • who will seize the opportunities offered by new knowledge and technologies to secure a sustainable social, cultural, economic, and environmental future for our country
  • who will work to create an Aotearoa New Zealand in which Māori and Pākehā recognise each other as full Treaty partners, and in which all cultures are valued for the contributions they bring
  • who, in their school years, will continue to develop the values, knowledge, and competencies that will enable them to live full and satisfying lives
  • who will be confident, connected, actively involved, and lifelong learn

Sue Sucklings mic dropping statements about the age of qualifications and NZQA about said it all. As we've all recently seen in "Most likely to Succeed," Education as we have known it is under fire. Her and the singularityU presenters were emphasising  the need for this powerful technology to be guided by
  • compassion, 
  • ethics, 
  • empathy, 
  • AQ Adaptability Quotient 
  • multi disciplinary thinking, 
  • initative 
  • communication fluency .
A goal of mine that I aimed for  through attending this summit was to capture the urgency required for this shift in education to occur. Based on Kotter's work in change management, Urgency is the first step and  provides an intrinsic origin for change to occur.

I think it is necessary to understand that the disruption that is expected to occur in the next 5 years is not a result of some new technology that is not yet on the market. This rarely effects a disruptive change., (often these innovative  new technologies are slow in effecting change in society.) The technology that will disrupt our society is already available. It is technology that is experiencing the reduction is barriers in relation to price/performance and converging with other technologies that is resulting in the 6 D's identified in Kaila Colburns presentation. Digitalization, Deception, Disruption, Demonetization, Dematerialization, and Democratization.

The Urgency is real:
When the qualifications authority claims that they themselves are outdated...we must act. When you see industries like Agriculture and Horticulture under serious threat from advancements in biotechnologies...we must get act. When opportunities like abundant energy and integrated technologies are easily accessible and blockchains are ensuring online security and verification of transactions...we must act.
Automation is going to have a huge impact on our region. 885,000 (46% ) jobs in NZ are expected to become automated in the next two decades. We must act.

As research often states we need to better prepare our youth of today with a set of skills that will best prepare them for an uncertain future. Beyond the point of singularity we do not know what society will be like. Dan Roberts said..

"If you are trying to guess what things will be like in 7-10 yrs time..FORGET IT.!  What we have done in the past will no longer prepare us for the future.."

But what  is a certainty is
that information is already ubiquitous and will likely to continue.
Technology will be a powerful presence available to all.

With this is mind what skills will you want your child and grandchildren to have?
(Somehow, the ability to memorise the periodic table doesn't seem to cut it....)

The great news is there is numerous research on pedagogies that show sound development in these key areas.. and we have a guiding policy that identifies the need for these factors to be valued and developed throughout the education system. It requires system wide changes that support such learning opportunities. Education is clearly a tangled web of systems and administration that will need to be rethought by us all. At a school level, we need  to research, select and implement systems that effectively support 21c pedagogies into our school wide curriculum. Re-think Data guided decision making recognising effective assessments of more than just standard criteria, raise tolerance for failure, promote reflective learning practices and transparent & collaborative practices that include everyone involved in the students learning.

In the NZC under effective pedagogies several guidelines emphasises how learning is most effective when ;
  • social and cultural contexts are included, 
  • objective thinking, 
  • when students learn not just the what but also the why they are learning and curiosity is used to drive their own learning.
  • when students engage in shared activities and engage in conversations with other people including whanau and people from the wider community.
  • when students can build new knowledge upon what they already understand
  • Are provided with sufficient opportunities to learn. Especially involving practice and new contexts to transfer new learning. This also means when curriculum coverage and student understanding is in competition the teacher may decide to cover less but to cover it in greater depth.
SingularityU have identified 12 points that they describe as Global Grand Challenges. They believe that leveraging the convergence of exponential technologies will set us on the path to solve our global grand challenges and shift from an era of scarcity to abundance.  In addressing each challenge, we solve for the following three perspectives:
  • Ensuring basic needs are met for all people
  • Sustaining and improving quality of life
  • Mitigating future risks 

I (both professionally and personally) am on board with this. I think these challenges are truly essential challenges and worthy of our time, technology and compassion.  I also believe we often don't give our Ss enough credit in regards to their own awareness of these issues... and their sense of powerlessness.  With optimism, abundance, vision and values I believe we can empower our learners to make amazing changes in tomorrows society. But we must act now.

AND the Food & Free espresso coffee Teachers dream! Yum :-))))

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Moving from Student centred to Ako centred learning.

Its all about Ako
In te ao Māori, the concept of ako means both to teach and to learn. It recognises the knowledge that both teachers and learners bring to learning interactions, and it acknowledges the way that new knowledge and understandings can grow out of shared learning experiences. This powerful concept has been supported by educational research showing that when teachers facilitate reciprocal teaching and learning roles in their classrooms, students’ achievement improves (Alton-Lee, 2003).
Practicing 21st century learning is requiring paradigm shifts in every level of education. Recently I've found myself thinking more and more about the transformation of a school from 20th century learning systems to 21st century systems. I'm naturally curious about this because I've worked both in a kura that was purposely designed for modern learning practices and also currently work in a school that is committed towards transforming itself from the conventional model into a modern 21st century school. 
What does it take for staff to embrace new pedagogies and commit towards not stepping back into the model that they have used for their entire professional career? How does the motivation move from being extrinsic into intrinsic?
I don't really know the answer to this but I was interested in an idea that has been floating around in my head for a while. When we talk about  leadership strategies used by effective senior management towards teachers, these practices are similar to strategies used by effective teachers towards the learner. Initially it appears to be not really related to the above question, but bear with me.
Micheal Fullan recently spoke at #Ulearn16, (this is an educational conference held in NZ annually.) He referred to a blog about 10 surefire ways to fail when using deep learning.  Number one is pasted below; 
1. If you haven't experienced deep or powerful learning yourself. This seems obvious but is frequently ignored. I remember once showing a video in a class at HGSE of a constructivist math class in which students were having a fairly animated discussion about the relationship between area and perimeter. One of the students in my class said, "Oh--that's what they were trying to show us in my school last year when we were moving towards Common Core math." One of the things I've learned in my own journey in trying to teach people about deeper learning is that the most powerful things you can do is give adults models and experiences that mirror what you are hoping they will do for students. We also call this "symmetry" in our work--that if, as a system level leader, you want teachers to teach students in a particular way, you have to give teachers opportunities to have those same kinds of learning experiences.
This reading provided a real "Aha!" moment for me. Symmetry could be an important factor to encourage teachers to embrace new pedagogies and deliver them from an intrinsic origin. 
Providing an opportunity for teachers to experience deeper learning and connect again with the attributes associated with deep learning may enable teachers to use them more effectively in the classroom. Teachers reconnecting with their own passions through curiosity, courage and empathy may result in these dispositions becoming more prevalent in their own teaching practices. 
How could we do this best? Will it require taking time out of the regular timetable to support teachers deep learning programs? Is this what they mean by personalised PD? 
Im interested to hear from any readers on this idea. 
This thought pattern also lead towards some discussions Ive had recently with peers. Some have made comments that are really concerning. Many of these teachers were sharing the same feelings, of feeling used in a system that no longer recognises their own needs. In my opinion they appear to feel subservient in a student-centred approach. I chose to explore this message further, (although in doing this I felt as if I was challenging a deeply valued stone in the foundation for my teaching philosophy.) Is student centred learning a barrier for teachers towards delivering 21st century learning experiences that fulfil the needs of our rangatahi? 
In a conversation with my wife, Cleo (who is also a relatively new teacher,) we explored this idea. What is it that we mean when we say student centred? As you're reading this what are your thoughts?
  • Education is based on student interests
  • Authentic contexts for learning
  • Localised curriculum relevant to the learner
  • Potentially Passion based determined by student voice
  • Meeting individualised learning needs
  • Student voice
We started talking about what was it that resulted in teachers feeling like they had become subservient in our Ed system. If we look at this from a perspective of power then we may see a reason. In the industrial based educational model teachers had a significant portion of the power in a classroom. In the 21st century model students have a much stronger share (if not then the majority) of power. This is evident in the initial bulleted list above which in my opinion is the major difference between the two models.
I begun to think perhaps the problem in itself is the term 'student-centred' learning. From a perspective of power this either accurately or inaccurately communicates where the power is and this in itself may be threatening to teachers. Perhaps its just semantics, but I'd be interested in noting peoples opinions about trying to reduce this power inferred term by replacing it with the terminology Ako centred learning. 
To me I immediately saw that this removed the emphasis on students and focused the practice on the reciprocity of learning. I saw that both the teacher and the learner shared responsibilities in this learning relationship. The learner brings their contexts (culture, community and or passion) and the teacher brings their expertise/experience (conceptual knowledge.) The power is shared in the reliance between both learner and teacher for learning to occur.

The second point is  more focused on the school that I work in Lytton High. We are currently establishing new 3 school wide values. These are Aroha (Love), Ako and Aspire. Choosing to use the term Ako centred learning matches well with these values. Especially in relation to the symbol I have developed to represent these values. (Please note: this is my personal symbol and not necessarily the one that will be adopted by Lytton High to represent the values.)

In here Ako is the target, the focal or balance point in our Lytton High learning programs. 

So in wrapping this piece up, I would really appreciate some feedback from any readers regarding these thoughts. Has symmetry become evident in your school? Is using Ako centred to describe our program risking any of the positive gains made through the student centred approach? What are any other negative connotations that the term student centred may suggest?

As I said at the beginning I am very interested in learning more about schools that have taken on the journey of transforming from the traditional 20th century model towards the 21st century model. Have you got any information about this?  I'd love to hear if you do. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Arohanui.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Inspiring Māori Leadership in Education.

He aha te kai ō te rangatira? He Kōrero, he kōrero, he kōrero.

(What is the food of the leader. It is knowledge. It is communication.)

Last week Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou hosted an inaugural seminar called Inspiring Māori Leadership in Education.  Never before in our region has a gathering occurred. Iwi representatives, education providers from all levels, health agencies, local industries and even a member of the council came together to share knowledge, insights and resources with the purpose of developing māori leadership in our regions education system.
The first point I am will make is that this meeting was insightful and inspiring. Insightful for providing a glimpse towards the aspirations our iwi leaders have for our rangatahi. Inspiring because in my opinion most where not asking for more of the same. Mark Ngata from Ngati Porou Seafoods Ltd completed his presentation by saying..."We cannot solve the problems we face today with the same consciousness that we used to create the problem."

Ka pū te ruha, ka hao te rangatahi.

(The old net is cast aside, while the new net goes a-catching.)

I entered this hui with the hope that the aspirations shared with provide us educators with a clearer understanding of the type of dispositions and knowledge our iwi wanted our graduates to have. Although no-one explicitly said these are the skills we want, as the hui progressed a common theme formed. This list was emphasised by Hayden Swann from Makaraka primary.
  • Te Reo,
  • Whanau,  
  • Whakapapa,
  • Whanaungatanga. 
I'm putting it out to any readers to explore and share as a comment the dispositions that you feel capture these aspects best.

Students needing a sense of identity was often discussed. Knowledge & use of te reo in learning was identified as essential for the Ss identity to be explored as a māori. A sense of belonging through whakapapa and whanaungatanga was also emphasised. This was emphasised powerfully through the korero delivered by Tahua Pihema. Her sense of identity was challenged throughout her life because of misinformation and misunderstanding of the Turanga-nui a Kiwa land wars. Her new learning provided her with insight, empathy and healing and as a result she has developed an action to promote that these land wars become part of our regional curriculum. 

Laurayne Tafa from Cognition Education emphasised several points that provided significant links to criteria that I can use when planning and evaluating my practices.
These were; 
                                                  Recognise distractors (physical or non)
Stay connected and relevant- Apply what works in your context.
Interrogate the conditions for success
Talk from evidence and demonstrate impact.

Laurayne Tafa
Each of these messages demand time, effort and reflection to develop them into our teaching practices effectively. I see them as essential criteria to ensure that the new pedagogies that i am attempting are as effective as they can be for the learners. These are in my opinion the best critical thinking prompts I have found so far. Talk from evidence and demonstrate impact in particular is a succinct yet powerful message that I feel i must focus on in my teaching. Its the kind of statement that I could easily refer bak to in my reflections, when I'm planning and my personal favourite..even have it written on a t-shirt.

Additional messages shared in Tafa's presentation made me reflect on my own practices.
  • Effective pedagogies...Stop the doing the things that make no difference. Begin focusing on the things that make a difference.
  • No more disempowerment by design. 
To find out more about whanaungatanga  I found  a blog by Tahu Paki (Core Education). Both these statements appeared clearly relevant to the insights that I gained from the hui.

Me hui kanohi ki te kanohi kia rongo i te mauri o te tangata!’ It is important to meet face to face, eye to eye, breath to breath to get a full understanding of the people we are working with.
Learning is a human experience... the dynamics that occur when people interact kanohi ki te kanohi is exciting Stories can be shared in a way that best captures the learners message and genuine connections are formed.

‘He mauri tō te tangata, he whakapapa tōna, he mana motuhake.’ Everyone has mana. Everyone has a whakapapa, a genealogy, heritage and identity that makes that person no more and no less important than the next person. When we learn to treat everyone with care and respect,  there are fewer barriers to establishing and maintaining relationships. Address the issues and not the tangata.

Honour the journey each learner has.. they all have a taonga to share..(something they are proud of.) I was captured by a performance from Te Puna Reo o Puni Kaiti. 

How many of these tamariki will hold onto this experience as a foundation for their on going learning success? And how many teachers in the future will take time to learn about these amazing achievements to further support their learning success? This must be our focus when planning our practice.. the standards and other administrative requirements must fit in around this as a secondary priority.  The key is to ensure that the planning allows you to capture the criteria identified by Laurayne Tafa and talk from evidence and demonstrate impact. 

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Who will be tomorrows misfits?

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." Alvin Toffler

Recently I read this article regarding education and meeting the needs of our rangatahi, (Frances Valentine speaks to the Herald about bravery, business and education.) It got me thinking...

By neglecting to truly value competencies for learning over content in schools are we turning todays conformists into tomorrows misfits?

Lidia Yuknavitch gave a great Tedtalk on misfits. In it she defines a misfit as a person that missed fitting in or a person that is poorly adapted to new situations.

Ive always enjoyed the stories of yesterdays rebel (misfit) becoming an innovative problem solver and leader because of their ability to challenge the status quo found in society. But what does that say about a society that is expected to increasingly need innovative leaders and problem solvers? 

  • Will the Ss that are great at conforming to expectations and rules be ill prepared for tomorrows challenges? Will they be innovative enough?
  • Will conformists be the most vulnerable towards new technology entering the work place? 

This reframing of Toffler's insight gives me the shivers. These conformists are often the Ss that teachers see as good people, deserving of a life that rewards their self-control and amicability. I think of the line in the educational documentary "Most likely to Succeed," that says..

"In the past these people were likely to live a perfectly average life all the way to the perfectly average funeral...These assurances no longer exist."

This idea really affects me. I feel an urgency...This urgency needs to be expressed. Perhaps in doing so we will see how failing to explicitly raise the value of effective lifelong learning skills as of more importance than subject based content we will not place todays good Ss into such a vulnerable place in the near future. As I read this I so grateful of the NZ curriculum and its vision, principles and values and especially of the statement that emphasises prioritising depth of understanding over content coverage. (see providing sufficient opportunities to learn) I feel that teachers are not to date truly grasping the importance of these wonderful future focused features yet.

    This sense of urgency is significant... it is what I will use to ensure that I am prioritising research based effective learning practices into my daily pedagogies. Its funny how sometimes it just a rephrasing of a statement to attain that "oh shit" sense of urgency.