I spent the earlier part of this week attending a hui in Porirua being run by ITPNZ. The hui was held at the historic Gear Homestead (left) in Porirua, and was attended by 26 invited guests – 13 ‘experts’ in eLearning, and 13 ‘experts’ in Maori education. It is one of the eCDF projects titled: “Critical success factors for effective use of e Learning with Maori learners”. I had the inenviable role, alongside Dr Kathie Irwin, of facilitating the two days. I was extremely appreciative of Kathie’s vast knowledge and wisdom, and her extraordinary skill in facilitation!!!
The focus of the hui was to look at two research papers that had been commissioned, one from the University of Auckland on Maori Pedagogy, and the other from NZCER on eLearning. Attendees spent the two days unpacking these documents and bringing to the table their own experiences to develop the basis of a document to be produced which will provide people working with Maori learners in an eLearning environment with some guidance as to what is effective practice in this area. The outputs from this hui will now be worked on by the project team, and reviewed by the Maori reference group and the hui attendees, before being made more widely available sometime next year. One of the questions used to challenge the thinking during the hui was “What is Maori about eLearning for Maori?”. So many times the group found themselves discussing things that are essentially “good teaching”, and covered in many of the texts on effective eLearning pedagogy. The notion of “ako” as a reciprocal relationship between teacher and learner, and as an ‘inclusive’ term for a range of key understandings important to Maori was also explored in some depth, and is likely to underpin much of the thinking that emerged from the hui.
Papers and reports from the hui are available on the ITPNZ website.