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Te Kākano: Cultivating Change

“The best way to change education is to think about where you are in it.”


-Sir Ken Robinson, Imagine if.

Welcome to our Te Kākano space. This is a place where we will support you to understand how to implement any change with fidelity and tikanga using Leading to the North-East key principles, within the metaphor of a school being an ecosystem. It is particularly useful to help make sense of Te Mātaiaho and The Common Practice Model.


(If you have stumbled across this page by chance, and aren't familiar with our work, it might be a good idea to read this blog first to add context.)

Te Koha: the seed

On a marae a koha is a gift given by the visitors, Russell Bishop (Chapter 8 of Leading to the North- East), explains it in a lot more depth than this, including a description of the tikanga protocols.


We suggest you see your new school goal/initiative/Te Mātaiaho/Common Practice Model as a gift.


Activity #1 Whanaungatanga: Just accessing your own prior knowledge (your cultural capital/your experiences), list the expectations around giving or receiving a gift.

This may differ from culture to culture, that's OK, an ecosystem has variety in it.


Describe how gifts are given/received from your point of view using the following questions as prompts:

1) Describe how you feel when you are presented with a gift.

2) What does the gift giver anticipate you will do with it?

3) In your experience, what is the significance or meaning behind giving gifts?

4) Are there any specific protocols or etiquette associated with giving and receiving gifts in your culture?

5) Has there ever been a time when the gift was inappropriate, or wasn't necessary? If so, how did you respond?


Share your experiences with the people in the room, or a friend

In pairs find out all you can about the significance of a koha (try and find a source that comes from a Mātauranga Māori lens), then discuss how a koha is similar, or different, to your own experiences.

Finally, think about how all of this information is related to the initiative being presented to you, and what would the appropriate response be in accepting it?

Na Te Kore, Te Pō

Ki te Whai-Ao

Ki te Ao-Mārama

Tihei mauri-ora

Activity #2 Whakapapa: First, find out the significance of the words above, what they mean, and where they come from (again, look for Mātauranga Māori sources).

 Words like this vary in purpose, someone might use similar words as a tauparapara or a whakatuaki for example, depending on the tikanga of the space or place.

Why might these words link to the beginning of your journey with the chosen new initiative? 

On a piece of paper/whiteboard/sand tray draw a continuum line (any shape: zig-zag/circular/curved...) that represents the phrase above, feel free to add any pictures or symbols.

You can even get creative and use chalk or masking tape on the floor.

Label the line at various intervals using any kupu of your choice.

Where would you place yourself on this line in regards to the presented koha (initiative)?

Why did you place yourself there? What do you worry about in relation to this initiative?

What are you looking forward to?

Go and compare your thinking with other people in the room.

Being open and honest as we embark on this journey and reflecting how you feel is an important part of the process, remember needs change as we evolve through time. Think about your own needs now as we move towards the Induction phase, Kia Whakatō: planting the seed.

te kakano 1a.PNG
The Selection: Projects


Induction Phase: After the koha has been excepted we need to prepare the ground (the school/ecosystem). The best way to do that is to find out more about the purpose of the koha and it's intent.

This is where we must learn about the initiative in question, it is the Induction Phase.

Learn about its whakapapa, its beginnings, its creation. It is important that in this phase, where content details are delivered, we use delivery methods that demonstrate pedagogical imagination, rather than transmission 'stand and deliver' approaches. Engagement is key.

To help you do this there are a few discursive tools/resources you may need in your armory to not only guide you to research papers that sit behind the intention (the koha), but to engage with it through tactile and interactive ways; any one of these tools will do the trick, but each one comes with a recommendation, read the table below and see which ones would help you in your context

Kia Whakatō: Plant the seed

Description and purpose
What it involves
Associated blogs

Reflecting, discussing, designing T-Shirts, stimulating thought

  • Explore the downstream effects of the Literacy Crisis for ākonga

  • Interrogate your current literacy approaches

  • Put a North-East lens over your current approach and ask yourself if it is carried out with tikanga and fidelity

What it involves
Description and purpose
Associated blogs

Familiarising, discussing, cutting, weaving

  • Tactile unpacking of of Te Mātaiaho

  • Connect to your school's reality

  • Connect, celebrate, investigate

What it involves
Description and purpose
Associated blogs

Cutting, matching, sorting, unpacking, deep dive

  • Explore and understand pedagogy

  • Take a deep dive into the research theory behind the CPM

  • Consider the habits and dispositions students will need to engage with the CPM

What it involves
Description and purpose
Associated blogs
  • Break down concepts to establish meaning

  • Build and understand who you are as a school/individual/class

  • A fun, tactile and interactive way to find your place and create meaning

Understand concepts, make stars,

build kete, break down kupu

What it involves
Description and purpose
Associated blogs

Reflect, sort, understand, prioritise, make connections

  • Foster agency and buy in from your staff

  • Gather their voice and reflections

  • Sort data and realise where your strategic focus needs to be moving forward

Leading to the North-East Principles embedded within the Induction Phase

These activities and resources we have provided above all allow the learner (staff) to familiarise themselves with the content of Te Mātaiaho and the Common Practice Model by allowing them to bring their prior learning and cultural capital to the topic. This allows the learners to engage with relationship based pedagogies, such as c0-constructing their understanding of a koha, learning in a non-dominating learning relationship (power sharing) by researching and sharing their understanding of the content, whilst also allowing their knowledge about how they make sense of the world to be shared in dialogic and discursive ways (interactive ways that allow the exchange of information to be shared).


All of these qualities ensure that each learner is learning on their own terms and enables them to engage fully with what they need to know before they start trialling these ideas in their classrooms. It is a much more effective approach than the 'stand and deliver' strategy that usually heavily dominates teachers' professional learning in meetings.

Throughout this term ELV (Engaging Learning Voices) will be sharing more discursive and interactive ways that will enable you to engage your staff in building their Induction knowledge about the changes ahead.

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