Beyond the Chalk Face: Language Learning on the Go

By Tabitha McKenzie, Rāwiri Toia and Hiria McRae.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

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A teacher professional development (TPD) model using mobile devices as the main tools for the content delivery of a whole-school facilitation programme is proving to be a good option for schools and their communities. The TPD project developed by Victoria University of Wellington lecturers is taking an innovative approach to increase the Māori language proficiency of the teachers and students. This paper is a critical, reflective analysis of empirical and anecdotal data gathered by the TPD project team during the delivery of the project in participating schools.

Language proficiency tests and writing samples monitor participants and students’ shifts in their Māori language development. Feedback from discussions and surveys with the participants are also used to evaluate the TPD project.

The findings of this paper indicate that although the technology used in the Whakapiki i te Reo TPD project is still a new concept in TPD in New Zealand, it has been endorsed by the school principals and governing boards of the schools throughout the clusters for its contextually responsive design and its ubiquitous nature.

Keywords: Indigenous Education, Teacher Professional Development, Technology, Language Acquisition

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp.11-28. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.250MB).

Tabitha McKenzie

Lecturer, Te Kura Maori, Faculty of Education, Karori Campus, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand

I lecture in Māori education at Victoria University of Wellington College of Education. I have lectured in early childhood, primary and secondary sectors of the University. I have worked here for four years. I am also a Project Coordinator for a Ministry of Education contract delivering teacher professional development. The model used in this professional development is in-school facilitation, using multimedia to increase teachers proficiency of te reo Māori (Māori language) and language acquisition. Before lecturing I was a teacher in primary, intermediate and secondary schools teaching through the medium of te reo Māori. I am interested in improving education for Māori and contributing to the field of indigenous knowledge and education. I am also interested in the areas of technology and language acquisition.

Rāwiri Toia

Lecturer, Te Kura Maori, Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Education, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand

As a lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington, Rāwiri works in a team developing innovative approaches to increasing the language proficiency of teachers in indigenous language schools in New Zealand. Rāwiri has an extensive knowledge of professional development implementation, co-ordination, and leadership in indigenous education in New Zealand. His latest project, focused on increasing language proficiency within the indigenous education sector of New Zealand, has changed the thinking behind professionl learning and development services provided by the Ministry of Education. Rāwiri has held Director and National Co-ordinator roles of projects such as the Ngā Toi (The Arts) professional development and implementation, the Ngā Toi exemplars development, and the Mātauranga Taiao (Environmetal Education) professional development and implementation. Rāwiri was a lead writer for the Ngā Toi learning area within the unique development of an indigenous curriculum for New Zealand schools, and is presently directing a project for the Ministry of Education looking specifically at the present capacity and capability of the indigenous sector in the area of assessment. Rāwiri resides in the Waikato region of New Zealand where he also pursues a hobby as director, writer, and performer for a Māori peforming arts group in the region.

Hiria McRae

Lecturer, Te Kura Māori, Faculty of Education, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand

I specialise in Māori education at Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Education. I work with pre-service and in-service teachers in the early childhood, primary and secondary sectors. I’m a primary trained teacher who has taught in schools delivering through the medium of the Māori language. I am interested in improving education for Māori and contributing to the field of indigenous knowledge and education, specifically science, technology and education for sustainability.