Committing to Biculturalism in Education

Newton Central School in Grey Lynn, Auckland, is the subject of a story about how New Zealand, and Newton Central in particular, is making biculturalism in education work. Special advisor on education policy for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Andreas Schleicher explains: “At Newton Central School, I met Hoana Pearson, an amazing school principal. She defines the world through relationships, for her there is no bridge too far, no stakeholder too distant, no dispute that cannot be resolved through consultation, dialogue and collaboration.

As we walk from one richly decorated classroom to the next, she greets every child by name. Newton Central provides education that reflects a deep commitment to biculturalism and the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, with four learning pathways to choose from. Here, social background and culture are not obstacles to learning, but the school capitalizes on the diversity of its learners, taking learning to the learner in ways that allow students to learn in the ways that are most conducive to their progress.

All this is built on the kind of instructional and distributed leadership that Pearson provides, with a focus on supporting, evaluating and developing teacher quality as its core, where teachers collaborate to design, lead and manage innovative learning environments.

The idea of New Zealand’s school systems is for improvement to come from the best knowledge and understanding from within the school system. That means that professional autonomy needs to go hand in hand with a collaborative culture, with autonomous schools working in partnership to improve teaching and learning throughout the system.

The challenge for New Zealand lies in moving towards a culture of improvement, framed around not where schools and students are today but how they are advancing.It is about making sure that every child benefits from excellent teaching.”

Tags: Auckland  Hoana Pearson  Huffington Post (The)  Newton Central School  Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)  Treaty of Waitangi  

Unique Prehistoric Dolphin Discovered

Unique Prehistoric Dolphin Discovered

A prehistoric dolphin newly discovered in the Hakataramea Valley in South Canterbury appears to have had a unique method for catching its prey, Evrim Yazgin writes for Cosmos magazine. Aureia rerehua was…