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Specialist teaching

Specialist Teaching in Years 9 - 13 in Māori Medium: Moana Brown

Specialist Teaching is professional learning and development supporting wharekura (Years 9-13) to improve learning and accelerate achievement for ākonga using Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (TMOA) or the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC); and provide opportunities for ākonga to make clear choices towards career pathways through responsive teaching and learning programmes in curriculum areas in TMoA and the NZC.  

As a result of this facilitated professional learning and development,

  • Kaiako, whānau and ākonga have a clear direction of where they are going (Graduate Profile) and what is required to get there. This has resulted in improved outcomes for students, as they are more conscious of what is required of them to be a graduate of their kura and the subjects they need to study to achieve their aspirations.
  • Kaiako have a learner profile for each student identifying key learning information and their career interests. This has resulted in learning that is tailored for each individual learner that supports their career interests and possible pathways.
  • Kaiako have improved their knowledge and understanding of how NCEA works and the multiple pathways they need to plan for so that ākonga can achieve their goals. This has also resulted in improved outcomes for students as they now have a broader range of NCEA subjects that will contribute to the pathway they are interested in.
  • Whānau felt involved in their child’s education and had a better understanding of how to support their child with NCEA and career opportunities. This improved whānau support for their children, helping them to achieve NCEA and pursue career pathways.

The Graduate Profile


“Starting with the end in mind” was is a key target for wharekura who have been involved in the Specialist Teaching professional learning and development provision in 2014.  Having a clear picture and description of the Graduate Profile - Te Āhuatanga o te Ākonga from Year 9 - 13 is pertinent in providing a vision of responsive teaching and learning programmes that meet the interests and needs of all learners.  Providing multiple career pathways and clear choices for ākonga to support their aspirations, talents and abilities contributes significantly to ākonga achievement and success.  Involving the whole school community in planning for success and working together towards the same end has made a positive difference in the schools involved in this project.

Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Uri a Maui in Gisborne, kaiako were suppoted to develop a comprehensive career pathways programme from Year 9 - 13 that began with the graduate profile guiding their teaching and learning programmes. READ MORE  >>>

Kaiako Support

Knowing each learner and catering for their individual needs was a focus for all wharekura involved in this PLD. Prior to facilitator support, very little learner profiling had been initiated to inform the teaching and learning programmes. With facilitator support, the kaiako at Te Kura o Kokohuia in Wanganui helped develop a Learner Profile tool which contributed to a very clear picture of learning needs and interests of each ākonga, and their potential career pathways. READ MORE  >>>

NCEA and Career pathways


Kaiako understanding of how NCEA works and career pathways that are available to ākonga in wharekura is vital to ākonga success. Using a Careers Pathway Planning Tool kaiako identified what they needed to learn to be more effective in their teaching and learning programmes and offer more pathways.  Increasing kaiako knowledge in each learning area from year 9 to 13, and in the achievement standards that are available in both the NZC and TMoA throughout the year, significantly contributed to improved quality of teaching and learning programmes.  

This focus on quality teaching and learning programmes is at the heart of planning at Te Pi’ipi’inga Kakano Mai Rangiatea in New Plymouth. READ MORE  >>> 

Whānau Involvement

Engaging whānau in the development of the graduate profile and career pathways contributed to better relationships in three wharekura in 2014, including Te Pi’ipi’inga Kakano Mai Rangiatea. Facilitators in this provision played a lead role in these whānau hui, sharing information about NCEA and career pathway options to ensure all ākonga had every opportunity to  pursue their aspirations. READ MORE  >>>

Mahi Tahi

When the ākonga is at the heart of learning, and when their whānau and kura have a shared vision that tamariki can excel beyond all expectations, then anything is possible for them to achieve. Leaving kura with a minimum of NCEA Level 2 and multiple career pathways empowers a young person to achieve and make a positive contribution to society.  This requires having a clear vision and high expectations, starting with the end in mind, knowing the learner, working in unity and moving towards being the graduate.

“Ina aro atu ana te oranga ki ngā mea pai, Ka rere te wairua, Ka taea ngā mea katoa.” When our lives are attuned to good things, When life is clear and the spirit flows strongly, All is possible. Dr Maharaia Winiata

For more information about Specialist teaching in years 9-13 in Māori Medium, visit the Specialist teaching project page or contact Moana Brown.