It is an exciting and invigorating time for the Kōtuitui Kāhui Ako in West Auckland. Both Across and In School teacher roles have lead to an increased level of collaborative practice between school leaders and teachers. There is a clear awareness of the value of teachers connecting and collaborating in a meaningful way - and how this leads to improved outcomes for all schools and learners.
“The quality of teacher collaboration positively influences teacher performance and student achievement.” (Ronfeldt, M., Farmer, S., McQueen, K., & Grissom, J., 2015)
At the start of the year, school principals reframed the vision for the COL as “a powerful educational research and development network, focused on meeting local learning needs”. Lead principal, Morag Hutchinson, commented “we wanted to move away from the language of challenge and deficit and instead assert our professional responsibility to be learners ourselves. As educators we must always be curious and engaged in the puzzle of what works best for learning, but to do this with a focus on the whole learning pathway in our own community is very exciting.”
Being motivated by a sense of community is central to the success of building a strongly connected educational research network. The vision of Kotuitui is based on the desire to lift all learners’ achievement by sharing what is working in each context and growing effective pedagogy across schools. It is about creating a smooth transition for our learners from Year 1-13. “There are so many outstanding education practitioners in our community, so sharing our professional expertise across the nearly 7,500 young learners in our area enriches the whole community. This initiative has huge potential,” Morag Hutchinson commented.
It is very clear that our Kōtuitui Kāhui Ako is a fantastic opportunity to both grow and challenge all professionals to reflect more deeply on how we can lift the achievement of all learners.