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ERIC Number: EJ1080491
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 27
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0311-2543
A Sense of Deja Vu across the Tasman? What Australians Might Learn from the New Zealand Experience with the Te Kotahitanga Professional Development Programme
Openshaw, Roger
Education Research and Perspectives, v34 n2 p24-50 2007
Throughout Australasia, indigenous educational issues remain a subject of considerable debate. In New Zealand, Maori underachievement in education has long been a matter of widespread concern. Currently the most highly visible professional development programme now operating in New Zealand mainstream secondary schools, Te Kotahitanga claims to have found the answer. Its designers contend that the major barrier to improving Maori academic performance and behaviour in schools has been teachers positioning themselves in non-agentic positions because of their dogmatic adherence to deficit theorising. Hence, its remedy is equally simple--by changing teachers' attitudes to Maori students and their culture teachers will come to use the power of their own agency to see, "wonderful changes in Maori students' behaviour, participation, engagement and achievement in their classrooms" (Phase 3 Report, 2007, p.189). Based on a recent independent review of Te Kotahitanga Phase 3, however, this paper argues that Te Kotahitanga manifests major flaws both as a research project and as a professional development programme: (1) the claims made for the success of the project are by no means conclusively confirmed by the data presented; (2) the project's location within the recent school effectiveness/school improvement paradigm together with its strong and uncritical adherence to a culturalist ideology render many of its assumptions and remedies highly questionable; and (3) the data produced by the questionnaire distributed as part of the review process casts considerable doubt on its viability as a professional development programme, without major modifications.
University of Western Australia. 35 Stirling Highway Crawley, Perth, 6009 Australia. Tel: +61-8-6488-2388; Fax: +61-8-6488-1052; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; New Zealand
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A