Saturday, August 5, 2017

Beneath the surface

In 2011, my spark for digital storytelling was born. Since then I have travelled the world talking about the impact digital storytelling can have on teams, communities and children. This video from VOGEL reminds us that everyone has a story, and when we take the time to listen, we become better people as a result.

What do you bring to the table?

Warrior Scholars - Decolonising education

The "Warrior scholars" video below shares inspiring teaching practice happening at Kia Aroha College. I have had the great pleasure of listening to Anne Milne (previous Principal) talk about her research "Colouring in the white spaces: Reclaiming cultural identity in whitestream schools" and listened to her talk about her work, she has worked tirelessly for years to ensure better outcomes for students. You can read more about her research, and a brief blurb below:

This thesis describes the 25 year journey of two schools and their community’s determination to resist and reject alienating school environments in favour of a relevant culturally-located, bilingual learning model based in a secure cultural identity, stable positive relationships, and aroha (authentic caring and love). While the research design is a case study, in terms of western, “white space” academic tradition, it is also a story in terms of kaupapa Māori and critical race methodology. More importantly, it is a counter-story that chronicles the efforts of these two schools to step outside education’s “white spaces” to create new space. This counter-story is juxtaposed against pervasive, deficit-driven whitestream explanations of “achievement gaps” and the “long tail” of Māori and Pasifika “under-achievement” in New Zealand schools. In the process of this research the focus shifted from how could Māori and Pasifika learners develop secure cultural identities in mainstream schools, to examining what barriers exist in schools that prevent this from happening already? As these issues became clear the language of the thesis shifted accordingly; “developing” a cultural identity was reframed as a reclamation of educational sovereignty — the absolute right to “be Māori” or “be Pasifika” in school — and “mainstream” schooling became better understood as the “whitestream.”

Warrior Scholars - Decolonising education from Teach For All on Vimeo.

Milne, B. A. (2013). Colouring in the White Spaces: Reclaiming Cultural Identity in Whitestream Schools (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/7868