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Growing Educational Success

Date: November 30, 2012

Understanding Indigenous Pacific success models for improved Educational outcomes during a visit to New Zealand by Dr. Ku Kahakalau Nov 12th – 17th.

Through our work with RAISE Pasifika and contacts at the US Government, Accelerating Aotearoa Incorporated was instrumental in bringing globally-recognised education pioneer Dr Ku Kahakalau to New Zealand.

  Dr. Ku Kahakalau is a native Hawaiian educator, researcher, song-writer, and expert in Hawaiian language, history and culture. She is best known for her innovative, values and place-based, culturally-driven, academically rigorous way of education designed to prepare young Hawaiians for 21st century cultural steward- and global citizenship. Dr Kahakalau had some important learning to share with Aotearoa.

In the week beginning November 12th, a programme of presentations was organized and fora with a range of educational professionals.

The programme focused on Dr Kahakalau’s insights on successful models for Indigenous Education and their relevance as alternative pathways for Maori and Pasifika learners in New Zealand.

During the week Dr Kahakalau met with key community and educational stakeholders to:
- Speak with Pasifika and Maori education leaders, Early Childhood Education and tertiary audiences
- Review bilingual education centres
- Describe how charter schools have lifted indigenous educational outcomes in Hawaii.
A highlight for us was a powhiri at Ohaki Marae in Huntly where Dr Ku was received by Te Arikinui Kiingi Tuheitia. This and the hui that followed will remain special memories of Dr Ku’s visit. It was wonderful to have a number of our Accelerating Aotearoa family together there to support this very special event.

Tuesday evening was set aside for Accelerating Aotearoa to host Dr Ku at a special dinner at HQ where many of our AA whanau were able to celebrate and whanaunga her.

A critical outcome of the week was an opportunity for education advocates to understand what lessons can be used to support and enhance educational achievement and employment opportunities for Pasifika and Maori learners. In particular how:
- Indigenous education models can work better than traditional systems
- Charter schools are helping indigenous students to succeed in Hawaii
- Bilingual education models at early childhood centres are important
- Culturally-driven, family-oriented community-based education programmes work.
- Hawaiian learning models work for indigenous students
As Dr Ku says “Contrary to the well-documented and ongoing failure of non-indigenous models of education to meet the needs of indigenous students, Indigenous Education has a successful track record around the world: it’s working!”

During the week Dr Ku was interviewed about her visit on Tagata Pasifika

We also have many photos from the week including;

Powhiri and breakfast with the Maori King, Te Arikinui Kiingi Tuheitia

Forum at Best Pacific Institute of Education

Powhiri and tour at Kia Aroha College

Reception to celebrate Global Entrepreneurs’ Week at the US Consul General's Residence

Powhiri and forum at University of Auckland with Maori and Pacific Tertiary Leaders

Forum with the Bilingual Leo Pacific Coalition and education leaders

All photos by Michele Robinson

The programme was hosted by RAISE Pasifika & supported by the United States Consulate General in association with Accelerating Aotearoa Incorporated.

Accelerating Aotearoa Incorporated