• Culturally responsive approaches to challenging behaviour of minority ethnic students

      Wearmouth, Janice; Berryman, Mere; Glynn, Ted (Routledge, 2018-07-02)
      Different ways of conceptualizing the human mind, the development of learning and how learning and behaviour are interrelated lead to different approaches for dealing with issues schools have in relation to behaviour experienced as challenging or otherwise difficult. As Bruner (1996) notes, there are two ‘strikingly different’ ways of thinking about how the mind works. One of these is to conceptualize the mind in cognitive terms, as operating like a computer in processing the information it receives. Here, however, we are concerned with the second conceptualization, what Bruner terms ‘culturalism’, which has rather different implications for addressing behavioural issues. ‘Culturalism’ assumes that the development of the human mind depends on its evolution within a society in which the ‘reality’ of individual experience is represented through a shared symbolism, for example verbal or written language, where the community’s way of life is organized and understood. The cultural context in which a child is reared shapes his or her thinking and provides tools, a ‘cultural toolkit’ (Bruner, 1996) for organizing meaning in ways that can be communicated to others. In Bruner’s view, meaning-making is situated in a cultural context as well as in the prior conceptions that learners bring with them into new situations from other contexts. New learning is a product of the ‘interplay’ between them. To understand and respond appropriately to challenging behaviour at school requires us to understand the cultural contexts of both home and school. In this chapter we examine some of the evidence related to the relative under-achievement, disaffection and exclusion from the education system of students from particular minority ethnic groups and investigate a number of theories that attempt to explain these phenomena. We go on to use the communities of practice framework (Wenger, 1998; Wenger,McDermott & Snyder, 2002) to examine how drawing on community values and individuals’ responsibilities within communities can enable movement from retribution to a focus on ‘putting things right’ between all those involved or affected by wrong-doing. The particular examples given here are from Aotearoa New Zealand and relate to restorative practices influenced by traditional Māori cultural values and preferred responses to wrongdoing. The process associated with hui whakatika (hui: meeting; whakatika: to put things right) emphasizes restoration of harmony between the individual, the victim and the collective (Berryman & McFarlane, in press; Wearmouth et al, 2007a, 2007b). 
    • Development of an observation tool designed to increase cultural relationships and responsive pedagogy to raise the achievement of Māori students in secondary classrooms in Aotearoa New Zealand

      Berryman, Mere; Wearmouth, Janice (July Press, 2018-07-24)
      The paper discusses the development and conventions for use of a classroom observation tool designed to support secondary school teachers in Aotearoa New Zealand to develop respectful learning relationships and culturally responsive pedagogy in their classrooms. This tool was created within a programme of teacher professional development to support the improvement of indigenous Māori students’ achievement and engagement in learning. The Ministry of Education recognised the need for an extensive change in practices across the entire education sector that required a shift in thinking and behaviour. The observation tool was therefore designed to support formative assessment, focused on change, through deliberate and democratic professionalism. Initial data, whilst not conclusive, suggest this tool has the potential to support more effective cultural relationships and responsive pedagogy in classrooms thus improving learning and engagement among Māori students through increased self-efficacy, pride and a sense of themselves as culturally located.
    • Te Kotahitanga : towards effective education reform for indigenous and other minoritised students

      Bishop, Russell; Berryman, Mere; Wearmouth, Janice (NZCER Press, 2014-06-18)
      The persistence of educational disparities that adversely affect indigenous and other minoritised students continues to be a major problem facing many nations. Principles of social justice and political imperatives at national level to address the detrimental impact of economically disengaged proportions of the population make this an issue that policy makers and educators in general should be aware of and look for ways to overcome. This book focuses on 'Te Kotahitanga', a theory-based, school-wide reform that operated in a number of mainstream secondary schools in New Zealand nand that has improved the educational experiences and achievement of Maori students. It began with the implementation of classroom pedagogy that is intended to respond to students' culture and to focus on positive teacher-student relationships. Case studies from three of the schools at Phase 3 in the project take the reader inside this reform that, in these schools, is supported by responsive and distributed leadership.