The full report from Colleen Gleeson's 2009 research of the Manaiakalani project can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. In 2009 it was funded by the MoE through EHSAS (Extending High Standards Across Schools).
Seven schools in the Tamaki Cluster have been involved in an ICT Initiative which they have called “Manaiakalani” (the ‘hook from heaven’ that was given to Maui so he could succeed in the world’s largest ever fishing project).
Manaiakalani was begun as a 4 year curriculum development project to raise student achievement outcomes and improve student engagement by linking key learning from Schooling Improvement with developing practices from the national e-Learning Action Plan (reference). This report covers the first two years of this research.
The schools involved were all decile 1 schools catering for mainly Maori and Pasifika students in the Tamaki Basin, NZs oldest state housing community. The schools had all experienced collaboration and working together to develop strong practices for direct instruction and micro-teaching coming out of Schooling Improvement, through the Tamaki Achievement Pathway Initiative (from 2004), as well as working together to develop effective collaborative practices and pedagogy in the e-Learning environment via the Pt England ICT PD Cluster (2004-2006). The Project began with 11 lead teachers in 2008 which increased to 15 lead teachers in 2009.
The Maianakalani Project aimed to measurably raise the student achievement outcomes in Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing and to measurably raise student engagement. The key objective was to empower the students with an evidence based belief that their personal voice is valuable, powerful and can be heard around the planet from their decile 1 community.
The aim of this research was to determine the extent of impact the professional development had on teaching and learning and to provide ideas and considerations for future development and research in this field. As many students in the area are Maori or Pasifika the results of the research will provide data in these areas.
The research focused on student achievement in Literacy, including reading, writing, speaking and presenting and also on student engagement. The project focused on the use of technology to publish and present student literacy, mainly through blogs.
11.0 Concluding Statement
The literacy, student engagement and oral presentations of the target students in this research have made progress. The achievement of all target students is significant compared to other decile one students nationally. Some cohorts have made significant progress and achievement.
Tongan students and boys have made the most improvement over the past 12 months which is against the national trend in literacy.
The Project definitely provided a motivation for writing, an improvement in audience awareness and purpose and in presentation skills. Other school interventions also had an impact on literacy achievement, however the Project has provided a purpose and enthusiasm for literacy.
The students of Manaiakalani were provided with a “hook” (e-learning outcomes published in on-line spaces) which gave these decile 1 students a voice to be heard globally. Subsequently, in the first two years of the project, their literacy, engagement and oral language achievement was enhanced.