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This section provides background information about the Ministry of Education's Te Reo Māori in Schools Strategy, why it was developed, and what initiatives have been or will be undertaken.

Call for curriculum development

For many years, teachers and the Māori community have been calling for the development of a curriculum for the teaching and learning of te reo Māori in schools, where the medium of instruction is English.

Even though te reo Māori has been taught for many years in schools, there has not been a reo Māori curriculum for English-medium schools. A curriculum, Te Reo Māori i roto i te Marautanga o Aotearoa, was developed for schools where children learn almost entirely in the Māori language, that is, immersion units, kura kaupapa Māori and wharekura.

In October 2003, a budget bid was put before the government to support the growth and development of te reo and tikanga Māori in primary and secondary schools.

Outcomes identified

The aims of the bid were to enable:

  • the development of a framework (with clear learning outcomes for eight levels of achievement) for the teaching and learning of te reo Māori in English-medium schools
  • the building of teacher capability to teach te reo Māori.

The intended outcomes of the budget bid were:

  • an improvement in the quality of the teaching of Māori language in English-medium New Zealand schools
  • an affirmation of the status of te reo Māori in New Zealand.

Strategic focus

As a result of the successful bid, a number of initiatives were set in place to improve the teaching of te reo Māori. These initiatives sit under the umbrella of the Ministry's strategy for Māori language in schools. The strategy focuses on three main areas:

  • curriculum development
  • materials development
  • professional development.

Initiatives implemented

Initiatives, under each of these three areas of the strategy include:

  • the development of the reo Māori curriculum
  • the development of a multimedia resource package for year 7 and 8 students (and teachers) learning Māori
  • the development of online materials to support the implementation of the curriculum (specifically the planning, teaching and assessing thereof)
  • the employment of school advisers to support English-medium teachers with their Māori language programmes
  • the establishment of:
    • four pilot reo Māori professional development (PD) opportunities for primary and intermediate teachers
    • a pilot PD programme for secondary Māori language teachers, focusing on second language acquisition
  • the evaluation of these pilots to determine what constitutes 'good practice' PD for primary and secondary teachers respectively.

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