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Huripoki - Flipping New Zealand Style!

“Culture is central to learning. It plays a role not only in communicating and receiving information, but also in shaping the thinking process of groups and individuals. A pedagogy that acknowledges, responds to, and celebrates fundamental cultures offers full, equitable access to education for students from all cultures”. (1)

While writing up a paper about flipped learning, I started to think about whether flipped learning fitted into the cultural context of New Zealand and decided to have a close look at the Tataiako – the cultural competencies, which every teacher in New Zealand should be aspiring to apply to their teaching practice.

The cultural competencies should promote Maori learners to achieve educational success as Maori.  There are five competencies and they are Ako, Wananga, Manaakitanga, Tangatawhenuatanga, and Whanaungatanga. They have links to the Registered Teacher Criteria and the Professional Teaching Standards, so should be well understood by New Zealand teachers.  I really don’t know if they are well known or not, but every school which has subscribed to Te Kotahitanga or He Kakano would be aware of them at least.

So, as I wrote about flipped learning, (which is the concept of students watching videos at home on the content of their curriculum and coming to school to discuss, question and practice using the concepts in practical or applied ways)  it was really interesting to find out that the concept of “the guide on the side, instead of the sage on the stage” was used in one of the first papers about flipping by J Wesley Baker in 2000 (3)  This, to me, encapsulates what Ako is all about – taking responsibility for your own learning and that of Maori learners. In the classroom this looks like – a teacher sitting alongside a student and discussing, rather than lecturing from the front. The teacher is the guide on the side, learning from the student as well. (Reciprocal learning.)

Image (4)  - reproduced from Colin Smith under Creative Commons licensing

In fact, it seems to me that each of the competencies, as I worked through them all, are really about good teaching no matter who and where you are. Wananga is the professional development and problem solving that you do to find the best outcome for the students - in fact “Teaching as Inquiry”.  What suits the individual student best? Tangatawhenuatanga  is about accepting who the learner is, knowing their cultural identity and allowing them to achieve within their own cultural context.  Whanaungatanga is about knowing your learner’s family and their cultural context, making good respectful links with them and their culture.  And Manaakitanga is about caring about the student, a mutual respect and understanding about who the student is and what their beliefs are..

I came to the conclusion that “Flipping” could be an excellent pedagogical method for teachers of Maori students as all of the competencies could be applied to create appropriate videos for Maori students or by Maori students.  Guide on the side, problem solving, knowing your learners, knowing their families and connections and what works for them, and above all caring about the student and believing that they can learn and achieve.



2. Image: 'jumping to a lovely sunset'. Found on

3. Baker, JW. "The “classroom flip”. Using web course management tools to become the guide on the side." 11th international conference on college teaching and learning, Jacksonville, FL 2000.


Leigh Hynes: I have been been teaching and learning from secondary students for 33 years (Science, Maths and Horticulture), and have been assistant principal at a rural school for the last ten years.  An interest in e-learning grew out of the school’s involvement in an ICT cluster, the Volcanics Cluster, which used videoconferencing networks with the rest of New Zealand to provide online courses for rural students. With a forward-thinking e-principal of the cluster providing access to professional development with some of the world leaders in e-learning, this was the hook that reeled me into the digital world.  In 2012, I was awarded a senior managers’ 10 week sabbatical  during which I studied eportfolios in different school contexts.  During the 10 week period I also travelled to USA where I learnt much from “flipped” teachers and e-school administrators.  With so many advantages and so much potential in the new paradigm of learning, it has surprised me how slowly some teachers and schools in New Zealand have moved toward blended learning.  Trialling different strategies is the essence of teaching as inquiry cycle and it almost seems that many are afraid of this.  I am a great believer in the power of belonging to and participating in on-learning communities, where your ideas can take root and blossom. Subscribing to interesting articles with an RSS reader and using Diigo as a social bookmarker with which you can share so much, are also part of my arsenal of learning weapons.  In 2013, I am working with the University of Waikato as a blended learning facilitator under a Te Toi Tupu consortium contract to the MOE.

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Comment by Merryn Dunmill on January 16, 2013 at 14:47

When writing the Senior Secondary Arts Guides, we unpacked Tataiako Maori pedagogies in contexts of teaching and learning in the arts disciplines to help teachers see them in practice. You can check the links under Culturally responsive pedagogies if anyone is interested. It'd be great if all learning areas did this and, as you suggest Leigh, sharing video examples.

Comment by Leigh Hynes on January 16, 2013 at 14:30

I meant to add a link to the report mentioned below,here it is.

Comment by Leigh Hynes on January 16, 2013 at 14:23

Yes, Hazel, we have all been there, in that very unlearning environment!  I like the table on page 15 of the "Supporting future-oriented learning and teaching" report to the MOE about what we know about learning.  Experiences are critical to learning....learners need to be actively engaged...learning has to be a personalised experience etc etc - if only our trainers and teachers practised these things!

And thank you too, Merryn, for your comments - I think the whole Tataiako needs to be unpacked for every teacher in every school - what does it mean for them in their teaching?  Wouldn't it be great to ask all teachers to flip their own learning in this way and make a video on what each of the competencies mean for them?

Comment by Merryn Dunmill on January 16, 2013 at 11:17
I love this conversation! Central to me is Hazel's sense-making or meaning making notion (individually and/or collaboratively). I'm particularly interested in ongoing discussion around ako as a shared experience for making meaning and the whole whanaungatanga ripple effect (wider community input and impact). The flipping approach is inherent in these pedagogies. THe guides on the side in co-constructed, inquiry learning are also the learners themselves as they peer coach, construct and deconstruct, refine and reflect on their own and each others' learning. How often do we as teachers steer/manage/limit these culturally responsive practices and therefore also student meaning-making? How do we measure the shifts in learning when we embrace holistic pedagogies? Our assessment and evaluation practices need reconsideration....
Comment by Hazel Owen on January 15, 2013 at 12:57

Great post (thanks, Leigh), and conversation :-p One of the things that strikes me when finding out how learners, and teachers, are using Flipping is that it feels as though the concept can scaffold a shift in hierarchy - as you say, Leigh, the teacher has the opportunity to become a guide on the side. In turn the students can start to take control of their learning (something that may need to be scaffolded, requiring a gradual shift and lots of conversation amongst learners). There is also an overt recognition that all learners will not be at the same stage in their at exactly the same time. As such, flipping the classroom offers, I feel, opportunities for learners to avoid the lock-step, everyone turn to page 67, we have to cover the curriculum approach that can be detrimental to some learners. I remember going to a workshop a couple of years ago around the basics of creating Flash objects. The trainer (and I use that term advisedly) rocked up and introduced himself, handed out spiral bound 'how to' guides full of screen shots, and the proceeded to take us all, step by step, through some of the basics of using Flash - proceeding at the pace of the slowest learner. The trainer  told us when to click, where to go, and what to look at. He had no notion of who we were, what we wanted to achieve, our prior learning, experience or skill-level. It was a full day workshop and after about 30 minutes I wanted to scream. After an hour I started flicking through the how to guide, and finally proceeded to do my own thing for the rest of the time :-p. Interestingly, as time went by, more and more of the participants started to do the same, and then folk started discussions and jumped into peer tutoring mode. The trainer, somewhat miffed, kept working with a small group.

It also feels that, where students are encouraged to create artefacts (this could be content, demonstrations etc), collaboratively or individually, there is a process of 'sense-making'. The conceptualisation, planning, research, creation, evaluation, and refinement stages involved in the process of creation are incredibly powerful, and the whole aspect of choice is built in. So, flipped classrooms have the opportunity to go hand in hand with inquiry learning approaches and ePortfolios, while also encouraging students to embrace and learn and express themselves within cultural frameworks that they choose.

Comment by Leigh Hynes on January 15, 2013 at 7:51

Thank you for your feedback, Pascale.  I found this very powerful blog in December, Pascale, and it makes so much sense to me.  In my experience, students learn so much more when they create first.  It helps them see the big picture better.  Creating videos is just one way of doing this.  

But to me, flipping is also powerful because the student has the pause and rewind function ....which may or may not exist in the classroom, but everyone in the classroom, without differentiated learning, has to go at the speed of the teacher in explanations.  With flipping the control is handed over to the learner.

Comment by Pascale Hyboud-Peron on January 14, 2013 at 14:03

Thank you Leigh for writing about flipping from a cultural competence angle, and for linking to your paper. I have been reticent about flipped classrooms. As I am reticent about a lot of approaches if they are used to the exclusion of anything else! Your entry got me thinking about two things:
- how the flipped classroom can enter Language learning by effectively supporting  Task Based Learning: communication in immersed situations is paramount in TBL and if students knew they are going to focus on just that in class, equipped with what they acquire outside of the classroom, in a flipped model when necessary, then I would think their communicative competence would improve fast.
- how the flipped classroom could make use of an LMS (for the teacher to scaffold the learning activities, video, quizzes, drills, presentations, questionnaires…) and the students of an ePortfolio in which they store and organize productions, research, results, but also share with peers, ask questions etc
Would you agree that "flipping" could definitely have an impact on teachers and students being creators of content?

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