The Education Review Office | Te Tari Arotake Mātauranga (ERO) and Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust have released an evaluation summary that affirms the distinct value of high quality Māori immersion education and its positive influence on children from birth.
The findings in Hauhaketia ngā taonga tuku iho kia puāwai ai – Unearth our ancestral treasures so that we may prosper supports the view that children are more likely to experience success as learners in an environment where language, culture and identity are valued and validated.
Nicholas Pole, Chief Review Officer of ERO said “We found that children in our sample group of kōhanga reo develop as confident learners who know and understand Māori beliefs and values, with a strong sense of belonging and awareness of their environment. They value and respect themselves, their whānau, hapū and iwi, explore te reo Māori with confidence and accuracy and exhibit growing awareness of their natural and physical environment.”
The key findings indicate that where kōhanga reo reflect te reo Māori, tikanga Māori, te ao Māori and mātauranga Māori, children are most likely to be successful. Having a strong vision, clear purpose and goals which encapsulate whānau aspirations is critical, as is the deliberate planning of programmes to realise these aspirations. All participants in the kōhanga context (whānau, kaumatua, kaiako and kaiāwhina) are valued and are clear about their roles.
“Our evaluation underlines the importance of learning environments that enrich children’s emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual wellbeing. These environments work to create a strong foundation for our tamariki. In these services there are high expectations for every learner.”
The basis of this report is ERO’s evaluation reviews of kōhanga reo, information from the Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust and stories from the sample group of 11 kōhanga reo. These kōhanga reo were selected because they were strongly outcomes focused, action oriented and were all on a four-year review cycle with the Education Review Office.
“This work is significant, we get to share what good practice looks like, and the outcomes identified will inform the development of a new set of indicators to define exemplary practice and support all kōhanga reo to get to great. At its core is the overarching outcome of ensuring that children in kōhanga reo are supported with strong foundations to be successful and confident learners in their own culture and language,” said Nicholas Pole.