Māori Secondary School Teachers

Te Hiringa i te Mahara

Research and Evaluation

Linda Smith, Fiona Cram, Graham Smith & Megan Tunks

Funder: Gardiner & Parata Ltd

Timeframe: 1997-2001

Literature Review and Database Analysis, 1998

This is a report (downloadable below) on the literature review, survey analysis and database establishment that was carried out for the Te Hiringa i te Mahara project on Māori secondary teachers’ workloads. It is a summary of information that has been written in a more comprehensive technical report. The report draws together three major sources of information on Māori secondary teachers:

  • Information provided by Māori secondary teachers at the workshops organised for the Te Hiringa i te Mahara project by Gardiner and Parata Ltd,
  • Information taken from an analysis of the questionnaires that Māori teachers completed as part of the workshops
  • Information that already exists in the literature.

The literature review critically examines both international studies relating to teacher workloads and the information and material presented by Māori teachers. It is argued by the authors that Māori secondary teachers describe their work in particular ways and that it is necessary to understand the nature of their work and how it has been constituted historically when trying to analyse their workload in today’s environment. The ‘load’ aspect of these teachers’ work relates to a combination of activities, expectations and challenges due to their being Māori as well as to the hours of work they spend teaching. It is also argued in the literature review and questionnaire analysis that there is a very strong relationship between the motivations of Māori teachers that links their concerns for te reo Māori me ona tikanga with their concern for Māori students. This relationship shapes their workloads in powerful ways that make their role as Māori teachers educationally and culturally important but problematic in terms of work conditions and measures of satisfaction and well being.

The database was developed for the Te Hiringa i te Mahara project and has been informed by other studies of teacher workload and satisfaction and by a Kaupapa Māori approach that privileges Māori ways of interacting and transferring information. The database was developed to enable interventions to be designed, implemented and evaluated over a two year period. It is different from any other studies of Māori secondary teachers because of its emphasis on trying to identify pressures points or multiple sites to which interventions can be targeted and then evaluated. A questionnaire was designed and then quite literally ‘taken to the people’ through a series of national workshops organised by Gardiner and Parata Ltd. Three hundred Māori teachers have completed the questionnaire however due to the slow return rate of some questionnaires the current analysis is based on a sample of 262 responses. The analysis supports and strengthens many of the findings made in previous studies by Bloor (1996) and by Mitchell and Mitchell (1993) which were based on smaller samples. In comparison to non-Māori colleagues, Māori secondary teachers work long hours on a range of cultural activities over and above their other more ‘typical’ teaching responsibilities.

Evaluation Report, 2001

Te Hiringa i te Mahara (Te Hiringa i te Mahara) is a two year programme that aims to reduce workload pressures and improve the professional experience of Maori secondary school teachers.This report (downloadable below) contains a database analysis and the findings of the evaluation study of the Te Hiringa i te Mahara project. The database provided the benchmark against which the impact of targeted interventions can be measured. The overall significance of Te Hiringa i te Mahara is discussed by bringing together the quantitative and qualitative data collected in the process and outcome evaluation phases of the research.

Two questionnaires were developed for each phase of the evaluation. The intervention questionnaire invites teachers to give their individual perceptions of how the course or programme they attended has impacted or is likely to impact on their teaching experience. Data collection also occurred through provider visits, provider interviews, participant observation and focus group interviews. The data collected informed the process evaluation phase of the research that documents the delivery of a programme including the project’s history and development, the intended audience, the audience’s perceptions of the programe, and the resource requirements of the programme. This data was collected over the two-year period of the evaluation. 1207 questionnaires were distributed to Maori teachers, 800 of whom are currently on the Te Hiringa i te Mahara database. 231 completed and useable questionnaires were returned.

In 1998 a database was developed from a questionnaire to Maori secondary school teachers to enable interventions to be designed, implemented and evaluated. Sections covered included satisfaction and support, career and employment, general health and teaching education and practice. The outcome evaluation phase of the research has sought to update the 1998 findings by way of a second comparative questionnaire distributed toward the end of the two year evaluation period.

In the three years of Te Hiringa i te Mahara the overall results show a developing professional engagement in teaching among the study’s participants. At the start of Te Hiringa i te Mahara considerable effort had to be made to identify Maori teachers and to involve them in initial workshops. Teacher relief was provided so that schools would release teachers to attend. The general wariness of the teachers was counter-balanced by a very enthusiastic project team. Te Hiringa i te Mahara did have to prove itself to Maori teachers. This was not an easy task. The process and outcome evaluations together demonstrate that Maori teachers did participate and have benefited from the interventions

Fiona Cram,
4 Aug 2012, 01:39
Fiona Cram,
4 Aug 2012, 01:39