School-led learning at home: Voices of parents of Māori and Pasifika students.

How can we learn from school-led learning at home to improve home-led learning at school?

How can we learn from school-led learning at home to improve home-led learning at school?

We have all seen the memes in social media about how teachers and parents are experiencing a different kind of learning during the Covid-19 pandemic. What these humorous clips reveal, however, is that attempts to overlay “normal” school routines and expectations onto New Zealand homes is not working.

Distance learning? Remote learning? Online learning? These terms all miss the point. What is happening now is ‘school-led learning at home’. And this situation has focused a spotlight on the concept of home-school partnerships.

My friend and colleague, Dr Melanie Riwai-Couch, wondered what the experience was really like for parents of Māori and Pasifika students. These are voices that are not often heard. Melanie developed a survey asking parents about the benefits and challenges they had experienced, and any suggestions for improving school-led learning at home. They were also asked how satisfied they were overall with the programmes that had been offered and the extent to which the programmes provided affirmed their identity, language and culture. The survey garnered over 100 responses in 24 hours, and Melanie knew that these responses had to be shared in a way that let them speak for themselves.

The result was the paper: School-led learning at home: Voices of parents of Māori and Pasifika students. The paper themed the responses and found three main tensions:

  1. Between the freedom and flexibility of learning at home and anxiety that students might fall behind
  2. Between expectations and what is realistic in the home environment
  3. Between the chance to strengthen whānau relationships and missing out on relationships with peers and teachers.

The paper invites us to consider how we can make use of these views to improve our contribution to a just and equitable education system in Aotearoa in mana enhancing ways for parents and whānau.

How can we learn from school-led learning at home to improve home-led learning at school?

Author: Jane Nicholls, Publications Lead, Evaluation Associates.

Jane’s work is underpinned by the principles of Universal Design for Learning. She designs effective, engaging, user-friendly, culturally responsive and inclusive content.