SPANZ Day 2: Keynote address - Leading for Equity: Laurayne Tafa, Equity as a Measurement for Leadership


Laurayne Tafa - Education Consultant, Cognition Education

Mihimihi/Acknowledgements - Laurayne acknowledged the work of Dr Russell Bishop and the work on which her presentation is based. 

Link to Teaching to the North-East - Relationship-based and his writing of his upcoming book - Leading to the North-East. 

'o le alai le pule o le tautua' - The pathway to leadership is through service. Acknowledgement of Barbara Ala'alatoa.

Shout out to Kiri Turketo for convincing Laurayne (and Damon) to attend. 

Leaders who accelerate equity:

Five key success factors

1. Recognise and reject any deficit theories for these disparities 

  • Leaders who can recognise and reject deficit language, theories and discourses are not debilitated by the downward spiral effect. 
  • Equal support and equal status for ākonga Māori and mātauranga Māori. Integrating the hidden curriculum discourse. 
2. Know where disparities exist - and target why they exist.

  • Knowing how your system is failing groups of students and teachers is key to equity leadership.
  • Use evidence to identify WHERE and explanations to identify the WHY.
  • As system is reflective of leader's discourse. Consider your position and what it this legitimises.
Question - How do you explain why some students are successful and others are not in your system? 

3.  Implement and monitor and monitor a proven pedagogical intervention.

  • The most critical intervention are those between learner and teacher - then the focus needs to be on relationships and teaching pedagogies in the classroom,  
  • Where culture counts the most. 
  • The pedagogical interventions that should interest the most are the proven ones with evidence from classrooms that accelerate educational outcomes for Indigenous, Pasifika and the marginalised groups. 
Question - If you asked any teacher what the preferred/expected pedagogies are....what would they recite? Does a clear common code of practice guide pedagogical choices? Do they work for all learners?

4. Own your professional learning system.

  • Make the effectiveness of teaching the single most important focus for teachers.
  • Actively manage competing priorities for teachers.
  • Promote and coordinate the activities that best promote professional learning.
  • Bring theory, practice and impact on student together. 
  • Create expert teachers - through a culture of collaboration and change.
  • Non-judgemental evidence based feedback on proven pedagogies.
To be respectfully supported to:
  • make sense of the evidence
  • confronted prevailing discourses that are harmful and ineffective and
  • reform these practices. 
Question How many school wide department specific interventions are active? Know what is working and why - allows you to be self-determining and to respond positively to the cultural and learning needs for teachers. 

5. Lead system change.

  • Be ready to respond with structural reform. 
  • Asking the hard questions of our system.
  • High quality, robust, reliable and balanced data sets.
  • Preparedness to re-organise institutionalised frameworks.
  • Engage in problem-solving talk. Not war stories. 
Question - How are you making yourself aware of... how/if your leadership decisions are enabling or creating barriers to the equity agenda at all levels of the system. 

He koha - I laid it down, you pick it up. You pick it up on behalf of your whole community. 


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