keynote SPEAKERS

dr. Melinda Webber

Student agency and cultural responsiveness - The Purpose, Power and Promise of Culturally Responsive Practice: taking a strengths-based approach to foster Māori success. 

Melinda will be sharing the importance of whānau aspiration, school connectedness, and mana (cultural pride and honour) to Māori student success and wellbeing at school. She argues that if we want to implement school initiatives to increase cultural efficacy, pride and aspiration, and consequently accelerate Māori student potential and wellbeing at school - we need initiatives that acknowledge and speak to the lofty aspirations, goals and rich histories of Māori students. We must celebrate the whakapapa of Māori students and become more familiar with what enables Māori wellbeing and success at school, and how communities themselves conceptualise it. Our curriculum should be localised to ensure they learn as much about Sir Hekenukumai Busby, the great ocean navigator, as they do about Sir Edmund Hillary. We need to ensure Māori students know that they descend from greatness too. We need to arm them with powerful and promising narratives that speak back to the negative stereotypes and ruinous stories about Māori they see in the mainstream media. This 'cultural turn' in education is critical for Māori student wellbeing and engagement in learning.

dR. David mitchell

What Makes a Good Teacher? Reflections from a pupil, teacher and researcher.

In this presentation, David will reflect on his experiences as a pupil growing up on the West Coast, as a teacher in primary and intermediate schools in Canterbury and at the University of Waikato, as a school psychologist in Gisborne/East Coast, and as a researcher and writer.  He will draw out several principles of good teaching, illustrated with examples from his diverse experiences. Many of these are described in the third edition of What Really Works in Special and Inclusive Education (2020) and his books The Ecology of Inclusive Education,  and Diversities in Education (2017). They include such features as expectations, differentiation, structured teaching, deep learning, experiential learning, learning as social activity, Universal Design for Learning, inclusive education, and the Dodo Bird Conjecture.