Lynda Stuart

Lynda Stuart

Liberating creative practice

Kia ora e hoa ma.

Well, what a first half of 2018 we have had. NZEI Te Riu Roa is certainly focussed on the future of education in this country. I have been particularly proud of the work that has happened in getting the message out there that there is no replacement needed for National Standards.

NZEI Te Riu Roa, along with the Ministry of Education, has been involved in organising curriculum hui across this country. (There are links on this website to some of the inspiring talks at these hui.)

Educators and researchers came together to relaunch the early childhood curriculum with the wonderful Te Whāriki added to the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Mauratanga o Aotearoa. The focus has been on liberating our teachers and enabling them to be inspired and reinvigorated about our wonderful curricula and the opportunities to be creative in teaching and learning programmes.

We focus on the curricula in this first issue of our new professional journal, Ako. Educators share their wonderful and innovative practice and some of the thinking behind it. We also see some examples of the concept of ako – where everyone is a teacher and learner. This has inspired the title of this new journal.

I hope that you will find much to enjoy and use from this new publication and website as you continue the wonderful work that you do as educators of our nation’s children.


Lynda Stuart is the NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Te Manukura

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Asking the big questions

Kia ora koutou. It is great to have the opportunity to contribute to Ako. I am really pleased that this issue is focussed on language, as it is top of mind for me. As I write, I am transitioning into the role of President after being a teacher at Ross Intermediate. During 2019, I helped lead the development of our local curriculum, and the downside to my new role is that I won’t be there to help with the implementation of it – but I back our team at school. Language became a central concept as we went through our process. We asked all the big questions – what is a curriculum, what should tamariki be learning, what is the role of parents, what is our role in preparing ākonga for high school? – and after all that, we agreed that a local curriculum needs to put ākonga at the centre. By this, we didn’t mean generic ākonga – I’m not sure if those even exist.  What we meant is that we had to develop a curriculum to meet the needs of every ākonga we are lucky enough to have come through our door. This required us to start from

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Enabling positive change

Kia ora e hoa mā. This winter 2019 issue of Ako focusses on community and the different  ways it is evidenced within education. There are many quotes about the power of community but one that really resonates with me is this from Meg Wheatley, an American writer and management consultant with expertise in organisational behaviour: “There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.” When I think about community, I think about the many different communities that I have the privilege to be a part of, many of whom are focussed on enabling positive change within education. There’s the community that is NZEI Te Riu Roa, made up of members from  across the education landscape – we know the power of the collective, we know that all of us working together to achieve a common goal is so very powerful, we know that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This year, we have seen proof of this – and we can be proud of how we have taken the wider community of Aotearoa with us. There’s the community that is NZEI Te Riu Roa, made up of members from across the education

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