Kōkirihia – the plan to end streaming in our schools
In 2019 Tokona te Raki published a research report, He Awa Ara Rau – A Journey of many Paths (link), in collaboration with Waikato-Tainui, BERL and The Southern Institute. The report tracked 70,000+ rangatahi Māori on their journey through education and into employment, with a view to better understanding what propels them forward, the barriers to success they encounter, and the potential levers for change. One of the most significant barriers identified was the negative impacts of streaming – a pedagogy, that despite a wealth of global research data highlighting the harms it can do, remains a common practice in Aotearoa schools. At every level of our schooling system, including ‘innovative learning environments’, the norm is for students to be placed in classes or groups based on ‘perceived’ ability.
Following on from the release of He Awa Ara Rau, Tokona te Raki began to look more deeply at the harmful impacts of streaming and at alternative approaches to teaching and in 2020 released Ending Streaming in Aotearoa.
Momentum has been building at each step of the journey with multiple champions lending their support and providing valuable contributions. The Ministry of Education report He Whakaaro – Does Streaming Work, which provides a review of a wide range of research locally and globally, has been instrumental in informing our progress.
In early 2021, representatives from the Ministry of Education and the Mātauranga Iwi Leaders Group came to Tokona te Raki with a tono – to bring together the education leaders across the sector and design the action plan to drive the desired outcome – ending streaming in Aotearoa. Our design team included representation from: Mātauranga Iwi Leaders Group, rangatahi, high school principals, MoE, NZEI, CORE Education, universities, PPTA, PLD providers, NZQA, and ERO. This action plan is the collective wisdom of this team and is designed to complement the many initiatives the MoE have in motion to ensure equity in education. Kōkirihia – the plan to end streaming in our schools is the action plan which is now in its final stages of design and is scheduled to be released in parliament in late February/early March 2023.