Schools are cross sections of society where social (human) interactions are used to enable learning to take place - holistically! People learn by and from one another through Observing, Imitating and then copying or Activating new skills, knowledge or behaviours.
Whānau or family is the strongest and most effective social construct in our world, and we have modelled this organisation and structure in the way we do things at Te Manawa ō Pāpāmoa School.
Te Manawa ō Pāpāmoa School has been structured to support and enable the strengths that each kaimanawa (learner) brings with them to kura using the whānau construct of Tuakana Teina, which is heavily entrenched in the way a whānau works.
What is the concept of Tuakana Teina?
Tuakana-Teina” is a Maori concept referring to the relationship between an older sibling (Tuakana) and a younger sibling (Teina).
Tuakana/Teina is specific to teaching and learning contexts, and this can take a variety of forms:
Older to younger – the Tuakana has the knowledge and content to pass on to the Teina.
Younger to older – the Teina has some skills in an area that the Tuakana does not and is able to teach the Tuakana.
Peer to peer – Teina teaches Teina, Tuakana teaches Tuakana.
Able to less able – the learner may not be as able in an area, and someone more skilled can teach what is required.
Why Multi Age Āko Hapori (Learning Communities) at Te Manawa ō Pāpāmoa School?
Schools and junior sporting teams are quite possibly the only locations in society where people of the same age are grouped or have to work together. So not only do schools not represent the rest of society they also do not prepare students to work with others who have differing ages therefore significantly differing levels of experience.
Multi Age Āko Hapori (Learning Communities) at Te Manawa ō Pāpāmoa School provides an opportunity for symbiosis or cross pollination between our Kaimanawa. Our older Kaimanawa (Tuakana), primarily but not exclusively, bring manaakitanga (leading with moral purpose, aroha and empathy), Ako (being a learner), pono (having self belief), and āwhinatanga (guiding and supporting) to each group and our younger Kaimanawa (Teina) bring wonderment, awe and enthusiasm. There are times throughout the day that Kaimanawa of similar ages will come together to learn or be, just as there are other times that our kaimanawa of similar interests will have time to learn and be with one another. There has been a significant growth in awareness of others, empathy, tolerance, care and respect between kaimanawa since our establishment in 2022.