Whitecliffe staff member holding up a conversation card used to help improve professional conversations


Ako Aotearoa to celebrate 2023 Tapatoru programme awardees and launch new Tapatoru pathway

5 October 2023 Supporting learners, Learner access and pathways, Pacific learner success, Māori learner success, Workplace learning

We are delighted to announce that kaimahi (staff) from three tertiary organisations from across Aotearoa New Zealand have achieved the Tapatoru Ako Professional Practice Award (a values-led approach to tertiary education).

Congratulations to the Te Mahi Ako, Whitecliffe College and Skills4Work kaimahi (staff) for this exciting achievement.

Tapatoru facilitator Graeme Smith praises Te Mahi Ako, Whitecliffe College and Skills4Work for their “unwavering commitment” to vocational education and their ākonga (learners).

“They not only have a love for teaching but also a deep-rooted passion for the success of their students. Their resilience, dedication, and love for learning make them truly amazing individuals, and it's been an honour to support them on their Tapatoru journey.”

Tapatoru facilitator Annette Tofaeono says it was “a privilege” to learn about the mahi (work) of these organisations and mutually share knowledge and learning.

“It was a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding experience for us, and we hope it was the same for our educators.”

Here is what each organisation had to say about their Tapatoru experience:

“Every session was valuable, and I gained new and built on existing skills and ako (knowledge) – especially the courage to use both Te Reo and Pasifika vocabulary more confidently. Each session inspired and motivated my practices both as QM and trainer” – Desiree Gelbart, Quality Manager/Trainer, Skills4Work.

“We teach day to day and are not always aware of the impact we have on a student’s wellbeing. Tapatoru helped me reflect and reinforce what I was already practicing and helped sharpen the areas I needed more knowledge on. The outcome is a better teaching experience for my students and Whitecliffe” – Pip Stevenson, Lecturer, Whitecliffe.

“The Tapatoru process was a great example of how to do workplace training. The facilitators gave us mana by asking for our stories and experience which gave a lot of insight into just how much as a team we already knew. I recommend Tapatoru for any organisation who deals with learning, both internally and externally” – Jim McKendry, Programme Manager, Te Mahi Ako.

We warmly invite you to help celebrate this achievement in an online awards ceremony on Friday 27 October at 10am – register for free on our conferences and events webpage. We will also launch the new self-directed Tapatoru Online Educator Pathway on Pathways Awarua during this event.

About Tapatoru

Developed by Ako Aotearoa, Tapatoru is a values-based professional development initiative focused on fostering inclusive and effective learning environments and elevating the practice of tertiary educators and trainers.

The programme is built on four core values: Whanaungatanga (building relationships), Manaakitanga (showing respect and care), Wairuatanga (nurturing the spirit), and Aroha (empathy).

The Tapatoru Awards celebrate educators who excel in applying these values in their roles, thereby advancing a values-led approach to tertiary education.

The Tapatoru Online Educator Pathway

The new Tapatoru Online Educator Pathway is an evolving collection of free modules designed to introduce and support the main Tapatoru programme. While Tapatoru is a paid programme that involves regular coaching sessions with the programme facilitators and certification once completed, the Pathway allows individuals to explore the wide range of topics for free, at their own pace.

The Pathway currently has 37 modules, with more planned for next year. Each module includes a self-paced lesson with a combination of text, videos, reflective questions, and quizzes.

The lessons are designed to build understanding of various aspects of tertiary education in Aotearoa New Zealand, from core cultural values to practical tools for educators:

  • Introduction to Tapatoru
  • PLD Planning
  • Core Values of Tapatoru
  • Literacy and Numeracy
  • Māori Cultural Capability
  • Pacific Cultural Centredness
  • Learning Differences & Neurodiversity
  • Technology in Education
  • ESOL Teaching.

Tertiary education kaimahi (staff) can access this Pathway through an educator login on Pathways Awarua, following the Tapatoru awards ceremony on Friday 27 October.

A screenshot of the Tapatoru Pathway map.

A screenshot of the Tapatoru Pathway map.

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