Technology Education New Zealand (TENZ) recently gained funding from the Ministry of Education for a new initiative to provide professional learning and development for school teachers. Meet the Matanga (Expert Mentor) Project.
The ability to function in a technologically mediated world and be future-focused is a global and national priority. The Ministry’s recent curriculum revision emphasises the role of Digital Technology in education and provides new opportunities to provide professional learning and development to enable technology teachers to develop their technical, computational, and technological thinking.
The Matanga Project was purposefully designed by TENZ to foster teachers’ professional identity and engagement with the new technology curriculum. It aims to support the development of communities of practice in technology education at local, regional, and national levels.
What is TENZ?
TENZ – Technology Education NZ – is a professional, collaborative network, which aims to:
- Foster the development of technology education in New Zealand;
- Develop and maintain national and international links between those working in technology education and with the wider technological community;
- Support professional, curriculum, and resource development in technology education;
- Encourage and support research in technology education;
- Organise a national, biennial technology education conference; and
- Work closely with other subject associations for the mutual benefit of technology education.
Local, regional and national expertise
The overarching, long-term goal of the project is to provide self-sustaining professional development in response to community needs. It is envisaged that once established, teachers will be able to connect to local, regional and national expertise, through established digital networks.
There are also opportunities for teachers to upgrade their qualifications through participation in postgraduate work, using the established relationship between TENZ and the University of Waikato. This agreement facilitates TENZ provided and verified PLD credit towards a Masters paper in Technology education.
The programme is based on the premise that technology education should be problem based, authentic, learner-centred and future-focused in nature. The intention is to support technology teachers’ evolving pedagogical practice and find ways to explore practices. Future-focused practices are inclusive of digital pedagogies, and designed to develop students’ critical and creative thinking.
Last year, expressions of interest were sought from teachers to either be Matanga or participant teachers. Face-to-face meetings were held in Auckland, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Wellington, and Christchurch during November and December, to meet the participants, initiate Ma-tanga and teacher relationships, and outline the nature of the project.
Four online modules
During 2019, technology teachers will be supported by Matanga to develop their curriculum understandings when working through four online modules:
Goal setting – to self reflect and determine which areas of curriculum understanding will be a focus;
Curriculum meaning making – developing curriculum understandings that are authentic, learner-centred and future-focused in nature;
Anchored instruction – Co-constructing a context to teach, making curriculum links, seeking student feedback, using the teaching as inquiry model from the New Zealand Curriculum, to guide professional practice; and
Reflective practice – Connecting teachers’ practice with the professional standards.
Matanga and teachers will work together online to engage with each module. Zoho Connect, will be used to communicate, collaborate and develop networks of expertise in technology education. Work generated in this context can be used to generate an e-portfolio of evidence for teacher certification (Education Council of Aotearoa, New Zealand, 2017). Participants have also been encouraged to present their work at the TENZ Conference in 2019.
Elizabeth Reinsfield is a TENZ PLP Coordinator and Lecturer in Te Hononga Curriculum and Pedagogy at University of Waikato.
For more information about the project go to tenz.org.nz