Tuesday, December 1, 2020

MIT-2020: Rising to the Challenge of Design Thinking

 The 2020 cohort of Manaiakalani Innovative Teachers (MIT-2020) rose to the challenge of collaborating with colleagues from around the country in the year of COVID disruption and lockdowns and produced exceptional outcomes through a design thinking process.

To explore their final presentations, delivered to the principals from the Manaiakalani Network at the annual wananga in October, use the links attached to the names of the eight teachers below. Most of the presentations were updated in December after final academic data had been collated.

Alethea Dejong

Learning through Listening

Sarah Daly

Accelerating Reading

Comprehension Through


Kerianna Stirling

 Ka rere te Reo

Kiriwai Tapuke

Transition from Primary

to Secondary School

Angela Seyb

Algebra as a key pathway

to senior maths 

Tanya Mundy

Creating Writers

Jo Gormly

Engaging whanau in


Sonali Carter

Supporting teachers

implement  ENGAGE

We did not know how important our first hui of the year was going to be as we all travelled to a small seaside spot in the Coromandel to pitch tents and spend a few days getting to know each other and embarking on a design thinking journey. With plenty of time for recreation and reflection, we formed friendships and collegial relationships and began to wrestle with the 'wicked problems' each teacher had brought to the group.

Group members went back to our own regions enthused and committed to making an impact on the learners, whānau and colleagues we would be working with in 2020.  We were due to regather in March in Auckland for the next step in the journey.  This was not to be as COVID-19 disrupted all our plans and we quickly moved to an online environment to continue supporting each other.

This also meant that for most people the design and focus of the project they were planning needed an overhaul, and everyone was up for that.

We were delighted to be able to come together at the end of the year and present the projects and tools that had been designed to the principals of the Manaiakalani and Outreach schools at the annual wananga. About 150 people were in attendance and feedback from the audience included gratitude for the resources that had been gifted to them and admiration for the resilience and expertise demonstrated by this group of teachers.

Feel free to use and onshare any of the resources created by the MIT-2020 team, with acknowledgement.

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