We know that Maori students, in particular, Maori boys, are sadly often over-represented in the tail end of our educational achievement curve.
As such, we often find them in starring roles in many school’s achievement targets. It appears that many of our Māori boys are underachieving across the board, and most notably in writing.
More importantly, they appear to be achieving at a substantially lower standard than female classmates are, and most certainly in comparison to Pakeha / European students of their same age, and in the same learning environments.
Therefore, it makes sense that we must have achievement targets aimed at improving the achievement of Māori boys in writing, doesn’t it?
On the other hand, is there more to this story?
Statements that may be born from teachers’ perceptions, and which are sitting beneath the targets relating to improving the writing achievement of our Maori boys:
• Māori boys do not like writing
• Māori boys find writing too hard
• Māori boys are disengaged in learning
• Māori boys misbehave and distract others
• Māori boys have a bad attitude and/or a closed mindset
• Māori boys have a poor work ethic
• Māori boys get little or no support at home
Now, it might be that some, all, or none of these statements are true for our Māori boys.
However, my wondering is this:
How do we know?
And what is the story behind this data?