Leading to the North East

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Leading to the North East

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Keywords : Russell Bishop


Ensuring the fidelity of relationship-based learning.

Russell Bishop demonstrates how North-East leadership practices in North-East schools support North-East teachers to address our most pressing educational issues, with a special focus on the ‘literacy crisis’ as an indicator of the wider crises in education.

Special attention is given to how North-East school principals lead and support other school-level leaders to challenge and remedy the disproportionate impact that educational disparities have on Māori and other marginalised students. They do so by supporting teachers to implement effective relationship-based, culturally-responsive pedagogies with tikanga; that is, with the fidelity of implementation necessary to realise their outcomes as expected.

The author presents a model that enables school principals and other school leaders to transform their schools into North-East Learning Institutions by:

  • setting goals for equity, excellence, and cultural sustainability.
  • implementing a pedagogic approach that ensures these goals are realised.
  • implementing in-school support systems that ensures the pedagogy is implemented with fidelity over time, value is added to learning and decision-making and problem-solving are evidence-based. These systems include infrastructure, leadership, means of including parents and community leaders and evidence.
  • taking ownership of the approach by planning, resourcing and reviewing to ensure the support systems work as designed, over time

The problem of Māori underachievement is endemic because we allow it, falsely label it, blame the culture and students, and believe it is intractable.  Russell Bishop shows that we already know how to truly improve the learning lives of Māori (and thence all other students), such that their culture is not left at the gate.  His anger, insights, and hope imbue this book, from the 3 case schools, the model of learning and instruction, and his lifetime evidence of the major impacts of his program.  He shows that it only takes 2 years for every school in NZ to truly make a difference IF we want to and commit to Bishop’s fundamental premises and ideas.  It can be done, it has been done, it should be done.

Emeritus Professor John Hattie. University of Melbourne

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