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  6.  — Relational learning in practice

Relational learning in practice

A range of teaching practices to support relationship-rich learning.

There are several key questions that are helpful as we consider how we create the learning environments and experiences which will build and sustain these relationships. For example, how do different teaching approaches enable students to build connection with their discipline, with their teachers, with their peers, with place and with their evolving sense of themselves? How do the choices we make as educators contribute to the sense of belonging and meaning needed for student success?

Three students testing a car's electrical systems

How might staff support relational learning in their practice?

Create opportunities for cohort building within or across programmes.

Encourage collaborative practices that maximise students’ opportunities to engage with and learn from their peers.

Develop learning environments where students and staff are relationally and actively engaged.

Where practical, support place-based learning with environments and communities and establish links with work contexts.

Locate learning ‘in time’.

Māori staff may practice Indigenous pedagogies such as kaupapa Māori pedagogies.

Pacific staff may practice Indigenous pedagogies that centre Pacific values and knowledge systems, such as ako (which means both to learn and to teach) as a process that involves learning and reflecting,1 where both the learner and teacher benefit from the sharing of knowledge.2

Provide opportunities for learners and teachers to dialogue about the learning experience.

Make use of quality blended learning designs that embrace connectivity and participation.

Relational learning in practice

Page updated 22/02/2023 (minor edit)

  1. Morrison, Sandra L., and Timote M. Vaioleti. “Ako–A traditional learning concept for Maori and Pacific youth, and its relationship to lifelong learning.” Bildung und Erziehung 64, no. 4 (2011): 395-408.
  2. Tomoana, Ria, and Whitireia New Zealand. “Sharing successful teaching and learning strategies for Māori, Pacific, and Youth learners.” Whitireia, New Zealand: An Ako Aotearoa Publication (2012).
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