This website, Te Arapiki Ako, supports the professional development and learning of educators who are working to strengthen the literacy and numeracy skills of adults studying and working in New Zealand.
Use of images on this site
The entrance to this website is designed around the concept of mārama. The images represent the notion of of ‘coming into light’. Mārama is to be clear, light (not dark), easy to understand, lucid, bright, transparent. These states of being mirror the process and outcomes of becoming literate.
The images were produced for the website by photographer Simone Magner (Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Awa, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Tainui).
The TEC acknowledges the design and concept development work of Dr. Herman Pi’ikea Clark, Professor and Director of Tokorau Institute of Indigenous Innovation at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.
A number of symbols and images have been used throughout this site and in the Learning Progressions.
The koru (in its mature forms, the pikopiko) was chosen as the symbol for the steps in each progression because it is a familiar and valued image for New Zealanders and because its natural and gradually unfolding growth pattern could be seen to reflect the process of successful learning, or ako. As fronds mature, new fronds begin to grow, nourished and sheltered by the work of the existing fronds, the plant’s root system and a favourable environment. Pikopiko is an indigenous food picked directly from ngahere (the forest) that can give and sustain life. In the same way, ako can give and sustain intellectual and spiritual life.
Flax / harakeke
Flax/harakeke is a plant that is unique to New Zealand and is one of our oldest plant species. Different varieties were grown by Māori specifically grown for their strength, softness, colour and fibre content. The uses of the flax fibre were numerous and varied however today it is most commonly used for weaving. Today’s weaving is both traditional and contemporary, functional and beautiful.
Many woven articles display a pattern. The pattern is made overt and explicit by the weavers actions of purposefully changing the technique or (weaving strategy) to reveal a new sequence. This new sequence is revealed as a pattern when the weaver steps back from her work and looks upon the finished product. Sometimes a weaver may choose to use colour to define a pattern by placing the coloured strips of harakeke (flax) in a sequence. Sometimes the weaver may choose to change the sequence of the weaving technique itself. These are two such techniques for weaving a pattern. There are a few important steps to take when weaving a pattern for example in a kete (basket). The steps are taken before, during and after the weaving process for example: if a weaver is using colour to highlight the pattern then this must be decided before weaving commences in the preparation phase and harakeke must by dyed accordingly. During the weaving process the weaver must remember to place the coloured strips (whenu) in the correct place. Then after the kete is complete then the handles must be woven into place. These may be a combination of the colours used in the pattern.
When a pattern is woven into an article it is done so to reveal an explicit display of craftsmanship. In the same way deliberate acts of teaching are carried out purposefully as a before, during and after exercise. The literacy and numeracy teaching activities found in the Learning Progressions for Adults have a particular ‘guided teaching and learning sequence’. By following this framework embedding literacy and numeracy becomes explicit and overt. Therefore revealing a pattern or ‘an explicit display of craftsmanship’ from a teaching and learning perspective.
Weaving with harakeke is therefore used as one example of how the embedding of literacy and numeracy may proceed.