24 July 2024

Empower students

In the ngahere we nurture our plants daily, helping them to become resilient and independent. Build students’ identity and empower them to be courageous, confident, compassionate, and curious.

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Explore rangatira­tanga – self-determination

Explore rangatira­tanga – self-determination

Offer students ongoing opportunities to learn their culture. This can have a significant impact on a student’s self-respect and readiness to learn.

Teachers can help by:

  • acknowledging learners’ expertise, for example, their knowledge of a particular place or cultural convention, and inviting them to share their knowledge and experience with class members
  • taking the role of a facilitator of learning rather than the holder of knowledge
  • inviting students with specific skills to teach their peers and the teacher
  • encouraging students to invent – bring something new into being
  • enabling students to develop a sense of their own identity through making art works
  • suggesting students make a series of photographs about an issue or interest they feel passionate about
  • talking with students about where and how their work might best be displayed
  • supporting students to create opportunities to exhibit, publish or perform their work beyond the classroom
  • encouraging and supporting students to develop their own wellbeing initiatives.

Seek and respond to student voice

Seek and respond to student voice

The Lundy model of child participation proposes children are given the opportunity to express a view and are facilitated to express their views. Those view are listened to and acted upon, as appropriate.

Develop systems for student feedback

Develop systems for student feedback

At Otumoetai Intermediate School, Student Learning Leaders learn how to undertake structured classroom observations focused on teaching and learning. The students and staff discuss the process and its impact.

Support self-advocacy with learner profiles

Support self-advocacy with learner profiles

Create opportunities where students can tell you what supports their learning and what gets in the way.

Having students create a learner profile for themselves is a great way to have them develop a better and fuller understanding of who they are as learners ...

This develops their independence and places them in a better position to self-advocate for the tools, learning materials, and presentation options that can optimise their learning experiences.

Naryn Searcy

Source: UDL Resource (opens in a new tab/window)

UDL Resource

Support choice making

Support choice making

Teach students how to make choices that help them be effective learners. Provide supported opportunities to practice choice making.


  • Steadily increase the options on offer.
  • Regularly touch base with students to review making choices.

Areas where choice could be offered

  • Where to study
  • Who to work with
  • Timetable for the day
  • When to take a food or stretch break
  • How to demonstrate their learning
  • The text or topic for an inquiry
  • The subject of creative work.

Source: CompetencyWorks (opens in a new tab/window)

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Foster relationships and partnerships”:

Return to the guide “Behaviour and learning”

Guide to Index of the guide: Behaviour and learning

Strategies for action: