Tekau: 10 Years of Ako Mātātupu | Call for Papers

Tekau: 10 Years of Ako Mātātupu | Call for Papers

Sep 10, 2022 - Publications

A call for contributions to our Kairapu anthology of essays & reflections on education and social change! Celebrating Tekau: 10 Years of Ako Mātātupu would be impossible without the voices of Kairapu (change-seekers in education & society). What have we learned about teaching and social justice since we started on the programme? What have we learned from our students? How have *we* changed, as people? Check out the details!

Call for papers

Te Ahitū | Stand in the Fire

A Kairapu collection of essays and reflections, as part of
Tekau: 10 Years of Ako Mātātupu

Submit your 1000-word submissions to: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Ten years ago, in 2012, Ako Mātātupu gathered together the very first Teach First NZ Programme cohort of social justice-focused trainee teachers, formed our first relationships with schools serving low-socio-economic communities, launched our first Summer Intensive, and began partnered navigation with and between government, secondary, tertiary, nonprofit, community and Indigenous-led spaces. It was an audacious thing to do. So much about our shared vision is simple: all young people realising their potential. At the same time our work, and these partnerships, are exceedingly complex - and necessarily so. All the best things come when we develop our tolerance for nuance, and nurture the spaces between people and positionings. A lot of people lent their knowledge and courage in the fledgling days. There were a great deal of unknowns and an incredible amount of good faith from everyone that leant their oar to the waka. The first Summer Intensive felt something like this: if these precious new teachers are going to connect with our precious young ones, then let's connect here in a nourishing and stimulating home harbour together, with high trust and high expectations. Maybe that's still what guides us all, ten years later.

As Moana Jackson shared in Toi Tū Toi Ora, "what people hold most dear when they are safe and free [is] a sense of faith in themselves and a belief that they can determine their own destiny.” Our hopes in education and in Aotearoa are as beautiful as that: safety, freedom, belief, self-determination. The Ako Mātātupu vision started out with a dream that "all young people realise their potential, regardless of their background". We all soon realised that there is no regardless about it. We exist to see young people realise, live, celebrate and share their potential because of their background, because of their community, because of their whakapapa. At the very least, education settings should not stand in the way of these strengths. Do no harm applies to education as well as health. Doing the least is non-negotiable but we dream and live for best-case scenarios together. All young scholars deserve nourishing and stimulating spaces to be and grow into who they are.

If whakapapa means to place in layers then part of maturing as an organisation means not only celebrating our own path, but appreciating the layered decades and centuries of struggle, effort and connection in the work of rethreading what education means here in these islands. As you have each joined this work, you have brought with you the whakapapa of your own ancestors, and the whakapapa of your forebears and contemporaries in kura, universities, activism, governance, iwi, families, arts and sports, literal schools and metaphorical schools of thought. Our constellation of histories (and therefore our constellation of possibilities) has grown immensely. We are blessed to have gained the trust of incredible people. Maybe marking our own ten years is more about standing back in sheer awe and gratitude for all the intersecting lives, loves, and knowledges that have taken a leap and given time and energy to Ako Mātātupu to grow the kaupapa. We're on the journey towards realising our potential as an organisation - and more importantly our shared potential as a movement. Realising our potential is only possible because of our backgrounds.

It would be impossible to celebrate Tekau: 10 Years of Ako Mātātupu without the voices, stories, and visions of Kairapu. We seek to celebrate your growth, challenges, service, rangahau, and all the affective parts of seeking social justice, too - the anger, joy, love, hilarity, heartbreak, absurdity, and steadfastness. You are each so unique, yet also each in common possession of the disposition to seek social justice and the kinds of conditions that let tauira triumph. What are those conditions? What do your ancestors tell you? What have you learned? And where should we be heading - as educators, as students, as activists, as schools, or as a society?

Essay Prompts
These writing prompts are derived from the names of our three most recent cohorts, and the world-making wero implicit in each generative metaphor. Feel free to pick, choose, combine, or make your own. All voices and stories are welcome. This includes young people, too. If you have a student who has written/spoken on these topics already - or has a fire in them to do so - then we are all ears. Most people will submit via written Google or Word Doc, but other formats (e.g. video) are welcome, too.

1. Te Ahitū: The Fire | Social Change
Tama tū, tama ora, tama moe, tama mate
What is the change that’s needed at this time?
What change are you trying to make?
What bigger forces must we agitate?
How have you changed in the course of the programme, or in the years post-programme?
What is the importance of Indigenous-led social change?
What will a Tiriti-led Aotearoa look like?
Rangatahi inspiration: Zeba Bahadur’s piece in The Spinoff

2. Ururoa: The Fight | Teaching and Learning
Kaua e mate wheke me mate ururoa
What was your Ako (teaching & learning) Philosophy when you first began as a teacher, and how has it changed since?
What’s love got to do with it? What does a loving social justice classroom look like?
Pedagogies of joy: laughter and exuberance as community methodologies
What does fulfilling potential look like, in the context of a classroom/workplace/community/life?
Decolonisation and disciplines: how do we change the game/dissolve the silos?
What can it mean to re-Indigenise education?
Rangatahi: what do students dream for education to look like?

3. Tū Takitini: Standing Together | Serving Community
• What is the importance of standing together at this time - whether that be as a cohort, organisation, community group, or Pacific nation?
• What does authentic partnership mean?
• What does it mean to lead via service?
• What makes life good? What’s keeping us going in hard times?
• How do we care for self and others? Is a balance possible?
• How do we teu le vā?
• Rangatahi inspiration: Takaimaania Ngata-Henare on Race Unity

Essay submissions
Please send your essay/reflection [≈1000 word limit] with a short bio to us (timing negotiable):

[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

Context and culmination
This call for papers arises out of Tekau: 10 Years of Ako Mātātupu. Our Kairapu essays will be shared as part of our wayfinding and celebratory season.

  • Ako Mātātupu Evening Celebration
    Due Drop Events Centre (formerly Vodafone Events Centre)
    770 Great South Road, Wiri
    Saturday 10 December
    RSVP your number of attendees to [email protected]

Mālō ‘aupito!

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