In October 2015, the annual Teach For All Global Conference was held in Auckland, New Zealand, where more than 200 members of the Teach For All community from 43 countries gathered together to learn from each other and from New Zealand's unique multicultural context.
Teach For All is the global network of independent, locally-led partner organisations with a shared vision for increased educational opportunity in their countries. Each partner runs programmes similar to Teach First NZ, focused on recruiting top talent to teach in their nations’ high-need classrooms, and continuing to support them as alumni in their commitment to reducing educational inequality over the long term.
The annual Teach For All Global Conference draws together CEOs, teachers, alumni, supporters and board members of Teach For All partners across the world, along with local education partners and supporters, and serves to inspire and challenge them about their work towards educational excellence for all. Previous Global Conferences have been held in Mexico, China, Chile, India, Germany, and the UK.
In October 2015, The 2015 Global Conference was held in Auckland, New Zealand, where more than 200 members of the Teach For All community from 43 countries gathered together to learn from each other and from New Zealand's unique multicultural context. Throughout the three-day event, this diverse group of network CEOs, staff, supporters, alumni, and advocates sought to strengthen relationships, explore the value of partnerships, and engage with and learn from the communities in which Teach First NZ works. The theme of the Global Conference was “Hoea ngātahitia ki kō atu”, or “paddling together takes us further together”.
The international guests were welcomed on the first day with a Pōwhiri which featured students from Massey High School and community leaders, spent time learning about New Zealand's thought-provoking approach to putting culture at the centre of learning (through speakers including Dame Anne Salmond), and were inspired by powerful examples of impact and exciting innovations from across the Teach For All network.
The second day of the Global Conference was all about learning from New Zealand's unique historical, cultural, and educational contexts. The Teach For All community spent the morning visiting schools throughout Auckland to gain a deeper understanding of what culturally responsive, relationship-based teaching looks like in the city's diverse classrooms (through experts such as Professor Russell Bishop). In the afternoon, local iwi Ngāti Whātua, warmly welcomed the group of more than 200 onto Ōrākei Marae, where the family- and community-centered Māori culture and its fundamental role in Aotearoa New Zealand's history was further explored.
The Māori concept of ako, which connotes a reciprocal learning relationship between student and teacher, was evident in much of what was experienced, both during school visits and on the marae.
On the final day of the 2015 Teach For All Global Conference, around 200 local New Zealand educators and education advocates joined the international Teach For All community and helped push collective thinking about the value of strong partnerships in every aspect of the global network’s work. Teachers, students, community leaders, and other change-makers from within and outside the network shared their perspectives and experiences on topics as diverse as STEM education, mobilizing communities, and fostering student leadership, and challenged us all to consider how to apply these insights in our own contexts.
As the Global Conference drew to a close, former Māori Party leader Sir Pita Sharples reminded us that before we can paddle together, we must have the right people in our canoe, facing the right way.
Click here to view more videos from the conference.
Click here for the full conference website, agenda and speaker list
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Click here to view photos from the conference
In the Media
Wendy Kopp and Brett Wigdortz in the NZ Herald
Wendy Kopp on Q+A
Brittany Packnett on Radio NZ
Shaun Sutton (CEO)'s Conference Op-ed and Post-Conference Reflection
Jeremy Downing's video blog