Dara Davenport, recipient of an award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching in 2012

Dara says:

“I have come to learn that our ‘kete’ is full when you get to know the learner and consider their emotional, physical, mental and spiritual well-being. When you find out what they want to learn, use meaningful resources, acknowledge what the learner already knows and brings with them and when you use their current skills as a starting point for developing tuition.

I have come to learn that when working collaboratively in an environment of care, where individual progress is celebrated, the fabric of a learner’s life can change.

I have come to learn that learning does not remain with the individual but touches the lives of their whanau and their communities.

I have come to learn that Maori pedagogy is not only for Maori, but is effective for many cultures.

I have come to learn that the relationship between the tutor and the learner is central to effective learning.

I have come to learn that education involves the heart as well as the head.

I have come to learn of the strength required to come forward and ask for help in a society that judges people to be ‘dumb’ if they are unable to read, write or do maths.

I have come to learn that there is always more to learn, that you can never stop and say, “I know all there is to know about this”, that there is always something out there to improve my knowledge base and to improve my practice.

My greatest learning, however, has come from the literacy learners themselves.  They have shared their lives and their hearts.  They have shared strategies that have worked and I have been privileged to be able to take these, add them to my ‘kete’ and share them with others. “