Saturday, 27 July 2013

Learning Reflection One

Tena koutou katoa

I welcome the opportunity to refine my reflection processes, but by that same token I am hesitant to commit my thinking over the last three weeks to my blog. When I look at the journey I have travelled since 8th July there is a very strong C theme: change, copyright and Creative Commons. And tattooing. But that's a T and I'll come to that later.

There has been a distinct shift in what I imagined I was signing up for and where my research has taken me. Not that this is a bad place to be, but I had entered this course to look at a technology we were wanting to implement in the school, then perhaps look at a case study around this. Nice and safe, and not really requiring much of me. I am certainly in a different place by the end of week 3.

I haven't been engaged in distance learning for about a decade, so was impressed by the interface for the course. I did initially have difficulty remembering the pathways I needed to find the information for the first week of the course, although found those quite quickly. I did discover near the end of the first week that I had missed the page with the indicative readings and had a mild anxiety attack. Just mild.

I felt identifying an area of research within the first few days challenging, as I still felt I did not have an overview of the course and where it was going. This created a level of dis-ease for me, particularly when looking at what was required from me for the second assignment. I think the way Niki describes how innovations disrupt existing ecologies. My ecology was certainly disrupted!
My area of personal interest is around the impact of digital technologies on the notion of ownership of indigenous knowledge. This is particularly important for us as a school as our population is 100% Maori/ Pasefika. From my initial scope I found there was little available research, and most of this had been undertaken in Australia or Canada. I could not locate much local research. A local principal has the same area of interest and directed me to some foundation readings that have clarified what I am asking as I wasn't clear about that until midway through last week.

Board elections occurred recently, and I have the opportunity to work with the first board that I have shaped over the last two and a half years, and to look forward to where we are going over the next three year term.

Now the teaching and learning practices have been aligned to current pedagogy it is now time to step up from the micro to the macro level and identify what we need to look like and where we are going as a school. Our visioning process in 2011 generated our vision- Transforming Communities. Due to the nature of our community there is a belief that our children will be the agents of change in their homes, and that through their learning they will re-engage the adults around them in the process of learning. Many of our families have lived in the area for three generations, and many have had negative experiences of schooling. The regeneration of our community starts with our kids.

To achieve this we need to develop a responsive policy framework, and to do this we are beginning to consider the principles of the Treaty and how they look for us in our setting. Kaitiakitanga (guardianship) is a key principle of this process, and our challenge is how to promote and protect the indigenous knowledge located in our community?

This is where this research process gained traction. The change in our setting will be the introduction of a  kaitiakitanga framework and how Creative Commons can be used to protect and promote indigenous knowledge.
The research will also look at whether Creative Commons could be adapted to respond to the needs of our community.

I must say though that through this process I had the urge to scrap this completely and go back to looking at something a little bit familiar like how social media can be used to facilitate home/ school partnership. But I didn't.

And this is where the tattooing comes into play. I had booked two days of tattoo work months ago for the second week of the break. I had a three day residential in the first and our PLD for our teaching team this week, so a very small window was available. I downloaded over thirty readings to cover over two eight hour days. Just sitting.

My tattooist has a Masters of Fine Arts, so we began talking about his thesis, and the ownership of indigenous knowledge. We also talked about the development of archiving processes, and research methodology. By the morning of day two we were engaged in a critique of copyright and IP law. So I would like to say thanks Stan for giving me some clarity around my own thinking. I also wonder what CC attributes you would put on the beautiful tattoo work you have done on me.

Sometimes support comes from the most unlikely of places.


  1. Kia ora Wayne, I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog post and was reading quickly to find out about the tattoo part but slowed my reading down quickly to take in your wonderful reflection of your journey so far. In your writing comes a passion of your school, your culture and your commitment to your community. I can see commitment to your studies too and I am sure you will succeed. Kia Kaha Regards Sandra

  2. Kia ora Wayne,

    I'm pleased that you have decided to stay with this topic, which in my view is more important - albeit more challenging. That said, I'm sure you will do the study justice bring the wealth of your experience and passion for the topic to bear.

    I enjoyed your graphic and the green thumbs-up for free cultural works approved licenses. This resource will provide useful background reading: in particular this essay on why not to use the NC restriction:

    Looking forward to reading how your research progresses.