Ontario Principals Exchange

Posted 21 Sep 2017 10:21am

The Institute of Professional Learning: Te Whai Toi Tangata (IPL) welcomed five school leaders from Ontario, Canada for a ten day reciprocal visit to New Zealand. This follows a successful exchange in 2016. The highlight for the visitors was being welcomed onto Te Kohinga Marae University of Waikato. followed by a hangi lunch on the 23rd July.

Each school leader was hosted by a matched leader in New Zealand for the 10 days. During this time they shadowed their host during the day, attended meetings, visited other schools and of course got in a bit of sightseeing along the way.

The real interest for all our visitors was the much stronger sense of biculturalism in New Zealand. While Canada is a bicultural country, the partnership is with the French and not the indigenous people.

While there are many differences in the way education is delivered in Canada, the issues and concerns about student well-being and mathematics achievement are globally similar. The Ontarians could relate well to the kinds of pressure our schools face to improve achievement of all students.

The visit finished on 2nd August with a proporoaki and farewell lunch at the Lodge University of Waikato. It was a great time to share experiences and talk about the differences and similarities in the two education systems. The stand out difference for the Canadians was the fact our students have a tendency to go bare-footed; this is something that is rarely seen in Canada.

The New Zealand leaders head to Ontario in late September for their return visit.

Watch for the Term Four Newsletter where we will feature some experiences of our New Zealand colleagues as they journey to Ontario.

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