Making a Maori Connection

(This is a part of the Deeper Learning Story Bank. Add your story!)

Story title: Making a Maori Connection

Submitted by: Ryan Gallagher
High Tech High North County

DL story: I love that kids continue to surprise me. For our second project of the school year, our students investigated how furniture, housing, and infrastructure are influenced by culture. Students choose a country that they wanted to investigate and research the history and furniture of that country. One of our groups was looking at New Zealand and their indigenous Maori population. The group kept running into roadblocks trying to find a furniture representation. What impressed me was what this group did when they were stuck. They reached out to a museum curator in New Zealand on their own. The curator was able to send the kids pictures and point them to a few websites and texts that they could use in their research.

Never have I been more certain that it’s not information that we should be teaching our student but the skills they need to access and apply new information. Deeper Learning should not be about kids discovering what we already know; rather, it should be about real problems, real struggles, and real successes that our students experience.


Thinking critically, Collaborating, Self-directing learning, Believing in yourself (academic mindsets), Doing relevant, engaging work, Making things

2 thoughts on “Making a Maori Connection

  1. I’m struck by how your students knew to reach out and found out how to do it. You’re right. That’s a rich learning experience and shows how connected the world has become. And kudos to that person in New Zealand, too. I bet those kids won’t ever forget the experience (and may well write their own story in some future Deep Learning Story Bank)

  2. Very often students are limited by adult control. We tend to replicate what we were instructed, it’s embedded in us to think that youngsters need much more guidance than they do.
    When there’s a natural curiosity and interest, it’s better to give freedom and let them choose their path and work out the solutions.
    Stephen Heppell has many interesting interventions and videos, this one is from 2009 – Future Learning (
    New Learning Spaces –

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>