Kohiko Mai

Are your learners disengaged and not making progress? Kohiko Mai can help ignite their spark.

Are you worried about ākonga who are not engaging with their learning? Do you have learners in front of you that you are struggling to teach, struggling to engage?
Chances are you are not alone. That's where Kohiko Mai can help. 

What is Kohiko Mai?

Kohiko Mai is designed particularly for learners for whom other programmes of support have not worked. These students are at risk of leaving school without being engaged in education, employment, or training.

Kohiko Mai is primarily designed for ākonga in Years 7 - 13. We know that supporting learners to re-engage in education in these formative years can have significant impact on their learning and wellbeing well into their adulthood. 

Kohiko Mai methodology is based on the principles of Universal Design for Learning. This means it can be used in any schooling context for learners of this age – full primary, intermediate, middle school, secondary school, and area school.  

Kohiko Mai is a school-owned initiative. Each kura or school devises a Kohiko Mai programme, all while being supported by a skilled consultant.

Why is it named Kohiko Mai?

The name, Kohiko Mai, is significant. Kohiko is to flash or twinkle. It is the metaphor for how a learner shines when they learn something new. Kohiko Mai is an invitation to shine. The opportunity for learning shines first, grabs the attention, then the student shines with the new learning.

Kohiko can also mean to interrupt or butt in – which can apply to disrupting the path that a learner is on in order to create new opportunities. It encapsulates the concept of innovation which resides in this programme.

Why integrate Kohiko Mai into your local curriculum professional learning

Kohiko Mai is, in a sense, local curriculum design at it most specific and effective. It allows kura and schools, kaiako and teachers, and whānau to develop ways of supporting and advocating for ākonga so that they can begin to engage positively in their educational journey. As Kohiko Mai is owned by each kura and school, the actions, processes and strategies used are developed to meet the needs of the schooling context. Our Evaluation Associates mentors have seen a wide variety of options used, all supporting these learners positively.

What might you focus on during your professional learning

Kohiko Mai is, in a sense, local curriculum design at it most specific and effective. It allows kura and schools, kaiako and teachers, and whānau to develop ways of supporting and advocating for learners so that they can begin to engage positively in their educational journey. As it is school owned, the actions, processes and strategies used are developed to meet the needs of the schooling context. Our Evaluation Associates | Te Huinga Kākākura Mātauranga mentors have seen a wide variety of options used by kura and schools, all supporting these learners positively.  

How we work with you

Our Evaluation Associates | Te Huinga Kākākura Mātauranga mentors are the support mechanism for the kura or school. To ignite the spark, we:

  • provide support to develop a model staff believe will work for their ākonga in their environment

  • introduce the Kohiko Mai framework and principles

  • provide guidance on possible implementation approaches

  • support with ideas, challenges and affirmation for those involved.

Many schools have commented positively about the importance of their mentor – both what we bring to the role and our support for kura and schools to remain ‘on track’ and motivated to make significant differences, even though the hard times.

Impact of our work

We've supported over 30 schools and kura to implement Kohiko Mai to date. These schools are understanding the importance of developing in-depth knowledge about their students. Teachers and learners report the impact they are experiencing:

  • “Even though we have taught some of them for 4 years we did not know them as well as we thought.” (Principal and Kohiko Mai Lead)

Those educators involved with Kohiko Mai in schools have indicated that this program has made a significant impact for their students and school.

  • “When doing the end of programme interviewing, one student had just come home from camp the day before and would normally take any excuse to stay away from school, chose to come to school just for the sake of the Kohiko Mai interview because they saw this programme as an important element of the school, their kaitautoko [in-school mentor], and themselves. Kohiko Mai has given the opportunity to create some mentoring relationships that we will keep developing over their years at school. This would not have happened in any other medium.” (Kohiko Mai Lead)

  • “Actually, we thought this was all about supporting these students, but a substantial unintended consequence is that it has changed the persona, attitude, and empathy towards students of teachers as well.” (Teacher)

Most importantly, Kohiko Mai has made a significant impact on the students involved.

  • “Kohiko Mai is helpful because I can tell someone how I feel without getting told off. I got good advice about how not to get in trouble with teachers.”

  • “The profiles were good for the teacher to get to know us, and have a better understanding of what we like to do.”

  • “It made me feel someone was watching over me.”

Because Kohiko Mai is based on a partnership between ākonga, their teacher(s), and their whānau, the impact of Kohiko Mai spreads.

  • “It was cool to hear something positive about their child. It was cool to hear the kids and their whānau having conversations about their strengths and goals.” (Parent)

  • “It’s a phenomenal programme. I would love it in every school.” (Principal)

  • “It was my privilege to sit in on the Kohiko Mai regional hui in Wellington yesterday. What an outstanding day! I was completely spellbound by the passion and care in the room for those students that are on the edge of engagement. I was extremely proud to be part of the teaching profession.” (Hui participant)

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