In order to complete the evaluation in the timeframe the evaluation team approached kura they had an existing relationship with to determine their willingness to participate. Consideration was given to approaching a range of kura that reflected the diversity of the Māori medium sector including kura kaupapa Māori (Te Aho Matua); kura-ā-iwi; dual medium kura (that is schools that offered instruction in English, and Māori (immersion and/or bilingual)); and te reo Māori special character kura that do not affiliate to Te Aho Matua or kura-ā-iwi.
Engaging the kura was an iterative process in that the team approached ten kura at the same time and as they confirmed their willingness to engage, or not, we then approached other potential kura. This approach became problematic when kura did not respond to the invitation to participate however the evaluation team felt obliged to keep the invitation open until such time as it was declined. This meant the team could not approach any other kura until one declined to prevent oversubscribing the trial which would have meant additional cost to the Ministry to print more copies of the titles; and additional pressure on the evaluation budget. The impact of this approach was that we were only able to secure participation from nine kura within the timeframe.
While the kura approached were generally willing to participate in the trial they were concerned with the ability to trial the books in the timeframe (approximately 10 weeks). Furthermore there were delays in making the books available to kura which meant the trial started later in term two than expected therefore the phase three data was collected in term three. Nine kura agreed to participate in the trial.
Once the kura agreed to participate a time was arranged to meet with the kura in person to deliver the books and talk directly to the kaiako who were trialling the books in their classrooms. During this visit kura were provided with:
It was intended that the kura would select which titles they wanted to trial in their classrooms before they started the trial. However, this proved logistically challenging as well as time-consuming for the kura kaiako as they didn’t have the time to familiarize themselves with the new levels, the titles and what met the needs of their learners before they started the trial. In the end, it was decided by the Ministry to provide each of the trial kura with a full set of all the relevelled titles. The kaiako then selected from the set of books which ones they would review.
The evaluation team also interviewed the publisher of the relevelled books and the developer/author of the Ngā Kete Kōrero framework. These interviews assisted the team to understand what changes had been made to the framework and to the design and layout of the relevelled books.