Joanne of Waitaha, Ngāti Māmoe and Ngāi Tahu, creates opportunities for each person to learn who they are, how they fit into the world, and how they can contribute to humanity. She has spent over 30 years working as a teacher, principal, superintendent, and school-system leader, and now offers insights and strategies that reconnect students, teachers, families, and communities to what matters most. She provides ways to redefine what success looks like, recognizing that we learn best through meaningful, contributive learning that helps all learners shine and succeed in their way.
Joanne emphasizes teachers’ well-being alongside their students’, providing relevant tools and processes for teachers to be well so they can support their learners in the ways they want to. Joanne embeds a social, emotional, and cultural commitment to all learners, reflecting learners’ cultures, identities, and humanity in what, how, and where they learn. Her insights are illuminated by continued, hands-on experience partnering with diverse countries, community groups, schools, and learners around the world.
She started The Learner First in 2012 to take a systemic approach to developing academic + social and emotional learning. Beginning with the cultural and practical capabilities that school systems need to develop well-being, she designed the Contributive Learning Framework that helps school communities design impactful learning experiences, measure the outcomes that matter, and lead real change.
Joanne bases her work on a mix of the SDG goals and the humanitarian outcomes that are inclusive for all. These outcomes are:
- Self-Understanding. Understanding who we are, how we impact and fit into others’ lives and the world, and how we can make a difference.
- Connection. Connecting with others, our environments, our learning, and the world in meaningful and fulfilling ways.
- Knowledge. The knowledge that each individual needs to reach achieve their individual goals and aspirations.
- Competency. The global competencies of commitment, collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking