Promo for Shaking Up Our Mindsets about Indigenous Students with Surin McGrory - Pushing The Edge with Greg Curran

Shaking Up our Mindsets about Indigenous Students with Surin McGrory

In this episode, we’re challenging the deficit mindsets that often prevail about Indigenous students. We’re painting quite a different picture instead.

Show Guest – Surin McGrory

I’m a teacher with a whole lot of heart. Relationships are a huge part of my teaching practice and I am blessed to work with an absolutely fantastic bunch of students and staff teaching English in a unique full immersion Māori school.

I’m young, both to teaching and life. I like to take advantage of my youth, using it to take risks and be flexible in my teaching practice.

I’m driving a way for change and improvement, firstly for myself, but also for my students, colleagues, and ultimately the teaching profession.

I’ve got practically EVERYTHING to learn still but I like to use my experiences, things I’m trialling, mistakes I’m making, to help shape 21st Century learning. I’m a mistake maker and boat shaker.

Episode Summary

They’re at the top of all the wrong lists and bottom of all the right lists. Or so our guest thought until she actually started teaching Māori students in a total immersion Māori School in New Zealand.

This episode we’re challenging the deficit or victim mindsets that often prevail about Indigenous Students. We’re painting quite a different picture instead.

Our guest, Surin McGrory, Teacher, and former co-moderator (with Kerri Thompson) of the Twitter Chat – #BFC630NZ.

Cracking the mindsets that limit the possibilities we see for indigenous students - Pushing The Edge with Greg Curran

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Episode Run-Down

  1. What makes Surin tick?  (1:04)
  2. What drives Surin’s passion for change and where does it come from? (1:58 & 3:16)
  3. How Māori students challenged what Surin’s had learnt in Pre-Service Teacher Education (6:13)
  4. Surin’s most significant experience of Pushing The Edge for Change (7:44)
  5. Challenging ideas of what counts as ‘qualified’ (8:30)
  6. Countering Fears and doubts (9:23)
  7. Navigating fear of offending (10:15)
  8. Navigating fears around pronunciation (11:53)
  9. Relationships – The most effective tool for learning (13:53)
  10. Pushing for change where language matters (15:04)
  11. Letting students speak for themselves (16:46)
  12. Navigating accusations of pushing your bandwagon (17:43)
  13. How Surin’s been changed by teaching in a Māori Immersion School (20:04)
  14. Top learnings or takeaways about making change happen (22:00)
  15. What Surin has learnt about change from her Māori colleagues and students  (22:39)
  16. The Lightning Round –  We’ve always done it this way – Mindset – Change Agent – Innovation – Pushing The Edge  (23:13)
  17. Surin’s Advice to her Younger Self (25:16)

Links for People and Issues Mentioned in this Episode


  1. Justin Baeder June 6, 2015
    • Greg Curran June 9, 2015