This paper outlines a study aimed at exploring the Mātanga (Māori term for expert) project, a professional learning and development (PLD) programme designed to foster and sustain teachers’ engagement with the technology education curriculum in New Zealand. The programme provides a response for technology teachers to develop their specialist identity by focusing on the notions of technological and technical thinking. The Mātanga project is led by expert teachers (Mātanga), for Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary technology teachers. It aims to reposition the agency within the professional community and support participants to feel more connected to local, regional and national support, through digital networks. Situated within a qualitative interpretivist framework and through a socio-cultural lens, the data analysis was based on the perceptions, experiences and evolving understandings of Mātanga (n=9), and participant teachers (n=12). Thematic analysis allowed for the extraction of meaning and reporting of emerging knowledge, as informed by existing literature on contemporary approaches to PLD in technology education. Early findings suggested that the participants who gained most from the project were digitally confident, and experienced regular and purposeful interactions between Mātanga and participants. Further findings identified that Mātanga perceived a need to develop their own mentorship skills and thought that this would strengthen the effectiveness of the project. The project positively impacted individual teacher’s subject identity and practice, which in turn will inform the evolving nature of technology teacher education, and the potential for self-sustaining models of professional learning and development in the future.
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