The Cultural Taxation of Māori Teachers:Māori Teachers reflect upon their teaching experiencesin the Waitaha (Canterbury) region, New Zealand.
Torepe, Toni Kiriana
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Education
This thesis draws on data from a research study that investigated the lived experiences of six Māori teachers who had recently graduated from the Hōaka Pounamu (Graduate Diploma in Immersion and Bilingual Teaching). The primary objective of this research was to gain a deeper understanding of the lived experiences and various challenges confronting this group of Māori teachers working in English medium primary and secondary schools. These schools were all located in the Waitaha (Canterbury) region of New Zealand’s South Island. Each of these schools was, to varying degrees, dominated by what appeared to be a Eurocentric institutional culture of schooling. This research, accordingly, focused closely upon the challenges that these teachers faced as they sought to incorporate mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge that validates a Māori world view) into their teaching praxis in that culture of schooling. This study is distinguished by qualitative research methodology underpinned by a kaupapa Māori narrative research philosophy. The study’s findings support and strengthen those of previous studies. However, while these teachers’ accounts echoed the sentiments of teachers in previous research studies (Bloor, 1993; Ministry of Education, 1999; Mitchell & Mitchell, 1993) this research ensures that the narratives of the participants are at the fore of the thesis rather than lost in a sea of quantitative data. As a result, it offers fresh insights into the challenges Māori teachers face, today, in English medium, state-funded schools. A number of key themes emerged in the participants’ accounts of their teaching experiences. These themes are related to relevant research and academic literature. Most notably, these themes draw close attention to Padilla’s (1994) concept of ‘cultural taxation’. The findings are related to the Articles of the Treaty of Waitangi (1840) and the United Nations’ (2007) Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and considered in relation to their national and international policy implications. Finally, recommendations for future research are proposed to assist all stakeholders to shape better experiences for Māori teachers in primary and secondary schools in New Zealand.