Puna kōrero: iwi and schools working together to support Māori student success
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
This thesis explores the notion that iwi and schools working together can contribute to culturally responsive curriculum and schooling. It investigates how some schools have formed genuine education partnerships with iwi, and provides answers to the following question: in what ways are iwi and schools working together to support Māori students? An understanding of communities of practice, and what Māori student success looks like, are essential. Imperatives for education partnerships and the educational policy, and drivers for partnership are foundational in understanding and connecting collaboration between iwi and schools with the wider educational picture in Aotearoa New Zealand. In New Zealand, Māori are not as successful as their non-Māori peers. Approaches to achieving education equity, including collaboration with iwi and Māori, is important for informing education approaches and strategy. How those approaches are informed, developed and implemented is equally important in achieving models likely to positively affect Māori achievement in education. This is also important in ensuring that participation expectations of iwi are co-constructed, reasonable and appropriately resourced. The theoretical base of this study draws upon the literature review on collaboration between Māori/iwi and the New Zealand education system, as well as international literature on supporting Indigenous students, using a community of practice approach. The metaphor of ‘puna kōrero’ is used in this research, as an approach allowing for consideration of different sites of investigation using an organic, kaupapa (issue, topic) Māori perspective. The three puna kōrero explored are Te Kauhua: A Ministry of Education funded professional development programme for schools and iwi; iwi voices: six iwi education representatives speak about their experiences working with schools and advancing their iwi education aspirations; Wai Study Help: an English-literacy programme operating in a kura kaupapa Māori (Māori immersion schooling) setting that has partnerships with its local university and iwi. From these puna kōrero, implications for iwi, schools and the Ministry of Education are considered. iii Exploration of the three puna kōrero identified passionate leadership and purposeful membership, funding and resourcing, monitoring and defining success, whakawhanaungatanga (nurturing relationships with others) and involvement of whānau (family) as key themes. Motivations for schools and iwi to work together are explored, along with rationale for the Ministry of Education’s support of iwi-school communities of practice. A framework for iwi-school communities of practice is proposed, including recommendations for iwi, schools and the Ministry of Education.