Treaty over the teacups : an exploration of teacher educators’ understandings and application of the provisions of the Treaty of Waitangi at the University of Canterbury, College of Education.A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degreeof Master of Education in the University of Canterbury
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Education
Teacher educators at the University of Canterbury, College of Education, like all teacher educators in Aotearoa New Zealand, have ethical, legal, and moral obligations in relation to Te Tiriti o Waitangi/the Treaty of Waitangi. The Treaty is an agreement that was signed in 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and representatives of independent Māori hapū (sub-tribe). The failure of the Crown to uphold the Treaty plus the colonisation of New Zealand has held wide-ranging ramifications for Māori, including a negative impact on Māori education. Policy guidelines both at a national level and locally at the University of Canterbury provide requirements and guidelines for teachers and teacher educators in relation to the Treaty. The aim of many of these guidelines is to address equity issues in education and to support Māori ākonga (students) to achieve success as Māori. This thesis draws upon data from interviews with five teacher educators from the University of Canterbury, College of Education to explore their understandings of the Treaty and how these understandings inform their practice. A qualitative research approach was applied to this study. Semi-structured interviews were used and a grounded theory approach to the data analysis was applied. Three key themes arose from the data and these provided insights into the teacher educator participants’ understandings of the Treaty, how they acquired Treaty knowledge and their curriculum decision making. Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) ecological systems theory approach was used as a framework to situate how the teacher educators’ understandings of the Treaty have developed. Critical theory and concepts associated with critical pedagogy underpin this research. Critical pedagogy highlights the importance for teacher educators in New Zealand to have an understanding of the historical and contemporary complexities of educational issues related to the Treaty.