He oranga ngākau, he pikinga waiora: ngā tāngata marae, ngā Ngākau Māhaki : pūrākau of Puna Reo Māori teachers (2022)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
Within the educational landscape of Aotearoa New Zealand, Puna Reo partial immersion Māori philosophical teaching and learning settings are enigmatic. For the purposes of this thesis, Puna Reo (language learning springs) refer to both early childhood and primary school education programmes in Aotearoa New Zealand in which more than 50 percent of teacher instruction is delivered in te reo Māori (the Māori language). The culturally sustaining practices that are normalised within these settings are not known to many educationalists, policy makers and others. Puna Reo have not been closely examined and little formal research is available. Therefore, it is often only those who work within Puna Reo that have a thorough understanding of these programmes. This research provides an opportunity to learn from the rich cultural knowledge that sits within these settings from the perspective of the kaiako (teachers). I am a wahine Māori (Māori woman) and kaiako, with three tamariki (children) of Māori and Samoan descent who are currently navigating the Aotearoa New Zealand education system. Given their whakapapa (ancestry), it is statistically possible that my children’s experiences in the English medium schooling system would be negative.
Coming from a strengths-based approach, this study seeks to understand how kaiako working in Puna Reo perceive their role as working towards Māori thriving as Māori. The rich and unique pūrākau (stories) that emerge from these kaiako speak to the themes of hautūtanga | leadership and advocacy, te hiringa | the impetus for entering Māori medium teaching, and ngā ahureitanga | the unique characteristics of partial immersion Māori environments. Notions of ‘becoming’ and ‘identity development’ are interwoven throughout the pūrākau and inform a Ngākau Māhaki concept of transformative leadership, in which the kaiako evolved as humble, service-oriented leaders.
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