E kore e piri te uku ki te rino: He huarahi hei tautoko i ngā akonga hauā i roto i ngā horopaki reo Māori. The pathways forward in supporting Māori learners with special needs in Māori medium education settings
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
Kua takoto te manuka The leaf of the manuka tree have been laid down The challenge has been set.
Gaining access to effective and appropriate support for Māori children with special needs in a Māori medium education context is a process that can create many challenges for whānau, educators, support staff and the child. The aim of this study was to gain insight into the following research question ‘me pēhea te tautoko i ngā tamariki hauā i roto i ngā horopaki akoranga reo Māori? How do we best support Māori children with special needs in Māori medium education settings?’ The motivation for this study arose from personal experiences and challenges in raising a child with special needs whose first language is te reo Māori. The study consisted of three phases. The first phase focussed on reviewing current and historical policy and legislation relevant to accessing te reo Māori within educational settings for Māori children, and secondly to all children with special needs in Aotearoa. The second phase of the study examined the approaches employed by early childhood and primary Māori medium educational settings (i.e. settings that use te reo Māori as the language of instruction 80% to 100% of the time), in regards to nurturing and teaching children with special education needs. The study had a particular focus on the approaches towards four children with difficulties in language development and language delay. Data was collected by way of interviews with whānau and educators who provided evidence and reflected on their experiences of gaining support for Māori children with special needs in Māori medium settings. A total of 15 individual and group interviews were conducted with parents, whānau, educators, kaiāwhina and principals who agreed to participate in this research project. The third phase of the study involved analysing these findings and developing a strategic framework with the intent of providing guidance for the Ministry of Education’s Special Education Services, kura and whānau in developing suitable provisions for children with special needs who are educated through the medium of te reo Māori. The key findings reflected the need for and importance of effective resourcing and provision specifically tailored to the needs of Māori children with special needs who are educated within a Māori medium context. An adaptation of the current mainstream model and provision will simply not suffice. It has become apparent to the researcher during this journey that there are other whānau throughout Aotearoa1 who have experienced similar pressures and prejudices in regards to raising a child with special needs through te reo Māori me ōna tikanga.
1 Aotearoa is the original, Māori name for New Zealand and both terms will be used together and interchangeably in this thesis.