Whakamana Māori : sociocultural perspectives of Māori education in Aotearoa
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Education
This thesis aims to explore the journey Māori have taken with regards to education in Aotearoa and investigate current perspectives of Māori involved in education. Historically, Māori have been forced, through assimilation, to adopt and accept methods of teaching and learning that are inconsistent with traditional Māori education practices. These historical practices are also evident in the current dominance of euro-centric education philosophies and practices observed in many schools throughout Aotearoa New Zealand today.
The study is based on Kaupapa Māori theory and utilised qualitative research methods to explore 13 Māori teachers’, parents’ and board of trustee members’ observations and experiences of tamariki Māori in educational settings. The study provided a forum and audience for participants’ observations and reflections. Their kōrero (dialogue) was recorded and thematically analysed. Four overarching themes identified were: Te Ao Māori, Tino Rangatiratanga, Ako, and Tangata Whenua. A series of subthemes were also identified within each main theme. These themes with accompanying quotations from participants provide a voice for the people interviewed to express their narrative concerning education of their tamariki (children).
The voices of participants also alluded to a range of potential strategies and solutions that could support Māori tamariki to experience education success. Central to improving outcomes for Māori is the need for whānau, school teachers, management and governance to reconsider their worldviews and practices to better align with the cultural needs of Māori, and to recognise the ongoing impact of historical injustices. Reflection on the significance of Ka Hikitia is presented along with a range of recommendations for key stakeholders to empower their positions and ensure their influence is felt throughout schools and their communities.