The experiences of resilience of rangatahi Māori who have been exposed to risk.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Education
This research endeavours to understand the experiences of resilience to young Māori who have been exposed to risk. The setting for the data collection was one of the three Residential Special Schools in Aotearoa New Zealand. The bodies of literature that are concerned with resilience and Indigenous resilience are significant, however, the amount of research in regards to resilience and Māori is somewhat limited. This qualitative research presents a unique study in the field.
Four young Māori who were residents of the college were participants in semi structured interviews that were conversational in nature. In addition, seven of the staff who worked directly with them in the residence were also interviewed. The research was strengthened by interviewing both the students and their staff.
The findings of the study strongly show that western models of resilience can not be applied to Māori populations in their entirety. In order to understand experience of resilience, the data was analysed in terms of risk factors and protective factors that were evident for the young Māori at hand. Some of the themes are consistent with Western resilience, such as poverty, abuse, family disconnect, and the presence of a significant adult. There were however, significant themes that emerged were not congruent with Western resilience literature, namely exposure to gangs, perception of ethnicity, equity of access to health and wellbeing services, cultural connection, and extended family.
The findings also suggest that there are some positive initiatives currently taking place in the Residential Special School that could be strengthened, or perhaps recreated in mainstream schooling, especially the individual education planning, structured environment, and the exposure to cultural practices.
This piece of research presents some new research that has been gifted by a very precious group in the population of Aotearoa New Zealand. The narratives that they have gifted have implications not only for themselves, but for others in both Residential Special School education, and education in the mainstream sector.