Maori scholastic under-achievement as a challenge to methodology.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Maori scholastic under-achievement is a large and very complex problem of increasing national significance. This study was an attempt to discover the factors determining this scholastic under-achievement, and to make some contribution towards that part of ameliorative action which is the concern of classroom teachers. Necessarily it had been an exploratory study. Many issues which in their own right have merited detailed investigation were given scant attention because of the over-riding priority accorded the need for practical solutions at the classroom level. The increasing numbers of Maoris being educated beside Europeans restricts the range of acceptable solutions, for obviously, and if alone for practical reasons, the classroom teacher cannot differentiate between Maori and European in the methods he uses. The need then is for methodology to be modified so that the principles and practices of the classroom are adequate for the needs of Maori and European alike. In fact, it was the thesis of this study that Maori scholastic under-achievement is but a crystallization of a general intellectual under-achievement in New Zealand schools. The difficulties Maori have in achieving scholastically actually define the areas of weakness in methodology. Throughout the study, then, a major concern was to relate Maori difficulties to educational theory and practice the better to define ameliorative theory and practice the better to define ameliorative action. A substantial portion of the study was, therefore, theoretical; its purpose being to assist the reformulation of that part of theory and practice shown to be inadequate by the factors determining Maori difficulties in the classroom. The last part of this study presents an outline of principles and practices considered to be needed in methodology if both the Maori and European are to achieve at higher levels.