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A REFRESHER about what works for Māori learners?

Started by Moana Timoko 14 Jan 2013 10:48am () Replies (35)

Kia ora koutou

What works for Māori Learners?  You may know, you may not - You may have some ideas and you may be seeking new ideas.  

You may want to share something that has worked for you OR you may want to share something that you've seen work.

How have you improved Māori student achievement?  Let us know how you know.

How have you improved Māori student engagement?  Let us know how you know.

How have you hooked your Māori students on to learning?  Let us know how you know.

Are you using a blend of face to face and virtual approaches to improve student learning?  If yes, how? - let us know.

I would love to read your kōrero - That's a bit of a play on words for you.

There are a lot of success stories out there but I want to read it, hear it & see it here.

There is a Māori whakatauki -

E kore te kumara e kōrero mō tōna ake reka - The kumara will not speak of its own sweetness.  

Share about someone else if you are not comfortable about sharing about yourself.


  • Janelle Riki (View all users posts) 01 Feb 2013 1:54pm ()

    Kia ora ki te whānau nei. Nei ra he mihi aroha ki a koutou mo o koutou whakaaro.  What a great discussion! Thanks for kicking us off Moana and prodding the brain into thinking gear.  Many of you have made some wonderful comments some of which I whole heartedly agree with and some of which I wish to offer another perspective to.  Many famous Māori researchers and Māori philosophers have pondered the question of what it is or means to be Māori.  Most that I have read, agree that being Māori is linked to whakapapa.  Mēnā he whakapapa Māori tāu, he Māori koe.  If you have Māori ancestors, tribal links, a maunga, awa etc, then you are Māori.  To the best of my knowledge there is no 'scale of Māoriness'.  Being Māori is not solely attributed to knowing your language, heritage, history, tikanga and living in what some might view a 'Māori world'.  That's not to say that these attiributes are not incredibly important and advantageous however there are many Māori that may not have that knowledge but are very much Māori.  Feeling Māori and living as a Māori person to me, is a personal journey and one that is different for everyone.

    As far as Māori tamariki in our education system are concerned, I feel that we need to firstly acknowedge some things.  Māori had a very successful formal education system before the arrival of Pākehā.  It was partly based on the whakaaro that you learnt to live prosperously and collaboratively.  Tamariki learned through observation and participation and all whānau members were active particpants in the learning of all tamariki.  It was centred on a child's strengths, interests and sometimes their responsibilities and roles that were passed down to them.  The education system we have in New Zealand was one that was based on a colonial system and brought here to both aid in the speed of colonising Māori people, as well as to educate non-Māori in a system that was familiar to them and had worked for their ancestors.  It was not intended to or required to meet the learning needs of Māori as it was primarily aimed at assimilating Māori into the Pākehā culture.  This system has not changed very much at all since its' instigation.  The fact that Māori students have under achieved consistently in this system is, simply put... a square peg-round hole scenario!  Our Māori students are not failing in our education system, our education system is failing them!  For the most part it has not been equitable or conducive to Māori since it's introduction to our ancestors.  Many Māori children have been able to be successful in this system in spite of their innate 'square-peggedness' because they learnt how to play the game and play by the rules.  For Māori to be 'successful as Māori' in our education system, they need opportunities to celebrate being Māori, to enact being Māori, to have others see their Māoriness as a cultural advantage and unique potential.  We all need to lift these tamariki to the heavens and celebrate who they are and then look at ourselves, our schools, our systems, our attitudes, our pedagogy, our practices and our beliefs and ask ourselves honestly, are we being responsive to each child's needs in a holistic manner?  Do I see more than just the academic needs (the heads and shoulders) and see the whole tamaiti - their social, emotional, physical, spiritual AND cultural needs?  Am I doing the very best I can to help these tamariki to feel great every day?  For those tamariki that are consistently underachieving in literacy and numeracy, when do they get to feel successful in their day?  What do I need to learn and do to help these tamariki to be confident, connected, capable and culturally kaha in their future?  It's been a wonderful journey so far and one that we have made considerable gain in.  But the journey is far from over and we have much still to do to ensure Māori tamariki are being educated in an equitable, responsive and needs based education system.  Mauria te wero koutou ma - take up the challenge!

    Ngā mihi ki a koutou and thanks to you all for being committed and passionate about our Māori tamariki.  It is heartwarming to know that such wonderful educators are in our classrooms.

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