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Indigenous cultures and e-Learning

Started by Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu 05 Nov 2013 2:09pm () Replies (22)

Recently I've been having discussions with colleagues around their perspectives on Māori and e-Learning, and Pasifika and e-Learning.  

We've been wrestling with the ideas around how Māori or Pasifika learners see their cultural identities within their learning, if e-Learning is the vehicle/tool/framework through which to raise their academic achievement.

Some concerns were raised around potential loss of cultural identities through focusing too much on the fixation on technology (negative consequence) compared to using e-Learning and technology as a way to celebrate cultural identities.  

Too often the focus can be on the segregation/separation of indigenous cultures and everything associated with cultural identities (multi-ethnic, intra-ethnic, bi-cultural, multi-cultural) from e-Learning, because people see them as separate, or may even value one over the other.

What are your thoughts on what TRUE INTEGRATION would look like?

What would be the best of both worlds?

How can blended e-Learning be a way or an approach to assist Māori and Pasifika learners in navigating their way to success?

What type of success are we talking about here? 


  • Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu (View all users posts) 05 Nov 2013 10:28pm ()

    Malo lava Alana,

    Thank you for the points you have raised.

    Equity is definitely an issue.  The technology and associated tools must be accessible for our learners at home and at school in all classrooms, (all day, every day for early childhood centres, primary and intermediate schools; in every period of every day for secondary school learners), as this is critical to creating learning successes for our students.

    If equity is an issue, what are some strategies that schools have used to "work around" the inequity?

    In my secondary teaching experience, access to technology was always problematic and teachers who valued the input of e-Learning would bring in their own tools to compensate for the equity.  Using the tools by structuring timetabled slots so that small groups in the class could get access or having the one tool for the whole class to view and access are just some examples of compensatory mechanisms. 

    I wonder how others feel about how we can continue to focus on meaningful learning for our indigenous learners  with equity still rearing its head?

  • Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu (View all users posts) 06 Nov 2013 2:52pm ()

    Meitaki maata Leigh!

    The links you provided are fantastic examples of how to use cultural context in the classroom.  I wonder how many teachers are able to think about adapting their pedagogy to embrace ako and reciprocal learning, being more of a facilitator focusing on student-centred and student-directed rather than the teacher as the fountain of knowledge.  The most powerful tool I have come across has been the use of student voice and allowing space and time in lessons to ask students, providing a platform for them to respond to questions about their learning and working on metacognition - how do they learn best, what subjects they love and why, how they learn in their favourite subjects and why they don't learn in their least favourite subjects.  As a teacher I have been able to take those answers and ask the entire class for their thoughts - a consensus approach creates a classroom culture that is able to respond to the integration of indigenous cultures and e-Learning.

  • Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu (View all users posts) 08 Nov 2013 2:05am ()

    Equity is a huge issue, but I'm not sure if you could categorise it as being either cultural or poverty, as poverty in some cases may not be ethnicity-related (varying shades of this maybe...) but could be attributed to other factors that need not entertain a horse and cart, chicken and egg scenario - the fact that equity is an issue - is one that seems to be gaining consensus as a contributing factor to the disparity.  Equity is as equity does; and like Linda I would like to see more responses from those schools that do have that 1:1 ratio.

    How do we use technology to truly teach in a culturally responsive way?  There is still debate about what being culturally responsive looks like as some schools may struggle to know how to effectively engage or be responsive to the cultural needs of their learners.  Could it be as simple as seeing what strategies work for Māori and Pasifika  learners that stem from their home communities (iwi, hapu, whānau, fanau, kainga, aiga) and connecting it with similar approaches using technology to bring it to the 21st century?  Is it that simple?  Looking forward to more discussion!

  • Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu (View all users posts) 12 Nov 2013 2:16am ()

    Fakaaue lahi Karl, there certainly needs to more korero around what being culturally responsive means.  I agree that although equity is an issue that parents can be supported in their move to invest time and money into their children's learning.  

    p.s. Not hating on any comments - just appreciating :-)

  • Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu (View all users posts) 16 Nov 2013 2:28pm ()

    Thanks Tessa.

    I have jumped into the doc and made some comments and suggested some other links that may be useful for Māori and Pasifika learners.  


  • Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu (View all users posts) 18 Nov 2013 2:53pm ()

    Thanks Alana for sharing :-)

    As a Pasifika educator like you, I wanted to share my thoughts on the "bi-cultural understanding" criteria.

    I would be hesitant to include Pasifika in this criteria - because this particular strand focuses on the bi-cultural understanding between Māori and Pakeha.

    I believe it is implicit that Pasifika learners will be able to learn about the bi-cultural understanding, rather than being included in that context - they just need to understand the dynamics of the shared history with reference to Te Tiriti o Waitangi - that informs this very criteria.  Others would say - if we include Pasifika, why not include other ethnic groups as well?

    As a former Social Studies teacher, Pasifika learners have been better able to understand bi-cultural relationships by looking into their own cultural backgrounds for similar references like the Mau movement in Samoa, the Niuean participation in World War I and the revival and return to nationalism in Hawaii (and that's not even touching the inter-cultural relationships in the Pacific as well).

    I'm looking forward to seeing you in January 2014 :-)

  • Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu (View all users posts) 25 Nov 2013 1:09pm ()

    Read the latest article in Ed Gazette about how Pasifika teachers are engaging their students with literacy 

    Samoan education leaders step up


    Thanks Pauline Scanlan for sharing :-)

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