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Place-based learning and culturally responsive practice in a localised curriculum

TaranakiYou don’t have to remind a kiwi just how special Aotearoa is, so having a focus on place-based education enables students to connect even more with local Māori knowledge, histories, skills, techniques, and tikanga (values and customs). Place-based education can be a driver for re-examining the historical and social contexts of places in Aotearoa, especially from a kaupapa Māori perspective. Supporting place-based education with digital technologies

Combining this kind of ‘human data’ with big data sourced from technologies (gathered from satellites orbiting Earth and sensors) enables us to see cultural, historical and behavioural human patterns and trends. This is called social mapping. Ten Trend: Social Mapping.

Māori boy While some communities are using proximity activated storytelling platforms to unlock authentic story in-location at places of cultural significance, (eg: Arataki App Cultural Trails some students are increasingly using technologies (location-based mapping tools, content development apps, virtual tour creation) to tell their local stories in innovative ways. For more stories and examples of cultural mapping tools, see Enabling e-Learning, Use field trips and cultural mapping.

Māori girl

Learners can use digital technologies to highlight issues affecting their local area, to tell local narratives, and to remap local geography from the point of view of mana whenua – the iwi and hapū that maintain custodianship over a place in Aotearoa – drawing attention to the places of significance that might have been overlooked by official cartographers.  

What does it look like?

In E kore e pau te ika unahi nui — Restoring the holistic wellbeing of Māori boys through connection and innovation, we see how Māori learners have learned more about their local, ancestral place by using digital tools such as coding, Google Maps and virtual reality.

In this video, Arapeta Latus, a senior student at Whanganui City College, talks about the importance and significance of finding out about the local, historical and cultural histories.

LEARNZ have recently (Term 2, 2019) facilitated a virtual field trip called, Map my Waahi where students were connected to their cultural and physical landscape; using new mapping technology like Google Earth and Tour Builder. Check out LEARNZ diaries, photo gallery and videos for more school stories about how schools have captured their local stories. Ten Trend: Social Mapping

Want to get started?

  • Start with what you know, then work backwards. How has your neighbourhood changed overtime?
  • Be willing to step back and listen to your students, acknowledging a special place for tangata whenua.
  • Engage whānau and the wider community: What kind of local knowledge is ready to be shared by parents? 
  • Build connections with local iwi and hapū.
  • Partner up with other schools.
  • Leverage local assets like museums, libraries, parks, public spaces, and businesses.
  • Develop local resources that reflect local history.

Taken from Enabling e-Learning , Uncover local histories

How are your students finding about the local unique history, environment, culture, economy, literature, and arts around them? We’d love to hear more of your stories.

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Image sources: Image: Girl māori culture, Image by michelle lagatule from Pixabay, Image: Indigenous culture from Pixabay. Mount Taranaki, Nasa earth right now.



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