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Create an inclusive learning environment

Students are more likely to achieve in economics when they see their concerns and ideas taken seriously and their cultures valued in subject content and learning contexts.

Ako | Māori pedagogy | Contexts/approaches

By recognising that students have a cultural identity and inviting them to share their cultural knowledge in learning contexts, teachers promote 'ako', a teaching–learning relationship in which the teacher also learns from the student.

For the teacher, ako involves acknowledging, respecting, and valuing who students are and where they come from and, through deliberate and reflective practice, building on what they bring with them to the learning setting. People of all cultures have skills, knowledge, and qualities that can be built on.

Key aspects of ako

The key aspects of ako are:

  • Language, identity and culture counts – knowing where students come from and building on what students bring with them.
  • Productive partnerships – Māori students, whānau, and educators sharing knowledge and expertise with each other to produce better outcomes.
    (Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success: The Māori Education Strategy 2008–2012 (Ministry of Education, 2008)

Ka Hikitia  Accelerating Success 2013–2017 is the Ministry of Education's strategy to improve the performance of the education system for and with Māori.

Principles of a kaupapa Māori pedagogy

New Zealand’s foundations are bicultural, so tikanga Māori should be at the centre of learning and all teaching should be informed by the kaupapa Māori principles identified by Russell Bishop and Ted Glynn (Bishop, R. & Glynn, T. (1999). Culture counts: Changing power relations in education.The Dunmore Press, Palmerston North: NZ).

  • Tino rangitiratanga – the right to determine one’s own destiny. Parents and children are involved in decision-making processes.
  • Taonga tuku iho – the treasures from the ancestors, providing a set of principles by which to live our lives.
  • Ako – a mutual teaching and learning relationship in which the educator is also learning from the student.
  • Kia piki ake i ngā raruraru o te kāinga – reaches into Māori homes and brings parents and families into the activities of the school.
  • Whānau – the development of connections with the community to support learning.
  • Kaupapa – acknowledging and valuing the language and culture in the classroom and chosen contexts.

Effective Teaching Profile

Bishop et al 2003 developed an Effective Teaching Profile (ETP) to create culturally responsive learning contexts within classes. This ETP was then used to provide a model on which to base professional development.

Economic teachers who are committed to improving the performance of Māori/Pasifika students could use the ETP criteria below and seek professional development, where necessary, to develop the teaching knowledge and skills necessary to create a culturally appropriate and responsive context for learning in their classrooms.

A summary of the EFT is provided below but economic teachers should read chapter 4 of the 2003 Te Kōtahitanga report as this gives specific examples of teacher characteristics of effective teachers including evidence for each characteristic from the narratives obtained as part of the project research.

Read more about Māori: Effective Teaching Profile.

Evidence from Te Kōtahitanga Project

Evidence from the Te Kōtahitanga Phase 3 report has indicated several areas all teachers can work on in their classrooms that will help to improve outcomes for Māori.

Some suggested contexts and approaches in economics

  • Māori entrepreneurship is particularly strong in the land-based industries, but is becoming increasingly important in tourism:
    •  For example, 'Whale Watch' in Kaikoura, Tamaki Tours, forestry, fisheries, aquaculture and related businesses in the service sector.
  • Inviting individual (or groups of) students to chose a context that has particular cultural significance for them and using this as a focus for economics teaching and learning.
  • Visiting a marae to learn from kaumatua about Māori views of land ownership/kaitiakitanga.
  • Field trips to businesses that are of special significance to Māori such as a local Māori incorporation.
  • Meetings with family and whānau to outline programmes of work and discuss ways in which they might support students in their learning.
  • Up-skilling teachers in terms of pronunciation and familiarity with the concepts that underlie Māoritanga.
  • Allocation of fishing quota and the Māori commercial fisheries settlement.

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Last updated June 11, 2018