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Creating an inclusive learning environment

Students are more likely to achieve in senior social studies when they see their concerns and ideas taken seriously and their culture valued in the subject content and learning contexts.

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 students.

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

Kaupapa Māori pedagogy

New Zealand’s foundations are bicultural, so tikanga Māori should be at the centre of learning, and teaching should reflect kaupapa Māori pedagogy based on the principles below (as identified by Russell Bishop and Ted Glynn, 2000):

  • Tino rangatiratanga – 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 nga raruraru o te kainga – 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.

Suggested contexts and approaches

Most themes from the New Zealand setting involve Tikanga Māori principles to some extent, so it is possible to appreciate the cultural connection in a natural way. Overseas themes invite comparison to local values.

Have you thought about:

  • how you could collaborate with a local marae on a local social, economic or political issue
  • visiting a marae to learn from kaumatua about Māori views of land ownership/kaitiakitanga
  • field trips to sites that are of special significance to Māori?

Specific examples

  • Level 6: Different perspectives on land – ownership, usage, spiritual value.
  • Level 7: Resource issues such as seabed and foreshore, zoning restrictions, urupa or urban sprawl, whaling and sustainability.
  • Level 8: Community rights, roles and responsibilities and how ideologies shape society, for example, iwi input into local decisions.

< Pedagogy

Last updated October 4, 2011