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1 pushing the boundaries for change honoring the child, honoring equity 4th international conference 11th - 14th November 2004 From the Margins to the.

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Presentation on theme: "1 pushing the boundaries for change honoring the child, honoring equity 4th international conference 11th - 14th November 2004 From the Margins to the."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 pushing the boundaries for change honoring the child, honoring equity 4th international conference 11th - 14th November 2004 From the Margins to the Centre: Repositioning Māori at the centre of early childhood education in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Dr. Jenny Ritchie, University of Waikato Cheryl Rau, University of Waikato

2 2 Overview of Workshop Content:  Colonisation as context  Early childhood education as decolonisation  Research design  Narratives  Workshopping ideas

3 3 Legacy from the Past Te Tiriti o Waitangi: Allowed for British governance, and in exchange guaranteed to Maori the protection of their: lands resources rights belief systems and self-determination

4 4 Impacting Realities Assumption of sovereignty by the Crown Maori were increasingly marginalized from decision-making with consequent losses of: –lives –lands –languages –and spiritual and physical wellbeing

5 5 Education as Agent of Colonisation  Māori were subjected to processes that disregarded their ways of being and knowing, as contained within their language and tikanga (cultural practices) (Durie, 1999).  Dominant cultures have controlled educational discourses, silencing those on the margins (Delpit, 1988)  Early childhood education is a site of cultural transmission, within which discourses of racism and colonisation are inadvertently perpetuated (Canella, 1997, 1999, 2000).

6 6 Moving beyond colonisation  Requires major transformation of colonial institutions – power sharing, multiple perspectives  Kaupapa Māori describes the practice and philosophy of living by Māori cultural values, and as such is also a vehicle of decolonisation, underpinning Māori conscientisation, resistance and transformative praxis within education (Smith, 1997).

7 7 Early childhood education as transformative site  The early childhood sector has been particularly progressive in its readiness to be responsive to Māori concerns, although this progress hasn’t been achieved without ongoing tensions and debate (May, 2001).  Early childhood centres provide the potential for intergenerational involvement, enhancing transformative possibilities.

8 8 Te Whāriki  The expectations of adults are powerful influences on children’s lives. If adults are to make informed observations of children, they should recognise their own beliefs, assumptions, and attitudes and the influence these will have on the children (p. 30).  The early childhood curriculum actively contributes towards countering racism and other forms of prejudice (p. 18).

9 9 Te Whāriki recognises:  New Zealand is the home of Māori language and culture: curriculum in early childhood settings should promote te reo and ngā tikanga Māori, making them visible and affirming their value for children from all cultural backgrounds (p. 42)

10 10 Implementing Te Whāriki?  (93.1 %) of early childhood teachers working in services other than Kōhanga Reo, the Māori immersion centres, are not Māori (Ministry of Education, 2004)  Māori colleagues, who unlike their Pākehā colleagues, are bicultural, are repositories of the expertise required to implement Te Whāriki

11 11 Two interwoven projects  Whakawhanaungatanga – partnerships in bicultural development in early childhood care and education (Jenny Ritchie and Cheryl Rau  Māori perspectives on pathways to building bicultural capacity in early childhood care and education (Cheryl Rau)

12 12 Research Design  Data drawn from the narratives of: –early childhood teachers –professional development providers – iwi (tribal) education authority educators –and teacher educators

13 13 Collaborative processes  Co-design and co- theorising, utilising –Whakawhanaungatanga (relationships) –kanohi ki te kanohi (face-to-face) –korero (dialogue) –hui (meetings)

14 14 Whakamana *Kia ora, I've been having a bit of a think before replying to this topic. I think one of the biggest values of Māori that we can value is Māori themselves. –positions Māori people as central to education –consistent with Kaupapa Māori theory, prioritising and affirming Māori knowledge and belief systems

15 15 Tikanga – Māori protocols *Not having food as a play material at the centre. The reason being that kai is kai and is not to be played with. We do not use any food products at all. Playdough is replaced by two types of clay, sawdust dough, plasticine (you can get some really great plasticine these days!) and we are continually looking for other alternatives. I hear that bees wax is also great for the tamariki to use. We don't use corn flour for fingerpaint but find other alternatives.

16 16 Tapu and noa  Ensure spiritual wellbeing is maintained  Tapu is a state of heightened spiritual consciousness, and noa is the opposite, the state of being spiritually ordinary.  Food falls into the noa category, and is not to be associated with the highly sacred practices of creating artefacts, since this would be a spiritual violation of this creative process.

17 17 Whangaia te whānau *Cooking is also an important part of our programme and especially some wonderful delicacies such as boil up - pork bones and puha from the garden, fish heads, fried bread, kai moana [seafood] galore etc etc. We grow lots of veges in our gardens and the whānau and community are welcome to help themselves to this kai.

18 18 Manaakitanga  obligation to provide hospitality and sustenance to visitors. This provision enhances the mana (prestige) of the provider.  traditional kai affirms and nurtures the tamariki and whānau present, provides a tangible link to their culture, as well as the physical and spiritual sustenance.

19 19 Tohatoha *The centre is seen as belonging to the whānau. They have access to all the kindergarten. Office, kitchen etc. The computer in the office is for whānau to use especially if they require it for study. We are mindful of the confidentiality factor and always ensure that nothing confidential is left on the desk.

20 20 Tātou tātou  recognition that resources are there to be utilised by the collective.  equalising of power dynamics between teachers and whānau.  early childhood centre becomes a centre for community learning (Corson, 1999).

21 21 Tuakana/teina *We have mixed aged grouping at the kindergarten. This came about as a need within the community. Transport is a barrier when it comes to the tamariki attending regularly. We have a high proportion of siblings/whaanau attending in the same session.

22 22 Whānau grouping *Whānau grouping means that as teachers we have to really get to know the tamariki well and the activities and the way the programme is structured has to cater for all age groups and abilities. Tuakana/teina relationships mean that there is a lot of opportunities for leadership and support for each other.

23 23 Valuing what works for Māori *I suppose valuing what works best in each individual community and as Māori kaiako being able to support this appears to work well.  Establishing a community of practice shared histories, values and knowledges mediated and owned by that community (Anning, 2004).  A community-responsive programme (Corson, 1999),

24 24 Kaiako Tuarua *Ngā whakaaro [the thinking] in this kindergarten is based on our philosophy … which links to… Te Whāriki and includes te Ao Māori as a natural part of the programme.  Te Whāriki enacted in its bicultural intention  Māori values intrinsic to her work and her discussion.

25 25 Whanaungatanga *My kaupapa (philosophy) is that we all one big family and we come together for the benefit of our children. These are my mokopuna (grandchildren). Each child is unique in their own way and their whānau are my whānau, so welcome to X kindergarten everyone!

26 26 Ako *My tamariki… go home and ako (teach) their mātua as well so everybody is included in this programme.  Whakamana  Akoranga  Kotahitanga

27 27 Taonga tuku iho *I look at the reo especially the tikanga because that keeps me grounded because of the lessons we’ve been gifted and we’re here to do a job not for ourselves but for our rangatira our tupuna but families that have gone before us - they have led the way for us.

28 28 Aroha *It’s trusting and believing in that person because if they don’t trust you they won’t do anything for you. … Come down to the level that they’re on and then slowly filter the knowledge so you’re feeding them try you’re also feeding the parents and you’re opening their eyes up to a bigger brighter world.  Responsive and reciprocal relationships

29 29 He Taura Whiri  Marcelle Townsend-Cross, an indigenous Australian early childhood academic said that: “True respect is a deep emotional relationship developed through understanding and connectedness” (Townsend-Cross, 2004).

30 30 Transformative praxis  This is a transformation of the traditional monocultural western kindergarten programme, a disruption of the pervasiveness of the hegemonic discourses that have dominated early childhood practice in this country. These teachers are creating space in which Māori ways of being and knowing are ‘normal’ (Jenkins & Pihama, 2001).

31 31 Tino Rangatiratanga  collectively reshaping early childhood provision in response to their communities’ values and needs.  Arohia Durie has described tino rangatiratanga as “a theory of collective action” (1994, p. 113).

32 32 Whaiora  These narratives and strategies of Maori moving from the margins to the centre of early childhood practice in Aotearoa provide inspiration for those of us who are seeking to envision the potentialities of Te Whariki, through their realisation of Maori centred pathways.

33 33 Mana wahine  Linda Smith has stated that: “By just being a Māori and a woman, who thinks about her life and her people - one is on the cutting edge. That is where Māori women live - on the cutting edge of theory” (cited in Te Awekotutu, 1992, p. 54).

34 34 Mana Māori  Mason Durie suggests we strive for: “a balancing of forces so that the interface can be converted from a place of collision and lost potential, to a site of growth and innovation, both for educational advancement and the advancement of the nation” (Durie, 2003, p.19).

35 35 Conclusion  These Maori educators are exercising their tino rangatiratanga, which Arohia Durie has described as “a theory of collective action” (1994, p. 113). Their practice is responsive to the values and needs of the communities in which they work, reflecting qualities of listening, welcoming, and hospitality (Dahlberg, 2004).

36 36 Korero Whakamutunga  In transforming their kindergarten practice around Maori values and priorities, they are creating spaces in which Māori ways of being and knowing are ‘normal’ rather than ‘other’ (Jenkins & Pihama, 2001).  These Maori led pathways are models for moving Maori epistemologies from the margins to the centre of early childhood practice in Aotearoa. Discussing these narratives can serve to disrupt our taken-for-granted assumptions of what constitutes “normal” early childhood education discourse.

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