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1 Cheryl Rau & Jenny Ritchie University of Waikato Presentation to “The Politics of Early Childhood Education” 4th Annual Professional Development Symposium.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Cheryl Rau & Jenny Ritchie University of Waikato Presentation to “The Politics of Early Childhood Education” 4th Annual Professional Development Symposium."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Cheryl Rau & Jenny Ritchie University of Waikato Presentation to “The Politics of Early Childhood Education” 4th Annual Professional Development Symposium Auckland College of Education Early Childhood Professional Support Programmes He Kaupapa Tautoko Nga Kaiako Puhou 22 September, 2004 Partnership in Practice Collaborative Research in Early Childhood Education in Aotearoa/New Zealand: Two Projects

2 2 Te Tiriti o Waitangi Te Tiriti o Waitangi guarantees: Article Two: tino rangatiratanga (self- determination) over lands, villages and taonga (everything of value to Maori) Article Three: equal rights for Maori Article Four: equal status for Maori beliefs

3 3 Background history of colonisation Māori reduced to 4% of pop (1900), now 15% increasing recognition of rights of Māori as indigenous people Te Whāriki, bicultural early childhood curriculum

4 4 Whakawhanaungatanga Strategic Plan for Early Childhood in Aotearoa/NZ – A New Era a focus on collaborative relationships for Mäori to create an environment where the wider needs of Maori children, their parents, and whanau (families) are recognised and acknowledged and early childhood services are encouraged to become more responsive to the needs of Maori children (Ministry of Education, 2002).

5 5 Research 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)

6 6 Whakawhanaungatanga Building Relationships Whanaungatanga: recognises the centrality of whānau (family), hapū (subtribe), and iwi (tribe) and relationships to Māori early childhood care and education is an organising principle and process within settings that are committed to delivering a Māori philosophy

7 7 Whakawhanaungatanga Early childhood educators see it as their professional responsibility: to actively create an environment and ethos that incorporates Māori language, values and cultural practices in order that Māori families feel welcome and comfortable, a sense of belonging, eventually empowering them to contribute some of their knowledges and skills within that early childhood setting (Ritchie, 2002)

8 8 Research Design Kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) partnerships with a range of early childhood professionals: kindergarten teachers, professional development providers, iwi (tribal) education authority, teacher education institutions Website participation available to all interested early childhood educators/whānau nationwide

9 9 Hui Whanaungatanga/relationships Ngā huarahi/pathways He korero whakautu/responses Tautohetohe/tensions Whiriwhiri korero/negotiation

10 10

11 11 Proactive Planning “In our centre we begin in the planning stages, having a space on our planning form where we identify te reo we intend to use over the week, this provides the teachers with somewhere to start and makes us work towards children understanding and using those words. Some phrases are used regularly so are not recorded eg Kia pai ki o hoa, be kind to your friends” (Pakeha educator)

12 12 Te Reo Inclusion Strategies identified by a Pakeha educator include: Proactive inclusion of te reo in their planning format Encouraging whanau to support te reo Inclusion of waiata and te reo at mat time Use of te reo for praise Using waiata as part of birthday rituals

13 13 Te Reo as a Positive The positive climate towards te reo is reflected in the participation of whanau. Te reo as a positive is seen in: birthday celebrations praising children’s accomplishments This is in contrast to previous research (Ritchie, 1999) which showed te reo being used by Pakeha educators predominately as a language of commands.

14 14 Involving Whanau ongoing communication and relationship building the creation of a climate that is warm, welcoming that whanau sense a genuine respect for te reo and tikanga as educators value te reo and tikanga, this symbolically also affirms and validates the presence of whanau Maori

15 15 Kanohi ki te kanohi “Some days I feel as though I have spent more time talking to whaanau than to the tamariki but see the important role this plays. If we do not have the trust or take the time to establish these relationships with whaanau we… will never begin to understand what is going on for many of our tamariki in their lives outside kindergarten. … I have also gone door knocking to get enrolments and this also works well. This kanohi ki te kanohi approach proved its weight in gold” (Maori Educator).

16 16 A Community/Whanau Centered Focus prioritising relationship-building with whanau conversations provide understanding of the children’s lives outside the centre living in the community provides an intimate knowledge of the issues and relationships that surround tamariki and whanau commitment to “kanohi ki te kanohi” engagement with whanau extends to recruiting new whanau from the community

17 17 Different Positionings Whanaungatanga is a survival strategy for Māori, yet Pākehā educators may view it as merely an optional “bicultural” approach (Irwin, 1993)

18 18 Challenges for educators Only 6.9% of early childhood teachers in mainstream early childhood settings are Mäori »Most non-Mäori educators lack Mäori knowledge “What kinds of constructions are the monocultural professionals creating for cross-cultural meetings and mergings?” (Jeanette Rhedding-Jones 2001)

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