Presentation at Open Polytechnic 2013 Learning Conference : Engaging Learners.
Ako Aotearoa 2012 National Funded: Māori Initiative research project was predicated on the use of two kaupapa Māori frameworks: a fundamental ethical commitment to engaging in kaupapa Māori research and applying kaupapa methodology; and a tikanga framework for engaging with research participants that clearly identified the tikanga in practice during the research. It is purposed that the kaupapa Māori principles inherent in these frameworks could be implemented within tertiary mainstream courses to engage all learners in their pursuit to ‘be bicultural’. A literature review was undertaken to position the study, including an environmental scan to identify existing models of mainstream and kaupapa Māori practice and bicultural teaching and learning programmes. The review confirmed the gap between the cultural content of early childhood programmes and the outcome of culturally-competent practitioners working in early childhood services.
The findings suggest teacher education courses should focus on general issues of tikanga and the value that Māori place on cultural context within an historical framework, as well as teaching that local tikanga and kawa need to be learned and taken into account by teachers working in different iwi and hapū areas. Also, professionals need to be supported to understand and implement kaupapa Māori principles, protocols, and practices in order to assist the teacher education sector and a shift from a focus on biculturalism to bicultural development. A set of complementary bicultural resources have been created to support professionals to engage learners to build and integrate kaupapa Māori into teacher education and bicultural mentoring, ako and tuakana/teina delivery modes will be required to effectively and efficiently implement the use of bicultural resources in early childhood settings and other contextually appropriate settings.