«A LITERATURE REVIEW ON KAUPAPA MAORI AND MAORI EDUCATION PEDAGOGY Prepared for ITP New Zealand by IRI The International Research Institute for Maori ...»
Research has highlighted that a key objective in the establishment of schooling was to utilise it as a means of social control (Simon 1990,1992) and a vehicle through which to `civilise the natives' (Binney 1968). Judith Binney (1968) highlights that the establishment of Missionary schools, under the umbrella of the Church Missionary Society (CMS), had the express objective of "civilising" Maori people in order to facilitate a process of Christianity. The `benefits' of Pakeha society were introduced that would aid in the process of "civilising the natives" and thereby, in the eyes of the CMS, would ensure the acceptance of christianity. The introduction of a Pakeha schooling system stemmed from this philosophy and as one of the perceived `benefits' provided a systematic means for dispersing selected forms of knowledge and skills required for the desired effect of christianising Maori people (ibid). the following quote from an un-named author which appeared in `The New Zealander' (1846) outlines clearly the dominant attitudes of the early settlers to Maori involvement in schooling It were but rational, humane and politic to furnish the natives with sound instruction respecting both their duties, their moral obligations and their political privileges...Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of the times. (The New Zealander, December 12 1846) This philosophy was further entrenched with the introduction of State control of Maori schooling in 1867.
Increased expenditure of Native education would be beneficial in the saving on future expenditure in areas such as police and gaols.
In order for Maori people to obtain other there must be a knowledge of the english language.
For Maori people to fully appreciate the benefits of schooling they must be "required to do something towards their own education, as they would then value it more". (AJHR 1867 Part 2) The education system was a designed to be a vehicle for the assimilation of Maori people into processes of colonial thought and practice (Smith, L.T. 1989). This was highlighted by a desire to establish a "little England" in the colony. This was to be achieved not solely through the expansion of British capitalism but also through "physically transplanting a vertical slice of British Society - economics, politics and ideology" (Bedggood, 1980:24). To promote assimilation Native schools;
were placed in the heart of Maori communities like trojan horses. Their task was to destroy the less visible aspects of Maori life: beliefs, value systems, and the spiritual bonds that connected people to each other and to their environment. (Smith, L.T.,1986:2) What is clearly documented in the research is that early education policies were constructed in order to attain social "stability" and provide legislative frameworks through which to ensure the desired goal of assimilation was achieved.
From these beginnings the Pakeha education system has evolved and refined its methods and pedagogy related to assimilation policies as may be seen with the introduction of the concept of "Integration" as espoused in the 1960 Hunn Report (Simon & Smith 1990). The Hunn report expressed a desire to “combine (not fuse) Maori and Pakeha elements to form one nation” (Hunn, J.K.,1960:15) Throughout the Hunn report the assumption remains that it is Maori people that must `change' to ensure "their adjustment to modern life", this process of change was to be achieved through the "elimination" of those Maori people whom maintain "minority complacency living a backward life in primitive conditions" by "raising" them to a position whereby they are "pretty much at home in either society, who like to partake in both". From this "raised" (i.e. Integrated) position Maori people may then "[choose] whether they remain `integrated' or become `assimilated'" (ibid:17). This position has had considerable impact upon Maori experiences of schooling through the ongoing maintenance of a system that served the interests of the dominant group over those interest of Maori.
Adhoc attempts to include Maori elements within the curriculum also tended to primarily serve the interests on Pakeha. For example, the development of the `Taha Maori' component in the School curriculum in the 1980s further exemplified a focus on the need to change Maori people in order to aid their success within the system. Graham Smith (1986) contends `Taha Maori' is an instrument which at one level of influence is perpetuating the status quo within New Zealand schools and thereby maintaining the position of Pakeha dominance in relation to the control of education. A further consideration is that at another level of influence Taha Maori may not be concerned with merely maintaining the status quo position of Pakeha dominance, but in fact be actively promoting the acculturation of Maori culture. (Smith, G.H.,1986:1) `Taha Maori' was therefore promoted by the (then) Department of Education as a medium through which to raise the self-esteem of Maori children so that they are able to achieve more fully within the existing system. This model focused on Maori children and an attempt to change their attitudes, again an expression of `deficit' theories that seek a micro change at the level of the child and neglects any analysis of the schooling system or questions of how and whose knowledge is constructed within the education system. Maori knowledge in the form of `Taha Maori' is selected with the intent of preparing Maori children for learning the ‘real’, i.e. Pakeha defined and controlled, knowledge (Smith G.H. 1986). Throughout the 1960s – 1990 period the processes of educational change concerning Maori children focused predominantly within a deficit approach or what is commonly referred to as a `victim-blaming' scenario. Maori children, Maori people have been viewed as being deficient and Maori underachievement defined in terms of Maori children lacking appropriate skills and knowledge. The underpinning philosophy being that of changing the Maori parents, Maori children and Maori whanau, which is envisaged will provide a domino-type effect, leading ultimately to changing the Maori child to an extent to which they will achieve more successfully within the structure of the present education system.
The most succinct usage of cultural deprivation theory Aotearoa is that offered by John Forster and Peter Ramsay (1973). In their article "The Maori population 1936-1966" they proclaimed It is generally agreed that his [Maori] low attainment is the result of a combination of other factors. Poor Socio-economic conditions, including such factors as occupancy rates, social attitudes, poor living conditions, and a different cultural upbringing impose severe limitations on the Maori scholar. (Forster, J & Ramsay, P.
1969:211) Forster and Ramsay’s "Interlocking Spiral of Cumulative and Circular Causation" approach highlighted the existence of a `cycle of poverty' that perpetuates low educational achievement of Maori pupils. They argued that interrupting the `deprivation cycle' necessitates a change in cultural factors which predetermine Maori participation in the cycle. Change must therefore occur in the social and cultural capital of the child and their family environment, particularly in terms of the statement by D.G. Ball, that it is "the `Maoriness' [sic] of the child which is the greatest handicap" (Ball cited in Forster J. & Ramsay P.,1969:211).
This approach was widely held by the Department of Education, with the publication, "The Education of Maori Children: A Review" (1971) carrying this message All these reports [i.e. Hunn Report, Currie Commission] attempted to analyse the Maori childs inability to fulfil his [sic] potential in the existing education, in spite of endowments equal to those of Pakeha. They recognised that often a Maori child entered a Pakeha-oriented school less well prepared by pre-school experience than a Pakeha, particularly in the use of language. His [sic] differences in this respect were likely to handicap his [sic] whole educational progress if steps were not taken within the school system. Social and economic conditions including inadequate housing and poor opportunities for employment of both youth and adults, were contributing factors. (Department of Education, 1971:18-19) Maori cultural experiences and background are positioned as `other than the norm', the norm being middle class Pakeha culture, the Maori child and her/his environment were seen as deficient and handicaps to future success in the education system. As such Maori experiences of the education system were located firmly within cultural deprivation explanations. Cultural deprivation/ disadvantage/ difference theories assume there exists a `norm' in society against which all `others' can be measured and evaluated. In New Zealand the `norm ' may be generally stated as middle class Pakeha and Maori people are assessed relative to that `norm'. The emphasis on correcting the cultural background of Maori children is based on the assumption that the environment of the Maori child is a barrier to their achievement within the school system that Maori children carry with them particular `cultural baggage' that impedes their development.
Underlying such a theory is the notion that the dominant culture and knowledge are "endorsed as `the culture' of the state schooling system" (Smith, G.,1986:3).
There is no analysis or challenge to the structural or cultural arrangements of the system itself.
Although brief, this overview of the development of formal schooling for Maori provides a backdrop for understanding contemporary developments of Kaupapa Maori educational initiatives and the move by Maori to develop alternative educational sites such as Te Kohanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa Maori, Whare Kura and Whare Wananga. These developments will be explored in the next section.
KAUPAPA MAORI EDUCATIONAL INITIATIVES
Kaupapa Maori as a resistance strategy can be viewed in practice through some key intervention initiatives. Te Kohanga Reo and Kura Kaupapa Maori have employed Kaupapa Maori principles to challenge mainstream views and have provided a ‘for Maori by Maori’ alternative for the educating of Maori children, and society.
Te Kohanga Reo are early-childhood centres in which children are immersed in Te Reo and tikanga Maori within a culturally supportive and safe environment.
Literally translated, Te Kohanga Reo means ‘the language nest’. These earlychildhood centres were set up as a strategy for the nurturing and revitalisation of Maori language, culture and traditions. Bishop (1998) states that Te Kohanga Reo was the result of Maori communities want for “an education that maintained their own lifestyles, language and culture while also enhancing life chances, access to power and equality of opportunity”. (1998:5). Smith (1997) states that the idea of Kohanga Reo was first proposed at a hui of Maori leaders in 1980, with the first Kohanga Reo being established in 1982 in the Wellington region of Pukeatua.
Since the establishment of this Kohanga Reo, the growth of this movement has been rapid, with a number of Kohanga now established across the entire breadth of New Zealand and in a number of both rural and urban communities.
These Kohanga Reo are bound by their underpinning philosophy that provides for the nurturing and revitalising of Te Reo me ona tikanga, and the ‘whanau’ approach that they employ. Whanau play an integral part of the decision-making process and have control over what the children learn, how they should learn it and who is involved in that learning (Bishop 1998:5). Whanau members are also expected to play a role in the educating of their child whether that be through the continuing of the practice of tikanga Maori in the home, or through participation within te kohanga reo. In any sense the whanau unit, and collective nature of such an organisation provides the backbone for the educating and the nurturing of the child. This philosophy is based on traditional concepts of learning in which the extended whanau played an integral role in the educating of the child. Kohanga Reo have been successful in a number of ways, as a politicising and conscientising agent (Smith 1997:258), as a means of exercising organisational and administrative autonomy and self-determination (Bishop 1998:5), and as a successful intervention stratergy that has produced Maori graduates who are fluent in te reo Maori, and secure in their identity.
Following on from the development of Kohanga Reo, there was an obvious need to provide these graduates with a means of continuing this Kaupapa Maori education.
State schools were unable to cater for the needs of kohanga reo graduates, and the success of kohanga reo as a means of building fluency of Te Reo was being compromised by State primary schools whose environments were not conducive to maintaining these skills, thus a phenomenon of language loss occurred. In 1986 a group of whanau associated with kohanga reo decided to withdraw their children from these State schools, and together conceptualised an alternative schooling option called ‘kura Kaupapa Maori. The first kura Kaupapa Maori was established in 1985 at Hoani Waititi marae (Nepe 1991), and operated outside of the State schooling system. In 1990 Kura Kaupapa Maori was included into legislation and became a legitimate State schooling option.
The philosophy of Kura Kaupapa Maori was based on Maori language and culture revitalisation in the same vein as Kohanga Reo. Te Aho Matua is underpinning philosophy that guides Kura Kaupapa Maori, and is based on tikanga Maori, and traditional concepts of learning. The involvement of whanau is also an integral part of kura Kaupapa Maori as it is in Kohanga Reo. Both these initiatives have created a learning environment which locates Maori culture and tikanga as being ‘normal’ and taken for granted, they have been built on Maori philosophies and whakaaro and have been created and managed by Maori for Maori. These initiatives have succeeded in the revitalisation of language, in the politicisation and conscientisation of the Maori people, and in the nurturing of identity within Maori children. This highlights the validity of Kaupapa Maori as an intervention strategy.
KAUPAPA MAORI AND MAORI PEDAGOGY