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Tikanga Māori in the classroom

In this clip, a teacher emphasises the importance of having strong leadership within the school, as well as community engagement, in order for Māori language teaching and learning to be successful.
She sees the need for teachers to upskill in both second language pedagogy and Māori language/culture. She also discusses examples of tikanga demonstrated in her school, for example, saying karakia before kai, welcoming manuhiri, and not sitting on tables. We see an example of tuakana-teina learning in physical education – where certain students take a leadership role in choreography.
At another school, the principal talks about how they try to integrate a Māori perspective into their studies.


Within our kura, we see te ao Māori and learning ideas around tikanga and te reo Māori as important for our school. And so it’s something that all of the teachers do here. It’s something that our community – while the make up is mainly tangata tauiwi, we, the community still sees it as an important thing to learn te reo Māori in a classroom. Doing karakia before kai we are acknowledging things greater than us, things above us and the land for sustaining us; and that is a time for the students just to not only engage in tikanga Māori but also to settle and just to have time to reflect and be thankful for things that they have. When we’re sharing kai at our tables, students know they are not to sit on tables; bags are not put on tables. When we have people coming into the room we ensure that we mihi to those people, as basic as our language is. Within a tuakana teina structure, students support one another. Supporting one another is a key focus in our classroom, learning together is what we do, it’s part and parcel of our classroom. And we’ve been very conscious to address the needs of the more able and the less able. In my kura we’re very lucky to have the support of strong leaders in te reo Māori. Teachers then need to understand the importance to upskill themselves curriculum wise, in second-language learning pedagogy and upskilling themselves in their te reo Māori. And communicating that with their community as well. And when all of those facets come together, leadership from your school, engagement with teachers, engagement with the community, it all just flows down and students recognise the importance of learning their language.

Tandi McRae – Clyde Quay School

Over the last couple of years we’ve made substantial progress in te reo and tIkanga in our classrooms. With all our units of work, if there is an aspect of te reo and tIkanga that fits in there, then that is where it goes in and it’s just included as part of the programme. Some of the units that we have done recently looking at our local stream, or the water cycle, and things like that, the Māori perspective is brought in there, and so those concepts are just included as part of that.

Jeremy Edwards – Northland School


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