The whanaungatanga approach

Discussing her research into bicultural development of ECE centres, Jenny Ritchie found that:

“Visiting centres and talking with graduates and professional development facilitators increased my understanding of what is possible in mainstram centres, where there are often no Maori staff to lead a bicultural development process. Maori participants pointed out that there are, however, few ‘benchmarks’ for what should be happening in terms of bicultural practice.” (p.25)

She also wrote that:
“A key finding of the study was that the teacher education programme should aim to equip graduates to be able to facilitate what was termed a whanaungatanga approach. This concept of whanaungatanga recognises the centrality of whanau and relationships to early childhood care and education, and is consistent with the Te Whariki principle of Family and Community/Whanau,… The whanaungatanga approach also requires a reconceptualising of the construct of teacher as ‘expert’, since we cannot be experts in another person’s culture if we do not share that cultural background. Teachers from the dominant pakeha culture require humility and sensitivity, so that they can avoid misrepresenting Maori cultural symbols and meanings and be vigilant about the limitations of the role of a pakeha facilitator of bicultural development.” (25)

Even though she published these findings in 2001, things haven’t yet changed much…

Ref: (emphases in bold, mine) Jenny Ritchie (2001) Implementing a bicultural curriculum some considerations Early Childhood Folio 5, 23-26


About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
This entry was posted in Maori learners and education, Mono- Bi- and Multi-culturalism, Pakeha learners and education and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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