How prepared are Pākehā tertiary teachers to teach Māori students? Teachers’ own perceptions of their preparedness
Honey, S. E. (2014). How prepared are Pākehā tertiary teachers to teach Māori students? Teachers’ own perceptions of their preparedness (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/9300
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/9300
In the past three decades New Zealand has seen an increasing government commitment to realising the promises of both equality and tino rangatiratanga embedded in the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. There is acknowledgement that the impacts of colonisation and past acts of government have negatively affected Māori economically, socially, politically and educationally. To strengthen New Zealand’s ability to compete economically and academically on an international level, the Ministry of Education 2014 – 2019 Tertiary Education Strategy set an aim for 55% of all 25-34 year olds, regardless of ethnicity, to have a qualification at Level 4 or above on the NZQA Framework, by 2017. Additionally Ka Hikitia: the Māori Education Strategy (2009, 2013) particularly aims for Māori to be achieving these educational successes as Māori, where being Māori is a strength in their learning and where learning environments acknowledge and support Te Ao Māori. Although enrolments of students at Wānanga (tertiary institutes based on Māori principles and values) are steadily increasing, the majority of Māori tertiary students currently study at mainstream (English medium) institutes and are taught in the majority by Pākehā teachers. Regardless of which institute Māori study at, the Tertiary Education Strategy (Ministry of Education, 2014) acknowledges that culturally responsive education better engages Māori. This acknowledgement carries with it an expectation that Pākehā tertiary teachers are prepared to teach in culturally responsive ways and are confident in using culturally responsive pedagogies. This thesis examines how prepared Pākehā tertiary teachers perceive themselves to meet the tertiary education strategy’s expectation. It includes examining the existing literature about how tertiary teachers are prepared in New Zealand and the expectations of culturally responsive tertiary education. Pākehā tertiary teachers were then interviewed for their perspectives of their preparedness for teaching Māori students. Teachers identified themselves variably in their perceived levels of preparedness. What emerges from the study is that tertiary teacher preparation in a cultural context should take priority in developing new teachers’ cultural capacity to meet the expectation of the tertiary education strategies for Māori to be succeeding in tertiary education, as Māori. This research is significant because it looks at the complexity of what is required for preparing culturally responsive Pākehā tertiary teachers and aligns this with teachers’ own perceptions of how prepared they are. Studying the perception of preparedness from the teachers’ point of view is a new direction to take as the evaluation of tertiary teacher performance is usually done by means external to the teachers’ own personal evaluations; that is, teacher capability and performance is usually measured by student evaluations and student achievement outcomes. Whilst this study is New Zealand focussed and refers to many New Zealand originating resources, literature from international studies also serve to reinforce the notion that being a culturally responsive teacher is a multifaceted journey of both personal and professional growth for teachers.
University of Waikato
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