Ngā whakaaro o ngā ākonga: perspectives and experiences of Māori students in outdoor education in Aotearoa New Zealand
Washbourn, P. (2018). Ngā whakaaro o ngā ākonga: perspectives and experiences of Māori students in outdoor education in Aotearoa New Zealand (Thesis, Master of Health, Sport and Human Performance (MHSHP)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11976
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11976
This study aims to develop an understanding of the perspectives and experiences of Māori students in a secondary school outdoor education programme in Aotearoa New Zealand. Lynch (2012) indicated that “there is a clear need, and wide scope, for research into: cultural elements of outdoor education programmes; cultural effects on participants; culturally appropriate research approaches and programme effects on, and experiences of, people who identify as Māori” (p.49). Outdoor education in Aotearoa New Zealand has been heavily influenced by ‘Eurocentric’ values and practices that contrast with those of Te Ao Māori. In line with a number of calls to re-envision the field, the perspectives and experiences of Māori and the incorporation of Te Ao Māori pedagogies are vital to the reconstruction of an integrated and inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand expression of Outdoor Education for the 21st century.This study, guided by culturally responsive research methodology, used focus groups to investigate the opinions, thoughts and expectations of Māori students of outdoor education. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the focus group data, and four major themes were identified: the importance of shared experience and relationships to positive experiences of outdoor education; the distinctive practices of outdoor education make learning enjoyable and engaging; the importance to students of making connections with Te Ao Māori through experience, stories of places and history; and the complexity of engaging Māori in participation in outdoor education, including factors such as affordability, the influence of friends and whānau and prioritising educational pathways. A range of practices and approaches from Te Ao Māori are considered and presented, based on the contribution of the student participants, including pedagogical principles from Te Ao Māori such as wānanga, whanaungatanga and tauira. Suggestions for practice include developing connections within the community and experiencing Te Ao Māori learning contexts such as waka ama, noho marae and mahinga kai.
The University of Waikato
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