Mates at the school gates:Investigating peer relationships among rangatahi Māori
Knowles, A. H. (2019). Mates at the school gates:Investigating peer relationships among rangatahi Māori (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12836
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12836
As a teacher, I have found that while some rangatahi feel connected to school, many others do not. In an attempt to reduce the gap between Māori and non-Māori educational achievement, there have been significant nationwide initiatives implemented into schools across New Zealand. These programmes have been centred mostly around improving school engagement. Despite these efforts, school attendance rates among Māori continue to decline. This thesis explores the role of peer relationships among rangatahi Māori, including how these relationships may influence various domains of engagement at school, such as participation, belonging and orientation to learning. This research involves focus group interviews with six rangatahi Māori aged 17-18, and in Years 12 and 13 in a small-town New Zealand High School. The wāhine Māori who contributed to the study, had been identified by the school as successfully engaged through regular attendance and participation of school activites. The findings from this study identify some critical aspects to building strong peer relationships, including: having a social space to gather, practicing manaakitanga, recognising equity, maintaining connection with each other, and welcoming humour. The rangatahi in this study value their peers and social relationships and they freely access these resources as needed. In doing so they are able to collectively critique experiences of marginalisation and acquire a collective source of resilience. The participants in this study then draw on this collective resilience during challenging situations.
The University of Waikato
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