Māori academic success: Why the deficit perspectives?
Aporosa, S. ‘Apo’. (2016). Māori academic success: Why the deficit perspectives? Micronesian Educator: A Journal of Research and Practice on Education, 23, 33–51.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13099
Academics have long discussed the power of communication to both motivate and discourage. Concerning education, Paulo Freire (1997) had explained the dialogical learning process and the empowerment that comes from the inclusion of student knowledge. Alternatively, Carlson & Dimitriadis (2003) describe disempowerment and underachievement among Afro-American students resulting from societal expectations that they will fail. In a recent education environment scan focused on the Waikato-Tainui rohe, 28 kaupapa Māori education providers were identified as sites of high educational success, with one described as “outshining private schools and bucking national trends” (Carson, 2013). This aside, perceptions of generalized educational failure among Māori are commonplace in Aotearoa New Zealand. These impressions are fed by the media, the Ministry of Education (MOE) and in some cases, academic publications. This paper discusses the power of deficit models and counter-narratives to academic underachievement. This will be juxtaposed with commentary on why some students and their education providers within the Waikato-Tainui rohe appear to be unaffected by these counter- narratives and deficit theorizing.
University of Guam
This article is published in the Micronesian Educator: A Journal of Research and Practice on Education. Used with permission.