Bishop, R., Ladwig, J., & Berryman, M. (2013). The Centrality of Relationships for Pedagogy: The Whanaungatanga Thesis. American Educational Research Journal, published online November 13, 2013.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/8350
Te Kotahitanga is a research and professional development project that seeks to reduce educational disparities between indigenous Māori students and their non-Māori peers in New Zealand secondary schools. While evidence of the impact of the project on teachers’ practice and the associated gains made by Māori students has been published previously, in order for the work of Te Kotahitanga to contribute to the broader educational research community, its pedagogical premises require empirical verification. To do so, we must first establish the validity of the pedagogical data by addressing two questions: (a) To what degree can the data gathered in the collaborative processes of Te Kotahitanga be used as a measure of pedagogical quality? and (b) Do these data support the foundational hypothesis of the project, that “extended family” relationships, as understood by Māori people when using the Māori term, whanaungatanga, are a central necessary component of overall pedagogical quality? This article provides an account of the context of this work then presents an analysis directed to these questions in turn. First, our analysis of the observational data gathered during the Te Kotahitanga professional development process is presented, followed by the measures that were developed for each of the main dimensions of pedagogy addressed in this work. Second, using these measures we present our analysis of the inter-relation among these dimensions of pedagogy to test the Whanaungatanga pedagogical thesis.
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