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Looking for the Tikanga in technology education

This dissertation is dedicated to understanding how it would feel to be disconnected from their own past and devalued as a race by colonialism; that is, how would it feel to be Māori in my class? This dissertation aims to support New Zealand teachers of Technology to better understand how they can create a curriculum for Technology that is more connected to aspects of Māori culture and in doing so improve learning outcomes for Māori. At the same time it explores how Pākehā students could gain a better understanding of the tikanga that guides the essence of what it means to be Māori and what it means to be an honourable Treaty partner with Māori. The 1840 Treaty of Waitangi laid the foundation for a formal respectful relationship between Māori and the British and for the introduction of British rule of law. Despite the intentions of the Treaty being one of equal partnerships between the British and Māori, the Treaty did not eventuate to be the equal nor mutually beneficial agreement that was anticipated by Māori. Today visible disparities, that exist for Māori across society, are evident in Māori learning outcomes in Aotearoa New Zealand secondary schools. This research explores my own praxis in secondary technology education in collaborating with Māori to incorporate tikanga Māori (Māori customary values and practices) into the classroom. A focus on tikanga and Technology provides opportunities to develop improved understandings of more inclusive learning contexts. This dissertation histories the identity evolution of me, the researcher. The process I utilised is a method of self-examination and identity construction for other technology teachers who want to improve their practices in teaching students who are Māori. This study describes a repositioning process of how I took ownership for self-improvement. To enable an emphasis for this, there is a particular focus on the Nature of Technology strand of the New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2007, 2017). Pacey (2001) discusses the possibilities of a more people-centred technology with a participatory, ethical experience of technology that values people as well as their environment. In Aotearoa New Zealand, a teacher is encouraged to take personal responsibility for their engagement with an official curriculum (MOE, 2007). My students and I have embarked on a number of projects that are localised both within our community and in wider society. These projects required us to have an understanding of tikanga. Mead (2016) requires that for educators and leaders to be more effective in what they do, they need to know the protocols that are drawn from the basket of knowledge called tikanga. My research explores ways to aid teachers develop understandings of Te Ao Māori (The Māori world) and the cultural world of Māori learners, with a view to promoting teaching that engages respectfully with, the knowledge of tikanga Māori in New Zealand Technology classrooms. I have completed many years of teaching, much of which has been in the curriculum area of Technology. I have managed this with only a limited amount of supporting knowledge and understanding of how tikanga Māori could be appropriately and meaningfully, woven into my practice and the practice of my fellow Technology teachers as a result of my leadership. I am non-Māori and have practised as a teacher in New Zealand secondary schools for 29 years. Together with my students, we recently completed a number of Technology projects that involved learning about significant aspects of Māori culture including tikanga Māori. One whole school technology project was to build Te Whare Iti o Te Ako (The Small House of Learning) for our local early childhood centre. Because of this project and other related experiences, I have had the chance to reflect at a very personal level. I have had the opportunity to identify the gaps in my understanding of indigenous knowledge, but also through students participating in these projects, I have witnessed a tremendous engagement of curiosity for learning from both Māori and non- Māori about tikanga Māori. Accordingly, this research study seeks to answer the following questions and supports my intention to become more effective in what I do and how I practise as a non-Māori teacher with both Māori and non-Māori learners. ● As a non-Māori teacher, what did I learn about and from, including tikanga Māori into my pedagogical praxis as a teacher of technology? o Who did I learn this from and how did I learn this? o In what ways did these experiences contribute to my understandings of Te Ao Māori? o How might my experiences support other teachers of technology? I use Autoethnography to undertake this research which allows me to produce meaningful, accessible and evocative research that is grounded in personal experience (Ellis, Adams & Bochner 2011).
Type of thesis
Knoef, B. J. (2019). Looking for the Tikanga in technology education (Dissertation). University of Waikato. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13811
University of Waikato
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