Thumbnail Image

Kaupapa Māori Science

This thesis investigates how Māori knowledge and language articulate with current discourses of Pūtaiao education, and possible alternative articulations. A Kaupapa Māori version of critical discourse analysis methodology is developed and applied to discourses relevant to Pūtaiao, or Māori-medium science education. This topic represents an intersection between language, science, education, and culture - fields which are all highly politically charged. Therefore, it is essential that a politically robust Kaupapa Māori position be taken in relation to the research topic. Not only the issues being investigated but the underlying research paradigm must be interrogated using Kaupapa Māori theory at each stage of the project. The goal is to study the range of possible meanings for the notions of 'Pūtaiao' and 'Māori science' by exploring the relevant dialectical issues, critiquing the assumptions and positions taken on language, knowledge, identity and ethos, in order to inform further Pūtaiao curriculum development. The research project is a narration of the larger story of Pūtaiao education: what is the current situation, how did it come about, what theoretical issues have been influential in this process, and what possibilities are there for further development of Pūtaiao curriculum and pedagogy? The thesis research consists of a series of discourse analyses of varying levels of focus and intersection with Pūtaiao: Wāhanga 1: Translated NCEA L1 science and mathematics examinations, and a traditional Taitokerau oral text; Wāhanga 2: Māori science curriculum policy; Wāhanga 3: Multicultural science education research; Wāhanga 4: Curriculum politics, preventive linguistics, language of science; Wāhanga 5: Mātauranga, rationality, philosophy of science. Each analysis takes the form of a narrative history, based on a selected corpus of previously published scholarship (in Wāhanga 1, including numerical data and oral tradition) on the issue under examination, from a Kaupapa Māori perspective. Mainly in the first two chapters, analysis at times also draws on 'personal narrative' accounts of previously unpublished details relating to Pūtaiao. Additionally, an investigation of various qualified notions of 'science' is undertaken, beginning in Wāhanga 2, concluding in Wāhanga 5, in order to explore the nature and boundaries of science as a system of knowledge, and its relationship to other types or systems of knowledge. Synopses are included of the following concepts and theoretical issues impacting on the discourses under analysis: Wāhanga 1: Ethnicity, 'race', critical theory, Kaupapa Māori theory. Wāhanga 2: Science, scientism, science ideology and anti-science. Wāhanga 4: Identity, linguistic purism, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. Informed by this research, in Wāhanga 5 an original model for the relationship between mātauranga and science is proposed, and the notion of Kaupapa Māori science/epistemology is explored. An analogy between the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and multicultural science is used to draw together the cultural debates in language and knowledge, which are surmised to intersect at the level of discourse. The final chapter presents a re-articulation of Pūtaiao as the notion of Kaupapa Māori science education, and some recommendations for language and content knowledge in further development of Pūtaiao curriculum policy.
Type of thesis
Stewart, G. M. (2007). Kaupapa Māori Science (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2598
The University of Waikato
All items in Research Commons are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.