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Decolonisation as a social change framework and its impact on the development of Indigenous-based curricula for Helping Professionals in mainstream Tertiary Education Organisations

This research examined the social and political approaches that Indigenous peoples undertook to situate Indigenous-based education programmes in mainstream post-secondary/tertiary education organisations. Indigenous-based helping programmes assist to progress Indigenous aspirations for self-determination and are sites that center Indigenous worldviews. A decolonisation analysis framework that is embedded in the curriculum deepens students’ understanding about the impacts of imperialism, colonisation and post colonial issues. This thesis involved researching two Indigenous-based programmes that are based within mainstream tertiary institutes. The first is the Te Whiuwhiu o te Hau Maori Counselling degree programme which is based at the Waikato Institute of Technology (WINTEC) in Hamilton, Aotearoa, New Zealand. The other is the Native Human Services Social Work degree programme which is based at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. I start this thesis with “opening the circle” and situating the context for my research. Next is the literature review chapter. This chapter provides a review of decolonisation-colonisation, decolonisation frameworks within Indigenous education, self-determination and Indigenous peoples, and Maori and Native self-determination strategies relevant to health and education. I used a case study method combined with an Indigenous methodology to guide the research. This involved gathering key pieces of information as well as interviewing participants (graduates, tutors/faculty/developers) from each programme. In chapter four is the Te Whiuwhiu o te Hau case study and in chapter five is found the Native Human Services case study. Each case study covers pre-colonial and colonisation contexts and examines assimilative legislation on Indigenous education and health. The backgrounds of social work and counselling, Native social work and Maori counselling are also presented. In the case studies is the background and rationale for the development of each programme, as well as pertinent information on the course content. Chapter six presents on the findings and conclusion and chapter seven “closes the circle”. The main findings highlighted that Indigenous curricula and pedagogies embrace Indigenous theories and discourse relevant to the helping practice fields. Secondly, each programme fosters students to make positive changes for themselves, for their communities, and for their professions. Another finding is that faculty/tutors promote an inclusive Indigenous pedagogy in the classroom that incorporates cultural ceremonies, encourage personal introspection, builds cultural and professional skills, and teaches critical education. Both programmes reflected a pedagogy that taught students to counter negative narratives while instilling a critical analysis of decolonisation and colonisation. I propose that a decolonisation analysis is both a reflective and healing tool, in that students are provided with the hard evidence about their histories and what happened to their communities. I contend that Indigenous-based programmes contribute to the continuity of Indigenous culture and wellbeing of their communities and, that they play a vital role in advancing Indigenous education priorities.
Type of thesis
Moeke-Pickering, T. M. (2010). Decolonisation as a social change framework and its impact on the development of Indigenous-based curricula for Helping Professionals in mainstream Tertiary Education Organisations (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/4148
University of Waikato
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