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Māori and pacific infant and toddler cultural pedagogy: Reclaiming a cultural lens

An Indigenous cultural renaissance emerged in the 1980’s in Aotearoa New Zealand. Communities established early childhood programmes that reflected native spirituality, values, and Indigenous knowledge, with instruction in local, Indigenous languages (Hunkin-Tuiletufuga, 2001). Indigenous communities sought ownership over the education of their children, within a culturally driven framework that focussed on retention of knowledge, language, and cultural identity. These strong early stages have lost traction, with increasing numbers of Māori and Pacific community services unable to meet the rigorous regulatory criteria, assurance auditing processes, funding restraints, and other considerations that have impacted the numbers of families using these services. Nowadays, a mere percentage of those once in operation remain, with the majority of Māori and Pacific children and their families enrolling in mainstream early childhood education services (Ministry of Education, 2013). Central to the educational success for Māori and Pacific children is an understanding that they are culturally located and the acknowledgement that effective education must encompass their culture. A cultural discourse gaining prominence reveals the need for culturally sound pedagogical practice for Māori and Pacific communities (Rameka & Glasgow, 2016; Rau & Ritchie, 2011). This trend is gaining impetus in the wider Pacific region (Glasgow, 2012), thus driving a movement for reclaiming and reframing education for Pacific peoples (Sanga, 2012).
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Glasgow, A., & Rameka, L. K. (2017). Māori and pacific infant and toddler cultural pedagogy: Reclaiming a cultural lens. International Critical Childhood Policy Studies, 6(1), 80–95.
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