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He oranga tō te wai: Māori Pedagogies - A Culturally Responsive View of Aquatic Education and Drowning Prevention in Aotearoa

Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death and hospitalisation among Māori in Aotearoa. Drowning reports (Water Safety New Zealand, 2010, 2016, 2019) indicate Māori are over-represented in drowning compared to non-Māori, and on average account for up to a quarter of all drowning fatalities each year. Māori male aged 15-44 years and Māori children under five are most at risk of drowning (WSNZ, 2018, 2). A recent Aotearoa study on children’s water survival skills suggest changes are needed to improve how children develop fundamental aquatic skills and how teachers can best teach those skills (Button et al., 2017). In particular, the teaching of water safety skills for broader use in the open water environments of Aotearoa. Māori pedagogies within physical education, health, and education in the outdoors (Hemara, 2000; Jackson et al, 2016; Phillips, 2018) have demonstrated the benefits of Māori teaching methods that foster positive learning outcomes for Māori. (Bishop & Berryman, 2006, 2009). As such, this research investigated core components of Māori pedagogies that can improve aquatic education for Māori. It sought to validate traditional and contemporary aquatic teachings and water safety practices that Māori exercise as an expression of ira tangata (human development) and their relationship with te ao tūroa (the long-standing world). By means of kaupapa Māori research and the development of a new framework - Tāne Whānau Mārama, this thesis offers valuable insights into the importance of culturally responsive pedagogies in aquatic education that will enhance the health, educational achievements, and well-being of Māori whānau and communities.
Type of thesis
The University of Waikato
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