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Mahi Toi Skills in Contemporary Education, Training and Maori Development

Since the 1980’s, national investment in human capital and skill formation policy in education has been promoted as key to economic success and social inclusion. Social inclusion, however, is often expressed as helping citizens to become employable. Although employability is a key focus of skills formation and education policy, the context of the western ideologies that it derives from and caters to perpetuates the exclusion of mahi toi (arts and crafts) skills in education. Using a kaupapa Māori approach, two key informants who specialise and teach mahi toi skills, either rāranga (weaving) or pounamu (jade/greenstone), were interviewed. The aim was to get a better understanding of how these skills can contribute to personal, professional and Māori development in the 21st century, and to provide information indicating where and how these skills can be learnt, either through private training enterprises (PTE) or public tertiary educational institutions (TEI), thereby highlighting the value of teaching and learning rāranga and pounamu skills. Findings from analysing their pūrākau indicate that learning rāranga or pounamu skills can provide a foundation for believing in your potential, contribute to cultural identity, improve confidence and communication skills, help an individual be bestowed or acquire mana, offer a type of therapy, enhance career progression and professional identity, provide financial rewards and stability, and help with the revitalisation and transfer of cultural knowledge. Ultimately, it is concluded that mahi toi skills such as rāranga and pounamu can contribute to the development of an individual’s personal and professional lives, but also has benefits for the organisation where they become employed as well as extended whānau, hapū and iwi.
Type of thesis
Joseph, M. N. T. (2018). Mahi Toi Skills in Contemporary Education, Training and Maori Development (Thesis, Master of Applied Psychology (MAppPsy)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12393
The University of Waikato
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