Gathering together many different perspectives on kaupapa Māori veganism or plant-based kai and ethics is just a starting point for University of Canterbury (UC) Ngata Centenary Doctoral Scholar Kirsty Dunn.Read More
University of Canterbury (UC) researchers are leading the way in early years education with a new guidebook focusing on culturally responsive learning and teaching.
The adaptable guide invites kaiako (teachers) to rethink approaches to engaging tamariki (children), re-envisage the teacher/learner dynamic, revise old habits, and reconfigure learning environments to acknowledge and embrace cultural differences.
According to the lead author of The Hikairo Schema, Māori Research Professor Angus Macfarlane, from UC’s College of Education, Health and Human Development, the appetite for cultural ways of knowing and doing is stronger than ever before.
“This impacts on the way that systems are responding to the diverse range of children attending early learning centres, and their whānau (family),” Professor Macfarlane says.
“Working on this book has linked to the ‘what’ of the New Zealand early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki. It has reminded the authors, the research team, and advisors, of the importance of growing awareness of the dynamic and evolving realities of Māori culture, knowledge, and understanding.”
UC Early Childhood lecturer Benita Rarere-Briggs explains: “Throughout the text, the centrality of relationships is embraced as critical to early years education, but the literature, and the data that were presented to us, encouraged a theorisation towards relationships as a methodology.”
In that regard, six co-existing components of a model are introduced, described and explained to support the creation of a Schema; a step-by-step guide for teachers to aid culturally responsive teaching and learning in early childhood education settings.
Dr Lesley Rameka of Early Childhood New Zealand, who wrote the book’s foreword, says: “The guide helps teachers to plan for and to construct young children’s learning and development in partnership with tamariki and whānau, while providing a Māori lens through which to assess professional practice.”
Professor Macfarlane is grateful to the research team and key contributors, such as the Northland Kindergarten Association (NKA).
“The research team has insisted that the layout of The Hikairo Schema be neatly structured and the vernacular reader-friendly, and I think we have achieved that. NKA opened the door for trialling the Schema and that was a massive advantage for accomplishing something that would contribute to the ‘how’ of culturally responsive teaching – in sensible and appetising ways.”
The book is the start of a series. “The appetite is across the sector, and we are keen to oblige,” Professor Macfarlane says.
The book was launched at the Early Years Hui in Christchurch which was attended by 350 delegates.
The Hikairo Schema: Culturally responsive teaching and learning in early childhood education settings, written by Angus Macfarlane, Sonja Macfarlane, Sharlene Teirney, JR Kuntz, Benita Rarere-Briggs, Marika Currie, Marie Gibson, Roimata Macfarlane. $40.
Professor Angus Macfarlane joins international and local experts speaking at the Institute of Child Well-being Research’s Child Well-being Symposium at the University of Canterbury on 6 June: https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/events/active/uc-events/child-well-being-research-symposium.html
Ngāi Tūāhuriri and University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha signed a partnership agreement on Saturday 2 March at Tuahiwi marae to formalise and extend the longstanding relationships between the hapū, including the relationship with Te Rūnanga of Ngāi Tahu, and the University of Canterbury |Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha.
The agreement, which outlines the principles and mechanisms for working together into the future, is consistent with Te Tiriti o Waitangi and its principles. This includes supporting the use of te reo and Tikanga Māori at UC, and supporting Ngāi Tūāhuriri and Ngāi Tahu students and aspirations for Ngāi Tahu development in the Canterbury region and beyond.
“Ngāi Tahu takes academic achievement in all disciplines seriously. We are excited about this partnership because it will help contribute to the relevance of the University to the regional economy and to Māori,” Gabrielle Huria, Ngāi Tūāhuriri Representative said.
UC Chancellor | Tumu Kaunihera Sue McCormack said: “This is a journey UC began a long time ago in developing a greater understanding of cultural inclusiveness and the principles of the Te Tiriti o Waitangi in action.”