There is a very good section in the “Teaching Adults to Listen and Speak to Communicate” book which explains Matauranga Maori in practical terms. Here is a summary:
Maori pedagogy considers working with all aspects or domains of a person’s wellbeing rather than assuming that teachers and tutors should only work within the cognitive domain. When the other domains are neglected, the chances of getting the best from the cognitive domain are reduced.
Taha Wairua (spiritual wellbeing)
- karakia to begin class
- Read a whakatauki (Maori proverb)
- thought for the day
If the start of the course, class or session is carried out in this manner then it should be closed in the same way to complete the circle.
Taha Tinana (physical wellbeing)
- BBQ on first day
- shared morning tea for special occassions
- you might wish to allow food and drink in the classroom to allow learners to take care of their own needs.
These occassions offer opportunities for learners and tutors to get to know each other in an informal manner.
Taha Whanau (family or social wellbeing)
- Whakawhanaugatanga – creating a family/connected environment
- Whakatau – introductions
- Mihimihi – greetings
These parts of a session could be icebreakers tailored to suit the social needs of learners, aimed at creating a familiar family-like learning environment.
Tana Hinengaro (the wellbeing of the mind – cognitive)
There were no suggestions for this part in the book however I would add:
- Deliberate acts of teaching (DATS) which address gaps in learners knowledge or skills to allow them to keep up, remain engaged and interested.
- Providing better access to “Quickstart” or study skills classes before courses commence.
- Develop an early relationship with student academic support services and make them part of your classroom.
These domains account for the person’s total wellbeing and they come with the person as he or she walks through the door.
Here are some further gems I have gleaned mainly from Russell Bishop Professor of Māori Education at the University of Waikato and director of Te Kotahitanga. He was speaking in reference to primary and secondary school settings, however the same applies to certificate and foundation level courses and probably to all levels.
- Care for Maori students as Maori
- Care for the performance of Maori students – have high expectations and signal this
- Create a learning context where Maori can draw on their own experience and bring this to the classroom
- Interactions with students should provide learners with academic feedback, feedforward and negotiated co construction of learning.
- Learners among learners (ako) is the prevailing phenomenon as opposed to transmission modes of teaching
- Teacher able to use a range or strategies effectively
- Use evidence of student performance to guide where they take their teaching
- learners know about their outcomes so they know what they need to know.
This is relationship based education, caring for people, caring that they learn and creating learning relationships so that you ensure they are able to learn.
“Ko te matauranga to oranga ehara i te whakatika“
Learning is a journey not a destination.