CHAPTER FIVE Methodology / Methods – Te taki haere i te kaupapa
Vignette 5 – Arranging school visits This section describes a series of Māori Liaison team recruitment visits to schools. It can be used as a “yardstick” to evaluate the effectiveness of the legislation discussed earlier in providing support for Māori students in the schools visited. It also provides an insight into different ways that careers advisors in schools responded to a careers education initiative that was offered to Māori students in their school. The schools concerned had been contacted four to six weeks before the visits to ask if the team could visit their school on a given date. They were told that a team of Māori representatives from the tertiary institutions involved would like to speak to Māori students (preferably seniors) about tertiary study and the transition from secondary to tertiary education.Once schools agreed to a visit the arrival time and departure time was discussed and the visit was confirmed. The original presentation team were all Māori, three women and two men representing four tertiary institutions. When we were joined by another team person the team grew to three women and three men representing four universities and one institute of technology. The aims of our presentation were to:- introduce ourselves as representatives of our institutions;- establish a relationship for our institution with the school, staff and students;- promote tertiary education;- explain the transition process from secondary to tertiary education;- motivate students to stay on at school to complete Year 13; keep their career and degree options open by making wise subject choices at school;- present the information in a way that acknowledges we are Māori;
– raise awareness of opportunities that exist for Māori; and- present the information in an interesting way. School Visits When the visits took place the way our team was received, welcomed and supported varied greatly from school to school. The visits do cause a disruption to the school day. Therefore making a decision to allow the visit is a demonstration of support for Māori students by the careers advisor. It is also a demonstration of the support and autonomy the careers advisor has in the school. The Manākitanga (hospitality, caring and attention) we experience as visitors is also an indication of the careers advisor’s ability to create a space where Māori visitors and Māori students can “be Māori” in the school context. Such a level of awareness also demonstrates support for Māori students. School One The team was met by the careers advisor. We were taken to the library to speak to 13 Year 11–13 Māori students who had been selected as students who may be interested in university education. We were all provided with morning tea and we had the opportunity to speak to individual students who had questions for us or planned to enrol in one of our institutions. Although the careers advisor was not free to stay for our presentation she visited several times to check that all was well. School Two Our visit was set up to coincide with students’ lunch hour. The careers advisor took us to the room where the students had gathered and a senior student welcomed us with a mihi (greeting). The students ate lunch while we spoke to them. Our presentation was well received by a group of 12 students in Year 13 and we had time at the end of the presentation for oneto-one discussions with students. The careers advisor did not stay for our presentation but returned at the end of the lunch hour before we were due to leave. School Three We arrived at the pre-arranged time but the careers advisor had forgotten we were coming. He offered to have a group of students for us to meet if we returned later that afternoon. Fortunately we were free later that afternoon so we agreed to come back. When we returned we were met by the contact teacher and the teacher of Māori language. We were taken to a room where there were 23 non-Māori and three Māori students waiting to hear our presentation. The teacher of Māori language was clearly embarrassed that we were not given a group of Māori students. He welcomed us with a mihi and we responded before making our presentation to the students we had been given. Our usual presentation was specifically for a Māori audience so was not appropriate for the audience we had been given. We had not expected to speak to a non-Māori group so we had not planned or prepared a presentation for a non-Māori audience. We realised we would have to immediately modify our presentation to suit a non-Māori audience. The presentation went ahead and the students were receptive and polite and their questions reflected their concerns about the transition from secondary to tertiary education. It was unfortunate for the three Māori students present that they were denied the opportunity of hearing the presentation for Māori delivered by Māori. As we left the school at the end of the school day we saw many Māori students around the school and felt frustrated that we had missed the students we had expected to meet. We knew it was unlikely that Māori students in that school would have another opportunity to hear a presentation such as ours which had been tailored to fit a Māori audience. We also knew that the non-Māori students we had spoken to would be targeted again several times later in the year by general recruitment personnel from our own institutions. School Four When this school was first contacted about the possibility of a visit by our team the response from the careers advisor was that we would have to speak to all students if we came to the school. It would not be possible to speak to Māori students only. One of our team members suggested that we try to make arrangements through a Māori language teacher in the school instead. This approach was more successful and we were told by the careers advisor there had been a misunderstanding earlier and it would be possible for us to speak to a group of Māori students. We arrived at School Four at the arranged time and there was a powhiri (welcome) for us from the Māori language teacher and his class. During the powhiri he told us (in Māori) that the welcome was from the Māori department rather than the school. After the powhiri we were given morning tea. Later we were taken by the careers advisor to a small room to speak to 26 senior Māori students. There were no chairs in the room so some of the students had to stand and no chairs were available for the five members of our team. The careers advisor left us with the students and did not return before we left. It was a very hot day and we were all glad to leave the room at the end of our presentation.
School Five We arrived at this school and while we were waiting for the contact teacher in the school lobby the school principal came to speak to us and welcomed us to the school. She took the opportunity to introduce us to a Māori student who was the student representative on the School Board of Trustees. The careers advisor took us to meet a group of 24 senior students. Our presentation had already started when the HOD Māori arrived to welcome and mihi to us. She apologised for not being able to stay for our presentation but explained that she had a class at that time. The students responded well to our presentation and asked relevant questions. Several students told us they were considering enrolling at one of our institutions when they completed secondary school. School Six We had visited this school in previous years and have always been made to feel welcome at the school. However this year the careers advisor informed Māori Liaison staff from two other institutions of our visit, and without consulting us, had invited them to join us. This created difficulties for us firstly because the two people concerned had not participated in planning our presentation and secondly because any addition to our team and our team presentation would reduce the time allocation for each speaker. As it was, one Māori Liaison Officer did join us and participated in our presentation so a role had to be devised for him. When we arrived at the school we also found that there was another mainstream recruitment presentation being given at the same time as ours. Māori students had been told that they could choose which presentation to attend, so some attended ours and others attended the general recruitment presentation. Our presentation was to a group of 12 senior students. The Māori language teacher who had stayed for our talk welcomed us. She told us after our presentation that she thought Māori students would have gained more by attending our presentation rather than the other one. School Seven
This was also a boarding school which we had visited previously. Our visit was in ‘study time’ at the end of the school day after classes have finished. We were met by the deputy principal and the principal and we were taken to the school library to meet with a group of 30 senior students. We were welcomed and introduced to the student group by a senior member of staff and we were then left to make our presentation. There were no teachers present while we conducted our presentation. Afterwards many students took advantage of the time allowed for one-to-one’ consultation with members of our group. We were then taken for afternoon tea where the students acted as hosts. During this time students also asked more questions about their tertiary options. We were not joined by any staff members until we were about to leave the school. The deputy principal came to thank us for our visit and to see us off. School Eight We had been encouraged by a Māori parent from the school to contact the teacher of Māori and set up a visit so that we could talk to his Māori language class students. When we arrived we were welcomed by the teacher with a short mihi. Then we spoke to the 13 students in his class. At the end of our presentation the student who thanked us said she had not really thought about university study before but she was now going to give it some serious consideration. Comment When we visit a school our team tries to establish a space where “being Māori is the norm” so that we can interact with the students in a less formal way. If we are successful in creating a safe space to be Māori, students quickly relax and participate in the activities and ask and respond to questions. The way we are received and hosted by the school can make this easier or more difficult for us. If the staff are welcoming and caring in their dealings with us they make it easier for the students to show Manākitanga towards us in an appropriate Māori way. The thesis investigates the support provided to Māori students in the transition from secondary school to university and the way careers advisors in schools exercise their agency with regard to that transition. The thesis develops and uses a particular form of critical theory bringing together Kaupapa Māori theory with Giddens’ structuration theory. Structuration theory is used to examine the roles and perceptions of careers advisors while the link with Kaupapa Māori is in the investigation of support provided for Māori students in order to improve their access to university education. In the context of this research structuration theory recognises ability of the individual to exercise agency both positively and negatively in an institution (system). This is recognition that the same policy can be accepted or rejected, implemented or ignored, supported or supplanted as a result of the agency of individual members of staff in a school at the micro level. Therefore in this research project structuration theory allowed for the close examination of the roles of careers advisors and the decisions they make in their everyday work environment. The theoretical base of the research Kaupapa Māori theory is defined by (G. Smith, 1997) and used to explain the need for solutions and theories that make a better fit for Māori in Māori contexts. The negativity and resistance of some Māori to theory has been explained as the result of the way western Pākehā dominant theory has been applied and used to undermine Māori language and culture (L. T. Smith, 1997). The failure of education reform for Māori is due to policies that have been selected and applied in the interests of the dominant Pākehā society to solve issues in Māori education (G. Smith, 1997). Therefore, as a theory that has been developed from within Māori communities, Kaupapa Māori theory is more appropriate for research involving Māori and has the potential to be more successful. Kaupapa Māori grew out of Māori resistance in the 1980s and 1990s and provided the platform for Māori-medium education at Kohanga Reo (pre-school) and Kura Kaupapa Māori (primary) and wharekura (secondary) schools. For more than a century, the education for Māori offered by the state had failed to meet Māori aspirations and instead sought to educate Māori by removing Māori identity and distinctiveness through processes of civilisation, assimilation and integration. As a response, Kaupapa Māori emerged from the Māori struggle for control over the way Māori children and students are educated (Bishop, 2008; Pihama et al., 2002; G. Smith, 1997).
Transformation is a key component of Kaupapa Māori theory and transformation of both individuals and broader Māori society occurs by challenging injustice and inequalities (Pihama, 2001). Various resistance notions of conscientisation, resistance, and transformative praxis from western theory are incorporated within Kaupapa Māori (G. Smith, 1997).
However, Smith argued against the traditional fixed linear progression from conscientisation to resistance and then to praxis. Smith described instead a cycle of transformation and claimed that Māori experience in Kaupapa Māori interventions such as the Kohanga Reo and Kura Kaupapa movements showed that conscientisation, resistance, and transformative praxis could occur simultaneously or in any sequence. One of the elements of Kaupapa Māori described by Smith (1997) is tino rangatiratanga (the principle of relative autonomy) or the goal of control over one’s life and cultural well-being. This research is based on the assumption that achieving more equitable outcomes for Māori requires targeted attention and opportunities to be made available for Māori students in order to improve Māori achievement in secondary schools. This section of the research will examine the impact of the equity legislation in the schools participating in this project and also examine the effectiveness of the new legislation in improving support for Māori. Information from this research could: assist in achieving equitable outcomes for Māori in secondary schools; improve Māori achievement in secondary schools; establish effective support initiatives for Māori students in schools; and assist schools to comply with equity legislation. The advisors and school staff members involved in this research were selected because they had been identified as being supportive of Māori students in their schools through their involvement in targeted interventions for Māori students. With evidence showing that almost two thirds (59%) of secondary schools are not effective in meeting the career guidance and education needs of their Māori students (Education Review Office, 2006, p. 20), it is possible that results from this research may assist those schools to increase their effectiveness. This study investigates support for Māori students in secondary school in the transition from school to university. If the support is in the form of an intervention that allows Māori students and their families to “control key decision making in respect of their education” then such support could be seen as a Kaupapa Māori intervention. The important difference in the intervention is the notion of control. For Māori students and their parents, such a strategy for transformation would be having control over decisions regarding the students’ education options in the transition to university. The importance of such support (including provision of information and resources) in the period of transition, is that the provision of adequate support would allow Māori students and their families to take control and plan their own education and career pathways. Tino rangatiratanga/self-determination is thus one of the key principles of Kaupapa Māori. This project considers that positive support for Māori students in the transition from school to university can not only improve Māori achievement and success, but will allow students tino rangatiratanga/self-determination and autonomy, through a greater ability to control their own career pathways. Kaupapa Māori theory was not developed in order to reject existing western theories but as a theory and a transformative praxis derived from within Māori communities which allows for more complex critical analyses and responses to Māori educational crises and challenges (G. Smith, 1997). Smith acknowledges that overlap occurs between critical theory and Kaupapa Māori theory and recognises that “much of the ‘new’ level of conscientisation of Māori has been derived from the direct teachings of critical theory” (G. Smith, 1997, p. 67). The use of both Māori theory and Gidden’s structuration theory as the bases of this research project is an example of the overlap referred to by Smith (1997). Kaupapa Māori challenges unequal power relations and related institutional structures
(Pihama, et al., 2002; G Smith 1997). Kaupapa Māori also seeks to restructure power relationships between Māori and Pākehā so that partners can be autonomous rather than being either subordinate or dominant (Bishop, 2008). Of 12 key issues for Kaupapa Māori theory and praxis identified by Smith, three (i, x, xii) have particular relevance to this research.
i. Kaupapa Māori theory and praxis emphasises all the dimensions of conscientisation, resistance and praxis…
x. Kaupapa Māori theory and praxis develops critique for two main reasons [a.] deconstruction of existing impediments [b.] building positive and proactive actions and pathways… xii. Kaupapa Māori theory and praxis belongs to all Māori and is not the sole preserve of particular initiatives; …[it is argued] that one could not claim to be working within Kaupapa Māori theory and praxis if they were not working politically to transform the structural relations of power, economics and ideology which form Māori oppression, exploitation or marginalisation. (G. Smith, 1997, pp. 164-165)
The main part of this project considers the support given to Māori students to allow them access to initiatives developed by Māori for Māori students which will help them create an academic pathway to provide access to university. The initiatives provide information to enable students to make informed decisions rather than relying on the mechanical “sifting” processes existing in schools which may not take individual preferences into account (issue i). The initiatives also help students to avoid pitfalls such as inappropriate subject selections (issue x[a]) so that they remain ‘on course’ and in control of their own academic progress and achievement which in turn relates directly to their access to university (issue x[b]). The project as a whole is research by a Māori researcher in a field that investigates factors to improve achievement and outcomes for Māori in education (issue xii). Kaupapa Māori recognises the unequal power relations and marginalisation of Māori in education and has the expectation that effective research will address the challenges that exist. Kaupapa Māori theory provides an appropriate foundation for this research project which is initiated by a Māori researcher with the aim of increasing the autonomy of Māori students in secondary schools.This research is concerned with the transition from school to tertiary education and future careers. One focus is on the support provided to Māori students, i.e. the intervention; the other focus is on those who provide that support and the factors that influence the extent of that support. Careers advisors in schools are the members of staff in a school charged with the responsibility of assisting and supporting students in their transition from school to university. So, it is the way careers advisors fulfil their roles and responsibilities for providing support to students and in particular Māori students that is investigated in this research. Structuration theory Policy is developed and created by organisations and institutions for implementation by workers and staff operating at different levels of the organisation right down to the “grassroots” level. Giddens’ structuration theory acknowledges the interdependence between the institution at the macro level and the individual at the micro level and so provided an appropriate base for the research. This research looks particularly at the influence of education policy on the support of Māori students in the transition to university. The particular policies are the NAGs (National Administration Guidelines) and NEGs (National Education Goals) which govern New Zealand schools (See Appendix 2).
The NAGs and NEGS are both specific and generic. Specifically, schools are directed to improve the achievement of Māori students and increase success by Māori through the use of Māori educational initiatives. The more generic directives refer to removing barriers to achievement and providing appropriate career education and guidance for students at risk of leaving school unprepared for work or further training. The additions to the NAGs introduced for implementation in 2001 specifically referring to Māori, triggered this research. The additions stimulated my interest in policy implementation and the involvement of individual teachers and staff members in policy implementation. Underpinning this research was an expectation that the changes to the NAGs should result in increased participation by schools in initiatives developed for Māori students. In other words: if the policy required an action then there would be evidence of that occurring. When no significant increases in participation occurred in spite of the policy, it was clear that there were more complex issues at play. I decided to investigate the effect of policy on teachers and their practice.
Chapter One: Introduction – Te Kupu whakatau i te kaupapa
An introduction to the thesis
The multilevel argument
Structure of the thesis
Chapter Two: Education for Māori – Te ora te hōhonu o te
The context for Māori education in the new millennium
The Hunn Report
The Influence of Socio-economic Reforms
Institutional Racism in Education
Access and participation in tertiary education 6
Chapter Three: Equity in education – Te tikanga whakatau/nga piki,
Implications of Equity
Māori as an equity group
Equity in education since 1980
The rationale for STEAM
The significance of STEAM to this research project
Chapter Four: Access: selection in or selection out – Te whiriwhiri mete whakatau
Education for transformation and liberation
The assessment system
University Entrance Regulations: Bursaries
University Entrance Regulations: NCEA
Chapter Five: Methodology / Methods – Te taki haere i te kaupapa
The theoretical base of the research
Chapter Six: Careers advisors supporting Māori – Nga kaihautū tauira
Role of careers advisors
Incentives and barriers
Chapter Seven: Facing the Challenges – Kia hiwa ra!
Kia hiwa ra!
Kia hiwa ra!
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