WAYS OF BRINGING BICULTURALISM INTO THE CLASSROOM

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Signing at Waitangi

Hobson returned to Waitangi in the north of New Zealand where he and his men engaged in consultation with Māori chiefs from around Aotearoa, who had gathered to hear his words and to debate the issue of signing a treaty. With no legal training, and with only the assistance of his secretary, Hobson wrote the outline of the Treaty, with some advice from missionaries (Orange, 1989). During its development an additional promise was added by Busby, in order to secure a favoured outcome. Most auspiciously, Busby’s contribution guaranteed Māori: [F]ull exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess so as it is their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession (Treaty of Waitangi, 1840, art. 2). It was thought, that without this promise, Māori would not sign, thus it was included as Article Two in the Treaty. Article One covered what Hobson (on behalf of the Crown) wanted in return, which was the right to exercise overall authority in the country.

The changing relationship between Māori and Pākehā – Colonisation

Some persons still affect to deride it [the Treaty]; some say it was a deception; and some would unhesitatingly set it aside; while others esteem it highly as a well-considered and judicious work, of the utmost importance (Fitzroy, 1846, as cited in Orange, 1987, p. 1). Following Captain James Cook’s arrival in 1769, relationships between Māori and British descendants adapted and adjusted to the circumstances of the time. From first contact with traders, where interactions were based on mutual benefit, through to the violent conflicts post-treaty, this evolving relationship would eventually lead to the subsequent marginalisation of Māori under a dominant Pākehā culture.3 Two key catalysts facilitated the colonisation process after the signing of the Treaty. The first was the sharp growth in immigration. In the years following the signing of the Treaty, the settler population increased from 2,000 in 1840 to 500,000 in 1882 (Belich, 2001). The rise in the number of settlers led to growing competition for land between the burgeoning Pākehā population and Māori as tangata whenua. Relations were often marked by violence. Conflict between Māori and Pākehā over land escalated, culminating in the New Zealand Wars from 1845 to 1872.

The changing relationship between Māori and Pākehā – Integration

Hegemony and cultural capital allowed the colonisation process to proceed unabated over the next one hundred post-treaty years, until three key reports from the 1960s highlighted the negative predicament of Māori. These were the Hunn Report (1961), the Currie Commission’s report (1962) and a 1969 report by the National Advisory Committee on Māori Education (NACME). Hunn’s Report on the Department of Māori Affairs commented on the state of Māori, in sectors ranging from education, employment, crime, housing and land (Hunn, 1961). It called for the abolition of Native Schools via the merging of Māori schools into the public system, a move that supported his advocacy of integration policies (Mead, 1996). This recommendation was partially based on the 1956 NACME Report claiming that the basic educational needs of Māori and Pākehā were identical (Barrington, 2008). Both the NACME and the Hunn reports advocated a policy of integration. Their version of integration, however, was a one-sided expectation that Māori would act, live and speak as Pākehā, while Pākehā retained their own ways (King, 2003). One example was Hunn’s reference to widespread language loss. In his report he described Māori language and culture as ‘relics’ and recommended that their continuing survival would, and should, be left up to Māori (Hunn, 1961). This supported his brand of integration, whereby Māori would fit into a Pākehā way of living, leaving the irrelevancies of their own culture (Biggs, 1961).

Reinstating Māori as bicultural partner

We, the undersigned, do humbly pray that courses in Māori language and aspects of Māori Culture be offered in ALL those schools with large Māori roll, and that these same courses be offered, as a gift to the Pākehā from the Māori, in all other New Zealand schools as a positive effort to promote a more meaningful concept of integration4 (Te Rito, 2008, p. 2). If 1960s Aotearoa-New Zealand was a period of pause and examination of the state of Māori, the 1970s marked a time of resistance and change. Far from being equal partners, post-Treaty immigration influxes quickly reduced Māori to the minority in terms of population. This resulted in large-scale land loss through Māori agency in which they actively sold land to settlers, and through the fatal impact of land confiscations. The social impact on Māori became apparent. For Māori, whose identity is intrinsically connected to the land, land loss led to displacement and dislocation of identity. Widespread urbanisation, in pursuit of employment and income, further impacted this disconnect.

The Waitangi Tribunal: Honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi-Treaty of Waitangi

The call to resolve Māori grievances via the Treaty gathered momentum through protest and petitioning, which ultimately led to the establishment of the Waitangi Tribunal in 1975 (Ka’ai, 2004). The purpose of the Waitangi Tribunal, as set up by the Labour Government of the day, was to review any breaches of promises by the Crown, relating to the Treaty and Māori. From the time of the 1975 National election victory, through which Robert Muldoon became Prime Minister, until 1985, when Labour had regained power, the Waitangi Tribunal had little impact on Māori claims. In 1985, under Prime Minister David Lange, the Tribunal regained momentum when it was given retrospective authority to investigate claims of Treaty breaches dating back to the signing in 1840 (King, 2003). One of the Waitangi Tribunal’s earliest tasks was to determine the meaning of Te Tiriti o WaitangiTreaty of Waitangi through reconciling both the English and Māori language versions. To do this, the tribunal established a number of principles to align with the Treaty’s articles. These principles served to capture the spirit of the original Treaty agreements (in two languages) and to make their application to policy more tangible (Hayward, 2004).

Table of Contents :

  • ABSTRACT
  • DEDICATION
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
  • TABLE OF CONTENTS
  • LIST OF FIGURES
  • GLOSSARY OF TERMS
  • CHAPTER 1 BICULTURAL BEGINNINGS
    • 1.1 My place in the research
    • 1.2 Aims of the research
    • 1.3 Research questions
    • 1.4 Motivation for the research
  • 1.5 Overview of the chapters
  • CHAPTER 2 THE HISTORICAL AND POLITICAL CONTEXT OF BICULTURALISM IN AOTEAROANEW ZEALAND
  • 2.1 Overview of the chapter
    • 2.2 A Treaty proposed
    • 2.3 A Treaty formed
    • 2.4 A Treaty ignored
    • 2.5 A Treaty reawakened
  • CHAPTER 3 BICULTURALISM IN CURRICULUM AND POLICY
    • 3.1 Defining biculturalism through multiple perspectives
    • 3.2 Identifying biculturalism in current educational policies
    • 3.3 A critique of biculturalism in current education policies
  • CHAPTER 4 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND METHODS
    • 4.1 Initial considerations
    • 4.2 The theoretical framework
    • 4.3 Sampling
    • 4.4 Collecting empirical data: Phase I
    • 4.5 Semi-structured interviews: Phase II
    • 4.6 Analysis of the data
  • CHAPTER 5 WAYS OF BRINGING BICULTURALISM INTO THE CLASSROOM
    • 5.1 Introduction
    • 5.2 Overview of phase I: Online survey questionnaire
    • 5.3 Responses to the online survey questionnaire
    • 5.3.1 Questionnaire Section A: Identifiers
    • 5.3.2 Questionnaire Section B – Classroom Practice
    • 5.3.3 Questionnaire Section C – Knowledge of biculturalism in the curriculum
    • 5.4 Overview of phase II: interviews
    • 5.5 Conclusion
  • CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSIONS
    • 6.1 Introduction
    • 6.2 Conclusions
    • 6.3 Locating three bicultural models of school practice: Cause for reflection
  • CHAPTER 7 RECOMMENDATIONS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
    • 7.1 Where to from here?
    • 7.2 Final thoughts
    • REFERENCES

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Bringing biculturalism into the primary classroom in Aotearoa-New Zealand

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