Monday, 6 June 2016

Week 28 - APC - Indigenous knowledge & Cultural responsiveness

Aotearoa New Zealand TodayToday Aotearoa New Zealand is often viewed as a Pasifikanation, and is increasingly culturally diverse. Those of European origin only make up 67 percent of the population. Maori comprise 14.6 percent with the remainder being made up largely of Pasifika nations (6.9 percent), Asians (9.2 percent) and various others (1.7 percent) (Findsen, 2012). The fact that this is now a multicultural society places Māori, as Tāngata Whenua (people of the land) as possibly in an even more marginalised position.
However the Treaty of Waitangi placed Māori in a particular position within Aotearoa whereby they are afforded due consideration in accordance with the agreement made with the British Crown when the two parties signed the treaty. The crown guaranteed partnership in mutually negotiated endeavours (such as education, conservation, health and wellbeing). The crown also pledged the right to full participation in society. Although it was hard fought, and not fully recognised until the 1970s, Aotearoa New Zealand is now a bicultural nation within which resides a multicultural society. The treaty of Waitangi is significant in policy and the principles of partnership, participation and protection are central features of policy (Findsen, 2012).  
Culturally responsive teaching practiceCulture is not exclusive to race and/or ethnicity. It also refers the unique features of a community; its demographic makeup, including location, age, gender, language/s spoken, local history, industry and economics.
Understanding the specific cultural characteristics of a community is critical for achieving positive outcomes.
The social and cultural makeup of our societies is changing as people have become more mobile.There are huge populations of people who have relocated or become dislocated from their social groups as a result of war, employment, natural or environmental disasters.
As a consequence, societies are becoming more and more culturally diverse. There is a continual interplay between the political issues involved in provision of services to diverse groups and the social realities of their lived experiences as ‘culturally located’ individuals living and operating in cross-cultural contexts.
In Aotearoa New Zealand The Treaty of Waitangi provided a platform for authentic engagement with Māori as the indigenous people of New Zealand. This has had a significant impact on how diverse groups of people are catered for in the health and education sectors through the provision of culturally appropriate services.
At Unitec, the embedding of mātauranga Māori is one of the characteristics of its Living Curriculum. The Poutama* is used as a guide to establish a three-stage progression to consider the alignment between the Matauranga Maori and the Living Curriculum (Unitec,n.d)
(*Poutama is the stepped patterns of woven tukutuku panels are a metaphor for scaffolding knowledge - Unitec Glossary).
You can use the Poutama to guide your reflection on the cultural responsiveness in your organisation.
Culturally responsive pedagogy is defined by Gay (2001, p.106) as “using the cultural characteristics, experiences and perspectives as conduits for effective teaching”. It is reflected in five elements including the knowledge about the culture diversity, the culturally integrated content in the curriculum, the development of the learning community, the ability to communicating with culturally diverse students and the culturally responsive delivery of instruction (Gay, 2001). Whereas, Bishop, Berryman, Cavanagh and Teddy (2009) emphasises on the importance of student-teacher relationship in culturally responsive teaching. It is suggested that the learners’ culture needs to considered and integrated their learning activities.
Suggested reading:
Activities 4 : Indigenous knowledge and cultural responsiveness in my practice
After reading the Class Notes, create a blog post where you first share your own views on the indigenous knowledge and culturally responsive pedagogy.
Then critically reflect on how you or your school addresses cultural responsiveness in practice in two of the following areas (preferably you would evaluate one that is done well and another which needs improvement):
  • vision, mission, and core values
  • policies,
  • goals,
  • communication methods,
  • decision-making,
  • planning and assessment,
  • learning activities,
  • school-wide activities,
  • resources
Bishop, R, Berryman, M., Cavanagh, T. & Teddy, L. (2009). Te Kotahitanga: Addressing educational disparities facing Māori students in New Zealand. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25(5)734–742.
Findsen, B. (2012). Older adult learning in Aotearoa New Zealand: Structure, trends and issues. Presented at Adult Community Education (ACE) Conference.
Gay, G. (2002). Preparing for culturally responsive teaching. Journal of Teacher Education, 53(2),106-116.
Shaw, S., White, W. & Deed, B. (2013) (Ed.). Health, wellbeing and environment in Aotearoa New Zealand.South Melbourne, Australia:Oxford University Press.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Allana. I like the point you made about culturally responsive practice not being specific to one particular race or ethnicity. I have recently shifted schools and am having to adjust to a higher proportion of ESOL students in my class and learn how to cater for a wider range of cultures.


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