July 02, 2019
Education revolution showed way for Smith
The winner of this year's Te Ururangi Matariki Award for education says Māori getting the confidence to do things for themselves has led to an education revolution.
Distinguished Professor Graham Hingangaroa Smith received the tohu for his contributions to Māori and indigenous education at a range of institutions including the University of Auckland, the University of British Columbia, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and Massey University, where he now serves as deputy vice-chancellor Māori.
He says the start of kōhanga reo in 1981 sparked an educational revolution that provided the momentum for kura kaupapa, Māori secondary scholols and on to wānanga.
"The revolution wasn't so much about each of those models, The revolution that occurred in 1981 was a change of mindset, a change in the way we thought about education and ourselves, not waiting for other people to do things for us but getting up to do it for ourselves," Professor Smith says.
An important part of the struggle has been standing up for the worth of Māori and indigenous knowledge codes and systems.
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