July 09, 2019
Don’t ask, just tell Māori history
A leading teacher educator says teachers don't have to ask permission to teach local history and mātauranga Māori in their classrooms.
Kathleen Irwin spoke to the 25th Post Primary Teachers Association's National Māori Teachers' Conference at Rotorua over the weekend about her own family's intergenerational history of education as a way of resisting colonisation.
She also encouraged teachers to look for ways to set aside the textbooks.
"Basically they can see their own classroom as their little magical spaces. There is opportunity to do a whole lot more teaching – local history, local waiata, local pūrakau about whānau in the area that would really lift our kids' spirits and opportunities to see themselves in their own education," Dr Irwin says.
Teachers don't need to be put off by the Education Ministry's refusal to make Māori history a core part of the curriculum as many Māori have requested.
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