Te Piko o te Māhuri: Ngā āhuatanga matua o te Kura Kaupapa Māori whai angitu

Publication Details

Ko te tino take o te rangahau, ko te rapu he aha ngā huānga matua o te Kura Kaupapa Māori e whai angitu ana. Ko te aronga o te rangahau, ko ngā kahanga o te kura me te whakaaro tonu ki te whakatairanga i aua kahanga, ki te whakapiki hoki i ngā kahanga i runga anō i te angitu. E whakaū ana, e whakamana ana, e whakanui ana tēnei rangahau i te hiranga o ēnei kura e rima kia puta mai ko ngā mātai take mō tēnā kura, mō tēnā kura. I taketake mai ngā kitenga matua i konei.

Ko te tūmanako, mā te rangahau nei ngā kura katoa e tautoko, e whakaawe ki te whakaū ake ki tō rātou kaupapa, kia whakapaungia tonutia ngā kaha ki te whakarato i ngā akoranga mīharo nei. Ko te mutunga mai, ko te pikinga angitu ā-mātauranga, ko te whakaoratanga tonu ā-ahurea, ko te tukunga kia puawai ai ngā āhuatanga nei mō te Māori, mō te ao mātauranga o Aotearoa tonu, puta noa.

Author(s): Nuki Tākao

Date Published: September 2010

He Āpitihanga – Te Aho Matua

Official Version Of Te Aho Matua O Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori And An Explanation in English Pursuant To Section 155a of The Education Act 1989

1. TE IRA TANGATA

Ahakoa iti. He iti mapihi pounamu

He kakano i ruia mai i Rangiatea. E kore ia e ngaro

Kia marama rawa te hunga whakaako ki te ahua o te tangata, katahi ano ka taea te hanga kaupapa whakaako mo te hunga tamariki.

1.1 No ngā Rangi Tuhaha te wairua o te tangata. I tona whakairatanga ka hono te wairua me te tinana o te tangata. 1 tera wa tonu ka tau tona mauri, tona tapu, tona wehi, tona iho matua, tona mana, tona ihi, tona whatumanawa, tona hinengaro, tona auahatanga, tona ngakau, tona pumanawa. Na ka tupu ngatahi te wairua me te tinana i roto i te kopu o te whaea, whānau noa.

1.2 Tino motuhake enei āhuatanga katoa. Ko tenei hoki te kakano i ruia mai i Rangiatea. E kore ia e ngaro. Engari, ko ta ngā matua, ko ta te whānau, ko ta te kura hoki, he mea awhi, he mea whangai, he mea whakaako i te tamaiti kia tupu ora ai tona katoa i roto, i te tika me te maungarongo.

1.3 Kia pakeke te tangata, kei a ia ano ana tikanga, mana ano e whakatau ko tewhea te huarahi e hiahia ana ia ki te whai, otira e tika ana mona. Heoi ano, ahakoa iti ahakoa rahi kei a ia tenei. Engari, mehemea i tipu ora tona katoa, e kore ia e paheke ki te he.

1.4 Ko te ngakau te mata me te kuaha o te wairua. Otira, ko te whiu o te kupu, ko te wero, ko te riri, ko te aroha, ko te humarire, me enei āhuatanga katoa he mea kuhu ki te ngakau titi tonu ki te wairua. Koia nei te timatanga o te korero 'kia ngakau mahaki'. Ma tenei hoki ka tika te korero 'He oranga ngakau he pikinga waiora’.

1.5 He tapu te tangata ahakoa ko wai. Kohungahunga mai, tamariki mai, taipakeke mai, kaumatua mai, he tapu katoa. Kia kaua te hunga o ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori e tukino, e whakaiti, e whaka‑parahako i te tangata, e mahi puhaehae ranei ki etahi atu. Kia ngakau mahaki ratou ki a ratou, ki te iwi whanui, ki a Tauiwi hoki.

1.6 He tapu to te wahine he tapu ano to te tane. Kia kaua tetahi e whakaiti i tetahi. Engari kia whakanui tetahi i tetahi i runga i te mohio ma te mahi ngatahi a te wahine me te tane e tupu ora ai ngā tamariki me te iwi hoki.

Kotiro, he mokopuna koe na Hinetitama
Waiwai ana ngā karu te tirohanga atu.

1.7 He tapu te tinana o te tangata. No reira he mahi nui tera, ko te whakaako i te tamaiti ki ngā āhuatanga whakapakari i tona tinana, kia tupu ai tona hauora. Kia mohio te hunga tamariki ki ngā kai pai, ki ngā kai kino. Kia mohio hoki ki te painga o te korikori tinana, o te mirimiri tinana, o ngā rongoa a Tane Whakapiripiri. Kia kaua ia e tukino i tona tinana i te tinana hoki o tetahi atu.

2. TE REO

Toku reo, toku ohooho
Toku reo, toku mapihi maurea
Toku reo, toku whakakai marihi

2.1 He tapu ngā reo katoa. No reira. me whai koha te hunga o ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori ki ngā reo katoa.

2.2 Mo ngā tamariki, kia rua ngā reo. Ko te reo o ngā matua tupuna tuatahi, ko te reo o tauiwi tuarua. Kia orite te pakari o ia reo, kia tu tangata ai ngā tamariki i roto i te ao Māori, i roto hoki i te ao o Tauiwi.

2.3 He taonga te reo Māori i roto i te Tiriti o Waitangi, he reo tuturu hoki i roto i te Ture mo te Reo. Engari kahore he painga o te Tiriti, o te Ture ranei, mehemea kahore te reo i roto i te whatumanawa, i roto i te ngakau, i roto hoki i te mangai o te iwi Māori.

2.4 I runga i tenei whakaaro, kia tere pakari ai te reo o ngā tamariki, me whakahaere ngā mahi katoa o te kura i roto i te reo Māori. Tae atu ki te hunga kuhu mai ki roto i te kura, me korero Māori katoa, i ngā wa katoa.

2.5 Ano te wa e tika ana mo te whakauru i te reo o Tauiwi ki roto i ngā mahi a ngā tamariki. Waiho tenei ma ia whānausup>131 e whakatau. Ko te mea nui ke kia noho wehe ngā reo e rua. He wahi ke mo te whakaako, he tangata ke hei whangai i te reo o Tauiwi ki ngā tamariki. Ano, ko te mea nui, kia noho rumaki te i co, kia kaua e korero mawhitiwhiti mai i tetahi reo ki tetahi reo.

2.6 E tika ana, ma te hunga tino mohio ki te reo Māori, ki te ao Māori hoki, e arahi ngā tamariki i roto i a ratou mahi. Engari kia tika ano te ngakau me te wairua o tenei hunga, me whakapono hoki ki te kaupapa whanui o ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori. Heoi ano, me whai aroha tonu te hunga o te kura ki a ratou kaore ano kia tino pakari te reo. Mehemea he tangata tautoko i te kaupapa, awhinatia. Mehemea e tino ngakau nui ana ki te reo, a tona wa ka mau.

3. NGĀ IWI

Te piko o te mahuri. Tera te tupu o te rakau.

3.1 Mo te nuinga o ngā tamariki, tokomaha ngā iwi. Tera pea mo etahi, kotahi te iwi. Ko te mea nui kia mohio ngā tamariki ki o ratou ake iwi, hapu, whānau hoki. Tua atu o tera kia mohio hoki ki te katoa o ngā iwi tae noa ki a Tauiwi.

3.2 No reira, he mahi nui tera te whai haere i ngā whakapapa hei here i ngā tamariki ki o ratou ake whānau, hapu, iwi, matua tupuna hoki. Tua atu o tenei ko te mohio ki ngā tuhonohono ki etahi atu o ngā iwi.

3.3 E tika ana kia tu whakahihi te tamaiti i roto i tona ake iwi, engari kia whai koha ano ki ngā iwi katoa.

3.4 Kia mohio ngā tamariki ki ngā rohe, ki ngā waka, ki ngā korero nehera, ki ngā purakau, ki ngā pakiwaitara, ki ngā tikanga, ki ngā waiata, ki ngā āhuatanga katoa o tona ake iwi. Kia mohio ano ki ngā āhuatanga katoa e pa ana ki era atu o ngā iwi tae noa ki etahi o ngā iwi o tawahi.

3.5 Me whai haere ano hoki ngā tamariki i ngā āhuatanga whanui e pa ana ki o ratou iwi tae noa ki enei ra.

3.6 Ma te rongo a te tamaiti ki te awhi, ki te arataki, ki te tautoko, ki ngā tohutohu a te Whanau me tona aroha hoki, e mau ai tona piripono ki te Whanau. He mea hopu te nuinga o enei tuahua. No reira, e tika ana kia piri tonu te Whanau ki ngā tamariki i roto o te kura, i roto i a ratou mahi hoki.

3.7 Kia rongo te tamaiti ki te rekareka o te Whanau mo ana mahi pai, ki te papouri hoki o te Whanau mo ana mahi he. Ko tenei te timatanga o te pupuri i te tamaiti ki te huarahi tika, me tona tu pakari i roto i tona iwi.

3.8 Kia kite ngā tamariki ko te Whanau tonu e whakahaere ana i te kura, ko te Whanau hoki e mahi ngatahi ana me ngā pouako, ka tupu ia me te mohio ko te wairua me te mana Māori motuhake e kakahu ana i a ia me tona kura.

3.9 Ehara i te mea mo ngā tamariki anake te kura. He mātauranga ano kei te kura mo ngā taipakeke, mo te katoa o te Whanau hoki mehemea ka hiahia whakatu wananga ratou mo ratou.

3.10Mo te whakaako pouako hou, ko te kura ano te wahi tika hei timatanga ma ratou, kia riro ano ma te Whanau ratou e arataki i roto i te mahi whakatupu, whakaako tamariki.

4. TE AO

Ka pu te ruha
Ka hao te rangatahi

4.1 Ko tona ake kainga te ao tuatahi me te kura timatanga o te tamaiti. Tua atu o tenei ko te ao Māori. Ma te Kura Kaupapa Māori ia e arahi i roto i enei nekeneke tae noa ki tona kura whaka-mutunga, ara, ki te ao whanui me ona āhuatanga katoa.

4.2 Kia kaua te tamaiti e herea ki te ao kohatu. Kia watea hoki ia ki te kapo mai i ngā painga, i ngā maramatanga katoa o te ao whanui.

4.3 Haunga tera, ko te timatanga tika mona, ko te whai haere tonu i ngā korero tuku iho a ngā matua tupuna e pa ana ki te timatanga o te taiao.

4.4 Kia whai koha ngā tamariki ki a Papatuanuku raua ko Ranginui me a raua tamariki e tiaki nei i te ha o ngā moana, o te whenua, o te rangi me o ratau āhuatanga katoa.

4.5 Kia tupu te miharo o ngā tamariki ki ngā mea ora, ki ngā mea tupu katoa. Kia kaua e tukinotia.

4.6 Kia tupu ngā tamariki hei kaitiaki i ngā painga huhua o te whenua, o te moana, o ngā ngahere. Kia mau hoki ki ngā ture tuku iho a ngā matua tupuna, e pa ana ki te moana, ki te whenua, ki ngā ngahere.

4.7 Kia whaia ano e ngā tamariki ngā ture o te ao, otira ngā putaiao e pa ana ki te moana, ki te whenua, ki te rangi, ki ngā mahi tataitai hoki.

5. AHUATANGA AKO

Tamariki wawahi taha. Aratakina ki te matapuna
0 te mohio, o te ora, o te maungarongo

Whaia te iti kahurangi. Te tuohu koe
 Me he maunga teitei

5.1 Ko ngā āhuatanga ako katoa he mea mahi i roto i te koanga ngakau, me te whakaihiihi hinengaro.

5.2 Ko te tino painga o te karakia he mea whakatau i te wairua, whakawatea i te whatumanawa me te hinengaro, whakarata i te ngakau, whakataka i ngā raru, kia ngawari ai te whakauru atu ki te mahi kua whakaritea hei mahi.

5.3 He mea whakaihihi i te tamaiti te noho o te pakeke ki tona taha hei toko mona i roto i ana mahi. Heoi ano, ko te awhi ko te tautoko i a ia. Engari kia kaua e riro ma te pakeke e mahi te mahi a te tamaiti.

5.4 He mea nui te noho wahangu me te whakarongo mo ngā tamariki. Ma te mau o tenei tuahua e rongo ai ngā tamariki ki te hohonutanga o te korero.

5.5 He mea tapiri atu ki te whakarongo, ko te titiro, ko te raweke, ko te makamaka patai, ko te whitiwhiti korero, ko te ata whakaaro, hei whakauru i te matau me te aroa.

5.6  Ko ngā kaumatua ngā kaipupuri o ngā tikanga Māori, ko ratou hoki ngā pukorero. He mea nui tera kia piri mai ratou ki te kura, ki ngā tamariki hoki hei kaiako, hei kaiarahi.

5.7 He mea nui tera te manaaki tangata. Kia kite ngā tamariki i te ahua o te manaaki, i tona kainga, i te kura, i te marae. A tona wa kia tu ratou ki te awhina i ngā mahi manaaki.

5.8 Ko roto i tona ake hunuku te timatanga o te whanaungatanga o te tamaiti, ara, ki ona tungane/ tuahine, tuakana/teina. Ano, kei roto i tona hunuku tona rongo ki ngā tikanga tika e pa ana ki ngā pakeke me ngā kohungahunga. Me haere ano hoki enei tuahua i roto i te kura. Kia mohio ai ngā tamariki taipakeke ki te tiaki i ngā kohungahunga, kia whakarongo hoki ngā kohungahunga ki ngā tamariki taipakeke.

5.9 Na tenei tuahua e tika ai te korero, kia kaua e taikaha ngā mahi wehe i ngā kotiro me ngā tamatane, i ngā taipakeke me ngā kohungahunga hoki. Ano te wa e tika ana mo te mahi wehe i runga i te pakeke o ngā tamariki. Ano te wa e tika ana kia mahi whānau ratou. Otira, kia riro ma ngā tamariki pakeke e arataki ngā tamariki kohungahunga.

5.10  He mea tino nui te wahi ako hei whakaohooho i te wairua o te tamaiti ki ana mahi whakaako. No reira, kia kikii tonu te kura i ngā mea whakaihihi i a ia, i ngā mea pupuri hoki i te ha o te ao Māori. Me whakawhanui hoki tona wahi ako ki ngā marae, ki ngā ngahere, ki waenga parae, ki te taha moana, ki ngā wharepukapuka, whare taonga me era atu whare whangai i te puna o te mohio.

6. TE TINO UARATANGA

6.1 Kia mau, kia noho whakaaraara, noho koi te hinengaro o te tamaiti ki ngā matau katoa hei arahi i a ia i roto i te ao hou.

6.2 Kia toa ia ki te whakarongo, ki te whakaaro, ki te korero, ki te panui, ki te tuhi i roto i te reo Māori i roto i te reo o Tauiwi hoki.

6.3 Kia tupu ngā āhuatanga tuku iho o tona pumanawa ki ngā tihi teitei o te taumata.

6.4 Kia noho ohooho tona auahatanga i roto i ngā mahi waihanga o tona ao.

6.5 Kia noho tuwhera tona ngakau ki te hari, ki te koa, ki te aroha, ara, kia ngakau nui, kia ngakau mahaki.

6.6 Kia mau ki tona whatumanawa ngā hohonutanga o te ako o te mohio.

6.7 Kia rangona tona ihi, tona wehi, tona tapu.

6.8 Kia tupu tona mana me tona rangatiratanga.

6.9 Kia ita tona mauri.

6.10 Kia puawai tona waiora me tona hauora i roto i te hono tangaengae o tona wairua me tona tinana.

6.11 Kia mau tuhonohono te here o tona ihomatua ki ona matua tupuna, piki ake i ngā Rangi Tuhaha ki te marae atea o Io-Matua.

6.12 Kia tu pakari, tu rangatira ia hei raukura132 mo tona iwi. 

English Interpretation of Te Aho Matua o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori

Presented in the Māori language, Te Aho Matua has been written by the pioneers of Kura Kaupapa Māori as a foundation document for their kura.

As such, the document lays down the principles by which Kura Kaupapa Māori identify themselves as a unified group committed to a unique schooling system which they regard as being vital to the education of their children.

Te Aho Matua, therefore, provides a philosophical base for the teaching and learning of children and provides policy guidelines for parents, teachers and Boards of Trustees in their respective roles and responsibilities.

Te Aho Matua is intended for inclusion in the charters of Kura Kaupapa Māori as the means by which their special nature can be clearly identified from mainstream kura.

Te Aho Matua also provides a basis from which curriculum planning and design can evolve, allowing for diversity while maintaining an integral unity.

Te Aho Matua has been written in a typically elliptical Māori style which implies meaning and requires interpretation rather than translation.

Te Aho Matua is presented in six parts, each part having a special focus on what, from a Māori point of view, is crucial in the education of children for the future.

Part 1 – Te Ira Tangata

This part of the document focuses on the nature of humankind, and more particularly on the nature of the child. The Māori, perception of the child is encapsulated in two well known whakatauaki, or proverbs.

The first, which says, Ahakoa he iti, he mapihi pounamu refers to the singular beauty and immense value of even the tiniest piece of fine greenstone.

There are two related interpretations of the second proverb which says, He kakano i ruia mai i Rangiatea. E kore ia e ngaro. The first interpretation refers to the child as the seed which was dispersed from Rangiātea, the island in the Society Group from which the ancestors of the Māori migrated. The second interpretation refers to the child as the seed which was dispersed from the marae, also named Rangiatea, of the supreme deity, lo‑matua.

The last line in this proverb affirms that the seed will never be lost. This statement implies a strong physical orientation for life, like that of the ancestors who faced the unknown on the high seas in search of a new home. It also implies the certainty of spiritual life since humankind emanated from the marae of Io.

When both proverbs are applied to the child, the nurture and education of that child takes on a significance which is fundamental to Kura Kaupapa Māori philosophy.

The statement which follows the proverbs suggests that the teaching fraternity ought to have full knowledge of the makeup of humankind before an effective system of teaching and learning for children can be devised.

What follows is a statement which presents a Māori perspective as to the origin and nature of the human spirit. It was felt that herein lay one of the answers for recovery from the malaise induced by loss of land, power and sovereignty which has been, and still is for many, the experience of Māori people.

The statement says that the spirits of human beings derive from the Rangi Tuhaha, the twelve dimensions of enlightenment in which spirit entities dwell until physical life is desired and to which spirit entity return after physical death. The inference is that at the moment of conception the physical and spiritual potential of the human being becomes an individual entity endowed with the spirit qualities of mauri, tapu, wehi, mana, and ihi; the spirit receptor–transmitters of whatumanawa, hinengaro, auaha, ngakau and pumanawa and the iho matua, which is the umbilical cord of spirit energy which links that single entity through his ancestral lines to the primal energy source which is Io.

The spirit qualities referred to here can best be described as emanations of energy, the strength or weakness of which is determined by the condition of the receptor–transmitters where feelings, emotions, intelligence, consciousness, conscience and all other non-physical characteristics of human personality dwell.

Most often referred to as taha wairua these aspects of the human spirit are considered as important as physical attributes, not to be dismissed as the domain and responsibility of church or religion, but regarded as an integral part of human personality and, therefore, is responsive to and affected by teaching and learning.

In summary, then, Te Ira Tangata focuses on the physical and spiritual endowment of children and the importance of nurturing both in their education. Kura Kaupapa Māori therefore:

  • challenge parents, teachers and trustees to work together in establishing a harmonious, child‑centred learning environment in which care, consideration and co‑operation are acknowledged as necessary elements for the successful operation of the kura for the greatest benefit of its children.
  • propose that the role of the kura is all round development of its children rather than career orientation.
  • assert that the nurturing of body and soul in a caring environment is the greatest guarantee that children will pursue positive roles in life.
  • affirm that affectionate nurturing breeds happy hearts and lithesome spirits and thereby, warm and casing people.
  • honour all people regardless of age, creed, colour, gender or persuasion and will not therefore, belittle, resent, hurt or show prejudice toward anyone else.
  • honour gender differences and attributes in full understanding that it is in the combined and co‑operative efforts of men and women that the well‑being of children and community is assured.
  • respect the physical body and encourage children to pursue habits which guarantee personal health and well‑being.
  • respect the physical and spiritual uniqueness of the individual and are therefore mindful of not perpetrating physical or psychological harm against oneself or others.
  • affirm that the needs of the spirit are well served through the creative arts of music and song, dance and drama, drawing and painting, prose and poetry and all the activities which give full sway to colour and imagining.

Part 2 – Te Reo

Having established the nature of the child this part of the document focuses on language policy and how Kura Kaupapa Māori can best advance the language learning of their children.

As a natural and logical progression for graduates of Kohanga Reo, a primary focus of Kura Kaupapa Māori is the continuing development of the Māori language of their children. At the same time there exists a particular concern among some parents that the English language skills of their children should also be addressed. The primary language issue for Kura Kaupapa Māori became one of determining how the optimum result could be achieved in the development of both languages.

Indeed, the issue called for considerable research including a review of the literature which described the experiences of other language communities, especially those whose language, like that of the Māori, was experiencing serious decline. The language policies and teaching practices of other nation states, where bilingualism was a valued attribute for citizenship and the learning of a second language in educational institutions was encouraged, provided a rich panorama of experience from which the first Kura Kaupapa Māori could base its language policy.

The principle of total immersion featured in much of the literature, and the published research experiments of Lambert and his associates in the French & English Quebec experience legitimised total immersion as being particularly effective in advancing the French language competence of English speaking children.

So did the research studies of Dr Lily Wong‑Fillmore, Professor of Education, University of California, Berkley, USA, in which a range of second language learning methodologies, being used to teach elementary school children English were compared. Of these, total immersion proved to be significantly more effective.

The Ataarangi and Kohanga Reo initiatives which had preceded Kura Kaupapa Māori by 5 years had already established the effectiveness of total immersion. This then became firm policy for Kura Kaupapa Māori.

In summary, then, Te Reo focuses on bilingual competence and sets principles by which this competence will be achieved. Kura Kaupapa Māori therefore:

  • respect all languages.
  • expect full competency in Māori and English for the children of their kura.
  • insist that legislation for the Māori language is worthless without a total commitment to everyday usage of Māori.
  • affirm that total immersion most rapidly develops language competence and assert that the language of kura be, for the most part, exclusively Māori.
  • accept that there is an appropriate time for the introduction of English at which time there shall be a separate English language teacher and a separate language learning facility.
  • agree that the appropriate time for the introduction of English is a matter for the kura whānau to decide as a general rule, when children are reading and writing competently in Māori, and children indicate an interest in English.
  • assert that along with total immersion, bilingual competence is rapidly advanced through discretely separating the two languages and therefore reject the mixing or code switching of the two languages.
  • insist that competence in Māori language and culture along with a commitment to the Aho Matua be the hallmark of Kura Kaupapa Māori teachers and parents but that there be accommodation for those who are still in the learning phase.
  • believe that where there is a commitment to the language mastery will follow.

Part 3 – Ngā Iwi

Having established the nature of children with respect to their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs, and determining the most effective approach to language learning, this part of the document focuses on the social agencies which influence the development of children, in short, all those people with whom they interact as they make sense of their world and find their rightful place within it.

In traditional society whānau was the socialising agency of children and the fragmentation of this fundamental social structure in the urban drift of Māori away from their tribal centres is one of the variables which has contributed to the 'lost generations' of Māoridom.

It seemed immensely desirable that the whānau, which in this context, are all those people associated with the kura and its children, should be established as a fully functioning socialising agency, where each member of the whānau contribute to the education of all of the children. This communal responsibility for all children has to be one of the most positive moves of accommodating single-parent and dysfunctional families whose children are most at risk, while at the same time providing a haven where such families and their children can recover both stability and dignity in their lives.

All people derive from a unique culture which shapes their perception of self as belonging to, participating in, and contributing to the continuum of life. The uniqueness of Māori social structures must therefore be reflected in the entirety of the kura, allowing the children to consolidate their place amongst their own people as the safe ground from which they can begin, with expanding consciousness, to explore the life ways of other people.

Given that these two important factors contribute to the special nature of Kura Kaupapa Māori and are particularly relevant to curriculum, to the functioning of Boards of Trustees, and to the interaction of the kura with its whānau, it follows that teacher training should also be a major consideration for kura.

It cannot be assumed that the graduates of main‑stream teacher training will meet the requirements of kura. In fact kura may need to target potential teachers from within the kura whānau, and to seek a suitable training package which allows such people to qualify as teachers for their kura.

As a further consideration, experience has shown that school size is a significant factor. A small school allows greater whānau participation with all the children. This same participation tends to dissipate as kura get larger. Kura may need, therefore, to set the parameters as to what their ideal population should be in order to fulfil the promise of success for all their children.

In summary then, Ngā Iwi focuses on the principles which are important in the socialisation of children. Kura Kaupapa Māori therefore:

  • emphasise the importance of genealogy in establishing links within whānau, hapu, and iwi including iwi Pakeha.
  • emphasise the importance for children to know their own ancestral links and to explore their links with other iwi.
  • emphasise that children be secure in their knowledge about their own people but learn about and acknowledge other people and their societies.
  • emphasise that children study the historical, cultural, political, social, religious and economic events and issues which are an integral part of their Māori heritage.
  • emphasise that whānau ties are fundamental in the socialisation of children and is established and reinforced in a caring, supportive environment where aroha is evident.
  • assert that such learning is caught rather than taught and is the primary reason for the kura whānau to be close to and involved in the activities of the children.
  • emphasise that the association and interaction of the whānau with the children, where whānau approval or disapproval is felt by the children, is also where their sense of appropriate and acceptable behaviour begins.
  • value the participation of whānau as administrators, ancillary staff and teacher support as a means of reinforcing the cohesion of whānau and kura.
  • affirm that the kura belongs to the whānau and is available for the learning activities of all the whānau members.
  • assert that teacher training is a legitimate function of the kura and that aspiring teachers have extended experience in the kura before and during formal training.
  • submit that the size of the kura is a factor in facilitating or mitigating against the participation of whānau.

Part 4 – Te Ao

Having established the nature of children, their language learning and the people who influence their socialisation, this part of the document focuses on the world which surround children and about which there are fundamental truths which effect their lives.

Young children are naturally fascinated by every aspect of the natural world which enter their expanding field of experience. The task for the kura whānau is maintaining this fascination and optimising those experiences which contribute to their understanding and appreciation of the natural environment and the interconnectedness of everything within it.

Further to this, children need also to understand that the activities of people, including themselves, can have a detrimental effect on the environment and its resources.

In summary then, Te Ao encompasses those aspects of the world itself which impact on the learning of children. Kura Kaupapa Māori therefore:

  • recognise that the learning of children encompasses what enters their field of experience at home, in the Māori world, and in the world at large.
  • legitimise Māori knowledge of nature and the universe as an important and integral part of learning.
  • encourage children to marvel at and value all life forms, and the balance of nature which gives each of those life forms their right of existence.
  • develop in children an understanding that they are caretakers of the environment and are true to the laws of conservation passed down by their Māori forebears, as well as those practices which are environmentally friendly.
  • inspire children to explore the natural and cosmic laws of the universe through the sciences and whatever means enhances understanding.

Part 5 – Ahuatanga Ako

Taken altogether, the perception of children being central in an ever expanding world of experience which is accessed through the people with whom they associate and language, the implications for curriculum become evident. This model provides for every aspect of learning which the whānau feel is important for their children as well as the requirements of the national curriculum.

A further and final consideration is how best to achieve this in practice.

Ahuatanga Ako liststhe principles of teaching practice which are considered of vital importance in the education of children. Kura Kaupapa Māori, therefore:

  • assert that teaching and learning be a happy and stimulating experience for children.
  • practise karakia as a means of settling the spirit, clearing the mind, and releasing tension so that concentration on the task at hand is facilitated.
  • value the presence of supportive adults as important participants in the teaching/ learning process.
  • emphasise the particular value of concentrated listening as a skill to be thoroughly learned by children.
  • encourage the use of body, mind and all the senses in learning; listening; thinking and quiet concentration; visualisation and observation; touching; feeling and handling; questioning and discussing; analysing and synthesising; testing hypotheses; creative exploration.
  • adopt teaching practices and principles which accommodate different styles of learning and motivate optimal learning.
  • honour kaumatua as the repositories of Māori knowledge and invite their participation as advisors and fellow teachers.
  • expose children to the protocols of hospitality in the home, at school and on the marae, and require their participation at cultural functions in roles appropriate to their ages and levels of maturation.
  • accept that healthy relationships between brothers and sisters. younger and older siblings. children, parents and elders are the joint responsibility of the kura whānau.
  • encourage older children to care for the young ones and to occasionally assist in their learning activities, and younger children to accept the guidance of their older peers.
  • emphasise the importance of creating a learning environment which is interesting, stimulating and reflects the Māori world.
  • expand the learning environment to include marae, the wide‑open spaces of bush, sea and sky, libraries and museums, and all other places which contribute to learning.
  • welcome innovative ways of stimulating the learning of children but encourage self motivation.
  • provide for the special interests that individual children may have in the development of self‑directed learning.
  • encourage shared and co-operative ways of learning.

Part 6 – Te Tino Uaratanga

Having encapsulated in the foregoing statements the major areas to be considered in the education of children in Kura Kaupapa Māori, a final consideration focuses on what the outcome might be for children who graduate from Kura Kaupapa Māori.

Kura Kaupapa Māori will have in place appropriate measures for assessing and evaluating the achievement of their children at all levels of the national curriculum as well as whatever else the kura decides are valuable areas of knowledge for their children.

This part of the document focuses, however, on the whole person in terms of a fully functioning human being whose personal attributes are recognised, nurtured and brought to fruition.

In summary then, Te Tino Uaratanga defines the characteristics which Kura Kaupapa Māori aim to develop in their children, that they:

  • develop free, open and inquiring minds alert to every area of knowledge which they choose to pursue in their lives.
  • become competent thinkers, listeners, speakers, readers and writers in both Māori and English.
  • advance their individual talents to the highest levels of achievement.
  • delight in using their creative talents in all feats of endeavour.
  • are receptive to and have a great capacity for aroha, for joy and for laughter.
  • are true and faithful to their own sense of personal integrity while being caring, considerate, and co‑operative with others.
  • assimilate the fruits of learning into the deeper recesses of consciousness where knowing refreshes the spirit.
  • manifest self esteem, self confidence, self discipline and well developed qualities of leadership.
  • value their independence and self determination in setting personal goals and achieving them.
  • radiate the joy of living.
  • manifest physical and spiritual wellbeing through the harmonious alignment of body, mind and spirit.
  • are secure in the knowledge of their ancestral links to the divine source of all humanity.
  • are high achievers who exemplify the hopes and aspirations of their people.

Footnotes

  1. 1994 Hui-a-tau Te Rūnanga Nui o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa.
  2. 1996 Mahuru Te Rūnanga Whaiti.

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