Te hononga ki te marae : connecting early learning centres with their local marae

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Job, Nicole
Nathan, Rangi
Wrightson, Helen
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Conference Contribution - Oral Presentation
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
early childhood education
Te Whāriki
bilingual education
New Zealand
Job, N., Nathan, R., & Wrightson, H. (2015, October). Te hononga ki te marae: Connecting early learning centres with their local marae. Paper presented at Unitec Research Symposium, Unitec, Mt Albert, Auckland.
This presentation explores a process to initiate a relationship between early childhood settings (centres) with their local marae. This research is currently in progress. It is intended to guide one or two centres to establish relationships with kuia and kaumātua of the marae and possibilities for developing te reo Māori me ōna tīkanga. As part of Nicole’s Masters of Education thesis, she found that there had been a shift towards utilising te reo Māori in early childhood education, but the level of proficiency varied from centre to centre (Education Review Office, 2012). Further to this the Ministry of Education implemented a bilingual curriculum document Te Whāriki, but there has been no real guidance as to how to implement bilingual practices. Expertise in this area could be drawn from kuia, kaumātua and relationships between centres and their local marae. Also, as a result of community work over 2000 children came through Te Noho Kotahitanga marae at Te Whare Wānanga o Wairaka. We noticed the high demand of centres still wanting a marae experience for their tamariki. This demand on our marae and marae staff has become unrealistic as the marae is on high demand for Unitec itself. Connecting centres with their local marae could be more beneficial as relationships under a kaupapa of whanaungatanga are established between the centres and marae. This could also provide a culturally appropriate and safe space for centres to practice and breathe tīkanga Māori.
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