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Teachers seek to understand matauranga

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Teachers have been wrestling with the question of matauranga Maori or Maori knowledge and how it can be brought into the classroom.

It was one of the issues raised at an indigenous education symposium held in Wellington recently and organised by primary teachers union the NZEI Education Institute Te Riu Roa.

Hemi Dale, the head of Maori medium education at the University of Auckland’s Te Puna Wananga School of Education and Social Work, says teachers from across the education sector had a wide variety of approaches.

He says the hardest thing was finding a definition.

"We kind of all settled on Mason Durie's explanation around kaupapa Maori and mataurana Maori and his way of explaining the difference or the relationship rather. He says it's not unlike the relationship between kawa and tikanga. Kaupapa Maori is a way of doing things whereas Matauranga Maori is a way of understanding things, and so that resonated for teachers," Mr Dale says.



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