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Education stereotypes holding back Maori

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Education stereotypes holding back Maori

A Maori educator is challenging teachers to see beyond colonial stereotypes that hold Maori back.

Hana O’Regan was a keynote speaker at this week’s CORE Education conference in Auckland.

She says negative stereotypes are pervasive in New Zealand society and impact on children’s ability to learn.

There is no basis to ideas that Maori have any set learning style, or that they are inherently good at music and sports but no interest in science and maths.

"We were absolutely deliberately specifically excluded from participation in further education from 1869. Laws were passed that forbid the teaching of academic subjects in native schools because we were being too successful and what happened was our people were subjected to these negative images of ourselves as learners so much that we ended up taking them on board," Ms O’Regan says.

She says in the right context and with the right teaching relationships Maori have a real thirst for knowledge.


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