Date
19 May 2022

Explore beliefs, values, and expectations of parents and whānau

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Exploring Māori cultural perspectives on inclusion, learning support and disability’

Whānau perspectives on disability

Whānau perspectives on disability

Parents and whānau will have differing perspectives on inclusion, disability and accessing learning support for their children. There is no one approach to partnering with them.

Find out about their:

  • values and beliefs about disability and inclusion (including knowledge of their whakapapa [genealogy]) 
  • personal experiences of learning
  • hopes and dreams for their child
  • fears and anxieties
  • expectations around support for learning.

Where parent and whānau values and expectations differ from those of your school, be open to learning from parents.

Whānau expectations of schools

Whānau expectations of schools

Māori parents expect schools to:

  • give them honest, accurate, and useful information about their child’s progress and achievement
  • support their children to become confident learners who accepted challenges and maintained their personal mana
  • invite them to be part of their child’s learning
  • acknowledge their culture and values through the use of Māori protocols, for example, mihi and karakia at meetings
  • provide programmes in te reo Māori and tikanga that supported their children’s learning.

Source: Partners in learning: Parents' voices (ERO, 2008) (opens in a new tab/window)

Is my child welcome?

Is my child welcome?

I like how everyone treats me like a whānau member, like I am their sister, how they respect and support me, it feels like when I am walking out of my own house, I am coming home again… Every other school in NZ should be like this school and allow their students to feel comfortable and supported in their own culture and skin.”

(Rangatahi Māori, Ōtara)

Make culture visible

Make culture visible

Janelle Riki-Waaka, talks about how schools can better reflect the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand so that all students can connect to and see themselves in their school.

Seek student voice

Seek student voice

Māori rangatahi who identify as Deaf help schools to have a better understanding of their access and communication needs, and their aspirations.

Understand Māori perspectives on giftedness

Understand Māori perspectives on giftedness

Take a kauapapa Māori approach to identifying and fostering the potential of gifted Māori learners. Mahaki and Mahaki (2007) list some cultural qualities that are valued by Māori and may serve as indicators of giftedness and talent.
  • Manaakitanga: generosity – honouring, caring and giving mana to people, thus maintaining your own mana
  • Whanaungatanga: family values, relationships
  • Wairuatanga: balance – harmony, spirituality, being grounded, calm
  • Kaitiakitanga: caretaker/guardianship of knowledge, environment and resources
  • Rangatiratanga: ranga – to weave, tira – a company; leadership that inspires unity
  • Mātauranga: knowledge – intellect, thinking skills, wisdom, education, learned, studious
  • Te mahi rēhia: recreational pursuits – physical and artistic performance
  • Tikanga: approved etiquette – correct behaviour, truthful, proper, respectful

Source: https://gifted.tki.org.nz/define-and-identify/characteristics-of-the-gifted-and-talented/#e1775 (opens in a new tab/window)

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Explore Māori perspectives on inclusion”:

Return to the guide “Supporting ākonga Māori”

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