Date
27 September 2021

Developing critical consciousness

Critical consciousness requires us to notice and resist the unconscious biases and hidden curriculum (unspoken values and rules) that privilege some and exclude others,

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Taking action

Taking action

Consider this quote for your own context:

Conscientisation is becoming aware of the part I play in keeping things the same. How I support the status quo, how I perpetrate that. And becoming very conscious of how and why I am doing that and what are the implications of my actions.

… Conscientisation may make me aware but if I’m not going to do anything with that thinking, I’m of very little help to Māori students. Resistance is the “doing” following the disruption to my practice on account of the conscientisation.

What is critical conscious­ness?

What is critical conscious­ness?

Critical consciousness involves:

  • reflecting critically on the imbalance of power and resources in society
  • taking critical action in the pursuit of equity
  • disrupting the status quo to address oppression and strengthen equity.

A personal journey

A personal journey

To teach others, we first need to take our own journey.

I always ask those who tell me they don’t have any or many Māori students in their classrooms,

“Who do you think should learn most about white privilege? Your Māori children or your Pākehā children?”

 

Dr Ann Milne

Decolonising education

Decolonising education

Engage in a critically conscious curriculum both for yourself and for your students.

Reflective questions

Reflective questions

Critical questioning opens up our thinking. It helps us make the invisible visible, things like power, control, and privilege.

Consider the following questions. Discuss your responses as a team.

Unteach Racism aims to support kaiako, in a staged approach, to identify, confront and dismantle racism in education.

  • What have I been doing unconsciously that I need to unlearn or that I need to undo, so that I can be sure that I am supporting Māori students to succeed as Māori?
  • What are the things that I need to do differently?
  • What can I do in order to disrupt the status quo?

Source: Adapted from Poutama Pounamu: Drawing from critical theories (opens in a new tab/window)

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

Lessons from a Recovering Racist | Andrew Judd | TEDxRuakura

Publisher: TED Conferences

Visit website

Website

Land of the Long White Cloud | Episode 4 – Pākehā Paralysis | RNZ

Publisher: Radio New Zealand

Visit website

File

Poutama Pounamu: Drawing from critical theories

Read time: 2 min

Publisher: Poutama Pounamu

Download PDF

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Developing cultural capability”:

Return to the guide “Supporting ākonga Māori”

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