Toi ora, reo ora, Whatuora – Developing Toi Māori pedagogy to support Māori whanau aspirations for reo and tikanga

Funding year: 
2 years
Whatua tū aka
Project start date: 
February 2023
Project end date: 
March 2025
Principal investigator(s): 
Dr. Hinekura Smith
Research team members: 
Kim Penetito (AI), Allana Goldsmith (RA)

Ō mātou hoa kōtui

Three rumaki reo (te reo Māori immersion units) within the Waitemata Kāhui Ako – Te Uru Karaka (Newton Central Primary), Te Waititiko (Pasadena Intermediate) and Nga Puna o Waiorea (Western Springs College)

Kupu whakataki / Whakamārama mō te kaupapa

Toi Ora, Reo Ora, Whatuora is a practice led arts-based project to story the reo aspirations of three connected rumaki reo whānau in the Waitematā Kāhui Ako through the Māori pedagogy and practice of whatu. This research contributes to scholarship and practice on Toi Māori / Māori arts-based pedagogies as key language and cultural revitalisation practices within rumaki reo education. Importantly, this research sets out to strengthen Māori language community relationships through the pedagogy of whatu wānanga, to better support kura understandings of, and responses to, whānau aspirations for flourishing reo and tikanga.

Ngā whāinga

The overarching research question for this project is:

How does Whatuora, a Kaupapa Māori arts-based pedagogy, support and story the intergenerational flourishing of Māori language, culture and whānau aspirations, across three Māori medium educational settings?

Sub-questions include:

  • What does whatu teach us (Māori medium students / whānau / kaiako / researcher) and how does it teach?
  • How might whatu pedagogy contribute to a growing multiplicity of Māori pedagogies about how we learn in Māori medium education settings?
  • What might whatu pedagogy add to ways of teaching and learning in Māori medium education?
  • How does developing whatu pedagogy encourage the theorisation of other Māori pedagogies to support teaching and learning in Māori medium education?

He aha tēnei rangahau i hira ai?

The aspirations of Māori whānau who place their children into Māori medium education are similar and different, diverse and storied. These aspirations do not fall out of thin air but instead are formed and informed by experiences, histories, societal pressures and influences, and our own experiences of education. If Māori aspirations can be understood as taonga tuku iho - those values beliefs, aspirations, ideas, experiences, influences and perceptions that are transmitted to us - how then do our aspirations inform the reasons we place our children in Māori medium education - what stories do we whatu into the kākahu that we create for our children?

Te mahi ka mahia e mātou

  • Whatu wānanga – data collection: Qualitative data will be gathered using whānau wānanga (intergenerational whānau focus groups) to story whānau journeys of te reo Māori as they learn to weave whatu kākahu (cloaks) during a 5 month whatu wānanga across three rumaki reo settings.
  • Whatu kōrero - analysis: Whatuora, a toi Māori Kaupapa Māori methodology (Smith, 2017) will be utilised to thematically analysis the whānau wānanga interviews to produce a set of thematic learnings and a set of kura and whānau pūrākau.
  • Whatu kaupapa – dissemination: wānanga will be held within each of the three kura whānau and across the Kāhui Ako school community to return the stories gathered. Dissemination includes academic journal articles and conference presentations as well as creative dissemination possibilities such as an exhibition; fashion show and tell; photographic publication.

Ngā taipitopito hoapā

Ingoa: Dr Hinekura Smith
Ngā taipitopito wāhi noho: Ngā Wai a Te Tui, Unitec, Te Pukenga