Ngā ritenga pai: Māori and Modernity in the 1850s
Modernity and education have always been a double-edged sword for Māori. On the one hand Māori have embraced and co-opted new knowledge since encountering and engaging with missionaries, traders, officials and school teachers, but this pursuit has also entailed engagement with institutions that have imperilled their reo, mana, and tikanga. One could argue that this is as true now within what is termed the “mainstream” education system as it was in its earlier missionary and colonial antecedents. Hēnare Wiremu Taratoa was a product of the missionary education system. This essay explores a number of his late-1850s writings on the schooling he experienced, and his ideas on the value of education and modernity.
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