What will it take?

Understanding settler silencing and realising cultural and structural reforms





How power influences the culture and structure of State schooling in Aotearoa has historically been set by the State and, although this has been particularly harmful for Māori, structural change continues to be imposed from the top. For example, the latest Education and Training Act came into effect in August, 2020. Changes through this Act are further supported by Ka Hikitia – Ka Hāpaitia, the National Education Learning Priorities (NELP), the Curriculum Refresh, and the Aotearoa New Zealand Histories Curriculum. Other major changes, across the system, are set to come into effect by 2024. This paper discusses some of the learning that is required if cultural changes for equity and belonging are to be achieved within these imposed structural changes.


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Author Biography

Mere Berryman, University of Waikato

Professor Mere Berryman (Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Whare) University of Waikato, Division of Education. After 20 years of teaching, I wanted to understand why, what we had been doing in education was perpetuating intergenerational disparity for Māori. Over two decades of research has followed, to promote Māori students’ educational success as Māori. In this time, historical truths from kaupapa Māori and critical theories have begun to see the disruption of deeply entrenched prejudices. Research shows that with critical consciousness, educators can lead more equitable contexts for learning where Māori learners and others with identified needs can finally be understood, included and feel they can belong.


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