Whakawhanaungatanga— partnerships in bicultural development in early childhood care and education

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Funding year: 
2005
Duration:
2 years
Organisation: 
University of Waikato
Sector: 
ECE sector
Project start date: 
January 2006
Project end date: 
January 2008
Principal investigator(s): 
Jenny Ritchie
Research team members: 
Cheryl Rau
Research partners: 
University of Waikato

Project Description

Māori participation in early childhood education (ECE) still lags behind that of non-Māori (45 percent compared to 68 percent—Ministry of Education, 2004). The strategic plan for early childhood (Ministry of Education, 2002) contains “a focus on collaborative relationships for Māori”, which seeks to “create an environment where the wider needs of Māori children, their parents, and whānau (families) are recognised and acknowledged” (p. 16), and where whānau, hapū and iwi can work with ECE services. ECE services are also encouraged to become more responsive to the needs of Māori children. This project was premised on findings of Ritchie (2002), that strengthening provision of the bicultural aspirations of the early childhood curriculum within ECE settings other than kōhanga reo is a central professional responsibility for educators, and that a key strategy for achieving this is to build relationships with the whānau Māori of children in their settings (whakawhanaungatanga). A further context for the study was the research of Rau (2002), that identified and employed key concepts in kaupapa Māori education and research theories, and focused on intergenerational transmission of Māori values through whānau relationships and practices.

Whakawhanaungatanga approaches have the potential to increase Māori participation in early childhood education, since Māori seek educational experiences that validate their identity and offer te reo and tikanga, including key values such as a sense of whanaungatanga. Even those Māori families who send their children to conventional early childhood centres and schools want their children to learn te reo, and expect these services to support this aspiration.

This research project aimed to address the problem identified by Ritchie (2002), that mainstream and teacher educators lack confidence and competence in delivering bicultural education programmes that meet the expectations of Te Whāriki (Ministry of Education, 1996b), and to consider enacted strategies validating Maori ways of knowing, doing, and being (Rau, 2002). The research kaupapa was also consistent with Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations to protect and sustain taonga1 Māori and enable Māori to exercise tino rangatiratanga or ownership of their taonga.

Project Outputs

2009

Conferences Presentations and Workshops
Ritchie, J. (2009). Bicultural Journeying in Aotearoa. Paper presented at The Fifth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (QI2009). Advancing Human Rights Through Qualitative Research, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, May 20-23.

2008

Presentations
Ritchie, J. (2008). Honouring M?ori Subjectivities within Early Childhood Education in Aotearoa. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 9(3), 202-210.

Conferences Presentations and Workshops
Ritchie, J. (2008). Enacting Tiriti-based practice in early childhood education in Aotearoa. Paper presented at the Teacher Education Forum of Aotearoa New Zealand (TEFANZ). Te Rauika Titohu Kaiako o Aotearoa. Biennial National Conference. Refereed Conference Proceedings. (CD-Rom ed.), University of Waikato, Hamilton.

2007

Publications
Ritchie, J.  (2007). Bicultural Journeying. A researcher's view. Playcentre Journal, Winter(129), 24-27.

Ritchie, J. (2007).Thinking Otherwise: ‘Bicultural’ Hybridities in Early Childhood Education in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Childrenz Issues, 11 (1), 37-41

Conferences Presentations and Workshops
Ritchie, J. (2007).Whakawhanaungatanga in Praxis: Transforming Early Childhood Practice in Aotearoa through Honouring Indigineity. Keynote presentation at the International Symposium for Research in Early Childhood Care, Education and Health. Early Childhood Care and Development: Perspectives from the Majority World, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

2006

Publications
Ritchie, J., & Rau, C. (2006). Enacting a whakawhanaungatanga approach in early childhood education.  Early Childhood Folio, 10, 16-20.

2005

Publications
Rau, C., & Ritchie, J. (2005). From the margins to the centre: Repositioning Maori at the centre of early childhood education in Aotearoa/New Zealand. International Journal of Equity and Innovation in Early Childhood, 3 (1), 50-60.

Conferences Presentations and Workshops
Holmes, H., Blackie, L., Rau, C., & Ritchie, J. (2005). Ka hikoi tahi tatou. Paper presented to the Early Childhood Symposium, Dunedin College of Education, 5 December 2005.

Ritchie, J. (2005). Mixing our metaphors. Paper presented by video link to the Reconceptualizing Early Childhood conference, Madison, Wisconsin, 19 October 2005.

Ritchie, J. (2005). Mixing our metaphors. Paper presented by video link to the Reconceptualizing Early Childhood conference, Madison, Wisconsin, 19 October 2005.

Ritchie, J., & Rau, C. (2005). Emergence, convergence and divergence in collaborative narrative methodology. Paper presented at the annual conference of the New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE), Dunedin, 6-9 December 2005

2004

Conferences Presentations and Workshops
Ritchie, J., & Rau, C. (2004). From the margins to the centre: Repositioning Maori at the centre of early childhood education in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Paper presented at the Centre for Equity and Innovation in Early Childhood conference, University of Melbourne, Australia, 11-14 November 2004. 

Rau, C., & Ritchie, J. (2004). Partnership in practice: Collaborative research in early childhood education in Aotearoa/New Zealand: Two projects. Paper presented at the 5th conference of the Pacific Early Childhood Research Association, University of Melbourne, Australia, 16-19 July 2004.