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About This Blog

My intention for writing this Blog is to gather evidence of ongoing evidence of ongoing professional inquiry into strengthening my own understanding of a Tiriti based curriculum and how this would be reflected in daily practice.

I would love to have continued dialogue and stretch thinking with teachers to support this learning and my staff appraisal. My inquiry question " How do I advocate for the development and implementation of a Tiriti-based curriculum?

5 October 2020

Ko Te Whāriki te mokopuna. Ko te mokopuna Te Whāriki. 

Te Whāriki is the child. The child is Te Whāriki 

I love this photo of my mokopuna Sophia meeting her wee brother Nikau - Tarewa for the first time. Her emotions and feelings are so obvious just as it is for family members in all whanau as they interact with their loved ones. Dame Tilly Reedy reminds us that central to the learning as you step into an early childhood centre is the Mokopuna. This is such an important concept to Maori and as we as kaiako recognise all children as our mokopuna we recognise the importance of relationship in deep and meaningful ways that make a difference to children’s learning. 
This is one of the important messages from Te Tiriti, recognising the mokopuna from every walk of life and nationality, to have their reo and their culture acknowledged. This is central to Te Whāriki.
In Dame Tilly’s words - Mana Atua, my sense of godliness that neither you or anyone else can trample, Mana Tangata, Who am I? Recognise me. 
Mana Reo - Te Whāriki allows everyone to have their own reo, Mana Whenua- turangawaewae, this makes me who I am and where I stand, the importance of the land, Mana Aotearoa - to care for the land. 
These wise words can help us to weave what is meaningful to whanau within our curriculum, underpinned by the values within Te Ao Maori. 
Here is Dame Tilly’s korero:

8 June 2020

Partnership can be strengthened in different ways

“Te Tiriti o Waitangi in the context  of Te Whāriki is about the relationship between Māori and the Crown, and Pakeha  and included in that is everyone who has come to join us on these islands, our shared obligations, and our shared aspirations for today and tomorrow.” (Brenda Soutar 2018)

The Treaty of Waitangi is the founding document of New Zealand and calls for centres to understand and honour Treaty principles in all actions and decision making. It is about making our country’s  bicultural  foundations evident in policies,  organisation, physical spaces, whanau and community engagement and planning and assessment. 

Te Whariki may be one framework but there are two pathways moving us closer to equity for Māori through an indigenous model Te Whariki a te Kohanga Reo and a Treaty based pathway that ensures a bicultural curriculum for all.

I was talking to a teacher this week whose inquiry this year through her appraisal was to focus on whether the relationships with whānau were deep enough to form a quality partnership. Even though whānau were greeted and conversations shared, she would return again and again to continue the dialogue and was rewarded with so much more warmth and interaction.

I was listening to Moana Jackson on a Livechat on Facebook this week when he gave caution about the word ‘Consultation’ when implementing Te Tiriti and suggested instead we implement ‘meaningful dialogue’, this is what this teacher has done.

This is about sharing stories, not just touching the surface where the single story of a culture may lie but rather going deep into the rich novel that has language, culture and identity woven within.


Assessment, a mana enhancing process

16 January 2019

Mā te ahurei o te tamaiti e ārahi i ā tātou mahi. 
Let the uniqueness of the child guide our work. 
As we weave our own curriculum and keep abreast of current theory, the alignment between Te Whariki, Te Whatu Pokeka, Reggio Emilia and kaupapa Maori becomes evident when strengthening assessment for tamariki. More...


30 September 2018

I have just finished reading “Changing the default setting: Making trouble to restore tikanga” by Ani Mikaere, a thought provoking article that highlights how colonial constructs have been superimposed over traditional tikanga practices over time, driven these to be used on the marae only and the powerful role that Christianity has had over tikanga as well, normalising concepts of dominance and subservience. More...


Ko te Tamaiti te Pūtake o te Kaupapa. The Child – the Heart of the Matter

8 February 2018

Today when I visited a centre where children from mixed ages were able to play together I reflected on the joy of two brothers who were able to be together when they wanted to be and the teina had the emotional support of knowing his ‘big bro’ was there and the tuakana was happy to see his brother content. More...


22 November 2017

“Knowledge and matauranga is a blessing on your mind, it makes everything clear and guides you to do things in the right waya…. and not a word will be thrown at you by the people” Eruera Stirling of  Te Whanau -a -Apanui.
He was in effect talking about respecting tikanga Maori and its general guidelines of acceptable behaviour. More...

Weaving a Whāriki

3 October 2017

Recently I had the privilege of listening to Mari Ropata-Te-Hei, the conceptual designer of the cover of the updated Te Whāriki and to have an insight into her thinking.

Mari talked about the spiritual connections to whakapapa for flax and the purposes that it is used for, gathering seafood, muku (clothing) and the harder flax being used to make whāriki.
Mari looked at the conceptual connections for the child and that working in centres is the same process as making a whāriki. More...

Gabriel's Wellbeing

22 August 2017

Our Code, Our Standards states “We recognise Te Tiriti o Waitangi as a founding document of our nation. As teachers, we are committed to honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi and we understand this has implications in all of our practice. More...


Sunday 6 August 2017

Some thoughts as I start my blog....

My background as a New Zealander, brought up in the King Country with many Maori friends at school together from early Primary through to High School. They used to buy me lollies from the school tuck shop, they were my mates and we shared good times together.
Schooling was the same for us all with no reference to culture or past NZ history that affected family and whanau through World Wars and the breaking in of a young country, the falling of forests and I can still remember the large scale burning of fallen bush to create new farm land.
No mention of who our land may have belonged to that was given to my Grandfather as a ballot when returning from the Boer War although Maori were part of the community, they shore our sheep and were always involved in seasonal work. Mum said they were always there, the largest Pa site “Gateway to Taranaki’ once stood on the high hill of our farm boundary.
No reference to past land wars during our school days so ignorance was bliss, there was nothing to worry about, we were all one, schooling was for the good of all.

As I look back on these idyllic days I can now reflect on the severe changes over time for Maori whanau, sixty years ago many of these families were still living rurally within whanau based communities, changes that forced many whanau members to move to the cities to find work wasn’t foreseen but coming to understand NZ history and the harsh realities of losing land, ways of being and doing, te reo outlawed in schools and culture marginalised I can only but guess at the hurt and anguish engrained on heart and soul for many Maori that were part of my life. As time has passed I have come to realise that education for Maori was driven by policies, strategies and initiatives designed to assimilate Maori into the dominant European group (Simon and Smith 2001) culture was not considered an important factor in Maori succeeding within education.

So just some background thoughts as I start this shared journey and looking forward to strengthening my own practice. Quoting Jenny Ritchie;

“teachers recognising that “they cannot be expert in another person’s culture if they do not share that cultural background” and that “non-Māori cannot speak for Māori”.  Non-Māori teachers create opportunities for Māori to voice their perceptions and are committed to listening and responding to them”

I am here to learn from others and look forward to sharing our thoughts on strengthening language, culture and identity and ways to strengthen our bicultural curriculum Te Whāriki underpinned by Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Below is a link to the resource that guides my teaching practice.

Having these standards as part of this blog will assist me in lining up my ideas with the individual standards and may also help readers understand my thinking.

Our Code Our Standards | Ngā Tikanga Matatika Ngā Paerewa

The Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards for the Teaching Profession has been crafted by teachers, leaders and teaching experts to articulate the expectations and aspirations of our profession.
The Code sets out the high standards for ethical behaviour that are expected of every teacher; the Standards describe the expectations of effective teaching practice. Together they set out what it is, and what it means, to be a teacher in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Code and Standards apply to every certificated teacher, regardless of role or teaching environment. The Code also applies to those who have been granted a Limited Authority to Teach.