Māori student engagement

Kia Angitu Researcher Margaret Young: Kia Angitu sponsor, Tuhakia Keepa, EIT’s Director Māori: Kia Angitu teaching and learning strategy lead Deb Stewart.

Poipoia te kākano kia puawai

Nurture the seed and it will blossom

Developing a strategy to improve Māori student engagement and success across all programmes at EIT is at the heart of a significant research project started last year, with the second phase of research taking place in 2019.

Kia Angitu is a partnership between EIT’s Māori Directorate, Education Development Centre and the Research and Innovation Centre, and was set up to identify strategies that lecturers and tutors could use in their teaching practice, as well as programme development and assessment design.

Aside from the regularly held community of practice sessions and one-on-one sessions with participants, data collection processes included interviews with staff participants and students of each participant.

The action research methodology was informed by several key kaupapa Māori principles: Whanaungatanga, Manaakitanga, Tino Rangatiratanga and Taonga Tuku Iho.

Interim report results indicate that an ideal classroom environment to strive for is one where Māori learners can be successful in the education context as Māori, rather than having to fit in to a system that does not quite fit for them.

One example of practical results coming out of the research is participants introducing content-relevant te reo Māori into their teaching practice. When this happens they have found that Māori learners are encouraged to share their knowledge with others, and all learners benefit from exposure to discussion incorporating a Māori perspective.