More than 30 years ago when Russell Bishop (Tainui, Ngāti Pukeko) first started teaching at Mana College in Porirua, he was struck by a single question: Why did so many Māori students start out well, but still fail as they went through school?
Bishop, R. and T. Glynn. Culture Counts: Changing Power Relations in Education. Palmerston North: Dunmore Press, 1999.
Why did so many Māori students start out well, but still fail as they went through school? This question never quite went away, and Russel Bishop’s research and publishing career is his contribution to addressing an educational system that was developed and continues to be developed within a framework of colonialism. Russell Bishop and Ted Glynn’s critical exploration of New Zealand education proposes a model for addressing cultural diversity based on an Indigenous Kaupapa Māori response to the dominant discourse.
Culture Counts promotes self-determination as guaranteed in the Treaty of Waitangi as a metaphor for power sharing and has as its goal the advancement of educational outcomes and life opportunities for Māori children and those from other cultures. In this model, the classroom is a place where young people’s cultures are incorporated and enhanced, and where the teacher interacts with students in such a way that new knowledge is co-created and not seen as something that the teacher alone possesses. This book presents a powerful analysis that continues to resonate with educators who are attempting to develop culturally relevant pedagogies.
This publication is part of the series Te Takarangi: Celebrating Māori publications - a sample list of 150 non-fiction books produced by a partnership between Royal Society Te Apārangi and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga.