Weaving Biculturalism into everyday practice

Nuhisifa Seve-Williams New Zealand Tertiary College

Editorial: Vol 5, No 2 - Nov 2017

Ma tou rourou, ma toku rourou
Ka ora ai te iwi
Your basket and my basket (of knowledge)
Will sustain the people

This edition of He Kupu Weaving Biculturalism into our everyday ECE practices is the first edition that focuses on articles on biculturalism and bicultural development. In this issue of He Kupu, bicultural development is explored from a range of perspectives, that includes tiriti-based early childhood education; bicultural teaching and learning; tiriti-based pedagogy; development of bicultural resources; and developing bicultural competency.

The Practitioner Researcher Section commences with an article based on an interview by Nuhisifa Seve-Williams who spoke to Rachel Harper, an early childhood teacher at the Glen Eden Kindergarten, on the utility of the Te reo Māori: He taonga mō ā tātou mokopuna: A teaching and learning guide, in supporting the teaching of te reo Māori in the kindergarten.

This is followed by Fiona Woodgate’s article that is also based on an interview. Fiona talks with Lorraine Kaihau an early childhood practitioner and the centre manager of Te Kahui Iti Nei O Te Kopu, a bilingual centre set on the grounds of Tahuna Marae, on how the centre implemented biculturalism in their practice. The Practitioner Researcher Section ends with an article by Orlene D’Cunha that draws upon the significance of The Treaty of Waitangi in regards to its relevance in the early childhood education. The article highlights how Orlene’s practice reflects The Treaty and its principles.

Moving into the Special Theme Section of the issue, Roimata Rokx presents a short narrative by way of a commentary on Māori values, beliefs and morals that have shaped her life and continues to inspire who she is today. Cindy Hawkins article follows and looks at her understanding of the tikanga concept of rangatiratanga and its place in mainstream early childhood education in Aotearoa/New Zealand; and discusses the implications for kaiako implementing a bicultural leadership model in mainstream education.

In recognition that graduates of initial teaching programs are required to be culturally competent and to provide culturally responsive programs Hoana McMillan, Rawhia Te Hau-Grant, and Sue Werry’s article discusses the outcomes of their action research project at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology. The project sought to make te reo Māori more visible. This article captures their collective journey from te pō (a state of frustration and uncertainty) into te ao mārama (enlightenment and clarity). It discusses the complexity of making te reo Māori visible and ensuring tikanga and Māori epistemologies are part of the everyday initial teaching and early childhood education curriculums.

Nuhisifa Seve-Williams, Roimata, Ra Keelan, Carla Keighron and Marjolein Whyte’s article that follows is along similar lines to the previous article but from an evaluation perspective of a Māori resource - Te Reo Māori: He taonga mō ā tātou Mokopuna. This resource was released into the early childhood sector in 2016 by New Zealand Tertiary College. To support its release the Raranga Reo research project set up to evaluate the utility of the resource; and a prototype teaching and learning guide was developed to partner Te Reo Māori: He taonga mō ā tātou Mokopuna. The article discusses the evaluation of the resources through the perception of the participants in the study.

Robyn Chaffey, Michelle Conole and Mihi Harrington’s article discusses the challenges of implementing biculturalism that honours both cultures. Their article discusses practical ways they consider this could be achieved in early childhood. Leeanne Marie Campbell and Diane Gordon-Burns article follows and provides early childhood teachers opinions, about their bicultural development, ability, knowledge, confidence, motivations and the relevance of bicultural training in terms of preparing them for the workplace. The article also examines students’ thoughts in regards to their further development and the types of support they believe would benefit them in their work in early childhood centres.

The section ends with Christine Vincent-Snow’s article advocating for early childhood teachers to consider their role in promoting and creating sustainability within early childhood educational settings in Aotearoa/New Zealand. In her article Christine Vincent-Snow proposes the inclusion of a Māori world-view towards sustainability.

This issue of He Kupu concludes with three book reviews: Fiona Woodgate has reviewed Elwyn Richardson and the early world of creative education in New Zealand by Margaret MacDonald; Keshni Kumar provides a review of Teachers voyaging in plurilingual seas: Young children learning through more than one language by Valerie N. Podmore, Helen Hedges, Peter J. Keegan and Nola Harvey; and lastly Julie Holdom reviews Home: here to stay edited by Mere Kēpa, Marilyn McPherson and Linitā Manu’atu.

I hope that you will find the articles featured in this edition encourages you to reflect and engage in bicultural development in your everyday practices.

Please note that we invite submissions for our upcoming special edition on Children… The Heart of Curriculum to be submitted by 22 January 2018. Please check the website for the call for papers.

To subscribe or to contribute to He Kupu email the editor at info@hekupu.ac.nz

How to cite this article

Seve-Williams, N. (2017). Weaving biculturalism into everyday practices [Editorial]. He Kupu, 5 (2), 1-2. (accessed )