Sunday, 8 October 2017

Indigenous Knowledge and cultural responsiveness in my practice

Week 28:    Activity 4: Indigenous Knowledge and cultural responsiveness in my practice.

Understanding indigenous knowledge and cultural responsiveness

What is Cultural responsiveness? And Indigenous knowledge really?
One can say one is ‘culturally literate’ and responsive to the obvious Visible differences among people, welcoming with greetings in different languages, being tolerant when individuals do not remove headgear or do not meet your eyes, or clapping enthusiastically when viewing a ‘cultural’ dance or tradition but this is not enough and is never ever going to be enough for our Maori and Multicultural students in our classrooms.

As Russell Bishop, Professor of Māori Education at the University of Waikato and director of Te Kotahitanga says, we as teachers
 “…need to provide a classroom context where caring and learning relationships…are… paramount to the educational performance of Māori (and Multicultural) students…”

These learning relationships are the result of ‘A Culturally responsive Pedagogy’ and ‘Agentic’ practice. Bishop (2012)

ü  worldviews
ü  language
ü  values
ü  how people make sense of things
ü  perspectives
ü  assumptions
all of the above, Teaching Tolerance (2010) are important in a teaching practice that can begin to be appropriately Culturally responsive towards Indigenous and/or other Ethnicities.  Theory is one thing.  Then it needs to be deliberately planned and practiced.

Using the Mauri Model which is adapted from Pohatu (2011)  of deciding which level our school is operating at – Mauri Moe, Mauri Oho or Mauri Ora, I am going to discuss Communication and planning and assessment.

Communication is vital for any organisation and I believe our school can confidently place ourselves in the Mauri Ora level of the Mauri Model as far as Culturally Responsiveness in Communication is concerned.
We have active, frequent and deliberate communication with our Cultural and Ethnic groups which is in large facilitated by our ELL co-ordinator. There are after school cultural and homework groups, Pagsasama  and Pasifica and Hui forums for whanau which Staff are encouraged to attend and participate. We have Kaumatua and access to advocates and translators.  Members of different cultures in our school community have roles on the BOT and Home and school and as staff we are expected to communicate effectively with our families. There is Cultural presence and Voice right from the BOT through to the classroom from our Multicultural community.

In the area of being Culturally responsive in Planning and Assessment I believe our school is at the Mauri Oho -Wake up – stage.
We are very aware of our Cultural and Ethnic students and communities and are working to respond with Manaakitanga, Whanaungatanga, Ako and Mahi Tahi as outlined in the ERO indicators (2016),  We have a long way to go to ensure schoolwide planning and assessment that ensures Cultural responsiveness is embedded across all levels.  There are often pockets of Visibility and the latest vision of this is the Maths PD recently attended by all staff which was focussed on adding Cultural Responsiveness to our kete.
We will improve in this area because it is a genuine desire.


Education Review Office (2016). School evaluation indicators – effective practice for improvement and learner success.
Edtalks.(2012, September 23). A culturally responsive pedagogy of relations.
Savage,C, Hindleb, R., Meyerc,L., Hyndsa,A., Penetitob, W. & Sleeterd, C.(2011) Culturally responsive pedagogies in the classroom: indigenous student experiences across the curriculum .Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 39(3), 183–198:

Teaching Tolerance.( 2010, Jun 17).Introduction to Culturally Relevant Pedagogy