Activity 11 – Cultural sensitivity & indigenous learners
I am passionate about learning how to effectively and more efficiently support students from diverse cultural backgrounds.
As part of the course we not only teach Tikaka and Te Reo Maori but we also embed Tikaka practice throughout the whole year, to create a sense of it becoming ingrained i.e. no eating at work spaces, this needs to happen at the back of the room – break times, lunch, we sing waiata to celebrate student successes, no sitting on desks and general respect for one another.
A large aspect of this is in our planning for course, each step from application to graduation stages we create a deliberate whanau approach.
Our theories and models course not only includes the specifics for each specialty, but also Maori, Pacific and Asian models of practice. These are taught so they can be integrated with other theory bases so students learn to practice with a wider theoretical base.
Student placement process (that I researched, developed and set up) is integral to meet the cultural needs of each student, being able to provide Maori or Pacific placements for our students who identify with this cultural group is respectful.
Addressing emails, posts on discussion forums with Maori greetings is part of the role modelling of delivering a Treaty focus, to enhance working in partnership.
For me personally it is about achieving further study in working bi-culturally and multi-culturally, a way that I am accomplishing this is by studying towards my certificate in te mata a ao Maori (which I intend to graduate with at the end of this year). Understanding the Treaty of Waitangi in relation to my professional practice and as an educator is essential for my continued growth in this important area.